CNET GLOSSARY: Terms for the techie
frequency modulation synthesis
There are two main ways to synthesize music: frequency modulation and sampling from a wavetable. FM synthesis uses a signal to modulate the frequency of another signal, and the results sound like arcade games from the 1970s or one of the first wave of poker-faced European technobands. Each FM voice needs at least two signal generators (also called oscillators or operators), and more-sophisticated FM systems may use four or six signal generators per voice. In general, however, FM synthesis is not as desirable an asset in your sound circuitry as wavetable synthesis.
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