FM Mod on Dewanatron Swarmatron
Here is a brief exploration of the Dewanatron Swarmatron’s optional frequency modulation feature which allows one or more its eight voices to frequency modulate the overall pitch as well as the spread of its 8-note cluster.
The Swarmatron was created to produce eight tones tuned approximately to one note, each tone slightly different in pitch to produce a complex and natural choral effect. These eight oscillators can be played with a single ribbon controller (variable resistor) to move the pitch center up or down. The span control expands the sound of a swarm of eight notes spread just a few cents apart into a wide chord of equidistant pitches spread over the entire spectrum. The player can “taffy pull” the resulting chord by using the span control and pitch ribbon in tandem. Swarms of sine waves evoke swarms of angels congregating. Swarms of sawtooth waves evoke the swarming of bees. The sound of a host of voices, earthly or unearthly, has a unique character recognized by the ear even when they are folded together in unison.