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Elektron’s Digitone hardware is probably the most approachable FM synth I’ve come across. They’ve made some clever design decisions such as a fixed selection of ratios to make it easier to find musical sounds, and adding two conventional subtractive filters (one resonant, one more of a utility one to high/lowpass the resulting output) which makes it easier to tame the sound in an intuitive way. If you’re into FM I really recommend it, combined with their excellent sequencer which lets you lock any set of synth parameters to any step really quickly and great on board effects, you can get some excellent results.

I guess the closest software equivalent I’ve seen is Ableton’s Operator but I find the Digitone much more fun, not least because it’s hands-on hardware which encourages exploration!

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