An interesting Future UDO Synthesizer

Would an FPGA FM Synthesizer be possible?
I had this idea in my head…


I see no reason it wouldn’t be, given a powerful enough FPGA. I do retro gaming as a hobby, and one of the coolest projects in retro gaming right now is called the MISTer project. It uses a publicly available DE-10 FPGA development board and free software to emulate old games consoles (think NES, SNES, Sega Master System, Megadrive, etc). Part of that emulation includes the sound chips on those consoles, most of which used FM to some degree or another. Just look at the MegaFM or RYM2612, both synthesizers based on the FM synth inside a Sega Megadrive. So if a $200 or so dev board can do that level of FM while also running a circuit simulation of the entire rest of the console, I think FM is completely doable on the right FPGA. It may or may not be running at the same speed as the relatively simple oscillators in Super6, but FM on an FPGA is already being done, just not in a synthesizer yet (that I’m aware of).

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For FM Synthesis you need no FPGA, this is trivial enough for any CPU or DSP to be done fast enough that there is no audible aliasing.
The only issue when doing this on “normal” desktop computers is the fact, that there is no realtime OS in background, so the ordinary OS could interrupt and delay software at any time (thats why DAWs and software instruments have to work with buffers to prevent gaps in the audio stream).