New Synth, Kodamo EssenceFM, Promises To Make FM Synthesis “Fun & Easy”

This video, from SynthFest France via Les Sondiers, offers a sneak preview of the upcoming EssenceFM synthesizer, which is described as a “modern high-end synthesizer dedicated to FM synthesis”.

The video is in French, but much of it will make sense to non-French speakers.

The developers note that the “hardware conception and preset sounds aren’t finished, but most of the features have already been implemented.”

EssenceFM features the powerful VFM engine (Variable Frequency Modulation) which offers flexibility in sound design and massive 300-voice polyphony. Here’s what the developers have to say about it:

“We are huge FM synthesis fans, but were disappointed with ergonomics and limitations we found in all FM synths. That’s how the EssenceFM is born.

It follows a very graphical approach to make sound editing fun and easy: operator’s outputs are shown in real time during playback, envelopes are displayed as editable graphical curves, operators can be drag&drop to build the algorithm, waveforms are editable…”


  • Free algorithm design using drag & drop
  • User-editable waveforms (free drawing & wave import)
  • 300 voice polyphony (6-op FM voice with filter)
  • Up to 128 layered/splitted voices per patch
  • Graphical envelopes
  • Use as a rack or table-top module
  • 2 integrated effects processors
  • Professional sound quality with 32-bit DSPs, 24-bit DAC, >100dB SNR
  • Ultra fast boot time (< 3 seconds)
  • Upgradable firmware

EssenceFM is currently in development. See the Kodamo site for more information.

21 thoughts on “New Synth, Kodamo EssenceFM, Promises To Make FM Synthesis “Fun & Easy”

  1. This actually looks really good. 1989 era 6 op with filters like the SY77/99 is the minimum for useful FM. No more of the 2 and 4 op stuff ever again, please.

  2. I wonder why they didn’t game-up and jumped to 8-OP….as Yamaha did with their new workstation…(and in past with FS1R)

    I find this a bit too sterile sounding for my taste 🙁

    1. Because most probably the most recent Yamaha patents are enforced but not the original ones … nice module anyway … for musicians north programmers but there is always a certain amount of programming to focus …

  3. The only demo I could find when I saw this on another site was in French but watched it anyway. Major props for doing a rackmount. Definitely interested in more info and demos.

  4. If it can 300 voices with 6-OP, why not make it also e.g. 64 voices 10-OP including custom waves. Anyway the synth drag my attention…

    1. Or 100 OP with 6 voices!

      Or, like, you could show some examples of these incredible 10-op voices you’ve made so we can see the advantages.

  5. To me, the BIG news is the first two features listed: user definable algorithms and user editable waveforms. Yamaha should have done both of those in their latest FM engines. Those two features alone make it more powerful than Yamaha’s 10 OP FM.

    1. 3U – c’est deja pas mal de hauteur. Un ecran encore plus grand implique 4U ou meme plus et la clientele avec de gros armoires. 3U et un ecran comme ca – c’est un minimum justifie.

  6. I am definitely interested. Perhaps a powerful sequencer that one can interact with fingers since there is a nice touchscreen?

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