Frequency modulation is applied in multipliers of the principal frequency to retain the tonality of the sound. These multipliers are known as ratios. Each operator group’s ratio is a multiplier of the input pitch (note value). The higher the ratio, the higher the pitch frequency. For example, when applying modulation with a ratio of 1:2 (carrier:modulator), the carrier output resembles a square wave. A ratio of 1:1 sounds like a sawtooth, and odd numbers can be used for various metallic or other “natural” sounds. In Digitone, the FM ratios for the different operator groups works like this:

  • C which always works like a carrier, is limited mostly to integers since it is generally used for carrying the base note of the sound.

  • A has a more extensive number of ratio values to allow for more inharmonic relationships.

  • B (B1 and B2) controls both operators at the same time. The minimum value for B1 and B2 is .25. As you turn the encoder, B2 increases until it reaches the max (16). It then starts over from .25 and B1 increases to the next value (0.5). This revolving behavior continues until both operators reach the maximum value. This parameter behavior is similar to the movement of the hands-on a watch.

Read more about the Digitone FM synthesis here:
Digitone FM synthesis overview.