Offering 240 FM sounds, with up to 8-voice polyphony, and control via MIDI mono mode, the FB-01 takes the crown.
MHO this unit is all about bass sounds. If you want FM bass sounds for very little cash spent, this is the box. It's not good with the higher octaves. But the FM bass is fantastic. If you like and/or want the type of FM bass sound Orbital used in 'Halcyon +on +on' or the one from Al B. Sure's 'Nite and Day,' do yourself a solid and buy one of these. It's not a squelchy or filtered sound, it's just fat and full of presence and bite. Feed it through some reverb and life is grand.
It is capable of some really deep bases and some decent analog emulation, the metallic sounds are hot too…it is capable of some really deep bases and some decent analog emulation, the metallic sounds are hot too.
Against modern. all-singing, all-dancing synths this is not up to much at first reckoning. But it does have a real use as a filler layer with other things. Try the strings at a very low level underpinning a more modern, realistic string sound. Try doubling an analog bass sound with the stuff in the FB01.
It helps add character and depth to other sounds, personalizing your sound more than dominating it.
The onboard RAM is a bonus. There are some great sysex dumps out there, demonstrating that, for those with the will and time to spens, this can be persuaded to make worthwhile noises. Against all expectations, it has a real role as a source of background filler pads when hooked up to a multi-FX box.
Polyphony: 8 Voices
Oscillators: Digital 4-operator FM synthesizer
# Instruments: 8 Part multi-timbral
Memory: 240 presets, 96 user
Control: MIDI (8 parts)