[sdiy] FM Synth Designs

Batz Goodfortune batzman at all-electric.com
Tue Aug 13 07:22:30 CEST 2002

Y-ellow Tim.

At 02:39 PM 8/12/02 -0700, Tim Parkhurst wrote:

>Yamaha owns the patent on FM synthesis (bought it from Stanford University
>where it was originally developed by John Chowning), and they defend the
>patent with a VERY heavy hand. At one point, they even tried to sue an
>analog synth manufacturer (Moog, I believe) because the owner's manual for a
>VCO module stated that the linear CV input on the VCO allowed FM synthesis.

Possibly not Moog since that stuff pre-dates Stanford's patent.

>If anyone tried to make a commercial FM synth, I'm sure Yamaha would be
>happy to send a team of lawyers in their direction. Of course, a privately
>built unit for personal use would be okay. Sounds like quite a bit of work

Yamaha and Stanford's patent ran out circa 1997 if memory serves. Which is 
why you saw a lot of other people in the FM game around that time. FM it 
self can't be patented. Otherwise there'd be a lot of radio stations off 
the air. But the process used in yamaha synths was what the patent was all 

Be absolutely Icebox

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