So I've tried turning all the knobs and the instruments all sound similar. I've even changed the algorithm and changes it from PSG to FM, and they all sound similar. Any tips for making a unique instrument and/or which knobs have the most influence? I'm fairly new to chiptune making, and the tracker that is the least confusing for me is VGM. Any other recommendations?

Thanks,
noobguy57

Hi noobguy57, you could try loading in some of the demo instruments included with VGM Music Maker to see how the parameters are set for different kinds of sounds and go from there? One thing is to keep all the TL (Total Level) sliders up (127?) to start with to make sure you're not getting too much modulation. The bottom Operator (output operator) (4th from top of screen) can be set with TL=10 to make sure some sound will come out.

You might want to read the FM drive manual: http://www.alyjameslab.com/alyjameslabfmdrive.html
It's another tool, but there are some info about FM synthesis.

Changing algorithm should change the sound anyway. Learning FM synthesis is not really easy.

If anyone is interested and it isn't around yet, I can prepare a VGM MM instrument design tutorial (sort of) when I'm free.