Virtual Instruments in Logic Pro
Illustration by John Hersey

Adding life and expression with the modulation


Virtual Instruments in Logic Pro

with Brian Trifon

Video: Adding life and expression with the modulation

So let's take a look at the modulation features of the EXS24. So in the center here we have a Modulation Router and that has 10 channels where we can assign sources and destinations. So a source is going to be the thing that's doing the modulating, so usually an LFO or envelope, and the destination is going to be the thing that's being modulated. So that might be filter cutoff or pitch, something like that. So we've got three LFOs, and then you can see that we've got two envelopes as well, and those can all be assigned in this Modulation Router to modulate any of these destinations.
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  1. 6m 59s
    1. Welcome
      2m 21s
    2. Setting up Logic Pro for using virtual instruments and configuring MIDI controllers
      4m 5s
    3. Using the exercise files
  2. 21m 50s
    1. Getting started with the ES M
      1m 13s
    2. Understanding the signal flow of the ES M
      2m 18s
    3. Using the oscillator
      3m 4s
    4. Tone shaping with the lowpass filter
      2m 59s
    5. Using the volume controls
      3m 5s
    6. Using the Filter envelope to adjust cutoff
      3m 22s
    7. Composing with the ES M
      5m 49s
  3. 26m 16s
    1. Getting started with the ES E
      1m 15s
    2. Understanding the signal flow of the ES E
      2m 5s
    3. Selecting a waveform
      2m 9s
    4. Using the Vibrato/PWM dial
      2m 15s
    5. Using the ES E lowpass filter
      2m 43s
    6. Shaping the amplitude with the Attack and Release envelope
      3m 10s
    7. Shaping the filter with the Attack and Release envelope
      3m 55s
    8. Using the Chorus and Ensemble settings
      2m 1s
    9. Composing with the ES E
      6m 43s
  4. 39m 0s
    1. Getting started with the ES P
      1m 54s
    2. Understanding the signal flow of the ES P
      2m 22s
    3. Balancing the oscillator levels
      4m 7s
    4. Enabling key follow on the filter
      6m 9s
    5. Shaping the volume with the ADSR
      6m 20s
    6. Modulating the cutoff with the ADSR
      3m 48s
    7. Using the Vibrato/Wah control
      3m 23s
    8. Tweaking the Overdrive and Chorus settings
      2m 34s
    9. Composing with the ES P
      8m 23s
  5. 1h 19m
    1. Getting started with the ES1
      2m 8s
    2. Exploring the signal flow of the ES1
      3m 31s
    3. Using the oscillator and sub-oscillator
      3m 58s
    4. Tweaking the filter
      6m 36s
    5. Using key follow on the cutoff
      5m 25s
    6. Exploring the amplifier section and ADSR
      7m 42s
    7. Modulating the cutoff with ADSR
      4m 9s
    8. Creating movement with the LFO
      14m 18s
    9. Using the Modulation envelope to add contour
      13m 31s
    10. Using the Glide and the Global Voices settings
      4m 30s
    11. Using the side chain input and LFO external feature
      4m 34s
    12. Composing with the ES1
      9m 21s
  6. 48m 10s
    1. Getting started with EFM1
      1m 52s
    2. FM synthesis basics and signal flow
      3m 21s
    3. Setting the carrier pitch
      2m 56s
    4. Changing timbre with the modulator
      6m 2s
    5. Using the volume and modulation envelope to shape the sound
      9m 55s
    6. Adding movement with the LFO
      3m 0s
    7. Using unison, detune and sub osc for thick sounds
      3m 22s
    8. Randomize, do you feel lucky today?
      3m 47s
    9. Assigning MIDI controls to FM
      3m 38s
    10. Composing with the EFM1
      10m 17s
  7. 46m 5s
    1. Getting Started with EVOC 20
      2m 9s
    2. Vocoding Basics: Making your synth sing!
      3m 14s
    3. Exploring the synthesis section
      4m 48s
    4. Managing the Global voice settings
      4m 39s
    5. Using the filterbank section to shape the vocoded sounds
      5m 34s
    6. Tweaking the formants and adding movement with the LFO's
      5m 26s
    7. Getting more intelligible results with U/V detection
      3m 52s
    8. Making your beats melodic: vocoding drums
      3m 38s
    9. Composing with the EVOC 20
      12m 45s
  8. 1h 28m
    1. Getting Started with ES2
      3m 33s
    2. Exploring the ES2 Oscillators and Mix Triangle
      9m 8s
    3. Tweaking the ES2 filters to shape expressive sounds
      7m 11s
    4. Series or Parallel?
      6m 34s
    5. Understanding the amplifier effects
      3m 45s
    6. Bringing life to ES2 with the modulation router
      4m 50s
    7. Creating rhythmic movement with the LFO's
      10m 8s
    8. Using the 3 envelopes to give shape to your sounds
      8m 13s
    9. Create evolving sounds with basic vector modulation
      5m 37s
    10. Looping with the vector envelope
      8m 17s
    11. Voice parameters and global settings
      7m 15s
    12. Making changes to your macro and MIDI controls
      3m 29s
    13. Composing with the ES2
      10m 26s
  9. 1h 15m
    1. Getting Started with EXS24
      3m 29s
    2. Create your own sample instruments the easy way
      5m 4s
    3. Exploring single zone sample instruments
      4m 29s
    4. Creating multiple zone instruments
      5m 9s
    5. Adding dynamics with velocity layers
      5m 46s
    6. Organizing zones with groups
      7m 4s
    7. Advanced zone editing and looping
      5m 21s
    8. Using the filter section to shape your sampled sounds
      7m 3s
    9. Using transpose and glide to add expression to EXS24
      5m 22s
    10. Adding life and expression with the modulation
      7m 34s
    11. Further shaping with the envelopes
      6m 35s
    12. Adjusting Global voice settings
      3m 14s
    13. Composing with the EXS24
      9m 5s
  10. 59m 45s
    1. Getting started with EVB3
      3m 59s
    2. Synthesizing with the Drawbars
      3m 10s
    3. Utilizing the Preset Keys and Morph Wheel
      4m 31s
    4. Adding Vibrato and Percussion Parameters
      4m 43s
    5. Customizing the Pitch and Condition Parameters
      7m 0s
    6. Adjusting the Organ and Sustain Parameters
      6m 6s
    7. Using the EVB3 effects
      5m 43s
    8. Modulating sound with the Leslie Rotor Cabinet
      7m 49s
    9. Setting the extended parameters
      5m 17s
    10. Composing with the EVB3
      11m 27s
  11. 19m 52s
    1. Getting Started with EVP88
      2m 46s
    2. Selecting a piano model
      1m 17s
    3. Adjusting the model parameters
      2m 38s
    4. Setting the tuning parameters
      1m 54s
    5. Adding effects to thicken the sound
      4m 40s
    6. Musical example
      6m 37s
  12. 29m 15s
    1. Getting Started with EVD6
      2m 29s
    2. Choosing the instrument model
      3m 41s
    3. Customizing the string parameters
      4m 25s
    4. Adjusting pickup configuration and position
      3m 49s
    5. Using the EVD6 Effects
      5m 24s
    6. Composing with the EVD6
      9m 27s
  13. 1h 57m
    1. Getting Started with Sculpture
      4m 53s
    2. Setting the string characteristics with the Material Pad
      8m 26s
    3. Exciting the string with objects
      8m 52s
    4. Adjusting the Pickups and Global Voice Settings
      8m 10s
    5. Shaping sound with the Amp Envelope
      4m 24s
    6. Saturating sound with the Wave Shaper
      3m 42s
    7. Sculpting with the filter
      7m 37s
    8. Adding depth to the stereo delay
      5m 18s
    9. Understanding the Body EQ
      6m 34s
    10. Modulating with the LFO's
      8m 9s
    11. Using the Vibrato, Velocity and Controllers
      6m 40s
    12. Introducing the Control Envelope
      6m 15s
    13. Recording the Envelope Shape with a MIDI Controller
      5m 57s
    14. Looping with the Control Envelopes
      5m 46s
    15. Transitioning between settings the Morph Pad
      6m 10s
    16. Employing the Morph Envelope
      9m 48s
    17. Composing with Sculpture
      10m 52s
  14. 2h 4m
    1. Getting started with Ultrabeat
      2m 54s
    2. Exploring the Assignment section
      6m 22s
    3. Importing settings into Ultrabeat
      4m 19s
    4. Synthesizing with Oscillator 2
      7m 42s
    5. Using Oscillator 1 and the noise generator
      4m 36s
    6. Shaping with the envelopes
      7m 21s
    7. Filtering and setting distortion
      8m 36s
    8. Adding movement with the LFOs
      8m 23s
    9. Refining the sound with EQ in the Output section
      6m 10s
    10. Building a kick drum
      8m 18s
    11. Synthesizing a snare drum
      8m 31s
    12. Creating a hi-hat
      4m 34s
    13. Introduction to the step sequencer
      5m 54s
    14. Sequencing in the step sequencer
      7m 18s
    15. Working with the playback options
      5m 1s
    16. Sequencing automation in Step Edit mode
      5m 3s
    17. Utilizing the side chain
      9m 2s
    18. Composing with Ultrabeat
      14m 13s
  15. 7m 24s
    1. Introducing and composing with the Klopfgeist
      7m 24s
  16. 1m 12s
    1. What's next?
      1m 12s

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Watch the Online Video Course Virtual Instruments in Logic Pro
13h 10m Intermediate Nov 09, 2011 Updated Mar 14, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Join author Brian Trifon as he shows how to improve music and audio productions using virtual instruments in Logic Pro. This course tours the program's virtual instruments, including the ES2 hybrid synthesizer, Sculpture physical modeling synthesizer, EFM1 FM synthesizer, the EVOC 20 vocoder, the Ultrabeat drum synthesizer, and the EXS24 sampler, and shows how to achieve various effects with each instrument's parameters. The course also covers working with oscillators and filters, understanding signal flow, creating custom synthesizer patches, adding effects, synthesizing speech, creating a library of custom sound samples, and much more.

Virtual Instruments with Logic Pro will be updating on a monthly basis, eventually covering all the virtual instruments in the application. Look for the latest movies here and on the blog.

Topics include:
  • Setting up Logic Pro for using virtual instruments
  • Configuring MIDI controllers
  • Composing with virtual instruments envelopes
  • Tweaking the overdrive and chorus
  • Creating movement with LFOs (Low Frequency Oscillators)
  • Understanding FM synthesis basics
  • Changing the timbre and shifting the formants of the vocoder
  • Constructing custom sampler kits
  • Exploring the tonewheel organ, electric piano, and Ultrabeat drum synthesizer
Audio + Music
Logic Pro
Brian Trifon

Adding life and expression with the modulation

So let's take a look at the modulation features of the EXS24. So in the center here we have a Modulation Router and that has 10 channels where we can assign sources and destinations. So a source is going to be the thing that's doing the modulating, so usually an LFO or envelope, and the destination is going to be the thing that's being modulated. So that might be filter cutoff or pitch, something like that. So we've got three LFOs, and then you can see that we've got two envelopes as well, and those can all be assigned in this Modulation Router to modulate any of these destinations.

So let's take a look at what we've got. So if I click on Destination, you can see that there's all of these choices: Sample Select, Pitch, we've got Filter Drive, Filter Cutoff, and a whole bunch of others. Then we've got our sources. That's down at the bottom here. So it can be any of the three LFOs or two Envelopes, Velocity, Pitch Bend. And then we have this Via control, and this is going to scale the amount of modulation. So if I don't have one of these, so if I set to the null, these three dashes, then we just have the slider, and the slider controls the amount of modulation.

So if I play a note on the keyboard, I just get the sine wave, and when I increase the Intensity, I get a wider range of pitch modulation. So now the way that this via parameter works--so I'll set this to Ctrl #1, the mod wheel--is you can see now it has this green portion and the orange portion. So I can set a range that the mod wheel is going to control the amount of pitch modulation. So I'll set the green portion down to basically around 0, and then we'll have the orange all the way up close to the top. So it's going to be an octave range.

And so now when I play, I have no pitch modulation, but I open up my mod wheel, and as I keep opening it, I get more and more pitch modulation, and it's being scaled. So that's how you can use this Modulation Router, and it's fun to try with all kinds of different sources and destinations. And really it's endlessly deep what you can do with it, because you could assign many different channels here to Pitch. So I could have the Pitch be the Destination on one of these other channels and I can use an envelope to modulate it, so you can get layers and layers of modulation.

So let's take a look at the LFOs and actually what's happening with them. So what I am going to do is I am going to disable this via the Scaling parameter, and so we'll just have a simple pitch modulation. I'll have it pretty wide, just so we can easily hear it. So with LFO 1, right now I've got the rate set to 4.8 Hz and I can increase that rate by moving this to the right, all the way up to 35 Hz. And when I take this into the center, it's not even going to be active.

And then when I go to the left, it's going to be in divisions of the beat. So I could have this pitch modulation happen at eighth notes, so you can hear that. And the other really neat feature about this particular LFO is that it has an envelope that's attached to it. So it can either decay or delay. So what that means is that we can have the onset of the modulation sort of be delayed, so you'll have to wait for it. So if I move this envelope to the right, so you can see I've got this set now to 2 seconds, so 2000 ms.

So the modulation is going to fade in over that time. So I'll play a note and you'll hear it fade in. (music playing) Right, so the modulation fades in. And so when I move this the opposite direction to decay, you'll hear it fade out. So it will start with a lot of modulation, and then the modulation will decrease. So let's set this to a shorter amount of time. (music playing) So that's pretty neat how that works. It's a good way to be able to add some shape to your LFO sound.

Also with this LFO we can choose a variety of different waveforms, and that's going to affect the characteristics of the modulation as well. So right now with this eighth note I've got this set to a Triangle Wave on this particular LFO, and I could change that to a Ramp Down. And if I make this slower, you can hear this a little bit more. And I'll increase the amount of pitch modulation too. So you can hear it's pitching down again and again and again. I can use the Ramp Up so that it will pitch up. (music playing) Or if I have a Square Wave, it's going to jump between two different pitches.

(music playing) And if I decrease the Intensity, it's a smaller range of pitches. And then we've got a Square Wave with the opposite polarity, so it's going to go down first. And then we have a Sample and Hold waveform here, so it's going to randomly step between different values. (music playing) So if I speed this up, you can hear it's randomly just jumping the different notes. And the last waveform is a Random Interpolated Waveform, so it's going to smoothly go to random pitches. (music playing) This almost sounds like a theremin with the sine wave.

(music playing) So one of the unique features of LFO 1 is that it's polyphonic. Each note is going to have its own LFO phase. So if I am playing a note now, I am actually going to slow down the speed of this. So if I play a note now, you'll hear the pitch modulation. And if I play another note, it's going to have pitch modulation as well, but it will be independent in its phase. So you can hear how they're pitching up and down at different times.

I can add in another note, and those are all independent. So that's the nature of a polyphonic LFO. The other cool thing about LFO 1 is it's also key synchronized. So every time I play a key on the keyboard, it starts from the beginning of its wave cycle. So here I have this pitch modulation. Every time I play this, it's starting at the same point. Now, to show you the difference, let's take a look at LFO 2, because this works a little differently. I can still choose the waveform and I can adjust the rate and have it synchronize to the beat, but this is a monophonic LFO, and it's not key synchronized.

So let's take a look at that Key Synchronize parameter so you can see the difference. So I'll set it to a similar kind of rate, and we'll just swap out LFO 1 for LFO 2 as our source for the pitch modulation. So when I play a note, I've still got pitch modulation, but now when I play it repeatedly, you can hear that every time I play it, it's in a different part of the phase of the modulation, so it's not key synced. It's also monophonic too. So if I play more than one note at time, so if I add in another note, their phases aren't independent.

You can hear it's synchronized. So sometimes that's useful for things, and sometimes you'll want to use a polyphonic LFO. So LFO 3 works in exactly the same way as LFO 2; it's monophonic and it's not key synced. The only difference is you can't choose the waveform; it's always just a triangle waveform. Now that we've explored an overview of the modulation router and we've seen the differences between the three LFOs, let's see how we can use the envelopes as a modulation source.

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