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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 lynda.com blog.
Let's take a look at the two LFOs in Ultrabeat up here. Generally speaking, LFOs, or Low Frequency Oscillators, are a great way to add movement to a sound. The two LFOs in Ultrabeat are not only great for adding movement but they're also quite special in that they allow you to specify a certain number of cycles that the LFO will complete. This allows for periodic movement but for a finite duration. This is particularly useful for recreating claps, flams, and other percussive sounds with multiple transients that occur close together during the attack stage of the sound.
So let's take a look at the features of this LFO. And what I want to do is pull up our initialize patch. So I am going to go to Load Settings up top here. And then we'll go to our Desktop, in the Exercise Files folder. And then we'll go to Ultabeat, and in there, there is the Preset folder, and there is the Ultrabeat_EMPTY patch, so I am going to go ahead and hit Open for that. What I am going to do is use Voice 1, so that's the note C1 on the keyboard. I am going to go ahead and bring up the Volume of this. There we go.
And I am also going to increase the Pitch as well, just so it's a little easier to hear. Okay. (Music playing) So what I want to do is I assign LFO 1 to modulate the pitch of Oscillator 2. So I've got this Modulation Menu right here, so I can select Lfo1. So you can see now there is this blue flag here, and so I can use this to set the range for the LFO. And the awesome thing about Ultrabeat is its very precise in terms of its modulation system, so it tells you specifically the number of semitones it's going to modulate. So let's set it to 3 semitones.
So now if I play the note, so you can clearly hear that pitch modulation. You can hear the sound just kind of fades out, so I am going to adjust our envelope. So envelope 4 is the one that's applicable. And I am going to turn on the Sustain Mode so that as long as I am holding down the note, it will sustain. (music playing) There we go. So the first parameter that we have on the LFOs is the Rate. So it can go from basically 0 hertz, stopped, to all the way to a 100 cycles per second, or 100 hertz, and anything in between.
So that's in Free mode, I also have Sync mode here, and that's where I can have it be synchronized to the beat. So half notes. And it can go all the way as fast as 64th note triplets. (music playing) So I am going to set it back to Free. And then let's explore the wave shape. So right next to it I've got this wave shape here. And if I move this to the left, it starts with a triangle waveform, and then it can continuously evolve to a saw tooth, sine wave, to a pulse waveform, and then it can modulate the pulse width. And then I've got two random waveforms here, these last two ones.
So I'll take this back to a sine wave. And next to that we have the cycles parameter. So this is how many times it's going to play through this LFO. So you can see there are a couple of different markings on here. There is 1, 50, 100, and then (infinity). So the two distinctive ones are basically anything below a 100 and infinity. So let's talk about infinity first. So infinity means that it's just going to cycle forever, so as long as you are holding the note. It also means that when I trigger a note, it's not going to restart the phase of the LFO.
So if I play a note at different times, I might catch the LFO in a different cycle. Now, when I am at a 100 or below, it means that every time I trigger a note, it's going to restart the cycle of the LFO. So it's key synchronized; that's the term for that. That's particularly useful for percussive sounds because you want a consistency in terms of the attack of the sound. So one reason that you might want to limit the cycles is just because certain sounds, you just want them to cycle the beginning of this sound, to really focus in the attack, and we'll talk about an example in a moment.
So the other feature about these LFOs is the built-in envelope here, so it's called Ramp. Essentially what the Ramp is it allows you to fade in the intensity of the LFOs or fade out. So for example, if I increase the attack here, then the modulation, so the pitch modulation is going to fade in. So let's listen to that. (music playing) So if I turn this the other direction, so it's now decaying, then the pitch modulation is going to fade out.
(music playing) So it's useful to have this envelope built-in right there. And again, this can be really useful for percussive sounds, especially the attack portion. So if I increase the rate here and then I have a relatively short decay, so let me make this decay a little shorter-- (music playing) --you can hear, it creates a little bit of a punch at the beginning of the sound. So that's pretty neat! So let's take a look at how we can use this LFO in a practical example. So I am going to make a clap sound, and we're going to limit the cycles of the LFO to emulate the attack portion of the sound.
So if you think about a clap sound or a group of people clapping, typically the attack portion is a bit sloppy, and that's actually what makes it sound big and what makes it sound good is that people's hands aren't coming together exactly at the same moment. It's very close, but there's a couple of milliseconds difference, and that makes all the difference in terms of the attack portion of the sound. So what I am going to do is set our LFO to a pretty fast rate. So I am going to have it about 50 cycles per second. And I am going to turn down the cycles on this LFO, so the number of times it's going to play through it, to just 2.
And the Ramp I am just going to get rid of. And then I am going to set the shape of this to, close to a saw-tooth waveform. So the base of this sound is going to be the noise generator. So what I am going to do is go ahead and turn off Oscillator 2, I'm going to get rid of the sustain parameter on envelope 4, and I am going to turn on the noise generator. Okay. So right now we just have noise, and I wanted this to be filtered noise, so I am going to use the High-Pass mode on this noise generator. And then I am going to just set the general color that I want for this clap sound, so that sounds all right. (music playing) And what I am going to do is increase the resonance, so that's boosting around the cutoff point here. (music playing) Then we've got resonant high-pass- filtered noise, and then I'm going to use this dirt parameter to change the timbre a little bit of the noise.
(music playing) I think just a little bit sounds good. So really where a lot of this clap portion is going to happen is with the volume of the sound, so that's where I am going to apply this LFO. So under this Modulation menu right here, I'm going to select Lfo1. I'll turn down the initial level of the sound, and I am going to increase the LFO amount here. (music playing) So that sounds pretty good! And so I want to actually make sure that my cycles is set to 2. Tight now it's just 1, so it sounds like a little bit weak of a clap.
So we've got two cycles. (music playing) And then the next thing I want to adjust is just this amp envelope here. So I am going to zoom to fit by pressing the Zoom button, and I am mainly going (music playing) There we go. to adjust the decay here. (music playing) So I am going to kind of make this bulge a little bit at the top of the decay. (music playing) There we go. Okay. So that's starting to sound like an okay clap, but really what it needs is a little bit of polish. So what I am going to do is go ahead and save this here.
So I am going to go to the Settings menu up top and go to Save Setting As, and we'll go to Desktop/Exercise Files/Ultrabeat. Then we'll go to the Preset folder. I am going to call this Ultrabeat_LfoClap. So we have that setting saved, and we've explored so far the features of the LFO and how it can provide periodic modulation, and also how it could be used to shape the attack of a sound. In the next video let's explore how we can use the EQ, spread, and pan modulation of the output section to help polish our clap sound.
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