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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.
So after the objects are set and the string is vibrating, the next step in the signal flow is the pickups. So the pickups--there is A right here and we have pickup B right here-- they're like electric guitar pickup. So they pick up the string's vibration. From there the signal goes to the amp envelope. So let's take a look at what we can do with the pickups. First, I am just going to try to create some sort of simple sound and then we can explore the features of the pickups. I am going to change object 1 to a different type of excitation method.
So we will set this to a GravStrike. And I will just adjust some parameters here. And let's just have one more object affecting this string as well. So let's have object 3 disturb the string's vibration, and we will use the Mass. (music playing) Then of course, I can adjust where they're happening on the strings. (music playing) Okay, I will just give this sound a little bit less Media Loss, so it rings out more.
So there we go. If I take pickup A here and I move it, you can hear that changes the character of the sound. When I move past an object, you can really hear that it emphasizes the sound of that object. (music playing) So I can move pickup B as well, and determine where I want its positioning. And other thing to take note of is the sound it's making as I am moving it. It sounds kind of like a phasing or chorus sound.
Actually, one thing that we might want to do later when we get into the modulation system of sculpture is to modulate the pickup positions. You can get a really nice wide chorus sound out of that. So it's really a cool feature. The other feature of the pickups is that we can invert the phase of pickup B. So there's this Invert button right down here. The reason why we might want to do that is it's going to help thin out the sound. Because if I invert the phase of pickup B, it means there is going to be some amount of phase cancellation or frequencies between pickup A and B. So here it is phase-inverted, and now if I un-invert it, you can hear it's a much thicker sound.
So sometimes you actually want to thin out the texture of the sound a little bit, so inverting the pickup can be really useful. So I'll invert pickup B. You can hear when I have them on top of each other and I play, we don't hear anything, because pickup B is entirely out of phase with pickup A when I have the Invert button pressed. So therefore, we don't get any sound. If I want a very thin sound, I can offset pickup B or pickup A just slightly, and here we get a really small sound. (music playing) The further I get away from pickup A then it gets a bit thicker.
So I will go ahead and have it not be inverted. So I will click on it, and let's take a look at some of the other features of the pickups. Over on the right side of the interface, right next to the amp envelope, you can see we have this Key and Pickup spread parameter. First, I will talk about the Pickup spread. So the way this works is I am going to click on where it says Pickup and then I am going to drag up with my mouse. So I am going to move upward and you can see it's going to spread the stereo image of pickup A and pickup B.
So now when I play, pickup A is going to be on the left and pickup B is going to be on the right. So I can move these. So I will move the pickups and you will hear them. I'll move around in the stereo field. (music playing) So imagine if you're modulating the position of the pickups to get that chorusing or phasing effect, and you have a very wide stereo spread. It can be a very dramatic effect. So maybe I will narrow the stereo spread of that. So I am going to click on it and now I am dragging down with my mouse, so to just make it a little bit more towards the center.
I can also modulate the stereo spread of the keys in the keyboard. So what I mean is if I am playing lower notes on the keyboard, that's going to be panned a little bit towards the left and if I'm playing higher notes in the keyboard, they are going to be panned towards the right. So that's called Key spread and I click on Key and then drag my mouse up, and this is going to spread out the stereo image of the different ranges of my MIDI keyboard. Okay. So now I am going to play up higher on the keyboard. You can hear that's more towards the right. If I play lower, it's more towards the left.
So that's how that works. So again, I can press on that and now I am dragging down, and I am reining in the stereo image for that one. Next, let's take a look at the global parameters. So that's this whole row that we have up top, at the very top of the sound engine of Sculpture. The first thing they have here is Glide Time. This is going to adjust the amount of time it takes to transition between the pitches of notes that we are playing. So right now, I have 0 Glide Time, but if I increase the Glide Time to, say, something like close to 1 second, when I play a note and I play another note, you can hear the transitions between those notes, and it happens over the course of a second.
So I am going to set this to something much shorter. You can hear a shorter Glide Time. (music playing) So you can hear that's transitioning over the course of 220 milliseconds. So sculpture the Glide Time can go all the way up to 5 seconds long. So you can have a really long Glide Time. So I am going to set this back to no glide. Next we have the Tuning offset. So this is globally, so for the whole instrument and this is in cents. You can tune it up or down 50 cents and the reason why you might want to do that is if you have another instrument that's maybe slightly out of tune and you need to match it, here is where we can just globally adjust the tuning of the instrument.
If I want to set this back to 0, I can just Option+Click. So next we have the Warmth parameter, and this is going to introduce a little bit of pitch modulation, like a slight amount of randomness when I trigger a voice. So if I increase the amount of Warmth, what that means is that each note I play is going to have slight pitch variations. (music playing) So it's a very subtle kind of adjustment, but what it's good for is if you're playing chords and things like that, it helps thicken the sound of it, because you just get a little bit more of a slight random detuning.
So I can Option+click on that and set that back to 0. And then we have Transpose. So if I want to transpose the whole instrument down an octave, I can do that. I can go down two octaves or up two octaves. So we will set the transpose to none. Then if we go over to the right side of the Global settings we've got our Voice settings. So this is the amount of polyphony. So I can have four voices right now. That means I can play four notes at once. I can set this all the way up to 16 voices. Next to that what we have are the various keyboard modes, and this is where we can adjust whether it's going to be polyphonic, monophonic, or if we are going to be in legato mode.
So polyphonic, like it's set now, that means I can play several voices or several notes at once. So I can play chords. (music playing) If I am in mono mode, I can't do that. I can just play one note at a time. But one of the side effects of being in mono mode is if I play a note and then I play a note that's higher, and then I let go of that higher note, it retriggers the lower note. That's kind of neat for creating pedal- tone type melodies where it's pedaling on the lower note.
So that's the mono mode. Then we have legato mode. So what this is is it's also monophonic keyboard mode, but what it allows for is to not retrigger the envelopes when I am planning notes that are adjacent to each other, in terms of their timing. So if I am playing in a legato style, it's not going to retrigger the envelope. So let me play. (music playing) So you can hear the each other note I am planning, it doesn't retrigger the envelope, until I completely let go of the note and then when I play again, then it retriggers the envelope.
So we explored the Global parameters and saw how the pickup position and the stereo spread of the pickups can really shape the tonal characteristics of the sound. In the next video, let's explore how we could shape the volume of sound with the amplifier envelope.
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