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Changing timbre with the modulator

From: Virtual Instruments in Logic Pro

Video: Changing timbre with the modulator

The Modulator or modulation oscillator is really what's going to create the character of the sound. So essentially what's happening is the Modulator is just an oscillator, very much like the Carrier, and instead of sending a signal to the Amplifier, it's sending a signal to the Carrier. So it's modulating the pitch of this Carrier oscillator, but instead of it doing it at a low frequency, it's doing it at a very high rate. So when I play a note on my keyboard here, so I will play an A, so that's 220 hertz, and then my Carrier is set to a ratio of 1. Notice so is the Modulator.

Changing timbre with the modulator

The Modulator or modulation oscillator is really what's going to create the character of the sound. So essentially what's happening is the Modulator is just an oscillator, very much like the Carrier, and instead of sending a signal to the Amplifier, it's sending a signal to the Carrier. So it's modulating the pitch of this Carrier oscillator, but instead of it doing it at a low frequency, it's doing it at a very high rate. So when I play a note on my keyboard here, so I will play an A, so that's 220 hertz, and then my Carrier is set to a ratio of 1. Notice so is the Modulator.

So what that means is that this Modulator is going to be modulating the pitch of the Carrier 220 times a second. And in order to make that happen, I'm going to use this FM Intensity control to adjust the amount of modulation. (music playing) Turn this up. You can see that the waveform starts to change. When I have this at a low level we can see it starts to look more like a sawtooth waveform just a little bit, and as I increase it, it really becomes different. If you look at our EQ Analyzer we can see there is a lot more harmonic components. And as I increase the Intensity, there's even more.

The sound becomes a bit more harsh as well. (music playing) So that's really what's happening. It's just a pitch modulation. So you might think, well, why not just use an LFO, like a more simple way of doing that? So let's take a look at what happens when we use the LFO to modulate the pitch. So down here in EFM1 we have this LFO section. It can be used to create vibrato, which is pitch modulation. So I will do that. I'm going to take this control and move it a bit to the left.

(music playing) So you can hear the pitch is now vibrating. I can control the rate with the Rate knob, so we can have it be pretty slow or faster. So let's increase the intensity of this modulation. So there is a pretty wide range of pitches. Now if I increase the Rate, and I get past to a certain point, like about 20 hertz, it doesn't really sound like a pitch-shift anymore.

It's more of a texture or a timbre change. You can see also the waveform is much different, and if you look at the EQ Analyzer, there is also a lot more harmonics. There is even sub-harmonics that are happening below the fundamental. (music playing) So that's basically FM synthesis. But when I try to play notes in the keyboard, so I play chromatically-- (music playing) It doesn't really track all that well, so it's not as musically useful.

So if I reset this, whole reason this Modulator uses the harmonic tuning system is so that we can control the pitch modulation so it's musically relevant. So when I have this fast modulation that's going on, so 220 times a second because I am playing A 220 hertz, and so I'll play some notes on the keyboard. (music playing) So no problems tracking pitch, definitely musically useful. So that's why this harmonic tuning system is great.

And one thing that's really going to affect the character of the sound is the relationship, or the ratio, between the harmonics of the Modulator and the Carrier. So right now we have a one-to-one relationship. So if I set the Modulator to a different ratio. (music playing) You can hear it changes the timbre of the sound a bit. It's still pretty constant sound. (music playing) So that kind of relationship has a pretty constant sound, and it's just-- depending on what the harmonic is set to, so if I've got a harmonic of 7, so the 7th harmonic, it's going to bring out that range of frequencies in the Carrier, in the modulation.

(music playing) So the fundamental pitch isn't changing and we're still getting all this texture that's happening. (music playing) We can hear the emphasis of the sound is higher in the higher harmonics. (music playing) So if I want to make a more metallic or dissonant sound then I can adjust the fine-tuning of the Modulator. (music playing) So it still tracks pitch fine, but it's a little bit more of an edgy, industrial kind of sound.

It's harder to hear exactly what the pitch is. So if I set that back, another way we can actually create some radical change with this is if I change the wave shape of the Modulator. So I will go ahead and set this harmonic to 1, so we've got a one-to-one relationship. Turn down the level of modulation, so just a little bit. Now I will adjust the wave shape of the Modulator. So by default, or if you have it all the way to the left, it's going to be a sine wave. So it's a sine wave modulating another sine wave. If I change this, some different waveforms, it really changes the character of the sound.

(music playing) Then if I also adjust the amount of FM Intensity-- (music playing) --I get a wide range of sounds. Here I will play an octave lower. (music playing) So you can almost get any texture you can imagine when you start changing the wave shape and you try to balance the amount of FM intensity.

So I definitely recommend playing around with that, because you will discover a lot of things in that process. Next, let's take a look at how we can shape the sound further with the Modulation envelope and then Volume envelope as well.

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This video is part of

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Virtual Instruments in Logic Pro

144 video lessons · 8943 viewers

Brian Trifon
Author

 
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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
      33s
  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 20s
  6. 48m 8s
    1. Getting started with EFM1
      1m 51s
    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
      2m 59s
    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 4s
    1. Getting Started with EVOC 20
      2m 9s
    2. Vocoding Basics: Making your synth sing!
      3m 14s
    3. Exploring the synthesis section
      4m 47s
    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 7s
    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 33s
    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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