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Composing with the ES2


Virtual Instruments in Logic Pro

with Brian Trifon

Video: Composing with the ES2

So I've got a musical example here that has a couple of instances of ES2, so you can get a sense of how it actually works in context. So I have got the drum tracks up top-- those are just audio files--and everything else is generated by ES2. So let's listen to it and then I will talk you through the sounds. (music playing) Cool! So let me show you the first sound here.
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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

Composing with the ES2

So I've got a musical example here that has a couple of instances of ES2, so you can get a sense of how it actually works in context. So I have got the drum tracks up top-- those are just audio files--and everything else is generated by ES2. So let's listen to it and then I will talk you through the sounds. (music playing) Cool! So let me show you the first sound here.

We've got this one that's called Subby ES2. So I will open up the instrument for that, and kind of move it out of the way so you can see the MIDI. So here we go! So this is this low, deep pulsing sound. So it sounds really cool, but it's actually a very, very, very simple patch. Let me show you what's going on with it. So if I just play a note on the keyboard, you can hear it has this pulse. My oscillators are just set to two different sine waves, and then I have got the blend between them split basically 50-50.

So what's creating the movement in the sound is actually the detuning between Oscillators 1 and 2. Notice that Oscillator 1 is -6 cents and then Oscillator 2 is +7. What happens is, normally when you have detuning, you get the beating between the notes, like if their oscillators are tuned to the same pitch, but sometimes they are at different speeds. So the great thing is this constant-beat detuning that you have in ES2 makes the detuning consistent. So, if I were to get rid of this detuning, Option+Click here and Option+Click here, and I play this, it's just a sine wave. No movement. Nothing.

I do have it in Unison mode, so there are four stacked voices on top of each other. So it's the loud thick sine wave, but nothing going on. And so then when I adjust this here to -6 and +7, then I end up getting that movement in the sound. So yeah, that's that one. And next, we have this kind of growly sound that I called VectorScape. (music playing) So a lot of this sound is actually in the effects that I have, so let's bypass those for a moment.

So I have got this Auto Filter, and that's a big part of the sound. And we'll bypass the EQ. The Direction Mixer, that's just focusing the stereo image to closer to the center, so we don't need to worry about bypassing that. I will bypass this bus that I am sending to an EQ and some reverbs. So now let's listen to the sound. (music playing) So, a little bit more spastic, but it's still pretty interesting. So let's see what's going on with that. So not much with the oscillators, right? It's just set to a sine wave. If we look at the vector envelope, look at all these different points here.

So a lot of different points, and for each one, you can see that the X axis on our planar control has different settings for each one. But notice that the X Target isn't set to anything. So that seems weird, right? So if I go to the Router, you'll notice that I have a number of things assigned to Pad-X. So I have got the wave shape of Oscillator 1, so it's going to go through these DigiWaves, so we'll change that. Pad-X will also modulate the cutoff of Filter 2. And then it's also going to adjust the filter blend, so the balance between Filter 1 and 2.

So that's kind of the cool thing about using the modulation router to assign the planar controls is that you can assign more than one. So in the vector, you've just got one slot, but here, I could assign ten things to Pad-X. So most of this sound is just this vector envelope, and notice that it only goes through the loop once. The loop length is half of a measure, and then it just sustains at the sustain point, which is this one here, and that's mainly what's driving the sound. So then let's take a look at the channel effects here.

So we've got this Auto filter, and this really affects the sound. (music playing) So you can hear it's this filter is sweeping. So this is built into Logic. This is basically just a filter module and an LFO, and it also has an envelope as well, but I am just using the LFO part. So I have it set to a low-pass filter, and the LFO rate is set to 1 measure, and the Waveform for that LFO is a ramp-down. So over the course of the measure, this low-pass filter is sweeping down and it's cutting out the high frequencies, all the way down to basically just silence. So you can hear now it's all the way filtered down. It continues the cycle again and again, but I just kind of liked the initial, like, weird growl that it has, and part of that too is because I am overdriving this filter.

I have got the distortion here and so that makes quite a bit of difference as well. So let's hear it without that again, And then here it is with the auto filter. And then to give it a sense of space, I have it sending to a bus here, so Bus 3 has an EQ. That's to cut out the low frequencies because I am going to have it go into reverb. So typically, with reverb you don't want a bunch of low frequencies going through it, because it can make it really muddy. So the first reverb is the space designer and it's set to an AMP cabinet, so it's a really short impulse response of a speaker cabinet, and that's to make it sound like it's more happening in a room or coming through like a speaker. And then that's feeding into a long reverb, almost 2 seconds. This is plane hanger.

I kind of have that happening at a low level. So if you listen to this, it's not swimming in reverb, but it helps push it back a little bit and fit in with everything else. So next, what we have is this one that's called Vector Pluck. Let's take a look at this. This is kind of the trancey pluck sound. This is also quite simple. It's basically two sawtooth waveforms, and a lot of what's changing here is the vector envelope, and so I have the vector envelope set to adjust the pitch of the X of this XY pad here.

So I will just stop the sound for a moment. And so then I can actually play the sound here. And also part of this, I have reverb on this channel, so let me turn off the reverb, so I can hold down Option and just bypass it. (music playing) So it's the sawtooth waveforms and it's this vector detuning Oscillator 1, and then I have Envelope 2 acting as a filter envelope. So it's modulating the cutoff of Filter 2, and that's scaled by velocity. So what that means is that this velocity is controlling the intensity of the modulation.

So if I play softly, I get a smaller amount of filter cutoff; if I play with more force, I get more filter modulation. And other than that, LFO1 is modulating the pitch of oscillators 1, 2, and 3. and that's scaled by the Mod wheel--but that's not really doing much, because I don't have my Mod wheel open. That's pretty much it for the sound. So sometimes the simple sounds actually really work well, because it just fits in well. But part of what gives the energy to the sound is you hear it kind of changes over time. There's some automation here on the filter cutoff.

So if I open up the interface and you can take a look at Filter 2 here, you can see it's moving. So what I am doing here is filtering it down when there's more stuff going on that's competing with it, and then to increase the energy, I am opening up that low-pass filter, and it gives it this more euphoric and more energy. Sometimes simple things like that and filter automation can really bring something to life, because if I just had this as a static track, this Vector Pluck, it would get kind of boring. So it's the filter movement and then that's all going into the reverb as well, and that just sort of brings it all to life.

So the last track that I have got here is this Floating Pad, so let's check out what this is. (music playing) This is nice, kind of a lush sound. If we look at the vector envelope, we can see that it's assigned to both Mix and the XY pad. The X is adjusting the cutoff of Filter 2, and Y is affecting the pan. So you can hear this sound has a lot of movement; it pans around a bit. I also have a really long reverb on the front of it.

So on the channel here, it's this 12-second reverb. So if we take that off, it's going to be a little bit less lush. So it's definitely more dry and kind of in your face, but still the same characteristic. I mean you can hear it has a lot of panning movement in it as well. So if we take a look at each of these vector points, take a look at the Mix triangle and the XY pad, so for each one, both of them are different. So it has some pretty drastic changes happening there. And then if we look at our router, not really much else happening.

LFO1 is slightly modulating the pitch of all three oscillators. You can see that just a touch of modulation that's happening there. So it really is this space design reverb here just pushes this into the background, because basically the more reverb and wetness that you have in a sound, the more it's going to get pushed further back in the mix. And usually in a good mix, or in an interesting song, you're going to have things that are really upfront and stuff that's further back. So let's check this all out again, and hopefully that gives you sense of the range of what ES2 can do.

(music playing)

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