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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 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.
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