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Virtual Instruments in Logic Pro
Illustration by John Hersey
Watching:

Composing with Ultrabeat


From:

Virtual Instruments in Logic Pro

with Brian Trifon

Video: Composing with Ultrabeat

So I have a musical example here that has a number of ultrabeats, and it's creating all of the percussion sounds and the synth sounds as well. It's a little bit of an abstract, strange piece, but it shows some of the possibilities what you can do with Ultrabeat. So let's check it out and then I'll talk you through the sounds. (music playing) Okay, so let me show you what's going on with this.
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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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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 lynda.com 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
Subjects:
Audio + Music Audio Plug-Ins Virtual Instruments
Software:
Logic Pro
Author:
Brian Trifon

Composing with Ultrabeat

So I have a musical example here that has a number of ultrabeats, and it's creating all of the percussion sounds and the synth sounds as well. It's a little bit of an abstract, strange piece, but it shows some of the possibilities what you can do with Ultrabeat. So let's check it out and then I'll talk you through the sounds. (music playing) Okay, so let me show you what's going on with this.

So the first ultrabeat I have here is playing triplets, and it's a multi-output instance of Ultrabeat; actually several of these are. So if I look here, you can see, set to Multiple Outputs. If I go to go the mixer, it's a couple of channels here. So it's these ones here. I'll solo them. I purposefully have this click muted and I'll talk about that in a moment. Let's just hear this triplet part on its own. (music playing) And I'll open the Ultrabeat interface. (music playing) So notice that I don't actually have the Step Sequencer turned on; I transferred all that information to the arrangement.

(music playing) So this pattern I have is set to a resolution of triplets. So if we look at the MIDI--and I'll zoom in here a little bit-- you can see that we've got sort of these triplet values going on with it. So part of what's happening with this particular piece, also, is the tempo is quite fast. It's set to a 190 BPM. Even though it has a slower feel, I wanted it to have a lot of busyness that's possible with it.

So sometimes it's a good idea to set your tempo double of what your target tempo is, because that gives you more room to program with greater density. As you can see, that's pretty busy, the sounds that are going on in here. And if I just play on the MIDI keyboard, because most of these sounds are just a first couple of voices. So like at C1--so it's just kind of strange electronic sounds. So if we go back to Ultrabeat interface and we take a look at some of these, there is a lot of FM synthesis going on, and that's why we have these distorted sounds.

The thing I want to point out though is that each of these sounds here, except for this kick, but these first three, are all going to the same voice group. So they are going to voice group 1. So that means any time that either of these three sounds trigger, they are going to cut off the other sounds in that group. So if you look at how densely programmed that is, it means all of these sounds on these different MIDI notes here are going to cut off the other ones. What I ended up doing was muting one of the sounds in here. I have this click sound and I realized that you know what? I don't really like that click sound in there, but I like the way that it was cutting off the other notes that share the voice group with it.

So that's why I left it in there and I muted the track, because it's still cutting off other voices in the same group, but we're just not hearing itself. So if I unmute it, you can listen to what I had there before. (music playing) These tiny, little clicky sounds. All right! I just like, you want what? I don't need those. So I muted them and that worked well for me, because when I got rid of it, just the way it cut off the other sounds just didn't work as well. So that's this first ultrabeat.

The second we probably have is another multi-output ultrabeat. So I'll go to our mixer and I'll select that. So we can hear what's going on with this one, because it has a couple of different sounds. (music playing) So it has this stabby kind of synth sound that's echoing. And that's voice 25, because I wanted it to change pitches. And then I've got like a kick and a clap. You can hear the clap cuts off.

That's because its in Gate mode. So sometimes it's for a very short duration, so it just cuts off very quickly. So if we look at the MIDI part here--and I'll actually zoom out here. So you can see I've got all the stuff at the bottom, which is the bottom voices and then for the 25th voice, that's the stuff that's up top. So if I just stop for a second and I click on one of these MIDI notes, you can hear, that's that echoey sound. If we take a look at the Ultrabeat interface--and I'll go to this 25th voice here. (music playing) All right, so the sound, it sounds pretty filtered down, and it is.

So if you look at this here, you can see that we've got the Low Pass filter engaged and it has a pretty low filter cut off, although we do have an envelope on it, so that's modulating the cut off. The waveforms that are going into the filter, so Oscillator 1 and Oscillator 2, are pretty distorted, because you can see I have quite a bit of saturation. I have some slope and asymmetry with Oscillator 1. So check out what this sounds like without the filter. It's a much harsher sound. (music playing) It's really bright. I also have an echo on it, and I will show you that in a moment.

But I like it more filtered down. Sometimes it's good to start with sound that's very bright, because then it's always easier to take away harmonics. We can always filter out the brightness, but sometimes it can be more of a challenge to add the brightness in a suitable way where you like how it sounds. So that was the thought process with that. So that's Part2, and let's check out what Part3 is.

So this is basically we've got a kick drum in here and then as we get a little further into it, you'll hear that it's a little arpeggio. So that's the 25th voice that's doing that. I just want to add a little sequence. So if I stop this for a moment and I just can play--this is the 25th voice that I've got-- you can see that basically I've just got the two oscillators here: I've got Oscillator 1 and Oscillator 2.

Notice that on their envelope 4, so that's the voice volume envelope, I used the sustain parameter here. So that's so that I can hold the note as long as I want, right, and it continues to ring out. So for the rest of the sounds, the percussion sounds, I didn't have to sustain because it's just better to shape it with the attack and decay. The sustain though is really good for this 25th voice, so that's why I have it. Other than that, there is a little bit of modulation happening. It's going to the Low Pass filter, so on and so forth. But, pretty much it's just a simple sound.

It's just the way that it's sequenced, so that we can take a look at its MIDI sequence here. So if I zoom out a bit, you can see, okay, here is the kick drum down here and then if I scroll up, here is our arpeggio. So, I just have that at the end of the phrase, and it kind of ties in well with the other sounds. Next, we have basically a snare sound. I did it in the step editor of the Step Sequencer. So there are some parameters being modulated with this.

So I have all of this stuff being modulated. Look at this list here. So FM amount and Lfo2 rate, it's a whole bunch of stuff. It's really just this one snare drum that I made that's up top, but it just has a lot of step automation that's going on with it. And so beneath that, what we have is the DeathNote sound. That's that weird, I don't know, growly sound, I guess.

So I'll show you what's going on with this one. So it's actually using the sample aspect of Oscillator 2. So I can play this. It's voice 25, so I can play it on my keyboard. And so let me play it to without any filtering, because the filter is a big part of this, and so is the Bit Crusher. so I am going to turn off the filter and the bit crusher and so you can just hear the raw sound. (music playing) So it's still kind of a weird sound. It's sort of a grainy stretched-out synth sound.

But what I have happening here is the filter is in Band-Pass mode and then that's being sent into the Bit Crusher, and the Band-Pass filter is being modulated by the LFO. So that movement in the Band-Pass filter's cutoff is what creates the vowel sound. It's because the Band-Pass going to Bit Crusher, it always, you get this lo-fi crazy vowel stuff. So, if I take a look at the actual sequence that we have here too, you can see that there is longer notes and then there's a couple of these shorter notes.

Those are those little stutters that you are hearing. So if I just go back and play this once again. (music playing) So you can hear there is little stuttery sounds, and there is the longer notes. I thought those kind of work well with the rest of this texture. And the last sound that we have here are these wobblers, that's what I am calling them. So that's this strange, I don't know how to describe it, wobbly sound.

So that has a lot of movement in it. That's also the 25th voice, so I can play that chromatically on the keyboard. So again, the filter is doing a lot of this. I have a lot of LFO movement on it. So I am going to turn off the filter, and let's just hear what this sound sounds like without filter. So it's pretty crunchy right, and it's also going through reverb as well. The filter though, with the LFO, adds quite a bit of movement. So you can hear the intensity of that cutoff modulation, which is being created by Lfo1. It's increasing over time, so it's ramping up.

And sure enough, if we take a look at Lfo1, you can see that for the ramp, I have this set to attack. So the intensity of that filter cutoff is fading in over 420 milliseconds. So, I just kind of like that. It feels like it's moving towards you. Other than that, it's basically there is some EQ with the sound, but it's mainly this sample and the filter that's creating the basis of it. So, let's just take a look at the mixer one more time, because there is a couple of other processing things that are happening. I just wanted to show you that with the multiple output instance of Ultrabeat that we have over here, so this was Part2, that on some of those sounds, the one that's that plucky stab sound-- so let me just solo that for you. (music playing) So that has two sends on it, and that's going to these busses over here that have a spaces and a reverb, and the other one has a delay on it.

So if I disengage those, you can hear it's pretty dry. So with the delay and the reverb, it really adds a lot of life to it. So, notice real quickly that I have an EQ in front of the reverb. I just want the high frequencies to come through. Then I have my space designer setting, which is like a--close to a three-second reverb. And then following that, I have another EQ, and this is to cut out some of the high frequencies, because I want it to be sort of a muted reverb sound.

So that's what allowed for that. Now with our delay I've got something sort of interesting going on. I have a High Pass filter, so that there's no low end coming through, and that's followed by a dynamic gate. So I set a threshold here and anything that's above this threshold of -36 will trigger the delay sound. So I have my delay here. So what that means is that only the louder volume notes that come through will trigger the delay. So that's kind of an advanced thing, but you can get some interesting effects exploring that kind of stuff.

So let's listen to that one more time, just with that plucky sound. (music playing) Cool, so that's that. And you can see for that wobblers sound that I had over here, I also have that sending to a reverb as well. So that's going to Bus 1, which is the reverb. And so let's just listen to that real quick. (music playing) So you can hear that has a reverb tail to it. If I get rid of that, it's more dry. So this adds a little bit of depth to it, which is nice.

So that's Ultrabeat in action. Let's check out this piece one more time in context. (music playing)

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