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Creating rhythmic movement with the LFO's


Virtual Instruments in Logic Pro

with Brian Trifon

Video: Creating rhythmic movement with the LFO's

So let's dig in a bit deeper with the two LFOs in the modulation section. So here's LFO1 and here's LFO2, and for both of them we can have different waveforms. You select the waveform for LFO1 right here, and for LFO2 you select it right here. So just as a reminder, LFO stands for low-frequency oscillator, and basically it's an oscillator just like we have in the Synthesis section. The difference is the synthesis oscillators get routed through the filter and routed to the amplifier and then they come out through the speakers and you hear the sound.
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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

Creating rhythmic movement with the LFO's

So let's dig in a bit deeper with the two LFOs in the modulation section. So here's LFO1 and here's LFO2, and for both of them we can have different waveforms. You select the waveform for LFO1 right here, and for LFO2 you select it right here. So just as a reminder, LFO stands for low-frequency oscillator, and basically it's an oscillator just like we have in the Synthesis section. The difference is the synthesis oscillators get routed through the filter and routed to the amplifier and then they come out through the speakers and you hear the sound.

The LFO, instead of sending an audible signal, sends a control signal and its whole purpose is to modulate some other parameter, but it does it in a periodic way, because it's a waveform like a triangle waveform. So it will modulate the parameter back and forth, and then usually they happen at a lower rate or a lower frequency. So, for example, this LFO1 can happen as slow as 0.01 Hertz, and it can go all the way up to 100 Hertz. So let's see this LFO in action. So what I want to do is in my Modulation Router I want this LFO to periodically modulate the pitch.

And so what we'll do is we'll choose Pitch 1, and the source is going to be LFO1, because that's the thing doing the modulating. So now I can adjust the intensity here. So if I play a note, I've no pitch modulation, but I can increase the amount. (music playing) So it kind of sounds like a siren, and I can adjust the rate here. (music playing) The neat thing about this LFO is it has an envelope that's attached to it.

So if I want to delay the onset of this LFO, or of this modulation, I can adjust that here. So I can set this to, for example, 1,000 milliseconds. And that means the intensity of this LFO is going to fade in over that period of time. So let's play. (music playing) So you can hear, it started much less intense and then the intensity fades in. And I can make that even more dramatic by making this longer here. (music playing) So you can hear the modulation is fading in now.

It can also work the other way around. So if I take this parameter and I bring this slider down, I can have it decay. So we'll start with a lot of modulation, and then it will decay down to none. (music playing) So you can hear it adds this pitch modulation and then that sort of faded away. And the closer I have it to the center, the longer that's going to be. (music playing) So that all happened over about in 2.3 seconds. Or you can have it be really short, and that's kind of interesting too.

(music playing) Because then it just sounds like an articulation. So if I have it really short, and even if I have a pretty wide pitch modulation-- (music playing) --that almost gives it a percussive quality to it. (music playing) So there are a lot of interesting things you can do with that using this built-in envelope. The other interesting factor about this LFO1 is it's polyphonic. So what that means is that for every note that I'm playing, I get a separate LFO that's modulating the pitch. So that means that if I'm playing a note, you can hear that it has a certain cycle of modulation.

If I play another note, it has an independent phase. So they don't necessarily line up in their pitch modulation, like one can be pitching up and the other one is pitching down. And that's because this is a polyphonic LFO. Now to contrast, LFO2 is monophonic. So let's try the same thing with LFO2. So set our source here as LFO2, and let's set it to a similar rate. So let's set it to like 1.6ish Hertz. That will do, and let's listen to that here.

So here's one note. (music playing) That sounds the same, but when I play another one-- (music playing) --you can hear the timing and the phase of the modulation is happening together because it's monophonic. So that's one of the primary differences between LFO1 and 2. The other difference is that LFO1, you can't synchronize the rate here to the beat. It's all in Hertz. LFO2, when I'm in the center, I have no modulation. And if I go up, then it's going to be in Hertz or cycles per second.

If I drag this down, it's going to be in divisions of the beat, so then it's musically related to the tempo of the song. (music playing) So that's the other difference between LFO1 and 2. And then one thing that's definitely worth exploring is trying different waveforms for your LFOs. So for example, even just this pitch modulation we have here, let's try some of these different waveforms. So right now, it's on triangle waveform, but let's select the ramp down. (music playing) Or I can have a ramp up.

(music playing) Or here I could have it transition between two different pitches. So this is actually a unipolar square wave. So what that means is that it's only going to pitch up. (music playing) Whereas, the next one is a bipolar squarewave, so it will play a note that's both above and below what I'm actually playing on the keyboard. (music playing) So depending on the amount of modulation, I'm going to get a different range of pitches.

(music playing) The other waveform we have here is a sample-and-hold. So this is going to randomly step between different values, so you can get all the 70s kind of sci-fi computer sounds with this. (music playing) Let's increase the speed of this. I feel like that's what people thought computers sounded like in the 70s. Anyway, the other waveform we have is this random but interpolated waveform, so it will choose random pitches, but it will glide between them.

(music playing) So that's how these different waveforms work, and the same ones apply for LFO1. You select those here. So, one of the interesting targets that you can use an LFO for is actually the oscillator waves. So let's take a look at that. I'll go ahead and set this modulation here to neutral so it's not active. And then for target, we'll select Osc1Wave. And depending on what I have my Oscillator 1 waveform set to, this will do different things, and this is where it gets kind of interesting.

So we'll have LFO1 modulate the waves. Right now we have it set to a triangle wave, so that's cool. And then I can adjust the amount here. So with the sawtooth waveform, it's actually not going to do anything. But if we have it set to a square waveform, it's going to modulate the pulse width of it. (music playing) So that sounds quite a bit different. I can decrease the intensity. (music playing) And part of this sound is it's actually happening so fast, so let me down the rate here. (music playing) So it's modulating the symmetry of this square waveform between the positive and negative side.

(music playing) And so I can do the same thing with the pulse waveform here. It's just going to sound a little different because its starting place is different. (music playing) So it's a little bit more extreme in its sound. The other thing that can be modulated is the FM intensity. So in order for that to work, I actually have to have Oscillator 2 on, even though I have the Mix triangle here all balanced to Oscillator 1, but I need Oscillator 2 to modulate the frequency of Oscillator 1.

So now that I've got this on, we can modulate that FM amount. (music playing) I can adjust the intensity of that. So that can be really cool. And then last but not least, and probably actually my favorite, is you can modulate these DigiWaves that we have here. So I'll just set this to one of these ones in the middle. And what it can do is this LFO1, it's going to sweep through all these 100 DigiWaves that we have here. So it can just cycle through the different ones, and it actually morphs between them--it does a very smooth transition.

So this can get kind out of control, so usually what I do is set a very small modulation amount. (music playing) See even now, you can hear that's pretty spastic. It sounds cool though. (music playing) There we go. There is a smaller modulation amount. (music playing) So it's cycling though all those different waveforms, and I can adjust the speed of it as well. (music playing) So it actually sounds really good slow, just like this constantly evolving tonality.

So I really like that and that's fun to explore. And one other thing, just when dealing with the oscillator waves here, is on the third oscillator, you can modulate the frequency of the noise. So if we set this to the noise oscillator then what I'll have to do is actually set my target to Osc3Wave, and then I'll increase the intensity of this LFO, and you'll hear it's a filter on the noise. And actually, I have to set my mix now to Oscillator 3. (music playing) So you can hear the noise is filtered.

And I can adjust the speed of the speed of it here. And it's actually really cool because it's not using the two filters of the filter section. It has its own sort of built-in noise filter, and the only way to access it is through the modulation router using either an LFO or you can use an envelope or something else to control the color of the noise. So using the LFO is to bring periodic movement to the sound, really add some life. So we can do even more of that by exploring the envelopes and assigning those to modulate things as well.

So let's explore that next.

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