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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 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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