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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 explore the lowpass filter in ES P. So much like the lowpass filter that we saw in ES M and ES E, this has an independent resonance control. And just so you remember, a lowpass filter is going to cut out the high frequencies. So if I'm playing a note here, and I bring this filter frequency cutoff down, you can hear the high frequencies are disappearing. You can see the waveform looks more like a sine wave. That's because all the higher harmonics are getting filtered out.
So if we take a look at the resonance control, what that is, it is basically, at our frequency cutoff point, it's a little peak, or boost, in the EQ, exactly where the cutoff is. So the way you'll hear that is it sounds more like a valve, or has a resonant ringing quality, especially if you have a lot of resonance. So I'll put this somewhere in the middle. You can hear that. (music playing) And if I give this an extreme amount of resonance, you can hear a lot another pitch happening in there, (music playing) where when I adjust my frequency cutoff, I'm adjusting that pitch as well.
It's one way to sort of visualize what's happening with the lowpass filter in general is to take a look at the channel EQ in Logic. So I'm going to pull that up. And what I want to do is adjust the settings of this so that we've got the amplitude scaled in a way that's a little bit more easy to see things. And I'm going to turn on the analyzer and set the resolution to high-res. All right, so now when I play a note, you can see all the different components of the waveforms, all the different harmonics, showing up on this FFT display.
So if I turn on the lowpass filter--that's this control here-- I can adjust the cutoff. (music playing) You can hear, as I bring this down, so I bring down the cutoff on this lowpass filter, the high frequencies disappear. So this is just like the lowpass filter in ES P. So that's easy to understand. So with the resonance, what's happening is we've got a little boost at this cutoff point. So if I adjust the bandwidth of this here, you can see that this creates a little boost right here.
And if I move the cutoff, it's going to move that with it. So that's exactly what's happening with the Resonance control in the ES P filter. So I'll give this a really strong amount here, so we can really hear it. (music playing) So that's what a lowpass filter and resonance look like if you're using the Logic EQ, and that's just another way that sort of visualize what's happening with it. So I'll put that away. One of the really cool features about the ES P lowpass filter is that it has Key Follow-- so that these controls here--and what that means is that on your keyboard, you can control the frequency cutoff, or you can modulate the frequency cutoff.
So if you're playing in a low range on the keyboard and you have Key Follow activated, then it's going to be more filtered down than if you're playing up in the higher registers on the keyboard. And the filter cutoff will be more open in that case. So the reason why this is useful is it mimics actual real world's organic instruments. So if you're playing an instrument like a piano or guitar and you play a note that's low down on the instrument, it tends to be a little bit more filtered in terms of its sound. It has less higher harmonics, less high frequencies.
And as you go higher up on an instrument, usually it tends to get brighter in its character. And it's not something that we normally think about when you're playing organic instruments; it just doesn't happen. But what does happen is with synths, when you play a sound like this, when we play it pretty low and then when we play it up higher, the low notes sound relatively brighter than higher notes. It's not totally as even as an organic instrument. So what Key Follow does is it mimics the way that an organic instrument will work, where the lower notes are a little bit more filtered down and the higher notes are a little bit brighter.
And let's explore what that sounds like. So I'm going to set the cutoff somewhere in the middle here. And so I'm going to engage the Key Follow right here, this 3/3. And 3/3 is the easiest one to understand because it creates a constant relationship between the cutoff frequency and the pitch. These 1/3 and 2/3 are just a little bit more subtle. So with this 3/3 setting here, when I play that note, it's a little bit more filtered down. When I play up a couple octaves higher, there's less filtering.
So just so you can hear the difference, so here's this low note with Key Follow engaged, and then I'll disengage it. So you hear how that's brighter? Let's do that one more time. So here is it with Key Follow-- it's a little more filtered down; and then without, it's a little bit brighter. So it creates that nice constant relationship. And where that also is useful is when you have really high resonance amounts. Let's set this resonance really high. Hear how it's ringing out? I can actually kind of tune this resonance using my cutoff, and I can play on the keyboard.
So if I don't have Key Follow engaged, that resonant frequency that's ringing out doesn't really follow as well. It just kind of sounds harsh. It doesn't really follow. If I engage the Key Follow, that really extreme resonance is more controllable, and it's actually playable. It kind of adds to the sound, because the filter is a whole another oscillator adding another pitch in there. (music playing) So, Key Follow is a really interesting feature.
It really helps when you're dealing with high resonance, and is an expressive tool. So next, let's explore this amplifier section here, and we'll explore the ADSR envelope, and how that can affect the volume and how that can be used to modulate the filter cutoff as well.
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