Virtual Instruments in Logic Pro
Illustration by John Hersey

Exciting the string with objects


Virtual Instruments in Logic Pro

with Brian Trifon

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Video: Exciting the string with objects

If we take a look at the left side of the sound engine, here's where we have the string animation. You can see that there're a couple of things on the string here. So we've got three different objects. These objects can either excite or disturb the vibration of the string. So, I've got Object 1 right here, and I've got all the parameters for it right above it, and then we've got Object 2, and so the parameters for that are right here, and Object 3, and that's beneath this little interface here.
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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

Exciting the string with objects

If we take a look at the left side of the sound engine, here's where we have the string animation. You can see that there're a couple of things on the string here. So we've got three different objects. These objects can either excite or disturb the vibration of the string. So, I've got Object 1 right here, and I've got all the parameters for it right above it, and then we've got Object 2, and so the parameters for that are right here, and Object 3, and that's beneath this little interface here.

Also, we've got two different Pickups here. So, we have Pickup A and Pickup B. So, these are like the pickups on electric guitar in that they pickup the string's vibration. So, the first thing I want to take a look at is just Object 1, and so I have Object 1 on. So I can make sure it's on by clicking on this Object 1 button right here and everything lights up. And I have Object 2 and 3 off. So, I'm just going to play around with position of Object 1 on the string. So, if I play a note-- (music playing) --and I move the position, you can hear, it affects the timbre of the sound.

So, this is something that you'll want to explore at a couple different stages when I'm creating sound. Often I'll move the object at the very beginning, just to experiment with what it sounds like on the string, but it's going to be very dependent on the method that I'm using to excite or disturb the string vibration. So, usually I'll have to adjust it more later. So, taking a look at the parameters of Object 1, I've got three main controls. I've got Strength, Timbre, and Variation. So, generally speaking, Strength is going to control the intensity of the object exciting the string.

Timbre is going to adjust the tonal characteristics, so usually a positive value is going to make it brighter and negative value is going to make the sound a little bit darker. Over on the right, we have Variation. So, this is very specific to the method that we're using to excite the string. And at the bottom here we have Velocity Sensitivity, so that has to do with how velocity is going to affect the different aspects of Object 1. To the right of these Object parameters, we have a menu here where I can choose the method to excite the string. So, I can have an Impulse, Strike, Gravity Strike, Bowing, and so on.

So, each different excitation method is going to react differently. So right now we have Impulse as the method of exciting the string. And so an Impulse is just a short, little strike of the string. So there're a couple of things that I can adjust. The Strength parameter is going to adjust the impulse amplitude. (music playing) Now the Timbre control is going to adjust the width of the impulse. (music playing) So that makes it a bit brighter. And then the Variation parameter is going to adjust the velocity dependence of the width parameter. (music playing) So, it kind of works in conjunction with all three.

Now, if I choose a different method of exciting the string, like for example Gravity Strike, my Timbre, Strength, and Variation controls are going to do very different things. So, sometimes it can be hard to keep track of what they are, because it's very specific. So, but what I will often refer to is a section of the manual. So, if I go to the Help menu up top and then Logic Pro Help, and then we go to Logic Studio Instruments, and then over on the left is Sculpture.

And then I'm going to choose Working with Sculpture's Objects, and then down here there's Sculpture Excite Table. So, this refers to Objects 1 and 2, and then Sculpture Disturb and Damp table (Objects 2 and 3). So, let's look at Sculpture Excite Table Object 1 and 2. So, you can see here it has this list. So, it says the excitation method here. So, we were just using Impulse, and then we switched it to Gravity Strike. So, it gives us a little description. So, it's like a hammer with gravitation towards the string, leading to multiple hammer-string interactions and disturbed string vibrations.

Then it tells you what the Strength control on Timbre and Variation controls do. So, Strength controls Hammer start speed. Timbre controls Felt stiffness. Variation controls Gravitation. So that's very different than for example the first one, Impulse, where Variation controls the velocity dependence of the width. And so, you can see with these other ones that each of those three parameters, Strength, Timbre, and Variation, do very different things. So, it might be a good idea to print out this chart or refer to it.

And for Objects 2 and 3, it has a reference on this next page here. So, you get a description of the ways of disturbing the string's vibration. So, with our Gravity Strike here, I can adjust the hammer start speed with the Strength. (music playing) Then Timbre is going to adjust the felt stiffness. (music playing) And then Variation is going to control the gravitation, so that's gravity's effect and that will adjust the amount of interactions with the string. (music playing) So, if I have low gravitation, it really rings out more.

If I give it more, you can hear it has multiple interactions with the vibrating string. (music playing) So as you can see, even small adjustments can make a big difference. Things get more interesting when you add in other objects to the mix. So, let's add in Object 3. So, Object 3 works a little bit different than Object 1 in that it disturbs the vibrations of the string instead of exciting the string. So, if Object 1 is a mallet that's striking the string, then Object 3 I can have something different, so something that's going to affect that vibration created by Object 1.

So, I can set it to Mass here. When I have the Mass method of disturbing a string's vibration, the Strength is going to control the weight and size of Object 3. (music playing) So, you can hear when I increase the Strength, it really affects the character of the sound, and so I could move this Mass, like where it is, on the string. So, I'll adjust the position. (music playing) You can hear that it definitely makes difference as well. So in the case of this Mass method here, Timbre and Variation don't do anything. And if you look at that page in the menu, it will say that Timbre and Variation have no effect.

It's just the Strength control, which is controlling the size and weight of the Mass. So, one other thing I can adjust with these objects as well is the gate. So, that has to do with when it's going to be affecting the strings' vibration. So if I have it set to KeyOn, like it is right now, that means when I play a note - (music playing) As long as I'm holding the note I'm going to have this Mass on the string and it's going to be affecting it. When I let go off the note, then it's no longer effecting the string's vibration. If I've set it to Always, that means the Mass will be affecting the string, when I hit the note on the keyboard, and all the way through the release stage of my amp envelope.

If I set this to KeyOff, that means that when I let go of the note on the keyboard, then the Mass object will disturb the string's vibration. So, if I play and let go, then during the release stage I have the Mass affecting the string. So, depending on what your object is, that can make a big difference. It's definitely worth experimenting with that. So, now that we have got our GravityStrike and this Mass object that are affecting the string, let's add in Object 2 as well. So, now remember, Object 2 can both excite or disturb the string.

Also, in this list here you'll notice that Object 2 has an external input, so I can bring in audio through the side chain input, at the top the interface up here, and process audio through Object 2. So, I'm going to select Bow, because I want to bow the string with Object 2, and then let's see how these three objects can interact to the string sound. So, I'll adjust the Strength here. (music playing) I can adjust the Timbre as well, and then we can move Object 2 around.

(music playing) We can get really interesting sounds by having these three objects interact with each other. You can hear when I let go of the note that we're hearing the Mass affect the string's vibration, because it's set to KeyOff. That's when it's triggered. (music playing) So, as we can see, the three objects interact in a very dynamic way, allowing for a huge variety of articulations. So, now that we've explored how to use the three objects to excite and disturb the string's vibrations, in the next video, let's explore how to use the pickups and Global Voice parameters.

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