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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.
Let's take a look at the Oscillator section of ES_2. To make this more visually interesting, I'm going to pull up an oscilloscope so we can view the waveform as I'm experimenting with the oscillators. So if I go here to Audio Units, I have one that's a third-party plug-in that's called s(M)exoscope. So I'll load that up. and it's actually a free download. If you go to bram.smartelectronix.com, you can download the Audio Unit version, and install it. And it's really a good way to visualize what you're hearing.
It doesn't actually affect the sound at all; it's just a visual aid. Okay. S, now when I play, you can see the waveform here on the oscilloscope. So in the Oscillator section, the first thing that you want to do is make sure that your oscillator is on. So for each oscillator there's a little on and off button here. So I just turned off Oscillator 1. I can turn it back on, and here's the one for 2 and 3, and you can see it's got this fancy animation when you turn them on and off. I can adjust the balance between the three oscillators with this very clever mix triangle.
So this top corner would be Oscillator 1, 100% mix, this would be 100% listening to Oscillator 2, and 100% listening to Oscillator 3. And then of course, you can get any kind of balance between them. So it's a very clever way of balancing the levels between the oscillators. The first thing we'll do is talk about the tuning for Oscillator 1. You can adjust it in semitones, +36 or -36 semitones, that's a three-octave range.
If I want to reset this back to its neutral position, I can Option+Click on it and that'll reset it. Then I can do a fine-tune adjustment +50 or -50 cents. So remember, cents is a semitone split into 100 divisions. If I want to reset this one, I can Option+Click on it as well. So in terms of this oscillator, we've got a number of different waveforms. So there's a sawtooth waveform. That's what I'm on right now. (music playing) I can set this to a triangle waveform here, so it's a little bit more subdued.
And then down at the bottom here, it says sine, but we actually have 100 waveforms right here. So if I scroll up with my mouse, you can see it's going to go through a number of different waveforms of all different types. If I want to see this as a menu instead of just scrolling up and down, I can Ctrl+Click and you can see it's got all of them listed here. So if you wanted to load up iron2 instead of scrolling through a hundred of them, you can just select it, and then you have the iron2 waveform.
So, moving these up here, I've got a square waveform, and right next to that is a similar one. This is a pulse waveform. So it's basically like a square waveform, but it's not symmetrical. So you can see that one of the sides is closer together than the other. Then at the very top here, we have FM modulation. So if I only have Oscillator 1 on, all I hear is a sinewave, and this dial, this range here doesn't control anything. However, if I have Oscillator 2 on, the Oscillator 2 is going to frequency modulate Oscillator 1, and this dial is going to control the intensity. So let's check that out.
So I'll turn on Oscillator 2, and notice that my mix is still set 100% to Oscillator 1, so all we're hearing is Oscillator 1. But now when I adjust this FM intensity amount, you can hear that Oscillator 2 is modulating Oscillator 1. And if I change the waveform in Oscillator 2, it's going to affect the sound as well. So if I change this to a pulse wave here, it's going to affect how it sounds. So that's definitely something to explore.
Try all the different waveforms of Oscillator 2 frequency- modulating Oscillator 1. So let's actually take a look at Oscillator 2. So we'll adjust our balance here, all the way to Oscillator 2, 100%. And so let's start with where we are here. We have this pulse waveform up top that gives us control over the pulse width. So right now it's a perfectly symmetrical square waveform, but I can adjust the pulse width, and make it much more narrow, and you can see that it's not symmetrical at all. It's very narrow. (music playing) So I can leave this in a static position or we can modulate that.
So in the modulation router, I can set up a routing called pulse width modulation where it will modulate the width here. So the other things we have in Oscillator 2 is the sawtooth waveform just like we had in Oscillator 1, triangle waveform as well, and then we've got this square sync waveform. So what that's going to be is it's actually an interaction between Oscillators 1 and 2. So what it's going to do is it's going to force Oscillator 2 to reset its phase with every cycle of Oscillator 1, even if Oscillator 2 is at a different pitch.
So if I change the pitch of Oscillator 2, (music playing) it's re-synchronizing with every wave cycle of Oscillator 1. So it doesn't actually sound like a pitch shift because the fundamental frequency is still the same, but it's like a texture change. So I have the square sync, and then I also have a saw sync that's right beneath it. You can see it shares the words sync there between the two. (music playing) So, slightly different sound.
Then next we have ring modulation mode for Oscillator 2. So what that's going to do is it's going to take the signal from Oscillator 1 and multiply it together with the square waveform of Oscillator 2. And so you end up getting kind of metallic sounds and some interesting things happening with that. So first, what I am going to do is just reset our tuning on Oscillator 2 back to just 0 here. It's good with a ring modulation to experiment with the tuning of both oscillators 1 and 2. (music playing) So you can get some pretty crazy sounds.
You can also get some pretty stable sounds as well. And one way to explore is to actually set Oscillator 1 to a sine waveform. (music playing) That's kind of the more traditional ring-modulated sound. And it's also fun to experiment with the tuning of Oscillator 2 as well when you're ring-modulating. So you get different interactions between the two oscillators, that some sound better than others. Then also like we saw in Oscillator 1, we've got these digi-waves, the same 100 that you can choose here.
So let's take a look at Oscillator 3. Oscillator 3 is pretty much the same as oscillator 2. The only difference is that it has a noise generator as part of it, and that's what makes it different from Oscillator 2. So if we go here, we can generate white noise, and everything else about it is the same as 2. You have the synchronization, the hard sync, and it's going to synchronize with Oscillator 1. So oscillators 2 and 3, when they're in sync mode, they sync with oscillator 1. So one other neat thing that you can do with the oscillators is detune them, and it actually has this mode here, this constant beat detuning, where it's going to detune the higher range and lower range of the keyboard so that you get a constant interaction between those different ranges.
So first, let's explore just a simple detuning with this constant beat off. So what I'm going to do is just set this mix balance between Oscillators 1 and 2 to somewhere around 50-50. And I've got these both set to sinewaves and they're playing the same frequency. (music playing) So when they're playing the same frequency, you don't really hear it as two oscillators; you just sort of hear one sound. Now, if I offset the tuning by a couple of cents on Oscillator 1, you can hear that there's now this pulsing between Oscillators 1 and 2.
When I play different keys, so if I play higher, higher than that, the beating happens at a different rate. So it's happening faster higher, and now when I'm playing lower, it's slower. So this constant beat detuning allows you to have a constant rate of that beating happening. So if I set this to 100%, so I play at this range here, and if I play higher, that beating is at the same rate with the detuning and if I play lower, it's the same rate.
So it's pretty cool. And you have a range here. You don't have to set it at 100%; you can set it somewhere in between and it's worth exploring that. But essentially what's happening is it's deviating from equal-tempered tuning. So when you have this off, you have an equal temperament tuning and when you turn this on, it's the high octave. So anything above C3 is detuned and anything below C3 is detuned so that they correlate with each other more than if you just have it equal tempered. So once you have your sound set in this Oscillator section and you get a good mix balance with your mix triangle here, probably what you want to do is shape the sound with the Filter section, so let's explore that next.
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