Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now

Filtering and setting distortion


Virtual Instruments in Logic Pro

with Brian Trifon

Video: Filtering and setting distortion

So one of the most useful features of Ultrabeat in terms of shaping drum sounds is its multimode filter. So I'm going to pull up the initialize patch and then we'll take a look at how the filter works. So under the Settings menu, I'm going to go to Load Setting and then Desktop/ Exercise Files folder/Ultrabeat, and then in there in the Preset folder filter, this Ultrabeat_EMPTY. So I'm going to use this first voice, so that's C1. (music playing) I'll turn up the volume a little bit.
Expand all | Collapse all
  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

please wait ...
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

Filtering and setting distortion

So one of the most useful features of Ultrabeat in terms of shaping drum sounds is its multimode filter. So I'm going to pull up the initialize patch and then we'll take a look at how the filter works. So under the Settings menu, I'm going to go to Load Setting and then Desktop/ Exercise Files folder/Ultrabeat, and then in there in the Preset folder filter, this Ultrabeat_EMPTY. So I'm going to use this first voice, so that's C1. (music playing) I'll turn up the volume a little bit.

Because we're going to be filtering, I'm actually going to increase the Saturation to give this more harmonics, so we've got more sound to actually filter down. (music playing) Okay, there we go. So there we have more of a saw tooth type of sound going on. (music playing) So in order to get the signal into the filter, we have to use these Signal Flow buttons. So you see these screws all along the edge of this center filter area. That's going to route signal into the filter. So right now with it not pressed, my signal is going directly to the amplifier.

So if I press on the screw right here, you can see it becomes a little arrow pointing at the filter. (music playing) So now we know it's going through the filter. The same can be true with the Noise Generator. I'm going to press on this screw right here. And with Oscillator 1 up top, so we'll have that route into the filter. And then our Ring Modulator, which we'll take a look at in a little bit, but I can route that into the filter as well. So now I've got all signals flowing into the filter. (music playing) But if I actually want to use the filter, I have to actually turn it on.

So I have to click where it says filter and it lights up in red. So we have a couple different modes for the filter. We have Low-Pass, which is going to cut out the high frequencies; High- Pass which is going to cut out the low frequencies; Band-Pass, which is going to let a certain frequency band of the sound through and block out everything else; then we have Band Reject, which is like a notch filter, so it's going to filter out just a small frequency range that we can sweep around. So let's take a look at the Low-Pass filter for a moment. We've got the Cutoff parameter here and then we have Resonance.

So Cutoff is going to adjust the high frequencies. It's going to eliminate them as I bring it down. (music playing) And Resonance is going to be a boost at my Cutoff point. (music playing) So with a High-Pass filter, the more that I open up this Cutoff, the less low frequencies we're going to have. So it's the opposite of a Low-Pass filter. (music playing) Band-Pass, we can hear that frequency band move around. And Band Reject, we can hear this little notch-- (music playing) --that I'm moving around.

So a better way to visualize this is actually on an EQ. So I'm going to pull up Logic's Channel EQ, drag that in here. And what I'm going to do is actually adjust some settings here. So I'm going to drag up to change the Scale of the view in EQ. I'm going to turn on the Analyzer and set it to high resolution. So now when I play a note, you can see all the various harmonics that it has. So a Low-Pass filter, what that's going to do is that's going to cut out the high frequencies. (music playing) That looks like this.

And Resonance is that boost around the cutoff point right here. And then the Slope--because you can see we've got the Slope button, 12 dB per octave or 24 dB per octave--hat's going to adjust how steep the slope of this filter is. So with a steeper slope, it's going to cut out more high frequencies. (music playing) So now a High-Pass filter is the opposite, and that's going to cut out the low frequencies. (music playing) So as I bring up the Cutoff or open it up-- (music playing) --it's going to get rid of the low frequencies.

And same thing. I can increase the Resonance-- (music playing) --and that makes a little boost around our Cutoff point. (music playing) And then a Band-Pass filter, what that's going to look like is like this High-Pass and Low-Pass together. So I'll set them to the same slope actually. Then what we've got is this little window here. You can call that a band, where the sound will come through and everything else is filtered out. So when you move the Cutoff on a Band-Pass filter, this band area here moves also.

So it's not that easy to do on an EQ. It's actually much more elegant just on the filter itself. But you can see here up the band is moved here, so on and so forth. And then the notch filter, what that's going to be is just this dip, this little notch. (music playing) And they call it the Band Reject filter here, but that's interchangeable with the term notch filter. (music playing) So that's how that works. And so with the filter settings that we have in Ultrabeat, I can also modulate the parameters of the Cutoff and Resonance.

So I can assign an envelope to it, for example Envelope2. And you can see when I did that, I have this little blue flag that appears here. And so what I can do is set the minimum amount that I want and then I adjust the range for the filter, so for Envelope2. (music playing) Set this to a Low-Pass for a moment. (music playing) All right! So you can hear that emphasizes the attack stage of the sound. I can increase the Resonance as well. (music playing) And then like we saw before, I can also scale the amount of modulation here with Velocity, and then I get this green flag and I can set the range for that as well, so that Velocity is controlling the amount of-- (music playing) --filter envelope.

So that's definitely useful as well. The other feature that we have with this filter is the distortion circuit. So down here we have a Bit Crusher and Distortion. So those are both two different types of distortion actually. With Bit Crusher, I have to press the Crush button here. (music playing) And then I can increase the Drive amount. (music playing) And that distorts the sound. And if I adjust the Color parameter-- (music playing) --it's going to reduce the sample rate. So we get this digital- distortion thing happening. And then Clip is basically adjusting the level of the sound.

So that's Bit Crush, and then we have Distortion, which is more of like an analog type of overdrive. So what that's going to do-- (music playing) --it's going to saturate the signal a bit, and I can adjust the color, which is sort of the tonal center of the distortion. And I can adjust its level as well. (music playing) And so the thing that's cool about the Distortion Circuit is it can either happen before or after filtering. So right now, you can see with this big arrow in the center that it's happening after filtering. So signals are all coming in to this filter and then they're flowing down to this distortion circuit. (music playing) If I click on that, I can switch it.

So now what's going to happen is the signals will come in through the distortion unit first and then go into the filter. (music playing) So you get different results depending on which direction you have that flow. So one little thing that I like is if you have a Band-Pass filter and you have that flowing into the distortion, so you're filtering the sound first and then it's going into a Bit Crusher, you can end up getting this kind of talking vowel sound sort of thing happening. So what I'll do is-- (music playing) --if I adjust the Color here and drive amount and move this Band-Pass, you just get these lo-fi kind of vowel sounds and things. It's sort of neat to mess around with.

One other element that's actually attached with the filter and that can flow into it is the Ring Modulator. So the Ring Modulator essentially works with Oscillators 1 and 2 and it multiplies their outputs and it ends up sounding a little bit like FM synthesis. You get this sort of metallic sound, so let's explore that. So I'm going to turn off the Distortion, set this back to Low-Pass filter for a moment, and I'm actually going to turn on Oscillators 1 and 2, because without it, the Ring Mod doesn't do anything. I've to make sure my Ring Mad is on, so I want to make sure this is highlighted in red, so I click on it to turn it on and off.

I'm going to turn down the Levels of Oscillators 1 and 2. So we're only hearing the Ring Mod signal. So I can play a note and I just bring up the level here. (music playing) So that's my Ring Mod signal and if I adjust the pitches of Oscillator 1 and 2, it's going to change the characteristic of the sound quite dramatically. And so that can be blended in with the dry signals. (music playing) Going to the filter and the noise signal, and all of that can be filtered down here.

This is the master shaping center, is this Multimode filter. So now that we explored how to shape the sound with a Multimode filter, in the next video, let's add some periodic movement and shape the sounds further with the built-in LFOs.

There are currently no FAQs about Virtual Instruments in Logic Pro.

Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed Virtual Instruments in Logic Pro.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


Upgrade to View Courses Offline


With our new Desktop App, Annual Premium Members can download courses for Internet-free viewing.

Upgrade Now

After upgrading, download Desktop App Here.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Start your FREE 10-day trial

Begin learning software, business, and creative skills—anytime,
anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts. provides
Unlimited access to over 4,000 courses—more than 100,000 video tutorials
Expert-led instruction
On-the-go learning. Watch from your computer, tablet, or mobile device. Switch back and forth as you choose.
Start Your FREE Trial Now

A trusted source for knowledge.


We provide training to more than 4 million people, and our members tell us that helps them stay ahead of software updates, pick up brand-new skills, switch careers, land promotions, and explore new hobbies. What can we help you do?

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.