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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 using the groups in EXS24. So you can assign multiple zones to a group, and that way that gives you editing control over many zones at once. What I want do is pull in the sound that we were experimenting with before. So it's a sampler instrument. I'm going to load it here, and it's in this ESX24_Setup menu. So these are the instruments that are associated with the exercise file ESX24_Setup. So I'm going to select this one, Synth_Velocity. So this is the sound from before. I'll play it. (music playing) There are different velocity layers, and the higher velocities have more reverb and are louder, but the problem is when I play the note at a high velocity, and I let go of it, that reverb tail cuts off.
So before we had the solution of using one-shot mode on the higher velocity so that they ring out. And that works okay, but there's a little bit of an unnatural transition. So another way that we could remedy this problem is by creating different groups for the different velocity ranges. So what I'd would like to do is create three groups: one for soft, one for medium velocities, and one for hard velocities. So they way you can create groups is go to the Group menu and select New Group, or the shortcut is Ctrl+G. So when I do that you can see that it says Group over here, and it's kind of cut off, so let me adjust the view here.
So I am going to name this group. I am going to call it soft. And then if I want to assign zones to the group, what I have to do is go back to my All Zones here. And there's a couple of different ways I can do this. I can actually go to the Group section and assign it. So that's actually under the View options > Group, and then I can assign it to the soft group. That's a little bit too roundabout. So the easier way to do it is just to take this and drag it to the soft folder.
So I am assigning this zone to the soft group. So then when I click on soft group, I can confirm that it's there. So now let's make the medium group. So this time I am going to select a few of the zones, so I am going to select this one. If I hold down Shift, I can select more, so these two I want to be in the medium group. So instead of actually creating a group in the Group menu, I'm just going to drag these over here, and it's going to automatically create a new group with those zones already assigned to it. So that's definitely much more convenient. So let's name this one. So I'll double-click, call this med, and I'll go back to All Zones. And then I want to make a group for the hard velocities, so I will select these two and then drag those and I will name this one hard.
So what I can do with these three groups is actually offset the amplifier envelope, the release time. So the way I can solve the problem is have for the soft group, the release time as it is now in the amplifier, which is instantaneous, so I can actually just take a look at that. So here is our amp envelope and you can see the release is set all the way to 0, so that will just cut off. And then I'll be able to offset the med and hard velocity groups. I can give those a longer release time. So the first thing I want to do to actually make changes to the groups is make sure I have got this Groups button pushed up here. So I'll push that and now we can see our groups.
Then you can see that I've got this Envelope 2 (Amp) Offsets, so that's the amplifier envelope offsets. So for the soft group I don't want any offset. I'll just leave it at 0. For med, let's offset it by 600 milliseconds, so it will increase the release by 600 milliseconds. And for the hard group, let's make it longer. Let's do like 1300 milliseconds. So now what happens when I play, so if I play soft, it releases right away. If I play at a med velocity, you can hear it rings out a bit.
If I play of the hardest velocity, you can hear it rings out fully. So now when I just play, I am going to play very staccato-- (music playing) --you can hear it transitions pretty naturally. I can get those accents with the reverb ringing out, but it doesn't sound like it's just jumping between different release times and things like that. So this is a very natural way of doing that, and that's one of the really cool features of using the groups. And there is actually a number of other group features as well. So to view them all, you want to make sure that in this View menu here you've got View All selected.
So let's talk about the different choices you have here. So for the groups you can set the Key Range here, so if you wanted them to be different for different groups. You can also offset some things in the mixer, like the volume of a particular group, the panning, and its output as well. So you have 16 different outputs here. You can also adjust the polyphony. So for example, you might not always want to have the maximum polyphony for your group. So think of a case where you have a hi-hat where it can be either open or closed. You wouldn't want your open hi-hat ringing out against your close hi-hat.
So to solve that problem, you can assign those both to a group and set the Polyphony to 1, and that way it's either going to be the close hi-hat or the open one. Furthermore, what you can do is choose how you want to trigger this group. So do you want it to be triggered when you press the key down, or do you want it to be triggered based on release? So certain instruments, like you think about a piano or even an electric piano, when you play, and then you let go of the notes, you hear the damper hit the strings. So in order to recreate an instrument like that, you'd want a release group of samples of the sound, of the damper hitting the times, for example, on the electric piano.
Then we've got our filter offsets. this just allows us per group to adjust the cutoff and resonance of the filter, and so you only have one filter here, but these groups just can offset the cutoff. Then we can also offset Envelope 1 as well, and Envelope 1 is freely assignable. We can set our velocity ranges for each group as well. And then the last feature that's pretty interesting too is the Select Group By. So what this means is that if I want some kind of trigger or MIDI control to select a group, I can do that.
So the circumstances that you'd use this would be, let's say you have two different string articulations. You might have strings that are sustaining and then you have staccato strings. And you actually want to assign those to the same pitches, but you want to have a key that will switch between those groups. So you could assign a MIDI key that's like really low on the keyboard, like C-2, and then when you play that key, it doesn't make a sound, but it will select either the staccato strings or the sustaining ones. And so that's where it gets more advanced, but you can really get deep in terms of programming your instruments.
So you can select a group by a particular note, or another group, or control, a pitch bend, or a MIDI channel, so a lot you can do with that. And you can even get deeper and add more, so add an additional Select Group By. So for very sophisticated sampler instruments, they might have a lot of this kind of programming happening. So now that we have taken a look at assigning multiple zones into groups and some of the possibilities of editing the groups, let's take a look at some of the looping and sample-editing features that are part of the EXS24.
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