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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.
Before we get started, we'll want to set up a few things in Logic. I have created custom presets for each of the instruments that are very blank slates. Sometimes you open up the Logic instruments and they'll have a lot going on. So I've created some neutral ones. You have to make sure they're in the right folder in your hard drive; otherwise, they won't show up in the preset list. So let me show you where those go. So in the Exercise Files folder, there's a subfolder for each instrument. Inside of that, I've got a Preset folder, and that's where I have this default preset. So what I'm going to do is open up a new Finder window, go to the hard drive, the Library folder, and under Application Support, there's a Logic folder. In there, I'm going to go to Plug-In Settings.
And in here we'll look for the instrument, so in this case ES_M. I'll go up on the ES_M folder and then all I do is just drag this is in. And there it is. And that will show up in the Preset menu. So you can go and do this process for each instrument. You don't have to follow this process, but if you want to start with more neutral settings, this is how you can do it. So in Logic, I want to check out some of the Preferences. I'll go to the Logic Pro menu > Preferences > Audio.
The one important setting to take a look at in the Preferences is the I/O Buffer Size. When you monitor audio in Logic, or any other audio software, the computer has to buffer some of the incoming and outgoing data to protect against drop-outs, clicks, and pops. So in this case, the smaller the buffer size you have, the smaller the input monitoring lengths you're going to get. So what you want to try to do is find the setting that's the lowest that you can possibly go before you start getting clicks and pops and drop-outs. So usually 128 or 256 are a safe bet and work pretty well.
Next, let's take a look at how to create a software instrument track and how to insert the instruments. So there are a couple different ways I can do this. Probably the simplest is right here, next to Global Tracks, there's this plus button. You can just click that, and it will bring up these New Tracks menu. And I want to make sure Software Instrument is selected, and then I'll hit Create. That will create a new software instrument track. By the way, the shortcut to do that is you can hold down Option+Command+N key in your keyboard, and it will bring up that same choice.
If I don't have the Inspector open, if you don't see the Channel Strip, just click this Inspector button up top--and I'll close this here. And so now we can see, here is Instrument 1. Now, look at this I/O right here. This is where I can choose the instrument. So when I click on it, it brings up this list, and I've got all of the built-in instruments in Logic. So then I can choose ESM and load it up, and there it is. The next thing you might want to know is how to assign a control surface or MIDI controller to control the knobs on the interface of the instrument.
The way we can do that is, in the Logic Pro menu, we will go to Preferences, and there's this option here, Control Surfaces. What I can do is go to Controller Assignments. That will bring up this big window here. What I'm going to do is hit this Learn Mode button. I'll select the control on the interface, and then I'll move my MIDI controller, like a slider or knob. And when I do that, we can see it says Learned and the knob is now moving. Then what I'll do is on the interface for the instrument, I'll select another knob, so Cutoff, and then I'll move a different controller on my control surface, and it learned that.
So I can keep doing this. So if I have a number of different knobs and sliders then you can pretty much assign everything on the instrument. So we'll do one for Resonance, move the slider, and there we go. And then once I'm done assigning these, I want to make sure that I click the Learn Mode button once again to turn it off. Then I can close out of this window, and then when I move the sliders, there we go. I've got control of it. If you have a MIDI controller, it's definitely worth taking the time to assign the parameters to MIDI controls. It makes exploring a lot more fun and easier to do.
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