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Shaping with the envelopes


Virtual Instruments in Logic Pro

with Brian Trifon

Video: Shaping with the envelopes

One of the most important aspects of drum sounds is the envelope shapes. Fortunately, Ultrabeat gives us four envelopes per voice that are really tailored for creating percussion sounds. So let's pull up the EMPTY patch. So I'm going to go to the Settings menu, go to Load Setting, and we'll go to the Desktop/Exercise Files/Ultrabeat. And then I'll go to the Preset folder here and choose this Ultrabeat_EMPTY. So I'm going to be working with this first voice, and that's going to be C1 on the keyboard. It's a sine wave right now. (music playing) I'm just going to increase the volume of this Oscillator 2.
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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

Shaping with the envelopes

One of the most important aspects of drum sounds is the envelope shapes. Fortunately, Ultrabeat gives us four envelopes per voice that are really tailored for creating percussion sounds. So let's pull up the EMPTY patch. So I'm going to go to the Settings menu, go to Load Setting, and we'll go to the Desktop/Exercise Files/Ultrabeat. And then I'll go to the Preset folder here and choose this Ultrabeat_EMPTY. So I'm going to be working with this first voice, and that's going to be C1 on the keyboard. It's a sine wave right now. (music playing) I'm just going to increase the volume of this Oscillator 2.

(music playing) And just the overall voice volume as well. (music playing) Okay, that's a little better. Envelope 4 is always a going to be the amp envelope. It's hard-wired to the voice volume. So let's take a look at the features that it has. Right now, taking a look at it, you can see that it has an attack which is instantaneous and then decay. And so I can zoom in by clicking right here and moving my mouse, dragging left or right to zoom in or out. Or if I want to zoom to fit, I can press the Zoom button.

That makes it a little bit easier to see. So what I can do is drag the decay to make it shorter or longer. And when I let go, it's going to zoom to fit again. So we can see it's centered it. If I want to just focus on the attack portion, I can press this A button right here and then I'm just looking at the attack. Or if I just want to see the decay, I can press D and there we've got the decay portion. And once again, zoom to fit. So, one of the really cool features of this envelope is that you can really customize the curvature of each stage.

So for the decay, I can just click and drag here on the envelope itself. You can see I'm changing the curvature of it. And as I do that, you can see that two handles appear here. These just are tools to help you basically shape it more precisely. So you can really customize it and the same is true with the attack portion as well. You can go in there and shape it. And that really makes a difference, especially for drum sounds, and we'll see that in a moment as we dig in further. The other feature that we have here is Sustain.

So if I want there to be a Sustain portion, I can press the Sustain button. What that will do is when I play a note, as long as I hold it, it will sustain at that level. (music playing) So I can set that here. So typically you're only going to use the Sustain portion on the 25th voice, so that's the one up here that where you can play chromatically any note above C3. So usually you'll have a bass sound or some kind of synth sound and that's where you'll want Sustain. But for most percussive sounds, it's not necessary. It's actually usually more useful just to have only attack and decay.

So in addition to shaping the volume of the sound, we can also use the envelopes as, say, a pitch envelope. So I'm going to use Envelope 1 and I'll have it modulate the pitch of Oscillator 2, because I'm going to create a kick-drum-type sound. So what I'm going to do is, over the Pitch parameters, which are here, I've got this little Mod menu. So right now it's set to Off. And beneath that I have this Via menu. So under Mod, I'm going to select Envelope 1. You can see now that this little blue flag appeared on my Pitch parameter here.

In this Via menu, I can choose something to scale the amount of my pitch modulation for this envelope. So I can choose Velocity, but I'll do that in a moment. So taking a look at this Pitch envelope, I can set the Range here. So I'll set this +39 semitones as the range. (music playing) So you can hear I have this little chirpy-type sound now. And I can adjust the shape of this envelope and make this shorter. (music playing) This is a really short-- (music playing) --kind of click to the sound. And let's bring down the pitch of all of this, make it more in a kick-drum range.

(music playing) There, you can hear it kind of has a thud. And what we'll have to do actually is make our Amp envelope a little bit longer with its decay. It's too short right now. (music playing) Okay, so that's actually starting to sound like a kick drum just as it is. So going back to our Pitch envelope here, we can tweak this a little bit further. So if I make the decay of the Pitch envelope longer, it's more like a synthetic-type kick-- (music playing) --where you can hear the Pitch Envelope. Whereas, if I make this shorter-- (music playing) --it sounds a little bit more natural.

And I'm going to zoom in on the decay portion. We can really shape this. (music playing) You can hear how little adjustments really affect the shape of the sound. So I can adjust the range if I want it to have more of a click. (music playing) And you can even take that really far and it sounds, once again, more synthetic, or you can get more of a nicer balance, somewhere in the middle like that. So one thing we might want to do is actually scale the amount that the envelope is modulating the pitch with velocity, like I had mentioned before.

So I'm going to set that here. So I'll set this to Velocity. And then you can see we have a green flag here, and we can set the range that Velocity is going to scale or modulate the intensity of this Pitch envelope. (music playing) And so this is really going to just change the character of the attack, depending on how hard I'm playing the note. So that can be pretty useful. Another area where we might want to use an envelope is on the Saturation parameter. So what I'm going to do is use Envelope 2 for that. So I see that it has this Mod menu right here, and so that means I can assign an envelope, so I'll choose Envelope 2.

And we'll also scale that with Velocity. So when I do that, you'll see this green flag appears on the right. And then I can set the range of these, so I'll set the Envelope amount--how about the Full amount?--and same with Velocity too. We'll have Velocity control to Full amount. (music playing) So that's definitely a little bit more distorted now, because we have more saturation, but we can tailor this envelope to make it more focused of a sound. So I'll adjust the decay. (music playing) There we go! That sounds like a pretty decent synthetic kick.

So as you can see, you can keep tweaking and adjusting the envelopes to get things just right. And it does actually take quite a bit of work to get decent sounding drums, but it's certainly a rewarding process. So one other aspect that's important to think about when you're using these envelopes is actually modulating the shape of the attack and decay. So you can do that with Velocity as well, and that's this parameter here. So Attack Time could be modulated via Velocity here. So here's where we adjust the intensity of that. And essentially what that means is if you play with greater Velocity, you're going to have a longer attack, and if you play with less Velocity, you get a shorter attack.

And then in terms of the shape of the attack, if you play with more Velocity, you're going to get a convex-shaped attack, whereas, if you play softer, you get concave. And the same is true with the decay. You can modulate the Decay Time with Velocity and the Decay Shape as well. So sometimes that's a useful way to also have the Velocity affect the shape of your envelopes. So now that we've explored how the envelopes function and how we can use them to shape the volume, pitch, and saturation to emphasize the attack qualities of sound, let's dive in and see how we can use the Multimode filter to further craft the percussive characteristics of a sound.

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