Virtual Instruments in Logic Pro
Illustration by John Hersey

Synthesizing with Oscillator 2


Virtual Instruments in Logic Pro

with Brian Trifon

Video: Synthesizing with Oscillator 2

So let's take a look at the Synthesizer section of Ultrabeat. So I want to look at Oscillator 2 first, because Oscillator 1, some of its features are dependent on Oscillator 2, so let's just take a look at Oscillator 1. So first, I want to actually load in a completely initialized patch, so I am going to go to the Settings menu up top, go to Load Setting, and then Desktop/Exercise Files/Ultrabeat. There's a Preset folder in there. We've got this Ultrabeat_EMPTY. So I will load this in.
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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

Synthesizing with Oscillator 2

So let's take a look at the Synthesizer section of Ultrabeat. So I want to look at Oscillator 2 first, because Oscillator 1, some of its features are dependent on Oscillator 2, so let's just take a look at Oscillator 1. So first, I want to actually load in a completely initialized patch, so I am going to go to the Settings menu up top, go to Load Setting, and then Desktop/Exercise Files/Ultrabeat. There's a Preset folder in there. We've got this Ultrabeat_EMPTY. So I will load this in.

You can see now I've just got a bunch of sine waves here. And so I am going to work with voice on C1. So you can see I've got Oscillator 2 on, and right now it's in Phase Oscillator mode. There's actually three modes: Phase Oscillator, Sample, and then there's this physical model of the string. And we'll take a look at all three. So we'll start with Phase Oscillator. And actually for all these different modes, the place you're going to adjust the pitch is right here. So I can adjust the pitch of the oscillator, and if I hold down Shift, I can adjust it and fine-tuning in cents.

I can also drag right here--it does the same thing--where it says cents, so I can drag the pitch right here if that's easier than moving the slider. If I hold down Option+Click, it's going to set things back to their default settings. The other important aspect is we've got the volume control right here for the oscillator, so I can set the level. And then we've got the overall volume for this entire voice. That's over here. And envelope 4 is automatically pre- wired as the amp envelope for this voice.

Actually for all of the voices, envelope 4 is the amp envelope. So taking a look at the Phase Oscillator we have a couple of features. We have got the slope control. Now, it's going to make it look more like a triangle waveform. So it's adding in a bit more harmonics, adjusting the slope of it. And we've got the saturation control, and that's going to make it look a little bit more like a square wave. That brings out the odd harmonics in the sound. Then, we've got this asymmetry control. So if I adjust this, it starts to sound and look more like a saw tooth waveform.

The cool thing is when we combine all of these different elements, a bit of asymmetry and the slope adjustment here and saturation, we get all kinds of interesting wave shapes and sounds. So that's how the Phase Oscillator works. Then we've got the Sample Oscillator here. So here we can load in an audio recording or a sample. So let's do that. So I click on this menu here and I can go to Load Sample. So what I am going to do is I am going to go to the Ultrabeat Samples folder.

So where that is is in our hard-drive here, Library/Application Support. and I am going to go to the Logic folder, and we've got this Ultrabeat Samples. And this is all of the audio files, like the AIFFs and the .UBS files for the presets of Ultrabeat. So let's just pick a sound that we can load in. How about this Trance Kit 01? We will choose the snare drum for that. So I want to audition the sound. So I can click on it and hit Play and hear what it sounds like. Also what I can do is I can preview the sample in Ultrabeat as a voice.

So if I check this, what that means is when I'm playing the note of her voice, which is C1, I can audition the sound by playing the keyboard, and that's sometimes a lot more useful than just hitting this Play button here. So then I'll open the sample. You can see it's loaded in here. And I can reverse it; that's what this button does. Then we have a couple of choices, in terms of how velocity is going to affect where it's playing back in the sample. So I can have the minimum velocity. That's this green marker here.

I can have that start at the very beginning of this snare drum. And at the maximum velocity, I can have the sound start somewhere in the middle. So if I play softly, the sound starts at the beginning; if I play harder, it starts from the middle. So to make that more drastic, I can move this closer to the end. You can barely hear it if I get too far. So that's one way that, with velocity, you can affect how it's playing back the sample. So another possibility that you can do with this sample oscillator is load in a sound that has potentially multiple velocity layers.

So what I am going to do is go to Load Sample, and I am going to go back to our Ultrabeat Samples folder. And so in here what I can do is load a sound that has multiple velocity layers. So if I go to Hi Hats Acoustic and I go to Closed, you can see I've got a bunch of files in here. Notice these all have .UBS at the end of them. So that's Ultrabeat's proprietary format, and so oftentimes the sounds that are in this UBS format have multiple velocity layers.

So I will select this one here, hit Open, and so now when I play this, if I play different velocities, you can hear it's triggering back different samples. So I can use the layer control here to adjust the minimum level for the higher velocity layer sample. I can adjust that here, and I can adjust its maximum as well. And so that's how it works. In a lot of ways Ultrabeat is rudimentary in its implementation of dealing with multiple velocity layers.

So for example, I can't just load in multiple samples and create multiple velocity layers; it only works by importing these .UBS files that already have multiple velocity layers, or importing the sound from an EXS24 instrument that has multiple velocity layers. So the third type of synthesis that this Oscillator 2 can do is this physical modeling. So this is a physical model of the string that we have here, and I can adjust the stiffness and the inner loss-- (music playing) --to get a wide range of different sounds.

So stiffness is the rigidity of the string, and inner loss has to do with the damping of the material of the string. (music playing) So the way you can think of it is when you have basically very little inner loss and low stiffness--so that would be this corner--it's going to be like a metallic kind of sound. If I increase the stiffness but still have low inner loss, it's going to be more of a glass-type sound. (music playing) If I increase the inner loss and have a lot of stiffness, I end up getting a wooden-type of sound. And if I have very little stiffness and lots of inner loss, it's like a nylon string guitar. And then you get all kinds of stuff in between.

And then there's two methods of actually exciting this virtual string, so right now it's at Type 1, which is an impulse, or we can set it to Type 2, which is a gravity strike. So that you can imagine that like some mallet hitting the string and having multiple interactions with the string. Then we've got the resolution control, and so this adjusts the number of harmonics in the sound. So if I increase the resolution-- (music playing) --it tends to be a little bit of a brighter sound. It also uses more CPU. Typically, you would think that having higher resolution would always sound better, because it's using more harmonics to represent the sound.

It's not always true. Sometimes having a low resolution, you get more weird enharmonic aspects to the sound, that can be a bit more noisy, and sometimes that actually sounds good. It doesn't always just sound low-fi. It just sometimes has a different characteristic. So it's definitely worth playing around with that. As you can see with this one oscillator, between this Phase Oscillator, Sample, and Modeling, you can get a huge range of sounds. So it's definitely very useful. In the next video, let's explore the synthesis capabilities of Oscillator 1.

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