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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.
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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