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Synthesizing a snare drum

From: Virtual Instruments in Logic Pro

Video: Synthesizing a snare drum

So, let's take a look at how we can synthesize a snare drum. Now typically, you probably just use a snare drum sample or you can use one that someone else has created. But by understanding the process of how to build the sound, it could be really useful for helping you tweak the sound to your liking. So what I'm going to do is load up the initialize patch and we can get started. So I'll go to Load Setting, Desktop/ Exercise Files and then Ultrabeat. Then in here in the Preset folder we've got this Ultrabeat_EMPTY. So, I'm going to build this on the note C1. That's this voice here. And I'm going to go ahead and just turn up the volume on this.

Synthesizing a snare drum

So, let's take a look at how we can synthesize a snare drum. Now typically, you probably just use a snare drum sample or you can use one that someone else has created. But by understanding the process of how to build the sound, it could be really useful for helping you tweak the sound to your liking. So what I'm going to do is load up the initialize patch and we can get started. So I'll go to Load Setting, Desktop/ Exercise Files and then Ultrabeat. Then in here in the Preset folder we've got this Ultrabeat_EMPTY. So, I'm going to build this on the note C1. That's this voice here. And I'm going to go ahead and just turn up the volume on this.

Okay, so if you think about a snare drum, there's really two components to this sound. There is a somewhat tonal component and then there's a noise component. So the tonal component you really hear at the beginning of the sound, and it sort of resonates a little bit. But it's not tonal in the sense of it being harmonious; it's kind of a dissonant sound and it's short. And then the rest of it, the rattling of the actual snare is best emulated or synthesized with noise. First we'll create the tonal component and then we'll create the noise component. So I'm going to start with Oscillator 2, and I'm going to set this to pitch here.

Let's see, so let me bring this down. Okay, so F2. That sounds pretty good. And what I'm going to do is assign an envelope to the volume of Oscillator 2. So I'm going to use envelope 1, and we just set that here into this modulation menu. Env1 and then what I want to do is set the initial level for this oscillator, so I'll set this a down a bit, and then we'll adjust the envelope intensity here. So we could set that to around here. (music playing) That sounds pretty good.

And then I'll adjust this envelope shape a bit. So right now it's 421 milliseconds. So I'm going to Zoom to Fit and set the Attack to 0 and bring in the Decay time. Make this shorter, so a 150 milliseconds. Now this is a type of thing where later I'll probably come back and tweak the decay shape, because right now it's little too early to tell how this is going to interact with everything else. And it's always a process of refinement. So I'll kind of get things started and then go back and refine them, and that's how it usually works.

So what I'll do is create another aspect of this tonal sound but that's a little bit dissonant. So I'll turn on Oscillator 1, and we'll have a higher pitch. So it's something that's interval, but that's not totally consonant. So E3, that's sort of dissonant with F2. And what I'm going to do with that is use envelope 2 to modulate the volume of Oscillator 1. So Env2, set that here. Then I'll set the level for Oscillator 1.

And so because this is higher in pitch, I can actually have it lower in volume, because it will stand out more. Also giving it some envelope amount as well. Okay, there we go. And so I'll adjust this envelope shape too. So envelope 2, I want it to actually be probably quite a bit shorter as well, so what I'm going to do is adjust the Attack here and bring in this Decay. (music playing) It's really short, so 22 milliseconds.

And again I might adjust the curvature of this Decay later on. So that's sounding okay, but it's a little bit too tonal. So I want a little bit more enharmonic quality to it. So I'm going to switch Oscillator 1 to fm mode, and I'm going to adjust the amount of fm modulation. (music playing) Okay, there we go. So it doesn't quite sound tonal but still has some resonance, and this I think is going to complement the noise well. So let's create the noise component, and then we can keep going on from there.

So I'm going to turn on the noise generator. All right, so even with that alone, it sounds a little bit more like a snare. Now what I'm going to do actually is adjust envelope 4, which is modulating the voice volume, just so we have the length of this overall snare. (music playing) There we go. So already it sounds more like a snare, just having the noise and the right envelop length. So I'm going to set this to Band Pass noise and adjust the cutoff here. So around here sounds pretty good and maybe a little bit of dirt too, so the distortion on it.

Well that's probably too much, but what about here? That sounds pretty good. And then what I'm going to do is use an envelope to modulate the volume of the noise generator. So, envelope 1 and 2 are already in use, so I'm going to use envelope 3. So Env3 and then what I want to do is set the level of the noise oscillator and then adjust the amount this envelope is modulating the volume. So maybe that, maybe I can turn this up a bit more.

So that generally sounds all right. Let me adjust the envelope length of this noise generator. So what I'm going to do is I'll make the Attack shorter and just adjust the Decay here. Okay, so that's sounding all right, and what I'm going to do actually is bring in the EQ, just to emphasize certain aspects of this sound. So I'm going to turn on band 1. I've got this in parametric EQ. And actually snares tend to resonate--like the body of the snare is at around 200 Hertz, so I'm just going to boost that area quite a bit, just going to bring out that resonance.

And I'm also going to boost the higher frequencies around 3.5 K, so 3500 Hertz, because that's where the snap or the crack of the snare comes from. So it's one of those things you kind of have to just adjust it and listen and find what sounds right to you. So now, boosting this 200 Hertz and 3500 Hertz is also bringing out the resonance a little bit more than I want, so the tonal aspect of this sound. So what I'm going to do is route Oscillators 1 and 2, because they're the ones that are generating the tonal portion into the filter.

So I'm going to use the Signal Flow buttons. So here it's for Oscillator 1. Here it's for Oscillator 2. We'll turn on the filter and set it to a High Pass. (music playing) So I can then use the cut off essentially to adjust the amount of the tonal portion that I want blended in with the white noise. So that way I can get kind of a good balance and adjust things here. And then it comes down to just tweaking the envelopes because right now I think this sounds pretty good as a snare and to fine-tune in I can just tweak all of the envelopes.

So, especially envelope 4, which is the shape of the volume of the sound, the Amp envelope I can adjust the Decay of it, emphasize more towards attack. And really you can go in there with each of these and kind of tailor the envelopes the way that you want. So envelope 2, which is Oscillators 1, it's modulating the level of that. And envelope 3, we can make this more of a curved shape.

There we go! So that sounds pretty as good as a snare drum. The one thing I'm going to do is add some velocity control to this. So for the voice volume, which is being modulated by envelope 4, I'm going to have velocity scale the amount of that envelope. (music playing) So there we go. (music playing) We've got a pretty good snare drum. If I want to adjust the overall length, I can adjust envelope 4's decay. (music playing) And there we go. So I'm going to go ahead and save a copy of this snare drum setting into the Exercise Files folder so that you can play around with it later.

So let's save this. So Save Setting As and then on Desktop/ Exercise Files/Ultrabeat and then the Preset folder, I'll save this as Ultrabeat_Snare. So now that we've explored how to synthesize a snare drum, in the next video, let's explore how we can synthesize some symbols and hi- hat sounds as well as some other out-there strange percussion.

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This video is part of

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Virtual Instruments in Logic Pro

144 video lessons · 8911 viewers

Brian Trifon
Author

 
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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
      33s
  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 20s
  6. 48m 8s
    1. Getting started with EFM1
      1m 51s
    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
      2m 59s
    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 4s
    1. Getting Started with EVOC 20
      2m 9s
    2. Vocoding Basics: Making your synth sing!
      3m 14s
    3. Exploring the synthesis section
      4m 47s
    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 7s
    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 33s
    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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