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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 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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