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Virtual Instruments in Logic Pro
Illustration by John Hersey

Using the volume and modulation envelope to shape the sound


From:

Virtual Instruments in Logic Pro

with Brian Trifon

Video: Using the volume and modulation envelope to shape the sound

Let's take a look at how we can shape the sound further with the Modulation envelope and the Volume envelope. The Volume envelope is very similar to what we've seen so far in the other synthesizers, such as ES 1 and ES P. It's a four-stage ADSR envelope and it's going to control the shape of the volume of the sound. So as a quick review, remember that the attack is going to be the amount of time it takes from the signal to go from absolute silence to its maximum volume. So right now it's set to 0, so it's instantaneous. If I give this a longer attack, the sound will fade 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
      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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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 lynda.com 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
Subjects:
Audio + Music Audio Plug-Ins Virtual Instruments
Software:
Logic Pro
Author:
Brian Trifon

Using the volume and modulation envelope to shape the sound

Let's take a look at how we can shape the sound further with the Modulation envelope and the Volume envelope. The Volume envelope is very similar to what we've seen so far in the other synthesizers, such as ES 1 and ES P. It's a four-stage ADSR envelope and it's going to control the shape of the volume of the sound. So as a quick review, remember that the attack is going to be the amount of time it takes from the signal to go from absolute silence to its maximum volume. So right now it's set to 0, so it's instantaneous. If I give this a longer attack, the sound will fade in.

(music playing) So it takes a moment for it to take it to its full volume. Decay is the amount of time it takes, once it's reached its maximum volume, to then fade back down to either silence or at the sustain level. So for the case of this example, let's pull down Sustain. We'll have no sustain. So we've got a long decay, so this will fade out over a long period of time. So I'll make this shorter. (music playing) It's more like a pluck when we've got to the short decay like this.

(music playing) It fades out really quickly. (music playing) So now if I give this some sustain level, instead of it fading all the way down to silence, or decaying down to silence, it will decay down to my sustain level. (music playing) So my sustain level is here, somewhere in the middle. We're just going to stay at this volume as long as I'm holding the note. If I increase the sustain level -- (music playing) --you can see that it decays, but it still has a lot of amplitude.

(music playing) Release is the amount of time it takes once I've let go of the note for to fade back down to silence. So if I'm holding the note here and I let go, it takes moment to fade out. I'll give it a longer release so you can here and increase the sustain. (music playing) So I'm holding the note, and I let go. It takes a little while for it to fade down to silence. So that's a long release. Okay.

So that should all be pretty familiar. The other thing that should also be familiar is this Velocity control. This just allows us to control the volume of the sound with how hard we're playing on the keyboard. So if I play softly, I get a low volume. If I play with more force, I get a louder volume. So that's a really great way to sort of have things be dynamic. And the Main level control for the amplifier, that's just our master output level. So let's take a look at this Modulation envelope because this is actually really cool and really useful. So Modulation envelope has the same stages that are in this Volume envelope, ADSR, but they're going to be applied to the FM intensity, or the FM depth is what they call it here, and the pitch of this modulator.

So let's try it as used with this FM intensity here. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to set everything to 0 on this Modulation envelope. Let's just hear a small amount of modulation happening, so I'll play a note and I'll increase the FM intensity. Okay, so we hear what that sounds like. So let's have that be controlled by this envelope. So I'll adjust the FM depth here. So I'll give it a positive amount by turning it to the right, and I'll give it some attack. So what's going to happen is this FM depth, it's going to fade in over the period of this Attack portion.

(music playing) So you hear that fade in and then it cut off right away. So that's when it reached the decay portion, because our decay time is really short. It's just cutting off immediately. So maybe what I'll do now is try the opposite. I'll set instantaneous attack, give it some decay. So what will happen is it will jump to a higher modulation level and then it will fade back down to no modulation. (music playing) So you can hear that happening. I'll make this shorter.

(music playing) So if I want to emphasize the beginning of the sound, give it a short decay-- (music playing) And then of course, wherever my starting place is of this FM intensity control, the envelope is going to offset that. So-- (music playing) --if I'm starting with more modulation, it's going to increase from there. So that during this Decay parameter, it will open up even further and then decay back down to wherever my starting place is that's here. (music playing) So I can make this longer.

(music playing) And so the sustain portion of this envelope is going to be the place where this modulation ends up being as long, as I'm holding the note. (music playing) Now it's at the sustain portion. You can hear that it's just sort of a small amount of modulation. I can increase the sustain. (music playing) And you can hear now it's at a higher level of modulation. So let's engage these first three stages: so Attack, Decay, and Sustain.

So what's going to happen is the modulation amount will fade in over the attack period of this Modulation envelope. Then during the decay portion, the modulation amount will decrease to whatever the sustain level is. So let's hear that happen. (music playing) So you could hear those three stages happening, and now it's on the sustain. (music playing) The Release portion here is going to be once I let go of the note, it's going to be the amount of time it takes for this FM intensity to go back down to its initial setting.

(music playing) We're now at the sustain portion. I'll let go and it instantly cuts off. And the reason for that is because our Volume envelope has no Release, so I'll increase the release on our Volume envelope. And now we should hear all four stages of this modulation envelope. (music playing) And I'll let go of the note, and we can hear the modulation fades back down, as well as the volume of the sound. So that's this Modulation envelope controlling the FM depth, or FM intensity. The other thing we can actually do with that is give it a negative amount so the envelope works in the opposite direction.

So essentially what's going to happen is during the attack period, the FM amount is going to be decaying and so on and so forth. But it's worth exploring. (music playing) So check that on your own because sometimes you can get some really cool musical things happening with that. Okay, so now let's try using this Modulation envelope to control the pitch of the modulator. So I'll start with a pretty neutral setting. So what I'll do is first give this a bit of FM intensity here.

(music playing) So we need a little bit of modulation happening in order to actually hear this because with no modulation, all we're hearing is the carrier signal. So now what I'll do is give this a bit of pitch modulation. So I turn this to the right to give it a positive amount. (music playing) And then I have to engage the envelope here. So we'll give this a bit of attack and over the period of this attack stage, the pitch of the modulator will rise. So let's listen to that. (music playing) All right! So you could hear it rising and then once it hits the decay, it snaps back to the note that I'm playing. Let's give it some decay, so it will rise and then it will fall during the decay portion.

(music playing) And if I get rid of the attack and just have a decay, we'll just hear it pitched down. (music playing) Because the attack is instantaneous, so then the decay is the only thing we're hearing. (music playing) We can get an even shorter decay for a more percussive sort of tone. (music playing) And if I want it to be a further range of pitch that's happening with this envelope, I'll increase the intensity. So if I go all the way the right, that's the maximum intensity for this pitch modulation.

(music playing) That gives it definitely more of a snap to the sound. (music playing) Then I can adjust the sustain level as well of this Modulation envelope. (music playing) And then of course it has the release, which is once we let go of the note, how long it takes for the modulation to settle back down to its initial value. (music playing) In order to really hear that, we have to make sure that there is enough release happening with our Amplifier envelope or our Volume envelope.

(music playing) So you can hear, when I've let off the note, the pitch started changing. So I'm playing the note and I let go, and you can hear that Modulator pitch is changing also. Another thing to keep in mind is that this modulation envelope can control the modulator pitch and the FM depth at the same time. So let's do that. So now we've got it controlling FM depth and pitch. (music playing) So it's a little more drastic of a sound. Let's get this to a more musically useful envelope shape.

So I'm just going to do something where we've got a bit of attack and decay and release. (music playing) So that's probably too much a range of pitch, so I'll decrease that. We've got a little bit of pitch modulation and some FM depth. (music playing) And if I decrease the starting place, I think it will be more musically useful. (music playing) So you can get some interesting stuff, having it modulate both the pitch of the modulator and FM depth at the same time. (music playing) I can also invert the direction of the Modulation envelope for pitch just like we did for FM depth, so I can do that here.

So now the Pitch envelope is working in the opposite way that the Modulation envelope is working for FM depth. (music playing) So now you can get some interesting effects by exploring that. So next, let's check out the LFO, which can be used to modulate the FM intensity, or like we saw earlier, it can be used to create vibrato.

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