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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.
If you want to be able to process audio through Ultrabeat, you want to make sure to get to know the side chain aspect of Oscillator 1. So we can route in an external audio file through the Side Chain input--it's up top--and process it through the filter and Step Sequencer and so on and so forth. So let's load up our initialize setting. So I am going to go to the Settings menu > Load Setting, go to the Desktop/Exercise Files/Ultrabeat and then in there the Preset folder, and we will select Ultrabeat_EMPTY.
Okay, so I am going to be working with the voice that's on C1. Right now I have Oscillator 2 on. I am going to turn it off. I am going to turn on Oscillator 1 and set it to the Side Chain mode. So now I need to find an audio file to process. So I will close the interface, and we'll look at some Apple loops and see if we can find something cool. So we'll open up the Media Browser, and then click on Loops to go to Apple loops, and I will take a look at synth sounds. So I will use the Synth filter here, so that's just going to show me only synth sounds, and I will scroll down.
Let's check out Contemplative Synth 04. (music playing) That sounds nice! So let's bring that in. So I am going to drag it and drop it right below our Ultrabeat track and then it ask me, do I want to Import Tempo Information? Yes, I do. So I will close the media browser, and I will set the locators to the length of this audio file. So I will click on this audio track here. And I actually want to get rid of the output on this, because I don't want to hear this in the arrangement; I want this only to be routed through Ultrabeat.
So for this synth track here, what I will do is I will go to the Output, set to Stereo Output now, and I will click and hold and I am going to select No Output. Okay, so now when I play, you can hear that there is no audio coming through, which is good. So now let's go back to Ultrabeat. And on the Side Chain Input up top, I am going to select that audio file. So Audio 1, and here it is! So now if I start the arrangement in Logic, so I will move this out of the way so you can see, I have started in Logic and there is silence.
And if I play C1 on the keyboard, because that corresponds to voice 1, you can hear that's letting that sound through. But it fades out pretty quickly, and that's because it's following the envelope that have for voice 1. So this Amp Envelope fades out over the course of one second. (music playing) So there are a couple of things I could do. I could make this a longer decay, right. (music playing) I will bring up the level here on this voice. (music playing) But that's not really that useful either.
So what I am going to do is set, in the Output Settings, the Gate mode. I am going to turn it on. So this allows me to just hold down the note as long as I want or let go of it, and the sound will stop immediately. So I can gate the sound manually by pressing C1 on my keyboard, and so that's pretty cool. But actually what I'd like to do is use a Step Sequencer to do that process or to gate the sound. So I am going to turn on the Step Sequencer down here. Let's just put in a couple of steps and then we can edit them from there.
So just turn this one on, and I will adjust the gate length of this here. We will make a long step like this one, and a short one. And so we will just create some kind of crazy rhythmic pattern here. Then we can further tweak it as well once we get this all set with something as a placeholder. Okay, so what I want to make sure to do in order to hear this is start both sequencers.
So if I start the Step Sequencer first, well, we are not going to hear anything, because I have to have the Arrangement playing to be triggering this audio file in the background. So I will click back here, press spacebar, and now we hear both things happening. (music playing) So you can hear the audio is being gated by the Step Sequencer. This is actually really cool. So it's kind of like a trans-gate, and so I can adjust the velocity of these. (music playing) So what I can do is process the audio through here. And so not only can I use the Step Sequencer, but I can also route the audio through the filter as well.
So I am going to use the Signal Flow button right here, and then I am going to turn on the filter, and so then we can process the audio through there. So I will hit the Play button on the Sequencer. (music playing) There we go! Then I can filter the sound, filter it down further. (music playing) If I wanted, I can use the Bit Crusher as well. So maybe because the sound is already filtered, I want the Bit Crusher to happen first, so to add harmonics, and then we will filter it.
So I am going to switch the direction so the distortion is first, and I will turn on the Bit Crusher, and I can use the Sample Rate Reduction here. So that's pretty cool, a neat effect, and then I can filter it here. So this seems like a perfect time to use the Step Edit mode, because maybe I want to, for each different step, have a different amount of sample rate reduction and filter cutoff.
So I am going to set this to Step Edit mode, and we will adjust the amount of sample rate reduction here. So for each one, I can offset it a little bit, just to get a cool sequence happening. Let's see, some of these we will just set with very little, some of this we can have a little bit more, and I will do the same with the Filter cutoff too. It's really neat because this is basically like sequencing effects to an external audio file, and there is not many ways to do that very easily.
So Ultrabeat provides a really cool platform to do that. So let's adjust the filter cutoff here. So I am going to want to use negative values because the filter was all the way open before. Okay. So let's hear what that sounds like. So I will start this Sequencer and then I will also start Logic Sequencer. I will hit spacebar. (music playing) Some pretty cool stuff.
(music playing) So now if I want to have a little bit more control over the volume of the sound, I want some way to control our Side Chain input's level. So I am going to go back to the Voice mode real quick, and so I could use an Envelope or an LFO, something like that. I would rather use a MIDI Controller. I think that's going to work a little bit better. So what I am going to do is go ahead and under this Mod menu, I am going to select Maximum. So Max is a just static value.
So an envelope or an LFO, it's modulating the level, whereas Max is just a constant. So I will set the Volume all the way down to 0, and then I want to scale that volume with a MIDI Controller. So I am going to choose Controller A. So what that is, is up here, we have got our MIDI controller assignments: A, B, C, D. So these are four MIDI controls that we can assign. So this one is set to Mod Wheel, and that's actually what I want to use. But, if I click on this, you can see, I can assign it to any CC number on my MIDI Controller, or I can have it learned to a certain knob.
So Mod Wheel is good. I am going to use that, and I will set the range that I want the Mod Wheel to control the Side Chain input volume. So I set that right here. So we will have it so that it controls the full volume of the sound. Then I am going to go ahead and put this back into Step Setting, and I will start the Sequencer here. And then we will start it in Logic as well. So right now we don't hear anything. I will open up the Mod Wheel, and you can hear the sounds fading in.
So I can bring the Mod Wheel down if the level is too much. So it's neat. It gives me this performance control over the level of the sound. As you can see, there is a lot you can do with Ultrabeat and using the side chain processing. Definitely take the time to explore; it will be well worth it. So now that we've explored the features of Ultrabeat, next let's check it out in a musical example where we have several instances of Ultrabeat performing the percussion and synthesizer sounds.
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