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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 global and voice settings in ES2. So up top we have a couple of different voicing modes: there's Polyphonic, Mono, and Legato. So Polyphonic, that's just means that you can play more than one note at a time. And you choose the amount of voices, or the maximum number of polyphony, here, and it can go up to 32. Second, we have Mono mode, and this is where we can only play one note at a time. So it doesn't matter what you have your voices set to, in Mono mode, it's only going to be monophonic. One of the benefits or side effects of Mono is that you can play these peddling kind of synth riffs. So if I play a lower octave A and then I play a higher octave, and I let go of the higher octave, it retriggers the lower one. So I can do these kind of peddling-- (music playing) --synth riffs and things like that.
Then in Legato mode, what we have is the envelopes won't be retriggered when they have notes that are played right next to each other in time. So the easiest way to hear this is if I increase the attack on our AMP envelope, so you notice that the first note that I play is going to fade in, and then the following ones, it's not going to retrigger the envelope, so the attack would be immediate. So let's check that out. (music playing) So that fades in and these legato notes that follow, they don't, because the envelope isn't retriggering.
So, one of the really cool features in ES2 that we have seen in some of these other synths is Unison mode. So what Unison is going to do, especially when we are in Mono mode, is it is going to stack 10 copies, or whatever voice number we have set here, on top of the note we are playing. So the first thing it is going to do is make the sound much louder. So if I play, it's going to be pretty loud. I will make sure to set our attack back down to 0 here, okay. And then the thing that you can do with this, in addition to just making it louder, is I can detune the Unison voices with this analog parameter that's over by the oscillators.
What it's going to do is those 10 copies of that note I am playing will be detuned against the original. So let's hear that. (music playing) So it ends up being a pretty thick loud sound, and I can increase the amount of analog and it's going to increase the detuning. (music playing) So that sound is just coming from one oscillator and then all these unison voices, but it sounds kind of like what you would hear in a lot of electronic music, because a lot of electronic sounds are based on just detuned saw waveforms. The Unison mode also works in poly mode, but it works a little differently.
So instead of it having five voices for every note I am playing, it's just going to double up each voice. So there are just two voices per note, but I can play chords. And then I can set the maximum number voices here. So I can set it up to 16 voices, and then I can play chords on the keyboard. (music playing) And you can hear that with the analog parameter I get the detuning of the voices as well. So in addition to the different modes and this Unison mode that we've got here, there's also this Oscillator Start. If you think about the oscillators, they are always cycling so that the phase in the oscillator is just continuous, even when you're not playing the keyboard.
It's just not being sent to the amplifier. So what happens is sometimes when you have more than one oscillator on, so if we have got all three of these on and especially if it's got unison voices, what happens is that (music playing) sometimes it will be more or less punchy. So let's just increase the analog amount, and I will turn on Unison. (music playing) Because we are hitting this three oscillators at different cycles or different parts of the phase of their oscillations. So with this Oscillator Start, I can have it so that every time I hit a key on the keyboard, it restarts the phase of the oscillators, and so I can have it be soft, where it's going to restart the oscillators at a zero crossing. And you can hear that's still much more punchy than when this was set to free.
(music playing) And then I've got a hard where it's going to restart the phase of the oscillators but offset from the zero crossing. So it actually purposefully it makes a click or a more of a punchy attack. (music playing) So that's hard. So if you're making a percussive sound or some kind of percussive bass sound or something like that, setting this Oscillator Start to either soft or hard is a really good way to keep the sound focused. So then the other feature that's pretty cool here is this Filter Reset. So what this means is when we self- oscillate the filter, it's going to trigger the filter to ring out.
So let me sort of describe what that means. So first I am going to turn off all three oscillators, and I am going to set the Filter Blend all the way to just filter 2. And you know what? I am going to turn off our Unison, because we don't want that here. So if I crank up the resonance here, and even though I have no oscillators, I can play a note through the filter. So if I Filter Reset off, then it's not necessarily always going to trigger, because there is no signal coming through to trigger the filter's resonance. So Filter Reset will just trigger the resonating, so when I play a key, and then I just adjust the cutoff, (music playing) and it's kind of like a sine wave oscillator, so my Cutoff is adjusting the pitch.
So this is a self-oscillation. So the resonance is so high on this filter that it's just ringing out. (music playing) So it's a pretty neat parameter, and it also sounds good when I add in this filter FM. (music playing) Right, you can get a wide range of sounds. But it's not going to track pitch on the keyboard. So one thing you could do is assign keyboard tracking in your modulation router to this filter 2 cutoff, and that way you could play the pitches. Some nice people will create kick drums this way. That's a traditional use for self-oscillation. You put an envelope on this filter cutoff.
So that's all worth exploring and definitely worth checking out. One of the other really neat features in ES2 is the Randomization parameters. So you can see here there is this R&D button. We have got this slider. This is the Randomization amount. So I can set it anywhere from 1% to 100. And then I can choose, what do I want to randomize? So right now, it's set to All. So that literally will randomize everything. So I have 100% randomization. If I hit the button, notice that everything changed. So it's like my whole modulation, everything.
Now what it won't do is turn on and off the oscillators, because I still have them off from before, so I will turn them back on. But this is a good way, if you want you to just generate an entirely new sound, I can just hit random and see that everything keeps changing. But that might be a little bit much, so sometimes what you might have is a setting that you like, so I've got my StartPatch here, and I might want to randomize just certain aspects of it. So I could just randomize the filters or the waveforms, and I could randomize it by a certain percentage.
So it's a way to make variations on patches instead of just generating entire randomness. But if you want, too, you could just set it's All and hope for the best, set a high amount, and sometimes it comes up with crazy sounds that you would never think to do, because you can take a look at this modulation router and it's just all kinds of crazy stuff happening. So that's a fun way to either get new sounds or to evolve the patches that you already have. So now that we got a sense of these voicing parameters and some of the global features in ES2, let's take a look at how we can assign MIDI controls and use the Macro controls to further shape the sound.
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