Modulation

Jack Vaughan
A free video tutorial from Jack Vaughan
Composer, Producer and Teacher | LeanMusician.com
4.6 instructor rating • 3 courses • 5,745 students

Lecture description

The extensive modulation inside of alchemy is one of the most exciting things about the instrument. Virtually every single knob and dial on this instrument can be modulated by virtually anything – in this video we go over the following:

  •  the modulation assignments panel
  • the low frequency oscillator
  • the AHDSR
  • the MSEG
  • the sequencer
  • the MOD map

Learn more from the full course

The Ultimate Guide to Logic Pro X Instrument Plugins & VSTs

Understand & master all of LPX instrument plugins and build any sound you want into your music production & sound design

12:34:26 of on-demand video • Updated September 2020

  • Understand and use every single button, dial and fader in every single Logic Pro X instrument.
  • Understand the core concepts of synthesis.
  • Edit and understand any patch that you open up in a Logic Pro X VST.
  • How to create your own sampled instruments. Build your own drum kit from scratch.
  • Build your own extensive patches within logic with ease and know immediately how to emulate the sounds you hear in commercial music.
  • Master modulation, the key to dynamic and musical sounds that sit well in your mix.
  • Create endless variations and super interesting drum grooves.
  • Resample Sounds Copyright Free (make sure you get legal advice first!)
  • Understand advanced synthesis methods like: granular synthesis, additive synthesis, granular synthesis, spectral synthesis and formant.
English [Auto] So I've brought two of our previous instruments up the ESM and the ESPY to illustrate a point about modulation which is the subject of this video. If you remember in the ESM we started out with very very simple modulation capabilities the ability to do things like envelopes on our filters and also our volume here. And then we increase the complexity ever so slightly and we got a bit more modulation by being able to use waar and vibrato inside of the s.p. Now in alchemy what we have is the ability to modulate virtually any parameter in the instrument with many different types of modulation sources. As I said in one of the previous videos this is our modulation panel sort of the middle horizontal panel in the middle here. What we have is our assignments here. We'll talk about that in a minute. And then our sources here we have a number of different sources we haven't an LIFO or multiple efford telephones. We have a envelope here come to why that's got an H in it in a minute an EMS seg sequencer and a mod map. So lots and lots of different ones. We're going to talk about the LFA and the H DSR in this video. So let me try and explain a little bit about what a assignment is. If we take something very simple like our pan here and we click on it you'll notice that this assignment panel changes if I move over to volume it changes back. Right. What we have here is a kind of setting. It's showing us the settings of whatever parameter or target that we're clicking on. And you notice I mentioned in an earlier video that whenever we see orange that means that modulation ranting is in effect there. So if we click on volume and find out what's going on we see that there is a modulation going on in our assignments panel here. We won't talk about that just yet. I'm going to go back over to Pan and I'm going to click here to turn one of these on. Currently I haven't actually assigned anything but what is now happening is we are the instrument is listening because we've set up a target to be pan here. Right. We can see that our target is Master pan. Now here is our dropdown menu which gives us our source of modulation source so this is whatever will be affecting our pan and I'm going to go over to LIFO on our settings here and choose LFA. Now you notice that says LFA one we can add multiple allophone we'll see that in a minute. So now we have our settings the LIFO. I'm going to keep this exactly as it is so that it's just the kind of default stock sine wave setting and I'm going to play and you'll you'll hear that the panning is moving from left to right if you've got headphones on. OK I'm on the rolling. Let's get back to alchemy here. You can hear that it's moving left and right if I turn it off. And I can increase the depth of that. So if we want a very subtle pan that's what's going on they say we want to know give a tiny vibrato as well let's go to find chinning we click on that knob. What that does is it brings up our modulation Simon's panel here will do the same thing we'll choose LIFO one for the moment and that turns it on automatically and we'll make sure that our depth is kind of reasonably low so that we get a kind of subtle. So now if we want to increase the depth. Watch what happens if I push this up watch the orange extend to the extent of the orange part of the modulation. This is show it is a very useful representation of which we hadn't seen in other instance of how how extreme our depth is now that white dot which moves left and right move the rate right down so it's quite a long. OK that's bad backup to coordinate. So what we've done there is we've routed the LFA one which we set up here so that it's affecting both the pan and the fine tuning. Now say we don't like say we want to keep the pan as it is I'm just going to turn this second. So say we like that frequency where that rate is kind of nice we like and that we actually want a fast of Abrazo for some reason. What we can do is instead of routing it to LFA 1 we can create a new allophone like this new LIFO. Now that number there changed. We just show you that again. So we were on LFA 1 here. Let's move it to LIFO 2 we created 1 and that changes. So we're now controlling LFA to this looks exactly the same but we're actually controlling a second LFA. So if we change this to a squarewave our modulation is going to be the modulation of the picture. Controlled by a square. You can you can hear that I find. So we've got to allophones We've got one and a phone which is a sine wave and it's affecting our pan and then we've got a square allophone and that's let's make it a different rate as well as make it a bit faster. Wassily sound but you can see the logic of it. Now I'm going to initialize the patch. Can I get a clear out here. Actually I'm going to initialises my own default or just get my normal sinewave there. Now what you notice is I've still got some modulation going on even though I've gone back to my what I think is the most simple version of alchemy and initialized patch. You still have a tiny bit of modulation going on and this is because we have to have an envelope to be able to control the volume. You notice here what we have is the h d s r. That's basically if you think of that as just for the moment a DSR will talk about what H means. If you think of that is just the normal envelope we have to have that on to be able to control the volume if we turn it off. And I play a key. Listen to what happens holding the key anymore. And the sound is still going I can't I can't stop that. I can add more notes on or just stack other notes on top of each other but they didn't stop until I turned it back on again. And that's basically because we have to have some kind of modulation is quite logical here to be able to control when the know and if we don't have it on. It's just going to keep going. That's the logic of the way that it works. Never really you never really want to get rid of the ACE DSR modulation on a source on volume. But you can stack things on it and around it keep it going keep it going the whole time you know we don't have a depth on it because it's because of the envelope setting. So that's the basics of how these routings work what are going to do now is going to dive into the settings of the LIFO and then a h d s r so to illustrate the LIFO modulation in this instrument I'm going to do our trusty thing and modulate pitch so that becomes incredibly obvious. Ken it's not necessarily always a musical setting but it gives you a very clear idea about how things work. So to set up our modulation routing or our assignment what I do is I make sure that I've clicked on the parameter that I want to modulate. Here it's on our call on our fine tuning and our modulation assignments window is is set to that we can see Master Chuen fine is our target. And then we turn on allophone one and that's what we're working on at the moment. You can have quite a lot of LFA at this instrument but for the moment we're just going to stick with one. So our debt for automatically is all the way up to the top. You can turn it all the way down so that you effectively turn off the modulation here. Let me just reset that to zero. You can also turn it into the negative which basically turns the turns it backwards. So if I play a note you'll hear that that's now active. And if we want less of an obvious supple thing we basically change the range here. Now what we could do is say we want a small range but we don't want it to start where we want it to be up here. You notice now that we're going to be modulating around this pot or if we want too much around but only where ever my settings are this would be quite useful say if we are modulating the resonance or the cutoff point of a filter but we only wanted it to modulate around a certain area of the frequency. So let's actually look at that now we're going to do this I'm going to turn this off here and I'm going to go over to my cutoff and make sure that my settings are right here. That's all good that's working. So because I selected this we'll now we've now got our target selected in the modulation assignments window filter 1 cutoff. And we know that this is working because of our filter settings earlier we're currently listening to filter 1. Make sure that it's not unfilter to that because you'd just be listening to filter too. So we're on we're on the right settings. Let's try and do that but let's try and modulate just in a small range rather than doing a huge filter sweep like this lets try and modulate within LFA just in a small range. I'll show you how you do that so you get just a little. Just a little sound that maybe even we can pull in a bit of wah. Let's try and do that with a modulation. So what I do is I've selected this whale. This means that we've got this here. We select LFA one and we've got the race set up. So you see now however we've got a huge modulation range. So you'll see that the White Dot when it illustrates how far it's modulating will be going around the whole of this orange part of the circle. Right. And let's say we think that's too why we don't want that much we just want a little subtlety. We just pull the depth down and you watch the orange part of that circle move to a smaller range and now we're going to modulate just around that part of the frequency spectrum. We really suffer much elation this guy on we can change the rate and stuff like that. So that's how that works in terms of the depth and also the way you are on the actual value of the dial. Let's talk now let's go back to the Chuen settings here and let's go and turn that back on again and let's talk about all the settings that we have on in here. So file is where you can actually save and load presets. Let's try one of the useless try ramped down a bit. Yes. See what that does so that creates basically a different shape here and a different lotas settings so your sync settings as well as turn it on again. And then OK and then we change another one. Let's try and pop over to the of this trying out the OK. So these sound ridiculous with tuning and of course changing but obviously it's going to make really interesting different shapes and textures with your routings on things like your filters and other parameters. So this is these are the presets that you have in here and you can actually save your own. So if we say that we want the settings here OK. So let's say we like those settings. Not obviously the sound but the actual settings of them. What we can do is you can save it and then we get in this pop up menu here which is basically in our order and music apps which is where everything works in them in terms of logic. We've spoken about this before. So this is our allophone settings within our company and we could call this and then we've got that. So let's recall the default patch and then let's say Oh yeah I know that I want to use that one. I've used quite a lot. And then you have it right there for telephone with delay and you can assign it to chinning and you have it obviously with you or your settings. You need to change your way from to make it sound exactly the same as what we had a second ago. But that's how you save your LIFO settings. Now as you saw just then what we have is a number of different waveforms for our low frequency oscillators. We have a kind of basic stuff that you've seen announcements before but you have some really really interesting sounds that we're going to do. It's going to change the sound here to be squarewave and I'm going to clear. So we're back to our normal settings. I'm going to show you some of the other stuff. So listen to this one. So there's a lot of different ones in here and these can create some really really good effects. Obviously when we're not on tuning again guys this all sounds a bit weird I know. So trigger relates to whether your controlling all of the notes separately with separate allophone. So we can make this really obvious here if we go back to basic sine wave and we make the rate really really slow. Only 10 of sync and moving at different times whereas if we put trigger off it means that they'll move at the same time regardless of when you press the node which is slightly more musical when you're playing chords the controls to the right here basically control a number of things to do with the flow and how it behaves. So the first one here is delay and this is where we can delay the effect of the of the Alpha coming in a bit later. So here it's going to come in off two seconds. That's the way that that works there. Or we can blend in and this is where attack is. So if you imagine the attack of an envelope instead of delaying now it will take two seconds to blend in so you'll start to slowly hear the effect of it. Take even longer. So that's a bit more obvious. And then you finally have the full effect of it off a seven point six seconds. You can also if you rerun the rewind the video see the effect of it on that if you didn't look at it already. So phase is where it begins in the cycle if you listen to the sort of effect of this at the moment. It starts at the bottom and goes up. Each time I play. And that's because we're on this one. This is the thing. But I can change that if I put up to 50 percent to start the other way. So depending on the waveform that you have in here you can change the face of it and make it started at a different point. If you want. And then as I said the rate setting you have here and you can have this as a sinked weight rate setting where you have actual musical values where you can just have hurts which is which is the standard setting for allophones that you've seen so far also so far you've been used to looking at what's called a bipolar LFA which basically goes above and below the central line here. Now if I turn this off here by unchecking the blue bipolar button. Watch what happens to the orange part of this modulation it Harv's. And we only get the top half with choosing in effect that basically means that we're only going up woods in shooting from the central point whereas if we put it back it's going to go up and down below the central core. So this can be quite useful depending on your settings. Just know that that's there. So that is the LIFO settings. Let's go on to the h d s r and explain what that is now. So as I mentioned before the ABs are in this instrument is automatically on pretty much every patch. Got one routeing which is the master volume to have the normal envelope and if you turn this off it really messes things up. So just leave this on for the moment. You can add many many other on the lips to different settings within the instrument but you want to keep that last modulation on there so that it works properly. So currently we have our attack set at 0.1 seconds. We move this out we can see it moving visually above. We have our decay set here. We can make this much shorter. So it's only a few seconds we can bring down the level of our sustain and then we can also bring out the release point or make it even shorter. So this you know by now the effects of this and you can play around with this but you can actually control these by moving them on here which is really really useful. Now what I did there is I pulled on this point and suddenly a new one has appeared. Right. And this is where the H comes in. So we have another thing between attack and decay we have a hold setting. So that allows us to hold the sound before we enter the decay phase. So if we have a decay phase that goes down here instead of instead of immediately from the attack going into the decay phase we can have it's almost like a secondary sustain phase. This is probably a bit long we need to make this a bit longer here and it's kebby we're in our sustained phase so it's almost like we had a a high a longer hold point of fall. We go into a sustained phase which is actually here and then when I let go if I create a really long release that's what I love about this it is when you can actually play this isn't real trigger from the sky each time you can actually after you've played a note change the settings. So now we have a really long release whereas when I started playing that night we had a really short release. It's quite useful. So this is the H DSR and that's how it works in here. It's actually a lot more logical to have a hate involved in the process rather than just that ADSI. I like it a lot. And as with the LFA what you can do is you can add presets. Right. So reverse along or pluck less pluck is really. I love this this is so useful to have these presets and right or you can have something like cint bass. OK so this doesn't sound like a the place obviously but it's the on the life of the instrument Diem's the synth the bass on the slide. So we have the same idea of triggers. Right. And we can also sync this to the beat clock. Now this is really interesting we can have an envelope and you'll see also when we get to mpeg sequence or not map that we can sing these as well. We can have an envelope that sinked to the beat clock which is really really useful. So instead of having time here what we have is musical values for the ones that you can change the time. So now we have an attack of 116. So you can dive in and get really really detailed about how you want your instrument sound so if you're playing very very quantized the music where everything is is not necessarily really free it's really defined and to the to the grid you might want to play around with the settings quite useful to as with the LFA. We have multiple ones so we can assign many many different ones. So let's assign new A H DSR to perhaps filter. A classic example. I'm going to reset this to the default and I'm going to go over to my filter here and now we have a modulation assignment. Ready to go here tenis on. And I'm going to put it to a h DSR and light but I don't want this one because I want to change the settings a bit. So a New Age Dessau. Now currently it looks like nothing's happening and that's because we are cut off to the maximum settings here. What we want is probably to pull it down a bit. And let's increase our attack. OK so we got two HD SRI's going. I mean what the global one which is the global volume which means that we're hearing the sounds straightaway. We go back to our ULB modulation for the CSR which is on the global volume we're hearing the sound straightaway but the filter is being modulated by the second NHTSA to come in a bit later. We make this even longer. So it's like five seconds we hear how sound straight away. But then over the course of the envelope. Opening up the the low pass filter over here. So that's the way that the D s works and you can add many of these. The actual limit to how many of these modulations you can put into the assignments window is 11 I believe. Let me just show you now. So I've made this patch. It's not a musical patch but you can see here that what we've got is 11 allophones on one thing here. So we've got all of them. That's the limit here so we can cycle through 11 of them which is more than enough and I think it's pretty sure it's the same for the envelopes. And then also the M7 sequences as well. So a huge amount of variation in our modulation settings that we can do. Now the other thing that's really cool because when you start using this for the first time and especially if you're trying to understand complex patches that you haven't created what's really really useful is you can show the target. So let me show you what I mean. So let's say we assign the tuning I'm just going to do this arbitrarily also to the second envelope and let's also sign the pan to the second envelope. And let's also understand this completely randomly here and then the volume of oscillator the two as well. So we've got a number of things now being modulated by a yes or two. And if I now click on Show target I'll show us all the different things that are being modulated by HTL. Right. And if we have a lot active as well let's have one of these affecting drive again guys. Really random musical examples here. Now when we click Show target we can see all of the different targets that we've got in our modulation settings here. So it's saying that the HD S.R. one is modulating the most volume and then we've got all of the settings for HD S.R. two on volume. The pan see tinkles be built one cut off and save the LFA. So that's a really useful setting if you open up sync and you're like what the hell is going on here. There's so much modulation I don't understand it. Just click on Show target and you'll understand it. OK cool. So that's an overview of the modulation section and also the LIFO and H the s are parts and next video we're going to go over the namesakes sequencer and maade map and how those work.