Perfect Pitch

For pitch-based ‘laser’ sweeps we switch off the noise source and engage the synth’s conventional oscillators. Let’s start with a sine wave. We’ll use Logic’s ES-2 plugin to show how the same principles apply in a different subtractive synth.

Pic 6a

This time, we’re going to disable the filter and use the second envelope to control pitch – this is usually done in a synth’s modulation section.

Pic 7a

Using a slow attack we get a rising pitch sweep:

Things get a little more interesting when we throw in an LFO. This is also going to modulate the pitch, but this time to provide an extreme vibrato effect:

Pic 8a

We can also modulate the LFO rate so that the vibrato gets faster as the pitch gets higher. This is where a comprehensive modulation section can really come in handy.

Pic 9a

Changing the original oscillator waveform can also have a significant effect:

There’s also nothing stopping you combining these ideas across multiple oscillators and a whole series of modulation routings within one synth patch. Here’s how it sounds with a noise sweep combined with two oscillator sweeps:

Author Bruce Aisher
8th November, 2013


  • this is great help. thank you 🙂

  • Thanks for doing this. I feel like it is a given that most amateur electronic musicians just buy/download their FX from a store. Making your own FX can really put a personal stamp on your music, giving you the opportunity to incorporate something from your song into the typical sweeping/pitching effect, and its just plain fun to make.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You currently have an ad blocker installed

Attack Magazine is funded by advertising revenue. To help support our original content, please consider whitelisting Attack in your ad blocker software.

Find out how