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

Comments

  • this is great help. thank you 🙂

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  • 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.

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