In the final part of this tutorial we'll look at how to simulate a 'Stutter' effect on the fly using only Logic Pros native plugins. This technique is a combination of the methods used in parts 1 & 2. We'll essentially be triggering the effect using chunks of automation embedded into regions and triggered via a key using Touch Tracks.
Also available in this series:
- How to Create a Live Performance Rig in Logic Pro – Part 1
- How to Create a Live Performance Rig in Logic Pro – Part 2
- How to Create a Live Performance Rig in Logic Pro – Part 3
- Setting Up The Stutter Track
- Using Control Data To Trigger Sends
- Assign The Effect To Touch Tracks
- Muting The Output
- Applying The Stutter Effect
- Adding Another Stutter Effect
- Finishing Up
So here's the plan, trigger a 'Stutter' effect using Delay Designer on the fly! We'll be doing this by sending a small snippet of audio through an aux send to the effect whilst simultaneously muting the output of the EXS24 so all we get is the stutter effect.
All of this will be done using a region assigned to our Touch Tracks objects. The region will contain some predefined and easily copyable automation using some MIDI Controller data.
Whilst I won't go into written detail about the Delay Designer patches the videos will show you how to experiment with your own effects. Let's get going!!!
Setting Up The Stutter Effect
So here's where we left off last time. All of our main output effects are working so let's set up the things we'll need for our stutter effect.
First off let's name our two auxiliary channels that we set up in part one. These are being fed by the two aux sends on our EXS24 channel strip. Name 'Bus 1' to 'Output Bus' and 'Bus 2' to 'Stutter FX'.
Create a new 'Instrument' (You should know how to do this by now! :)) in the Environment and name it 'Stutter'.
In the Arrange page create a new 'External MIDI Track' and assign it to the new object.
In the Environment disable the Output of of the EXS24 by choosing 'No Output'. 'Option' click the send to 'Bus 1' to set it to 0db. You can also select 'Post Pan' by holding 'Bus 1' to give you a Stereo send.
We're now essentially routing the EXS24 through Bus 1 via the send.
Using Control Data To Trigger Sends
Create a region on the Stutter track and mute it. We do this as we're going to trigger it via Touch Tracks and the part has to be muted for this to work (See Part 1).
Open up the region in by double clicking it. In the View menu choose Hyper Draw -> Sustain Pedal.
Draw in some data for Sustain Pedal (CC#64) a 16th note long. The great thing about this controller number is it's either on or off. This little piece of MIDI is going to drive our effect. It's going to be assigned to the send that feeds the 'Stutter FX' bus. What it will do is throw the effect input a 16th note worth of audio which Delay Designer will repeat. Because Delay Designer is a 'Tap' delay the repeats are not feedback driven, each delay 'Tap' is unique. The end result will be that of chopped and repeated audio clips, or 'Stutters'.
The great thing about Delay Designer is it gives you the option to build rhythmic delays of any timing value or pattern you choose.
Now we need to convert our CC#64 (Sustain Pedal) into a message to drive the Bus 2 send. Create a Transformer and name it 'Stutter Bus Send'. Wire a cable from the 'Stutter' instrument object to the new Transformer and out into the 'Sonifi Loops' channel strip (EXS24).
Create a new Monitor and wire a cable into it from the 'Sonifi Loops' channel strip. Click the Bus 2 send. You should see a message appear. This is the Fader message for Bus 2 'send level'.
Open the 'Stutter Bus Send' Transformer and enter the following values. After Part 2 you should have a pretty firm grasp of how this works. We're saying, anything that's CC#64 should be transformed into a Fader message that targets the channel strip ('1' is the channel strip) and also targets parameter '29' (the send level) and limit the value at 90 (that's MIDI for 0db in level speak).
Assign The Effect To Touch Tracks
So let's see if this works. We now need to assign the region to our Touch Tracks object. The reason we're doing this is because we can beat sync the region using Touch Tracks and also use it to trigger the effect by pressing a key on the keyboard. Open the Environment from the Arrange page (Command+8) and double click the Touch Tracks object. Close the Environment window so you can see the region if you need to. Name the region 'Stutter 1' and drag it onto C#3 on the Touch Tracks.
Make the Trigger mode 'Single' and the sync value 'Next 1/1'.
With the Touch Tracks armed hit play and press C#3. Make sure you have the Mixer window open (X) so you can see the sends.
So hopefully that's all working for you! Now you won't actually hear anything yet as we're just setting up. As long as you can see a quick blip on 'Bus 2' send that's good.
Muting The Output
The next step is to mute the output of the EXS24 while the effect is going. We need the Tap Delays to be 100% wet in the mix so let's mute the EXS24 by automating the send level to the 'Output Bus' to 0%. We can do this with a simple bit of MIDI CC data in our 'Stutter 1' region.
In the Piano Roll choose Hyper Draw -> Other. This let's you see all of the available Controller numbers available to you in the MIDI spec.
Choose CC#12. I've not chosen this number for any particular reason (you could choose anything you like) other than I like the number 12! As we're not hooked up to any MIDI gear and we're converting it anyway, who cares! There are 128 MIDI CC numbers (in the real world some of these would be mapped to predefined synth parameters and utilities). This means hypothetically you could control 128 logic parameters from one region (or note) using this technique! Phew!
Draw in some points like I have here. Here's what this is going to do. To start with the level will be at 0db, after a 16th note (when our first Tap kicks in) the send level will fall to 0% while the effect plays and returns to 0db at the end of the bar when the effect stops.
So let's convert this into a meaningful Fader message. Click the send for 'Bus 1' to show it's parameter number in the monitor. Create a new Transformer and name it 'Output Bus Level'. Wire it up like you did 'Stutter Bus Send'.
Open the Transformer. Set it up like so. What this is doing is transforming CC#12 to target the send level for 'Bus 1' which will effect 'Output Bus Level'.
Test it out using the Touch Tracks like you did earlier.
Applying The Stutter Effect
So let's finally add the effect!!! We're going to need to toggle our Delay Designer on and off as needed. Let's set it up. In the Piano Roll choose Hyper Draw -> Other again and choose CC#13.
This will turn our effect on and off. A value of 127 is on, a value of 0 is off. Lengthen the region by a beat and draw these points in.
Load up a Delay Designer into the 'Stutter FX' channel.
Choose the preset 01 Simple -> 1/16 Simple Pan.
Create two new Transformers. Name the first 'Stutter 1 On' and the second 'Stutter 1 Off'. Cable from the 'Stutter' instrument into 'Stutter 1 On' and then into 'Stutter 1 Off' finally wire that into the 'Stutter FX' channel.
Create a new monitor and wire the 'Stutter FX' channel into it. If you bypass the Delay Designer and then un-bypass it you should see the message [F 1 56 0]. This is the message that activates the plugin.
Set up the Transformer 'Stutter 1 On' to transform CC#13 at a value of 127 into the desired Fader message like so. In this case setting the MIDI channel in the 'Conditions' box is important as you'll see in a bit.
Set up the Transformer 'Stutter 1 Off' to transform CC#13 at a value of 0 into the desired Fader message to bypass the effect, which is [F 1 56 1]. Again make sure you have the MIDI channel in the 'Conditions' box set to 1.
Now test out the effect using C#3 on the Touch Tracks. This time trigger some samples first then the effect. You should hear something quite different!
Adding Another Stutter Effect
You can add up to 16 stutter effects to your bus. Each instance of a Delay Designer can be triggered from a different key! To add another effect copy ('Option' drag) 'Stutter 1 On' and 'Stutter 1 Off'.
Rename them 'Stutter 2 On' and 'Stutter 2 Off'. The output cable will remain intact, just drag a cable into 'Stutter 1 On' from the 'Stutter' instrument object.
Load a second Delay Designer into the 'Stutter FX' Channel. Load up a different preset.
In the new 'Stutter 2 On' transformer change the MIDI channel in the Conditions to '2' and the value in 'Operations' Data Byte 1 to 57 to target FX slot 2.
Make exactly the same changes to 'Stutter 2 Off'.
Important!!! Change the MIDI channel for the 'Stutter' instrument that everything is coming from to 'All'!
Copy the 'Stutter 1' region and name it 'Stutter 2'.
With the region selected open the Event List. In the list highlight the first piece of CC#13 data (which controls the FX On and Off).
In the Edit menu choose 'Select Similar Events'.
This will select all controller data with the number 13. In the 'Ch' column drag up till you get MIDI channel '2'. This was the number we set in our copied Transformers just a second ago. We can use the same data (CC#13) but transmit it over a different MIDI channel to target a different effect.
Drag the 'Stutter 2' region onto D#3 in the Touch Tracks object.
Assign it the same values as 'Stutter 1'.
You now have two different 'Stutter' effects on two different keys. Watch the last video for more info setting up your own Delay Designer presets. Create a 3rd 'Stutter' instance by repeating the steps above. You can have up to 16 (Max # of MIDI channels) if you like!
So we're all done with this now! Your finished product should look like this!
You can hide the 'Sonifi Loops' and 'Stutter' track if you like.
Just make sure that both the Remix Regions and FX Trigger tracks are armed on playback so any incoming MIDI is sent to both objects!
So that was a monster!!! What you should have is a setup that allows you to Beat sync samples, have live triggered Master FX that can be manipuluted with hardware controllers and a beat synced 'Stutter' effect which is fully programmable using Delay Designer!
And all of this is done via a MIDI keyboard and can be improvised live and even recorded and tweaked later!! Phew!!
The whole point of this was to see if I could mimic an iPhone app called 'Sonifi' using only Logics built in tools. And we got there!! Don't forget you can use any third party plugins and instruments you have to achieve even better results! Now you know how to use the Transformer to your advantage the sky is the limit!
This has been a truly epic tutorial to write. I hope you got something out of it! :)