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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > July 17 > Creating pulsing effects

Creating pulsing effects

Making your audio and instruments ‘pulse’ in time with your track adds a new level of sonic interest to your mix. Mark Cousins finds his pulse…

Logic Pro X MusicTech Workshop

Level Intermediate

Creating pulsing effects

The ability to turn a static sound into a pulsating rhythmic effect can add both rhythmic and chordal interest to your music. We’re going to create a range of pulsing effects using Logic Pro X’s audio plug-ins, which means it can be applied to an instrument in your mix – whether it’s something you’ve recorded, or a virtual instrument.

As you’ll see in the walkthroughs, there are a number of key plug-ins to create pulsing. The first of these is the Tremolo plug-in, in the Modulation plug-in folder. The Tremolo plug-in, of course, was primarily designed to process instruments like an electric guitar or Fender Rhodes electric piano, mimicking the Tremolo effect found on many guitar amps. In its default setting, the Tremolo plug-in modulates amplitude, with a different phase offset between the two channels (left and right), so the sound appears to wobble between the left and right-hand speakers. If we’re creating pulsing sounds, though, this movement between the two speakers is less relevant, so you’ll immediately need to turn your attention to the Phase control. With phase set to 0º, the amplitude modulation is the same across both channels, which gets us much closer to the pulsing effect we were looking for. With the two channels in phase, we now need to consider the shape of the modulation, moving away from the soft pulsing effect and onto something with a more pronounced attack, using combinations of Symmetry and Smoothing.

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