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Logic 9 the modulation wheel and the cutoff

Discussion in 'Logic 9' started by qrt, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. qrt

    qrt Member

    I just recorded a chord sequence with the ES2, selected the region and thought lets merge some modulation via the wheel or the hyper draw over the top.

    Then I started to think what exactly is modulation in this sense, what am I modulating, I get that its region based automation.

    Is it the cut-off? As they sound pretty similar, the modulation wheel basically automates the cut-off for that given software instrument?
  3. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    "Modulation" in MIDI means Control Change number 1 (CC1 or CC#1 or CC01, however you like it) and is used to modulate the parameter it is assigned to. From many instruments you get a kind of warbling sound like a soft tremolo, often done by a cutoff. Other instruments send the classic modulation wheel (= ModWheel = CC1) to another parameter or a couple of parameters.

    With your ModWheel you record nothing else than CC1. And it depends on the assignments what this message does to the particular software instrument.

    If you are happy with the result, just leave it as it is. If you want to control another parameter you can use the Controller Assignments to assign the ModWheel to something else. Alternatively you can process the incoming CC1 in the Logic Environment as you like.

    Btw, after you assigned your ModWheel via Controller Assignments to some parameter, CC1 does not longer reach the Environment and you record track based automation instead of region automation. You may like that or not. You can transfer the automation type from region to track based and vice versa but it may require additional work to get the desired result.
  4. qrt

    qrt Member

    Thanks for the detailed response and description.

    Just seen a list of midi CCs and can see that the modulation is CC1. On my Axiom 61 this was already set, I wouldn't change or reassign it (just yet, don't want to complicate things) as I really like it.

    "From many instruments you get a kind of warbling sound like a soft tremolo, often done by a cutoff".

    This is the part I'm not sure about, you mentioned cutoff, though where is the cutoff in this sense, the midi keyboard in conjunction with the midicc1, represents a cutoff?
  5. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    No, the cutoff is the filter that is traditionally controlled by this wheel. Or one of the filters. Over years we learned that a modwheel does a typical sound modulation where a cutoff is involved. But this is no rule.

    Synthesizers may control their LFO by the modwheel if this is more important to them then a "whouw whouw" sound. Software for orchestral music has no use for the traditional effect done by the modwheel. They use it to alter the instrument's performance. And more effects-oriented software may do completely other things with CC1, it may even depend on the sound preset you choose.

    Everytime you play a new synthesizer module you either look into the manual to learn what it does with the modwheel or you just try it because the wheel is on your keyboard and easy to operate while playing. And you can expect that it does something because the manufacturer of the synth knows that you are going to turn this wheel ;)

    There is no direct connection between the modwheel and the sound you get. You can just rely on the fact that a keyboard sends CC1 from that wheel by default.


    Btw, I just consulted Wikipedia for explanations of Modulation Wheel and Pitch Wheel. Interesting. The modwheel was invented for an early electronic instrument named Sackbut and originally a more sophisticated controller. The pitchwheel came with the Minimoog.

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