Enraptured 2 [The Pre-Release LFO Edition]
OK, we're going to put that same .jpg up again. Why? Because it's all I've got!
No PowerMac, no manual, no Rapture; nothing but this pic that I'm starting to get real
sick of. And that's because I can't tweak it!
Sorry. I'm better now. Let's think about this LFO thing again. I'm really going out on a limb this time around.
Alright, let's get our heads around this LFO section. First off, that number 1.
be an indicator for the Sync setting below. Nah. And because it's a sine wave, it could
also be the designated number of the preset LFO choice. Sine's the first one in Dimension, (or is it the last one? Triangle being first ...?). Man, who cares? What I really
think the 'one' stands for the new One-Shot
It simply means that now in Rapture, your LFO can be Off
, cycle & loop back (as normal) with the On
status, or play through only once. It doesn't sound like anything usable
at first glance, does it? Au contraire
. You can sync it to tempo, and it becomes a triggerable envelope generator of sorts. Set up a Delay time of a second or so, and sweep in late with an amplitude 'envelope'. Or set a Fade time, and imprint a linear fade in over the top of that same One-Shot LFO shape.
So, why would you use this, when you have perfectly good EGs and StepGens that'll do the same thing? Options, my friends. Some of which are unique to LFOs. Some things are just going to be easier to accomplish this way, and you still have the other three sections of the Modulators to use. Maybe an overall set of filter envelopes, a StepGen triggered from your KB, and a One-Shot coming in late to the party with sustained (held) notes. This is crazy
good. Of course, you don't have
to use everything, but it's there if you need it.
Let's talk about the advantages of using the new Rapture LFO approach. Hey, you already got 20 or so LFO shapes in Dimension, and it's tough to find something that isn't close to what you'd want as a One-Shot 'EG'. Linear, jagged, smooth curves, combinations: there a lot in there. But while you can slow down the sync, say to one cycle to 4 measures, it'll still repeat after that. With a Rapture one-shot, you can sync it to an eighth, let 'er fire, and still sustain through with some held chords without
the LFO doing its magic.
OK, so the 'attack' of the LFO shape isn't where you want it. Hold Shift, click on the graphical LFO shape, and drag it where you want it. By changing the Phase of a one-shot LFO, you're in effect reshaping an envelope is a very rapid manner. Scroll through the selections with your mouse wheel, click+Shift and reshape to taste. Boom! You're done. For example: you want a quick linear drop from a maximum to a minimum (negative maximum) value. Triangle waveshape, drag the leading edge to the left, and set the Freq to .25 Hz.
But there's something else. LFO's by nature go above and below the zero line. So they're going to easily swing in a positive and negative direction at a set Depth of 'effect'. This is something to keep in mind when you just can't get the StepGens/EGs to act the way you want. If you want something to vary around
a particular pitch or base parameter, LFO is the way to go. And the fine-tuning shortcuts allow you to get as precise as you'd ever want to, or flick a switch and click in your sync.
So imagine a scenario where one of the preset LFO shapes doesn't fit what you envision your LFO to look like. Just draw one. Yes, LFO fans, you can now bring in and store over 80 user-definable [UD-LFO
] waveforms, and stockpile up all of the custom effects that you want. See if that
doesn't separate you from the crowd in terms of sound production. Take any old audio editor, and you've got an application that'll customize your LFOs into anything that you can dream up. Grab a noise sample. Splice it to the front of a square wave. Increase the square wave's frequency towards the end. You've just made yourself one crazy LFO shape that will changes speeds within itself. And yet, the LFO cycle as a whole will still sync' to tempo when it's brought into Rapture.
So, how is this possible? Rene mentioned to me that ANY
.wav file can be loaded into Rapture's user-definable LFO, and the application will interpolate that down to 4096 steps (samples). I'm inclined to believe him, because, well ... he's Rene. But I'm going to take that tidbit and run with it. So, what's to stop me from taking a clip of a drum loop, loading it as an LFO, and imparting the characteristics of that loop into the LFO? So, now your filter cutoffs could be sync'ed to the rhythms of your background drums. Take a measure of drums, set the LFO Sync to 4 beats, and it sounds like it grew
there. Or some nutty rapid drum break suddenly sends your Rapture patch into a panning tailspin. Don't get me wrong, folks: this is audio interpolated into a control source. But the similarities will remain.
This is nuts
. Take it further to side-chaining applications for gating your rhythm section together, or simply just having the ability to draw in whatever shape you want with Sound Forge (or even free Audacity) and a cheapo Wacom tablet. That alone is worth the price of admission. Not only do you have the ultimate in control, but it's fast, too. Just start cutting and pasting together any
kind of samples, load it as a UD-LFO
, and see what pops up. You want to talk about 'happy accidents'?
Whew! This is running long. Just enough time left for a few practical examples:
Draw in the LFO shape of your choosing, and load it. Call it up in Rapture in a Pitch Modulator, and fine-tune the settings. Copy the LFO, and drop it into the other 5 Elements. As you do, Shift the Phase of each one slightly forward in time, and set the Shot and/or Delay mode. Result: each 'envelope' of the LFO with be staggered in rapid-fire fashion, and you'll get a cluster of pitch shifts. But only once
at the start of your Note-On. Combine this with the Ring Mod capability, and you'll be able to create the sharpest & most complex attacks that you've ever heard.
Load a shape in Cutoff 1, Copy it, and Paste it in Filter 2. Two different filter types. Drag the Phase of Filter 2's LFO out 180 degrees. Then load the same in the Pan/Amp LFOs. Instant automatic crossfades between filters. See the Rapture Signal Flow - Part 2
tutorial for how many different variations you can get from just changing up chaining combinations.
Load another Pitch LFO, and stagger them across Elements by a quarter note. Simulated portamento that's presented in a the manner of a musical round.
Use an audio editor's toolset to create any type of waveshape that comes to mind. Got a cool one? Copy it, Paste after the original, and Reverse it. Now it's symmetrical. Scale it with Volume and Normalize processes. Repeat the waveform by adding a plugin echo to your app, and let it slowly decrease in level with each repetition. Impress the shape of a convolution reverb over your waveshape, and mimic that. Edit your LFO with a pencil tool. And it's all so easy to do.
Man, somebody stop me, before I hurt myself. As this is (once again) part-fact and part-speculation, let me end with the usual disclaimer. But it's very safe to assert the the new LFO structure in Rapture offers a lot more than meets the eye. Especially while you're still just staring at a .jpg, like I am. Well, at least I'm pining away while I'm in the Keys, with a lawn chair, good sun, and a Pina Colada. [sigh!
No warranties. Expressed or implied