Week 151: Super-Long LFO Waveforms
Sometimes I think the drawing tool for automated LFO waveforms is underappreciated, but it does have a significant limitation—it can’t draw “frequencies” slower than 1 measure automatically. Fortunately there’s a simple, albeit manual, way to create automation curves with as long a period as you want. To show how, let’s draw a panning sine wave LFO automation waveform (triangle and sawtooth waves are easy, so we'll do something challenging) with a frequency of 4 measures. 1.
Add a node at measures 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, and arrange as shown. The nodes at 1 and 5 should be at one extreme of the excursion, and the node at 3 for the other extreme (in this case, the panning excursion extends between 80% left and 45% right). If all you wanted was a triangle wave LFO you could skip to step 4, but let’s continue with the sine wave. 2.
Right-click on the line between nodes 2 and 3 and select Fast Curve. Do the same for the line between nodes 4 and 5. Next, right-click on the line between nodes 1 and 2 and select Slow Curve. Do the same for the line between nodes 3 and 4. 3
. Select the automation curve you created, copy it, and place the Now time at measure 5. 4.
Call up Paste Special, and in Advanced mode, specify paste Track/Bus automation, and choose the number of cycles you want under Repetitions. 5.
Once you click on OK, you’ll create your super-low-frequency LFO waveform.
But wait! There's more!
You can create any arbitrary waveform that makes you happy, and repeat it as many times as you want. And of course, it doesn't have to fall on measure boundaries, either.