Modifiers: Envelopes and Pitch


Axe-Fx Master Class


Lesson Info

Modifiers: Envelopes and Pitch

The next modifier that I want to talk about is the envelope and basically if we can hop on to this in a second hop onto this front panel because the ex editor will not actually reflect this I'm gonna create on envelope controlled auto uaw basically an envelope filter through a ah wa pedal type foundation but let's talk about what exactly the envelope is so I'm gonna attach the envelope to this law and um basically if we go on to the front panel here uh go into the control scroll over to the envelope here you see this meter and hopefully have a shot of this looks but this meter here and as I play you see that it's actively showing how hard I'm playing so and we're gonna be able to adjust the threshold of that so how high it's coming and where it's actually beginning to create the amount of modifiable values the attack how quickly it starts to modify values the release how soon it forgets the modify values on then the gain which is basically taking the entire level of the thing up and do...

wn depending on how much you actually wanted to be working so the strength of it when it actually does kick in so I'm gonna go into the controller page here and without the law I've just got this kind of fun he setting that I dialed up so just play like you know seventies music or music so go in on a five on bypass rather than law go into the envelope here and again, we've got threshold attack, release and game, so I'm going tio go in and waken just kind of and again a cz you may be at home, we should stay on the editor camera, but you can watch this envelope meter on your expects while you hopefully or dialing along with me and see what these changes are doing. So I'm gonna dollar threshold all the way down. Basically, what that means is that the very quiet a sound is going to take off this this emblem filter so on anything that's louder than minus hundred tv, so I'm to bring the attack up the type twenty so basically, what that's meaning is that it's going to start doing stuff twenty milliseconds after it gets an impulse into it right on then after it stops getting an impulse into it, I wanted to release about eleven milliseconds later on. As far as the game goes let's actually just looking, I'm actually going to gain up a little bit there, you can see what the game is done has made it so that it more aggressively opens up so the wise going all the way up to the top, faster, so if we gain all the way up wass wide open even more, playing quiet, which defeats the entire purpose and it's down to load one, but I have to play even playing my hardest. I can't get it open all the way up, so if we look at the actual law control, even if I'm playing, it will only get up to, like, sixty percent. So we want to go into that envelope modifier controller and just gain up a bit so that when I play my hardest it's opening all the way up, wait, that kind of stuff, what does that sound like? Right? It sounds like you got three goes on, you can't play scott, right? It sounds something like that. Uh, so basically, what we've done here is taken a law and a set of attaching it to a pedal, which is standard. We've attached it to this envelope control, so if we go the slide real quick, the two things we've been talking about now enveloping pitch are playing dependent controllers, so they're dependent on what you're playing, not on what you're doing outside of your plane. So, for example, the envelope basically is asking the question at the input of its of its, you know, sensor how hard you play. Uh if you're playing hard I'm going to do this and if you're playing soft having to do this and everything in between on pitch which we'll get to in a minute is going to ask how high are you playing it's going to detect the pitch and adjust according to that um so we're going tio check out one other way this is obviously what we've done here is created and blow filter with law which is basically more of an auto law but let's bypass that law and do kind of a more classic and low filter using fittingly enough a filter so for this we want to set the type to peking and it's actually kind of fun to experiment with the other ones once we have the settings and we'll do that a second um we're gonna set the type to peking and I am going to go ahead and gain up pretty much all the way somewhere around nine er and you could hear it just put this big spike in the sound um you know it's basically just popping up somewhere between two hundred to two and two k but what I want to dio is of course modify uh this filter with the envelope what am I going to be modifying twenty modifying the frequency so if I hit a chord eyes here that's sweeping that almost eight dbs of gain across the frequency spectrum so I'm gonna go ahead and again envelope modify this. I said in the little modify, there we go. All right, so twenty hertz is really low. I don't actually want it to go that low at any point, I'm gonna bump that up a little bit, but okay, this amount of game, even all the way up, things really doing what I want to do. So what I'm going to do is increase from the second order to the fourth order and then bring the game back down to basically is just going to spike way harder and that's more of a classic and blow filter. It sounds muchmore, well, filtered is his honestly, the word for it. The wah pedal has a much more natural sound to me is a much more unnatural sound. I mean, that not the way that it's bad, but that is a much more pronounced effect, it's much more of an effect that is dialed in you can hear we're kind of getting like these kind of sounds like that could be desirable or not we can do is that we could go in here, increase the damping a little bit, so it'll kind of lack a little bit more thiss big, broad sweep, so that might be one thing you want, tio, I'm going to take it back? Well, not always, but where was it was a ten so again, you can adjust these parameters and you can go in here and go crazy with this curve on really mess around with what's happening, I'm going to bring this up a little bit, but I actually don't want it going all the way down and getting that and a beating a woman. All right, so there we go that's a much more classic sounding in vallo filter and all that you can hear the difference between the two that sounds like I'm rocking a lot foetal on this sounds much more like an envelope filter, all right? So let's get into some kind of completely different envelope work with that with the filter we're talking about, kind of an aggressive sound. Um, a snappy sound, a very pronounced effect here. What we're going to talk about on I've done a little play on word envelope enveloped, uh, matt, that was for you, uh, and the next one, all the little word plays or from ap the cone of fractal uh, so with this, what I'm going to do is create a super ambien patch and my whole philosophy about modifiers and I think, most people's philosophy, honestly, I don't think I have anything unique about this, but basically the, uh let me see how I want to see this ok? The modifiers they're doing something that in the real world you would not be able to do while playing you might have somebody else doing it uh you might be able to do it with a pedal but you have to work hard. We're gonna have this do stuff for us automatically on that's the whole the whole idea behind these so what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna add my favorite effect in the expects all time faith the multi delay I'm gonna actually had two of these because you can never get enough multi delay all right and mute in not one we're gonna bypass that for a minute so we've got is this sound thie quad tap delay multiple eh? I'm going to go to the plex de tune um I'm going up this time a little bit basically with plexi tune is thiss really nice and mia wash I'm actually gonna turn that mix up beautiful okay, so I could put a volume pedal at the front of this uh or I could ramp my volume knob up, get this kind of self okay uh but why would I do that and have to mess my volume not little time when I could just put a volume block here and attach an envelope modifier to the volume so that when I play it ramps volume up for me. Okay, so the way that envelope is set right now, it's not catching theater back is not slow enough. So it's catching on these allow my pig noise so it's basically doing nothing so we're gonna have to adjust the envelope itself. I'm also going to adjust the taper of this so long. Thirty don't worry about that. You khun that's what that is adjusting the aggression of the valiant paper but I'm actually gonna go in here and add another delay make it super sexy we gotta plex shift um and I'm going tio slow down these values pretty significantly so we're going to go forth eighth on actually believe those dotted aid all right, so I'm gonna do an octave up so twelve semi tones on active down so minus told me time and an entire active up so now we've got this but that sounds a little, uh, little cheesy to me. So what? I'm going to dio first get rid of all of my playing sound so all of the dry sound that sounds like I just leveled up in legend of zelda uh uh, I'm gonna lower this level toe like twenty three so that that shimmer is much less pronounced, and again I hear my volume that's a really, really nice sound. I'm pretty happy with that. I'm actually gonna bring this level up. I'm gonna actually turn this drive down a little bit on bring that more just a little cleaner sound. I'm kind of blowing through these things because these are little adjustments don't really matter but doing it so it sounds better. Okay, so as of now, I'm doing that with my volume knob. Let's adjust this envelope so that it really captures what we want. So excuse me, um I'm in and put this threshold probably a little bit higher around thirty three. We'll see how that sounds so there you see what the threshold little higher it's not catching as much of my pick part of the pig noise come through. So the problem is that this attack is really quick. So the second here's something or the literally the millisecond here, something one millisecond after the envelope filter hears me play the envelope modified or whether it's going to open up. So what I want to d'oh is bump this way up too well, what's gonna say almost a second let's say like nine hundred mil. And see how that sounds so now I am not using my volume knob I'm just playing the court way right and the release I want where it is because I wanted to kind of let go the second stop playing we're going to gain this up quite a bit and remember the game is just kind of adjusting how quickly it gets to the top what signal it hears as what should be all the way open on how quickly it's going to let you do that so thank god this threshold set so that when I play individual picked notes pretty hard I can actually flipping the expects a little bit so we're going to turn this down but as of now this is a really, really nice envelope controlled and the impact so I can play these big flowing wares eliminated the need to mess my volume knob or a pedal and you've got a really, really smooth ramp up through this and blow filter as you see if we just play way, see how the envelopes working its opening very slowly and then it's quickly shutting down so all right way could do the same kind of thing save that um do the same kind of thing with amplifier gay and so here you got this really intense modern and it's really low it like one point nine if we crank this baby all the way up super aggressive metal amp. So what I'm going to do is bring this back down, let's throw an envelope controller on the amplifier game, so I'm gonna modify the input game, and what I want is to have the minimum be about where it is now. One point three pretty low on have the maximum all the way up. And the problem there is that when we turn this gain all the way up, um, it's going to get really, really flooding, so when we play quiet along pretty well, that sounds nice, but we get up to the top really hard, a lot of base in there, so let's, go ahead and into the envelope and start finessing some of these settings a little bit to bring the threshold of because we want people to play pretty hard and let's see any attack. I want to have a pretty big transition between when I am playing soft on when I'm playing hard, so put it around, type it in a second, um, excuse me, and then we're gonna put the release around. I think we're gonna have these both pretty high on I'm gonna gain up again as I have before, so now we can watch what happens, okay, so we can play pretty hard without activating we really start playing it's going to drive all the way up the problem with that is that it gets again really fluffy when you you know, dime the drive on any and it's going to get really fluffy because usually you want to be playing you know leads you got a lot of sustain and everything so let's do some advanced modifier work here because that's the whole point of this section let's get a filter block and on the filter block I'm just going to add ah high pass filter well that's going to do is just cut all the low end off so right now sound pretty good because we're chopping off everything up to above two hundred hertz which we don't want to do what I'm going to dio is a just and again, you know the frequency here we could have a just manually what I'm going to do is modify the frequency uh with this envelope and I want the minimum frequency to be twenty where it's cutting off but I don't want the max to be that large because then we're going to cut off everything in fact, if I do this I can show you what does it sound like it's going to cut literally everything out when I start playing sounds like complete shit so I'm going tio sorry language uh I'm going to bring this town to like three hundred somewhere in the three hundred ballpark and that's just about where I want to carve off low end and again in aiken get rid of this that we can actually see what three hundred is going to look like it's going to chop off you know about ah that much cell um again we want to turn this modifier back on um respect town that's too little close enough uh so now when I start playing louder it's going to start shaving off the low end as thegame increases so nothing's gonna happen here ah a little out of tune it doesn't matter because we're doing this so basically we are cutting out low end as the game comes up but as you can see we're not actually getting all the way to the top of their with that frequency so what I'm going to do is go in uh and start modifying the scale of this line here of the curve so I'm in a jack this up um and also that so that we're getting that low in cut out a little bit sooner actually you know what I do see that so we want that to come in way quicker way all right so what we've done is basically for the same envelope modifier and a filter so that as we increase the drive and bring in this ton of chunky low in we're cutting it back out so we can keep chunking along so you're playing along so there we go so basically that's like you've got somebody writing the gain up while turning down the base on grant so you know you're doing that action in real time s o it's essentially creating a super responsive high gain and because on a real high gain and our physical one if you put the drive all the way to eight it doesn't matter how low you've got your volume knob you're not going to ever get it really that clean eso with this we just keep the drive really low I've got a pretty nice, pretty nice way aggression mode so that's ah really cool use I think for the envelope and again this is just an example of how much you can change in real time automatically so you don't have to do anything once you set these things you just play um and that's it and return here play the song of our people hello okay, so the last controller I want to talk about is the pitch detector and basically it acts you can think about it a lot like the envelope so where the envelope is listening to again how are you playing the pitch detector is asking how high area blank or how low um so what I'm going to do is put uh basically the same thing here uh modified the input drive but I'm gonna go to pitch and the minimal amount of dr I want is gonna be somewhere in here and the maximum amount of driving wants going to somewhere in there and as you can see when I play low drives gonna come up when I start playing a lead and it's low when I'm playing all right but I don't wanna have it happen quite that fast so I'm gonna put the stamping of a little bit I'm also going tio adjust um these settings a little bit because I want it to stay up toward that gainey stage in a little bit lower pitch register so that I can play a lead kind of down here and it's going to have more games s so what I can do is just go ahead and change its mid point up there in the mid seventies uh crank this slope up a little bit and you see if just doing the stream value you get that but I'm just basically rounding it out tiny little bit uh and then I'm going to crank this off set up so what that's going to dio is basically have the amount of minimum be a little bit higher so that kids tio I could also increase the minimum so that it did the same thing, but so right there I've got this pre set that the higher I play the morgaine I'm gonna get so we've effectively created an automatic dr pedal that comes in as you go up the neck s o it's tight when you're playing with relieved and you just raise him out of games you khun sear it on the lead we could do the same thing and have it attached so that when you're playing rhythms low there's no delay and in the second you go out for a scream and lead suddenly the delay just explodes and you've got this awesome huge ami and delay what is your preference on sending mon over stereo front of house and what if you only have the option of going mano you run delays and verbs in mono to prevent any phase issues okay uh the first question I view is kind of a trick question do I prefer mano a stereo? Obviously I prefer stereo I would always rather have the full experience uh and you should do is expect sound beautiful syria with the reality of digging as much as I do and then obviously for guys who get way more than me eyes that most boards are not stereo in smaller places and in bigger places stereo tens onto matters much because all it kind of gets in a wash and uh so you're mostly going to run into mano boards or sound guys who don't want to let you run stereo even if they can because they're lazy, which is what I run into a lot but I don't change I'm not saying all sound guys were lazy there plenty of good sound guys so lay off it's a it's a cliche for a reason it's a stereotype for reason uh this is the sound of every sound guy ever encounter in the next three weeks being terrible or something on purpose because I bad mouth sound guys I'm sorry uh uh where was yes ok, I don't change anything if I'm going mano or syria, I'm never going to collapse my stereo image to get phasing I just plugged left and I give them the left and not the right uh and something will sound different. Trump blows if they're set to pan er the trim hand block is trouble and pander if you've got a pan er it's going to sound like a tremolo because we're just losing one side every time the rate dips back on the sine wave goes to its half point or whatever uh that's the sound different obviously stereo delays if you've got a five hundred millisecond stereo delay so it's going to be through people and this is five hundred this is to fifty and give them the left you're only going to get a five hundred because you're not going to hear in the other one that's a much maur elegant solution to me neither is particularly alien but losing half of some patches is much better to me than having to deal with phase issues. You know, something tomato with the amount of multi delay I use could get really ugly. I'd just rather my beautiful stereo leads that are supposed to be six hundred, three hundred are just six hundred millisecond leads. I really don't ever recommend collapsing the mano I know it's, it seems appealing to do that just because you like, oh, I want everything that's there, but the fact the matter is that's gonna sound bad a lot of times like if you put the multi delay and you collapse tomorrow, you're going to get actually a phaser like flanking sound in the repeats, and depending on what you got set, you could actually completely cancel out something and have just phase some zero you'll be playing in the speaker will be like wanting, but there's no sound because you just completely it's a rare instance, but you can scientifically, literally just completely cancel out what you're listening to, so just give him a left channel. It is my recommendation and just kind of, you know know, going in that something they're going to have its full they're never going to sound bad, though, whereas when you collapsed they can actually sound like crap perfect, you have any questions for anyone in the room if not, we've got about three to four minutes here and we had a request from someone if you can walk us through setting up a harmonizer for a song like owner of a lonely heart something you could do in that time it's not something I could do from scratch in that time I can't however pulled the factory preset and walk you through exactly was going on in it if I have not overwritten it shall see there we go okay so the owner of a lonely heart solo which I actually did in seoul a week before I got expects actually I wish I had had one then but so basically the owner of a lonely heart solo is a really easy one to get with the harmonizer because it's not an intelligent harmonizer it's not harmonizing along a scale it's a fixed harmony of seven semi tones so basically you've got without the harmonizer and I'm going tio bypassing hero quick you get you know way has that solo ago remember I know the last laugh okay, so what it's doing is basically with the mix on one hundred we've got to separate chains here so this is going to be the quote wet wet chain which is the harmony and this is the tri chain which has no harmony on it s o we can newt this and here just the pitch block so so you're hearing that, um we can turn this on and you're gonna hear something like that it's been a long time for that uh but basically this is a really easy one you've just got a fixed harmony of seven and you've got this the voice level all the way up on then the mixto hundreds all you're hearing is just that when you got the dry signal here on it's these two coming together and then it goes into that lovely compressed chorus clean don't do doom doom doom doom doom but you go ahead and change this voice shift up you know we can do in octave you get twelve, seven times you get a full playing along with you, opted distortion kind of sound or set it to whatever you want. The key here is that it's not intelligent harmonizer it's just playing a set interval fixed harmony above whatever you're doing sounds like just, you know mario mushroom and of course you go the other way, go down so you get like a like a dog on with this pedal, you actually you have two voices, so um, we can go up and active as well and bring the voice level of two hundred on this and be back a little bit, play like a super weird sounding national anthem, apparently, um but again, this is a really simple case, because when you get into the intelligent harmonizer, it gets a little crazy. You gotta pick a scale, you gotta pick the interval above the scale and that's kind of them, or, like the hotel california territory. Excuse me, or, like iron maiden, um, this is much more forward, you know, also kind of try and make it do chords, but it's kind of sounds a little aggressive, pretty cool. You can also delay these, so you can have it come in, like later, so we wanted to have, like, it's, kind of two locked is down, so waiter, so, yeah, that's, kind of a quick walk through the pitch black.

Class Description

The Axe-Fx Master Class is your advanced training on utilizing the most important capabilities on your Fractal Audio Axe-Fx. You’ll learn about setting up the Axe-Fx to get the sound you want in the studio and on stage. Cooper Carter will discuss:

  • Live rigs: How to set up rigs that use both direct and a cab on stage and the important differences
  • Cabinets: Installation of 3rd party impulse responses (IRs) and making IRs from your own cabinets.
  • Effects blocks: Tips to unlock the full potential of chorus, compressor, and delay effects.
  • System configuration: How to switch up firmware, patches, and more.

You’ll also learn about the most untapped, underutilized part of the Axe-Fx: modifiers. Cooper will show you how to use modifiers like ADSR, LFO, sequencer, and pitch. You’ll also learn how to use external pedals and switches to get unprecedented control over values and scenes in a live setting.

Watch the Axe-Fx Master Class taught by master guitarist and music instructor Cooper Carter and learn how to get more out of your Axe-Fx.


Razvan Cirligeanu

Hello there, This is the next step if you are serious about the AxeFX. It helped me to use features, great features, that I wouldn't EVER have the patience to explore by myself. Yeah, I am lazy... Coop makes it easy, I got more than I expected from this class. One demand: Please, Coop, upgrade the info, there are so many great updates since you recorded this class. Thanks, Razvan