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Synthesis and Sound Design 101

Lesson 5 of 9

Custom Wavetable Designs with U-He Zebra2

James Patrick

Synthesis and Sound Design 101

James Patrick

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Lesson Info

5. Custom Wavetable Designs with U-He Zebra2

Lesson Info

Custom Wavetable Designs with U-He Zebra2

it grew its up thistles. James Patrick back for Lesson two from class to for our intuitive sound design classic Slam Academy Because we're gonna be covering today. Maura about wave table synthesis. But for lessons two and three here, we're going to getting away from massive that industry standard wave table instrument getting into something that's a little more boutique E and a little more powerful. In my opinion, let's take a look at the U he zebra. This is the synthesizer that, um, made all the sounds for Star War The Dark Knight. I don't know. I don't watch movies, but this is ah, massively powerful, no pun intended wave table instrument that allows for not only dynamically calculated wave tables and endless processing and routing all through this Patch Hable modular interface in the middle. But even almost more importantly, it allows for customization of the wave tables themselves. So, unlike massive where you just pick throat or chrome or duck wobble or whatever in this case, you ...

actually get to design what the way of tables and tail and what they include and this, to me, is some of the most powerful stuff in the world. of wave table synthesis. So when I'm going to get started on demonstrating what any instrument does, the first thing I like to do is save or access the unit patch and it for initialized. So I click on here zebras. Very bottom option is initialized. That turns everything off except for one oscillator, One envelope in one lfo. Nice starting point. Um, I would like to quick also point out in the meantime, here how crucial it is to recognize that there's a free version of this instrument called Zebra Let and it offers all of the same functions we're going to cover today. But in this case, it's just a slightly toned down version in the sense that I think you just get one or two oscillators and you don't get the effects and stuff. But you can go ahead and look up. I'm let's see and we go. Zebra let there she is. Zebra, let now available for free. So this is simply CMS slash zebra latte and you're gonna get a Mac or PC download. You can do all the same things I'm going to do in this video right alongside of me here. Um, but I'll just be using the zebra full version, which is actually pretty reasonably priced. I believe it's around $200. So here's the deal. So if you remember right the way we started our massive demonstration for lesson one for this glass, we just started with single ASA. Later we're gonna do that same exact thing. But in this case, instead of customizing the waves up here in the oscillator section, we can choose which oscillator were customizing down in here. So right now for since we're working with oscillator one going straight out to our output, it was just a volume control right here. I'm just going to be working right inside of this oscillator, one detail panel to customize what each of these wave shapes are inside of this particular oscillator. So, as you can see, each of our oscillators has 16 different wave forms that the table can contain. If I goto oscillator one a justice wave knob, I'm essentially choosing which of the 16 I'm morphing between. So it kind of goes from like, essentially similar to sow sine wave up to a saw wave, a square wave, and now this is kind of a pulse width wave to a really narrow pulse. So this guy, especially when you can modulate it, offers a lot of really incredible functions. For instance, if I hold this down getting kind of more of a triangle shape, I get some pretty incredible results by just moving that. I wanted to modulate that I could just click on the next knob over, and now I could say it may be activated. LFO we'll call it. I left LFO two are Wave table Now. We'll set the depth and now will slow. Maybe the rate way down. So now we're able to modulate around in that way of table. But wait, there's more. If I look at these way of tables or this way of table inside here with all of these oscillations, there's a couple of before different modes I can choose, or I can change from the preset list where I'm starting at. If I go to the factory oscillators, look, I've got a handful of really cool ones. Here's a pulse width table. This is going to give me all different pulse with shapes. Here's ah, Quad squad. You know that guy I love that and get out of this year. LFO How about Basile's multi segment and would generate? I'm sad one. You here, Look at this. Now I have a sequence, sir, that I can modulate anything with. The wave table is gonna be one of the most popular targets. I'm gonna set this up toe loop No. Two and note for our default. Looping started endpoints. So now I could just work in this zone. I can start to add other nodes by command clicking. You keep this right on. For years I've been nice for bar Loop or four Beat. We keep clicking this sucker in, so let's call that good. It's actually going negative. Pretty amazing. How so? This is really popular. In fact, the loops action. I need to dial this end. I even have a slow attack to attack attenuate the overall depth and velocity sensitivity here to slow this thing down. 1/4 notes. No notice. I have four of these and they each you can see them all at once, but which one you choose is available right up in here. Cool, huh? So yeah, this'll is how you get modulation going to your way of table inside of this instrument. Let's go back to us later. One. And now I'm gonna show you my favorite part about this. Remember how before I was in Malta? Second and blow up generator and I'm command clicking on adding notes. You could do the same thing down in here, But how the wave form responds to your clicking is gonna be dependent entirely on which of the four modes. So there's basically two different variables that were cross section in here we have geo vs Spectra Oh, and then we have more versus blend totaling four different options is gonna give you a quick breakdown on what these options actually are. Geo mode allows you to change the geometry of the wave form. That's what we're doing right now. So in this case, this is the geometry of the actual wave shaped like here's a ramp kind of looking wave. There's a more steady ramp and weaken change. Different ma options. Here Here's silk Saw DePaul's. How about this one? This is pretty straightforward. So now this is a saw wave, as you would expect if I flip this over into spectrum mode Now, this is the frequency spectrum so this wave form is gonna have a lot of base and no highs. Let's listen to what these sound like. In contrast, here's a saw wave. Here's a spectral wave with the same shape. Now watch. When I adjust this, it's almost like a sine wave, right, because it's just the fundamental pitch without overtones. It's at overtones like this. Now we can draw on our spectrum, essentially painting frequency content. Watch over here as I'm doing that. Ah, cool, huh? So that's the spectral mode. So now where geometry is the way of shape spectrum is kind of with more is dynamically calculated option with dynamically calculated morphing. As I adjust this wave model, I'm not actually amplitude. Mixing. All I'm simply doing is not actually simply, it's quite complex. I'm dynamically re calculating in the way of table at every cycle. So requires lock or CPU, but it's a lot more complex. Versus blend mode is an amplitude blend, meaning that it's an amplitude mix. So when I just wave mode, when I just my way of controlling, I'm in a more and I'm in a blend setting Now, basically, this is an amplitude mix between different ways kind of almost like a D J Mixer with across Vater. So now check this out. Now that we understand geometry versus spectrum and more versus blend, this gets really cool. Grab one of my modes. There's my spectral mode. It was my first way of right. But as soon as I adjust this, I got nothing to the mix. You can even watch the mix happening. She also I'll show you something need Let's say I like this wave shape and I wanted to morph and maybe something else. Let's go all the way down in the end here and let's make a totally different shape. I watch what I could do. Here's this wave. Is this one? Watch this. I can hold command and I can click on the ringe, and it will redraw variations between this shape in this shape all the way across all remaining 14 cells. Now, when I adjust this pretty cool, huh? So this is just spectral content meeting that again base. Ah, that's mapped those. That's now I've got to say kind of flip. Uh, it's gonna be a lot more interesting if we had other shapes in here. I like this one command click weren't right. We'll do this one too crazy, huh? So this is really, really fun. Especially again when we add a little modulation. Uh, spectral bland mode. Let's go to geometry Black Ah, ah ah ah ah! In fact, instead of an LFO, let's use an envelope. Ah ah, Watch out for police with this things that gets to be a little one hell of a lot of fun, huh? Keep in mind, you can normalize these. This is gonna make sure your amplitude is all the way to the top. Resolution is gonna give you more crispness out of reach of bands key scaling. It's gonna affect sensitivity to this across the key range. And then you have a softer chris mode, which is gonna essentially accentuate the edge of the way. Hard to tell in that case, but let's find us love to tinker with pretty incredible, huh? I'll show you something really quick. Is this really cool preset in here called bells Lipper. But this demonstrates is how this spectral phase inversion works so normally with any types of these modes. When you're adjusting spectrum, you're going up or down, but above zero you're not. We're moving. So what this does is this actually cancels the phase of these partials when you go into negative mode. And this is a really beautiful sound on its own. Just because it gives this nice, like, ringing metallic sound that's really distinct to this type of synthesis language. I got to go toe oscillator. Four people. You can see those peaks. These peaks are those peaks when add another one sound drawing new peaks over here. Well, if you flatten them off cool, huh? I'm gonna reload bells. Flipper, Right? Totally fun. Now, let's go ahead. And in this case, we're gonna work with this. Do with picking it up with the dual or quad four voice, and then we'll go ahead and add another oscillator over here. We'll run on rights or a filter. Check this out. Like, let's move the filter over here with this guy. Ah, Pretty fun, huh? So, yeah, this is all great stuff. Let's go ahead and sign into X Y one. Then this guy will assign two x x Y two. Why? One should look at this Pretty fun. This and we can add a bunch of controls this it's pretty sick. So yeah, this is how this thing works. Dynamically calculated way. Actually on they're all built right into the instrument. And remember, zebra, let is a free version of the plug, and you can grab it any time you want to do all these same modes drying way of tables, cool multi segment envelope, generator and everything. So wave table synthesis, especially from your problem, hopefully have enjoyed this. And I look forward to hanging out more with you for less and three of wave table and physical modelling. So for next level, we're gonna associating, Um, some of these functions of dynamic calculations to uneven kind of higher level form of synthesis. Checking out that's on our quickie tour of all these different synthesis languages. And remember way go way deep into all these functions and really give you exercises and empower you with practices and work flows of the professional throughout our six month program at Slam Academy, where all we do is sound design, and it is amazing. So, um, I wrote that class. I'm real proud of it. And I'm looking forward to hanging out more with you guys in the near future, making some more beautiful sounds

Class Description

This course is SLAM Academy's introductory offer for people who want their music to stand on its own. In Sound Design 101, we'll uncover each of the main elements of what it takes to be a cutting-edge electronic sound designer. After an explanation of analog synthesis, we'll feature demonstrations of techniques and tools for FM, granular, wavetable, physical modeling, multi-sampling, and signal processing. Students can expect personalized technique demonstrations from Ableton Live, Max for Live, U-He Instruments, Applied Acoustics Systems, Glitchmachines, Native Instruments Systems, and Eurorack Modular Synthesizer components.  



This is a great, fast-paced introduction to producing sound using various popular software choices. James Patrick is super knowledgeable and presents the material in a patient (but fast), systematic way. This course is meant to be a high-level preview of a full-blown 6-month course at Slam Academy (taken online or in Minneapolis) so the pace of the material presented here is quite fast. In other words the tone is to show you what you'll learn if you take the full course. James suggests taking this course over 3 weeks to let things sink in. A dedicated student can follow along and review the material and then practice on their own software although it takes some focus! And while much of the course is incredibly well explained, there are also some sections where James works the controls without much narrative but making cool sounds. I ended up hitting pause every 30 seconds or so during some of the key sections so I could watch what he was doing and play around with the same controls. Ultimately the way to learn the software is by getting hands-on, so when I followed along this way, I learned a ton. Great course, be aware that it is a super high level survey of a longer course but this is still absolutely packed with information

a Creativelive Student

love this course, and i like it for my liking.

Jose Freitas MElo jUnior