4. Building a modulated pad/drone hybrid
1 Let’s make a slowly evolving pad by putting envelopes and LFOs to use on a wavetable. Create a MIDI clip containing a 64-bar chord, load Avenger and call up the Shapeflow 1 wavetable from the Mixed Instruments category in Oscillator A. Deactivate the send to the Delay effect, but raise the Reverb to 60% and load the Maximum Verb preset in the Send Rack. 2 The easiest way to get any wavetable moving is to modulate the Index. Let’s do it now using the Wavetable Envelope in the central display. Turn it on with the Enable button and reduce the Speed to 0.04Hz. Define a motion path for the Index knob by double-clicking to create nodes and dragging them around. 3 The height determines the position of the red playback point, and you can apply curvature to the lines between nodes by dragging up and down on them. As it is, the jump from the end back to the start of the envelope is decidedly un-padlike, so switch to Ping-Pong playback Mode to have it alternate between forward and backward travel. 4 Let’s get the filter involved. Lower the Filter 1 Cutoff knob to about 2kHz and raise the Resonance to around 25%. Assign LFO 1 to modulate the Cutoff by dragging the LFO’s six-dot handle directly onto it. The little orange triangle by the Cutoff knob now sets the depth of the LFO modulation: drag up on it until the yellow collar reaches the top of its range. 5 The LFO is bipolar, modulating the cutoff both above and below the knob position. Raise the LFO Offset knob fully to have the filter stay above the set cutoff point. It’s also way too fast, so lower its Rate to 0.15Hz. You’ll notice we’re not syncing anything to host tempo for this sound, as we don’t want our pad/drone to have any sense of tempo or coherent rhythm. 6 In Oscillator 1’s V-Saw section, raise the Mix and Pan sliders to introduce four wide unison voices. Assign a second LFO to the V-Saw Detune knob, and set the LFO Depth and Rate to taste. Call up the FFT Editor, load the Slight Modulated FVAR preset, and assign a third slow LFO to the VStrength and VSpeed knobs, in opposing directions, and the Noise generator.