Logic Pro X Tutorial

Retro Synth Explained®

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20 Videos | Length: 1hr 42min 31sec
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    Tutorial 1



    Welcome to Retro Synth Explained.

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    Tutorial 2

    Synthesizer Basics


    A brief overview of how sound is synthesized, measured, described, generated, and altered.

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    Tutorial 3

    Retro Synth Basics


    A brief description of the four types of synthesis Retro Synth offers.

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    Tutorial 4

    Waveform Types


    Learn about the various waveform types found in the oscillator section of Retro Synth.

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    Tutorial 5

    Analog Oscillator Section


    See how the Oscillator section controls are used to blend and modulate the Shape 1 and Shape 2 waveforms.

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    Tutorial 6

    Sync Oscillator Section


    Hear how modulating the sync between the two oscillators in Sync mode produces interesting harsh metallic types of sounds.

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    Tutorial 7

    Wavetable Oscillator Section


    Explore the evolving and varying timbres produced by the Wavetable's Digiwaves as their shapes are modulated with long envelopes and slow LFO cycles.

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    Tutorial 8

    FM Oscillator Section


    Explore the effects of adjusting the tuning ratios between the modulator and carrier oscillators, while modulating them using the LFO and Filter Envelope.

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    Tutorial 9

    Other Wave Shaping Controls


    See how real time performance gestures like velocity, aftertouch, and the modulation wheel are used to modulate the oscillator's wave shape.

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    Tutorial 10

    Filter Types


    Explore Retro Synth's various filter types, and see how they are used to remove and/or boost portions of the frequency spectrum.

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    Tutorial 11

    Filter Modulation


    See how the filter's cutoff frequency can be modulated based on key tracking, the FM filter knob, the LFO shape, the filter envelope, and after touch.

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    Tutorial 12

    The AMP & Effects Sections


    See how the sine level knob is used to mix a sine signal directly into the output stage, and how the effects are used to thicken the sound by creating rapid pitch offsets in the case of the chorus, and sweeping harmonic resonances when set to flanger.

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    Tutorial 13



    Explore the nuances and complexity available using Glide mode to bend the pitch of each or both of the oscillators, the filter, and even the sine wave generated in the amp section that occurs after oscillator and filter modulation.

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    Tutorial 14



    Discover ways to use autobend to add subtle (or not so subtle) pitch modulation with the attack of each note. Combined with the pitch offsets introduced by the chorus effect, interesting and complex thick sounds are easily created.

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    Tutorial 15

    LFO Section


    Explore ways of controlling LFO and vibrato depth and rate as they are used to modulate other parameters.

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    Tutorial 16



    Learn how to control the variation that a sound exhibits over time by working with Retro Synth's Amp and filter envelopes.

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    Tutorial 17

    Global Controls


    Discover how the tuning and panning of Retro Synth's internal stacked voices are controlled, as well as how to set global tuning offsets and pitch bend ranges.

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    Tutorial 18

    Working with Noise


    Discover some of the potential sound design capabilities of the noise based waveform shape available in analog mode.

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    Tutorial 19

    Putting Retro Synth to Work


    See and hear how versatile Retro Synth is as a short piece of music is presented and deconstructed, comprised solely of Retro Synth instances with settings built up from the default preset.

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    Tutorial 20

    Bonus Video from Doug Zangar: Retro Synth Band


    Check out how Retro Synth can be used for for bass, keys and lead parts. Just add drum track and instant band. Tips on using MIDI Draw to generate some dynamic movement.

Are you ready to learn how to use Logic Pro X's Retro Synth? If so, this collection of power packed video turorials by Apple Logic Certified Pro Eli Krantzberg will take you back to the future and turn you into a Retro Synth power user.

Eli kicks the series off with a quick introduction before getting down to business with this new powerful synth built into Logic Pro X. A few tutorials are then dedicated to getting you up to speed on the basics and the various waveform types found in Retro Synth. Eli then takes a detailed look at the four oscillator sections including Analog, Sync, Wavetable and FM, and looks deep into the Filter Section.

Moving on, Eli explores and examines the various filter types as well as filter modulation, and then takes you on a a tour of the the AMP and Effects sections and how they're used. The Glide and Autobend functions are then revealed, and Eli shows ways to use both to create interesting and complex sounds. After taking an in-depth look at the LFO Section, Eli explores Envelopes, the Global Controls and working with the noise based waveform shape.

Finally, Eli puts Retro Synth to work, showing how versatile Retro Synth is by putting together a short peice of music comprised solely of Retro Synth instances. The final video in this series is a bonus tutorial from guest trainer Doug Zangar, who shows how Retro Synth can be used with a drum track to create an instant band, as well as some tips on how to use MIDI Draw to generate dynamic movement.

Retro Synth is a powerful sonic weapon to have in your production arsenal. Let Eli help you master it... Watch "Retro Synth Explained" today!

Submitted 7 months ago

Very Helpful

Good insight, explanation and demonstration

I am a: Professional, Musician, Producer, Beat Maker, Audio Engineer, Sound Designer, Mastering Facility, Logic Pro

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St Fantabulous
Submitted 1 year ago

Another well presented tutorial from Eli

Overwhelmed by all the instruments in LPX? Not to worry. Groove 3 gots you covered. This tutorial goes over the Retro Synth Instrument that ships with LPX. Eli does a great job in describing and showing how all the knobs and filters interact with each other to produce a sound. He also touches bases on Basic Synth Principles; great for the beginner in sound design.

I am a: Beginner, Producer, Audio Engineer, Musician, Sound Designer, Hobbyist, Student

Ease of Use
Value of Training
Access to Videos

1. When did you start dabbling in music?

I started playing drums in high school at age fourteen. Like most kids my age around then, I was into progressive rock. Genesis, Emerson Lake and Palmer, and Yes. They rocked my world. A few short years later though, my musical life changed. While studying music in college I discovered Charlie Parker, Milt Jackson, Sonny Stitt, and John Coltrane. Milt Jackson spoke to me in such a profound way that it left me no choice but to take up vibraphone.

These great players, along with  drummers like Philly Joe Jones, Max Roach, Art Blakey, and Elvin Jones changed not only the way I thought about drumming, but also music - and by extension, life - as a whole. I realized life was meant to be a creative endeavor. The idea of improvising based on a loose set of guidelines and rules permeated into my psyche even when I wasn't holding a pair of drumsticks or mallets. But if I am going to be perfectly truthful, I have to hold Henry Miller and Woody Allen equally responsible for shaping the way I view and experience the world around me. 

2. What training have you had?

I am currently an Apple certified Logic Pro. Young and cocky, and armed with only a partial University degree, I dropped out of school and  began playing steady commercial hotel engagements and jazz gigs when I could. This went on for many years until I decided it was time to complete my degree - which I ultimately did with a major in Political Science and a minor in music. 

It was at this point that I formed my current band Nightshift. We are going in to our twenty third year now - playing commercial one nighters like weddings, corporate events, etc. Don't turn your nose up at it though - it has allowed me a wonderful quality of life. It gave me the freedom to go back to school and complete a post graduate degree in Communications Studies - all the while supporting myself by playing weddings.

3. When did you get into recording?

It was in this graduate program - in the early nineties - that I found myself drawn to the fledgling emerging universe of hard disc recording and midi sequencing. Based on nothing more than the recommendation of one of my band mates who had an old Atari, I jumped in head first and bought a Mac LC ll, along with a version 1.1 of what was then Notator Logic. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. But, in hindsight, it was a decision of epic importance in my life - shaping my future as much as the music of Milt Jackson and Charlie Parker did fifteen years prior. 

I opened up my own commercial home studio in 1998 and began doing a variety of projects, working on radio jingles, artist CD projects, and whatever came my way. A couple of years later a colleague called me up - desperate. He was working at a post production house and one of the editors had just quit. They were doing audio post for a weekly TV series and needed a Pro Tools editor - and fast! And so, once again, I jumped in head first into what would ultimately open up my world even more - the world of Pro Tools. 

4. People you have worked with/for?

Focusing on Logic, I built up a small but loyal client base and my phone kept ringing for Logic tech support and instruction. Film composers and studio owners all over the city were calling me. Even the music stores were giving out my phone number at this point! This kind of stuff becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. The more of it you do, the more calls you get to keep doing it. At least that's the way it should be!

As my Logic chops kept growing, I was hired by an old buddy of mine, Len Sasso, who was then an associate editor at Electronic Musician magazine, and began writing some columns for them. I had a blast doing them - and really learned to focus and express my thoughts in a concise and clear manner. This lead to a collaboration with LA based composer Terry Michael Huud on the 2006 film called Civic Duty - which was certainly one of the highlights of my professional life as a composer. 

5. Why are you so good at training people?

I wake up every day excited to boot up, and create. Whether it's instructional videos, creating music, working with a studio client, performing with my band, or teaching at the schools - my days are filled with what I love doing. Enriched by the stimulation and creative freedom this modern music making software brings to my life. I bring that excitement and passion to each and every training product I create. My years of experience both using and teaching these programs has taught me the best way to make the user comfortable with these complex programs.

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Retro Synth Explained® is rated 5.0 out of 5 by 2.
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Very Helpful Good insight, explanation and demonstration
Date published: 2017-08-08
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Another well presented tutorial from Eli Overwhelmed by all the instruments in LPX? Not to worry. Groove 3 gots you covered. This tutorial goes over the Retro Synth Instrument that ships with LPX. Eli does a great job in describing and showing how all the knobs and filters interact with each other to produce a sound. He also touches bases on Basic Synth Principles; great for the beginner in sound design.
Date published: 2016-09-19