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String Properties in Sculpture

Shaping sounds in Logic Pro 7's unique new soft synth By Frank Moldstad

Sculpture interface (click for larger view)
Welcome to sonic animation. That's what Apple calls sound design in Logic Pro 7s Sculpture soft synth, and it's a good description of what this highly original instrument can do.

Sculpture allows sounds to be manipulated with the characteristics of vibrating strings, through parameters such as sustain, decay and timbre. This opens up all kinds of exciting possibilities for creating unusual and beautiful sonic textures, from eerie cinematic sounds to simulated organic instruments such as percussion, guitars, cellos, and basses. The sounds can be morphed, intensified, damped and otherwise disturbed or excited.

This is an incredibly deep instrument. An in-depth discussion of the entire synth would require dozens of  pages (virtual pages, yes, but the reader's attention span might lag). So, this article will cover Sculpture's most important and fascinating aspect: how string properties are created and manipulated.

As a component modeling synthesizer, Sculpture is a different beast from more common oscillator-driven synths. When the various sections of Sculptures synth engine interact, each parameter influences how subsequent parameters behave. The process is analogous to creating an effects chain, where everything is shaped by whats before it. For that reason, a good understanding of Sculptures signal flow is needed. Apple has assembled a chart of the signal path (below). Keeping this flow in mind is a key to intuitive sound sculpting.

Playing with the presets is a good way to get an idea of Sculpture's scope -- there are dozens of evocative preset sounds. But to really get into Sculpture, you need to know how to build your own sounds. After learning the parameters, you can develop sounds for specific uses. To start  from scratch, you can load the Default setting from the drop down list.  

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Related Keywords:Sculpture, soft synth, Logic Pro 7,

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