There are no Tube Warmth titled effects in Logic Pro specifically. But that doesn't mean there aren't any… the built in Clip Distortion plug-in and the Overdrive can be used in a subtle way to add warmth and depth to your tracks. In this lesson, I'll be adding a “tube” warmth sound to a bass, but any instrument or vocal can benefit from this. Since there is technically no volume ceiling in the digital world, it's safe to say that any distortion type effect is actually a model of something from the physical world. Distortion happens when tubes and transistors are driven to their capacity; needless to say, those don't exist inside software!
Start with the Clip Distortion (we'll use its default preset). Go straight for the LP Filter and push it all the way up to 20,000Hz. The Low Pass Filter is a “blanket” Filter affecting the dry and effected signal. By pushing it all the way up, your original sound will stay intact.
The Tone slider is actually a high pass filter (The Lows are cut off as you push the slider up). To add a subtle analog feel to bass, you'll want to keep this slider mostly down. Higher values (although cool sounding, too) will focus the distortion on the highs.
Now push the Mix setting all the up to 100%. This will allow you to hear purely what the Clip Distortion is doing to the sound. Bring the Mix slider WAY down to mix in the original sound. I have mine normally set very low. I'm just looking to add a slight fuzziness under the lows.
Clip Distortion is considered a “Nonlinear Distortion” (as are actual Tubes). The Drive and the Symmetry settings are strictly to taste. The Drive setting allows you to raise the volume of the incoming signal to drive the virtual tube/circuitry. The Symmetry slider selects how “twisted” the sound becomes passing through the circuitry. (This is shown graphically in the Clip Circuit display).
The Clip Filter is a low pass filter so you can strip off some of the Grunge that's created. This is also “to taste”; I have mine set to 1600Hz.
The “High Shelving” section has both Frequency and Gain knobs. It's basically exactly like it sounds. Think of it as an EQ like Logic's built in Channel EQ: you can create a flat surface that can be raised or lowered in both the lows and the highs. This is only the highs. The only reason I would use it—if adding tube warmth to a bass—would be if the bass needed a bit of shimmer. Even very deep sounds will have higher frequencies/harmonics in them that might need to be brought out some way.
Here's a sample of my original bass without the Clip Distortion:
Here's a sample of of my bass part running through the Clip Distortion:
Next, let's put on the Overdrive effect underneath the Clip Distortion. I bet you're thinking at this point, “OK, he's gonna distort the heck out of this thing.” If it sounded like the name of the plug-in, you'd definitely expect just that. Choose “Creamy Tube” from the preset menu and adjust the Output.This is a great preset and really brings out the sound.
Here's a sample of of my bass part running through the Clip Distortion and the Overdrive with the Creamy Tube preset:
The Overdrive actually put some highs in there?! The bass sound went from hiding out in the background, to being much more confident and warmer. Enjoy!