Creating Wind FX: Noise Filtering in Logic Using the ES1

In this Quick Tutorial, we'll look at how to create a classic analog synthesis sound — the sound of whistling wind — using Logic's ES1 synth.  

In this Quick Tutorial, we'll look at how to create a classic analog synthesis sound — the sound of whistling wind — using Logic's ES1 synth.

Step 1 - Launch ES1

Start by opening Logic and choosing File > New... to start a new project. From the Template pane on the right choose Empty Project, and in the New Tracks dialog box, set Number: to 1 , and click the Software Instrument radio button.

Then, in the I/O section of the channel strip on the bottom left of the Inspector, click and hold on the default EVP88 Software Instrument and choose ES1 > Stereo from the pop-up menu:

Finally, double-click the blue ES1 button to open the ES1 window:

Step 2 - Set Up ES1

Configure the ES1 as shown in the screenshot below:

Here's a listing of all the essential settings, from left to right and top to bottom, and what they mean:

  • Mix is set to Sub only, because the Sub oscillator is the only one of the two that offers white noise. 
  • The Sub oscillator is set to Noise (the squiggly waveform). 
  • Drive is set to 0 (zero) to reduce distortion. 
  • Filter is set to '24dB classic' for the classic swept noise sound. 
  • The filter's Cutoff is set to about the middle position, but you can adjust that to taste. 
  • Resonance is also set to about the middle position. The increased Resonance is what gives you a sense of pitch and "whistly-ness" in the final sound. You can also adjust this to taste, but don't set it too high or it will self-resonate and provide too much of a sense of pitch. 
  • Key is set to the middle position, so that playing further up the keyboard will open the filter up a bit more and let you stack up multiple wind voices in different registers. 
  • In the bottom section, the Low Frequency Oscillator is set to a smoothed random waveform (the one at the 3 o'clock position), itself derived from white noise. Applying this to the Filter Cutoff will automatically vary the wind's pitch. Rate is set to 0.62 Hz; feel free to adjust this also. Higher frequencies will give you more active wind.
  • The slider to the left of the Router is set to the upper 3/4 of its range; this controls the basic amount of the Low Frequency Oscillator that is sent to control the filter's cutoff. In the Router itself, the filter's Cutoff is set as the destination for the Low Frequency Oscillator. 
  • The slider to the right of the Router is set to the lower 1/6 of its range; this sends a little more of the Low Frequency Oscillator to the filter's cutoff depending on your keyboard's trigger velocity.
  • Finally, the ADSR sliders are all set to Long or Full, or nearly so; this will give you long slow attacks and decays for your wind sound.

Step 3 - Conclusion

Now play a couple of notes on your MIDI keyboard in the middle of its range, and you should hear a convincing winter wind sound. Try adding a long reverb from Space Designer for an even ghostlier sound:

And, as always, experiment and have fun in Logic!

Richard Lainhart

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Richard Lainhart is an award-winning composer, filmmaker, and author. His compositions have been performed in the US, Europe Asia, and Australia, and recordings of his music have appeared on the Periodic Music, Vacant Lot, XI Records, Airglow Music, Tobira Records, Infrequency, VICMOD, and ExOvo labels. His animations and short films h... Read More


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