Creating Beats with Ultrabeat in Logic Pro X - dummies

Creating Beats with Ultrabeat in Logic Pro X

By Graham English

Ultrabeat is a 25-voice drum synth and pattern sequencer that operates similarly to a traditional hardware drum machine. Drum voices 1–24 are assigned to the first 24 MIDI keys (C1 to B2), and the 25th drum voice is assigned to the 25th MIDI key and above (beginning at C3), so it can be played chromatically, making it ideal for bass sounds, pads, or leads.

Ultrabeat is capable of doing a lot more than drumbeats and bass lines. Each of the 25 voices is a complete synth and gives you flexible control over each voice. In this section, you discover how to design drum sounds and patterns and incorporate Ultrabeat into your projects.

To open Ultrabeat, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Track→Create New Software Instrument Track.

    A new software instrument track is added to the track list.

  2. Choose View→Show Inspector (I) to display the inspector.

    The inspector opens on the left side of the tracks area.

  3. Click the right side of the instrument slot and then select Ultrabeat (Drum Synth).

    The Ultrabeat interface opens in a new window.

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The Ultrabeat interface is divided into three sections:

  • Assignment: The left side of Ultrabeat is where you, select, mix, and assign drum sounds.

  • Synthesizer: The largest area of Ultrabeat is where you design the currently selected drum sound.

  • Step Sequencer: The bottom section of Ultrabeat is where you create drum patterns for the currently selected drum and control the Ultrabeat sequencer.

At the top of the Ultrabeat interface is a menu with several functions:

  • Voice auto select: Turning on voice auto select allows you to select drum voices with your MIDI controller. This feature is useful when you’re going back and forth between two sounds. You can use one hand to select the drum voice with your MIDI controller while editing the synth section with your other hand.

  • Import: Click the Import button to import sounds and sequences from other Ultrabeat drum kits as well as EXS24 sampler instruments.

  • MIDI controller assignment: You can assign MIDI controllers to the four controller slots, which allows you to modulate the synthesizer section.