They creep up out of your breaks …all the while, rising in pitch ranges of 2 octaves or more. They’re deceptively difficult to create and sync perfectly to your tracks however…so much so, that the majority of producers I know simply use time stretched audio clips from sample packs. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but remember the more and more you stretch a piece of audio, the grainier/lower quality it becomes. It’s also pretty common to use Apple’s AU Pitch to make risers, but not without a very noticeable degradation in the sound.
The loops included in this free pack are all “green” Apple Loops. Exactly like the ones in Logic’s own Loop Browser. This means they retain the software instrument that generated them. They can even be used as regular AIFF audio files in other DAWs. You can easily change, edit, or even remove any of the MIDI notes to fit the key of your song. Even better, they’re all 16 bars in length, but can be compressed to 8 bar, or expanded to 32 bars in the same way you’d stretch a piece of audio in Logic; Option - Click - Pull the bottom right corner to stretch/compress a MIDI/Audio region.
As the pitch rises on these loops, you won’t notice even the slightest “stair-stepping” effect. They all use high resolution (14 bit) MIDI pitch bends for the smoothest risers you’ll ever hear. Ever wondered why you’re MIDI risers never sound smooth? If you were to bend these using standard 7-bit MIDI (the Pitch Bend wheel on your MIDI controller), each musical bar would only have 4 positions it could rise over a 16 bar riser! In this article I’ll show you how to install them into Logic’s Loop Browser, and customize them to fit your song perfectly. Download them with the link, then read the tips below.
Once you’ve downloaded the pack, you can simply drag a loop directly into an open Logic project and your done. You can also add them to Logic’s built-in Loop Browser. if you don’t have one, create a space on your drive specifically for organizing loops. Place the folder of loops there. Now simply drag that folder to the open Loop Browser window. It will ask you if you’d like to “Add Loops to the Loop Browser?” Choose current location, and they’ll be indexed from where you put them on your drive. You can find the loop packs as you would for the built-in packs (from the drop-down menu at the top of the loop browser), or just search the way you normally would.
Remember since these are green Apple Loops you’re free to change the notes that are playing to whatever you like. Click the Region, and open it in the Piano Roll. Change the notes to fit the key of your song. Chop up the notes with the scissor tool and shorten/lengthen different notes. Don’t loose the region though… this is what contains the MIDI Pitch Bend data.
The Pitch Bend range is preset on all 10 loops from this pack. Most are set to either 2 or 3 octaves up. You can change this easily if you want by simply opening the instrument on the channel strip and changing it on its interface. I used all Logic instrument for compatibility, but one cannot live on Logic instruments alone! Try swapping out the instruments to another Logic or third-party instrument. Make sure to set the instrument’s pitch bend range! Most instruments by default are set to two half steps only. On some instruments, even changing the preset sound will reset this, so keep that in mind.
All the risers in this pack contain high-resolution pitch bend data. The best place to edit this data is in Logic’s Step Editor. Press E to open the editors window and click onto the Step Editor tab. Scroll to find the data first. Switch to the line tool and create different slopes.
There’s nearly unlimited options for adding effects to riser sound that go beyond the scope of this article. I chose to leave the loops without delay or reverb, but included them on the channel strip still. Simply un-bypass them to check them out. Risers can get loud. Think about it… they’re sweeping a very broad range of notes! This is why I placed a limiter as the last effect on each channel. This way the sound can get loud and crazy, without potentially causing a clip. Need the sound to be more in your face? Simply raise the gain in the Limiter plug-in.
Since these loops are now part of your Loop Browser you can easily bring one up and start customizing. Many of the loops use tempo synchronized LFOs. Change the LFO rates to different values.
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy these riser loops as much as I do! Feel free to ask questions about them here if you need to.