ES E | Exploring Logic's E-Synths

Written by Maya Wagner and Matt Ho

Before Apple purchased Logic and rebranded it into what we know and love today, a company known as Emagic owned the license to the software. This is where the namesake “ES” or “E-synth” comes from. Since the rebrand, Logic has kept six of the original instruments from Emagic’s version of the Software. These synths have been kept in-tact without many updates or interface changes, honoring the Logic’s sound design roots.

Logic’s developers have an interesting way of maintaining the interface aesthetics of old plugins and synths while adding new “modern” ones to create an interesting blend of old school and fresh synth engines for us to play around with. The smorgasbord of synth designs and capabilities is part of Logic’s character. There have been so many different updates and changes, but some of these synths remain the same. Let’s talk about the E-synths, where Logic all started!

Logic ES E Synthesizer Screenshot

This article will cover Logic's ES E, a simple subtractive synthesizer named "E" for its ensemble effect. This synthesizer is fabulous for creating pad and string textures and is different from ES M because it is polyphonic and features the chorus/ensemble effect.


Quick Overview

Subtractive Synth with 1 Oscillator (2 Shapes, not both), 1 LFO, 1 Filter, 1 Envelope with AR controls.



4, 8, 16 - Selects octaves for oscillators. Similar to organ conventions, longer pipes (4 < 8 < 16) goes into a lower octave.

Wave - Selects the oscillator wave shape: either SAW or SQUARE with various pulse widths.


Vib/PWM - Controls LFO depth: affects Vibrato when SAW is selected, or Pulse Width Modulation when SQUARE is selected. Ranges from 0% depth (no modulation) to 100% depth (full modulation)

Speed - Controls the LFO speed, i.e. increasing the number of modulation cycles in a certain amount of time. Ranges from SLOW to FAST.


Cutoff - Controls the cutoff frequency of the Low Pass Filter. Ranges from low (closed) to high (opened) filter cutoff frequency.

Resonance - Controls the peak gain at the LP cutoff frequency, which can induce a tone at the cutoff frequency when used to the extreme. Ranges from 0% Peak (unity gain) to 100% Peak.

AR Int - Controls the amount of modulation on the filter cutoff frequency by the Envelope. Ranges from -100% (Left) to 0% (Centre) to 100% (Right).

Velo Filter - Controls the velocity sensitivity of the cutoff frequency modulation applied by the Envelope. High velocity sensitivity induces more modulation at higher velocities. Ranges from 0% (velocity has no effect on modulation) to 100% (Velocity scales directly to the amount of modulation).

Volume Envelope

Envelope Control - If you need an detailed look at envelope and synthesis, *ADD LINK* 

A - Controls the attack time of the envelope. Ranges from SHORT to LONG.

R - Controls the release time of the envelope. Ranges from SHORT to LONG.

Volume - Output volume control of the envelope. Ranges from QUIET to LOUD.

Velo Volume - the velocity sensitivity of volume. Ranges from 0% sensitivity (same volume regardless of velocity) to 100% sensitivity (velocity scales to volume).

Chorus I, Chorus II, Ensemble - Selects a Chorus or Ensemble effect on the output of the synth.


Play around with this synth and you will most likely end up with some awesome 80s textures! This engine may seem simple, but it is definitely small but mighty and has its place in the world of rich sound design. 

Training Subject
DAW Logic Production Sound Design Synthesis
Logic Logic Pro X Synth Synthesis Synthesizer Sound Design
Last modified
Thu, Apr 14th 2022