Guest Post: Making Professional Dubstep Bass Synths with NI Massive
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Phase modulation octave Voicing And Pitch Options The voicing tab lets you choose how Massive will react when more than one note is played. Trill allows smooth movement between two notes as the ADSR envelopes only retrigger after a gap is left between the current note and the next one. The time it takes to move from one note to the next by any trigger note is controlled by glide. Glide can be found under the OSC tab.
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Phase modulation octave Voicing And Pitch Options The voicing tab lets you choose how Massive will react when more than one note is played. Trill allows smooth movement between two notes as the ADSR envelopes only retrigger after a gap is left between the current note and the next one.
The time it takes to move from one note to the next by any trigger note is controlled by glide. Glide can be found under the OSC tab. Also known as portamento, this will be set to zero for a piano sound.
The glide time has two modes: Rate — a relative time to glide between notes depending on the number of notes between the current note and the next one played Equal — fixed with a set time between notes, regardless of distance. You might find that rate mode makes it easier to create a nice effect for your basslines, gliding at different speeds depending on the distance between the two notes being played. Voicing Tab Another technique to use is the detune effect from the voicing tab.
This will create multiple versions of the oscillators as a whole, and detune them an equal distance from each other. To make one duplicate, set the max and unisono numbers to 2 and 2.
Next, turn the pitch cutoff on and use the horizontal slider to adjust the amount of detuning. When you detune, you spread the pitch and tone out, but going too far stops them sounding as one tone.
This fatness of tone will sound larger but can also lose definition when listening to your bass in your song. So listen to it as you adjust the detuning both before and after to decide whether or not to use it, and by how much.
Wavetable position can be spread out across the multiple oscillator copies too. Enabling and moving the slider will make each extra voice start from a different wavetable position, creating even more harmonics and thickness. Large pitch bends are very popular in dubstep for creating huge sounding bass parts.
Another pitch related effect you can use is the vibrato effect, which is also in the OSC tab. Setting the depth to this high level initially lets you clearly hear the rate of vibrato as you set it. After you are happy with the rate, back off the depth until it is at a level that you like.
Here are some OSC tab settings you might use: Another very nice thing you can do with pitch to create more punch at the start of your bass notes, is to use a pitch envelope to create an initial drop from a higher octave to an octave in the bass register.
As the pitch can be started at a higher note, it will prevent your bass from clashing with your kick drums, which tend to occupy the lower frequencies between 50 and Hz depending on the kick you use.
Drag envelope 1 to the mod slot in each oscillator. Set the range to full 64 on each of the 3 oscillators. The envelope shape will have attack, sustain and release at 0, with the decay time set to a short time, so that the pitch change is fast like a drum.
Then lower the attack level to control the start pitch you are dropping from. Insert Effects Playing with different insert effects will add a new dimension to your bass. In the routing tab, you can see and configure the signal patch, starting with the oscillators and noise generator, through to the master output. Each oscillator can be routed in parallel to filter 1 and 2 simultaneously, or in series to just filter 1, which then outputs to filter 2. By working in parallel, you can use separate effects and filters to create two distinctly different tones, then fade between them using the mix filter.
Filter 1 will be the main bass sound, leaving the 2nd to be an alternative tone. After setting the mix fader to filter 1, choosing a low pass type will allow you to filter out higher frequencies, while keeping the lower frequencies in place. For a very aggressive sound, choose the scream filter. Experiment with the cutoff, scream amount and resonance to hear the distorted filter in use.
Insert effects 1 and 2 can be inserted to various points in the signal path. The last three insert effect types are different types of distortion, that can be experimented with to see how they sound. Then, bring the dry wet to zero, and slowly increase it until you get it to a level that sounds good. Move the cut off frequency of filter 1 to see how effective the distortion is working to aid its pronunciation when adjusted.
Noise Oscillator You may want to add some noise to your sound at this point to thicken it up and add some extra harmonics and grit. To do this, use the noise oscillator in the bottom left hand corner of Massive.
Bring up the amp and color, and toggle through the different types of noise to find a setting that you like, before re-adjusting the amp and color amounts until you are happy with the balance of noise in your sound. The feedback control redirects the signal from a chosen point after filter 1 back to the filter inputs, to create a feedback effect. Clicking the FB box at the end of the amp section, will help pronounce the attack and decay of the amp envelope, with an analog style low end boost, creating a heavier tone if you need it.
To work on your 2nd tone, set the filter mix to filter 2 and choose another type of filter. Experiment with different cutoffs and resonance values to see how this secondary filter can shape your sound. You should now have a very distinct tone on each filter with the ability to fade between them for different effects on your bass sound using the mix control.
They run in series from Fx 1 to Fx2 followed by the master EQ. You can add distortion, reverbs, delays and frequency modulation effects like flanger, phaser and chorus to take your sound in a new direction.
Be careful not to add too much distortion here. More distortion will help your sound to stick out in the front of your mix even more, but can also risk making the signal too flat with not enough dynamic range if you push it too far.
The frequency modulation effects like flanger, phaser and chorus can give a sound tonal movement. Add stereo spread and also help it sit in the mix by pushing it back in the sound stage when used in moderation.
Reverb and delay do a similar job but without the tonal movement. A very popular effect used for bass is the dimension expander, which can make your sound wider without losing the sharpness and focus that you get when using frequency modulation effects.
It can make your instrument sound strong on its own without the tonal change caused by detuning oscillators too. The choice of master effects can help create a unique sonic signature to each bass if you plan to use more than one instance. We can assign envelopes and LFOs to any other parameter inside Massive. Another common envelope use is for filter cutoff. Next, drag the cut off value to its lowest. Next drag the modulation range to full.
Now envelope 2 will adjust the filters cutoff value in accordance to its shape. You can adjust the attack, decay, sustain and release values of envelope 2 to sculpt your sound. Tweak the attack and decay until you have a nice growl sound. You can also switch from logarithmic to linear mode inside the envelope tab.
See how your growl changes when you do this. The envelope amount will affect the filter cutoff the most when the note is played at its highest velocity, and at lower velocities, the amount that the envelope will affect the filter cutoff will be less extreme.
When you adjust the velocities of different notes in your bassline, this will create a wider range of dynamics and movement in different notes played.
The trigger zero reset button can be activated to make each note start from the very start of the envelope shape, where the attack is initially zero. Your envelope two settings might look something like this, mapped to a low pass filter cutoff on filter 1: This can easily be achieved by assigning an LFO to the cutoff of a low pass or band pass filter.
You can assign LFO 5 to the cutoff of your scream filter on filter one, which is a low pass filter. You can adjust the rate of the LFO using the ration numbers. You can also experiment with different curves, but the sine wave is most commonly used for the wobble bass.
You can also experiment with adjusting the start and end point of the LFO by dragging it left and right in the LFO tab. Experiment with the cutoff value on the filter and the range of modulation created by the LFO. You can assign LFOs and envelopes to other parameters in your 4 oscillators to create a more animated sound. This will create a more dynamic sound that has more movement in it than having no movement in your oscillators.
Some parameters to modulate include: Wavetable position.
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View Larger Image If you saw my last tutorial , you now know how to create an alien-sounding, vulgar, authentic dubstep bass sound! As seen in the video, by using automation, I can create an attractive bassline rhythm. The following video demonstrates how to make a basic, changing pattern by using automation clips to change the tempo of a LFO over time: This was done using an incredibly simple change in LFO speed, using automation clips in order to change the tempo of the LFO pattern. For the purposes of demonstrating this effect, I am going to use the same melodic pattern as I did above.
VIDEO: Massive Sound Design Tutorial – Learn Native Instruments
Tutorial 2 – Buzz Bass & Womp. 13m 59s. Tutorial 3 – Massive Growl. 05m 05s. Tutorial 4 – Stabby Sounds. 08m 36s. Tutorial 5 – Simple Complextro Technqiue. Click here to learn 11 must know tricks to making great sounds in Massive! goes much deeper than I explained (We will be doing a tutorial video on this in the. Tom goes through some great techniqueson Dubstep Bass for all Massive users.