Designing an NI Massive Swell Synth that Wobbles
An NI Massive swell synth that incorporates both an LFO and Vibrato for added interest!
Sounds like this NI Massive swell synth have been used for many years in various genres of music, but in today’s lesson we will expand upon the idea a bit and add a subtle wobble.
Knowing just how popular the wobble effect, that an LFO can impose upon a sound, has become in recent years I thought it was fitting to take some time to figure out a way to add it to some classic, yet unique sounds. The swell synth has been used in all sorts of music from rock and pop, to meditative and cinematic projects and tends to work best with large, deep and wide sounds. It can be used as either a supporting sound or take a larger role in a song. And I think that the sound we will have by the end if this tutorial will fit all of the above criteria.
To start this NI Massive swell off, we need to set up all three main oscillators. A default Square-Saw I wavetable is loaded into OSC1, with the pitch slightly offset and routed directly into Filter1. Next, a Square-Saw I wavetable is loaded into OSC2, with the pitch dropped just over an octave and is routed directly into Filter1. Lastly, a Square-Saw II wavetable is loaded into OSC3, with the pitch dropped just over two octaves and is routed into Filter1.
Now we need to set up some envelopes and an LFO. It’s just a little easier to have this done now, so we can apply them to various parameters as we move forward. So first we will set up the Modulation Envelope for this NI Massive swell synth. Take note that this envelope has been set to restart each time a note is played.
Next is the Main Amp Envelope.
And now we set up an LFO. Notice that the Amp parameter is being modulated but the envelope we just set up. This is how the wobble will be controlled in our NI Massive swell synth.
At this point we can set up our filters. They are set to run in Serial mode, rather than the default Parallel mode. A Comb filter is loaded into Filter1 and the Pitch parameter is then modulated by the modulation envelope we set up. A Daft filter is loaded into Filter2, with the Cutoff knob being modulated by the same envelope and controlled by the LFO via the Sidechain modulation slot. This is what keeps the movements of the sound in tandem as it develops and changes over time. It is also the core of the NI Massive swell synth character.
Now some Bright Noise and Feedback are introduced. We will take a look at the Routing schematic for this NI Massive swell synth in a moment. The Amp knob of the Noise Oscillator is being controlled by the modulation envelope we set up earlier.
A Bitcrusher and a Hardclipper are both inserted into the mix to help provide an airy edge to our NI Massive swell synth. Subtle, yet effective.
In the image below you can see just how everything is routed in this patch.
Now to set up the Voicing tab. The synth is set to run in Monophonic mode and the total number of Unison Voices has been increased to three. The Pitch Cutoff feature is used to introduce phasing, while making our NI Massive swell synth wider. The Pan Position feature is used to spread the voices out across the stereo field, for an even wider presence.
A quick stop at the OSC tab to adjust the amount of Glide and to make sure the Vibrato settings are to our liking.
The last big step in making this NI Massive swell synth is to set up the FX and EQ tabs. A Chorus effect is loaded into FX1 and a Synced Delay unit is loaded into FX1. The EQ is used to finish shaping the sound and that’s it!
Below is a small sample of this NI Massive swell synth in action. No processing of any kind has been added, so replicating this exact same sound should be a simple process of following the above instructions.
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