Emulating a Throwback 80s Style NI Massive Bass Synth
Take this NI Massive bass synth in a new direction by switching OSC1 to a Pulse-Saw PWM wavetable!
Today we look at how to use one of the lesser used wavetables in NI Massive to recreate a classic sound from the 1980s. It’s a lot of fun to figure out how a lot of those throwback sounds were made when synthesizers were really taking over the popular music scene. They key is to focus in on what people were working with back then, rather than using the more modern options within this huge synth to accomplish your goals. And this particular NI Massive bass synth is one that smacks of roller skates and breakdancing, a perfect sound to back up those analog drum machines of yesteryear.
We start out by loading a Pulse-Saw Sync wavetable into OSC1, with the pitch dropped one octave. This will provide much of the tonal quality of this sound. Next, a Sine-Square wavetable is loaded into both OSC2 and OSC3, each dropped two octaves and set to run in Formant mode. Just the right amount of grit and harmonics are dialed in and then all three main oscillators are routed directly to Filter1. A very simple sound to bass out NI Massive bass synth off of.
The filter panel is set up to run in Serial mode, rather than the default Parallel mode. Then a Bandreject filter is loaded into both panels. The filter output crossfader is allowing sound to leave from both filters in equal measure. This allows a small range of frequencies through, getting us one step closer to the classic NI Massive bass synth sound we are shooting for.
A Brauner Tube Amp is used to impart some drive and grit, while a Dimension Expander is provides more space for our NI Massive bass synth. The EQ is used to cut out some low-mids, while accenting the bright edginess that helps it cut through the mix. Too much low end in this style of bass will wreck your drums and make your mix muddy.
A touch of feedback helps to thicken the sound a bit.
An HP LP Filter helps to wrangle in the frequencies of this NI Massive bass synth, while the Sine Shaper helps to accentuate the drive and grit.
Below is a picture of the Routing schematic for this sound, and you can see that OSC2 has been set up as the bypass oscillator. The image below this shows that the Bypass feature has been put into play to allow for some of the sound coming from OSC2 to partially sidestep the filters and FX tabs. This allows just a bit more of the low end to shine through.
Below is a small audio sample of our throwback bass in action. No processing of any kind has been applied.
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