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Macro Control panel in NI Massive. What are KTR, VEL, TrR, AT ?

Posted on 28th October, by Steve Foulds in Tutorials for Massive. 7 Comments
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This post walks through the features of the Macro Control panel and how you might use the functions.

macro controls native instruments massive

We’re going to cover the icons KTR, VEL, TrR, AT.

I’m not going to talk about assigning the 8 knobs on the right panel of this window because Christian did a good job of explaining that in is his macro control video post.

Instead i want to talk about the 4 icons on the left hand side of the panel.

The best place to start would be the manual (page 83).

At the left, there are four small yellow controllers available which can be
assigned to modulation destinations in MASSIVE. Each of these routes
modulation data triggered by an external MIDI keyboard or MIDI sequence to
the modulation target.

• KTr (Keytracking): Generates a modulation signal depending on the
pitch of the played MIDI note.

• TrR (Trigger Random): Each played MIDI note trigger generates a new
random value at the output of the TrR modulation source.

• AT (Aftertouch): The modulation source provides the aftertouch value
of your MIDI messages. Note that relatively few MIDI keyboards send
aftertouch information.

• Vel (Velocity): This modulation source relays velocity data from your
MIDI keyboard or other MIDI controller.

Let’s look at how you can use these when creating sounds.

KT (Keytracking)

Keytracking native instruments massive

Set up a lowpass filter like so:

keytracking filter native instruments massive

Now open up the KTR FLT tab from the main window.

This window shows a linear progression of the filter cutoff depending on what notes you play. So for example by default (if you set up the KTR on the filter cutoff as above) the higher the note you play on your keyboard the brighter/more open the filter will get!

ktr flt ni massive

However we don’t all have 127 key keyboards – so you might not hear very much going on with your keyboard. So….

You could set up the KTR FLT like so

KTR FLT NI Massive

In this instance the span of the KTR FLT is only 2 octaves – so if you had a 2 octave keyboard the filter would be completely shut on the lowest key/note and progressively opening until it’s fully open on the highest/last key/note.

Why might you want to do this? Well perhaps you have a nice high to miss synth noise but you want to play some low notes and you don’t want the low end of it to mess with your bass. Well you could set up a hi pass filter so it cuts out more and more of the low end the lower you play. Lots of applications you could apply it to.

Note that to the right of the KTR FLT panel you can turn on a second filter line and set up a separate control for the other filter!

TrR (Trigger random)

Trigger random ni massive

This one is fairly simple.

Drag it onto a parameter and define an amount it will affect the parameter (the ring around the knob). Now a random point in that defined region will be selected. This might be interesting for delay feedback, release lengths or even filter cutoffs.

AT (After touch)

after touch ni massive

This one won’t apply to everyone as only some keyboards have after touch.

Keyboard expression often shortened to expression is the ability of a keyboard instrument to respond to the dynamics of the music or change the tone of the sound in response to the way that the performer depresses the keys of the musical keyboard. Keyboard expression types include velocity sensitivity, which responds to how hard or fast the keys are pressed; pressure sensitivity, which responds to the force with which a key is held down after the initial impact; and displacement sensitivity, which responds to how far down a key is depressed.

So for instance if you added this to a filter cutoff, you could control the opening and closing of the filter by the pressure you applied to the keys – even after you had initially played the note.

Vel (Velocity)

velocity ni massive

This is one i use all the time, it can be great to give your synth patterns a more organic feel to how they are played. If for instance you drew in a pattern over a couple of bars and looped them – there will not be much variation and it will start to sound loopy.

Most DAW’s will have a random velocity midi tool in them. Set this up before massive and assign the VEL to your filter cutoff and you’ll hear that every hit of the synth will sound slightly darker or brighter than the last (depending on your settings). Of course this also applies to you playing the synth to.

The beauty of Massive is you don’t have to assign this to your filter – you can assign it you just about anything! Perhaps to a reverb dry/wet (harder you hit/higher velocity the wetter the sound) for example!


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  • pluton

    nice stuff here

  • breakitdown

    Thanks Pluton!

  • http://www.videoansehen.de/Wasyuzan/ Wasyuzan

    I have a problem with the overall premise of your article but I still think its really informative. I really like your other posts. Keep up the great work. If you can add more video and pictures can be much better. Because they help much clear understanding. :) thanks Wasyuzan.

  • Juno

    Great stuff thanks man! We need to come together and inform more people on the awesome capabilities and techniques one can use with Massive.

  • Torley

    Wayuzan You Slag!

  • connor

    You didnt seem to explain what the velocity control does, you more just explained how it’s used/what it’s used for

  • connor

    Very helpful though, thanks!




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