NI Massive Preset Series: Atmospheric Pad
This new series is going to be a lot of fun for both you and me! In each installment I will create a different sound, walk you through it step-by-step and in the end you will not only have had the chance to create your own version of it, you will be able to download the preset I created while making the tutorial. As always, I am open to suggestions, ideas, critiques, etc. All you need to do is join the ongoing conversation by leaving a comment below or on one of our social networking pages.
In this first session we will cover one way to go about creating an atmospheric pad within NI Massive. There are, of course, many way to do this and we will probably cover several of them overt time. It also leaves open an opportunity for you to get involved with sharing how you go about creating your atmospheric pads in Massive, either here on the site, on the MassiveSynth Facebook page or the OhmLab Facebook page. Either way, this is meant to become a more interactive series as it progresses and no matter which community you are most active in, we would love to hear form you!
As we go through the steps, there will be audio examples for you to listen to. This way as you follow along at home, you are able to see and hear how the changes happen and compare them to yours. If you would like to share the sounds you ended up with, I’m sure everyone here would enjoy giving it a listen.
Let’s kick things off by selecting a few oscillators. I have started by setting OSC1 to Additivmix I. Set your dials to match up with the image below and you should get a sound similar to this.
Now on to OSC2, where I have added the second oscillator Additivmix II. Once you set your up according to the image, your sound should be somewhere in the neighborhood of the sample below. I bumped up the Pitch exactly one octave for ease, but you’re encouraged to play around with different variables until you begin to get the feel of non-integer based sounds. Personally, I feel like some of the greatest pads out there are built off of odd harmonics, but for this first lesson I want to make things easy to follow for everyone tuning in.
I have now added to OSC3 to the mix and selected the sound Additivmix V. As with the sounds prior, adjust your settings to match the image below and notice that the Pitch has been lowered exactly one octave.
Alright, now let’s add a Lowpass 4 to the FILTER 1 panel. Match up the setting to the image below. You will probably notice that there is not a huge amount of difference being created by this yet. That’s ok.
Since there are already some parameters controlled by the 4Env tab by default we will now make a few changes to the settings here as well as on the 5LFO and 6LFO tabs. Pay close attention to the types of waves being used, as well as their position. You will also notice that the attack, decay, release and restart functions have been changed as well. (I am not going into too much detail here and allowing the images to speak for themselves because you can begin to play around with these settings now to achieve the sound you desire.) After making your adjustments to these controllers, we will then add them to the FILTER 1 and AMP panels as shown in the images below. As you will hear, there are changes beginning to take shape.
The FX panels are next. Starting with FX1, add a basic Reverb from the dropdown menu. For the FX2 panel you want to go with the Delay Synched option. I have also decided to go ahead and turn on the EQ at this point and add just a little something to our sound. Match your settings to the images below and take a listen to the changes in the audio example before moving on.
Now we need to shape our Voicing, which can be one of the biggest areas of focus for many of you and it’s what also separates a gentle pad and a searing lead. Im my opinion it is usually better to start off on the quitter side when creating a sound of this sort, and then boost the loudness along with the number of voices towards the end, so you leave plenty of room for the sounds to grow and breath. It will also let you hear more of the voices rather than just additional volume. I have decided in this instance to bump the Max down to 12 and up the Unisono to 3, as well as turn on the Pitch Cutoff and nudge the slider over to the right just a bit. Subtle adjustments, yes but with rather large impact, especial once you begin playing around with some chords and dropping octaves to take full advantage of the atmospheric qualities we have built in. I have included a couple of audio examples of this at the end of the tutorial so you can hear exactly what I mean.
Right now you have a working and professional sounding basic atmospheric pad that is wide open for changes, or you can begin using the sound as it is. Either way, it is sure to add more depth to your next project. Just imagine what you’ll be able to do with it once you begin adding Macros for your live performances!
A few simple chords:
The same single C note used throughout the lesson, dropped two octaves:
Your free Massive Preset:
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