NI Massive Preset Series: Creating a Pulsating Evolving Space Bass
In this installment of the NI Massive Preset Series we will be exploring one way to create a performer driven synth that cycles between Serial and Parallel filters and also takes advantage of syncing the main filter bypass to this same action. It sounds complicated, but it isn’t that bad really and the effect is worth it! The sound we will make today will be a sonic space bass with a large degree of pulsing and attack range. This walkthrough has a lot of little things happening, so there will be plenty of pictures to keep you on track. Let’s get started!
First, set up the OSC 1 panel by choosing Modern Talking from the dropdown menu and setting the wave form to Bend -/+. Then set the parameters according to the image below. All of our initial settings in this lesson do not need to exact, as we will be coming back to all of them later to apply controllers and fine-tune things a bit. This will be main oscillator for our sound.
Now we need to set up two supporting oscillators to create a much fatter sound and allow for more flexibility later on. Go ahead and leave both OSC 2 and OSC 3 panels with their default wavetables, but set their pitch one and two octaves down respectively. Then adjust the knobs to match the image below.
Next, let’s set up the filters. We need to make a couple of changes before we select the actual filters, though. First, move the slider on the left to the full upright, or Serial position. (By default this is usually in the Parallel position.) Next, set the MIX slider on the right to 3/4 down, so it is biased towards Mix 2. The turn up both filter panels all the way up. Now, pick Lowpass 4 form the dropdown menu of the FILTER 1 panel and Scream from the menu of the FILTER 2 panel. Set the parameters to match the image below.
Moving now to the FX and EQ panels. Set FX 1 to Phaser, FX 2 to Flanger Positive and turn the EQ on. Then set up the knobs to match the images below before moving on to the next step.
Now to set up the MODULATION OSC panel. We will be setting the Ring Mod to OSC 1, the Phase to OSC 1 and Position mode to OSC 2. Adjust the knob for each mode according to the images below.
We need to add a little noise and feedback to bring more character to our sound now. So set both the NOISE and FEEDBACK panels to send only to Filter 1 by moving their sliders to the full upright position. Then set the knobs to match the image below.
Next come the INSERT 1 and INSERT 2 panels. Select Frequency Shifter and Sine Shaper from the respective dropdown menus and set the knobs to match those in the image below.
In the GLOBAL panel I have set the global preset BPM rate to 100 so we can hear the programming of the performer and LFOs easier. You can, of course, set this to whatever rate you like.
I have made some changes to the VOICING panel that will make the sound much bigger and spread it out a bit. First, I set the Unisono to 4. Then I turned on both Pitch Cutoff and Pan Position, set the Pitch control to Chord and set the stereo slider to just shy of fully inverted. I also changed the voicing from Polyphon to Monophon so only one sound at a time can be played.
Since 4Env is already set up as the default envelope, I have elected to make adjustments to it rather than mess with the other envelopes. Take notice of all the settings shown in the image below, including the Morph and Loop parameters.
We will now need to set up two LFOs. As you can see from the images below, 5LFO is much more complex than it’s partner 6LFO. Make sure your setting match up as close as possible to the images below to achieve the same sounds in the end. Notice the 5LFO wave forms have both been set a bit to the left from their default positions. You can do this by simply clicking and dragging the waves with your mouse.
We will now set up the Performer which will be used to create the signature sound of this synth. You can either draw in the same types of curves used in the image below or simply opt to use the randomize feature to generate something different.
This next step is actually many steps, in that you will now be applying all of the controllers throughout the different panels. Below are images of each panel used, as well as one ‘zoomed out’ image of the entire synth for perspective. Pay close attention to each image and take notice of where the Macros have been applied, as they will provide some pretty good control for you if set up properly. You can also listen to an audio sample and download this patch for free at the end of the tutorial, so you can compare it to what you come up with.
As always, I encourage you to keep playing with this one and make it your own. The same concepts of using the same Envelope and/or LFO(s) on many parameters to keep things in sync and cohesive can be applied any other project in the same fashion. I have left several Macros open for you to build and there are many more controller assignments that can be made still. This really is just scratching the surface of what you can do with sound like this, ranging from atmospheric background themes so raging lead synths. I hope you have enjoyed this walkthrough and are able to put it to good use in your projects!
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