EDM Pro Tip for Making a Percussive Pluck in Massive

In this tutorial, learn some quick tips and tricks that will help you make a percussive pluck in Massive that snaps right through the mix.

A pluck is one of those sounds you hear and go, “That sounds easy to make!” Unfortunately that is rarely the case as it can be hard to get the right amount percussiveness while at the same time, leaving a long enough decay to keep it interesting. Fortunately making a percussive pluck in Massive is pretty easy because of it’s extensive modulation options.

Instead of just going straight for Envelope 4 in Massive and turning down the decay and the level of the decay to get a pluck sound, I like to use envelope 1 to create a very short decayed modulator that is applied to the oscillator’s pitch. If you get just the right amount of decay, this adds a percussive pop to the attack of your sound. Using this envelope and modulating the cutoff frequency of your sound is another great way to add some snap.

There are two type of effects that I love to use when trying to get a percussive pluck in Massive. First is the bright noise. This noise type adds some great high end air and harmonics to the sound which helps make it sit on top of the mix more. Second, applying the hard clipper in the insert slot acts as another filter to help dirty up the sound a bit. Using one of the envelopes to modulate the drive of the hard clipper helps add some saturation to the sound. Of course throwing on some delay and reverb help thicken things up too.

Try pulling up one of your favorite lead sounds and turning it into an percussive pluck using these tips and tricks!


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  • Shnyder

    Thanks man, I really like the idea of modulating the pitch and curt off for some snap. I would usually use a transient shaper for the snap.
    The reason I found myself here is because I was trying to make a pluck and there was one thing that drove me nuts, it was the choice between a pluck with “Release” or with 0 zero release (played legato). The benefit of the 0 release is that I can use the filter envelope (decay time) to cut off the sound or the amp envelope, and when programing a sequence I need not to worry about note lengths, just play all notes legato. However, when I add release to it, then I have another factor to shape the sound; release time. Also this way the end of the pluck wouldn’t sound as “muted” as when it is decayed using Filter Envelope.
    Does this make sense?