Funk Clav Synth Tutorial for NI Massive

One of our new favorites, producer James Marcus is back to deliver another spot on tutorial for the NI Massive community. This time he shows how to make a funky clav!

YouTube user MarcusJamesProducer has plenty of good experience to back up what he’s sharing on his channel, and his videos show it. His constant attention to detail and awareness of the difference in knowledge level, experience and understanding of the NI Massive user community, makes all the difference in making these tutorials very universal in their approach and application. Something to keep in mind as you go through this lesson, is that you can get some really cool sounds by playing around with different wavetables and inserts to make new and interesting instruments quickly and easily.

This version of the funky clav begins with all three of the main oscillators. Combining a roughmath wavetable with two instances of guitar pulse, all three being sent directly to filter 1. An LFO modulates the pitch variation of each of the oscillators, with a basic sine wave curve set up with the peak in the middle. The main amp envelope is then shaped to produce the pluck sound needed to create a clav.

A lowpass 2 filter is set up on both filter 1 and filter, and the filters are then set up in a serial mode so the sounds travel through filter 1 before being affected by filter 2. This produces a double filter sound and sets the stage for the classic wah style funky clav. An envelope is then set up with some good attack and assigned to modulate the cutoff of filter 1. A different envelope, similar in shape is then assigned to modulate the cutoff of filter 2 in the opposite direction.

On to the voicing tab. Here the sound is set up the unisono to three and turn on both pitch cutoff and pan position to introduce a small amount of phasing and spread the sound across the stereo field. A quick stop to the OSC tab to switch this synth to mono mode and manually set the vibrato gives it the signature motion heard in many songs from the likes of Stevie Wonder over the years. Adding a tele tube amp and some subtle delay finish the sound design process, while a quick adjustment to the EQ putting the polishing touches on the overall shape. This is about as close as one ca get to the funky clav without any influence outside of NI Massive. Of course, once you move this sound to your DAW, you can begin to play around with various effects, as well as amp and speaker modeling to get a lot closer!


  • http://dirtboxmedia Dougie

    I’m actually in love with the live sounds you’ve got going on here.. Can you run me through where those bass / brass sounds come from – Are they just samples?