How to Make a Layered Uplifting Synth with NI Massive

This tutorial will show you how to make a sweet layered uplifting synth with NI Massive, similar to the lead synth in the song Madeon - the Dillon Francis remix. A very cool synth and easily customized for your projects.

This style of lead synth is super hot right now in multiple genres of music, and it’s not wonder. It is a very easy sound to make and it’s quick to customize for different songs. The magic is in how it is layered and how simple the actual design is kept. This helps ensure a nice clean sound that rises above the rest fo the mix easily. It also allows for some really cool effects to be used without much hassle. After you are done following along with this sound, you can experiment with adding more effects and/or further processing outside of Massive in your DAW. Some added distortion in the higher frequencies or even some well-timed delay effects would be a great place to start.

This synth starts off with the default Square-Saw wavetable loaded into both OSC1 and OSC2. A Dirty PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) wavetable is loaded into OSC3. All three oscillators are then routed to the Filter1 panel, where a Lowpass2 filter has been inserted. An envelope is set up and assigned to modulate the Cutoff parameter of Filter1.

A Chorus Ensemble is loaded in to the FX1 tab, while a Reverb is loaded in to the FX2 tab. The EQ is activated and all the knobs are tweaked a bit to accentuate a small amount of low end, some mid-highs and the treble frequencies. The total number of Unison voices is increased to three on the Voicing tab. This allows you to use the Pan Position and Pitch Cutoff features. The Pan Position slider is left at Mono, while the Pitch Cutoff Slider is moved to the far right, spreading the voices out across a total of seven semitones. This introduces the phasing that was missing. This sound is finished off with the addition of a Bitcrusher insert effect to add a touch of roughness to the edges.

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