The well-designed, and quite popular, lead synth from the song It’s Gone is deconstructed here in this helpful Native Instruments Massive synth tutorial.
[aside title="Recreating Magic!"] NI Massive is so flexible, it allows you to recreate an incredible range of popular sounds without much hassle![/aside]
This synth has many stopping points between the beginning of the sound design process and the final replicated sound, all of which are well worth playing with on their own. A slight deviation from the normal workflow is introduced in the making if this sound, by adding some delay as an effect prior to even beginning working on the synth itself. This is because when a sound like this one is so dependent on timing in relation to the effect, it is simply easier to have it in place right from the start. This helps to ensure that you do not go to far with any one parameter setting that could cause a conflict in timing.
Being that this video is over twenty minutes long, there are obviously more things involved than we will be able to write about here in the post. So we will do our best to simply highlight the important parts in regards to designing the sound within NI Massive. There are more steps that take place outside Massive in your DAW that can all be considered optional or open to personal preference, if you are not looking to replicate th eoriginal sound exactly, but rather find a similar sound of your own along the way.
It begins with using all three main oscillators in Massive. The default Square-Saw wavetable is used on OSC2, and the pitch is offset slightly to 0.05 to generate some very slight and natural movement and phasing between this and the other oscillators. This makes for a much wider and complex sound. For OSC2 a Soft Square wavetable is loaded and the pitch is offset in the opposite direction to -0.05. A Classic wavetable is then loaded into OSC3.
Some Ring Modulation and Phasing is introduced to the sound being generated by OSC1 via the Modulation OSC panel. Two filters are then added. Both OSC1 and OSC2 are routed directly through a Lowpass 4 filter loaded into the Filter1 panel, while OSC3 is routed through a Daft filter on the Filter2 panel.
A Dimension Expander is added to the FX1 tab, which makes the sound much wider. A Chorus effect is added to the FX2 tab to add to that wideness, as well as add some extra movement. The EQ tab is also turned on and the Boost parameter is turned up to accentuate the mid frequencies in the synth.
On the Voicing Tab, the synth is set to run in Monophonic mode, the number of voices is increased to a total of four and the Pitch Cutoff feature is activated and used to introduce more phasing. Turning on the Pan Position feature and setting the slider to either extreme will spread the osund out across the stereo field, resulting in an even wider sound.
Setting up a simple envelope to modulate the pitch of each oscillator, as well as the Modulation OSC panel, will add that slight change in pitch that the original sound, that is being recreated, has. To wrap up this sound design session in NI Massive an Parabolic Shaper and a Bitcrusher are added to rough the synth up a bit. The rest of the processing takes place outside of Massive, so we will leave you to the rest of the video and begin the hunt for the next great tutorial to feature!
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