Today we are going to make a cool rhythmic synth sequence that shows how different types of modulation can be used in tandem to generate a lot of excitement and interest in very little time.
[aside title="Tandem Modulation!"] Taking advantage NI Massive’s ability to assign the same controller to various parameters, as well as the same one twice![/aside]
There are plenty of music genres out there that are constantly pushing the beat, driving energy forward and the listeners along with it. For this kind of music, you can often find great success in using synth elements to reinforce and actually take part in the actual beat and rhythm of the song. Doing this helps to give a more complete and consistent feel to the music you create. Popular bands across a wide range of styles, such as Daft Punk, The Crystal Method and many more have used this same approach for many years.
This lesson will take advantage of all three main oscillators and a few controllers, so let’s start by loading up our initial sounds. On OSC1 let’s load a Crusher wavetable, and offset the Pitch to 0.03. Next load a Square-Saw I wavetable on to OSC2, set the mode to Bend- and drop the Pitch value to 12.04. And for OSC3, load a Roughmath I wavetable and raise the Pitch value up to 24.02.
Now we will set up the filters. On Filter 1 load a Lowpass4 filter. And on Filter 2 load a Daft filter.
Now we will set up the curve of the main Amp Envelope. This will determine largely how the sound will be delivered.
Now let’s set up the first of our controllers. Go the the 8STEP tab, or set one of your controller tabs up as a Stepper. After setting it up to match the image below you will assign it to the cutoff knobs of both the Lowpass4 filter and the Daft filter.
Then it’s time to set up the 7PERF tab. If this tab does not already have a Performer assigned to it, then do so now. This will be our main modulator for the wavetable position parameter on each of our main oscillators. After setting it up, and assigning it, according to the image below we will move on.
Setting up the rhythmic element is next. Set up a Performer on the 6PERF tab to match the image below. Then assign it to control the Amp knob of both OSC2 and OSC3.
A very small adjustment needs to be made to the Intensity parameter of OSC3. To automate this, we will set up the 1Env tab and assign it to the Intensity knob of OSC3.
Let’s introduce a little Metallic Noise to the mix.
Some extra Phasing is introduced through the Modulation OSC panel.
Increase the total number of Voices on the Voicing tab, and change the mode to Monophon and the Trigger to Legato Triller. Before we leave this panel, activate the Pan Position feature and spread the sound out some.
Adjust the Rate of Glide on the OSC tab to your liking. This allows the sound to glide between notes when played in a sequence.
Adding a Tele Tube Amp will add a small amount of distortion and help rough things up a bit.
Using a Small Reverb will give us just the amount of space we need for our sound to move around in.
Some small tweaks to the EQ settings.
And lastly, inserting a Hard Clipper and Sine Shaper will accentuate the right edge in our sound to wrap up this session.
In the two audio samples below you can hear the synth on it’s own, playing only one note sustained, and then with it along side some drums. It should give you a good idea of how you can use this approach in your own projects.
I hope you enjoyed this one! Do you have a request for a specific sound or procedure to be featured in an upcoming tutorial? Just let us know by sending us a message. Thanks for stopping by!