Designing a Deep Filtered NI Massive Acid Bass

This tutorial is in response to a sound design request in our forums. The original post inquired as to how a specific bass synth could be recreated. Here is a link to the original post.

I decided to call this patch a deep filtered NI Massive acid bass. I was part of a conversation the other day, in a different forum, centered around what to call a bass instrument like this. Some swore it was a dub bass, other called it an acid bass, and still others had their say. I called it a cool sound and moved onto the next topic. The point is that there doesn’t need to be a definitive name for any kind of sound, as long as everyone in the conversation knows what it sounds like. This particular type of bass synth has been used in several genres of music that I know of, and I thought it was a great one to ask about in our forums. Of course, it’s a bit off from the original example I had to work from, but then again there is no processing of any kind done outside of Massive. And with a little love, it can be an exact match.

The key to this sound working the way it does in the song I was given to work from is modulation assignments. So I will begin this tutorial a bit differently than the normal workflow most of you are accustomed to. This will give us a chance to look at the why and how behind the programming decisions I made. The first thing to do is set up the Main Amp Envelope.

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Now to set up a couple of envelopes that will be used to modulate several parameters throughout the synth the ensure the right delivery of our NI Massive acid bass. The attack needs to be just right, and in order to get the sound to respond correctly across a wide range of notes, KeyTracking and VelocityTracking are used. This way the sound is quicker to reveal itself with higher notes versus the more typical lower bass notes.

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Now that we have our main modulators created, we can begin setting up the oscillators. A Sine-Square wavetable is loaded into OSC1, with the pitch value dropped to -12.01. The first modulation envelope is assigned to the Intensity and Amp parameters. The, a Square-Saw II wavetable is loaded into OSC2 and the same envelope is assigned to modulate the Amp knob. And finally, a Carbon wavetable is loaded into OSC3 with the same envelope assigned to modulate the Intensity and Amp parameters. All three of these oscillators are routed directly to the Filter1 panel.

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Moving now to the Filters panel, a Lowpass4 filter is loaded into Filter1. Both modulation envelopes are assigned to control the Cutoff parameter of this first filter and the second envelopes is set to control the Resonance knob. A Daft filter is loaded into Filter2 and the same envelopes are assigned to the same parameters as the first filer, with slightly different settings. The filter panel needs to be set to run in Serial mode rather the default Parallel mode. Both filters are turned all the way up and the filter mix slider is brought down so that it is heavily biased towards the Filter2 output. This gives us the basic delivery of our NI Massive acid bass.

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Now the total number of Unisono voices is increased to four on the Voicing tab and the synth is set to run in Monophon mode. This gives our NI Massive acid bass a big boost.

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The original sound had a fair amount of distortion and reverberation. So a Tele Tube Amp is loaded into the FX1 tab and Reverb is loaded into the FX2 tab. The EQ unit is turned on and used to accent the highs, lows and mids in the right balance. This is rather important to get the right character for our NI Massive acid bass.

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A small amount of Phasing is introduced to OSC3 via the Modulation OSC panel.

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Some Tape Hiss noise is added , with the Amp knob being controlled by the first modulator envelope as well as KeyTracking. And Feedback is introduced to the mix.

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A SineShaper and a Hardclipper are inserted to help accentuate the drive, distortion and grit of this NI Massive acid bass.

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You will need to make sure your Routing tab is set up properly to get the same sound.

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Below is a short audio sample of this deep filtered NI Massive acid bass. Remember that there is no processing of any kind added outside of Massive. So if you are comparing it to the original sound found in the forum post that this tutorial is based off of, a small amount of tweaking will need to be done in your DAW to replicate it exactly.

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Visit DESIGNING A DEEP FILTERED NI MASSIVE ACID BASS

Thanks for stopping by!

Cheers,
OhmLab

  • Celletrom

    Hi ΩhmLab,

    Before complaining I would like to thank you for all the free work you are making for us :) , it’s really nice from you ! I’m a french guy learning sound design with Internet, so as you can see your website is well known in France, and even in Poland dude !
    Anyway, i’ve FOLLOWED EVERYTHING on this tutorial, really everything is same as the pictures, but my preset doesn’t really sounds same as yours, if you have some time to answer me, could you help me please .
    Here is the link of the preset, to everyone reading me, the preset i’ve uploaded is exactly the same as pictures. I hope you will see that message ΩhmLab. Thanks

    http://www29.zippyshare.com/v/32805384/file.html

    • http://ohmlabmusic.com OhmLab

      First of all, thank your for the kind words and feedback! I appreciate it. :)

      Yeah, your’s sounds thin and flat compared to mine. Try activating the Restart Via Gate feature on the OSC tab. That should probably fix it for you!

      Hope this does the trick!

  • Celletrom

    Steve…

    I love you dude, thank you so much my friend, it worked. You made my evening.

    If by a coincidence you feel answering this, what does the “Via Gate feature” do ?

    And Steve, honestly if only i could speak english fluently i would have buy all your courses for Massive, but unfortunately it’s in english without subtitles, maybe i’m wrong, you tell me.

    Thanks for the fast answering i appreciate your gesture

    • http://www.passiveproductive.com Sam Matla

      If I’m right, the restart via gate feature causes each waveform to start from the beginning each time a sound is produced.

    • http://ohmlabmusic.com OhmLab

      No problem! And this is Chris, BTW. ;)

      And Sam is correct in his response, the Restart Via Gate features is like a basic re-trigger or key sync command if none of the settings are changed. You are also able to set the precise starting point in the oscillation process for each of the main oscillators, as well as the Modulation OSC, by moving the corresponding sliders. This is a very cool feature that is usually underutilized by most Massive users. I’ll try to shed some more light on it in future tutorials in hopes that it may help more people like yourself with questions about how it works and can be used.

      Cheers!

  • http://Keytracking Richie

    Maaaaaaan, you guys taught me everything I know about Massive. Much love indeed.

    Quesion: what is the importance of using the key tracking function as modulation parameter for this preset?

    Cheers
    Richie

    • http://ohmlabmusic.com OhmLab

      Hi Richie,

      Thank you for the kind words. Tracking will cause the modulation to affect the synth differently depending upon notes played and the corresponding settings you apply. You can customize how Tracking works for every synth in Massive by using the KTR tabs.

      With this particular sound, the Key Tracking causes the synth to react much quicker at higher pitched notes, while having a much slower reveal when lower notes are played. Make sense?

      Cheers!

  • Johnny

    Awsome tutorial. Lots of great envelope and routing tricks that will help in the future. Thank you guys (I’m making stuff shake in my room right now:)

    • http://ohmlabmusic.com/ OhmLab

      Glad you enjoyed!

  • Julian

    Thank you for the tutorial! Awsome sound!

    • http://ohmlabmusic.com/ OhmLab

      Thanks for checking it out. Glad you enjoyed it!