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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A small amount of Phasing is introduced to OSC3 via the Modulation OSC panel.
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.
A SineShaper and a Hardclipper are inserted to help accentuate the drive, distortion and grit of this NI Massive acid bass.
You will need to make sure your Routing tab is set up properly to get the same sound.
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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