We have another tutorial from producer Marcus James, who has quickly become one of my absolute favorite guys on the NI Massive video training scene! Stevie Wonder, enough said.
[aside title="Truly Amazing!"] After all these years, Stevie Wonder’s sounds are still some of the funkiest around![/aside]
One of the most iconic musicians of his time, Stevie Wonder made huge waves when he stepped out with his funky sounds and original approach to sound design for his music. He is one of the most well respected keyboardists ever, and with sounds like this one it is no surprise, really. YouTube user MarcusJamesProducer does an incredible job of explaining things in a way that allows anyone, regardless of experience level, to not just follow along as he moves through the tutorial but also really understand what is happening and why. With every change made throughout the process, he takes the time to describe the thoughts behind his decisions and what the different parameters do to affect the sound.
This sound starts with three main oscillators, all of which are routed directly to filter 1. A saw wave pitched down an octave, a sine-triangle wave pitched down two octaves and a triangle wave also pitched down two octaves. The pitch of each of these oscillators is modulated by the same LFO by a degree of 0.10 semitones to generate a slight amount of movement emulating the analogue feel of the era in which this sound originates from.
The main amp envelope is adjusted slightly so the decay level is turned up and the attack is turned down. All of this is then sent through a lowpass filter, and the cutoff is then modulated by an envelope and a velocity controller. This last set of changes to the filter really bring out the character of the synth that made it so popular. Changing the synth from a polyphonic to a monophonic allows you to introduce some glide. You may need to tweak the glide and vibrato a bit until you find the ideal sound for you. Round it off with a brauner tube amp and you’re all set.
If you have an iconic sound or perhaps something original you would like to share with the rest of the MassiveSynth community, you can send us a direct message to get the ball rolling. We’d love to hear from you!