Understanding Wavetables in NI Massive

In part one of this month’s featured series, learn about wavetables in NI Massive and how you can use them to create the sounds you want to make.

There are multiple types of synthesis.

Each synthesizer whether it’s digital, analog or otherwise uses one form or another.

Massive uses wavetable synthesis which dates all the way back to the 1970′s with the PPG synths. Without getting too much into the history of wavetable synthesis, it is important to know the difference between additive and subtractive synthesis to further understand the wavetables in NI Massive.

In it’s simplest form, additive synthesis a synthesis technique that adds timbre by the addition of sine waves. Subtractive synthesis attenuates sounds using a filter. Comparing Sylenth1 to Massive is a good starting point. Both synths have filters (they both have two) but Sylenth1 doesn’t allow you to morph the virtual analog waveforms like Massive does. Which means you can get considerable differences in sound without using a filter and just tweaking settings in the wavetables in NI Massive.

Lets use the Squ-Sw1 waveforms as an example. If you load that up in Osc1 and move the Wt-Position knob from left to right, your sound will change from a square sound to a saw sound. The middle would theoretically be a blend of the two. So it’s adding new harmonic content to the overall timbre of the sound. That’s a really quick rundown of wavetable synthesis and the how the wavetables in NI Massive work.

If you want to really get deep with Wavetables in NI Massive we have a 3 hours course. In our Video Course you’ll explore all five categories of wavetables inside Massive: The Basic, Analog/Electric, Digital/Hybrid, FX/Chords, as well as a look at the Virtual/ Analog oscillators available. Click here to find out more about NI Massive wavetables

Stay tuned for next week’s second installment which will dive even deeper into the various wavetable types!

  • Jason

    Very nice. Interested to see what becomes of this month-long series. I hope you’ll get into some classic PPG-ish patches. Thanks and Cheers!