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Bands like Boards of Canada showcase some really incredible and catchy analog style...

Massive Tutorials

Analog Soundscapes and Instruments with NI Massive Part 1 - Layered Arp

Bands like Boards of Canada showcase some really incredible and catchy analog style instrumentation and sound design. This month-long series will explore these types of sounds and how they can be made with NI Massive.

This first installment of this new series focuses heavily on not just sound design, but sequencing and the programming and use of Steppers and Performers to automate progressions that can really bring your music to life. NI Massive has some amazing tools to accomplish both minimal and complex sequencing alike. A Jonny walks us through the steps of creating this sound and then putting it into action, keep in mind that there are an unlimited number of variations on this idea and that you can easily create your own in just a matter of minutes by simply applying the same theories shared in this video.

A default Square-Saw I wavetable is loaded into both OSC1 and OSC2, with the pitch dropped two octaves on OSC2. This is the incredibly simple core of our sound. This sound is run through a Daft filter loaded into Filter1 and a Lowpass4 filter loaded into Filter2 in serial mode, rather than the default parallel mode. Next the total number of Unison Voices is increased to two. These voices are then spread out across the stereo field via the Pan Position feature.

Now that the sound is basically done, we can begin to sequence it. Using multiple Steppers is a wonderful way to bring more depth and complexity to a sequenced synth. The first Stepper set up is assigned to control the pitch value of OSC1 over time. The next Stepper set up is assigned to control the pitch parameter of OSC2. A Performer is now set up and assigned to modulate the Cutoff parameter of Filter1. A secondary sequence can be programmed in this Performer and managed through either a Macro control fro manual tweaking, or an LFO for automated fluctuation and variety. next, an LFO is set up and assigned to modulate the Cutoff parameter of Filter2, as well as the pitch parameters of both OSC1 and OSC2. A Hardclipper insert effect is used to give the sound just a bit of grit. The finishing touch is the addition of a couple of effects. Chorus provides more depth and movement, while Reverb gives the sound more space to move around in.

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