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In the third installment of this month-long series analyzing the design of analog soundscapes...

Massive Tutorials

Analog Soundscapes and Instruments with NI Massive Part 3 - Effect Plugins

In the third installment of this month-long series analyzing the design of analog soundscapes and instruments using NI Massive, we look at a set of plugins that are useful tools when trying to evoke an analog feel.

In part three of this month-long series looking at designing analog soundscapes and instruments using NI Massive, Jonny runs through a list of effects that he finds useful in producing analog inspired sounds. This list of effects features some heavy hitters, including PSP’s oldTimer Compressor, Valhalla’s Vintage Verb Reverb, eaReckon’s CM-EQUA 87 Equalizer, and D16’s Decimort Bit Crusher. All of which are high-quality, inexpensive plugins that are offered for both Mac and PC.

Jonny uses the subtle PSP oldTimer Compressor to provide an analog feel and to tie in the dynamics while firming up the sound. He analyzes both the affected and unaffected sound trying to find the perfect amount of compression to add a bit of warmth. Adding the compressor before the other effects helps to mellow the dynamics, while adding a compressor after the other effects helps to round off the sound by gelling all of the effects together.

The Valhalla Vintage Verb has the ability to take your sound in a completely different direction. Jonny demonstrates this by running through some of the presets that come built-in to the unit, and by examining the audio change while manipulating the unit’s parameters. The Valhalla Vintage Verb adds a really nice reverb that adds an old school touch to the sound.

The eaReckon CM-EQUA 87 Equalizer came free with Computer Music magazine issue number 184 (November 2012). This EQ is a remarkable free plugin that helps visualize the effect of EQ on the sound. It does a great job of labeling the spectrums that are affected by manipulating the different frequencies. Jonny uses this plugin to decrease the low end, and slightly boost the mid range of the analog-styled sound.

Jonny finishes the tutorial by demonstrating how to rough up the drum mix a bit. By adding a Bit Crusher plugin, such as the D16 Decimort, you can bring a bit of distortion that really helps bring out a punch to the drum mix. The D16 Decimort plugin can add a touch of old school flavor with it’s ability to Decimate and Filter.

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