Boards Of Canada Roygbiv Bass Tutorial for NI Massive
Marcus James always kicks down some serious knowledge in his very well-made and easy to follow NI Massive video tutorials, and this one on how to make a popular Boards of Canada bass is spot on!
It’s been a little while since we’ve been able to welcome back Marcus James to the mix here at MassiveSynth. With so many great tutorials popping up all over the place, lots of great requests, a ton of incredible exclusive walkthroughs and killer sound releases it’s no wonder that the queue gets a bot long at times. This particular video does an excellent job of explaining how to create a bass made popular by the band Boards of Canada, in a song called Roygbiv. The goal is simple, a downtempo, noise filtered, analog style bass that is both groovy and catchy while being still subtle enough to not overtake the music around it. This video makes it look easy!
This sound starts with two oscillators. OSC1 is running a a Square-Saw I wavetable, in the Sawtooth position, and OSC2 is running a Pulse-Saw PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) wavetable dropped one octave. Both of these are routed directly to Filter1. Next turn on the Noise oscillator and crank up the Color all the way, and the Amp almost half way. This noise is also routed through Filter1. Before we step away from the main oscillators completely, a couple of LFOs need to be assigned to control their Pitch parameters. 5LFO is assigned to the Pitch of OSC1, while 6LFO is assigned to the Pitch of OSC2. Each LFO is set up differently, so make sure you pay attention to the programming of them, as well as the amount of modulation they control.
Moving now to the filter panel. A Lowpass4 filter is inserted into Filter1 and a Highpass2 filter is inserted into Filter2. Both volumes are raised to maximum, the filters are set up in Serial mode so the sound passes first through Filter 1 before being affected by Filter 2. The filter output is routed to filter 2 so we here the end result clearly. The majority of the high end is taken out with the lowpass filter, and the bottom edge of the low end is then shaved off with the highpass filter.
An envelope is programmed and assigned to modulate the cutoff paramater of the Filter1 panel and the main Amp envelope is then shaped to get the right delivery for our sound. Now it is starting to really sound like the kind of bass we are after. Stopping quickly on the OSC tab, the Glide value is set. (The video doesn’t show the change from Polyphon to Monophon on the Voicing tab, which is what allows you to implement the glide you just set up.)
Adding a Brauner Tube Amp to FX1 adds a bit if punch and distortion to the bass. And some Reverb loaded on FX2 lets the sound develop fully and ring out the way it should. The last step in the process is to activate the EQ tab and make a couple small adjustments to round it all out. That’s it!
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