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The first in a 10 part series of tutorials by ΩhmLab using NI Massive to create every part to...

Massive Tutorials

Creating a Unique Background Element with OhmLab - Part 1 (of 10)

The first in a 10 part series of tutorials by ΩhmLab using NI Massive to create every part to create a complete track.

Over to Chris…

In this 10 part series, we will be building a project using ten different unique sounds created in Massive that will be brought together to make a fun and impressive song. In this first tutorial we will focus on a simple background element.

I really enjoy making music most when I build the individual sounds myself. Donʼt get me wrong, I love finding a sweet plugin or preset as much as anyone, but when it comes to actual creation, I love the pursuit and discovery of unique sounds. So, most of the time when I launch a new session, itʼs a blank slate. The goal here is to build a sound that will be a subtle element piece for a funky and atmospheric track. We want something that is flexible and unique enough to be at the core of a tune worthy of being played in the club, or even better, purchased! 🙂

Letʼs get started by selecting a sound for our main oscillator (OSC 1). Here I have chosen a simple sound called Carbon from the first drop down menu.

ni massive carbon


I also want to give it itʼs own filter, so letʼs move the slider on the right of the OSC 1 panel all the way up, so it passes only through the FILTER 1 panel. Set the wavetable position (Wt-position) knob to the far right, as well as Intensity and Amp for now.

ni massive filter


Move to the FILTER 1 panel next, make sure itʼs turned on and select a filter from the drop down menu. As you can see, I have selected Lowpass 4. Turn the Cutoff knob to the right to hear more of the sound revealed. I have adjusted the Resonance to thin out the sound a little.

ni massive lowpass 4


Moving now to the MODULATION OSC panel, we select the type of modulation we would like to impose upon the sound. I have selected Ring Mod and have set the Oscillator to 1, as our bass sound that we are building comes from the OSC 1 panel. We want to set the Pitch to one octave lower to create some room to work with and keep things harmonic, so dial it down to -12.00. You will see that the knob is given the name RM to reflect the mode we have selected. Go ahead and turn up up about half way.

ni massive ring modulation


Next step is to add an effect through the INSERT 1 panel. I have selected Frequency Shifter from the drop down menu. Turn the Dry/Wet knob up about half way and the Pitch knob about up about three-quarters.

ni massive insert


OK. We have the basics out of the way and we can now move into the real action. Letʼs move over to the Stepper.

ni massive stepper

You will then want to click the Sync box, set the timing to 1 over 8 and draw in the desired steps. This is what I selected. Remember, we are just playing here, so donʼt over think it.

ni massive stepper


This gives us a solid foundation to work from. It has developed from a simple and generic tone to a very unique and sound with a quirky catchiness to it. It should provide us with a good background atmospheric element to help guide the main bass lines and rhythm of the project. Now we can make a few adjustments to bring the overall sound into a realm of tones that we like and call it good, for now. This will be something we come back to later as we begin fitting the different Massive elements together to build our final project. Here is a shot of where the setting are as I bring this tutorial to a close.

native instruments massive


Download the preset for this sound here!

I hope you have found this to be useful and entertaining. Check back soon for part 2 of this series, and youʼll be one step closer to learning a new way to approach tracks using Massive.


More about Chris / ΩhmLab

With more than 20 years of experience making music and building communities backing the OhmLab project, you can be sure you will find something that fits your current and future projects alike.

With a unique approach to low cost royalty-free licensing and music production, OhmLab sets itself apart from the rest of the pack by consistently releasing high quality audio for the masses that is original, useful and constantly pushing the boundaries of the norm. OhmLab also offers a range of sound design and post production services including pod casting, custom environments, sound effects, field recordings, samples, loops and much much more. The OhmLab project is also well known for it’s ongoing Artist Profile interview series featuring talented musicians from all around the world, helping to grow the community of independent artists on a global scale. You can learn more about OhmLab and keep up with all the latest buzz by visiting some of the links included below.

Official Website


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