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Key Tracking is a highly overlooked aspect of Massive. Even though it can be used to further...

Massive Tutorials

Deeper Filter Control with NI Massive

Key Tracking is a highly overlooked aspect of Massive. Even though it can be used to further creativity, many people don’t use it or don’t know it even exists! In this tutorial, MassiveSynth.com founder, Steve Foulds, demonstrates some nifty ways to approach Filter Control using NI Massive’s KTR tool.

Key Tracking in Massive is a great little tool for controlling your filters – have you used it?

If not – I’m going to show you a really nice little trick to help you control your sounds.

If you are familiar with it – keep reading as it’s always nice for a little recap!

First up we need to open up a brand new patch – a blank sound.

Don’t worry… you can apply this concept to any sound but for now lets just mess around with a blank sound so you can see exactly what this control does!

In your new sound I want you to drag this little icon from the Macro control block on the bottom right of the synth…

Keytracking native instruments massive

Onto the cutoff of filter 1 like so.

keytracking filter native instruments massive

Now open up the KTR FLT tab from the main window.

This window shows a linear progression of the filter cutoff depending on what notes you play. So for example by default (if you set up the KTR on the filter cutoff as above) the higher the note you play on your keyboard the brighter/more open the filter will get!

KTr (Keytracking): Generates a modulation signal depending on the pitch of the played MIDI note

Try it – the further up your keyboard you go the brighter (the more open the filter is) the sound will get.

ktr flt ni massive

However we don’t all have 127 key keyboards – In this case (assuming you know which octave your keyboard is set to) so you might not hear very much going on with your keyboard.

So…. You could set up the KTR FLT like this around the octave you are in

KTR FLT NI Massive

In this instance the span of the KTR FLT is only 2 octaves – so if you had a 2 octave keyboard the filter would be completely shut on the lowest key/note and progressively opening until it’s fully open on the highest/last key/note.

Why might you want to do this? Well perhaps you have a nice high to mid synth noise but you want to play some lower notes and you don’t want the low end of it to mess with your bass. Well you could set up a hi pass filter so it cuts out more and more of the low end the lower you play.

Think about that application for a second… Knowing this and playing with the various filter settings you can have ‘intelligent’ sounds that shape themselves depending on where you hit the keyboard.

By now you may have also noticed a second grey line behind the first line.

In some cases the filters have more than just a cutoff and utilise the middle knob.

This second line can control this knob – As above just click on a nodule on the grey line and drag it to where yo want to set the second knob. Now you have control of the knobs with just your keyboard!

Couple this with some LFO’s or Macro controls and you have a very powerful tool.

Bringing Filter 2 into the mix

You may have noticed to the right of the panel is a box with the titles ‘source’ and ‘target’.

If you turn on the source to ‘Set 2’ and on ‘FLT2’ in the target and apply the KTR to Filter 2’s cutoff (same as above) you can draw in a whole new line that will only apply to FLT2!

Try it…

KTR NI Massive

If you click on the little light grey box on FLT1 and then on the little grey box for FLT2 you will see you can now switch between the lines – showing that there are indeed two different KTR controls in effect!

Using this technique you now have control of 4 parameters simply by playing different parts of your keyboard!

Anything else you can use this for?

Of course!

As with everything in Massive you can of course modulate (or macro control) between the different filters. Why would this be useful? Well you could have 2 filters with identical settings but different key tracking lines – perfect for jumping to a different filter setting in a live environment or during a jam session without having to load up a new patch or manually have to fiddle parameters!

Very powerful.

Some shortcuts

Try holding ‘shift‘ while you drag the nodules in the KTR curve for more precise

Try holding ‘ALT‘ while you drag the nodules for only vertical control

Double click a nodule to give the whole line a completley flat response.

Find this handy? Leave a comment – let us know how you use this technique!!

Have A Question Or Comment About This Tutorial?

Want to ask a question about this tutorial or perhaps you have something to add ?

Click through to our forum post about this tutorial and join the conversation!

Visit: Deeper Filter Control with NI Massive


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