Designing a Ripping Hard-Edged Lead Synth in NI Massive
[aside title=”Wicked Lead!“]This sound is a balance of noise, distortion, feedback and harmonics – perfect for today’s edgy modern music![/aside]
With just the right amounts of noise, distortion, edginess and harmonics this is the ideal kind lead to work with for so many styles of music right now. And although it is ready to be used as it is, it can easily be customized in a number of different ways to make it your own sound. One way you can get some instant new instruments out of this one is to follow along with the tutorial and then simply swap out some wavetables and filters to achieve a new sound.
Start out with loading up a Smooth Square wavetable into OSC1 and drop the pitch about two octaves. Next, a Polysaw I wavetable is loaded into OSC2, with the pitch offset up a few semitones. The default Square-Saw wavetable is loaded into OSC3 and the pitch is dropped about one octave. Pay close attention to the settings for each oscillator, including the filter routing, as any difference will result in a different sounding synth in the end.
Next, the sound is routed into a Daft filter and a Comb filter. Again, pay close attention to the details of the settings here, as these affect the sound greatly.
Some Metallic Noise and Feedback are then added to Filter1 for added character.
A Bitcrusher and a Hardclipper are inserted to add roughness and grit to the sound.
A Classic Tube Amp is added to bring a little more edge into the mix. The Chorus is used to widen the sound a bit. And the EQ is used to shape the sound.
A couple of routing changes are made, including setting OSC2 to be routed to the bypass panel. This helps accentuate the layered effect. The feedback is also moved to the end of the signal flow for maximum impact.
The total number of unison voices is increased to two, and the synth is set to run in Monorotate mode with a Legato Triller trigger. This allows for gliding between notes, and you can adjust the Glide parameter on the OSC tab to your liking. The Pitch Cutoff, Wavetable Position and Pan Position features are all turned on. Pitch Cutoff adds more phasing, Wavetable Position accents the oscillator output and the Pan Position spreads the voices out across the stereo field for a wider sound.
The last step in making this lead synth in NI Massive is to make sure that your main amp envelope Decay Volume is turned all the way up for a consistent delivery of sound.
Below is a small audio sample of the synth in action with some drums to give you an idea of what it sounds like.[audio:https://www.massivesynth.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Ripping-Hard-Edge-Synth.mp3|titles=Ripping Hard Edge Synth]
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