Making a Pitched Hard Lead Synth with NI Massive
In this tutorial you will see one way I go about making a slightly pitched hard lead synth with NI Massive that can be used in several different music genres and is easily customized.
When it comes to designing a hard lead synth with NI Massive, there are several things to consider to maintain balance in your music. If it is too big, then it stands a good chance of overpowering the rest of the music. If it’s too small, then it can hardly be an epic hard lead, now can it? So I try my best to find other elements I can embed in my sounds to draw attention to it and make it catchy. I believe that if a sound is irresistible then the rest of my job is made much easier. So I do not end up forcing too many of my sounds to work. They end up helping write the music, in a way.
I started this one out a bit differently because I wanted to get the right wavetables for this type of sound right away. The easiest way I could think to do that was to set up the type of LFO I imagined would work best to create the kind of pitch modulation I was hearing in my head. Something fast and hard. So I chose a Square wave in an LFO with the rate turned all the way up. Since I did not expect the pitch variation to be too drastic, this was the best place to start. One of the nice things about making a hard lead synth with NI Massive is that you can approach is differently each time if you like.
Then I went ahead and set up the three main oscillators. This sound could easily stand on its own with just one oscillator in play, but I want to add a chorded feel to it, and layer some octaves. So in the OSC1 panel I loaded the default Square-Saw wavetable. In OSC2 I loaded the Groan IV wavetable, and dropped the pitch one octave. And in OSC3 I loaded the Drive I wavetable, and raised the pitch one octave. I assigned the LFO I set up to modulate the pitch of OSC1 by 3.00 semitones and the pitch of OSC2 by -3.00 semitones.
Then I set up the filter panels. A Lowpass4 filter was loaded into Filter1 and a Scream filter was loaded into Filter2. Notice that the filters are set up in Serial mode and that the filter mix is slightly biased towards Filter1.
Metallic Noise and some Feedback were added next. Notice that the Noise is routed to Filter1 and the Feedback is routed to Filter2.
Now a Bitcrusher is added for some added roughness and edge. This is a priceless tool in making a hard lead synth with NI Massive.
The Voicing tab is the next stop. Here the total number of Unison voices has been increased to three. The Pitch Cutoff feature has been turned on and set up to introduce a slight amount of phasing. The Pan Position feature has been turned on and the voices have been spread out a bit.
Lastly, the FX and EQ tabs are set up. Some Reverb is added to FX1 and a Synced Delay is added to FX2. The EQ is used to accentuate some of the high end frequencies.
Below is an audio sample of the synth playing alongside some drums to give you an idea of what sounds like in action.[audio:https://www.massivesynth.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Pitched-Hard-Lead.mp3|titles=Pitched Hard Lead]
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