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

Massive Tutorials

Making a Harmonic Distortion Pad with OhmLab – Part 7 (of 10)

The Seventh in a 10 part series of tutorials by ΩhmLab using NI Massive exclusively to create every component of a complete song. This installment focuses on creating a harmonic distortion pad that is evolving and will add incredible atmosphere to our project.

Part 1: Creating a Unique Background Element in NI Massive

Part 2: Harmony, Rhythm and Atmosphere

Part 3: Synth Creation From Scratch

Part 4: Drums in NI Massive

Part 5: Plucky Synth Blips

Part 6: Custom Feedback Synths

Hi there, and welcome back to part seven of this series. So far we have built six different unique sounds from scratch entirely within Massive. Just a couple more sounds to go and we will be able to begin putting the song together. This time around, we will be making a sound that is rather ambient, atmospheric and harmonic. This tutorial will be a little different, in that we will actually be selecting the same waveform a few times but altering pitch values and applying filters, controllers and macros to achieve the effect we want. In the end, our song will depend upon layering our sounds in different ways to achieve our desired feeling, and this is a great way to develop the subtle changes needed.

Letʼs begin with selecting our first waveform. Go ahead and select Groan I from the drop down menu of the OSC 1 panel. Before moving to the next step adjust the settings to match the image below.


On to the second waveform. From the OSC 2 panel select Groan I from the drop down menu. Make the necessary adjustments before moving on to step three.


And for the last waveform selection choose Groan I from the OSC 3 panelʼs drop down menu. Once again, make to the needed adjustments before moving on.


You may have noticed that each of the OSC panelsʼ Filter slider were moved fully to the F1 position. This will prevent unwanted bleeding from Filter 2. From the FILTER 1 panel select Lowpass 2 from the drop down menu.


Now from the FILTER 2 panel you want to select the Scream option from the drop down menu. Notice how sliders on either side of the FILTER panels have been set.


Letʼs move now to the FX tabs. Starting with FX 1 choose Dimension Expander from the drop down menu.


And from the FX 2 tab select Chorus Ensemble from the drop down menu. We do not need the EQ for this particular sound, so you can leave it turned off.


Moving now to the MODULATION OSC panel set the FM Filter Mode to Oscillator 1 and set the Pitch value to 24.00. Turn the knob up about 1/3 before moving on.


Click on the OSC tab and make the following adjustments, click on the Rate box, set the Pitchbend values to 2.00 Up and -2.00 Down and finally move to the Internal Envelope sliders and set both Attack and Decay just to the left of the midway mark.


Now it is time to set up our Envelopes. You can set all four up and then compare your sound to the audio clip below (keep in mind only envelope 4 changes will be heard at this point). Make sure you pay close attention to the images below. They do not need to be exact, but if you are too far off, then the sounds you end up with will be drastically different in the end. Begin with the 1 Env tab and move towards the 4 Env tab.


Now that we have our Envelops set up we can move on to our LFOs and the Stepper. Begin with the 5 LFO tab and make your way to the 8 STEP tab (Tab 7 ended up not being used, as you will see). Follow the images below closely. You want it to look pretty close to the example before applying the controllers and Macros to the rest of the settings for this track.

And now for the last, and most fun, step of the tutorial. You will want to create and name all 8 Macros according to the image below and then apply them along with the other controller settings. Your final sound should sound very similar to the sample below.


This piece should fit nicely with the other sounds we have created already. Check back soon for part eight of this series as we get ready to wrap things up and finish our song created entirely from scratch in Massive. Thanks for stopping by!

Download the preset for this sound here!


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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