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We have shared some rather brilliant NI Massive drum synthesis tutorials in the past, and we...

We have shared some rather brilliant NI Massive drum synthesis tutorials in the past, and we wanted to revisit the topic today with a few more helpful ideas to keep you excited and motivated to experiment with designing sounds other than synth instruments.

This approach to designing and programming drum sequences in Massive is nothing new to us here, but we love to see other users taking the time to put their ideas out there for everyone else to benefit from. If you happen to create your own drum or percussive sounds within Massive, we’d love to hear from you and even help you share those methods with the rest of the community. NI Massive drum synthesis is a fun process to learn and a great way to really increase your understanding of how this monster synth works to create sounds. It is also a very useful knowledge set to have in regards to designing more complex layered instruments, and manipulating sounds through the modulation controllers in general. Let’s take a look at how this particular sequence was made.

The lesson kicks off with a Sine wave loaded into OSC1, with the pitch value dropped to -25.00. A Performer is then assigned to modulate the Amp knob of this oscillator. This will end up delivering a rhythmic sequence based upon what is then programmed into the Performer window. A Lowpass4 filter is loaded into the Filter1 panel, and the Cutoff knob is modulated by the same Performer to better shape the sound and provide a better focus on the low end elements of the sound. This first sound will be the kick drum.

Next, a Sine wave is loaded into the OSC2 panel and the pitch is increased to a value of 5.00. For a more classic 8-bit sound, you can use a Sine-Square wavetable and introduce some of the square wave into the sound. Another Performer is used to modulate the Amp knob of OSC2 to create the second layer of rhythm. Some Bright Noise is added, and the same Performer is used to control the Amp knob of the Noise panel. A Bandpass filter is loaded into the Filter2 panel to help fine tune the sound. Also, a Bitcrusher insert effect is added and the same Performer is used to modulate the Wet/Dry knob.

Another layer is added to the sequence now, but it does not require one of the main oscillators, but rather just the Noise oscillator. A new Performer is assigned to modulate the Amp knob of the Noise panel. This will end up being the hi-hat element in the mix. At this point a Classic Tube Amp is added as an effect to the FX1 tab to help boost the sound a bit and add some drive.

A sweet little trick I use in a lot of my patches is employed here to extend the potential of the Performers. Each one has two sequence windows and offer the ability to crossfade between them. But, you can simply load two completely different sequences into each one and then assign a Macro control to move between them via the Crossfade slider. This will allow you to change you beat by mixing up the rhythmic layers at will. It basically gives you a way to program more sequences than you may have expected.

This NI Massive drum synthesis video has more great ideas to share beyond what we’ve detailed here. But alas, we only have so much room in a short blog post such as this. Luckily, this lesson is incredibly easy to follow along with, regardless of experience level. So take your time with it and watch it a few times if you need to. Designing your own drums is a skill that a good producer never finishes mastering.

Do you have a tutorial request, or perhaps want to share one of your own? Let us know by sending us a message today. Thanks for stopping by!

Cheers,
OhmLab

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