Quick & Easy Series: Making a Crushed Space Blip Synth
The Quick & Easy NI Massive Tutorial series is back with another fun installment on how to create a cool rhythmic sequence for a spacey synth blip within NI Massive.
Welcome back to the always popular Quick & Easy NI Massive Tutorial Series from OhmLab. This time we look at how to make a simple crushed space blip synth, which can be used as either a rhythmic sequence to work around or as an embellishment to bring a little more life to your music. It only requires one oscillator on its own, so you can easily add to it to create your own sound. Let’s get started.
To begin with, I selected the Roughmath III wavetable from the OSC1 panel. I then shaped the sound by making a few changes to the main amp envelope, on the 4ENV tab. You should also notice that this sound is routed to filter 1, so we can have total control of how the sound is handled once it leaves this panel.
Next, I set the pitch up an octave and a couple semitones to give it a little bit of character right from the start, and also assigned a stepper to modulate the pitch over time. I chose to use the 5LFO tab for this and set it up in stepper mode from the drop down menu. This was then switched to sync to the timing of the project in my DAW, which is currently at 120 bpm, at a ratio of 1/16. I wrote in some steps in the sequencer and added a few glide ties to help accentuate the rhythm created by the pitch changes this will make in our sound.
Adding some noise and feedback will help to keep this sound from being too contrived and introduce a more natural current to the overall feel. The feedback is routed entirely to filter 2, while the noise is slightly biased in this direction as well. This is going to provide the atmospheric touch we desire, but on it’s own layer of sound within our synth.
Now to set up the two filters. For filter 1 I chose a Lowpass4 and made sure the volume was set to max before moving on. Then for filter 2, I set up a scream filter and set the volume of this one to just under half. Now we add an LFO to both of these filters to modulate the way the sound develops and is delivered over time. The LFO is set up under the 6LFO tab. Notice that the internal envelope of this controller is modulating the amp knob for further character. Only the top of the two wavetables is used, and the sine wave has been repositioned to produced the desired delivery. The rate is then synced at a ratio of 1/1 for a slower rate of modulation.
We need to make some changes to the voicing tab to get this sound working the way it should. First change it from polyphonic mode to a monorotate, increase the number of voices to 5 and engage to legato triller option below. This will allow for a glide to be heard when transitioning between notes, as well as provide the ability to trill between keys without losing the initial note selected. Turning on the pitch cutoff feature will introduce a slight phasing effect that will widen the sound, while the pan position feature will spread the sound across the stereo field the way we want it. Notice that the pitch cutoff mode has been set to chord.
To further shape the sound I then added a couple of inserts. A parabolic shaper on Insert 1 and a bitcrusher on Insert 2. The parabolic shaper parameters are also being modulated by the LFO which controls the filters, which produces a nice cohesive changing of sound over time.
Moving now to the FX and EQ tabs, I added a synced delay to the FX1 tab and a dimension expander to the FX2 tab, both of which make the sound much bigger and allow it to inhabit a whole new space. A few quick changes to the EQ and we are done here.
The last step in this sound design session is the a small adjustment on the OSC tab. Here I increased the rate of the vibrato and reduced the depth. I then found the sweet spot for the sound by adjusting the macro knob assigned to these parameters.
That’s it! All in all a pretty simple sound to design, but it comes across as quite impressive when used in some music. Perfect for game design and soundtrack work, as well as a wide range of electronic music. You can hear it in action in the audio player below.[audio:https://www.massivesynth.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Crushed-Space-Blips-by-OhmLab.mp3|titles=Crushed Space Blips by OhmLab]
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