Quick & Easy Series: Simple Trance Pad in NI Massive
In this installment of the Quick & Easy Massive tutorial series, we take a look at how to create a professional sounding trance style pad in under two minutes. This popular sound is really simple to accomplish using NI Massive and it’s a technique you may find yourself using again and again for years to come.
To begin with we can use the default oscillator on all three OSC panels. We will want to create a small amount of variation between each of them though. So starting with the OSC1 panel, set the Pitch value to 0.12, turn all three knobs all the way up as well as the routing slider. Do the same on the OSC2 panel except set the Pitch value to -0.12. And for the OSC3 panel, set the Pitch to 12.00 and leave the Intensity a hair below full. You probably noticed the number 12 being consistent in these settings. This is because one octave has a value of 12 in pitch. So 12.00 is up one octave, -12.00 is down one octave and so on. And for this lesson I want to help you create a well rounded and full sound without much dissonance, so I am keeping the values very consistent to achieve this. You are, of course, encouraged to play around with these as you like in the pursuit of your own sounds.
We set the oscillator routing sliders all the way to F1 because we are now going to add a filter to the FILTER1 panel and want the oscillators to run through this filter exclusively. Do this now by selecting the Lowpass 4 option from the dropdown menu. Adjust the knobs to match up closely to what you see in the image below and move the volume slider on the right to the full upright position. We will not need any more, so you can turn off FILTER2 panel before moving on.
Moving over to the FX1 tab now, pick the basic Chorus effect from the dropdown menu. From the FX2 tab choose Dimension Expander from the dropdown menu. Now activate the EQ tab and adjust the knobs for all three tabs so the match up with the images below.
One last step before you are done. Click on the VOICING tab and set Unisono to 4 (this can be higher if you prefer a louder and punchier sound, but beware that this can quickly overpower the rest of the sounds in your project and this is supposed to be a pad), turn on Pan Position and move the slider to Full Inv (the far left) and turn on Pitch Cutoff and move the slider a few notches from the far left setting.
That’s it! You now have a very basic and professional sounding synth pad that can be used in Trance style music, and other types of dance and club music. It sounds good on it’s own but it is really meant to be heard using chords. Try creating this a few more times to get the hang of the technique and get to know which settings are most important to pay attention to when making this kind of sound. Do not be afraid to play around a bit and add different filters, effects, and oscillators. What you learned here today is simply a classic sound that is easily expanded upon. Hope you enjoyed it!