Recreating Skrillex with Mr. Bill
There are a total of five videos (plus the short intro above) in this series and each one chronicles Mr. Bills successful recreation of the popular Skrillex remix of the Benny Benassi song Cinema. So by the end of the week you should be able to recreate Skrillex on your own. It is an involved process and requires a lot of work outside of the synth and features plenty of tools other than NI Massive. But stick with it, because it’s well worth the time and effort. In the end it’s about 1 1/2 hours of instruction and will probably require you to pause it along the way while you follow along. We know this is a deviation from our normal NI Massive tutorials, but thought that many of you would really enjoy this in-depth look at this very interesting production. And for all of you Ableton Live users out there, this is a nice chance to get some really great instruction from someone who knows what’s up!
It kicks off with a very detailed video of how he approached the first bass sound, being made in Zebra2 (one of my personal all-time favorite synths!). This requires a breakdown of the synth, how it works and a tour of some of the basic features before getting too deep into the actual sound design. It is not a well known synth for a lot of the younger producers and musicians out there. So if this is your first look at it, enjoy! From here the sound is further shaped and processed in Ableton Live.
This second video shares some sound design done inside of NI Massive to make the next bass synth sound. This particular sound is going to be used to introduce the scream quality heard in this iconic signature Skrillex bass sound. There is probably a fair amount of time needed to get everything synced up just right in this step, so don’t be too frustrated if it takes you a while!
This third video in the series is focused on recreating the Skrillex growl bass, and sub, layer within Ableton Live’s Operator synth. It also features the high growl synth being designed in NI Massive, which has a lot of screech in it. As you will notice by this point, none of the sounds are spot on to begin with. But as the tutorial progresses you get a better idea of the process that artists like Skrillex go through to achieve such unique sounds for their hit songs.
The fourth installment shares how he made the fuzzy scream synth inside of NI Massive. It is actually three different Massive patches layered together, plus an extra layer made in Zebra2, so it’s a great look at how to work with altering sounds to layer using Massive of all of your who have been wondering how to get such complex sounding sounds without resampling. This technique is used in all aspects of sound design, from popular music to cinematic foley.
This last video in the series shares how the last two sounds are made. An earlier patch made in Massive is slightly altered and bounced to audio so it can be resampled and used again in a different part of the song. NI Massive is also used to design a high pitched formant wobble synth. After this is complete, the process of EQing and adding compression to the sounds begins. This is where a lot of the magic happens and you can hear it all come together, by the end of the lesson. It really is amazing what these simple tools can do when you know how to use them properly!
Well, that was one heck of a tutorial! We hope you enjoyed the change from our normal tutorial format and were able to learn a lot from it! If you are interested in checking out more of what Mr. Bill has to offer, his website is a great place to start.
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