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Native Instruments Massive is an extremely versatile synth. Whilst it can be manipulated to...

Native Instruments Massive is an extremely versatile synth. Whilst it can be manipulated to create strings, basses and pads – another excellent example of it’s capabilities is drum modeling.

I covered hi hat patterns in another tutorial, so today we are going to quickly look at how Massive might be used to model a snare drum.

[audio:https://www.massivesynth.com/audio/snare.mp3]

Snare drums
When making any drum sound it is important to listen to the characteristics of the sound you are trying to model, for example:

  • What material is the drum made from?
  • How hard will it be hit and by what?
  • Where is the position of the drum in relation to the person playing it?

Once you have thought through what it is you are trying to make and the boundaries you have it will become much easier to make the sound in question. So to begin with have a read here for more info about the snare drum : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snare_drum

Setting up Massive
As with all the tutorials, start with a “New Sound” in Massive.

To begin with let’s set up the envelope that will shape the whole sound before we begin to program the synth. You’ll notice that on the amp the ENV is set to 4 – this means that ENV 4 is controlling the overall output sounds shape. Set up this envelope like so:

ENV4

What we are doing is mimicking the shape of a snare drum sound – we want a sharp attack with little decay and a short release – it’s all about the thunk at the start!

Osc1

To create a “thump” when we hit our snare drum we want to use a sine, in a very similar way we might model a kick drum. We want the pitch of the sine to drop rapidly (which we will do using an envelope).

Set up OSC 1 as such

OSC 1

Next we will want to set up ENV1 to control the pitch as set above, so set up ENV 1 like so:

ENV1

So now we have our thump, we want the hi end of the snare noise – this is where the sizzle comes in!

Set up your noise module like so:

Noise OSC

We’re almost done! Now we need to set up the filter…

Filters

I’ve tried lots of variations on the filter, but i really like the noise i get with the Band Reject filter. So set up your filters like so:

Filters

If you hit a note now to test the sound – your hear it’s almost there, but could do with some body and perhaps some crispiness to really get that snare sound – how do we do this…?

Firstly make sure your routing is set up up like so:

Routing

Set up your insert 2 like this :

Insert 2

And then set up your efx like this:

C Tube

You should now have a nice sounding snare along the lines of this:

[audio:https://www.massivesynth.com/audio/snare.mp3]

There’s lots of things you can do with this sound – try playing with OSC type and WT-Pos to get different sounds – also, making a clap shouldn’t be too difficult… you just want the tail of the noise to be longer and perhaps remove the low end.

Also another thing you may want to try is sequencing a clap pattern using the modulators… But I’ll leave that one up to you!

Leave a comment and let me know how you got on with this tutorial.

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