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Wavetables.The Key To Sound Design.What they are, how to use them and how to choose which one...
4.6 stars, based on 7 reviews Wavetables In Massive Explained
Wavetables In Massive Explained

Wavetables.The Key To Sound Design.What they are, how to use them and how to choose which one when designing a sound.

NI Massive is the industry leader in wavetable synthesizers. There is no faster way to create a stunning variety of sounds. You can rapidly stack wave on top of wave to generate exciting new patches that will set you and your music far ahead of your competitors.

In our new Massive Wavetables Video Course you’ll explore all five categories of wavetables inside Massive: The Basic, Analog/Electric, Digital/Hybrid, FX/Chords, as well as a look at the Virtual/ Analog oscillators available.

The Massive Wavetable Tutorial that you guys offer is by far one of the most comprehensive and empowering massive tutorials I have ever watched. I thought I knew a lot before – but after watching the series my abilities with Massive have reached new heights of creativity and confidence. Thanks!

Travis B

Stack Your Success With Our Massive Wavetable Video Courseh2>

Intensity Control & The Spectrum, Bend and Formant Modes

Video 2 shows you how to utilize the Intensity Control with the Spectrum, Bend and Formant Modes. You’ll discover:

  • How to choose the right mode for your wavetable.
  • How the intensity affects the wavetable changes with the selected mode.
  • Why Spectrum mode acts in a similar way to a pass filter.
  • How to adjust intensity to get only the fundamental frequencies in a sound.
  • Spectrum mode is usually the most harmonic mode in Massive, and although the Bend Minus Plus and Formants modulations can bring some really interesting tones to the wavetable, the Spectrum mode is usually the mode that retains the most of the harmonic characteristics.
  • If you’re using a Saw wave, where there are a lot of high frequencies present as opposed to a sine wave has less effect on the sound, being able to control the high-frequency content present in individual oscillators and wavetables in this way can be especially useful when you’re trying to balance the patch without having to EQ the patch as a whole.
  • The best way to tame the top end of one oscillator without affecting the top end of other oscillators or EQing the whole patch.
  • How the Bend modes stretch or shrink wave shapes reflecting the speed at which the wave plays back over each cycle. This has varying effects on the sounds.
  • Remember- the effect of the bend mode is completely dependent on the wavetable being used. and it also responds differently depending on where the wavetable is positioned in the control.
  • A cool way to use drastic frequency shifts in the sound to get morphing vowel type effects
  • How to use the Formant Mode in combination with pitch modulation for quite powerful effects.
  • Why the behavior and effect the Bend modes will have on the sound can change completely from one wavetable to another (And even from one waveform to another!)

Basic Wavetables

As you found out in Video 2, the different creative opportunities for sound design with Massive are endless. In fact, there are over 87 different wavetables which sound completely different depending on where you have the Wavetable Position Control!

And, they sound different again wherever you use the Spectrum, Bend Minus/ Plus or the Formants mode and where you position the Intensity Control. In Video 3 you’ll learn:

  • How to modulate the wavetable position’s intensity, amp and pitch of these oscillators with LFOs envelopes and velocity.
  • How to modulate it from a Square wave to a Saw wave back to a Square wave. We can also use the LFO to modulate the amplitude of this oscillator.
  • You can use an LFO to modulate the intensity control.
  • The best way to apply a classic tube and increasing the dry/wet to dry to get a nice tone on your sound. (And with the right filter envelope or even LFO many a great bass line has been made using these basic waveforms.)
  • A sneaky way to quickly pitch up a Sawtooth wave for leads and arpeggiated sounds.
  • How to get a classic arpeggiated sound which sounds great with the Sawtooth and the Square wave. (Very popular–a lot of modern electronic music uses the arpeggiated sound.)
  • How to use the frequency analyzer to get a very smooth solid sound around 60 to 80 Hz very use for sub bass patch. You can use this to lay underneath another bass patch (or use that type of Sine wave to reinforce the kick drum, or even synthesize your own kick drum using the modulation envelope.)
  • The secret behind using the smoothness and quiet uncomplex nature of the Sine wave to get some freaky distorted but well-balanced bass sounds.
  • How to get a nasty bass in both PlySaw One and PlySaw Two. (These wavetables respond quite drastically to Bend modulations. This is a good example of how powerful the Blend modes are, and how certain tones and textures on Massive wavetables reveal themselves on close inspection.)

Tap the Power

As you know, Massive is well-entrenched in the music business.

Many producers rely on it daily to create awesome patches.

Massive’s strength is the incredible variety of tools at your disposal to bend, shape and sculpt sound.

As in many things in life, Massive’s strength is also its weakness.

Woah, got kind of zen on you there…

But it’s true–there are almost TOO MANY choices in Massive. Even experienced producers can get stuck deciding which path to take…

That’s why our Massive Wavetables Video Course is so valuable.

We enlisted the help of ace sound designer Jonny Strinati to teach the course. Many of you will recognize Jonny as one of most prolific tutorial contributors here at MassiveSynth.com.

Jonny is a veteran sound designer with experience producing sample libraries like “Tech House Sessions and “Deep House: NI Massive,” both of which hit #4 in the sales charts at major sample sites.

His original productions have been showcased or licensed by major players like Sony Playstation, MTV, Ministry of Sound and BBC Radio 1.

In other words, you are in the hands of a pro. Jonny gives you a “custom tour” of the most useful and powerful ways to use Massive’s potent wavetables so you can get up and running quickly.

” The course was great….very well presented and informative; I feel that I know my around Massive now.

– Will D

Analog/Electric Wavetables

The Analog/ Electric section give you a variety of different waveforms which focus more on harmonically rich tones. In Video 4, you’ll find out:

  • How to make a bass stab using a daft filter and some envelope modulation on the cutoff frequency. (Add a sample and hold effect to accentuate some of that gritty, crunchy top-end on the Frozen wavetable).
  • Insider tips on how to use a complex wavetable or waveform to respond more drastically to Bend Minus Plus modulations.
  • How to make a deep sequence sound using some of the wavetables in the Analog/ Electric section loading up the Reducer wavetable. (Have a play with some of the sounds you can get here to get some quite interesting tones in Spectru–and also in the Bend Minus Plus.)
  • A little known trick to create nice low-end sounds in combination with plenty of space in the top for some extra wavetables to be layered on top.
  • How to scan through wavetables on one oscillator to find something that’s going to complement what you have on the primary oscillator. (The Strontium wavetable provides a nice quite warm old school feeling to the sound.)
  • The best way to use envelopes to filter modulation to create a deep sounding kick or sustained pad.
  • Insider techniques on getting interesting sequences on the Performer by just holding down one key on the keyboard. (You can take the sound one step further by modulating the cutoff frequency with Daft filter.)
  • How to use the Stepper to modulate the cutoff frequency (Open the filter at different points on each of the steps, which gives an extra layer to the sound simply by activating a sync delay.)
  • An easy way to finish a sound off with reverb while adding some space and depth.
  • Why it is so important to have the sound right at the wavetable stage. (From there you can manipulate it in a variety of different ways with Massive’s many modulations and FX options.)

Digital/Hybrid Wavetables

In Video 5, you’ll learn a few of the wavetables that help make Massive so influential and widely used with many of today’s electronic genres: Wavetables like Modern Talking and Gentle Speech. Producing some quite familiar and distinct tones, this is also the section where we find some of the wavetables that have been modeled on real instruments (like the Guitar Pulse). You’ll discover:

  • A cool little trick to make the G-Pulse wavetable sound more like a guitar plug by filtering the emulation by inserting a low pass filter and modulating the cutoff frequency with an envelope. (Add left and right delay channels to get progressive house sounds!)
  • Individually the Duck Organ wavetable sounds okay, but stacking up two wave forms is more than the individual parts! (Though there is some inconsistency with the timbre and characteristics of the sound, you can remedy this by going to the oscillator section and checking the Restart via Gate button–meaning the oscillator phases will retrigger each time you hit a new key…giving you a nice consistency with this sound.)
  • How to get great results with the Digigrain wavetables by modulating the Wavetable Position Control of an LFO and moving the intensity around. (You can also get some spunky bass tones by adding some modulation on the Wavetable Position Control.)
  • The Chrome wavetable with the wavetable position to the right, intensity three-quarters and in the Bend Plus/Minus mode produces another distinctive tone, with some added definition in the lower and added frequencies.
  • A new way to use the Bronze wavetable to get an organ-like sound by using Spectrum mode with the Intensity on full. (You can beef it up adding another oscillator and detuning it down. This creates a nice chord effect and a gritty detuned sound. Add some reverb to make it sound a bit more natural.)
  • How to get similar effects from the Deep Throat wavetable, especially when the Bend Minus Plus mode is activated.

Get Good. Fast.

Let’s face it–you have a lot on your plate. You don’t have time to be messing around trying to figure out the best way to use Massive’s wavetables.

You just want to get good—fast!

The Massive Wavetables Video Course is broken down into 6 powerful core videos that cover everything. Jonny starts with the Intensity Control as well as the Spectrum and Bend modes.

You’ll move from there to Basic Wavetables in Video 3, Analog/Electric Wavetables in Video 4 and Digital Hybrid Wavetables in Video 5.

From there he covers Chords/Wavetables in Video 6, and Virtual Analog Oscillators in Video 7.

Along the way he shows you how to smooth out your workflow to get the most of your limited time.

You’ll discover how to get a wide variety of sounds with just a few small tweaks of the same patch.

For example, the Color wavetable is a stacked chord that is useful for creating deep and soulful sounds. By simply switching from Formant Mode to Bend Minus/Plus mode, the sound changes completely to a dreamy pad.

Rather than spend half your life trying to figure out all these shortcuts on your own, let Johnny Strinati cut your learning curve in half. Download the Massive Wavetables Video Course today and Get Good–Fast!

” Thank you very much for these videos. Worth every penny!

– Stan L

FX/Chords Wavetables

It’s in the FX chords section where you find some of the more experimental wavetables in Massive–a combination of spaced out sound design effects and warm stacked chord-like timbres. In Video 6, you’ll learn:

  • A neat way to get a raspy lead tone with the Camchord wavetable. (A stacked chord almost “out of tune” in normal Spectrum mode.)
  • How to get use stereo width to produce wild panning effects that lose focus on the sound. (You can get rid of them by checking the Restart by Gate button at any time.)
  • Little known ways to use the Color wavetable to get deep, soulful sounds. And how just a little tweak can change the sound completely and generate lush pads with character and depth.
  • A secret method to switch from Bend Plus to Bend Minus on the Iron wavetable to get different playback speeds (And how to get a gritty top end and the vowel type movement when you modulate either the intensity…or the Wavetable Position Control.)
  • How to taken the basic tone generated by the Cicada wavetable and stack up the sound with the wavetables you filled out in that frequency range to get a warm, rich lead sound.
  • A little trick to use the Melancholy wavetable for stacked pad sounds similar to the Color wavetable.
  • How to use the Lunacy wavetable for sound design and special effects.

Virtual/ Analog Oscillators

A new mode was introduced in Massive as of version 1.1 which extended Massive’s ability to create Pulse Width modulation and Sync sounds. Now technically classified as wavetables, the two options you have in this section are in fact oscillators. Choosing either of these oscillators gives you a whole new set of parameters to tweak!

In Video 7 you’ll find out:

  • The basics of Pulse Width Modulation and the two controllers available: “Pls-Saw Pos” and “Pulse Width.” With the Pulse Saw position to the left you get a Pulse wave, and to the right you have a Saw wave.
  • How in Pulse Saw Sync mode the first controller looks after the Pulse Saw position. (Pulse wave to the left. Saw wave to the right. However, this second control is now called Sync and now controls the Sync of the waveform. Both of these virtual analog oscillator modes lend themselves to modulation quite well.)
  • The best way to create a plucky envelope in Pulse Sync mode to add interesting characteristics to a sound, especially when you position the first control towards the Pulse wave.
  • How to do a sequenced sound using the Performer to modulate the amp of the oscillators.
  • How to thicken your sound by adding a Pulse Saw PWM in the Oscillator Two slot. (Switching to Pulse Saw Sync and positioning the Pulse control in a similar position but in a different way creates a nice big tone!)


Videos 1 through 7 tell you everything you need to create solid tones and blend and combine wavetables to create dynamic sounds, with examples of how the sounds work once you apply effects, extra voices, modulations and more.

We no sooner wrapped production when Jonny Strinati came up with a great idea for a BONUS VIDEO!

You’ll discover:

  • New ways to modulate the Wavetable Position Control and Intensity Control.
  • TWO new macros: Key Tracking and Trigger Random!
  • The best way to use key tracking to modulate the amplitude of an oscillator with an LFO.
  • How to use the Trigger Random control to set off random modulation parameters and values.
  • And much more!

” As for the video content, as a user of Massive for around 4 years (all self taught), I am thoroughly impressed so far.

– Dan R

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