Build­ing in­spi­ra­tion into a synth pre­set

Future Music - - ALBUM REVIEWS -

De­signed to en­cour­age change and move­ment, this strat­egy for in­spi­ra­tion can un­ravel com­plex ar­range­ments in a flash It helps to cast your eye for­ward to the job of ar­range­ment right from the be­gin­ning of the sound de­sign process. If your sounds are built to al­ter and morph in in­ter­est­ing ways, you’ll never get stuck for ideas when you need to de­velop that ini­tial idea into a con­cept that un­folds or­gan­i­cally. In this tu­to­rial, we’re go­ing to start with a se­quenced synth patch we cre­ated for FM317’s Cut­ting-Edge Synth Power cover fea­ture. Not only is this riff a great start­ing point for a pro­gres­sion, but it’s also crammed full of macro as­sign­ments that can be au­to­mated over time. If you’re a Mas­sive user, you can grab the pre­set from vault.fu­ture­mu­sic.co.uk and fire it up for your­self.

Rhyth­mi­cally, we’re us­ing a 50/50 blend of two of Mas­sive’s Per­former mod­u­la­tors to se­quence var­i­ous pa­ram­e­ters, in­clud­ing os­cil­la­tor level and wavetable amounts. By as­sign­ing the cross­fade amount of the two Per­form­ers to a macro, we cre­ate dif­fer­ent rhythms and grooves with the twist of one knob.

For tim­bral vari­a­tion, we’ve set up macros to gov­ern comb fil­ter mix, feed­back/ over­drive, bitcrusher mix, os­cil­la­tor 2 level and noise amount. Sub­tle shifts in tone and char­ac­ter through­out dif­fer­ent sec­tions of a track can sub­tly (or sub­stan­tially) shift the lis­tener’s per­spec­tive of a seem­ingly repet­i­tive sound.

Swamp­ing a synth sound in re­verb is a com­mon trick for build­ing mo­men­tum. By as­sign­ing Mas­sive’s Re­verb Size and Dry/Wet pa­ram­e­ters to a macro knob, then au­tomat­ing this up at the end of eight- or 16-bar sec­tions, the dry synth is coated in am­bi­ence that can then be pulled back down again.

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