In this article I’m going to be showing you how to create a morphing Dubstep style bass in Native Instrument’s Massive. Now before we start I’d like to point out that this type of sound can vary between artists, there’s no strict rules so you should approach this article as a rough guide to creating your own sounds.
1. Make it Mono!
The first thing that we need to do is make sure that Massive plays in mono mode, as this is a bass patch we won’t want to play chords. Click on the Voicing tab in the central panel and and select the box that says Monophon. To make sure the glide isn’t too extreme switch over to the OSC tab and turn the time down to about 9 o’clock.
2. Choosing your wavetables.
Now we’re going to look at the oscillator section, let’s pick a wavetable, we want one that’s rich in harmonic content so the digital wavetables are the best option here. For this example I’ve chosen Flenders 1 for oscillator 1 and set the oscillator mode to Bend+.
For the second oscillator I’m just going to stick with the default Squ-Sw1, but I’m going to set the Wt-position knob all the way to the right so we get a sawtooth wave. Because this is a bass sound we are going to drop the pitch of oscilator 2 to -24 semitones (2 octaves down).
3. Adding a filter.
The filter section is next, on filter 1 select the Scream filter mode. Now set the Cutoff to 12 o’clock and the Resonance to 9 o’clock. It sounds a bit dull at the moment but don’t worry we’ll sort that out next.
The key to a good Dubstep bass is the wobble, and because of Massive’s modulation routing capabilities we shouldn’t have a problem creating it. Now the next part might sound a bit confusing but bear with me, I’ll try to make it as clear as possible in the example images; it’s actually quite simple.
4. Assign the LFO.
Click on 5 LFO in the central panel to open up the LFO section, this is where we will edit all of the LFO perimeters, but first we need to assign it to the filter cutoff. Click on the cross on the 5 LFO tab and drag it to the first box underneath the filter cutoff, a little green 5 should now appear in that box.
Now we need to increase how much the LFO affects the filter cutoff. This is done easily by clicking and dragging the little green 5 up or down. Go ahead and drag it up, you should see a green line forming around the cutoff knob, keep going until the line spreads all the way around the knob.
Now we want that LFO to run in time with your track. Go back to the 5 LFO tab and click the sync button. Now change the ratio to 1 over 8.
5. More modulation!
Let’s add some movement to the patch using another LFO controlling the wavetable position. Do the same as you did for the cutoff but this time with the 6 LFO tab: click and drag the cross into the little box below the Wt-position knob on oscillator 1 so that the little green 6 appears. Now click that little green 6 and drag it up so that the line forms all the way around the Wt-position knob.
Again, we want the LFO to be in sync with your project but not running as fast as 5 LFO. Click on the 6 LFO tab to bring up the controls and then click the Sync box. Now change the ratio to 1 over 1.
6. Adding FX.
We want this bass to sound aggressive so let’s add some distortion. In FX slot 1 load up the Classic Tube effect, turn the drive all the way up and set Dry/Wet control so we only have the wet signal.
To make the patch sound big we are going to use the Dimension Expander in FX slot 2. We don’t want extreme settings for this so set the Dry/Wet to about 10 o’clock and the size to 9 o’clock. You’ll hear that even with subtle settings the Dimension Expander can make things sound huge.
In the audio demo below you will hear the patch that we created along with it playing in the context of the rest of the mix. There’s a little bit of pitch and LFO speed automation in the demo and all the other sounds can be downloaded when you subscribe to our newsletter.
This is just a basic example, but the possibilities are endless. Experiment with different wavetables, routings, effects, etc. and create your own. I’ve also included the massive patch in case you want to reverse-engineer or build upon it to create your own patches.
I hope you’ve found this article usefull. Please, share this post amongst your friends. If you have any questions or comments, post them below. Enjoy!
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