Designing Rhythmic Trance Pads with NI Massive

NI Massive is notorious for being incredibly flexible, as the entire synth is really driven by the ability to manipulate anything, in a number of ways, and then manipulate those things and then….you get the idea. It’s big. And it’s also perfect for creating sequenced and rhythmic elements for your Trance projects!



I love Massive. It’s one of my all-time favorite go-to synths. It can be used for anything, so it makes sense to me that the trend of designing sequenced and rhythmic patches has been growing over the last few years as Massive has continued to dominate the soft synth scene across a wide range of music stylings. One of the reasons it excels so well in so many areas of synthesis for music is because of how the tools are both independent and connected, with you left to decide what you want, where you want it, when it happens and how it happens. This allows you to make something as simple or as complex as you like. A brilliant choice for Trance music production.

The big thing to take away from this lesson, in particular, is not the sound. The sound is great, but it’s really about the intuitive approach to the automated modulation that is creating the rhythm in the synth’s delivery and development. And once you have successfully recreated the pad form the video, you can begin experimenting with the way the pad is then triggered or resolves. Try swapping out different wavetables, from different categories, to see what happens. You will probably end up learning quite a bit about how the various sounds work in Massive, and what they contain as you scan through the wavetable samples.

Here are a few tips to play with in your next sound design session, working with sequenced and rhythmic patches. Try extending the duration of the sequence by using an LFO to automate which modulation controller is affecting other parameters at any given time. Or use a modulation controller to manage the timing of the main LFO that the oscillators are synced to. Using modulators to modulate other modulators is a wonderful way to add a sense of randomness and wonder to your patches.


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