Native Instruments Massive Performer Bass Tutorial

Native Instruments Massive Performer Bass Tutorial

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This tutorial will cover getting a heavy modulated bass line in Massive using the Performer section in Massive and applying extra FX’s and processing to make the sound more interesting.

It will also cover modulating other parameters in Massive using Envelopes & LFO’s.

This is an overview of the entire patch in Massive. We will go through each of the settings and areas in Massive to show you how to get the Performer Bass Sound:

Here is an example of the sound alone: {html5audio audio_mp3=[]}

Here is an example of the sound in context with a song: {html5audio audio_mp3=[]}

Downlaod the patch here.


1. Let’s start with the Oscillator sections:


First make sure you activate all 3 oscillators. Then set the filters to F1 (Filter 1), since we are only using 1 filter in this patch. For oscillator 1, select the ‘Disto’ setting and keep the wavetable position centered and turn its amplitude all the way up. This will act as our main sound for the patch to get that dirty distorted sound.

For oscillator 2, select the Sin-Tri (sine-triangle) setting and turn the wavetable position all the way to the left so it plays back a pure sine wave. Then drop the pitch of it by 12 semitones. This will act as a sub bass for our sound. Remember to turn the amplitude up.

For oscillator 3, select the ‘grain II’ setting, turn the wavetable position all the way to the left and drop the pitch by 12 semitones as well. Keep the amplitude down as we will use a performer LFO to modulate it. This sound will act as a modulated sub bass to add some extra character to the sound.

2. Then we move to the modulation oscillator section:


Here we will use phase modulation, some white noise and feedback options to add some extra subtle changes and effects to our sound.

First up, drop the pitch of the modulation oscillator by 12 semitones, select Phase from the mode sector, and set it to modulate oscillator 1 and turn the phase knob all the way to the right. This will add some more modulation to our main oscillator (oscillator 1). Since we are making a bass sound, by dropping the pitch of the modulation oscillator, we get even more bass.

3. Next up we will set up the white noise and feedback section which we will be modulating with Envelope 2.:


Set the level (sustain) of the envelope to its max, and keep the attack relatively short. For the white noise it will add little short bursts of white noise on certain parts. For the feedback it will feed the signal back into itself to get a harsher, distorted sound.

4. Next up is the filter section:


We are only going to be using filter 1, and modulating the cutoff with a performer LFO. For the filter, select the ‘Acid’ setting.

5. Then we need to set up the Performer LFO:


We will be using this to modulate our filter cutoff. By default number 5 is set to and LFO, so just change it to the performer. In order to sync the performer to you DAW Bpm activate the sync button, then set the ratio to 1/16.

Note that the waveform curve parts go up 16, but in this instance I have set it to go up to 8 only by deselecting parts 9-16.

To load the different waveform curves in, simply click on the load curve button and select from the available curves.

6. Now we will add some Inserts and FX’s to enhance the sound:


First we will add some distortion to get that harsh dirty sound on the bass.

We will be using insert 1. Select the ‘Clip’ option from the drop down list, bring up the Dry/Wet parameter all the way up so the entire signal is affected and crank the drive parameter up a bit to add the distortion.

7. Next up we will add some reverb and EQ.


In the FX 1 slot select reverb from the drop down list, and bring the Dry/Wet and Size parameters up a bit (we don’t want to flood the sound with reverb, just add a bit of ambience so it’s not completely dry).

8. Now we will use envelope 3 to modulate the reverb a bit, by adding short quick bursts of reverb to the sound.


For our main output, envelope 4 is automatically routed to it by default.


Crank the sustain (level) up all the way. We want to get a hard in your face electronic performer bass, so we don’t need any decay to “make it sound more realistic”.

Always check your master output to make sure it is not clipping, because you can easily clip it if you are adding a lot of inserts and FX to your sound.


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