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Synthesis and Sound Design 101

Lesson 4 of 9

Wavetable Synthesis with Native Instruments Massive

James Patrick

Synthesis and Sound Design 101

James Patrick

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Lesson Info

4. Wavetable Synthesis with Native Instruments Massive

Lesson Info

Wavetable Synthesis with Native Instruments Massive

everyone. James Patrick here kicking off class two of our introduce sound design course, had Slam Academy for Lesson one in class two. Here, we're going to be focusing on wave table synthesis. Wave table synthesis kind of pivots off of the older ideas of subtracted and even FM synthesis a little bit. And it's routing of signal from oscillators, maybe through some filters and out the amplifier, and also a little bit from FM in the way that FM really tries to take advantage of wave forms that are constantly in motion being modulated and changing shape and are getting away from the filter a little bit and focusing more on the actual output of the oscillator section itself. We have table really leans on that a lot, too. I see a lot of people using wave table synthesis, Um, maybe right away slapping a low pass filter on their and modulating it. And that's cool. But you're missing ah, really critical part of wave table synthesis and especially if you're trying to really use the tool for what...

it's made for and really get the best results out of it. Slapping a low pass filter on an FM signal or a way of table sound you're masking a lot of it's real magic. So I'm gonna first cover what is wave table synthesis and then we're gonna finish this video off with some techniques to make it really sound cool. So what is wave table synthesis? Wave table synthesis, employees way of table oscillators? In this case, we have three, and they generate vibration like a normal oscillator does. But the differences, instead of working with a fixed wave shaped like a saw way over a square way of triangle wave instead. We are working with dynamically calculated waves. So what that means is that essentially your wave form is like a map, and it has many, many, many points in one cycle. And the engine inside of this wave table system can actually redraw and reshape and re contour that we've shape based on the controls that are given to the user on a couple other sets of options, in particular which kind of intensity mode we've chosen, Or maybe which type of wave form we've chosen hybrid waves or cord waves. All these variables affect how the wave table engine re calculates dynamically or in other words constantly recalculating how the way of shape actually sounds and what kind of overall geometry of a way of form that is being kicked out of that module. So first of all, before we start making some sounds with this amazing, beautiful language, the first thing I'm gonna do is I'm just gonna turn off our other oscillators, and I'm gonna, in fact turn off our filters to No, All I have is an amplifier and a single asa Later. Um, normally with an oscillator, the first thing you want to do is you want to grab your wave form, right? So you're looking in. You're like, Wait, I only recognise a couple words up here sine triangle square saw when we get quickly into Dr Rough math Multiplex Flinders. I mean, these are all Most of them are probably not supposed to make a lot of sense right off the bat. Um, good thing to know, though, to keep in mind this little tangent is if you, um massive wave table. If you do an image search, there's a really cool link out there that actually covers. This is Quadra phone. That actually shows you what The way of tables, actually, how they behave over time mistakes and minutes of load because they're heavy. But these are essentially, like animated gifs off the wave form as the way of table position knob is turning from left to right. Let's pretty neat. And so it goes from kind of this FM saw wave to more of a digital saw wave. So what's gonna happen there? You're starting off with probably four or five overtones, and as you get all the way to the right, you have many, many, many sub vibrations in every single phase. So the results are, um, way more overtones. And that's all animating the changing of the wave table position knob. So let's get into what these parameters actually do. First of all, wave table position is the critical knob that's gonna affect what part of the table are we actually accessing? Each of these is a wave table, meaning that they can store anywhere from one or two waves that were morphing between all the way up to I think like 16 or 32 waves. Wave shapes can actually all be captured in any one of these, especially once you get into hybrid and cord waves. There's a whole bunch of stuff going on in there like many layers, and when you adjust this way of table position, you're not. You're not mixing the waves together. You're actually again dynamically calculating a morph from one end of the spectrum to the other. So whenever you see a dual name like this like sine triangle or Signs Square, it's pretty obvious what's gonna happen. We're gonna have a sine wave over here, a square wave over here. Let's watch what happens. Let's watch that as we, um, making sure my tracks on the record keep my browser opens. You can see the whole spectrum way over here. Let's watch our Acela scope down here to, as I pluck, this sine wave turned out my amplitude here, too. Now he's gonna morph it right into a square with way. So that's what they mean by dynamically calculated waves. And that's probably one of the most simple ones here. Square. So So this is a cool way, that kind of modulator more between different way of tables or way of shapes within a specific table. If you go to something that's a lot more complex, you're gonna get more complex results, go down a couple octaves. That's pretty cool, huh? You can imagine adding some modulation. This is going to go a long way. Let's go over to our modulation handles and this is grabbing LFO on. Drop it in right here and crank up the steps. We click on that LFO five. We can adjust its right. Let's make it nice and slow. Great. You get a whole lot of tonal capabilities here out of this instrument. Let's go higher up in the register. Pretty cool. Great for pads. Great revolving textures. Great for all sorts of stuff. I'm gonna double click here and turn that off. Nice, huh? Just for fun. Let's try one other waves. Let's go to chrome. This could be a really fun one. Let's try envelope modulating this one. Give it a big, long range. I'm gonna give it a nice, plucky envelope. Nice. I'm gonna slower attack. Uh, nice house. So you could even velocity of key track this envelope. A lot of fun stuff you can do in there too. So that's the first part of the wave table inside of mass in the way of table position. again. It allows you to morph in between all the different way of shapes that are stored into any of these individual tables. And if you want to learn more, head over to that link I showed you earlier in the video that's going to show you what the way of table position is actually doing in real time. So it's chemical. Also, remember, to you get this previous and next for your way of shape. This is one of my favorite things to do is to modulate this way of table position a whole bunch and then to start clicking until I hear a result that I like. Because again, Native Instruments knows you're probably not gonna look at duck organ and really have an idea of what that sounds like until you actually start to modulate it or adjust this way of table. So I'll give my way of table position, a nice full range with a pretty slow LFO, and I'll just start clicking until I hear something that I like. And that's a good start for kind of farming through that huge list of wave forms. Go on. All right, so next the intensity now intensity knob has four or five different modes that can operate, and they're all just depicted by what you've chosen here. It's actually kind of three different mode spectrum mode, Banda mode and Foreman mode, and I'll explain what these actually mean. Now Spectrum mode is the easiest to understand, and it's the most obvious. And what it actually does is it blends whatever you have chosen over here from sine wave all the way to the wave that you've selected. And I actually spoken correctly. I said, It blends, which makes me think that I'm mixing them. I never mixing over here. I'm only morphing so again that's taking advantage of the dynamically calculated nature of wave table synthesis. So here's our wave form. We've chosen G. Paul's what's even get back to that telephone modulation for fun? Ah, um, like bored with that e. Love that one. But I'm gonna go for something more intense. Let's try this. Decrease our modulation depth a little bit. Dig it. So now check it out. Sine wave to begin to see how crazy powerful this could be. Let's leave this thing just Jack. And in fact, we'll go here. We're gonna crank this up, they will put a slow attack envelope on this guy. Fast attack. Nice, huh? So this is dynamically calculated wave tables and in particular, here we're using spectrum mode, which again blends between sine waves and whatever you have chosen over here on the left part of the oscillator. All right. Yet the next mode in the list is bend mode. Ben Mode is really powerful in the sense that what it works is it works a lot. Like if you're familiar with from the analog world pulse width modulation. What pulse width modulation does essentially is it stretches zero crossings, point of the wave form left to right in time. So if you can imagine real quick, let's just take a look at a LFO with sine wave. This is a sine wave that has an even pulse with meaning that the time spent pushing versus pulling back is even within each cycle as we adjust pulse width modulation, it would be like grabbing the center here and pulling it left or right, giving me less time pushing and mawr time pulling while keeping the phase locked, left or right, were just grabbing the center point and pulling it back and forth. That's how Bannon Mode works. It allows us to essentially use the intensity knob commute this to stretch the center crossings point of the wave from left to right. So if I leave this in the middle in Banda mode, being bipolar, we can make it narrower or wider. So leave it in the middle and it won't be affected at all. And then we actually gonna get rid of this modulation to, and we'll find a nice, chunky, clear wave that's easy to see. Let's start with square with you can kind of see how it's actually stretching those back and forth. My graphics card is gonna tripping out here, but you get the right idea. You can really see that band emotion happening. Now try with the more complex wave. Ah oh, are essentially we're kind of rubber bands stretching the wave left and right from the zero crossings Point in the middle. Pretty cool, huh? Love that. The next mode is even more complex and what this would mode does, actually, if this requires me to look back on our lesson about overtones for meant mode, what this does is this pitch shifts. Essentially, it pitch bends the overtones only without affecting the fundamental pitch. Let's watch our spectral analysis here. First of all, what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna leave the set zero right in the middle and I'm going to just adjust wave table position till have a nice, clear set of overtones. That's a pretty good setting. I can clearly see my fundamental pitch. These of the overtones. So now, informant mode, I'm gonna be pitch bending everything except for this guy. See how our fundamental pitch here is at 67. Hurts way can actually pitch, bend those modulators or those party pitch banned those overtime way without affecting our fundamental pitch. That's a cool one, huh? Let's really popular one to do over the top of a non informant shifting model, for instance. Check this out. Ah, almost like the bravado. That's a cool one. Try with a different way of just for fun. Dig it. So this is just really a touching the surface on all the different ways you can dynamically calculate your wave table through the instrument. Massive Now wave table synthesis is a cutting edge language that's all around us nowadays. Dynamically calculated things due to the massively powerful CP use that we have in our pockets everywhere are happening all the time. But it's only kind of recently introduced to the consumer music making market. Just because of the rate at which technology is progressing nowadays, watch out for wave table instruments from other leading synthesizer manufacturers worldwide in particular. In addition to massive on the huge fan of the you he instruments in particular you he zebra is the one working, recovering in lessons two and three for this class digging more deeply into dynamically calculated wave tables and how they really work. So hopefully this has been an informative session for you, mostly covering the fundamental principles of wave table synthesis and on how to really evoke some life into these parameters. Um, now that we've got that thing kind of understand, Understood? I'm gonna make a patch here and see what I can come up with. Ah, farming system that I came up with. Ah, so this five, I'm gonna resync it. I'm gonna sink it and keep it in re trigger mode. Did myself a little slow attacking envelope on there to look at this way. Oh, wait way. Let's try this now instead of the LFO, we'll use the performer. I love this because instead of a step sequencer that's just honor off This thing gives us all different kinds of cool shapes. In fact, it also gives us a beautiful randomizer. Let's go randomize all. Now we can take this performer position and let's bend the waveform with it. Ah, uh, let's go ahead and customize this. I think for my 1st 1 I want to give it a curve upward. I don't like this. This Ah straight guy here Now I'm sequencing the way of table. Over time, I could even, of course, speed this up. Keep re story Start off you change it down to three steps. Way fun. Eso we remember we could just pop us back, Inspector mode back up on. That's always overtones way. You know, it gets really nice waddle action out of this thing. That's a lot of fun. And it wouldn't be a terrible idea to kind of polished this thing up by maybe modulating between the two search sequencers and be in modulating our overall depth with an envelope destroyed that take this guy going to our performer here taking three and slow attack. Um Ah, really fun things to play around with the way. Ah, Pretty cool, huh? No filter, no effects, Just waiting tables. It's a really great place to start, so I'll leave us at that and hopefully hopefully have enjoyed this little jam session on wave table synthesis. Um, how it really works. Also don't sleep on massive. She's a powerhouse alright toxin.

Class Description

This course is SLAM Academy's introductory offer for people who want their music to stand on its own. In Sound Design 101, we'll uncover each of the main elements of what it takes to be a cutting-edge electronic sound designer. After an explanation of analog synthesis, we'll feature demonstrations of techniques and tools for FM, granular, wavetable, physical modeling, multi-sampling, and signal processing. Students can expect personalized technique demonstrations from Ableton Live, Max for Live, U-He Instruments, Applied Acoustics Systems, Glitchmachines, Native Instruments Systems, and Eurorack Modular Synthesizer components.  



This is a great, fast-paced introduction to producing sound using various popular software choices. James Patrick is super knowledgeable and presents the material in a patient (but fast), systematic way. This course is meant to be a high-level preview of a full-blown 6-month course at Slam Academy (taken online or in Minneapolis) so the pace of the material presented here is quite fast. In other words the tone is to show you what you'll learn if you take the full course. James suggests taking this course over 3 weeks to let things sink in. A dedicated student can follow along and review the material and then practice on their own software although it takes some focus! And while much of the course is incredibly well explained, there are also some sections where James works the controls without much narrative but making cool sounds. I ended up hitting pause every 30 seconds or so during some of the key sections so I could watch what he was doing and play around with the same controls. Ultimately the way to learn the software is by getting hands-on, so when I followed along this way, I learned a ton. Great course, be aware that it is a super high level survey of a longer course but this is still absolutely packed with information

a Creativelive Student

love this course, and i like it for my liking.

Jose Freitas MElo jUnior