Creating Quick Riser FX In Massive

Are you a Native Instruments Massive user? Need some good transitional FX sounds? Got 2 minutes to spare? Follow this sound design tip by Toby Pitman...  

I've always found Massive to be a great synth to go to for quick and easy FX sounds. Its complex architecture and simple user interface is very conducive for making your own sounds quickly with minimal fuss. This is often far quicker than trawling through banks of presets in the hope of finding a sound that resembles the one in your head.

Here I'll show you how to make a quick transition effect that turns out to be pretty versatile. Takes about two minutes!


Pretty easy stuff here people! The default oscillator will do just fine for this. All I'll do is move the Wavetable position to 12 o'clock.

Default oscillator

I'll also add in some Noise to the equation. White Noise will do fine, just turn the Amp up full. You can send this all the way to Filter 1.



Next I'll add a Bandpass Filter. You can set the filter section to Series. Cutoff is set quite low (we'll come back to this). Set the Bandwidth to about 2 o'clock and the Resonance to about 10 o'clock.

Filter section

Now we'll set up some Modulation sources for the filter.


Select Envelope 4 and set a very slow attack. Turn the Decay level to 0 and set a fast release time. By default Envelope 4 is connected to the Amp so you hear something like this.

With your changes to the envelope done, drag the crosshair into the first Modulation slot for the filter Cutoff. Then drag up on the slot to add a positive amount of envelope to the filter Cutoff.


We'll use this envelope to modulate some other sources too.


Now set up an LFO. The default Sine wave is fine. Set the rate quite low and add Envelope 4 to the rate. This will cause the LFO to speed up over time.


Drag the crosshair from the LFO into the second Mod slot of the filter Cutoff and apply some by dragging up.

LFO modulate the filter

You should get something like this.

Frequency Shifter

This part is what gives the patch a certain amount of versatility. In Insert 1 I'll add a Frequency Shifter. This produces a ring modulation type effect. 

If I set this low and modulate it with Envelope 4 I should get some nice movement into the sound. The effect will be different depending which pitch you play. I've also introduced some feedback into the equation for a more radical sound.

Frequency Shifter


I'll now just add a bit of modulation to the panning with the Envelope and LFO.

Pan modulation


All I need to do now is add some Stereo Delay...

Stereo Delay

and some Reverb.


Lastly a bit of Hard Clipping on Insert 2 to add a bit of dirt and compression.

Hard Clipping

We now have something like this.

Like I said earlier you'll get a slightly different result depending on the pitch of the note because of the Frequency Shifter. Here's an example of three different pitches from low to high.

You can hear the range of effects is pretty varied so this kind of patch can be used in all kinds of instances.

For the past 20 years Toby has worked as a professional guitarist, programmer and producer. Clients include Sir Paul McCartney, George Michael, Shirley Bassey, Yusuf Islam, Giles Martin as well as the London 2012 Olympic Ceremonies. He has also worked extensively in TV, Advertising and Film. As well as composing himself he has also ... Read More


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