Join J. Scott Giaquinta for an in-depth discussion in this video Envelopes, LFOs, and modulation, part of Learning MASSIVE.
- Let's get into the envelope in LFO section. This is where things start to get fun and interesting because this is where Massive really shines. Since this isn't an advanced course on Massive I'm only gonna cover the basics of what you need to know in order to modulate parameters. So, let's get started. For simplicity sake, I've created a brand new patch here. (buzzing) It's pretty much the default Massive setting when you create a new sound. And as you may have noticed, Massive has a ton of these small black boxes everywhere. This is where you'll assign envelopes, LFOs, and pretty much every other modulation source available.
Here in the output section you'll notice the number four. This means that the amp controller is assigned to envelope four. Now, because Massive defaults for that it will always show up when you create a new sound. But I'm gonna take it off and show you how you can assign it. So, if you wanna assign any of these eight available sources to amp or any of these boxes all you do is click the and drag the arrows here and drop it into the box or we drag it over to amp. If you wanna delete it, all you do is right click and select off.
So, let's get a little more complex. Let's take the same envelope and assign it to the pitch of oscillator one. I'm also gonna put it back on amp. (buzzing) Okay, so the sound isn't changing, why? Well, when we use it here, we actually have to set a range in the pitch parameter so that it knows how much to effect the pitch. Let's set it to two octaves or twenty four semi-tones up. We also need to change the attack of the envelope, so, let's play it. (distorted buzzing) Conversely, you can set it to a negative value.
Let's set it to two octaves down instead. (low buzzing) See how that works? Let's play around with some of the settings in the envelope to see what we come up with. Let's go back this way. (buzzing) Cool.
Now, the next thing I'm gonna show you if how you can use this same kind of modulation to control other types of parameters. Let's start with a new patch. So, what we're gonna do now is set up a low-pass filter on filter 1 and set our oscillator and filter section so that it's only using filter 1. (low distorted buzzing) So, let's take a LFO here. We'll use LFO 5 and we'll drag it into the box under the cut off knob. (buzzing) You notice that it's not really changing the sound that much.
That's because like the pitch parameter we need to set a range for the LFO to control. The way you do that is by clicking on the box with the modulation source assigned to it and drag it up. (low distorted buzzing) This will make a green highlight start to appear. All the way up means that LFO 5 is controlling the cutoff at one hundred percent intensity. Anywhere else is somewhere between zero and a hundred percent. You'll start to get a feel for it once you have a chance to play with it more. Let's hear how it sounds. (low distorted buzzing) Great, so now you know how to assign modulation sources.
Let's get into a little detail about how the envelopes and LFOs work themselves. Let's start with a fresh patch again. Now we're gonna play with envelope 4. That's assigned to the amp control in the output section. I'm just gonna show you the basic functions of the envelope here to keep things simple. If you're familiar with envelopes you'll already know that there are four major parameters that it consists of: attack, sustain, decay, and release. If you're not familiar with these controls, I suggest you watch Synth Programming Basics by Scott Hirsh before diving in any deeper into this course.
It's essential that you know how these work in order to know what kind of sounds you're going for. I'm gonna play with these controls so you can get a feel for what they sound like. (buzzing) See what that does? The sustain section is pretty cool because you can choose from a myriad of different curves here in the menu. So, let's turn this back up here. (buzzing) Pick a... (buzzing) See which one is gonna work.
(distorted buzzing) See how that works? Now, you can set the sustain section to loop several times which will repeat the sustain section according to the number set here. Or you can set it to play just once. (distorted buzzing) The morph knob allows you to morph between two different curves that you can choose in between these two menus. So, let's just say I have fifteen on the top one.
We'll pick something extreme for the second one. Then what we can do is use this knob to morph between the two. (distorted buzzing) If the knob's all the way to the left, it plays the curve on the top. If it's all the way to the right, then it plays the one on the bottom. The last thing I'd like to show you in the envelop section is the preset menu. This can be found by clicking on this list here.
So you can see there are factory presets as well as user presets. You can choose one by clicking on the name. (buzzing) They all do different things. Now, if you want to save an envelope that you created all you have to do is hit the save button here. You'll be prompted to name your envelope. Then it will show up in the user list. So, let's just call this Scotty. Now, if I go here, you'll see Scotty in the user list.
So, let's move on to LFOs. Let's make a new sound and assign LFO 5 to the pitch control of the oscillator 1. Okay, so like envelopes we have to set a range. So, let's set this up twenty four semitones or two octaves. (distorted buzzing) You can see here that this LFO is a simple sign width. This knob controls the rate or the speed at which the LFO plays in hertz. (fast distorted buzzing) The knob below it sinks the LFO to your DAW tempo.
When this is highlighted, the rate knob turns into two adjustable parameters which are divisions of time. I'm gonna turn up the metronome here so you can see how this works. Gonna set it to 1 over 1. That means that the LFO will play one cycle per measure. So, I'm gonna start this DAW. (beeping and buzzing) So, if I set this bottom number to 4 that means the LFO will cycle every quarter measure.
(distorted buzzing) You get the picture. So, make sure to play around with different time divisions to come up with some neat modulation rhythms. Now, the restart button here when it's engaged makes the LFO start from the beginning of its cycle every time you hit a note. (buzzing) When it's off, the LFO continues in the background, and picks up where it left off when you hit a key again. (distorted buzzing) And I'm just hitting keys on my keyboard, so. (distorted buzzing) So, when it's on...
(distorted buzzing) Every time I hit a key it starts there. (distorted buzzing) When it's off... (distorted buzzing) Below that is the amp knob. This controls the intensity of the LFO. (distorted buzzing) In the middle here, you can choose from different kinds of waveforms for your LFO. The four default ones are Sign, Sawtooth, Square, and Triangle.
Let's see what some of those sound like. (distorted buzzing) Now, here in the menu you can choose from a long list of other kinds of curves. Let's see what some of those sound like. (rapid distorted buzzing) So, next I'm gonna show you the morph function.
This allows you to morph between two different LFOs at once. Let's pick a couple of different waveforms here. We'll keep this one on the top and we'll let this be a sign wave at the bottom. Now, I can use this slider to morph between the two of them. (high pitched beeping and buzzing) Pretty cool, all right. Now, I'm gonna show you how the internal envelope function works within the LFO. And the synth is deep.
You can use this to control parameters like the amp knob here. I'll drag that over. Let's drag it over and send. Let's set it to full intensity and let's make some adjustments. I have to actually set the range. (distorted buzzing) Now, you'll notice here that Massive defaults to four envelopes, which are blue and the two LFOs, which are green.
The green tabs are changeable but the blue ones aren't. You can, however, select what kind of modulation source you want the green ones to be by clicking here. You can either choose from LFO, Performer, or Stepper. The one last thing I'd like to show you in the LFO section is the preset menu. This works exactly like the envelopes, so, I can go here, and let's just choose an envelope. (distorted buzzing) (low distorted buzzing) As you can see there, our factory presets as well as user presets, you can choose by clicking on the name as I just showed you.
Now, if you want to save an LFO that you created all you have to do is hit the save button here. You'll be prompted to name your LFO just like your envelope. Scotty LFO and then you'll click on User and it'll show up in the list. And there you go. Hopefully you have a better grasp on modulation, envelopes, and LFOs. You're one step closer to mastering Massive.