Drum Synthesis: Massive Hats

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Native Instruments Massive is truly a great synth and even with the eagerly anticipated release of Massive X, you should not forgot all the truly huge sounds you can make with the predecessor.

Building drums in Massive is great, it is properly one of the best synths for it due to is noise modes. And in this blog post we are going to look at the noise generator to build some 808 style hats.


Start by loading in Massive and initialising the patch, which you can find in the global section.

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With the patch blank, lets switch off the 3 oscillators as we will not be needing them, lets also insure that the noise generator is switched on. Switch the noise mode to hi-metallic. Put the color to 50% and amp to 100%

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Already we have a decent sounding hat, what we will want from track to track is to control the pitch (color) of the hat, so let's map macro 1 to the color on the noise generator. Remember to add a macro, grab the marco four point arrow in the macro section and then drop it into the parameter you wish to add to the macro, in this case it's the color. From there turn the number via the parameter box to add a macro range. If you don't do this the macro will do nothing. Lastly, let pitch the hat up, to do this turn the macro to 75%.

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Now, lets beef up the sound with some effects, on effect 1 use the classic tube with the dry/wet and drive set to 60%. From there add the reverb, and shaper (via insert 1).


With the hat sounding a little more juicy, lets set up the amp envelope. On Massive this is defaulted to envelope 4. Once in the envelope 4 tab, set the decay level to 0%, decay time to 25% and release to 30%. It will also be a good idea to map the decay and release times to a macro to have full control over it.

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Clean Up:

As you can hear there seems to be some harsh frequencies in the low mid range, to solve this issue, lets send the noise generator to filter 1. To do this set the mixer to F1.

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Go to the filter 1, set the mode to hp 4 (high pass). And from there set the cutoff to 65%.

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As you can see by using a synths noise generator you can make synthetic hats. Its a good idea to explore all the synth your have in the arsenal and see how the noise generators sound, each will give you a different vibe. By building your own sounds you are slowly developing your own sound which is integral to help you get your head above the overcrowded industry.