Formant Sweeps

A formant sweep can be added to almost any sound, giving it an undulating sweep into a transition for effortless ear candy.

Step 1

You can quickly create formant sweeps in Massive with just one oscillator and some simple envelope modulation.

First, program a MIDI sequence with a sustained C1 note. Next, open an instance of Massive and initialise the patch by selecting New Sound from the File menu. In Osc1, click the drop-down menu that currently reads Squ-Sw1 and change the wavetable to Digi Cook II (in the fourth column) for a more aggressive tone. Double-click on the Wt-position dial to snap it to the half way point.

Step 1

Step 2

Now click on Osc1’s Spectrum setting and change it to Formant. This turns the Intensity control from a low-pass filter to a formant filter. Check how it operates by holding down a note and shifting the Intensity dial for instant vowel-like tones.

To route an envelope to modulate this intensity control, click and drag the blue 1Env crosshair and drop it into the first modulation box below the Intensity dial. A blue number 1 will appear.

Step 2

Step 3

Turn Intensity all the way to the left (0%) then click and drag all the way up on the blue number 1 box to apply the envelope modulation. To shape the envelope, click and highlight the 1Env panel, then back the attack setting off all the way and push decay up to 100%. Now when you press and hold a note the formant sweep starts happening automatically. In this example we’ve also added Massive’s reverb in the FX1 slot, reducing the dry/wet balance to 25% and pushing Density to 100%.

Step 3

7th August, 2015

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