MASSIVE is a powerful synthesizer that has excellent modulation capabilities. Revered over the years for its unmistakable ability to create growling, morphing basslines, MASSIVE is also capable of creating entire musical segments including drums, percussion, and melody with the press of a single note on your keyboard.
The preset TB Party from the MASSIVE factory library demonstrates this concept elegantly. TB Party drives a melodic TB-303 style acid bass which modulates Oscillator 1’s pitch from the Stepper. The Stepper is a step sequencer with the ability to set different amplitude amounts per step, which is perfect for modulating pitch.
TB Party also supplies synthesized drums courtesy of the other oscillators and noise section. In order to compose rhythmic drum patterns, these elements are modulated by the Performers. The Performer is also a step sequencer, and in fact, it is two step sequencers in one, with the ability to crossfade between the two in order to seamlessly morph between complex rhythmic patterns. The Performer differs from the Stepper in that each step is capable of loading separate envelope curves, rather than just a static amplitude amount. All of a sudden, your modulation can rise, fall, slope, bend, and stutter differently per step. Imagine the possibilities as you route this modulation source to any number of parameters within MASSIVE.
Although it can appear complicated at first, it is actually a lot easier when you look at how TB Party uses these modulators. Let’s take a look and dissect the preset.