Trifonic: Making Pads with Spectral Dronemaker from Next Step Audio on Vimeo.

Brian of the music production team Trifonic completes his two-part series on synthesizing sounds with Native Instruments Massive (which shows nicely here, though you could also translate these techniques to similar semi-modular synths). Part one from May covers oscillators, filters, and other features, further processed with a third-party plug; part two this week covers the performance editor and filters “to make sweet bass sounds.” (I like sweet and sour bass sounds, myself.) Check out the videos below.

What I love about Brian’s videos is that they’re very much connected to his way of working – more master class than dry curriculum – while still giving you a taste of the features you need to know in the tool. And since they are more compact, they’re a good way to tickle your creative sound design bones for a few minutes, then set you on a project, ideal for launching this weekend. You can follow them here:

Massive is cool, but Mac users won’t want to miss the gems of plug-ins he mentions in the video at top. (I know I missed them — MacBook, boot!) Michael Norris’ SoundMagic Spectral is a collection of completely free-as-in-beer, Universal AU plug-ins which, true to the name, cover real-time spectral processing:
Included in SOUNDMAGIC SPECTRAL are the following plug-ins:

Spectral Averaging • Spectral Bin Shift • Spectral Blurring • Spectral DroneMaker • Spectral Emergence • Spectral Filterbank • Spectral Freezing • Spectral Gate and Hold • Spectral Gliding Filters • Spectral Granulation • Spectral Harmonizer • Spectral Partial Glide • Spectral Pitch Shift • Spectral Pulsing • Spectral Shimmer • Spectral Shuffle • Spectral Stretch • Spectral Tracing • Chorus • Comb Filter Bank • Grain Streamer • Idee Fixer • Mr Filterbank

Brian makes use of that DroneMaker, at top. Enjoy some production this weekend, folks! On to Massive…

Trifonic: Synthesis with NI’s Massive – Part 1 from Next Step Audio on Vimeo.

Trifonic: Synthesis with NI’s Massive – Part 2 from Next Step Audio on Vimeo.

  • West

    Credit to Michael Norris for SoundMagic Spectral – not Sinevibes –

    Nice tools!

  • Martin

    Indeed the Michael Norris stuff is truly wonderful. One of the little secret wonders of sound design. Oh well, thats one less secret weapon ,-)

  • hahaha your secrets are mine now 😉

  • folks should definitely peep the trifonic tutorials. i'm a former student of his and the man is no joke!!

  • Drasko V

    Great stuff homie! Going to enjoy the vids this afternoon.

  • Martin

    >zero ref
    A Michael Norris Plugs ex-secret tip: try using spectral dronemaker and others of the more drone-y MN plugs as FX returns like you would use a long hall reverb on short notes – acoustic guitar is great for example – if you filter off the sometimes brittle top end and add a little real reverb aftewrds to smooth things out, you can get a sort of eno-ish tuned ambient wash that is really rather special …

  • Lars

    Martin: That's actually one of my favourite tricks. You can also mix it up a bit by applying some glitchy effect like DestroyFX Scrubby before the SoundMagic effect on the return chain. Works wonders 🙂

  • Chris Thorpe

    Michael Norris's OS9 SoundMagic plug-ins worked with Alberto Riccci's SoundEffects – still my fave sound design program. The envelope removal plugin was brilliant. Wish there was an OSX version

  • Lephrenic

    I've been using Spectral Drone Maker on nearly all my tunes these days.

  • Thanks for the kudos guys. I'm quite keen to get that envelope remover working again…


  • vger

    Oh well, so much for thinking this was my little secret 😉

  • Mtc

    Big thanx to Michael Norris ! I've waited these plugins for a long while.
    Lot of Inspiration.
    Best Regards


  • Martin

    Mister Michael Norris, thankyou for some truly wonderful plugs, I too was doing the OS9 SoundEdit thing back then, so retrospective big thanks for your stuff for that too …

  • Whoa cool to see Michael Norris chime in! I hope something develops with the envelope substitution/remover. I still have my OS9 computer with Sound Maker and all the fx in the studio.

    I hope to unmask more of my personal (and probably other producers as well) "secret weapons" in the coming months 😀

  • Linus

    Michael Norris Spectral blurring has been my highly secret weapon last year. But I knew there would come a day everyone would get their hands on it… 😉

  • Martin

    It is starting to look like that about half the people on here have been keeping this same dark secret ! 😉

    Maybe we should think about sharing some others …

  • shim

    i'll give up some settings if you will 🙂

    p.s. very thanks mr. norris.

  • louis

    does anyone know of a max for live device that has similar capabilities ? i cant believe that there is nt something out there….cheers

  • awesome stuff brian! love it thanks for the hfeads up on some of these plugs

  • Great Native Instruments Massive tutorial!

    I've included this on my blog, – a blog containing tutorials and patches for native instruments massive.