Funk is a very distinct style of music based on R&B which emphasizes melodic chord progression and brings a strong groove. Old-fashioned funky sounds originating from the ’80s are coming back into modern music production. For this reason, in this tutorial, we will show you how to make an old-school funky synth stab.


Let’s start creating!


At first, I will open a new instance of Massive by Native instruments and select a new sound from the upper drop-down menu. This is because I want to start from scratch. Our sound will be made from 2 oscillators and a noise generator. The first oscillator will be a saw-tooth wave, the second one a square-wave and lastly, a noise generator will add a bit of white noise to the overall sound. Oscillator with a saw-tooth wave is the first one and I will drag its fader all the way up to the filter one. Next, I am going to do the same thing with the second oscillator (square wave) but for this one, I will lower the octave. I don’t want the noise generator to be too obvious, so I will lower down the amp knob and also set it on filter one.


Now let’s hear how it sounds.


osc-1-saw osc-1-square osc-3-noise


~ 3 Oscillators – Clean


Funky Synth Designing


Secondly, let’s address the filter section in which I will set two filters into serial rather than the parallel mode. After that, I will select low pass 2 for filter one and low pass 4 for filter two. Finally, I will drag the filter mix fader all the way down to mix 2. Here is how this section looks like after adjusting its parameters.




Let’s move on to the envelope section. I recommend that we pay attention to envelope 4 and envelope 1 tabs. In envelope 4 section I will set a higher attack and somewhat higher release. Moving forward to envelope 1, I will set a very short attack and short release comparing to the previous one. Finally, I will bring the level parameter all the way down. Furthermore, by dragging and dropping, I will assign envelope 1 to filter 1 cutoff, filter 2 cutoff and finally to the amp of the noise generator. In the end, we can hear that the envelope is triggering the aforementioned parameters.


~Envelope controlling Filters and Noise Generator


Funk it up!


Vibrato should be already assigned by default and you can find it in the yellow macro section down to the right of the interface. Just turn the knob and add the amount to your liking. It seems to me that our funky synth stab is moving along nicely. In conclusion, I will polish the sound with few effects found within Massive. The first one will be the distortion to add more grit and finally the reverb to add some space. At last, let’s play that funky music!


~Full Processed sound


Download the patch here.