Riser effects are one of the most common sounds used in modern electronic music genres. Whether it’s made from simple white noise or uses saw or pulse waveforms, you probably recognize it when you hear it. Many producers tend to use previously made riser effects from sample banks available. However, custom made, tempo-synced riser effects are much more usable and control friendly. Therefore, in the next tutorial, we will show you how to easily make a riser effect that will fit perfectly in your track.
For the sake of this tutorial, we will use a soft synth called Massive by Native Instruments. Here, we will design our riser effect from scratch. In our Soudbridge: DAW, we have previously made a short Psy Trance sequence. It contains all the elements of a full mix without a riser effect. Let’s have a quick listen.
~Full Mix – Without Riser Effect
Let’s start by adding a new instance of Massive on a newly created MIDI track. We can initialize the preset by clicking on the “FILE” tab on top of the plugin’s interface.
One way to control the duration of the riser effect within Massive would be to increase the attack in the envelope section. However, this will not allow you to have precise insight into how long the buildup is actually going to last. Instead, we will leave the attack at a minimum and just increase the decay and level parameters to the maximum.
After selecting the desired waveforms from the three available oscillators and setting up the filter section, as shown in the picture above, we will move to the section which allows us to properly tempo sync our riser effect. First, let’s hear how it sounds so far.
~Riser Effect – Without Modulation
You will notice that in the middle section of Massive, you can use up to four different envelopes, marked in blue, and four different LFO/Performer/Step Sequencer envelopes, marked in green. In our case we just need one Performer, so we will click on the first green tab.
Since we need a simple riser curve, we will delete all the rectangular waveforms present by default. You can do that by clicking, holding, and dragging the waveforms up and down in the section.
We need our riser effect to be tempo-synced, so let’s click on the sync button on the left side. Then, we’re presented with the sync Ratio, which can be changed by dragging the numbers up. The upper number indicates bars, lower indicates subdivision. Since we want our riser effect to last eight bars, we will select eight as the upper value. The lower value will be left at 1.
Next, we need to select a curve for our riser effect. This can be done by clicking on the “Load Curve” tab within the performer section. If you look to the right, you will see there are many different curve forms available. In the case of a riser effect, we need to select one which starts down and goes up gradually, as shown in the picture below.
Pitch modulation for the riser effect
Once we’re done with this, we can move to the modulation part. We want the Performer, with its rising curve, to modulate the pitch of the oscillators. Therefore, we will drag the performer’s icon and place it on the modulation slot of all four oscillators. Since the pitch of our riser effect should move upward, we will increase the value of modulation up to positive 64. You can see that in the picture below.
After all of this, it’s time to hear the result.
~Riser Effect – With Pitch Modulation
Now, let’s hear how our riser effect sounds in context, with the other elements of the mix.
~Full Mix – With Riser Effect