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Which expansion to use for that turn-of-the-century boy band pop sound?

Jon Watte
Jon Watte Member Posts: 77 Advisor
edited May 2022 in Maschine

The question says it all, really. Remember that turn-of-the century boy-band dance pop sound?

Is there any expansion that's extra good at replicating that sound? How would you go about doing it?


To be clear: the five-part harmony has to come from elsewhere, I'm looking for tightly gated drums, instrument hits of various kinds: piano/guitar/orchestra, that kind of thing. The Max Martin Starter Pack, if you will :-)

Best Answers

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,722 mod
    Answer ✓

    For the drums, almost any urban expansion that does not focus on a modern trap sound will do IMO, maybe even the trap ones since all those songs have analog / drum-machine sounding drums, especially the kicks. You might get away with just using the Drum Synths for some of this stuff. The gated-verbs and whatnot is something you can add yourself fairly easily.

    The typical instrument stabs on the 1 at every 8 bars might be a bit harder thru expansions, those aren't really used much since the 90's, lots of drum machines came with those in default libs, i'd look elsewhere for stab sample packs. This free pack has around 10 famous stabs and about 150 trash ones, this is ussually the type of stuff you gotta collect.

    For the synths I think all the NI older synths will do you just fine, Massive, FM8, etc... the only common characteristic I can hear is that it's all much cleaner in terms of processing than what people tend to do nowadays.

  • Kaiwan_NI
    Kaiwan_NI Administrator Posts: 2,525 admin
    Answer ✓

    @Jon Watte Legend has it that Max Martin adds distortion on all of the drums during mastering.

    Source:

    Someone also mentions that Kontakt's Beat Em Down preset is great for 90s sounds. Check it out and good luck!

Answers

  • Nico_NI
    Nico_NI Administrator Posts: 1,125 admin

    Would be useful to get some concrete examples, like actual reference tracks 😉

  • Jon Watte
    Jon Watte Member Posts: 77 Advisor

    Sure!

    Backstreet Boys: Everybody

    *NSYNC - Bye Bye Bye

    *NSYNC Pop

    I think early Britney used the same sound bank, too.

    Britney Spears: Crazy


    If it sounds like 2001, that's what I'm after :-)

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,722 mod
    Answer ✓

    For the drums, almost any urban expansion that does not focus on a modern trap sound will do IMO, maybe even the trap ones since all those songs have analog / drum-machine sounding drums, especially the kicks. You might get away with just using the Drum Synths for some of this stuff. The gated-verbs and whatnot is something you can add yourself fairly easily.

    The typical instrument stabs on the 1 at every 8 bars might be a bit harder thru expansions, those aren't really used much since the 90's, lots of drum machines came with those in default libs, i'd look elsewhere for stab sample packs. This free pack has around 10 famous stabs and about 150 trash ones, this is ussually the type of stuff you gotta collect.

    For the synths I think all the NI older synths will do you just fine, Massive, FM8, etc... the only common characteristic I can hear is that it's all much cleaner in terms of processing than what people tend to do nowadays.

  • Jon Watte
    Jon Watte Member Posts: 77 Advisor

    The typical instrument stabs on the 1

    That is indeed one of the main challenges!

    I'll take a look at that sample pack, thanks.

    it's all much cleaner in terms of processing

    Most of the R&B / Hip Hop / Trap packs are a little funkier and less straight-laced, and the techno packs are much boomier. I'm kinda hoping to find something decent canned so I don't have to go sound design a bunch.

    I mean, we have synthwave packs and "classic analog" coming out the ears, so it'll just be a matter of time before the naughts come around. Gotta be prepared!

  • Kaiwan_NI
    Kaiwan_NI Administrator Posts: 2,525 admin
    Answer ✓

    @Jon Watte Legend has it that Max Martin adds distortion on all of the drums during mastering.

    Source:

    Someone also mentions that Kontakt's Beat Em Down preset is great for 90s sounds. Check it out and good luck!

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