Opinions on MassiveX

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samsam
KVRAF
3021 posts since 9 Dec, 2008

Post Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:36 am

Massive had a bad name, terrible name, that's why folks were so excited about MX.

Stands to reason dunnit. Sniff.

I love the original, not got MX yet but enjoying reading about it, no doubt one day...

chk071
KVRAF
22457 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:52 am

DJ Warmonger wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:17 am
Not a fan of original Massive either.
Me neither. MX sounds much, much better. Especially the filters in the original Massive were quite weak IMO.

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aMUSEd
KVRAF
31119 posts since 14 Sep, 2002 from In teh net

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:54 am

I think some of my favourite patches in any synth were in the original Massive (only bettered by Alchemy), particularly some made by Leap into the Void and Jeremy Janzen - it really can sound great (not interested in digital vs analog).

noiseboyuk
KVRAF
2879 posts since 25 Jan, 2007

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:55 am

BONES wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:56 pm
noiseboyuk wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:01 am
So I'm a heretic, basically - I like warm and subtractive, clearly.
I think that's just garbage. I love the analogue style subtractive synth sound but I think the best softsynths do it far, far better than any analogue hardware I've ever heard. They simply have so much more to offer because they aren't restricted by the cost of building complexity. I dunno about Massive X but the original Massive was definitely the kind of digital synth that gives them a bad name.
You may have missedunderstood my point (or likely I said it very badly). I was distinguishing between soft synths that to my ears always tend towards the cold, clinical or sterile, and those that don't. I wasn't referring to hardware at all. Massive X is in that former camp for me, even though I know it has a lot of praise and fans. I just don't like the sound much.
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dionenoid
KVRist
487 posts since 3 Jan, 2019 from Holland

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:13 am

khaosgott wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:39 am
Hi guys,
MX is available for a while now, and I would like some impressions from people who have been using it.
Currently it has a pretty sweet crossgrade offer at NI site, so Im looking at this option.
I tried the demo, however didnt really delve into it.
How is it resource-wise? And how is it in comparison to the original one?
Also, for those who have both MassiveX and Synthmaster2 (also has a sweet discount at the moment), how would you compare the two?

Demo the plugins is always a solid advice, however I would like to get an opinion or two from other people with different hearing abilities.

Thank you.
CPU useage of MX is worse than Synthmaster or og Massive.

Sound is way ahead of SM. Fx and filters of MX are some of the best you'll find in any softsynth.

Interface takes some time to understand, but if you know the og Massive you can find your way around. SM can pretty much do anything but has a really confusing routing matrix and the more complex sound you make, the more confusing it all gets. MX wins in that part because of some clever design decisions.

SM has way more presets, but quantity says nothing about quality ; the good ones are in their paid banks. MX has way less presets and also, to me, not very interesting. But i'm sure more presets for MX will come, the of Massive didn't have that much at release either.

Demo both, see what you like.
More BPM please

chk071
KVRAF
22457 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:48 am

Yep, nicely put. :tu:

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HTT
KVRist
32 posts since 14 Jul, 2019

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Wed Nov 27, 2019 6:04 am

Sound way ahead of SynthMaster 2.9? Only the paid presets are good?

https://www.kv331audio.com/synthmaster.aspx

I don’t normally choose either synth as a primary sound source. They both have their virtues, though.

experimental.crow
KVRAF
6043 posts since 9 Mar, 2003 from the bridge of sighs

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:38 am

i bought MX through the current sale ...
had been demoing since it's introduction ...

for me , everything i needed to know can be summed up in the about box ; mike daliot ...
the same fellow who developed carbon , carbon2 , photone , and too many to mention ...
he also developed metaphysical function , along w/ the most excellent james walker hall ...

that's enough of a track record for me ...
that being said , one has fingers crossed that NI provide a working environment that allows
m. daliot to fully flesh out his vision ...
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Forgotten
KVRAF
5990 posts since 15 Apr, 2019 from Nowhere

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:44 am

Yes, that is certainly one of the big selling points for many people.

V0RT3X
KVRAF
7786 posts since 4 Jul, 2012 from Alesia

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:01 am

Massive X is a great synthesizer and it really can cover so many sounds. Every time I open it i am pretty much in awe at whats on offer for sound designers.

Hopefully they allow user wavetables at some point.

Also i can’t wait for them to implement MPE so i can use my Rise49.

https://support.native-instruments.com/ ... MPE-en-us-

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el-bo (formerly ebow)
KVRAF
15262 posts since 24 May, 2009 from A galaxy, far far away

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:05 am

V0RT3X wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:01 am
Also i can’t wait for them to implement MPE so i can use my Rise49.

https://support.native-instruments.com/ ... MPE-en-us-
:clap: :clap:

Functional
KVRian
754 posts since 26 Oct, 2011

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Wed Nov 27, 2019 2:11 pm

I've been using Massive X a LOT and it has pretty much become my "go-to" synth for anything that doesn't require that very, very dinstictive analog character that Repro-5 covers for me. I'll also apologize for lack of any formatting and this long post that does the cliché "I won't go to the point until the very end" thing. I know it's bad, but if I'm aware of it, then I can do it, right? Right?

To sum it all up, Massive X to me is the living proof of how awful the audience of music software industry is - and how clueless most vocal people often are when they're talking about synths. I'm not talking about any particular person here either - the general reception of Massive X has been "meh". This, to me, is a proof that people who use these products really either don't know how to handle synths or actually evaluate them properly - exploring their actual possibilities rather than "How well can it do this thing that I did with another synth?"

I also think that NI marketing team did a really bad job. Or maybe they did what they could, given that they had to rush the product. But what I'm saying is that they should have hyped the shit out of this product and its specialized features. I always thought that it's weird when people call (original) Massive as a "semi-modular" synth because to me, Massive appeared more like "semi-semi-modular". Sure, you can decide the filter topology and the locations of inserts in a pre-defined topology, but... is that really all it takes to be a semi-modular synth?

Massive X is a big, HUGE leap forward from this and it does one thing that I've never seen a synthesizer do - thing that makes this the go-to synth for anyone who is looking for a easy-to-use, software synth to create sounds that sound "organic" and have some actual damn unpredictability in their sound. It should be noted that Massive X isn't the only synth in the market for this, but it's certainly one of the most accessible ones. A honorary mention goes to Zebra2 - and Urs, if you're reading this, I wish you to take notes because I really don't like NI and I think the future of envelope pushing software synthesizers will fall on your shoulders after Massive X.

If you look at Massive X at the surface level, you'll find that it's a wavetable synthesizer that does what wavetable synthesizers do with some fancy features. The osc modes are nice - ART provides an alternative take for those acid sounds (but I predict the new tb-303 emulation by Behringer will probably bring enough of bad acid music for us all to "enjoy", sadly), there's some weirder ones that that often just make things go harsh (as a personal preference, I do not like "harsh"), some that do some other weird things (like jitter & random modes).

Then there's the filter section. I'd argue that Massive X currently has the best filter section hands down out of all the popular wavetable synths. I wouldn't call them "revolutionary", but it's a really solid selection of just a few filters, each one with their own modes. However, the comb filter is rather advanced and you can create some interesting things with it especially if you introduce some chaos before the comb filter stage (because comb filter will make it sound coherent). However, a tiny nitpick: it would be nice if the comb filter had more controls over it; the comb filter in Zebra for example offers a lot of control which is really nice!

The GUI is solid. I honestly don't understand people who complain about the GUI of Massive X - it's seriously one of the best up to date. It packs a lot of information without feeling cluttered. My only nitpick is that you have to click on small points in routing section and this is really, really, really annoying. I do not like clicking small things because I like my mouse DPI to be high. I understand cases where it's necessary, but I think here it could have been designed better. The complaints about modulation not being visible - who the hell really cares? The only instance where that could ever be useful is when you're trying to make sense of a preset - if you hear something that is clearly vibrating or increasing/decreasing etc without necessarily understanding what it is, then yeah, visual feedback helps to connect the dots. But is this really a "hindering issue" as musicradar decided to describe it? No, it's not. It's just a small quality of life feature.

The envelopes also have graphics now - which I really don't think matters at all but apparently for some people it's a huge deal. It's kind of nice to see the curvature though, because sometimes you forget and then you have to listen to the sound before you know whenever it's exponential or logarithmic. Again, even if it lacked these, I really don't think it would hinder anything at all.

All the insert effects sound really good - although here again, a tiny nitpick about lacking parameters to control in some cases. Bitcrusher is simplified a bit too much for my taste. The other case would be the ringmod that for some reason has only sine and no bias control, but this is the nitpickiest thing out of them all given that it's easy to implement ringmod/AM in Massive X with one LFO + the "utility" insert. There's also "anima" insert effect which is really nice!

So why call it a revolutionary synth then? Well, because of that fun "feedback" knob, that most chumps probably ignored because who wants that, right?

Feedback is a common effect. Any filter with a "drive" knob essentially has a feedback loop. Any comb filter is based on feedback looping. Delay effects are based on feedback too. Hell, even the "anima" insert effect seems to be based on feedback.

What is far less common is a synth that allows you to assign inserts into the feedback chain, have a particular musically tuned mixer delay and then have even more after that while still keeping things "musical". When you add any DSP structures inside a chain like that, you would normally get added delay (latency) which would mess up the whole tuned mixer delay - but apparently Massive X keeps things cohesive with some latency compensation trickery - so you can have two inserts (after the mandatory mixer delay) inside the feedback chain. To understand what kind of possibilities a feedback chain can provide, you really have to explore it yourself. For example, you can easily make things sound "organic" by using random modulator on the "phase" value of the mixer delay in the feedback loop. All the while you have a great sounding (even if somewhat limited) comb filter that can also make it sound somewhat consistent even if you do more extreme things in the feedback loop - removing some of the harshness etc!

I believe that no softsynth so far has actually made feedback looping so easily viable in a musical setting. I'd love to try and design something in Reaktor inspired by this, but sadly I suspect that that the required latency compensation implementation would go far above my capabilities.

But perhaps the possibilities are harder to imagine for people who haven't had really much experience with feedback looping. Well, here's a synth I sketched up awhile ago that demonstrates it perfectly. I sadly didn't even save the patch, but if anyone wants to learn more, I could sketch some patch that explores this concept a bit for them to learn about it.

Maybe I'm too much of a noob to understand that something like this isn't really that revolutionary - I would hope that to be the case and would love for anyone to point me to a synth that does this. Polyphonically.

The real shame of Massive X is that it didn't extend it's FX section so far. I would have loved to have an alternative topology where the FX section can be routed too. I understand why; all of that polyphonically will start chugging CPU. So it would have been nice if you could switch between the two topologies.

experimental.crow
KVRAF
6043 posts since 9 Mar, 2003 from the bridge of sighs

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Wed Nov 27, 2019 2:37 pm

Functional wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 2:11 pm

...

I believe that no softsynth so far has actually made feedback looping so easily viable in a musical setting. I'd love to try and design something in Reaktor inspired by this, but sadly I suspect that that the required latency compensation implementation would go far above my capabilities.

But perhaps the possibilities are harder to imagine for people who haven't had really much experience with feedback looping. Well, here's a synth I sketched up awhile ago that demonstrates it perfectly. I sadly didn't even save the patch, but if anyone wants to learn more, I could sketch some patch that explores this concept a bit for them to learn about it.

Maybe I'm too much of a noob to understand that something like this isn't really that revolutionary - I would hope that to be the case and would love for anyone to point me to a synth that does this. Polyphonically.

...
really enjoyed your clip ...
i like those types of patches ...

i'm curious ...
have you ever taken aalto for a spin ?..
it has a feedback control which can be modulated in several interesting ways
that i find ( mostly ) musical ... ymmv ...

it is not at the same level as you are ascribing to MX , but it is a different
breed of synth ...
Image

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BONES
GRRRRRRR!
9050 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Wed Nov 27, 2019 2:41 pm

noiseboyuk wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:55 am
You may have missedunderstood my point (or likely I said it very badly). I was distinguishing between soft synths that to my ears always tend towards the cold, clinical or sterile, and those that don't.
See, I don't even understand what that means because that's the kind of thing I use analogue sounding synths for.
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Functional
KVRian
754 posts since 26 Oct, 2011

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:01 pm

experimental.crow wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 2:37 pm
Functional wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 2:11 pm

...

I believe that no softsynth so far has actually made feedback looping so easily viable in a musical setting. I'd love to try and design something in Reaktor inspired by this, but sadly I suspect that that the required latency compensation implementation would go far above my capabilities.

But perhaps the possibilities are harder to imagine for people who haven't had really much experience with feedback looping. Well, here's a synth I sketched up awhile ago that demonstrates it perfectly. I sadly didn't even save the patch, but if anyone wants to learn more, I could sketch some patch that explores this concept a bit for them to learn about it.

Maybe I'm too much of a noob to understand that something like this isn't really that revolutionary - I would hope that to be the case and would love for anyone to point me to a synth that does this. Polyphonically.

...
really enjoyed your clip ...
i like those types of patches ...

i'm curious ...
have you ever taken aalto for a spin ?..
it has a feedback control which can be modulated in several interesting ways
that i find ( mostly ) musical ... ymmv ...

it is not at the same level as you are ascribing to MX , but it is a different
breed of synth ...
Yes, I actually have as of recently due to a recommendation! Aalto has essentially an implementation of a particular type of synthesis known as "waveguide synthesis", which is kind of what this whole thing actually is. It is used often in physical modeling, but physical modeling -based instruments are nearly always "closed" in terms of their topology likely because of the exact reason I described: you need to implement latency compensation to make it work. Which is "simple enough" when the topology is closed, but if you open up the topology, you have to actually estimate the needed latency compensation for every possible permutation (and the complexity level there rises really quickly - so it would take a lot of work unless there were only few possible variants)

Things like altering the phase of the delay in the feedback chain is essentially waveguide synthesis (someone correct me if I'm wrong, I'm not 100% sure), but it's also a very, very simple case of it. Usually it's much more complicated than that because its employed to emulate real instruments and that involves much, much more variables than just changing the phase of the delayed signal.

A fun fact too: Aalto is "wave" in Finnish. What a shocker, right?

But more importantly, while I actually like Aalto in some level, the waveguide module of it isn't exactly my thing because I've found that controlling it is much harder. But it's important to note that Aalto is literally just Randy (as far as I know). I'm also very excited to hear about Usva (which means fog in Finnish!); Randy described it as a combination of additive + FM synthesis. This could literally mean anything, so it'll remain a mystery until the product arrives.

I have more hopes in u-he actually making a synth out of their recent physical modelling research. A lot of people expect a physically modeled drum synth from them (as they showcased an elementary version of one) but I'd really, really love if they took some notes from Massive X and this particular capability. Perhaps they could include some of that research into Zebra3!

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