Opinions on MassiveX

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
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Sinisterbr
KVRist
263 posts since 11 Mar, 2010

Post Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:29 am

perpetual3 wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 6:51 am
A couple observations about MX that I haven’t noticed elsewhere.

As someone who’s music is thoroughly influenced by the dub “aesthetic” and associated production techniques, MX seems to have taken a cue from plugins like Surreal Machines Dub Machines and included sends on effects. Coupled with gain, level and mix knobs almost everywhere, I’m creating patches, using modulation, that otherwise would have required extensive automation in a DAW template with a loads of track and midi routing and large send/return network. To be fair, Ableton makes this less cumbersome than it used to be, but integrating this approach deeply into the architecture is a simple design choice that opens up a lot of different possibilities. I suspect NI went down this path with cinematic or more contemporary pop (I.e. bass music) musical trends in mind. But if you’re into dub in all it’s flavors, MX is a fantastic synth. (I didn’t use OG massive, serum or other WT synths so I don’t know if this is a ubiquitous design choice or not).

As someone who also loves the texture of old samplers (TAL Sampler gets mad usages over here), MX allows you to impart a lot of that flavor. To me, it’s like a hi-fi take on a lo-fi sound, and using the techniques I described above, I can flow from hi-fi (modern, sharp, clean) to lo-fi easily in the patch. In other words, if you like the texture of samplers AND the dynamic range of modern digital synths you have that spectrum in MX.

Finally, MX makes a sick kick drum, and a lot of the drum/perc presets are fantastic.
That's a very interesting POV. So, you don't miss some more FX slots? I always feel 3 is just too few.

User avatar
Sinisterbr
KVRist
263 posts since 11 Mar, 2010

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:36 am

Stefken wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 7:57 am
Functional wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 6:24 am
He can talk all he wants about UI design, but if he can't be more concrete than "there's a scientific basis for UI design
I had the same remarks for an equally friendly person. Calling me names and such.
Until he saw my work. Now this person is very silent.

I can be abstract and VERY concrete. Because UI work in practice is concrete up to the pixel.
Big talk won't help you then.
Stefken, I think you should just accept people disagree with you about the GUI, and be fine with that. I personally hate Dune and Pigments GUIs, but I can totally understand people who like it.

Stefken
KVRAF
1828 posts since 9 Nov, 2016

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:38 am

Yes, you are right.

User avatar
rezoneight
KVRist
126 posts since 18 Feb, 2004

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Thu Dec 05, 2019 12:19 pm

Stefken wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 5:55 am
rezoneight wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:13 pm
Stefken wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:10 am
Sinisterbr wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:42 am
I think its GUI gorgeous. Besides, MX has an excelent workflow. Given all its capabilites, it's still not difficult at all. They did a great job IMHO.
Ok, ...never quit your job to become a UI designer. Never.
Given that a UI being good or bad is pretty subjective, especially in something as complex as a synth plugin....care to share what is so bad about it? I personally love it. Gorgeous default skin.
There have been plenty of posts about it.
There is also quite a scientific basis for proper UI design and ergonomics nowadays, so it's not that subjective.

(The update did resolve some issues so the experience is certainly improved).
Have you shared in this thread about the UI? If so I missed them. So please, share again. I didn't ask for anyone else's opinion, I asked for yours.

And I call BS on the "quite a scientific basis for proper UI design and ergonomics". That would be nearly impossible given all of the possible sizes for screens, etc. For example: the MS ribbon UI was based on "scientific data and ergonomics", and people *still* hate it. I for one love the ribbon too but Microsoft had years and years of usage data to make those decisions. And again, people still hated it. Now we're talking something that doesn't take up a full screen that is new. I think they did a pretty good job. Can they make improvements? Sure. The beauty of software is that anything can be changed at any time.

Stefken
KVRAF
1828 posts since 9 Nov, 2016

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Thu Dec 05, 2019 12:27 pm

Well, MS is maybe not the best reference for ergonomics/UX. I'm a Sharepoint admin ( a MS product) and that thing is an utter bitch to maintain and not very userfriendly.

But I'll type out some pointers later on about what could be improved imo.

perpetual3
KVRian
1138 posts since 28 Sep, 2012

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Thu Dec 05, 2019 2:50 pm

Sinisterbr wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:29 am
perpetual3 wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 6:51 am
A couple observations about MX that I haven’t noticed elsewhere.

As someone who’s music is thoroughly influenced by the dub “aesthetic” and associated production techniques, MX seems to have taken a cue from plugins like Surreal Machines Dub Machines and included sends on effects. Coupled with gain, level and mix knobs almost everywhere, I’m creating patches, using modulation, that otherwise would have required extensive automation in a DAW template with a loads of track and midi routing and large send/return network. To be fair, Ableton makes this less cumbersome than it used to be, but integrating this approach deeply into the architecture is a simple design choice that opens up a lot of different possibilities. I suspect NI went down this path with cinematic or more contemporary pop (I.e. bass music) musical trends in mind. But if you’re into dub in all it’s flavors, MX is a fantastic synth. (I didn’t use OG massive, serum or other WT synths so I don’t know if this is a ubiquitous design choice or not).

As someone who also loves the texture of old samplers (TAL Sampler gets mad usages over here), MX allows you to impart a lot of that flavor. To me, it’s like a hi-fi take on a lo-fi sound, and using the techniques I described above, I can flow from hi-fi (modern, sharp, clean) to lo-fi easily in the patch. In other words, if you like the texture of samplers AND the dynamic range of modern digital synths you have that spectrum in MX.

Finally, MX makes a sick kick drum, and a lot of the drum/perc presets are fantastic.
That's a very interesting POV. So, you don't miss some more FX slots? I always feel 3 is just too few.
Yes, I do, but even so, there is a lot I do with wavetable modulation, phase modulation, etc that replaces my typical use of effects.

Functional
KVRian
773 posts since 26 Oct, 2011

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Thu Dec 05, 2019 7:20 pm

Sinisterbr wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:29 am
That's a very interesting POV. So, you don't miss some more FX slots? I always feel 3 is just too few.
The reason there is only 3 (in the polyphonic section!) is probably due to the latency compensation that is necessary to implement in that environment. The "Track Delay" FX in particular when run through a feedback loop will get detuned without latency compensation. I'm not really 100% sure about this, but this is how it appears to me. And for similar reasons, something like PhasePlant does not have an open feedback loop circuit. So it's a tradeoff and Massive X took this approach (which makes it really nice, because we already have a synth that does the other approach)

User avatar
rezoneight
KVRist
126 posts since 18 Feb, 2004

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:21 pm

Stefken wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 12:27 pm
Well, MS is maybe not the best reference for ergonomics/UX. I'm a Sharepoint admin ( a MS product) and that thing is an utter bitch to maintain and not very userfriendly.

But I'll type out some pointers later on about what could be improved imo.
Sharepoint is a complete PoS. And MS in general has some truly awful UI work. On the other hand they have some really good stuff too. But my point was that Office and the Ribbon was done after tons of data-backed usage research and design. There is no guarantee of good UX in any case.

User avatar
EnGee
KVRAF
5801 posts since 7 Oct, 2005 from NZ

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Thu Dec 05, 2019 9:52 pm

Synths are not spreadsheet or word processing software! Not a database or a management application! What are you talking guys?!

The guidelines of most synths depend on the developers and/or the GUI designer/developer and usually they are one or two. There are hundreds of good examples and nothing that's revolutionary new! The company needs to spend more money on the product not trying to cut corners. I don't think it's the developers fault in case of Massive X. They just did what they told (obviously!). It's NI decision, that's all.

Massive X has a good GUI design but not completed IMO. I believe it is rushed to be released. Anyway, it is now in the right track and maybe they would add visual animation feedback like in Razor or Super 8 and midi learn as they are implemented in Reaktor synths. So, it's almost finished but can't say it's a perfect product like Super 8 or Razor. It's still usable though.
Let's donate to help the kids and save our planet.

User avatar
rezoneight
KVRist
126 posts since 18 Feb, 2004

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:01 am

Good UX has nothing to do with whatever the product is, synth or spreadsheet. Again, my first point was: I like the Massive X GUI and think they did a good job. Not perfect but its software and can easily evolve. My second point was addressing that science and process will create good UX isn't true. MS used science and process to update the Office GUI and people still hated it. Good UX can still be very subjective. I think just about any synth plugin demonstrates this ;)

perpetual3
KVRian
1138 posts since 28 Sep, 2012

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:13 am

Maybe it’s better to provide direct comparisons between equivalent products. MX is good bad compared to what? Phasrplant? Serum? Razor? Why are they better/worse than MX?

User avatar
EnGee
KVRAF
5801 posts since 7 Oct, 2005 from NZ

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:41 am

What we were talking about these pages then? :lol:
Let's donate to help the kids and save our planet.

perpetual3
KVRian
1138 posts since 28 Sep, 2012

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:56 am

Haven’t followed all the pages, but it seems to me that the analysis settled on using theoretical UI principles to determine what is bad / good UI. In my opinion it’s reasonable to assume that not everyone reads every post of every thread and that perspectives that drop in at deeper levels of the thread can indicate the direction a thread has taken.

Ohlson_M
KVRist
114 posts since 20 May, 2016

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:32 am

perpetual3 wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:56 am
In my opinion it’s reasonable to assume that not everyone reads every post of every thread and that perspectives that drop in at deeper levels of the thread can indicate the direction a thread has taken.
That is correct, but it can also take the opposite direction :hyper: :hihi: That is, from initially talking about Massive X (on topic) to comparing Sylenth vs Serum or whatever over 5 pages, which ends with some KVR members raping the thread entirely by insulting each other in some shape or form. :roll:

User avatar
Sinisterbr
KVRist
263 posts since 11 Mar, 2010

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Fri Dec 06, 2019 12:00 pm

Functional wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 7:20 pm
Sinisterbr wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:29 am
That's a very interesting POV. So, you don't miss some more FX slots? I always feel 3 is just too few.
The reason there is only 3 (in the polyphonic section!) is probably due to the latency compensation that is necessary to implement in that environment. The "Track Delay" FX in particular when run through a feedback loop will get detuned without latency compensation. I'm not really 100% sure about this, but this is how it appears to me. And for similar reasons, something like PhasePlant does not have an open feedback loop circuit. So it's a tradeoff and Massive X took this approach (which makes it really nice, because we already have a synth that does the other approach)
That's a great technical explanation, thanks. I didn't realise it could be something like that. Anyway, I think I'd take the same decision as NI. That feedback loop is really neat and uncommon, I'm really glad it's available in MX.

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