Opinions on MassiveX

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
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zerocrossing
KVRAF
9901 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Sat Dec 07, 2019 1:31 am

pdxindy wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 1:11 pm
rezoneight wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 12:44 pm
perpetual3 wrote:
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.
This particular part of the conversation is one page back I believe. Nobody has settled on anything. I asked stefken to say why he thinks the MX UI is bad.I completely disagree not only with the opinion but with the premise that it can all be scientific. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I'm curious about why some think the UI isn't good. The thread *is* titled "Opinions on Massive X". So, we're sharing our opinions.
I’ve barely touched MX since the 1.1 update so some things I remember might have changed. I’m also traveling without laptop right now so I cannot check if any of these things have changed.

MX is the most click heavy softsynth I have. There are many tabs and lots of little menus all over. There is no support in MX for mousewheel. So one cannot hover over a menu and use mousewheel. It is necessary to click to open the menu, click to select and then click to close. There is also no support for arrow keys to move through menus and other lists.

There are no parameter values displayed. There are also no options for copy/paste of say an Osc. If I have an Osc in one preset that I might want to use in another, it is impossible to do that.

MX has no undo/redo. Okay, this I can work around when I want to try something by looking at the existing parameter value, edit it and go back to the original value if I don’t want the edit. But MX does have parameter values either. So then I would have to save it as a preset, try the edit and the reload the preset to make sure I get exactly back where I was. Quite clunky.

If I want to see all possible parameters that might be controlled by a macro in an existing preset, it is necessary to click on 18 different tabs to check as there is no visual feedback which tabs have modulations.

I vaguely remember that this might have changed, but there was no FX bypass... one had to bypass each of the FX individually and could only do so on the routing page. SO that is 5 clicks for a task that is 1 click on other synths I use. Etc.

These are a few things off the top of the head why I didn’t like working with MX... visually I like the appearance of MX, but I found the workflow tedious in comparison to other synths I regularly use.
I don’t know if it counts for anything, but I did UI/UX design for years (still do from time to time...) and I agree on all counts. I like Massive X a lot, but the UI is a mess by all professional standards.
Zerocrossing Media

4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~

FarleyCZ
KVRian
899 posts since 26 Jun, 2008 from Czech Republic

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Sat Dec 07, 2019 2:47 am

zerocrossing wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 1:31 am
I don’t know if it counts for anything, but I did UI/UX design for years (still do from time to time...) and I agree on all counts. I like Massive X a lot, but the UI is a mess by all professional standards.
Yeah. I mean ... contrary to my intial impressions, now that I'm playing with it again, I like the sounds and the sounddesign possibilities. You can really make something quite usable relatively quickly.

... but when I open the original Massive, it's jsut way more intuitive. Especially the OSC section. Three modules with the same layout, not mirrored like the ones in MX. The modulation section is also nice and consistent. I'm always looking for the right tab or button in MX and it's not always on the places I would expect it to be.

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fisherKing
KVRAF
2070 posts since 6 Aug, 2009

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Sat Dec 07, 2019 7:38 am

zerocrossing wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 1:31 am
I don’t know if it counts for anything, but I did UI/UX design for years (still do from time to time...) and I agree on all counts. I like Massive X a lot, but the UI is a mess by all professional standards.
how may UX professionals does it take to screw in a lightbulb? one (according to you).

there are other pros out there, other points-of-view... that matter. i find MX a bit confusing, but am enjoying experimenting with it, finding my way around. so... it's fun. and fun, and making music, seem to go well together.
https://upstatebrooklyn.com
always one plugin short of perfection...

Functional
KVRian
773 posts since 26 Oct, 2011

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Sat Dec 07, 2019 12:09 pm

Horizontally mirrored oscs are confusing apparently. Such a shame that Serum didn't take a note of that, or all the other synths that use horizontally mirrored UI design (Hive, Sylenth1, Dune etc). I guess all of these developers just didn't hire anyone who knew what they were doing regarding the UI.

Now if we actually were sensible for once, we could have perhaps thought about the routing section of Massive which tucks nicely among the same space as modulators do - which also demands for horizontally wide space. To tuck in the oscs vertically, the synth would actually be really wide and make no sense what-so-ever. Not to mention the performers - which have much, much higher resolution than original Massive performers (and thus need a lot of horizontal space).

People not making sense once again, nothing new under the horizon ig

Buckster
KVRist
96 posts since 27 Nov, 2016

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Sat Dec 07, 2019 12:16 pm

I've been demoing Massive X and Rapid with a view to buying one (limited funds as already bought zebra 2 in sales)

Keep coming back to Massive X as although I struggle to.understand the complexities of the routing yet it's got that organic sound like zebra that I love

That alive (like a real instrument) sound I assume it's the quality of oscillators/wavetables and filters

Where you can manipulate the sound and it just gets more and more chaotic and crazy but still sounds intriguing vs in a lot of vsts they sound good most of the time but when you push the limit I find they just start sounding "mushy" I don't find that with Zebra 2 or Massive X

Still I've not demoed Rapid enough to see where it falls so it might be in the same camp

Functional
KVRian
773 posts since 26 Oct, 2011

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Sat Dec 07, 2019 12:27 pm

Buckster wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 12:16 pm
I've been demoing Massive X and Rapid with a view to buying one (limited funds as already bought zebra 2 in sales)

Keep coming back to Massive X as although I struggle to.understand the complexities of the routing yet it's got that organic sound like zebra that I love

That alive (like a real instrument) sound I assume it's the quality of oscillators/wavetables and filters

Where you can manipulate the sound and it just gets more and more chaotic and crazy but still sounds intriguing vs in a lot of vsts they sound good most of the time but when you push the limit I find they just start sounding "mushy" I don't find that with Zebra 2 or Massive X

Still I've not demoed Rapid enough to see where it falls so it might be in the same camp
Finally someone makes a good comparison. I've been trying to say this: Zebra 2 and Massive X are in the same ballpark

Stefken
KVRAF
1824 posts since 9 Nov, 2016

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Sat Dec 07, 2019 1:58 pm

FarleyCZ wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 2:47 am
Especially the OSC section. Three modules with the same layout, not mirrored like the ones in MX.
Functional wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 12:09 pm
Horizontally mirrored oscs are confusing apparently. Such a shame that Serum didn't take a note of that, or all the other synths that use horizontally mirrored UI design (Hive, Sylenth1, Dune etc).
Tsss.

Serum: osc's not mirrored;
Sylenth: osc's not mirrored
Dune: osc's not mirrored; osc's are on tabs and have the same structure each time (osc 3 is a different osc)
Hive1: osc's not mirrored
Hive 2 : osc's mirrored ; and in fact quite some people have trouble with that.

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EnGee
KVRAF
5797 posts since 7 Oct, 2005 from NZ

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Sat Dec 07, 2019 3:33 pm

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the most beautiful synth in the world?
Let's donate to help the kids and save our planet.

Stefken
KVRAF
1824 posts since 9 Nov, 2016

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Sat Dec 07, 2019 3:36 pm

Buckster wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 12:16 pm
it's got that organic sound like zebra that I love
It does have an organic feel and a very nice filter.

realtrance
KVRist
161 posts since 10 Aug, 2006

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Tue Dec 10, 2019 2:04 pm

Opinion: I feel like, with Super 8 and Massive X, I could ignore all the rest of the music software out there and rely just on these two for everything.

In particular, I’m astonished how detailed the sonic modeling can get for producing the expressive subtleties in acoustic instruments. While at the same time, MX can sound as analogue as you want, or as digital wavetable as you want, or both at the same time.

There’s a lot of great stuff out there, but for me, Massive X is a real leap in sonic breadth over all the other software I’ve had the chance to use. It really is that good.

cron
KVRAF
3273 posts since 27 Dec, 2002 from North East England

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:01 pm

Buckster wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 12:16 pm
Where you can manipulate the sound and it just gets more and more chaotic and crazy but still sounds intriguing vs in a lot of vsts they sound good most of the time but when you push the limit I find they just start sounding "mushy" I don't find that with Zebra 2 or Massive X
The original Massive felt like quite a step forward in terms of how much you could coherently mangle the wavetables and Massive X feels like another step forward there. The Gorilla operation is particularly nasty and you’d expect it to become an aliased mess long before it reaches that point. You can still push things very hard despite the increased scope for destruction.

Wholiveira
Banned
41 posts since 16 Mar, 2015

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Wed Dec 11, 2019 2:21 pm

Nevermind

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Sinisterbr
KVRist
262 posts since 11 Mar, 2010

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Fri Dec 13, 2019 3:01 pm

I didn't want hijack the Pigments 2 thread, so I brought the last sentence from Echoes to this one.

Now that a direct and heavyweight competitor has made a move, I wonder how it'll affect NI plans for the future.
Sinisterbr wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 2:43 pm
Echoes in the Attic wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 1:39 pm
Nice move by Arturia. They are doing all the right things. Nice free update with granular, even adding mpe. It’s funny when you compare them to NI, both of whom have been around quite a while. Arturia updated their old GUIs. The GUIs even work flawlessly in touch screens and now they are adding mpe. They are keeping up with technology. The pace of their development is killing NI. Honestly I just wish I liked the Arturia sound more. I tend to find it all a bit dull and smeary, as pigments was described earlier.
Agreed, with everything. And I'm kinda curious about how NI will react.

Stefken
KVRAF
1824 posts since 9 Nov, 2016

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Fri Dec 13, 2019 3:39 pm

This is not new. Ni has been cashing in on products (Reaktor, Kontakt) that were once king of the hill but they lost touch with innovation completely.
Their one! new development project that wasn't based on Reaktor and Kontakt, was postponed twice and still released halfbaked.

And then there were the management problems (or are they one and the same?) were they had to let go a lot of engineers.

So for me it's not a question of how NI will react. You say that when both companies are pretty much on par. Both for me it's clear that NI, certainly on a technological level, has fallen behind. They could hide it well until now with the cash reserves they have and the success products from the past, but now it's pretty much showing.
They will need to 'fill that gap' (if they can) before they can properly react to Arturia.

Arturia on the other hand has steadily upped their game and is in the flow, coming up with new instruments at quite a constant rate. Pigments 1 was released a year ago and now we have a update (free by the way) with some really neat features.
I expect we'll have 3 new instruments in the collection as well, right like clockwork, as they have a steady release schedule.

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pdxindy
KVRAF
16259 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Re: Opinions on MassiveX

Post Sat Dec 14, 2019 4:58 am

NI’s DSP is as good as anyone’s...

It’s the infrastructure around it that has not been keeping up.

Resizable GUI, multi-core support, MPE, etc.

But their DSP is top notch, no technological gap in that regard

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