Massive X 1.3 update!

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
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zerocrossing
KVRAF
10194 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:18 am

pdxindy wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:50 pm
Stefken wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 2:05 am
The GUI is a complete mess.
It's pretty clear to be me that - this being somewhat om a semi-modular synth- that they were inspired by the hardware modular world where you often combine modules from different brands resulting in a complete mess.

But this is one synth; not a set of hardware modules that are thrown together.
No sense making it into a complete mess then. Bad choice.

As mentioned separation issues, contrast issues but also knob handling issues, (computer) mouse handling issues, bad use of real estate, illogical topology, gestalt rules of perception completely neglected, almost no regard for colorblind guidelines, the list just goes on and on...
The Massive X GUI is visually pleasing if considered as art... but as a functional GUI it's not well designed. Definitely form over function. As previously mentioned, the LFO's are one example of that. The whole circle thing is complicated and takes up a lot of space and at the same time is not very capable or flexible. It's like someone thought it was cool looking.

MX requires more mouse clicking than any synth I have. Everywhere are little menus. For example on a default Osc there is Forward, Polarity+ and Int On... all 3 of them are 2 option menus instead of toggle switches. So they each require 2 clicks instead of one. LFO sync on off is also a menu. and so on.

And everything is mouse clicks... no mousewheel support so you cannot hover over one of those 2 option menus and switch, no support for arrow keys in menus or the preset or wavetable browsers.
I can’t agree with you more, and it’s not just my opinion. I’ve done enough UI design and testing and in every case I’ve ever seen, users have a harder time with a UI like Massive X, even when they expressed a preference for that kind of look. Interaction time was always longer and users would report being lost and frustrated at much higher rates. You can learn a UI like Massive X, and get around some of the non-intuitive design choices, but you’ll never be able to get around the extra clicking about, and that lack of scroll wheel support... :roll:
Zerocrossing Media

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

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zerocrossing
KVRAF
10194 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Massive X 1.3 update!

Post Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:28 am

consordini wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:22 am
zerocrossing wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:50 pm
Massive wasn’t great either, IMO, but at least they labeled sections so you knew what was what at a glance. I hate the trend of “let’s make a super clean UI by removing useful information!” Is that number a display or something I can change? You’ll have to click to find out!
Massive X still labels everything in a similar fashion as Massive, but I will definitely agree that it is harder to make out at first, as the accent colours are missing. But after using Massive and Massive X, it hasn't been that difficult after a bit. I even feel that Massive X is segmented in a bit of a more convenient way, at least personally. And the labels are not as noticeable, but once you know where they are, it gets definitely easier.
Right, I’m not saying that Massive X isn’t learnable. I actually like Massive X a lot. I think it is worth the work, but I also can’t help but think that a lot of that work is unnecessary. Of course it’s true that the more you learn anything the more second-nature it will be for you. In a guy like me, I’m often using as many as a dozen different software wavetable synths as well as 4 hardware wavetable synths, so something like Massive X won’t get daily use. So after two weeks of not looking at it, it’s frustrating to have to think “how do I do that again?” I guess a good way of looking at it is, Native Instruments expects you to own Komplete and nothing else, so you’d better be on board with learning how all their stuff functions. That’s really a poor decision, IMO, but I put up with it because I love what they do and how they sound.
Zerocrossing Media

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

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pdxindy
KVRAF
16815 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Re: Massive X 1.3 update!

Post Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:46 am

zerocrossing wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:28 am
consordini wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:22 am
zerocrossing wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 1:50 pm
Massive wasn’t great either, IMO, but at least they labeled sections so you knew what was what at a glance. I hate the trend of “let’s make a super clean UI by removing useful information!” Is that number a display or something I can change? You’ll have to click to find out!
Massive X still labels everything in a similar fashion as Massive, but I will definitely agree that it is harder to make out at first, as the accent colours are missing. But after using Massive and Massive X, it hasn't been that difficult after a bit. I even feel that Massive X is segmented in a bit of a more convenient way, at least personally. And the labels are not as noticeable, but once you know where they are, it gets definitely easier.
Right, I’m not saying that Massive X isn’t learnable. I actually like Massive X a lot. I think it is worth the work, but I also can’t help but think that a lot of that work is unnecessary. Of course it’s true that the more you learn anything the more second-nature it will be for you. In a guy like me, I’m often using as many as a dozen different software wavetable synths as well as 4 hardware wavetable synths, so something like Massive X won’t get daily use. So after two weeks of not looking at it, it’s frustrating to have to think “how do I do that again?” I guess a good way of looking at it is, Native Instruments expects you to own Komplete and nothing else, so you’d better be on board with learning how all their stuff functions. That’s really a poor decision, IMO, but I put up with it because I love what they do and how they sound.
Same... I've had no trouble learning Massive X... it's using it that is tedious.

Like you mention in terms of not using it for a while. If I made a preset last month, now it may not be easy to visually see what I have done. It can be as much as 18 clicks to check all possible mod targets.

So not only is there a lot of clicking for making a sound. I find myself doing a lot of clicking just to determine information. For example... there are the A, B and C modules. There is no visual cue that one of them has modulation. Since only 1 of the 3 is visible at a time, I have to click the other 2 just to check if one or more parameters do or don't have modulation. That is an ongoing waste of motion and focus.

Today I may be using a preset I created last month. I see that Env 2 does some cutoff modulation and I want to tweak the Env but I don't remember if I used Env 2 on some other targets that are currently not visible. It should be possible to right click on Env 2 and see all targets. Instead, I have to click around to determine that.

I'm fine not having a mod matrix... but then there needs to be some way to have an overview such as right click source to see targets.

Stefken
KVRAF
1959 posts since 9 Nov, 2016

Re: Massive X 1.3 update!

Post Wed Jun 03, 2020 9:53 am

I don't see why they omitted a mod matrix.
Only reason would be that the synth is so easy to operate that you don't need it ... but that's clearly not the case. :D .

Another one on the stack of questionable decisions.i

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Dirtgrain
KVRian
996 posts since 12 Jan, 2019

Re: Massive X 1.3 update!

Post Wed Jun 03, 2020 10:24 am

zerocrossing wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:28 am
In a guy like me, I’m often using as many as a dozen different software wavetable synths as well as 4 hardware wavetable synths, so something like Massive X won’t get daily use. So after two weeks of not looking at it, it’s frustrating to have to think “how do I do that again?”
I have this same experience with some other synths I own: MSoundFactory, Biotek 2, Harmor. If you have used any of these, do they compare to Massive X in this regard? (I just purchase Komplete today, so I'll find out I suppose.)
"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro" - Hunter S. Thompson

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EvilDragon
KVRAF
19777 posts since 7 Jan, 2009 from Croatia

Re: Massive X 1.3 update!

Post Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:52 pm

Echoes in the Attic wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:44 am
Massive X looks like a Reaktor ensemble using default controls.
Errm, no. Reaktor default controls look much worse than MX knobs and sliders.

SiloCybin
KVRist
31 posts since 29 Jan, 2017

Re: Massive X 1.3 update!

Post Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:08 pm

Still clicks for me :?

Switching the filter to Asimov removes the clicking, but alters the sound a little bit.
[/quote]

I hear no clicks on my system.. I thought maybe compressing it at the end of the signal chain might help you. I was trying to keep the sound as beefy as you had it. Sorry I couldn't help bro.

Echoes in the Attic
KVRAF
8265 posts since 12 May, 2008

Re: Massive X 1.3 update!

Post Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:33 pm

EvilDragon wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:52 pm
Echoes in the Attic wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:44 am
Massive X looks like a Reaktor ensemble using default controls.
Errm, no. Reaktor default controls look much worse than MX knobs and sliders.
Maybe the Massive X knobs look a bit nicer, but the placement of controls all over reminds of how Many Reaktor ensembles have knobs just strewn about with little graphics here and there (Gorilla, rain clouds etc.)
System: Windows 10, Dell XPS 2-in-1, Bitwig 3, Steinberg UR44.

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zerocrossing
KVRAF
10194 posts since 26 Jun, 2006 from San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Massive X 1.3 update!

Post Thu Jun 04, 2020 9:15 am

Echoes in the Attic wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:33 pm
EvilDragon wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:52 pm
Echoes in the Attic wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:44 am
Massive X looks like a Reaktor ensemble using default controls.
Errm, no. Reaktor default controls look much worse than MX knobs and sliders.
Maybe the Massive X knobs look a bit nicer, but the placement of controls all over reminds of how Many Reaktor ensembles have knobs just strewn about with little graphics here and there (Gorilla, rain clouds etc.)
The worst thing about the look, IMO, is that it breaks it’s own rules at different points. Straight off the bat, they say, “knobs will look like physical objects,” and then an element over, you have an object that has similar functionality that does not look like a physical object.

I once parted ways with a developer who had me working on an update to their drum machine software. They wanted a portion of it to be an “LCD” display and the rest to be very 3D realistic looking. I tried to argue that the LCD section look was meaningless because the user is already looking at an LCD display. Sure, that makes sense on a hardware drum machine, but you are setting up two different interaction styles in a single interface. It’s both confusing, and unnecessary. I see this a lot in software, so NI isn’t the only culprit. It’s also fine to have a numerical display be editable, but you need to clearly show that. There are plenty of visual tricks to do this, and they don’t have to make software look like a synth from the 70s.
Zerocrossing Media

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

Stefken
KVRAF
1959 posts since 9 Nov, 2016

Re: Massive X 1.3 update!

Post Thu Jun 04, 2020 11:22 am

zerocrossing wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 9:15 am
Echoes in the Attic wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:33 pm
EvilDragon wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:52 pm
Echoes in the Attic wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 5:44 am
Massive X looks like a Reaktor ensemble using default controls.
Errm, no. Reaktor default controls look much worse than MX knobs and sliders.
Maybe the Massive X knobs look a bit nicer, but the placement of controls all over reminds of how Many Reaktor ensembles have knobs just strewn about with little graphics here and there (Gorilla, rain clouds etc.)
The worst thing about the look, IMO, is that it breaks it’s own rules at different points. Straight off the bat, they say, “knobs will look like physical objects,” and then an element over, you have an object that has similar functionality that does not look like a physical object.
I mentioned the gestalt rules. One of the rules is similarity: people order objects on the basis of similarity (amongs other things).

A consequent rule from that gestalt rule Is that objects that look the same/similar should have the same/similar functionality. And when they look different, they should have a different function.

You also notice that most knobs are grey but some are black. So these black knobs need to have something in common right?
But I be damned if I know what the reasoning behind it is. It seems almost at will. In the lfo one knob is black, so one could say the knob they deemed most important, they make black. But in the noise section and the amp section all knobs are black. WTF? :dog:
Random anyone? Maybe they thought it was pretty to have a black knob here and there?

But that's surely not the only gestalt rule they don't follow! Regularity, symmetry anyone?

There is also affordance. Physical properties of an object afford/invite you to interact with them in a certain way. An object that looks like a button, a knob affords you to act like you do with a button, a knob.

An object that is clickable should express that/ afford you with its physical properties. Not: make it a guessing game.

User avatar
EvilDragon
KVRAF
19777 posts since 7 Jan, 2009 from Croatia

Re: Massive X 1.3 update!

Post Thu Jun 04, 2020 1:58 pm

Black knobs are all related to levels of some sort (volume, pan, modulator output level) or pitch. They are important enough to have a different color, yes.

zerocrossing wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 9:15 am
Straight off the bat, they say, “knobs will look like physical objects,” and then an element over, you have an object that has similar functionality that does not look like a physical object.
Are you talking about the wavetable position knob? Because knobs with displays in them do exist. Maybe you've seen them in some cars, or fan controllers such as this:

Image

So....

Stefken
KVRAF
1959 posts since 9 Nov, 2016

Re: Massive X 1.3 update!

Post Thu Jun 04, 2020 2:21 pm

EvilDragon wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 1:58 pm
Black knobs are all related to levels of some sort (volume, pan, modulator output level) or pitch.
Level was one of my hypotheses.
But I'm sorry: volume, pan and pitch are not 1 concept. And what's so important about noise pitch or lfo level that one feels the need to highlight these?

The big cutoff knob on the Pro3. That's easy to get. The most tweaked knob of a subtractive synth. The one everybody goes for. You can find it in 1 second even if you never seen a pro 3 before.

But this is not straight forward at all. In fact, imo this only creates confusion.

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EvilDragon
KVRAF
19777 posts since 7 Jan, 2009 from Croatia

Re: Massive X 1.3 update!

Post Fri Jun 05, 2020 3:40 am

I disagree, but nevermind.

I would bet that 99.9% of MX users don't really care or are confused about why that knob is black and others aren't. They just freaking use it.

chk071
KVRAF
24527 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: Massive X 1.3 update!

Post Fri Jun 05, 2020 4:13 am

Man, sometimes the amount of blah in relation to just making music with your tools here is really shocking.
Plugins and a DAW. On a operating system. Which runs on a computer.

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sinemotor
KVRist
292 posts since 24 Dec, 2015

Re: Massive X 1.3 update!

Post Fri Jun 05, 2020 4:15 am

I use this synth all the time and I had to check a picture of the interface to remember which knobs are black... I see "Level" or "Pan" above the knob. That is the important information.

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