Sad state of Native Instruments

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Tiles wrote: Fri May 10, 2024 9:55 pm So basically the WIKI says it is similar to a Kontakt NKI file.

Which leads us to the players for this format. None of it is just close to Kontakt. And the important libraries does most of the times exist for Kontakt but not for other formats. Which was my point.
Yeah Soundfonts are fairly basic in features, but I think SFZ has more features and I believe even have some scripting possibilities (so is probably closer to Kontakt than sf2, but works entirely differently), but Kontakt is pretty much its own thing.

I'm guessing they are just saying it is similiar to NKI as in being another sample format (as NKI is probably a file format most producers are familiar with).

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chk071 wrote: Fri May 10, 2024 3:46 am
revvy wrote: Fri May 10, 2024 3:37 am So you need a sampler within the DAW to provide the features you’d expect from a….er…..sampler.
"Sampler" is a historical term. It doesn't describe what samplers do nowadays. They're feature monsters, which do much more than actual sampling (if they even do that).

And, again, sampling is completely redundant for a sampler plugin.

Funny that we have to discuss this on arguably the most popular software sampler there ever was. ;) But, it's KVR, home of the NI haters. I understand.
Correct.

A Sampler is basically a Digital device that Records to RAM. The other way to Record digitally then would have been a Tape or Hard-Drive method, but both of which would have been too slow or expensive to make use of the benefits of a Sampler (to be able to quickly process digital audio in realtime usually in terms of Pitch, filtering, and volume using modulation features common on synths (i.e envelopes and lfos).

Shortly after Soft Samplers became popular, hard drives became fast enough to not really need to rely on Ram for Realtime Sample playback functions. Actually most modern samplers such as Kontakt rely more on hard-drives to be able to play large libraries (these days though Hard-Drives and Ram seems alot more blurred than in the past)

Soft Samplers never really needed to record because the Realtime sample playback feature was typically the most important features to be emulated. (That said, it took awhile for recording in a DAW and dragging to a sampler VST to become user friendly so hardware somewhat remained popular because of workflow reasons).


I doubt there is much need for a soft sampler to actually record audio and probably just add a layer of complexity that isn't really needed, but samplers should have drag and drop ideally and some form of Waveform editing ideally (although everyone have their opinions). I think even now the Soft Samplers I have that actually can sample, I don't think I've ever used the feature as it seems more user friendly just recording the file in a DAW.

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chk071 wrote: Fri May 10, 2024 3:46 am "Sampler" is a historical term. It doesn't describe what samplers do nowadays. They're feature monsters, which do much more than actual sampling (if they even do that).
jlgrimes11 wrote: Sun May 26, 2024 7:57 am A Sampler is basically a Digital device that Records to RAM. The other way to Record digitally then would have been a Tape or Hard-Drive method, but both of which would have been too slow or expensive to make use of the benefits of a Sampler (to be able to quickly process digital audio in realtime usually in terms of Pitch, filtering, and volume using modulation features common on synths (i.e envelopes and lfos).

Shortly after Soft Samplers became popular, hard drives became fast enough to not really need to rely on Ram for Realtime Sample playback functions. Actually most modern samplers such as Kontakt rely more on hard-drives to be able to play large libraries (these days though Hard-Drives and Ram seems alot more blurred than in the past)
Nope, that's not how it is. Or at least there is a misperception
on your part.

The goal of the initial samplers in the 70's (Fairlight Mirage etc.)
was to make "real acoustic instruments" playable on the keyboard.
Previously this was done with the help of the Mellotron (see Moody
Blues), but it didn't sound so good.

So it's about making organs, string instruments, all sorts of
percussion and drum instruments and even guitars playable via
the keyboard and MIDI-capable.

And that is still the main task of samplers today. Especially today,
in film music, for example, the VS library is often used for orchestral
recordings of "real acoustic" instruments.

What you mean by "sampler" here - simply record audio, you don't
even need a sampler for that, you can just do it with the "record
button".
:D
free mp3s + info: andy-enroe.de songs + weird stuff: enroe.de

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Speaking of software samplers, isn't Kontakt basically the only thing keeping Native Instruments afloat these days? After their disastrous development of Massive X which no one wanted or even expected, the only NI "instruments" these days appear to be mostly boring Kontakt-based sample libraries. NI and third-party developers are creating something that superficially looks like a synth plugin (if the sample library includes its own "scripted" UI) but actually isn't one.

And then there are those boring Maschine expansion packs. Does anyone actually buy these? I owned a Maschine mkII for 10 years and I didn't buy a single one of those because the quality was so poor, IMO.

And Reaktor is pretty much dead, right? Or have "rumors of its demise been greatly exaggerated"? (Is that how that expression goes?)

What does that leave? Traktor?

I guess there is still the Maschine hardware and the NI keyboard controllers. But how successful have those been? (I honestly don't know.)

How many employees did Native Instruments have at their height? And how many do they have now?

Good Lord, when I spell it out like this things seem even more dire for NI. :help:

I know I won't get suckered in again to purchase another overly expensive "Komplete Ultimate" upgrade when the returns are so diminishing. There aren't enough Izotope plugins in the world that could entice me to do that.

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Supercollider wrote: Sun May 26, 2024 11:14 am Speaking of software samplers, isn't Kontakt basically the only thing keeping Native Instruments afloat these days? After their disastrous development of Massive X which no one wanted or even expected, the only NI "instruments" these days appear to be mostly boring Kontakt-based sample libraries. NI and third-party developers are creating something that superficially looks like a synth plugin (if the sample library includes its own "scripted" UI) but actually isn't one.

And Reaktor is pretty much dead, right? Or have "rumors of its demise been greatly exaggerated"? (Is that how that expression goes?)
MassiveX is a great synth. It got a lot of hate from people that don't know a lot about synths. Reaktor is still maintained. Ni has a lot of great products.

You are right about the kontakt thing. Every new product they make these days is a sample library. And I guess is because they sell more. Reaktor and MassiveX or all their other synths are products for a tiny market. I guess that 90% of people that make music don't know how to use a synth and are using them only for their presets.
Why should they develop a complex synth that only a few people will care about, when they can simply design a few pads, slack an UI on it and sell it as a cinematic sound library for 100$ ? From a business perspective they are doing everything right.

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I like their traktor and maschine hardware a lot , and massive x is very powerful i 👍
I'm looking forward for a new Komplete to get released

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Lectropunk aka influx808 wrote: Mon May 27, 2024 12:36 am I like their traktor and maschine hardware a lot , and massive x is very powerful i 👍
I'm looking forward for a new Komplete to get released
Yeah.

I don't need or like many things they do but f.i. Crosstalk Piano is the one I'm waiting for to be included in Komplete. Preferably in the Standard edition of Komplete.

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GeneralQ wrote: Mon May 27, 2024 12:32 am MassiveX is a great synth. It got a lot of hate from people that don't know a lot about synths.
I can only speak for myself and my musician friends, but most of us would have preferred that Native Instruments simply improve the sound quality of the original Massive rather than develop a completely new instrument and then simply call it "Massive" (with an "X" added to the end of the name) in order to try to capitalize on the success of the original synth.

In fact, the whole "Massive X" branding exercise seems pretty cynical to me when Massive and Massive X are COMPLETELY different synths. Not only are they not patch compatible, but their architectures, UIs, and basically everything about them is different. If NI was so confident in the success of Massive X, why not introduce it as a new synth and not set themselves up for failure by inviting unflattering comparisons to the original?

I have never been a huge fan of the sound of the original Massive, but its UI is superb. It really was pretty forward thinking in its day (and still is in a lot of respects). The Massive X UI on the other hand, while perhaps more pleasing to the eye, is a huge step backwards. That's just my opinion, of course. But it seems to be shared among a lot of people.

And then there's the sound. While Massive X is more hi-fi sounding than the original Massive, here too, it compares unfavorably to the original, IMO. The original Massive had a gritty, lo-fi quality that made it great for EDM and the like (genres I'm not really in to). I don't know what I would use Massive X for. It sounds really sterile to me. Yes, it's very clean-sounding. But there's no "vibe" or personality to it. Again, that's just my opinion. Anyone and everyone is free to disagree.

I still have a number of contacts in the music software industry and I've heard through the grapevine that Massive X has been a huge failure for Native Instruments. It cost a lot to develop and sales have been pretty dismal.

But who knows? Perhaps one day Massive X will become a cult classic. But that seems increasingly unlikely.
Last edited by Supercollider on Mon May 27, 2024 2:03 am, edited 4 times in total.

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GeneralQ wrote: Mon May 27, 2024 12:32 am Why should they develop a complex synth that only a few people will care about, when they can simply design a few pads, slack an UI on it and sell it as a cinematic sound library for 100$ ? From a business perspective they are doing everything right.
Sums up the mentality of NI supporters.
<list your stupid gear here>

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egbert101 wrote: Mon May 27, 2024 1:29 am
GeneralQ wrote: Mon May 27, 2024 12:32 am Why should they develop a complex synth that only a few people will care about, when they can simply design a few pads, slack an UI on it and sell it as a cinematic sound library for 100$ ? From a business perspective they are doing everything right.
Sums up the mentality of NI supporters.
Hahaha. Thank you for that. :tu:

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egbert101 wrote: Mon May 27, 2024 1:29 am
GeneralQ wrote: Mon May 27, 2024 12:32 am Why should they develop a complex synth that only a few people will care about, when they can simply design a few pads, slack an UI on it and sell it as a cinematic sound library for 100$ ? From a business perspective they are doing everything right.
Sums up the mentality of NI supporters.
I wouldn't call myself an NI Supporter. But I don't hate them either. I just explained why they are doing what they are doing. They are making the products that sell the best. And whether you like it or not a few samples packaged in a kontakt library and marketed as "ideal fot hip hop genre xyz" will make them more money with less work than a new innovative synth.
I like MassiveX, reaktor, polyplex and raum so I use them. I don't like their 800 sample libraries so I don't even have them installed.

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Supercollider wrote: Mon May 27, 2024 1:29 am

In fact, the whole "Massive X" branding exercise seems pretty cynical to me when Massive and Massive X are COMPLETELY different synths. Not only are they not patch compatible, but their architectures, UIs, and basically everything about them is different. If NI was so confident in the success of Massive X, why not introduce it as a new synth and not set themselves up for failure by inviting unflattering comparisons to the original?
That is a valid complaint. And probably one of the main reasons MassiveX has a bad rep. People judge it for the features that it does not have instead of looking at the features that it does have.

Stupid Analogy incoming:
It's like if Lamborghini tried to sell their new Traktor to people that previously bought their sports car. Of course people would be mad because their didn't got what they expected. But the Tractor might be a very good one and farmers may like it a lot.

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I'm just curious as to what folks think the UI issues with Massive X are? It's laid out in a pretty clear and standard way, signal flow from left to right, modulators at the bottom. There are issues with knowing what is modulating what (Pigments does this brilliantly) but it's actually still not that confusing. Most big wavetable synths with multiple tabs/pages require some information to be always hidden, Massive X is no different. It could do with a mod matrix tbh.

My biggest complaint is how CPU heavy it is.

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swilow11 wrote: Mon May 27, 2024 2:07 pm I'm just curious as to what folks think the UI issues with Massive X are? It's laid out in a pretty clear and standard way, signal flow from left to right, modulators at the bottom. There are issues with knowing what is modulating what (Pigments does this brilliantly) but it's actually still not that confusing. Most big wavetable synths with multiple tabs/pages require some information to be always hidden, Massive X is no different. It could do with a mod matrix tbh.

My biggest complaint is how CPU heavy it is.
I've honestly tried to articulate what I find so "confusing" about the Massive X UI. It's actually laid out in a fairly conventional, straightforward manner:

You've got your "Quick Control" knobs along the top. Then from left to right below you have the Pitch, Oscillators, Mixer, Filter, Amp, and FX which all make sense and follow a traditional "analog" signal flow. Then you have the drag and drop modulators in that strip in the middle, And below that you have the visualizations of the envelopes, LFOs and so forth. It doesn't take too long to orient yourself to the layout and signal flow.

Maybe it's the fact that somewhat ironically the pleasing color scheme all blends together with that white-on-white look and feel.

But people do complain about all the little drop down menus and so forth.

In the end I think Massive X is maybe trying to do too much. It's over-engineered like almost every other Native Instruments synth starting with Reaktor, then Kontakt, and on and on. Even though the original Massive was also somewhat complex, that UI just "worked" and was and is really brilliant.

I guess I just don't need a synth that has the complexity of Massive X. I would argue nobody does. It's an exercise in "maximalism" (for lack of a better term) rather than simplistic minimalism.

Consider the Nord Lead 3 as the polar opposite in terms of UI design. Even if the Nord 3 had been created in software, it still would have been equally brilliant, IMO. There is absolutely nothing extraneous about that synth. Every UI choice has obviously been very well considered. Yes, it's more restrictive than something like Massive X. But that's a good thing in my book. I don't need a million options for doing the same thing. Massive X is the Microsoft Word of synths to me. Just give me "Text Edit" instead and let me get on with it.

I'd rather have superior sound than a mega feature set. And Massive X just doesn't deliver in the sound department to justify the relative complexity to me.

Oh, and yes. The Massive X CPU hit is "massively" ridiculous for the quality of the sound. Sure it's "pristine"-sounding. But when are synth designers going to realize that this isn't what people want? "Aliasing-free" oscillators and the like actually make a synth sound worse rather than better in my book. Give me that 8-bit grunge over a perfect oscillator any day.

I would argue that the Mutable Instruments Shruthi and Ambika sound awesome BECAUSE they are so "lo-fi" and not in spite of it.
Last edited by Supercollider on Tue May 28, 2024 7:25 am, edited 2 times in total.

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From a purely UI perspective, everyone flipped out on release because it didn't have interactive envelope diagrams and apparently they'd never used an ADSR before in their lives. Since that's resolved, I'd say the main issue is the modulators. There's a reason no one else in the history of ever has made an LFO waveform selector that's a knob surrounded by a huge arc of the available waveforms. The others are also poorly laid out in my opinion, especially the envelope. But really these are fairly minor compared to the other issues with the synth.
Softsynth addict and electronic music enthusiast.
"Destruction is the work of an afternoon. Creation is the work of a lifetime."

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