Native Instruments Massive

Get everything you need to create any sound imaginable. Quickly patch complex routings to bring your ideas to life — no matter how far-out they might seem — and take things further than you thought you could with expressive, playable modulation. Think it up, dial it in, and define what the future sounds like.
native instruments massive vst

Native Instruments Massive

A step Performer module, with two crossfading modulation sequences. Is Native Instrument’s new stand-alone soft synth as big as they say it is? Native Instruments have been one of the most prolific music software developers in recent times, but even by their own standards they’ve been particularly busy lately. In order to catch up with them, we’re going to look at not only their brand-new stand-alone synth, Massive, but also at the lastest versions of Absynth and the sucessor to FM7, FM8 — and we’ll take a quick look at Kore v1.

Attack Of The foot Synth! Massive is a semi-modular wavetable synthesizer with lots of routing flexibility and a wealth of modulation and control options. Wavetable synthesis is seeing a resurgence in popularity lately, and Massive ‘s oscillators are some of the best implementations of the concept I’ve seen.

However, the sound generation technique is not the main area where the synth aims to break new ground. Firstly, Massive has been designed to pack an unusually large number of highly versatile modulators into a fast and understandable user interface. But where Massive really aims to plant its flag is on the high-ground of sound quality. When I visited Native’s headquarters in August, Massive ‘s Product Manager told us that their top priority was to take a leap in sonic quality, even if this meant pushing even recent computers to their limits.

The result is a synth that really does reach unprecedented heights in sound quality for a virtual instrument, but gives your computer a thorough workout getting there. Wave Function A wavetable is a ‘stack’ of sampled single-cycle waveforms that a synth can read from and use as its oscillator shapes.

For example, you might have a simple wavetable that consisted of a sine wave and a sawtooth wave. You could then select whether the oscillator played a sine or a square. A wavetable with many waveforms to choose from gives you lots of sonic starting points to play with. More interestingly, though, if you can modulate the wave selection control, you can create sounds that change over time.

If the waveforms in a wavetable are arranged so that they change incrementally from one to the next, you can scan through the table and create smoothly evolving sounds. The wavetable list gives Massive’s oscillators a large number of sonic starting points. Each of Massive ‘s three main oscillators has over 80 wavetables to choose from, divided into four categories see the screen below.

The first few tables provide the familiar saws, squares, triangles and sine waves, but there is a practically unlimited supply of raw materials in the tables, from familiar organ or synth sounds to weird and wonderful digital waves. Of course, what’s really of interest is how the tables sounds when the oscillator scans through them. Nearly all Massive ‘s tables provide a smoothly morphing sound when scanned.

Like the classic PPG Wave synths, most of the sounds are ‘synthy’, while a few such as Guitar Pulse can be used to model real instrument sounds. Each oscillator’s Position knob sets a starting point in the wavetable, which, without further modulation, will simply produce a static waveform from the oscillator.

An Intensity knob further shapes the basic sound in various ways determined by the mode selected in the menu above it. In the default Spectrum mode, the knob determines how many harmonics are included in the sound, so has a similar effect to a low-pass filter. There are then three Bend modes, which modulate the speed at which the wave plays back over the length of each cycle.

Depending on the wavetable, this sounds like a subtle FM or pulse-width modulation. Finally, Formant mode gives results somewhere between a formant filter and oscillator sync. In addition to the three main oscillators there’s a noise generator and a Modulation Oscillator. The latter is not an LFO, as you might think, but a sine-wave oscillator running at audible frequencies. Instead of being added to the mix, this can be used to modulate the other oscillators and the filters.

In some synths you can cross-modulate the main oscillators to create FM or ring-modulation-style effects. Massive doesn’t have this provision, instead opting to use this extra oscillator. The Mod Osc is routed via a small matrix as in the screen below. This final choice can give the sound a raspy edge, and is good for simulating bow scrapes. The Mod Oscillator’s pitch tracks the keyboard, so its results can easily be tuned to become a harmonic constituent of the sound. A separate high-frequency oscillator can further shape the sound of the main oscillators and filters.

Before moving on to look at the routing and filters, we’ll take our first trip into Massive ‘s Center Window.

No less than 14 pages are accessed from this section, via two rows of tabs comprising six General Pages and eight Modulation Pages. The Voicing page is home to, among other things, the voice count and Unison settings. Managing the number of simultaneous voices is an important issue with a synth as CPU hungry as Massive. Having said that, one of my favourite features is Unison, which shamelessly eats up multiple voices per note. Unison has a unique three-way action, allowing you to spread voices by pitch, pan position and wavetable position.

The results are, well, massive, but you’d better limit the Unison voices to three or your computer will choke pretty quickly. Two different routing methods are employed: Each oscillator has a crossfader that determines the level going to the two filters.

There is then a fader that sets whether the filters are routed serially or in parallel, or something in between, and then there is a filter output crossfader that determines how the filters are routed to the Amp section. For example, if you wanted to create a classic serial dual-filter architecture, you would set the oscillator faders to go to Filter 1 only, set the filter routing fader fully to serial, then set the filter output mix to Filter 2 only.

The real beauty of this system, however, is that you don’t have to fix anything one way or another, and can experiment to find the best blend. Even better, you can apply modulation and envelopes to any of these faders so that sounds morph between different routings. The default module order and routing can be varied in the Routing page.

The filter modules can be switched between various modes, including two- and four-pole low pass and high pass, all pass, band pass, double notch, band reject, Scream, Daft, and comb. In addition to the usual frequency and resonance controls, some modes have an additional parameter.

For example, the Scream filter has a Scream control that sets the frequency of driven resonant feedback. The other ‘signature’ mode, Daft, is the best for warm, low-end enhanced analogue sounds. The rest of the standard filter types are very smooth and quite transparent at normal levels, and the fundamental frequencies drop in level as you push up the resonance, keeping the overall level equal. At first I was a little disappointed at this polite behaviour, and at the lack of saturation controls to add some dirt and warmth.

However, I soon learned that the filters are designed to respond to the input level in an analogue way, so if you drive them hard you are rewarded with nice, smooth, compressed saturation. This is where the Feedback module comes into play. Clicking any of the small ‘FB’ blocks in the Routing diagram selects it as the point to route a portion of the signal back into the filters. The Feedback knob sets the level of this signal, and immediately starts driving the filter inputs, giving you anything from a subtle warmth to complete overload.

If it’s total sonic destruction you’re after, or if you want some other ways to shape the sound, two insert effects can be slotted into the signal path at any of the points labelled in the Routing page. The shaping stages can occur before, after, or in between the filters, and at various stages with respect to the feedback loop.

The insert effects include additional filters, sample and hold, a bit crusher, and sine and parabolic shapers. My favourite is the Frequency Shifter, which lets you blend in a pitch-shifted version of the main signal. By including an insert effect in the feedback loop, you can aggressively mangle the original sound. The final routing option is to set a Bypass Chain. Any of the main oscillators or the noise generator can be split off and fed directly to the master effects section, the last stage in Massive ‘s signal flow.

The Bypass fader can then be used to mix this into the final output, allowing you to create sounds that blend both filtered and shaped sounds with pure sources. NI have now decided to try to simplify things by make all major updates and new Komplete versions an annual Autumn event. Komplete 4 bundles most of NI’s core products see the list , with the exception of Massive. As with previous incarnations, Komplete 4 gives you a huge amount of bang for your Euro.

Several products in the Komplete line-up have received an overhaul; chief among those not mentioned elsewhere in this article is Battery.

Version 3 features a graphical make-over and now allows you to edit the cell matrix that is the core of its operation. Kore has clearly been an influence across the NI product rang, and, among other things, introduced the concept of searching for patches by sonic attributes, which materialised in the form of the Sound Browser.

The Browser lets you display and sort sounds either as a standard list or, more importantly, by filtering the pool using attribute keywords, such as ‘Synth’, ‘Warm’ and ‘Pad’. This Browser is now a central part of all the new plug-ins, with the exception of Battery 3. The only difference between Kore’s Browser and the Browser in the plug-ins themselves is that the latter can only search and display sounds for that particular instrument.

The unified preset management system is a great improvement in Absynth 4 and FM8, which previously had banks of sounds that had to be loaded from files. Both plug-ins now enjoy instant access to huge libraries consisting of new presets and the consolidated banks from previous versions. It’s obviously much more convenient to be able to list all your pads, for example, instead of having to wade through various banks trying to find the right sounds. In addition to the standard Browser, Massive, Absynth 4 and FM8 all have a Program List view, where you can drop any sounds from the library.

With the arrival of Kore 1. Synth Line: This is a standard patch for one of the plug-ins and can be opened by both the plug-in and Kore. In Kore, opening a Singlesound inserts the parent plug-in, which is displayed as a simple, thin rack device. You can make changes to the sound, and save it, and the patch can still be read by the plug-in on its own.

However, an ‘Extend Sound’ button lets you turn the patch into a full Kore patch, complete with its own internal mixer. If you save a version of this patch, it will no longer be readable by the plug-in directly. As well as unifying the sound library, Kore 1. The biggest news was that NI have responded to the popular request to allow Kore to run when the hardware controller is not attached.

I happily got one of my top wishes, and you can now move knobs on the controller without a big value display obscuring the rest of the settings. Many of the controller mapping presets have been updated, and many third party plug-ins are now supported. Bewilderingly, though, despite NI having added eight Macros to Massive, they’ve mapped them across two Easy Access pages.

There’s still a long way to go to reach its potential, but Kore is making progress. These squares are the modulation ‘slots’ where Massive ‘s numerous envelopes, LFOs, step sequencers and controllers are assigned to parameters. The blue ‘4’ in the Amp Mod slot indicates that modulation source four is being used to create an amplitude envelope.

NI’s long-awaited sequel is here, but can it match the hype?

Description: Native Instruments MASSIVE is a sound monster – the ultimate synthesizer for bass and leads. The analog concept is contrary to. Massive is a commercial wavetable software synthesizer plugin manufactured by Native Instruments for use in professional audio production. It utilizes several wavetables and oscillators in the creation of synthetic timbres. The software can be used as a VST plugin within a digital audio workstation. In this Vine video clip, Skrillex is making some sounds using Ableton and Native Instrument’s Massive Synth. He says, “Just makin/demoing some new fun.

TOO LATE, DEAL MISSED

A step Performer module, with two crossfading modulation sequences. Is Native Instrument’s new stand-alone soft synth as big as they say it is? Native Instruments have been one of the most prolific music software developers in recent times, but even by their own standards they’ve been particularly busy lately. In order to catch up with them, we’re going to look at not only their brand-new stand-alone synth, Massive, but also at the lastest versions of Absynth and the sucessor to FM7, FM8 — and we’ll take a quick look at Kore v1.

SOUND ON SOUND

No wavetable or sample import No manual or NKS at time of writing After what feels like forever, the follow-up to the most influential and ubiquitous softsynth ever made is here. Time for a sequel, then:

VIDEO REVIEW: Native Instruments Massive X review | MusicRadar

This course is a comprehensive training course in the popular and powerful ” Massive” VST plug-in from Native Instruments. Using % high-definition. Melodic Techno presets for Native Instruments Massive VST/AU. Packed with dark, dirty bass, deeply modulated leads, high performance arps. We all thought MASSIVE X was just a couple of weeks away but sadly it’s been bumped to a June release. But now we know it’s a dual.

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