Native Instrument’s Massive – First Impressions

massive.pngOk, I opened up the box with Massive tonight, and installed the 1.1 upgrade at the same time that was just released.

First impressions. This software synth is indeed massive. Some patches pumped out air from my reference monitors so I smelled the dust, huh. It’s also massive concerning CPU use. With my G5 2GHz dual CPU system I could get six Massive synths running, then it was done. I could even modify one patch and get the system to its knees. Looking at the CPU meters the synth is single-threaded so it pegged one CPU while the other was not doing anything.

Anyway, sound wise, if you are looking for that concurrent Electro sound with biting/strong lead and bass sounds, this might be the one. Only drawback is that I suspect many electro house producers are busy using Massive just now, so the sound will be present in many releases. But the sound is very much like a big analog synth, just moved to the computer side. I need to get the latest Vanguard, I’m behind with the upgrades there, too, to compare.

Quick check concerning the programming side, it’s somewhat more confusing than the Zebra 2 interface (which is very, very elegant, imho), but you could get the job done with this synth, just need to read the manual carefully. The presets have six default knobs by which you could also quickly tailor some special sounds from the patches.

The patch interface was first confusing — its the Kore interface — but then when you got the hang of it, it was easy to use. The problem was that some of the categories didn’t have any samples, so I looked at the empy list of patches for a short time, until I understood what was going on.

Yes, it’s a fun, strong synth. I think they did a clever job of pushing the sounds towards the ‘massive’ side as that seems to be the sound many producers want to key in just now.

As for this synth indeed being resource-hungry, I need to install it on my MacBookPro to see if there’s a difference. But there’s always the option of freezing tracks, or dumping audio tracks from Logic into Live and do more processing with pure audio tracks (something I do a lot of the times, anyway.)

2 Comments:

  1. I have massive also. It has a very thick sound. Its real nice. Another real nice fat sounding soft synth is Minimonsta. Tell me what you think of it. Have you seen any sounds libraries for it?

  2. I have not tried MiniMonsta, but heard good things about it. Any mini-moog emulator synth usually has a very thick oscillar sound.

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