What needs to be said? Almost everyone out there already has it lol. It's a great synth and I like it a lot. Native Instruments is one of the top dogs in the VSTi game. They know how to make quality, and they offer enough features on their main synths that you never feel painted into a corner. Massive is one of the most stylisticly versatile synths out there. It even does 8-bit Chipmusic well enough to satisfy a diehard chiptune purist. For making Trap synth stabs, Massive would be my #1 recommendation. For techno/trance, it depends. You'll want it for the digital sounds and for making creative rise/drop effects, but Sylenth, Spire, Z3ta 2 or DIVA are better for the "main course" EDM sounds and house chord stabs.
As far as personal tastes go, I'm right at home with Massive's character. It can be a dirty slut, and I really like that in a synthesizer. Brostep and hard DnB fans love it for those mean, "dirtier-than-porn" distorted basses, and fans of REAL dubstep enjoy the milder side of Massive, where you need the complex modulations and digital sound without the over-the-top distortion and craziness. It's a real pad machine, too - perfect for sounds that morph and twist, with subtle extra modulations adding texture. It does a pretty good job of EDM or oldschool sounds as well, but more effort and precise programming is needed to give it that warmth. IMHO, the sound of Massive's Unison feature is very "liquid" and "sterile", so I rarely use it for dance patches, but I do like it for Hip Hop and Trap leads since it more closely matches the character of the unison leads used on popular urban/hip hop songs. I think the way Sylenth and Spire handle unison are by far superior for those huge, party rocking EDM leads and synths.
It has a lot. All your standard needs are more than covered. What Massive really brings to the table, though, is the wavetable oscillators and how highly flexible those 4 envelopes and 4 LFOs really are. If you're a fan of sequenced patches, Massive absolutely has you covered. The LFOs have 2 other modes - a performer mode with a large variety of shapes for each sequence step, and a standard sequencer mode. You can even use the evelopes as additional LFOs via the "loop" function, with all manner of exotic shapes at your disposal. Another honorable mention is the insert FX, which you can really get crazy with. You can modulate those, and you can even modulate the global FX as well. Massive is a true workhorse synth and will likely be used quite often in your rig since it covers so much territory.
They're awesome. Native Instruments are quite picky in that area and they don't just try to fill up space so they can brag about how many factory patches their synth has. Rest assured, you will not be disappointed. My favorites are the dark soundscapes, special effects and most everything in the Massive Threat factory bank. There's something for everyone in there. Self promo alert: I have plenty of Massive sets available at XenosSoundworks.com if you want to stop by and have a look.
- Very digital sound, which some don't care for. Personally, I like that stuff, but I like analog warmth as well. In that area, U-He D.I.V.A. absolutely bends Massive over in the prison showers and calls it it's b*tch, then pimps it out to the other inmates for candy bars. There IS a reason why U-He fanboys are so devoted to Urs's work.
- Not the most efficient, CPU-wise, for those of us still using older computers. With today's machines, this won't be an issue.
Value for Money:
It depends on the person. Whenever Native Instruments has it on sale for $99 to $150, it's an absolute no-brainer, no matter what style of music you produce. If memory serves, the full price is $299? If so, i'd only recommend it for diehard dubstep fans, or brostep fans who need THAT sound, Trap producers (Massive's the best synth for that, IMHO), or people who are looking to make soundscapes and intricate sound effects/foleys without the headache of trying to learn Reaktor. If you're looking for sweet vintage sounds and need something as authentic as possible from software, U-He Diva is king. If your main style of music is EDM/Trance, Massive is prime choice for digital basses, but I would use Sylenth or Spire for the big leads and chord stabs.
Massive. Up to it's name, really. It's as classic VST as it gets. It defined what we want in other VST's now. Violinists have their Stradivari's, Guitarists have their Taylors, Strats, DJ's have CDJs, and producers have Massive.
Sound 9/10 Sound is solid. It may be a bit tougher to push it to mellow tones than for example Spire, Sylenth or Diversion, but that just means it's much more "crystalic", much more pure. It's hard to tell whether it's a good or bad thing. Depends on your preferences. ...and on your patience. If you try long enough, you can make creamy sounds in there as well. The only con I can find is that it slightly changes sound going to and from 96 kHz, but as 96kHz is still kind of waste of your resources and as it's the same with a lot of other VST(i)'s, I wouldn't consider it a big problem.
Features 9/10, GUI 10/10 Ok, ok, I know. We have all kind of synths featurewise much better then Massive, but I don't know why, I still return to this one really often. Ease of assigning modulation to a target is still unmached. All those other synths evolved from different versions. It's a good thing, but once a while you just need a familiar interface. Then it's Massive's time. It's interface stayed the same for years and it's still briliant...
Value for money 10/10 No question about this. For 200 euro, you get thing that defined the modern sound. Thing that everyone else already uses. Think that's gonna stay for ever.
I honestly think Massive is the biggest synth in VST history. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Sylenth, but you see, I remember Massive being around and being legendary back from V-Station times. After that, Vanguard replaced V-Station in it's field, then Sylenth replaced Vanguard, Dune almost replaced Sylenth, Spire is kind of replacing Dune right now ... but Massive stayed, and it stayed as epic as ever. ...and that just counts.
Massive is "modern hybrid" synth in many respects. It features a huge number of waveforms, filters and modulators, and it encompases various forms of synthesis, within a brilliantly elegant interface.
Massive is a synth people often associate with Dubstep and Jungle, but while it does a great job at making those sort of sounds, it also excels with beautiful evolving textures, delicate sequences, clangorous bells, gripping bass, and all sorts of alien tambres and weird special effects. The sheer power and complexity of this synthesizer makes for a huge amount of sonic potential. The view that it is a "harsh" synth or a "dubstep machine" is simply a myth. It is too "massive" to be a one trick pony.
When Massive was first released, a lot of people slated it for being CPU intensive, but more modern machines are better equipped to handle it, and even my modest 3ghz Core2Duo iMac handles it well enough that I can use a number of instances in any project.
It features a unique patch browser, and comes with a number of presets. While the presets don't do it justice, it is fun to browse patches, and easy to create, categorize and save your own.
Massive has become my most used synth because it allows me to turn the sound in my head into a working patch in a matter of minutes. Not only that but patch making is so much fun with Massive, I've built up my own library of patches, and I can access them very quickly with the built in browser.
I've used a lot of synths over the years, both hardware and software, and Massive is up on the top of my list, with the likes of Zebra 2, Sylenth, and Ableton Operator nipping at its heels.
Zebra 2 has many similar sonic features, but doesn't come close for spontanious patch-making, and sheer fun. Sylenth is quick and easy to program, but doesn't have anywhere near the amount of sonic potential. Powerful, simple, fun... Massive ticks all the boxes without making many compromises.
To sum up, Massive is a synth enthusiasts dream come true: It's quick and easy to adjust parameters and modulations, it's hugely versitile and capable of a very wide range of tambres, it has lots of advanced features which allow one to create highly expressive, dynamic patches. It's fun to explore, and it sounds absolutely stunning.Read more
Massives' user interface is pretty easy to work with. Dragging modulation sources onto targets is a breeze and changing the amount and polarity of the modulation is done in one mouse move. I like that a lot.
All rotary controllers are pretty big, but there are some very tiny fonts here and there that I find tiresome to read. Especially the drop down boxes for the waveforms, filter types and effect's are small.
A nice feature is that you can advance through the various waveforms by clicking an arrow next to the drop down, instead of going into the drop down box. It is annoying the same function is missing on other drop down boxes.
You can do a lot with just the oscillators and modulation in Massive. Therefore it is a pity you can't copy settings from one oscillator to another.
NI's marketing had given me the idea that Massive is almost modular because of a very flexible signal path. This is not true. All you can do is place two insert effects, a feedback chain and a bypass in different places in the signal chain, by clicking buttons in a bit cryptic signal flow diagram. That the insert effects do not offer the same type of effects as the main effects reduces the possibilities unnecessary. On the upside we can fade between parallel and serial configuration of the two filters and even modulate this. I have yet to program a useful sound using this feature, though.
I really like to program sounds for Massive. It's easy, creative and Massive sounds good. Or does it? I've been programming lots of sounds for Massive the last months, but I find that I almost never use them in my tracks. I somehow find it very hard to make the timbres I create in Massive work in a mix. I'm wondering if anybody is having the same issues?
Massive comes with a lot of presets and the kore-style library allows you to browse them by attribute which is very nice. Programming your own sounds with Massive is very easy and most fun. I find I use massive quite a lot, because of that.
Massive is very stable on my intel Imac running OS X 5 and 6. It is a CPU hog, as other KVR-members have pointed out, but If you are willing to sacrifice some detail in the sound you can put Massive in a more economic mode. This could come in handy when tracking, because you will want a short latency. While mixing down you could put Massive back in Ultra Quality mode.
Pro's: - Very powerful and easy modulation system - Versatile digital sound design tool
Con's - Not as many effect types as i'd like. - Audio signal routing complex, but semi-modular at best. - The character of the oscillators makes this not the best virtual analogue emulation, IMO.Read more
Massive is an accurate name for this VST! It sounds huge and it is incredibly flexible! I got it as part of Komplete 5. I spent about a month figuring it out and programming all kinds of sounds such as pads, leads and comps to use in a live situation.
The biggest complaints I have about Massive though, is that it just isn't stable! It crashed on me every time in Ableton 7 and 8, in Sonar and Cantabile! And when I mean crashed, I mean it rendered the VST host completely frozen. I'd have to shut down the VST host and restart. For that reason, it is completely unusable unless you're in your own studio and have the time. I also found it had some serious aliasing issues in the higher range on many of the waveforms. Finally, it's a CPU hog! Where my other VSTs might hover at the 12-15% range for a similar monophonic lead sound, Massive would get into the 30-40% range. I've since recreated several of my leads in other VSTs and found them much more CPU friendly. They don't sound quite as fat, but I know they won't crash on me on a gig.
I don't know if NI has fixed any those issues in their latest incarnation of Massive in Komplete 6 or the new Komplete 7. If they have then it is a nice VST, but if not, then you may be better served with a different VST.
I use other NI and really like their products, Massive is the only one that seems to give me problems.Read more