Native Instruments – Massive (WIN)
The Heavyweight Synthesizer
The synth that defined bass music, this powerhouse synthesizer is an uncompromising sonic monster and the go-to choice for bass music and electro producers.
Massive is a sonic monster – the ultimate synth for basses and leads. The virtual-analogue concept belies the contemporary, cutting-edge sound it generates. Clearly laid out and easy to use, Massive gives you earth-shuddering sounds from the very first note.
Massive gives your tracks a solid foundation with the creamiest, punchiest basses. Razor-sharp leads cut through the mix even with grit and dirt piled high. And an overwhelming array of wavetable oscillators, modulation options, and filters, and effects offer a sonic spectrum as broad as it is inspiring.
Massive contains over 1300 sounds, all crafted by leading artists and sound designers. The efficient search and intuitive filter functions let you find presets according to specific characteristics and attributes – a particularly musical and intuitive approach.
Massive’s macro controls offer fast, direct control – automatically mapped to the eight macro knobs on all Komplete Kontrol S-Series keyboards, and all Maschine hardware.
All of a sound’s most important parameters are pre-configured and mapped to these controllers. A single controller can handle multiple assignments – for example, just twist ‘Rhythm’ and watch how multiple underlying parameters change simultaneously.
The macro controls enable you to customize any of Massive’s presets instantly and profoundly, without having to understand the technical structure of the sound. The macro controls essentially turn each sound into a set of possible sounds that seamlessly morph into one another.
Moreover, the macro controls are the most important interface to other applications. They are targets for MIDI assignments, which are easily set using the MIDI Learn function. They are also the first eight parameters that are reported to any host when Massive is used as a plug-in.
Massive’s sound synthesis is based on a unique Wave Scanning algorithm, implemented in three parallel oscillator modules. It combines the highest sonic quality with utmost flexibility and controllability. Think of a Wave Scanning oscillator as a multi-track sequencer; one of the tracks contains a saw wave and the other a pulse wave. In the vertical dimension, each of Massive’s oscillators allows these tracks to be faded seamlessly into one another. In the horizontal dimension, a single cycle’s read-out speed curve can be manipulated in three different bending modes.
Massive features an unlimited number of these “tracks” in each wavetable as well as two additional manipulation modes relevant for time and frequency settings. Of course, the “tracks” are not restricted to usual sawtooth or pulse waves.
Massive comes with 85 specially designed wavetables, each one with a unique combination of waveforms and particular sonic characteristics. Finally, a modulation oscillator can be used to vary the main oscillators’ signal. It can be used for ring modulation, phase modulation (which sounds similar to FM) as well as further modulation modes. A noise generator provides an additional signal source that can be mixed in with the other signals, generating particular effects. It can, for instance, be used in combination with Massive’s comb filters for a physical modelling approach to sound design.
Massive’s basic structure conforms to the well-known subtractive synthesis paradigm, making it easy to understand while simultaneously ensuring the signal flow is highly flexible. You can place two insert effects at various places within the signal flow. You can also take the signal at any point and route it back to the beginning. For example, you can filter a sound and feed it back into the filter’s input. This can create very lively and dynamic results. The flexibility is further increased by placing an insert effect into the feedback path.
You can route any of the oscillator’s signals directly to the synthesizer’s output, bypassing all filters and/or master effects. This feature allows a direct ‘punch’ to be added to layered, highly modulated sounds, for example, to add a sub-bass.
Massive features several types of modulation sources that, thanks to the innovative user interface, can easily be assigned to any of its parameters. Multiple parameters can be assigned to a single macro control, bundling technical settings into a single control – a far more musical approach. For instance, you can assign both the filters’ cutoff frequencies to one macro control and label it as “Brightness”.
The envelopes in Massive feature an advanced loop mode: a part of the envelope can be looped and you can morph between different transitions or crossfades for the defined loop start and end points. Various other options make Massive’s envelopes truly unique.
Massive contains two step sequencer modes: While the Stepper conforms to the well-known, established operating modes, the Performer allows each step to be shaped individually, making it ideal for advanced rhythmic structures. A flexible low frequency oscillator completes the list of modulation sources. The variety of possibilities is as wide as it is fast to use. This is further enhanced by the inclusion of templates for standard tasks for all the modulation sources, such as envelopes, LFOs, steppers and performers. For example, setting an envelope to a generic ADSR shape is a quick, one-click issue.
Change The Framework
Massive’s various global settings pages allow a variety of parameters to be adjusted – parameters that most other synthesizers leave unmentioned and unadjustable. Massive unveils their true sound design potential. The Keytracking pages map the incoming pitch information generated by your keyboard or sequencer individually for each oscillator and filter. There is even separate keytracking control over the filters’ cut-off frequencies and other additional parameters such as a bandpass filter’s width or a comb filter’s feedback. This allows effects to be created that can be controlled by simply playing your keyboard.
Like in most synthesizers, you can adjust glide times between pitches when you play legato notes. Massive goes a step further, allowing the pitchbend range or the phase of each oscillator to be adjusted. The Voicing page allows switching between polyphonic and monophonic voice handling as well as several voice trigger options, for example playing musical-sounding trills easily with your keyboard.
Several voices can be triggered by a single note. Much like an orchestra where several violins play the same ‘voice’, making the sound warmer and more lively, the unisono feature makes your sound thick and vivid. This feature can also be adjusted to extreme settings, spreading your voices over several octaves or filling the stereo panorama – all with just one single note being played.
Massive contains over 1300 production-ready sounds, including the full libraries from former products ‘Massive Expansion’ 1 and 2, ‘Urban Arsenal’ 1 and 2, and ‘Massive Threat’. All have pre-defined macro controls and all have been crafted by professional sound designers and well-known artists. The spectrum of styles included is as wide and varied as music itself, bound to inspire you no matter what the flavour of the piece you’re currently working on.
The browser, besides being intuitive and easy to handle, delivers results in an instant.