NI Massive v Alchemy

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Mr D
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NI Massive v Alchemy

Post by Mr D » Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:27 pm

Soooooo.......

I've just spent a few days with these synths.

My conclusion: Alchemy sounds a lot warmer then Massive. Warmer filters, warmer waveforms. More analog (W[hatever]TF that means.

Massive sounds really different...... Quite digital, powerful, that's not all bad. Seems to have a lot of headroom internally.

The interface of Massive is super-nice, amazingly well thought out. A joy to play with and program.

The Alchemy interface is less nice. It's hard work. I guess 'cause it's packing a lot more features then Massive.

Thoughts?

Linear Phase
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Re: NI Massive v Alchemy

Post by Linear Phase » Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:26 pm

If I were given the option, to only use massive or alchemy in my music.. I simply had no choice but these two synths..... And I had to choose 1.... Massive would be the choice
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mholloway
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Re: NI Massive v Alchemy

Post by mholloway » Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:39 pm

this is bananas versus raisins....one is a wavetable synth, the other is a sample-manipulation synth. totally different feature sets.

as for 'warmth' -- IMO neither is warm. Is Alchemy warm-ER than Massive? Yes, but only because Massive is the coldest, most digital-sounding softsynth I've ever played. But Alchemy's weakest point is nonetheless its sound quality, regardless. Weird filters, thin sound...it's got nothing on Zebra or Omnisphere (or honestly even Sylenth) IMHO.
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Linear Phase
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Re: NI Massive v Alchemy

Post by Linear Phase » Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:13 am

hi... I've always thought, any and all digital synths sound digital... lol. ergo, I haven't met a virtually analog, virtual analog anything.

but I do agree, that NI synths in general, sound, "overly happy," to me. They are very bright, shiny, happy sounding things, at NI. Whether this is good or bad, is not a great argument. The question is... Do you like the sound of NI? I think NI is a great company... that said, the only license I have is Traktor, and I rarely use it.

One of these days, I mean to buy Reaktor, but its just....... you know, maybe v6. Besides, Reaktor has so much stuff inside it, it is almost against my workflow.

I have such few tools I'm using... LOL.. but I know em, inside and out. Except for the daws... they are so complex, you learn something new ever day. but you can learn your synths pretty good, if you don't have too many.
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condra
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Re: NI Massive v Alchemy

Post by condra » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:57 am

Massive is a joy to program, and is well capable of warm/fat sounds, though that’s not what it was made for, or what it does best.
When I want classic “warm/phat” ANALOG style sounds, I usually use Sylenth. The filters on Sylenth sound great IMO.
What I love about Massive is the balance of sonic potential and ease of use.

ze2be
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Re: NI Massive v Alchemy

Post by ze2be » Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:03 am

Surge is a nice alternative to Massive. I will need a new cpu to run Massive in my humongous projects. But if your just going to use 1 or 2 instances, your fine. I like to use like 12 of these kinds of synths, and loads of tracks. Surge is a lot lighter on the cpu, sounds very good, and has a similar super easy one page interface. Yet its got loads of lfos and envelopes. Very similar to Massive actually.
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agent314
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Re: NI Massive v Alchemy

Post by agent314 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:05 am

Massive is definitely the most digital-sounding softsynth I've tried.

Alchemy definitely does not sound particularly "warm", and the sound quality isn't amazing, but the modulation flexibility and sample manipulation is pretty awesome so I find myself using it a lot for random sound design tasks.

If I had to choose between the two, I'd go with Alchemy

dogfort
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Re: NI Massive v Alchemy

Post by dogfort » Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:20 am

I don't get how people say that Massive is a cold and digital synth. It only sounds that way if you make it sound that way. If properly programmed, it can deliver buckets of so-called warmth. In my experience, that goes for nearly any softsynth. Granted, some synths will take you to your destination quicker than others, but it's all in the programming IMO. Please do yourself a favor and don't judge the synth by its presets.

Mr D
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Re: NI Massive v Alchemy

Post by Mr D » Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:44 am

I agree, Massive can sound warm......it's just a shiny, crystal warmth!

Massive can be a bit frustrating. Take for example the LFOs......the way you can morph between two wavefroms is insane. You can have a square wave, and then blend in just a bit of sine to round off the wav corners. On the other hand the LFOs don't have any delay (so you can delay the onset of the LFO). Even my trusty Akai samplers had that like 20 years ago!

And the envelopes could be better. The looping on them is quite nice.....But there's no multi point envelopes, and you can't even adjust the slope shape of the attack in any way! So for synthesizing percussion it's not the best.

What i do like is the panning of voices when you layer them up and detune - instant monster sounds!

pencilrocket
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Re: NI Massive v Alchemy

Post by pencilrocket » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:11 am

There is a blind experiment thread in KVR, in which no one was able to dinstinguish Diva's 'analog' 'warm' sound from other 'digital' synths'.
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dogfort
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Re: NI Massive v Alchemy

Post by dogfort » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:24 am

Mr D wrote:
On the other hand the LFOs don't have any delay (so you can delay the onset of the LFO). Even my trusty Akai samplers had that like 20 years ago!
Yes it has. Simply link a delayed envelope to the amp of your LFO. You could even fade in the LFO with the attack and decay of the envelope. You could also use the internal envelope each LFO has. The possibilities are nearly endless.

No offense, but this is exactly what I meant with my previous post. Just because you think something isn't possible, doesn't make it true. Massive is not your traditional subtractive synth. It requires a modular approach to fully unleash its powers. It's all in the programming.

Mr D
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Re: NI Massive v Alchemy

Post by Mr D » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:33 am

dogfort wrote:
Mr D wrote:
On the other hand the LFOs don't have any delay (so you can delay the onset of the LFO). Even my trusty Akai samplers had that like 20 years ago!
Yes it has. Simply link a delayed envelope to the amp of your LFO. You could even fade in the LFO with the attack and decay of the envelope. You could also use the internal envelope each LFO has. The possibilities are nearly endless.

No offense, but this is exactly what I meant with my previous post. Just because you think something isn't possible, doesn't make it true. Massive is not your traditional subtractive synth. It requires a modular approach to fully unleash its powers. It's all in the programming.
What you describe isn't the same as having a delay control on the LFO, so as to determine an amount of time that will pass before the LFO does something.

UnCL0NED
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Re: NI Massive v Alchemy

Post by UnCL0NED » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:43 am

In Alchemy you can sample sounds you created in Massive and bring it to a whole different level ;)
... You will not find an answer by posting it on this forum to what you should buy. Just decide for yourself, which you like to use. I'm pretty sure you will be happy with any one of your purchases.
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dogfort
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Re: NI Massive v Alchemy

Post by dogfort » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:54 am

Mr D wrote: What you describe isn't the same as having a delay control on the LFO, so as to determine an amount of time that will pass before the LFO does something.
Yes it is. If applied correctly, the effect is exactly the same. You just need to shape the envelope to your liking. If you want it to go from no LFO to full LFO, shape the envelope that way.

As I said, Massive is not your typical subtractive synth. It requires you to think in a modular way. The guys at Native Instruments gave you 4 envelopes for a reason. Why have a single knob LFO delay if you can use an envelope for that, in a way more flexible manner.

That being said, I think you're better off with another synth. I think you are not in the right mindset for Massive.
Last edited by dogfort on Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

JAMM
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Re: NI Massive v Alchemy

Post by JAMM » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:56 am

throw in some plugins after massive and there is your warmth.
i find the presets in massive a little bit dull.
I have both synths and always use alchemy only because i know how to program alchemy and like the sound.
Also there is real time sample-timestreching in aaaaaaaaaalllllllllllccccccccccccccchhhhhhhhhhhhhheeeeeeeeeemmmmmmmmmmmmmmmyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.

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