Massive X - Massive F (Up)?

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Shift Gorden
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Massive X - Massive F (Up)?

Post by Shift Gorden » Sun Jul 07, 2019 4:40 pm

Hey guys,

I couldn't find anything on the forum about this, so I thought I'd post a few thoughts about the new incarnation of NI's Massive.

NI has released a broken/unfinished product - that's totally clear after a few days of messing around with it. It feels like a step backward...but I'm certain it will get fixed at some point.

Image

The good:
  • The layout - I really like the clean design of the GUI. It's scalable, and (subjectively) pretty. The colors of the various parameter modulators are nice and bright - it's easy to see what's what.
    - Routing - this is actually The Bomb. Using a flow diagram/Max-style interface, you can drag and connect elements of the synth together, and route things in some really neat ways. This is so intuitive, easy, and fun.
    - Performer - A neat performer style envelope. Easy enough to program, pretty interesting design options.
    - Noise - OMG - so many types of noise can be added. Not just your whites/pinks, etc, but sounds like bubbles, or water. It really can add a neat layer of sound to your, er, sound. Performers can be strung together, too, and you can switch which performer is playing on the fly. That's kinda sweet.
    - Insert FX - these are really good for extra elements of sound shaping. Not like reverbs (they're found in the outboard FX section), but more design-oriented. There are even extra oscillators in there.
The bad:
  • The manual - there isn't one. WTF. There are quite a few elements of the GUI and functionality that absolutely need explanation. I guess this is "sign number one" that the product isn't ready for release. So bizarre.
    - Visual feedback - probably one of the largest and most spectacular omissions. While you can easily see your color-coded modulators, there isn't much else going on. As you modulate wavetables, you can't see the shape of the wave change, or even the little knob moving up and down. Sure, you can use your ears, but it makes auditioning wave tables tricky. And I like to see that something is working. Oh, the ADSR envelopes - you can't use the "diagram" to change the ADSR. Sure, using the knobs is fine, but again I like to see what's going on. They do have diagrams in there, but they are completely non-interactive. Again, really weird. Oh, the diagram for the "exciter" LFO makes absolutely no sense.
    - File organization - this sucks a huge egg. The original Massive had a great browser approach. Organizing sounds was easy, as was importing libraries. Kiss all that goodbye with Massive X. You have your presets. And then you have your "user" folder - the location of which cannot be moved. So frustrating! I have moved the presets to my external drive (and I had to get help from the NI forums to get that simple task achieved), but I can't put my user-library on there. Another WTF. Nor can you add subfolders, so categorizing your sounds is down to creative filename labeling. Oh, there's no meta tagging either. Sound name, and author, that's all you can do. This is kinda of a massive let down, especially if you like designing your own stuff.
    - Mysterious functionality - now, this could be easily worked out if there was a manual. Take a look at the pic at the top. Note the wavetable section on the top right. There's a note symbol, which clearly indicates that's where you go to change the pitch of the oscillator - easy. Then note the two mysterious numbers below. No idea. Same in the pitch modulation section below it. Oh yeah, also note those pics of the ADSR envelope...that's all they are, pictures.
    - The sound - ooooof, this one is totally subjective. I think it's pretty good...but I have noticed a couple of weird artifacts in a sound or two I've designed. This could be down to parts of the wavetable, though. Either way, I'm gonna have to get the EQ scalpel out and get to work. Tell you what, though, the Dimension Expander effect can add some very nice polish to sounds.
    - Wavetables - there's not as many as Serum, but that's okay. But...you can't import your own. I dunno, I feel like pretty much all wavetable synths let you do this (didn't Ableton just add this to their synth?)
I'm 99% sure this sucker will get an update which will resolve pretty much all of the above. But, I have no idea why they released it in this state. It's basically a stable beta-build.

Alright, I'm off to mess around with it more, but I'm curious what you lot think about it?

Oh, I may have mentioned this but...THERE'S NO FUCKING MANUAL.

Tarekith
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Re: Massive X - Massive F (Up)?

Post by Tarekith » Sun Jul 07, 2019 5:02 pm

Have they done it for Retina or HDPI?

Shift Gorden
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Re: Massive X - Massive F (Up)?

Post by Shift Gorden » Sun Jul 07, 2019 5:41 pm

Yes, mate! They have got that right - the interface is crystal-clear, and scalable too. I think it looks really nice.

Oddly, they haven't done that for Kontackt 6.

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Re: Massive X - Massive F (Up)?

Post by Tarekith » Sun Jul 07, 2019 5:54 pm

Finally! I hope they go back and do the rest of the plug ins eventually, drives me crazy opening up Absynth and trying to work with it all pixelated.

Shift Gorden
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Re: Massive X - Massive F (Up)?

Post by Shift Gorden » Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:20 pm

Seriously! I'm not sure when Kontakt 6 came out, but I'm super-surprized that's still pixelated!

Tarekith
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Re: Massive X - Massive F (Up)?

Post by Tarekith » Sun Jul 07, 2019 8:54 pm

The new version of Traktor just came out a few weeks ago and it’s not optimized either.

TLW
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Re: Massive X - Massive F (Up)?

Post by TLW » Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:08 pm

Not got Massive, but it might/should be possible to move any folder to where you want it to be using junction points (Windows) or aliases/symbolic links (Mac). These all work at the OS/file system level so the application should see the folder/file as being where it expects to be even if it's somewhere else.

And before anyone says "you shouldn't have to do this to relocate stuff" I agree you shouldn't but if NI don't provide a method then...
Live 10.1 Suite, M4L, 2014/15 MacBook Pro 15.3” Retina i7, OS Mojave 10.14.5. RME UFX, assorted synths, guitars and stuff.

doghouse
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Re: Massive X - Massive F (Up)?

Post by doghouse » Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:42 am

NI really dropped the ball on this one. Once they announced it wouldn't be ready on the original launch date, they should have waited until it was done rather than sell users an unfinished product.

-- I discovered that the only controls that can be automated are the 16 macro knobs at the top. Those are the only controls that show up in Komplete Kontrol as well. There's no MIDI Learn either.

-- There's no standalone version yet, only the plugin. You can load the plugin in the standalone Komplete Kontrol as a workaround if you need it.

-- I may be blind but I don't see a volume control and had to tweak the amp level since all the presets are super hot, tracks going into the red.

-- So those 12 buttons on the bottom are for snapshots? I was clicking on them and nothing was happening. How do you save snapshots?

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Re: Massive X - Massive F (Up)?

Post by jestermgee » Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:39 am

NI need to slip some cardboard or something under the leg of their development table because they seem to be dropping $h1t all over the floor constantly.

Their line of keyboards are still in almost constant beta and it is taking them up to 2 years to release features that should be available at launch. In fact the development is so slow there that a new hardware model comes out before decent features can be implemented. They work well but could be so much better especially given the cost and apart from "sounds.com" integration, sound previews and FX loading (which is still incomplete and kind of pointless) there has been almost no useful added features in 4 years.

I get the constant impression based on how much they ignore EVERYTHING people are feeding back and how much they push out the things people aren't asking for and how many features are missing at release or not working that they are simply working to deadlines that are not based on the wants or needs of users, but rather investors. As is the way as companies grow the vision becomes blurred and the customer is just stuck in a never ending waiting game.

Too many pies and not enough qualified fingers is how i'd sum up NI currently.

Shift Gorden
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Re: Massive X - Massive F (Up)?

Post by Shift Gorden » Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:42 pm

doghouse wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:42 am
NI really dropped the ball on this one. Once they announced it wouldn't be ready on the original launch date, they should have waited until it was done rather than sell users an unfinished product.

-- I discovered that the only controls that can be automated are the 16 macro knobs at the top. Those are the only controls that show up in Komplete Kontrol as well. There's no MIDI Learn either.

-- There's no standalone version yet, only the plugin. You can load the plugin in the standalone Komplete Kontrol as a workaround if you need it.

-- I may be blind but I don't see a volume control and had to tweak the amp level since all the presets are super hot, tracks going into the red.

-- So those 12 buttons on the bottom are for snapshots? I was clicking on them and nothing was happening. How do you save snapshots?
Hey mate - looks like NI released a partial manual yesterday - those snapshot things are apparently for launching different performers using a midi keyboard:

https://www.native-instruments.com/file ... h-0719.pdf

Funny, Jester, I actually got an NI keyboard a few years ago and took it back and exchanged it for a much cheaper AKAI keyboard because I couldn’t get it work with the software properly. Shame to hear things haven’t changed much over the years.

Shift Gorden
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Re: Massive X - Massive F (Up)?

Post by Shift Gorden » Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:42 pm

TLW wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:08 pm
Not got Massive, but it might/should be possible to move any folder to where you want it to be using junction points (Windows) or aliases/symbolic links (Mac). These all work at the OS/file system level so the application should see the folder/file as being where it expects to be even if it's somewhere else.

And before anyone says "you shouldn't have to do this to relocate stuff" I agree you shouldn't but if NI don't provide a method then...
Ah ha! Thanks for this, mate. I’ll do some Googling - this could be just what I was looking for.

doghouse
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Re: Massive X - Massive F (Up)?

Post by doghouse » Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:35 pm

Shift Gorden wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:42 pm
those snapshot things are apparently for launching different performers using a midi keyboard
OK, I've used that sort of feature in Alchemy before. You sacrifice one octave of keys, so not too useful unless you have at least 61, and can call up snapshots in real time.

I bet nobody could figure that out until now. Now where's the rest of the manual, I want to know where the volume knob is :roll:

sigabort
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Re: Massive X - Massive F (Up)?

Post by sigabort » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:44 am

Another case of VC capital screwing things up. Is NI about to be the new Elektron?

scheffkoch
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Re: Massive X - Massive F (Up)?

Post by scheffkoch » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:51 am

"I want to know where the volume knob is"

...on the picture above...do you see the triangle slider besides the ni logo (beneath the graphical representation of the volume)...?...that's the volume control...
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doghouse
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Re: Massive X - Massive F (Up)?

Post by doghouse » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:33 am

Geez, could they make that volume slider any smaller? Thx.

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