Massive - Tips? Tricks? Help?
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Old 09-12-2016, 02:46 AM   #1
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Massive - Tips? Tricks? Help?

Is Massive limited in terms of it's modern sound design? It is the only synth I use but been noticing I end up doing alot of similar sounds through it, the reverb is incredibly limited but also works wonders for a particular sound (pads) . What do u guys think? Im new to this forum and IDM really, but really jst need to speak to guys who know their shit and hopefully will inspire me to learn mine! Chuck tips for anything that might be helpful, i don't suck but I could always be better

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Old 09-12-2016, 03:38 AM   #2
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Re: Massive - Tips? Tricks? Help?

Every synth is limited, but effects at the end of the chain can obviously be substituted in your DAW.

I'm pretty sure most of us wouldn't use one synth for all purposes though.

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Old 09-12-2016, 06:14 AM   #3
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Re: Massive - Tips? Tricks? Help?

I think Vault covered it, but to elaborate, from what I know of Massive, I have an idea of what I would and would not use it for.
If I want hardcore digital, grungey, modulated craziness, I'd use it. If I want a smooth analog-sounding instrument of any kind, I'd probably look elsewhere.
Chiptunes/Techno-yes.
Disco/House-No.

Pretty much the only time I use effects built into the synth is either A) the synth is mono unless you use effects to make it stereo (Diva) and B) I use a preset that had effects on it. I know there are other cases where I've used the effects built into a synth, but I honestly can't think of any.
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Old 09-12-2016, 01:27 PM   #4
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Re: Massive - Tips? Tricks? Help?

cool thanks guys
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Old 24-12-2016, 09:19 AM   #5
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Re: Massive - Tips? Tricks? Help?

Try using the dimension expander instead of the reverb! And layer that with a bit of chorus.

When it comes to synthesis in general, a good way to improve your skills is to NOT use any FX. This forces you to hone your technique with the actual synths. Remember, a lot of the original modular folks didn't have reverbs/delays/distortions to play with. They had to make great music with the synths, nothing else! It's a huge challenge, but you will get really nifty with your synthesis techniques.

Some fun techniques you can use (apologies if you do these already):

-Use the feedback knob with some aggressive saw waveforms

-Use two wavetables, and detune them to the point where you can hear the volume oscillating (more obvious at lower frequencies)

-Put a bunch of different, non-synced LFO's on the "intensity" and "waveshape" knobs on your wavetables

-Create a custom step sequencer! And then see how many different parameters you can use it on

-put different wavetables through separate filters (massive has 2) and then run them through envelope generators! you can make cool laser sounds with this.


That being said, I've gotten sick of massive lately. It's so valuable to know, you should learn everything you can. But there are much greater tools out there
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Old 24-12-2016, 12:19 PM   #6
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Re: Massive - Tips? Tricks? Help?

In the end we all have our favorite synths. Personally, I associate Massive with Dubstep wobble bass, which - if I ever needed one of those, I'd break out Massive for. That said, it's quite capable, but the wavetables are really lending themselves to the harsher side of things. The filters have never been all that impressive, imo, and again tend to favor harsher sounds. In all fairness, I've never really tried to do anything subtle in Massive. It came with Komplete, and that's why I have it.

Foregoing any FX is very limiting. It's really hard to get any dimension into your sounds and they easily sound lifeless and dull. Sound is always heard in a space, hence delay and reverb are essential.

Here is a personal short list of my favorite soft synths:
xFer Serum
U-He Bazille
Spectrasonic Omnisphere
NI Reaktor
D16 Group Phoscyon

No sound out of reach.

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Old 31-12-2016, 06:46 PM   #7
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Re: Massive - Tips? Tricks? Help?

as vault said, all synths are limited.
however if you are only getting one type of sound from it then maybe you should try some new techniques. even the most basic of synths are capable of a variety of sounds depending how they are set up.

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Old 01-01-2017, 08:47 PM   #8
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Re: Massive - Tips? Tricks? Help?

I really like Massive and while it is often associated with Dubstep, I think think its a great bread and butter sound making tool for beginners. I'm not a fan of its filters and often end up processing my patches a lot after they leave Massive, however. The way automation works is genius, for one--if you can't make evolving pads with Massive go back to synth 101 school.

I do think in terms an ultimate sound design tool there are some newer synths that offer a lot more: Harmour and Serum are quite popular for good reason. But using Massive as your "main synth" with some additional FX should let you do all the bread and butter sounds you need.

I don't think its like Massive will "sound dated" any time soon and is still worth learning. I highly recommend Groove3 tutorials. You can sign up for one billing cycle and cancel your subscription. I only had it for about 6 months and just spent all my spare time watching the vids and taking notes. Pretty sure they do something for every major NI product.

I notice with all my favorite tools I fall into habits. Most of the time this isn't a limitation of the tool, but rather my thinking.

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Old 06-01-2017, 09:21 PM   #9
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Re: Massive - Tips? Tricks? Help?

You can achieve almost any sound you want to create using only Massive and it end up being totally professional sounding ( with a good processing chain and mixing, of course).

However, I personally tend to rotate between Massive, Serum, and Spire within a track, just to prevent that "sounds the same" type feel. It's most likely just in my head, but I have gotten fairly decent at hearing a song and picking out what sounds were made with what synth. Even still, very few people at clubs tend to care how a sound was made when I share this information with them.
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Old 07-01-2017, 09:16 AM   #10
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Re: Massive - Tips? Tricks? Help?

Massive is a solid synth and as many others have said the real polish of a sound comes from the effect chains outside of the synth. Often Sounds are also made by layering several synth sounds +effects to create more complex sounds.

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