When most people first buy (or pirate... you bastards!) Native Instruments Massive, they usually have it in their mind that the purchase of this VST will allow them to make the dirtiest Skrillex-esque bass lines. Well, I hate to break it to you, but Sonny mainly uses FM8 (another fine VST from NI). That's not to say you can't get a dirty sound from Massive; that couldn't be further from the truth. Hopefully by the end of this thread I can give you both an accurate description of what Massive is capable of.
First, I feel I have an obligation to mention the price. NI is giving away Massive for a pretty steep $199.00. Well, at least it was steep to me, seeing as it took me a few months to save up for it. The main question that gets asked a lot is "does Massive deliver enough special components to make it better than significantly cheaper and already proven soft synths?" I would say yes unless you are completely broke. You ask why? Well let me get into that in the next section.
Massive has a maximum of 3 oscillations per note, 2 filters, a modulation section, noise generator section, feedback section, 2 insert sections, 2 effect sections, countless controls for each of the previously mentioned sections, 4 LFO controllers, 4 envelope controllers, and countless other controls. There's even a section for routing sounds within the plugin. This gives you almost infinite options in generating patches. Everything can be automated both within the program and in your DAW's automation clips.
A few months ago I wrote a rather brief and thoughtless review on Massive. I foolishly thought of it's utility in terms of genre. However, at the time, I really did not know Massive as I do now. Sure, I read the manual over but the process never really clicked with me until I took a few months to actually create my own patches. I think if there's one thing I need to get across to you it's this if you get Massive, take the time to study is! As powerful of a tool as it is, it really is only as strong as it's user's ability. However, once you harness it, you can create anything from really, really unique and rich pads, to chest-rumbling basses, to clear, interesting leads.
Along with what was previously mentioned, Massive comes with over 600 presets (and currently I think even more with some expansions). Some of these patches are very cool but I think after looking through them once they can be distracting from actually learning the software.
Finally, I'd like to address the issue of computer usage. NI Massive takes up 113.93 MB of space. Definitely a good size compared to some other high end soft synths (and come one, if you're producing lossless tracks this is nothing). The main problem is CPU usage. Massive can tax even the fastest computers when using a large number of voices. This is where I might say if you have a slower computer that can't handle it you might want to reconsider. Of course, if you are like me, you won't let that stop you and you'll come up with creative solutions to the CPU problem. Some people I've read will create a patch they like. Then, while working on other parts of the song, turn extra voices off to limit CPU usage. Think of the amount of CPU being used as a tradeoff for quality sound (and it quite literally is).
Anywho, this is my review/walkthrough of NI's Massive. I hope it was at least somewhat helpful. Remember, Massive is ONLY AS STRONG AS IT'S USER! Coments/questions?
---------- Post added 12-25-2011 at 08:29 PM ---------- Previous post was 12-24-2011 at 12:53 AM ----------
I'd also like to add that Massive comes with a combination of basic, analog, digital and special waveshapes that is over like 60 at least (I think more just doing a rough count right now). Each of these waveshapes can be automated into other waveshapes which is really quite awesome (yes, even the overused Modern Talking wave).