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NI Massive

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NI Massive

Postby calmposer a » Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:29 pm

This synth is fantastic, complex but insanely good.

Listening to tracks on the radio etc you can quite easily single it out and it always sounds MASSIVE.

After experimenting and reading I'm still finding it hard to make it sound really big. I think producers do that even when using just one oscillator.

Any tips about how to make it sound BIG?
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Re: NI Massive

Postby desmond » Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:29 pm

Personally, I didn't like it, I thought it was fairly bland sounding and lacking in character.

However, there are many tools to make things sound "big" but it does kinda depend on what your personal impression of "big" is (what you mean by big isn't necesarily what I might mean by big).

But in general, layer oscillators, slightly detune them, add some subtle LFO pitch modulation, use unison to stack up oscillators, and don't also forget how integral effects are, reverbs, delays and compression can all help to give an illusion of bigness. And the rest is all in the arrangement and the mix (actually, *most* of it is here, to be honest... Some things that are small in isolation can sound *massive* in the right context)
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Re: NI Massive

Postby Skerrick » Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:46 pm

i have a hard time getting my head around massive, i just dont wanna dedicate enough time to learning how to use it to its full potential (which i really should) but man theres some incredible youtube tutorials.
just make sure the person in the tutorial knows what theyre talking about.
ive seen a couple where the guy is like "now grab the blue thing and put it on the yellow thing and turn the top right second from the left knob to the right a tiny bit."
so frustrating when youre trying to use your memory to recall how you saw it done haha!
a few of my friends swear by it, its all just about the crazy modulation tbh.
ive donw my fair share fo experimenting with it but i cant seem to get those detuned/out of synch tubular bass wubs.. the tune "cyclical" in my soundcloud is the closest ive come but that was with a fat pad i found in razor and i modulated band 4 and 5 of the eq im using like a madman hahah and it gave me a similar effect, backing up what old mate said about making things sound big in other ways.
also man, yeah i reckon its a bad ting being able to pick a synth out of a tune on the radio, i mean some synths fit in perfectly the way they are and need little or no modulation (guilty as charged) but i prefer to mod them or make my own where i can..
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Re: NI Massive

Postby Pete Kaine » Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:42 am

Further to Desmonds advice and depending on what your comparing it too I'd probably say it's just as much about the effects chain as it is the synth.

Obviously at this point I don't know what you are comparing it aginst, but if it's along the lines of big room electro/dnb/dubstep you wouldn't go amiss sticking Guitar rig and Sausage Fattener on it and then slamming it through a group buss with the rest of the bass layers sticking something like cytomics the glue on it.

So breaking it down all that's going on there is distortion, limiters, compression, eq rinse and repeat and of course the are plenty of other effect combinations that will do the job as well, it's just what springs to my mind right now. Be warned you'll lose your dynamics with that lot, but if it's for the dancefloor thats probably what you want anyway.
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Re: NI Massive

Postby Persian Bit » Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:37 am

I found Massive a very powerful synth, but I think it suits only some certain type of music. I still have it in my toolbox, but very rarely I use it. I don't know if it's about its character or what, but the sounds are too 'strong', coloring and sci-fi. Someone would say 'so you gotta create your own presets'. but man! too many knobs and stuff to learn.

Reagrding making the sounds 'big', beside all techniks and tricks that's said in above comments I believe arrangement and production are very important to make something sound big [though as said, 'big' could mean different to different ears. to me, it's being strong in terms of tone and dynamics AND stereo width and depth].

In a very busy and full mix you don't have enough space to put a 'big' synth somewhere. you will end up doing all kinds of low cuts and EQ and compression to keep it up while the master output doesn't clip. It either loses its bigness, or covers up everything.

So I believe it begins in writing and arrangement stage by smart selection of sounds, writing across different octaves and making room for each part 'musically' and generally prepare required space for a big synth to sit in. If listen to those hit songs in radio, you realize how simple and clean their arrangements are. Though obviously there are many layers of produced sounds down there in the mix, but you hear only a few well designed and clean sounds [drums,bass, synth,..]. It lets the mixing engineer put everything in focus, while having that 'big' sound.

Even If you're near a finished mix which you're not satisfied with yet, thanx to digital audio you still can edit, move and delete stuff here and there to make more space in your mix. Lack of headroom and space means radical and harsh EQ and compression usage which screws a mix. Personally, even in last minutes of closing a mix, I found bits and pieaces that can be cut or be lowered down to let the mix breath.
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Re: NI Massive

Postby fay spook » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:58 pm

I usually have a problem getting Massive to sit in the mix! You can fill up the frequency range quite easily with the ideas given above but also try moving where the inserts go in the routing page, sending an oscillator or two out bypassing the filters and automate intensity and wavetable position of the oscillators. A little but of overdrive will help. Or sweeping filters/oscillators at slightly different rates. Then you can start stacking instances of it in your DAW.

Also if you can tell us or give an example of where you want to be, is it a full frequency sound ie sound with a large frequency range or one with a lot going on etc???
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Re: NI Massive

Postby calmposer a » Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:01 am

Thanks a lot people, and especially fay spook - you got it bang on I think:

fay spook wrote: automate intensity and wavetable position of the oscillators. A little but of overdrive will help. Or sweeping filters/oscillators at slightly different rates. Then you can start stacking instances of it in your DAW.

fay spook wrote: Also if you can tell us or give an example of where you want to be, is it a full frequency sound ie sound with a large frequency range or one with a lot going on etc???

Full frequency type sound - that's what makes it hard!

As an exercise I took a part where the synth is so big and tried to replicate it.

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/36122736/exref.mp3

and my version

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/36122736/ex5.mp3

Interesting huh? What you all think?
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Re: NI Massive

Postby Skerrick » Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:18 am

fay spook wrote:I usually have a problem getting Massive to sit in the mix! You can fill up the frequency range quite easily with the ideas given above but also try moving where the inserts go in the routing page, sending an oscillator or two out bypassing the filters and automate intensity and wavetable position of the oscillators. A little but of overdrive will help. Or sweeping filters/oscillators at slightly different rates. Then you can start stacking instances of it in your DAW.

Also if you can tell us or give an example of where you want to be, is it a full frequency sound ie sound with a large frequency range or one with a lot going on etc???

i dont usually have any troubles with it at all, i use massive a lot, but i use the presets and tweak those around rather than trying to make a sound from scratch... ive been watching some tutorials lately and having a bit more of a crack with it, but honestly, i disagree about it not sitting well in the mix or sounding too big, all you have to do is use the right fx etc and play with the volume and eq till you have it where you want it.. ive used it in some 'big' stuff but ite pretty damn versatile
i reckon it has some GREAT pads especially.

near the bottom of the list in particular, theres one called "warp x"
if you select it and go to the 'attributes' tab in the top right and turn the drums dial all the way to 0, you have an amazing sound.. theres so many great ones in there..

http://soundcloud.com/skerrick/daydreaming

http://soundcloud.com/skerrick/trap-door-forthcoming-plusquam

http://soundcloud.com/skerrick/sundials

^ pretty much every synth in each of those three, i got from massive in one way or another.. so if you think its for big sounds only then i reckon you should have a geeze at these and see what it can do in terms of the range of sounds that its capable of producing...
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Re: NI Massive

Postby oggyb » Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:41 pm

Pssh I keep trying to reply to threads and then forget to submit after previewing so I'll try to remember what I typed!

I love Massive and use it often, and I find that I get good results when I create a patch with lots of frequencies, then EQ them viciously later on.

That way, the top end sparkle is still there and it sounds big, but the volume of those frequencies is low enough not to mask other things that demand HF space. The meat of the sound can actually be quite narrow in your chosen frequency "slot", but if the top end isn't there it sounds too small.
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Re: NI Massive

Postby TC higgins » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:32 am

Making your sound big can be done by widening the audio in the stereo field, layering several sounds on top of each other, boosting certain regions in the frequency spectrum, adding all sorts of effects, compression,etc etc.
This has litle to nothing to do with the fact if your using massive or any other vst/hardware synth.
adding extra notes to your harmony/melody will also result in a "bigger" sound, especially adding severall perfect 5th's.
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Re: NI Massive

Postby urbangorilla » Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:55 pm

I've found that the on-board effects inserts and eq (on the upper-ish right) are what usually take things to the next level for me in Massive. For adding space, the dimension expander, reverb effects are pretty handy for getting things to really start to sound amazing. With the dimension expander, you might want to watch out for phase issues if you're working with real bassy frequencies.
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