Massive 1.1 Review

The sounds from its three wave-scanning oscillators drew praise from those with the stamina to master the numerous tools in the complex interface. Massive’s strength is its ability to produce powerful sounds and offer simplified control over them in real time thanks to a set of easily manipulated macro controls. However, Massive demands a lot from any system.

Version 1.1 is a free update for registered users, and it’s even more massive – another 140 preset sounds have been added, and they focus on showcasing some cool new gadgets. For example, a virtual analogue oscillator, emulating the physical, electronic oscillators of hardware synths.

The noise generator has three new noise sounds, while an additional three wavetables have been incorporated into the oscillators. A new Acid filter is aimed at fans of the legendary Roland TB-303. For instant jollies with any sound, tweak the filter’s Cutoff and Resonance controls.

The effects section sees the addition of a Hardclipper, which distorts the signal at a threshold set via the drive knob, offering more control over the tone of distortion. The audio quality selector is also now much easier to operate, and is located in the header view, so you can back off the quality when the system starts to groan.

OUR VERDICT

For anyone wanting to indulge in sound design, and for music producers seeking powerful, complex sounds, Massive is superb. It’s not easy to master, but colour coding makes editing less of a trial. However, with more than 600 presets, it’ll be a while before users stray away from the preset browser.

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