Electronic Musician

MASSIVE X

Joe is the Editor of Computer Music magazine and has been releasing electronic music for the past 15 years. Find him on Instagram, @joerossitter

As the weapon of choice for countless dubstep, DnB and bass producers over the last decade, NI’s Massive is considered the most iconic software synth of all time, packaging once-complex digital wavetable synthesis in a user-friendly, VA-style interface that set new GUI design standards.

However, after being overtaken in popularity by Xfer Records’ Serum, expectations for a ‘Massive v2’ couldn’t have been higher. We got our first glimpse of the interface in September 2018; then, in March came an entire screenshot; and then two sonic demos in a blog post. Now Massive X has firmly arrived, and although its shortcomings have been widely discussed, it’s still a worthy entrant into today’s roster of ‘powersynths’.

So let’s delve into the synth’s multitude of oscillators by building a handful of presets, ranging from wavetable-based sounds to FM noises and special FX. We’ll show you how these sound sources work, how they

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