First Look at Massive X - Review

Hi everyone!
I got my hands on an early release of Massive X and prepared this review. I’d love to hear what you think!


Nice man, I really fucking like the routing workflow. I was hesitant to pick this up as I burned out on Massive a couple years ago, but I might have to try this out.

Thanks for posting!

My pleasure! Yeah that routing section is killer.

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Nice video. To my ears the overall sound of the instrument is surprisingly bland throughout, though. Having extreme routing options is meaningless if the overall sound of the instrument is plain boring.

If you’re judging by the sounds in the video, I kept everything very basic for the sake of clarity. Personally, after dialing through some presets, I think it can make a pretty diverse array of sounds. And with that much capability, anyone with decent programming skills should be able to get interesting sounds out of it.

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That’s the case for just about any synth, though, let alone stuff for 200 bucks ^^

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Very true! I couldn’t agree more. If you give any synth to a good programmer, they’ll make great sounds with it. And if you stack Massive X up against any other synth with a similar level of features/parameters, they’ll all produce a wide array of great sounds in the right hands.

If you know what you’re doing, choosing between wavetable synths isn’t as much about sound quality, as it is about specific capabilities. For example, Massive X’s unison only goes up to 6 voices. So if you like huge 10+ voice unison sounds, this wouldn’t be right for you, all because of that one parameter limitation. Whereas, if you love to incorporate FM into your wavetable-based sounds, this is a great choice.


Yeah, the FM/PM options are really cool for a wavetable synth! I really like that you can route anything to the 3rd Aux operator. Since I was testing Phase Plant a few days ago and I’m getting friendly with the BW Grid now, these options still seem a bit limited in terms of operator count, but it has an edge over other dedicated wavetable synths afaik.

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A good musician/programmer can make almost any instrument sound good. I agree:)

To me it actually sounds like the designers on this project have favoured sounds and effects that are easy to control for beginner level players/programmers (which is also the biggest market for it).

That’s what I was thinking while watching the video anyway.

In any case:

The downside to “playing it safe”, by limiting the user’s access to harsh or noisy extreme settings, is that the overall sound ends up being anonymous.

Whether that’s what happened to the Massive X, - is of course wholly subjective.


Saying: “Check out my Massive X”, sounds like I’m talking about a seriously out of shape former girlfriend.

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Massive X has been a huge bummer. GPU issues with the model Macbook Pro i run.

Unusable. In Ableton 10 1 instance of the plugin hits 50% of my cpu and my fans start spinning like a drone is taking off.

I hope they address this quickly.

I read here & there a lot of CONS about massive X. I never used the 1st Massive, i know i probably am the only one on earth :grinning: so i didn’t have a lot of expectations with this reborn of a self called legend. On my side this synth is true banger. My computer is 3 years old, an i7 4.2Ghz Cpu, not the fastest. So far, i had no problem at all using it. Way much lighter on my cpu than U-He plugins or Uvi Falcon or Fxpansion Cypher 2, just to name those. On my 27" samsung external screen, no issue at 150% view size from my Radeon Pro 580 8192 Mo.
So i tried a bit of polyphony = no fuss, as efficient as an omnisphere for instance. No problem.

What i like the most is the Voice architecture, you can get some huge stereo spreads, the scale & harmonization sounds so smooth. The routing page is a well thought solution against the lack of oscillators or filters. The performers & remote controllers are amazing. The overlay function gives you quick access to some crazy modulations.

Now, speaking about sound only, this synth is not the fat instrument you might expect.
It is not some analog emulation. It’s more of a sound design instrument to me.
Highly recommended.

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Holy fuck. Sad to hear. Lots of cons going on from what I’m reading. Doesn’t seem very optimized… not sure what NI was thinking.

Going to be a hard pass for me

“People will be too excited to notice it’s trash” (and not Izotope Trash which is aight, just trash that belongs in the ground somewhere). Also probably “We won’t make numbers this quarter if it doesn’t launch IDGAF if it’s not ready it needs to come out now”.

the current market of such hybrid softsynths is very competitive and no wonder M X kind of flopped because there are enough of stuff to compare it with. People don’t just hate plugins out of nowhere. There are reasons. For that price there are other options, I think it lacks of that special from what I’ve heard. It has too many cons and when you have stuff like Serum which was called Massive 2 when it was released and now there’s stuff like Phase Plant who really feels like a successor here, M X just feels lacklusting and it doesn’t seem to offen anything that groundbreaking. Sure it’s all about your workflow and it functions as intended but alternatives/stronger competitors exist.

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I really dig on the routing workflow in the plug, but I have a hard time believing that X is going to somehow step up what massive can already do with a large margin.

Might not be a bad black friday pick up though, once NI gets the kinks out of it. - if they do …

Just to speak to the flooded market–it is even kind of hard to get excited about a new hardware synth let alone a software one. Either hardware or software no synth has given me serious GAS in a long time.


A bit of a testament to how featured and capable most modern soft/hard synths are these days. Competition is hard when someone can buy something and not even get its full potential out for years.

Lots of insane stuff these days. I myself, am looking at a Blofeld… but that’s only because I was using my Ti Virus for the past 6 years and had no reason to buy any other synth.

It’s hard to exhaust hardware these days!

hahahaha… this thing just bombed my MacPro too…

what a fucking waste. I’m glad i didnt update Komplete just for this turd.

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jesus - get it together NI.

Their new-ish Chorus plugin just killed Ableton.

sadface emoji

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And disregarding the need for a mixer or an interface with lots of I/O…hardware is stupidly cheap these days. I’m mostly hearing all good stuff about the Behringer clones. Like…if you have one, modern, options heavy softsynth like Serum, I’d rather spend my ~$300 on an analog hardware synth.

I used to be all about NI when I first got into this game and they have a lot of great products. I’ve owned Komplete, Maschine etc. Gotta say they haven’t released one thing in the last five years whose media hype even had me bothered to read a review.

What they were trying to do with those Komplete Control keyboards was cool, but not near enough knobs. Again, for me, I’d rather spend that money on a hardware synth.

All that to say, my gut told me Massive X was going to be too little, too late and apparently it doesn’t even work lmao.

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