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Massive or Serum
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Software Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author Massive or Serum
abhirama
Hi All,

I have almost decided that I am going to purchase either massive or serum, just because there are so many packs available out there and so much of guidance also, specifically from ADSR. I know you want to know what is my requirement. I mainly produce rock and house music although i am also leaning towards dubstep. and i dont think I will not be producing cross genre music in some time.

Point is What are the pros and cons of getting massive or Serum? Is there any video links also if you want to show me are welcome. Still i wanted more details. I am leaning more towards masssive right now, and when my music becomes more famous, after some half a year, i can go for other. However I am also thinking that if i go for serum and since Native instruments give discount in that time, i can go for that in a half price. What say?(However money is not the first priority).

Thanks,
Abhirama.
KaOsphere
All in all Serum is a more powerfull/complete tool.
For example,you import your own wavetables which is a feature you'll use or not depending on what you want to achieve.

Massive is probably more accessible, more immediate.


To be honest I find massive to be the most uninspiring softsynth I ever owned...I have never used it in anything...

To be concise :

- advanced sound design and crazy manipulations powerhouse ->Serum

- "That" EDM sound -> Massive ( for the price you probably could find a Komplete 11 on sale with NI's trinity : Absynth/FM8/Massive and as a bonus Reaktor and all its users ensembles...
Oldstench
Also note that because Steve Duda is an awesome dude, they offer Serum with a rent-to-own $9.99 a month deal as well as a 3 day try-before-you-buy program.

You literally have nothing to lose giving it a try.
listentoaheartbeat
KaOsphere wrote:
- "That" EDM sound -> Massive ( for the price you probably could find a Komplete 11 on sale with NI's trinity : Absynth/FM8/Massive and as a bonus Reaktor and all its users ensembles...


I do not understand how anyone who has used Massive would associate it with "that EDM sound", or wobble basses or whatever. Well, unless you only use presets and sound packs. Massive makes a wide range of synthesis techniques and elaborate modulation structures very accessible. With some practice, it is one of the most immediate and fast soft synths to program. It does not really have a "sound" as it's very flexible. I recommend to only use the init preset – it is a great synth to learn an explore. It sounds good even by today's standards, too. Serum looks great as well, drawing a lot of inspiration from Massive with sensible additions, but I have not used it.
secretkillerofnames
I am using Massive to teach entry level synthesis because my institution has Komplete.

It's a decent starting point and very useful but long in the tooth and Serum is many times more powerful if it's a wavetable synth you want.

I'd recommend UVI Falcon over both of them though as a comprehensive all-rounder.
mt3
Serum.
This will get your music more famous more faster, 3-4 months.
TartarugaAzul
I've never liked Massive. Serum gets used pretty often, however. Importing wavetables is nice.
rod_zero
Massive has a third oscillator and some extra modulation sources, it is lighter on the CPU use.

Serum can import/make your own wavetables, modulation system is the same and a little bit more visual. It uses quite a bit of CPU.

I think serum is slightly easier to use because of a more modern interface but massive is just as capable.

Massive can be found very cheap in the second hand market, or if you are going to get it from NI page you could buy Komplete Select for 200 USD and get also Monark, Prism and some other instruments so it is much better value.
listentoaheartbeat
rod_zero wrote:
Massive has a third oscillator


And a fourth, which can be used to modulate the other oscillators and the filter with minimal aliasing. Often overlooked, despite being very powerful. smile

Quote:
and some extra modulation sources, it is lighter on the CPU use.


Indeed, the CPU use is a big plus when using older plug-ins, and Massive in particular.
phase ghost
For my money, Serum all the way. It's one of my favorite all time synths, and that includes hardware.

That said, designing my own wavetables is a big part of why I like it so much. I use to wish for a modern version of the old Wave256 software that you could use as a plugin. Which, is what Serum is plus a lot more.

It's really fantastic to layer over analog poly's too. Love it over a Prophet 08.
lodsb
so urhm... the following will probably read like a fan-boi post for massive, just keep in mind that I own/use(d) both extensively, even in my more recent releases.

so, yes... you can import wavetables into serum and have some editor to play around with it... yes, serum has probably more recent DSP (techniques) regarding the oscillators and FX...

...BUT what most ppl dont tell you is that serum and the likes (falcon, avenger, rapid) use simple subtractive audio engines (feed-forward processing) and in massive you have a proper feedback routing. including feedback through insert FX.
that is something that NO other of the competitors has. see https://dt7v1i9vyp3mf.cloudfront.net/styles/news_large/s3/imagelibrary  /n/ni3routing.jpg?wSp6Ug8PoBedRLO_X4wmqj1npyqp4qKh=&itok=k2E3hbuS

if you do that kind of routing, you actually have to do the computation differently (it basically means that your DSP and everything has to be optimized towards feedback usage).

It is really easy to do fucked up drone and odd FM stuff with massive, while in serum you are basically _stuck_ with what the oscillators themselves can create followed by a simple subtractive routing.

some other comparisons between serum and massive (I used both rather extensively):
1) imho, the curve/LFO editor in serum way too primitive. the one in massive is a) easier to create precise sequences b) it can be modulated c) MUCH faster to work and thus more fun.
2) the envelopes in massive are more powerful, segments can be faded between different forms using external modulators... havent seen that in a comparable product ...
3) massive has waaaaayyyyy more modulation targets, some can be side chained (multiplied, so that the LFO amount on a parameter can increase with the envelope or ringmoded) - the side chaining is something that serum has well but AFAIRonly in the modulation matrix, also (AFAIR) serum has a fixed amount of modulation assignments (64, which come out of the blue, but that might have changed in more recent versions, dunno).
4) massive has more macros as far as i remember, which comes in handy if you want to modulate it externally and create some weird cross modulations.
5) as pointed out before, it has a 3rd oscillator and an additional modulation osc, that can do filter/WT/ringmod and phasemod for the other oscs/filters.
6) it has a randomize function for the current patch.
7) even the 10 year old massive browser sucks less than the one provided with serum.
8) the modulation assignments are better to read, in serum you are basically bound to go back into the modulation matrix to really see which modulation source has been mapped to which target. this is imho a no-go for anything more complex than dropping a one-to-one modulation on some parameter.

and ...
9) massive is now 10 years old and still regarded as a top-of-the-line synth. if you dig into youtube and see what kind of sound design is currently done with it, it tells you how much of a work-horse it really is.

... so all in all, I personally regard serum more of a bread and butter synth that I use for quick simple/generic sounds, or if the wavetable alone dominates all of the generated timbre/sound (the filters are also more interesting in serum for that matter). for serious sound design, massive has the edge... over many other synths that use wavetable oscillators (imho).
abhirama
Thanks for all this explanation and it has helped me get into a deeper insight of how it works. However I have gone for a 10$ monthly for a serum before your post. I think i will take massive in Christmas for sure, but one point is i like the clean sound of Serum, when compared to massive. It gives clean songs.

I agree about the feedback thing which you are speaking and it has left me no doubt that I should have massive with me.

You also speak below about second hand market. May i know more about it?

Thanks.


lodsb wrote:
so urhm... the following will probably read like a fan-boi post for massive, just keep in mind that I own/use(d) both extensively, even in my more recent releases...........................

..................
sonic7
Serum is crazy powerful ,sometimes I can make sounds that i can't tell if it's my virus ti or serum .
It has a LOT more depth than most people assume and is the best sounding vst imo ,in it's "category" ,which is crazy "digital" waveform synths .
I never really liked massive ,it just was the only really versatile vst we had ,not any more.
rod_zero
Zebra is more versatile than those two, also Falcon which sample loading and granular.
Moon Indigo
Neither. Aalto.
listentoaheartbeat
lodsb wrote:
...BUT what most ppl dont tell you is that serum and the likes (falcon, avenger, rapid) use simple subtractive audio engines (feed-forward processing) and in massive you have a proper feedback routing. including feedback through insert FX.
that is something that NO other of the competitors has. see https://dt7v1i9vyp3mf.cloudfront.net/styles/news_large/s3/imagelibrary  /n/ni3routing.jpg?wSp6Ug8PoBedRLO_X4wmqj1npyqp4qKh=&itok=k2E3hbuS


Indeed, this is a big one. Complex feedback patches with the Comb filters are great, but also just adding a tad of non-linear behavior to basic sounds can add a lot of character.
grillo
lodsb wrote:
so urhm... the following will probably read like a fan-boi post for massive, just keep in mind that I own/use(d) both extensively, even in my more recent releases.


Great post, the point about the feedback architecture explained stuff i wasn't totally understanding in use. Personally I think Serum is easier for me to get decent results out of starting from scratch, but I'm amazed at the variety of sounds I get from some pro Massive banks, really inspiring stuff.

About the browser though, while Massive has the decent NI tagging system I find that the browser is slow and editing / tagging tedious, whereas with Serum you can just reorganize the folders at the os level with finder / explorer and the folder structure will reflect in the plugin, that makes a lot easier to reorganize a good number of files.
hermbot
lodsb wrote:
9) massive is now 10 years old and still regarded as a top-of-the-line synth. if you dig into youtube and see what kind of sound design is currently done with it, it tells you how much of a work-horse it really is.


Great post. It's too bad people write off Massive because it's old (within the realm of plugins) but honestly, if I could only take one desert island synth it would be Massive. Ridiculously powerful.
abhirama
Can you please post those videos I would love to see..I would want to get to that stage sincerely.


lodsb wrote:
9) massive is now 10 years old and still regarded as a top-of-the-line synth. if you dig into youtube and see what kind of sound design is currently done with it, it tells you how much of a work-horse it really is.
Funky40
i´d also be interested to be pointed to some good YT videos vs. surching thru all noise.
.....much interested in the aformentioned Feedback patch thing !
also interested in pro soundbanks if you have A GOOD Typ


(JFYI: not doing Drones, wobbly wobbly, or any other "drawer" based music wink )
witchbutter
I don't like Serum or Massive.

If I am going to invest a lot of time in shaping a custom sound, I would not want to use either. My go to synths are Arturia CS-80V3, u-He Diva, New Sonic Arts Granite, Linplug Spectral, Reaktor Prism, Ableton Operator.

You can do a ton with Ableton Operator if you want to make bass music. I highly recommend this guys patches for Operator http://www.symplesound.com/

Reaktor & Reaktor Blocks, Max for Live can lead you to a lot more interesting sounds also if you really want to program.
listentoaheartbeat
witchbutter wrote:
Both of those really are just vehicles for presets


Actually, no. What does that even mean?
Moon Indigo
listentoaheartbeat wrote:
witchbutter wrote:
Both of those really are just vehicles for presets


Actually, no. What does that even mean?


Agree that this statement is entirely misleading. Both are highly configurable synths.
witchbutter
listentoaheartbeat wrote:
witchbutter wrote:
Both of those really are just vehicles for presets


Actually, no. What does that even mean?


I don't mean to offend at all. When I personally have used Serum I found it no more configurable or inspiring than anything else I have ever used. Massive is actually rather cumbersome from my perspective. I am constantly bombarded with ads from groups selling presets for Serum and Massive via various websites like Cymatic or Beatport Sounds etc, where that does not occur with other soft synths. You can disagree and draw your own conclusions, but to me that means for people interested in using software presets they can buy rather than doing their own design, Serum and Massive are a good choice strictly based on popularity.
rod_zero
What other people does with any synths has no real influence in what you can do with it.

It is a very strange way of thinking.
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