Native Instruments details Massive X, the sequel to one of the world's most popular soft synths

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  • There is light at the end of the tunnel for the new version of the game-changing original.
  • Native Instruments details Massive X, the sequel to one of the world's most popular soft synths image
  • Native Instruments has begun sharing details of Massive X. The long-awaited follow-up to Massive—a hugely popular software synth released in 2007 that helped define the sound of modern drum & bass, EDM and a host of other electronic styles—has been in development for years. Native has now given the public its first proper look at what's to come in a blog post. Despite the impact the original version had on specific genres, Massive X looks to be an especially versatile sound design tool. Designer Mike Daliot has supplied 125 new wavetables that are housed in a pair of oscillators, whose character can be further shaped by ten different modes. An additional pair of phase modulation oscillators can then add another layer of timbral variety to the sound. These can be blended with two noise sources containing over 100 flavours of noise, including real-life sounds "like rain and birdsong." Apart from the regular low-, band- and hi-pass filters, Massive X will have a comb filter for creating metallic sounds and supports a variety of routing options, such as serial and parallel. There are also three Insert FX slots that not only introduce effects directly into the signal path but hold so-called "Internal Oscillators," which act as yet another modulation or audio source. These appear to be especially significant—they could turn Massive X into a five-oscillator synth or act as a pair of ring modulation or FM sources, which themselves could feasibly be modulated by the multitude of wavetables available. Unit FX, in contrast, shape only the output stage of a patch, and include reverbs, flangers and various other options. Native are also talking up the capabilities of a new audio routing section that allows you to send audio around a patch in flexible ways, such as routing sound to multiple destinations at a time for individual processing and the creation of feedback loops. There are now nine LFOs and a new type, called The Switcher, that morphs between three different shapes. You can also precisely sequence your modulation using three independent Performer sequencers. Something similar can also be achieved via MIDI thanks to four trackers that turn MIDI data into modulation. While it's scheduled to come out in June, sound examples and and an expected price for Massive X aren't currently available, but Native says they will continue to share details about the latter stages of its development over the coming months via the blog. Learn more about Native in our feature.