MAN CAVE, or a grotesque of mid life crisis
NI Massive: City of Lost Noises
Poor Massive, such a soulful and gentle man but so muscled up that everyone just wants to start fights with him. It reminds me of Ron Perlman’s character of One in City of Lost Children. Whale Hunter as Strong as a Horse. Calling the software Massive was great marketing but leads the audience to ignore it as only good for Dubstep or whatever cheesy marketing term it is this week.
It’s actually more akin to the Blofeld, being a wavetable synthesiser set out in a traditional subtractive format. But the people that would wrap themselves around anything PPG would never think to embrace it. The layout is semi modular, the patching is extensive, fluid and easy to do. So a session with Massive is all about delicacy. What is the sweetest sound I can make with this? How delicate a use of wave tables can I make? How can I place modulation to give slight but crucial variation over the sounds? Be amazed.
It illustrates the curious nature of synthesis that the more extensive the ability of a device the more the audience will section it off – go here, not there, do not fall off the edge of the map. Massive was probably the point where NI achieved their everything and since then they have needed to curtain off the possible. There is very little than cannot be done with it, and there is very little which is done with it. As always the answer is to delete all the presets, and let your own mind explore the map.
It was either this or a red car and I think I chose wisely.