Native Instruments Releases MASSIVE X

Today, Native Instruments announced MASSIVE X, its new flagship synth.

Built from scratch by the same team as its predecessor, Massive X is based on a state of the art architecture, delivering pristine sound, and greater creative flexibility for artists and sound designers alike – allowing users to create, modulate, and experiment with sound from a huge range of sources.  NI touts the new synth as ‘set to define the next ten years of electronic music.’

Massive X oscillators and noise

At the heart of Massive X is a new oscillator section with dual wavetable oscillators and 170 wavetables. Ten different oscillator modes, each with their own sub-modes, provide countless ways to create exciting and dynamic sounds or textures. Three primary sound sculpting controls include wavetable position as a standard control, plus two additional custom parameters for each mode. Two phase modulation oscillators and an auxiliary modulation input mean Massive X is capable of variation right at the sound source – even before additional modulation, effects, or routing are used.

Switchable filters, noise generators, insert effects, and master effects enable flexibility when building and editing sound, and a comprehensive preset library provides a wealth of production-ready sounds that also showcase the possibilities of the instrument.

Users of the original Massive synth will recognize the ‘Saturn ring’ drag-and-drop modulation workflow that has been carried over into the new instrument.

Massive X routing

Routing has been rethought in Massive X. Taking its predecessor’s semi-modular approach further, any output can be connected to an input, and audio can be routed to or from multiple components simultaneously. The intuitive routing matrix makes creating complex patches and sounds possible with just a few clicks.

Massive X boasts a large array of modulation sources – with nine slots for creative LFOs or envelopes, four Tracker modulators, Voice Randomization, as well as a new section with three Performer modulators that allow users to draw in up to eight bars of modulation patterns to assign to a parameter.

For playability and variation within a single preset, these patterns can then be assigned to a control octave – useful for live performance or recording sessions – “surpassing the kind of expression normally reserved for traditional instruments,” or for generating and controlling complex movement over long periods of time.


Native Instruments adds in their press release that, in the future, free updates to Massive X will introduce new presets, and expand the instrument’s functionality. “Massive X will evolve alongside the sounds, music, and sonic cultures it helps to create.”

Pricing and availability

Massive X is available from the Native Instruments website for €199 / $199US. Massive users can upgrade for €149/$149, and Massive X is also included in Komplete 12, Komplete 12 Ultimate, and Komplete 12 Ultimate – Collector’s Edition.  A free demo of Massive X is available here, and a Quickstart guide is here.

More information is available on the Native Instruments website.

21 thoughts on “Native Instruments Releases MASSIVE X

  1. Will this synth have high resolution audio-rate modulation? Will it (in the short term) receive 14-bit NRPN or (in the longer term) be MIDI 2.0 ready so it can be a responsive synth?

    We see so many of these hyped-up synths released, and they won’t even respond to basic v1 MIDI control, much less anything more advanced.

    Hopefully, this synth is less dumb than the usual.

      1. It’s a good point. But if I downloaded and tested every hyped synth that came out, my computer would be packed synths I don’t use.

        Which raises another issue which is that documentation often doesn’t mention details about mod sources, mod scan rates, etc. There used to be MIDI implementation documentation, but that’s getting harder to find.

        If someone tries the demo and is curious to check those questions out they can let me know if they feel like it.

  2. I kinda like the overall layout. But the individual components (esp. the OSCs) are too dense and messy. Having hyperlink style elements with underline text in a synth interface is confusing me.
    That of course is my first impression. I guess that after a couple of hours I’ll get used to that. But still…

    1. It`s not very original i give you that. But it highlights some sounds. It gave me ideas. But i think it is very hard to make an impressive soft synth these days

      1. True. I once had enough hardware that I didn’t dig into more than a couple of items fully. Get what you need, but use what you get. Kontakt alone is bursting with Stuff™. If you pile up 20 synths, you’ll never know how powerful any one of them really is. OTOH, if you’re an NI user, its a no-brainer unless you’re already well-stocked with wavetable options. Check out Nick Batt’s usual broad review of it. Plenty of preset examples show it off well. The one real lack is visual feedback of parameter moves in the GUI. Hopefully, that’ll be a update.

  3. “Built from scratch by the same team as its predecessor… ”
    So is this backward compatible with the current Massive?
    Can import Massive preset patches into Massive X?

  4. I think it sounds really good, able to get really complex without getting really muddy and seems to really pop out even with just stagnant waves and no fx. First impression on the interface doesn’t seem as fluid as I thought it would be. It’s soo damn clicky. To select an insert you must first click where it says “off” then you have to click it again to pull up a drop down then you can select your insert, then trying any different config is so time consuming. The E1 E2 and E2 diagrams are almost pointless taking up space and offering no feedback for any parameter changes. Maybe I’ll get use to it, but I find the flow really s^&t ATM.

  5. I’ve been playing around with it for the past few days and I really like it. I cant think of too many synths out there with this many options for audio rate modulation (or modulation in general) at so many voices of polyphony. A lot of people will probably write it off or embrace it as an EDM bro synth for its lineage but I think it excels at heavily textures and evolving pads.

    1. yep. Minimal ambient, drone, noise… are my thing and this Massive X is wonderful for those. I could make an 1 hour album a la Radigue (not as good of course, but not because of the synth :-)) just with this. MX is a wonderful semimodular.

  6. Caution: Massive X will not run on 2009-vintage mac pros. I upgraded to Komplete 12 mostly to get massive X and now I find that it “requires an AVX compatible processor”. In other words they’ve decided to abandon legacy processors that are still plenty powerful, and used by many musicians I know. Sure they give the requirement in the fine print but do not make that obvious when ordering.

  7. After a couple of days with it, I think that it will be a great synth once it is completely (kompletely?) finished. it is more usable than people are saying.

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