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MASSIVE


Carbon111

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Originally posted by Tusker:

How's the piano sound? :freak:;)

:D

 

Smooooooth... Like Buttah.

 

http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j94/leeshi78/lindarichman6.jpg

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Originally posted by Tusker:

Thanks for the review. It sounds very cool ...

 

... but does it um, sound like analog?

 

How's the piano sound? :freak:;)

Actually, its pretty close. NI intended this to fill a role very much like the Access Virus...

 

Funny you should mention piano, I've programmed the most responsive, sweet-sounding e-piano I ever have yesterday evening.

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Cool review! I look forward to listening to the demo.

 

To test for aliasing, btw:

* Make a really bright sound, however the synthesis method works.

* keep distortion/saturation off for now.

* play a chromatic scale in the highest octave. Listen for distortion and for a random counterpoint line (the aliasing sidebands).

* hold a very high note, and move the pitch-bend wheel. Listen for distortion and random sidebands (sounds like scanning a short-wave radio).

* repeat in mid-high octaves.

* one by one, enable various aliasing-causing processes, such as oscillator sync, fm, ring mod, saturation, etc., and for each, repeat the processes above.

* if you're curious, hook up a frequency analyser (there are free plug-ins that do this) and watch to see if playing in the high octaves causes activity in the low-end, which is generally caused by aliasing.

 

Most synths, including the ones that I work on, will start to show aliasing at some point in the tests above. The aliasing may or may not be particularly audible, of course, and also may or may not detract from the sound. Sometimes aliasing is part of the character!

 

I've been surprised, recently, to read several reviews in a well-respected magazine which claimed that the synths in question were free of aliasing - when I had used the above tests and found aliasing quite easily.

 

- Dan

Dan Phillips

Manager of Product Development, Korg R&D

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I wonder why it's apparently so hard to get aliasing down to acceptable levels, and why it's apparently impossible to remove entirely?

 

I guess "no aliasing" really means it's down to acceptable levels; some "virtual analog" soft-synths have rather audible aliasing as low as, say, an octave and a half above middle C. Still "low aliasing" would be more accurate.

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Dan, doesn't the issue of aliasing lessen considerably as you up the sample rate? NI synths used to let to choose higher sample rates (this is internal to the synth, not the sample rate of the system). Most people are still running at 44.1K/48K.

 

I remember testing the Yamaha AN1x and found what I would call severe aliasing. Still it's pretty cool sounding little synth.

 

Busch.

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Originally posted by burningbusch:

Dan, doesn't the issue of aliasing lessen considerably as you up the sample rate?

Yes, absolutely; higher sample rates will help to reduce aliasing, with oscillators as well as with dynamics processing (compressors/limiters/gates) and saturation/distortion. Basically, this is due to the tension between digital audio's conception of "infinite" frequency (1/2 the sample rate) and actual infinite frequency.

 

But, as I understand it, you'd have to have a pretty high sample rate indeed to get good aliasing performance out of a square wave or sawtooth without doing further tricks. If untamed, those sharp edges generate *seriously* high frequencies. Google "blep oscillator" for info (highly technical) on some ways to address this issue.

 

Fortunately for everyone, musicians are becoming more cognizant of these issues, and companies are working harder to address them. Growing amounts of dsp/cpu power help, too. :-)

 

For more comments on sampling rate, aliasing, and related issues, see this article I wrote a few years ago for Electronic Musician:

 

http://emusician.com/mag/emusic_debunking_digitalaudio_myths/index.html

 

(Scroll down to "Myth No. 7: All digital synths and effects sound the same.")

 

- Dan

Dan Phillips

Manager of Product Development, Korg R&D

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Originally posted by Dan Phillips:

For more comments on sampling rate, aliasing, and related issues, see this article I wrote a few years ago for Electronic Musician:

 

http://emusician.com/mag/emusic_debunking_digitalaudio_myths/index.html

"When asked why one of the chips was abnormally noisy and performing more like a 14-bit D/A than its 20-bit spec suggested, the representative responded that it was 20 bits with 6 bits of marketing."

 

:D:thu:

 

"A full-bandwidth audio signal processed with a limiter or a compressor with fast attack or decay times falls into that category; the faster the attack or release and the greater the compression or limiting amount, the more aliasing you hear. That is the cause of the crunchiness many people hear in digital-dynamics processors. Again, clever programming, especially oversampling, can minimize these aliasing artifacts."

 

Yikes. Seems many forms of digital audio processing need careful evaluation for aliasing issues.

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The online sound quality dosen't do it justice.

 

They said a downloadable demo version of the synth will be put up at some point...then people can judge for themselves.

 

It passed the "alias" test splendidly...this with just a modest M-audio Audiophile 2496 card running on a 2.3ghz WindowsXP PC with a Gig of ram.

 

The firmware in my little MP3 recorder is trashed so my demos won't be recorded for a while yet...please be patient.

 

I had a number of people over for a party this last weekend and all but one of my guests thought it sounded absolutely great. The guy who thought it was only "ok" is of the opinion that all NI stuff is "samey" and is a huge analog affecionado...I don't think its quite as warm as a real analog synth but its quite a bit warmer than any other digital synth I've played. And the kind of moving textures I'm getting from it could only come from a wavetable synth - the honeymoon has just begun :)

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  • 2 weeks later...
Originally posted by Carbon111:

It passed the "alias" test splendidly...this with just a modest M-audio Audiophile 2496 card running on a 2.3ghz WindowsXP PC with a Gig of ram

[From

http://community.sonikmatter.com/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=33836&view=findpost&p=201114 ]

 

"There was an interesting interview with NI about (among other things) the development of Massive in last month's Future Music. They were saying that the sample rate of each process in Massive is kept as high as possible."

 

Interesting.

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Originally posted by zvenx:

the downloadable demo is available now.

rsp

Thanks for the info, just downloaded MASSIVE and FM8. :D

 

I haven't got around to doing the above aliasing test, but some of the MASSIVE presets appear to (audibly) alias in the high registers. That said, the aliasing performance appears to be good... although the CPU use is pretty heavy! And why don't Native Instruments supply a nice set of 'bread and butter' presets rather than all this 'too cool for that' postmodern stuff?

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Its a wavetable synth, not a rompler. I wouldn't expect electric pianos and orchestral strings...

 

That said, I do think its good for bass and lead duties, not just weird evolving landscapes like most wavetable synths ;)

 

As far as aliasing goes, I've set the "quality" master seting to high. You're right though - I did notice some aliasing on the high end of my 88 key controller...not too bad, mind you.

 

I am still totally loving this synth!

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Originally posted by Carbon111:

Its a wavetable synth, not a rompler. I wouldn't expect electric pianos and orchestral strings...

 

That said, I do think its good for bass and lead duties, not just weird evolving landscapes like most wavetable synths ;)

 

As far as aliasing goes, I've set the "quality" master seting to high. You're right though - I did notice some aliasing on the high end of my 88 key controller...not too bad, mind you.

 

I am still totally loving this synth!

PPGs were used for lots of beautiful sounds, weren't they? Whereas many of these presets from Native Instruments I'd call a postmodern disaster--quite ugly. (FM8--which BTW appears to be a quality jump over FM7--also seems to have this problem.)

 

(I don't mean electric pianos and strings by 'bread and butter'--the JP-8000 'SuperSaw' sound is a 'bread and butter' synth sound by now, for example. Although (for example) my MKS-70 has very beautiful electric pianos and nice string presets, so I wouldn't say no to that, either.)

 

Originally posted by Carbon111:

As far as aliasing goes, I've set the "quality" master seting to high. You're right though - I did notice some aliasing on the high end of my 88 key controller...not too bad, mind you.

Looks like mine is set to 'Use Preset Setting,' but all the presets I tried so far are set to 'Ultra' quality. CPU use still seems pretty bad with the 'High' setting, only 'Eco' brings a huge reduction.
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