• Presets for Massive from Prime Loops

    I am neck-deep in the music production for my forthcoming album Four Track, and just starting the process of redesigning the bass parts for all 13 songs. In preparation for the task I just read most of the manual for Native Instrument’s incredibly popular Massive synthesizer which has a lot of the sound and features I know I will find useful in this project. Thus it comes as good fortune that Primeloops.com contacted us recently, encouraging us to explore the vast offering of loops and synth/sampler presets in their library. This seemed like a great opportunity to see what kind of preset-programming other people have done with Massive, and grow my collection of favorites as starting-points for my own sounds.

    As someone who has done a lot of sound design for my own music, and a fair bit for the likes of Roland, Ableton, and Native Instruments, I understand and appreciate the time and effort that goes into making a preset “playable”. Particularly with a complex engine like Massive, mapping the eight macro controls to useful controls and ranges is key to helping a user experience the sonic range of a preset quickly. Parameters that heavily affect the overall sound like filter cut-off, volume-envelope times, and the wet/dry effects blend, are crucial to create easy-access points for. A given sound might be labeled as a lead, but would work fantastically with as a bass with just a few tweaks to the filter, played in a lower register. That same lead might become a great pad with different attack and release settings.

    I downloaded lots of Prime Loop’s preset packs but the ones that caught my attention most were by Prime Loops Team authors Niall McCallum and Rhythm Lab. Their attention to the important details I mention above makes browsing his presets a joyful and musical experience. Besides that, the bulk of their sounds are rich, detailed, and incredibly expressive. I’ve been through several other preset libraries for Massive recently, and I thought I had heard the full range of what this synth is capable of, but these guys coaxed some highly original and fun sounds from it.

    If you use Massive, and your genre-tastes aren’t too far from those named in these packs, I highly recommend you check out Essential Dubstep, Essential Trap, and give some extra attention to the amazing bass and lead sounds in Essential DnB.

    Do you use preset or loop libraries as a starting place for your music? Any that you’d like to recommend? Let us know in the comments!

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