Massive is a pretty impressive synthesiser and one can spent days tweaking existing sounds or creating new ones. Luckily for the rest of us there is a huge amount on commercial available sounds from experienced and established sound designers and it seems as if new providers are popping up every day.
Download and Installation
Well it was easy. After purchase a download link is emailed which “will expire shortly. You will no longer be able to use these links to receive downloads after that time”.
Time is relevant anyway so what is “shortly” for one is “plenty of time” for the other, but fear not. Even if you are like me knowing only two times: “now” and “later” (where the “later”, suddenly, becomes “now” or silently desolates into “never” ) there is still hope, cause you can request an additional download if you need to.
Once you have downloaded them you have to (as in most sound-set for Massive) just place the sound-set folders into wherever you’ve got your Massive sound directory. Or just put it anywhere and tell Massive (in options browser tab) where it is.
Whenever I get a new sound-set I tend to go through all patches and listen to find my favourites. This is why I love the ratings some synths offer but for the ones that lack this feature I created a slightly odd method to do so. Odd fits with Oddmospheres quite well so here we go:
I create a project in my DAW containing a track in which I insert Massive. I start with the first sound play some notes, I may even record a small riff, and if I decide I would possibly use the sound I save the project and duplicate the track. In the new track I move on to the next sound until I find the next keeper. And so on and so on.
The interesting side effect from the above method is that I end up with an amount of tracks including my favourites form the collection. In this case I ended up with a big number of the sounds in my temp project. Actually 27 form Oddmospheres and 29 from Oddmopsheres 2 which is a good ratio for a set with 53 respectively 55 patches.
Usability & Patches
The oddmospheres 1 and 2 patches are lively, cinematic, sounds. Lots of motion, movement and character. The range from delicate ethereal to (my favourites) gritty aggressive sounds (which really works great in the project I am involved right now) there’s a lot of material there and the company description of the bundle really fits the bill:
“For use in ambient, cinematic filmscore, and minimal genres inspired by modern film, game, and trailer scores. 108 unusual instrument patches.
- Hybrid Pad/Leads – full of character and subtle nuance.
- Rhythms – most patches include a macro that can add (or subtract) pulsing rhythms
- FX – intense risers and drops that would scare a Transformer
- Each instrument includes eight MIDI assignable macros for sound shaping control!”
I would like to focus to two “small” details that are very important to me personally.
First of all: I do not mind using presets. Actually I like it. I never understood why should I be ashamed or why should I have to change the sound of an experienced sound designer when it fits my needs. If I can afford it in the same way of hiring musicians to play in my projects, mastering engineers to master, I would hire a sound designer to create patches for me and use them as-is.
Anyway having said that, no sound ever fits EXACTLY my projects (and even real instruments as wonderful as they sound on their own, in the context I always need to adjust the sound). So I will always adjust, tweak and change not because “I have to” but because I feel I need to (when I need). Often will do the simple EQ and compressing thing, but sometimes I need to simply extend or shorten releases or tweak the sound to something slightly different but not totally etc etc.
Oddmospheres patches come with 8 knobs assigned to some of the most important parameters of the sound. Manipulating the sound is extremely easy (especially if you like me, not know a lot about the patch) as is automating sound manipulations in your DAW. Instinctively on this soundest I would always read for the knobs called “Morph” “Drive” “Dir” or “Pulse” . Luckily some of the patches have all of the above mentions like one of my favourite patches: Flynns Arcade.
Some other favourite patches that I will be certainly using in my next project (Lots of sound-design and percussion elements project) are :
- Dirt Drifter
- Flynns Arcade
- Gritty galway
- Pulsar Dream
- Solar Saler
- Tocket to Discorida
- Triforce Rising
- CirCuit Dust
- Kaju Incoming
- Rust flower
- Troubled soul
Second thing I do love is information. The shorter and preciser the better, but hey, as long as it is not in the category “TMI” I’ll take it. Knowing the idea the intention behind a sound, helps to use in in the right place. Having it written also helps to find a sound when you search for it.
That and correct, accurate tags, like some of my favourite sound designers do . Making searching for the right sound a bliss. Like here the info (metadata) in the patch “Kaiju Incoming” from Oddmosphere II:
“It’s at least a Category 4 Kaiju. At least. This patch is a pretty intense tension builder. I created it around 110bpm, so if it seems too fast at higher tempos just adjust the sync rate on the LFOs and Performer.“
Searching for “tension” in Massive’s search field will also list this sound. Easy, fast, accurate. Thank you SampleOddity (and the others who do invest the time to tag and comment on their sounds!!)
Another nice example: the metadata on Flynns Arcade: “Lots of interesting sound shaping tools here. Drive it, dirty it up, or play it clean… but what old arcade was ever clean, really? Enter the machine. Just try not to choke on the dust. I like this between 110-130 bpm… but you can always adjust the rates of LFO 5 and 6.”
Someone put time in it, to give us something more on top of the great sound!!!
Sample Oddity has not really been in my focus but after working with this soundest I will be definitely going to check out their other releases. There’s a lot of weird, strange, unusual stuff coming out their computers, I like that.