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Sylenth vs. Serum vs Massive vs. Nexus vs. Hive Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 19th October 2015
  #1
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Sylenth vs. Serum vs Massive vs. Nexus vs. Hive

Hey guys, I'm looking to buy a new VST synth and I'm not quite sure on what I want to get at this time.

I currently use Sylenth and I do like it, however I want to be able to have a complimentary synth that I can use as well so I'm not limited to only Sylenth made sounds.

I produce mainly big room/electro & future house.

My question to you is, which should I purchase next? What recommendations, comments, likes/dislikes do you have about each?

Massive
Serum
Spire
Nexus (not really into it in comparison to these others)
Hive (relatively new, was thinking about this one)
Old 19th October 2015
  #2
In my mind, Massive is a must have - sure, it sounds digital (GASP), but it is super versatile and capable.

I have all those you listed except Nexus (tried it, didn't gel with me), and Massive is the one amongst those that gets the most use. That being said, I use Omnisphere 2 for synth sounds far more often than the "dedicated" synths, mainly because I know it. I suspect you really know Sylenth, and are looking for something massively different - and if that is the case, I'd go looking somewhere else than what you listed. I'd go either with a "big rompler" like Omnisphere (yes, it is expensive, but it does EVERYTHING) or an FM/Modular-oriented synth (Zebra comes to mind) before Hive or Massive...

Or, and this is my real advice, just get Komplete and mess with the synths that come with it. There are basically infinite sounds in there, especially if you put in the time with Reaktor and Kontakt. The pre-built Reaktor units (Monark, Spark, Razor) are excellent, as well. I would not under any circumstances recommend getting Massive on its own - the extra $300 for Komplete is WELL worth it! The only thing that you really miss in Ultimate (other than the sample libraries) is Razor, but you'll be busy with all the new toys in any case...
Old 19th October 2015
  #3
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For those genres I would pick Hive first, first it has the big sound (thanks to unison and super saw) that is used a lot, has way more modulation options than Sylenth but is still easy to use.

My second pick would be massive which would be very similar but with some more waveforms.

Serum can do anything but has far more options and would be a little "too much" for the sounds used on those genres.

Nexus is way too expensive for what it is.
Old 19th October 2015
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dented42ford View Post
In my mind, Massive is a must have - sure, it sounds digital (GASP), but it is super versatile and capable.

I have all those you listed except Nexus (tried it, didn't gel with me), and Massive is the one amongst those that gets the most use. That being said, I use Omnisphere 2 for synth sounds far more often than the "dedicated" synths, mainly because I know it. I suspect you really know Sylenth, and are looking for something massively different - and if that is the case, I'd go looking somewhere else than what you listed. I'd go either with a "big rompler" like Omnisphere (yes, it is expensive, but it does EVERYTHING) or an FM/Modular-oriented synth (Zebra comes to mind) before Hive or Massive...

Or, and this is my real advice, just get Komplete and mess with the synths that come with it. There are basically infinite sounds in there, especially if you put in the time with Reaktor and Kontakt. The pre-built Reaktor units (Monark, Spark, Razor) are excellent, as well. I would not under any circumstances recommend getting Massive on its own - the extra $300 for Komplete is WELL worth it! The only thing that you really miss in Ultimate (other than the sample libraries) is Razor, but you'll be busy with all the new toys in any case...
Thank you for the response. I am pretty well-versed with Sylenth, I have spent a lot of time practicing what each particular tool is able to do as well as watching tons of masterclasses.

I REALLY like Omnisphere, however for its price it's a bit expensive whereas I could purchase both Massive and Spire for an equal or lesser price.

With that said, I was looking into Massive or Zebra2. I can't for the life of me make up my mind with this so I'm looking forward to other people's opinions

Once again thank you
Old 19th October 2015
  #5
Gear Head
 

Before buying any of them you should see this, maybe it will help somehow:





Old 19th October 2015
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by KennyTroy View Post
Massive
Serum
Spire
Nexus (not really into it in comparison to these others)
Hive (relatively new, was thinking about this one)
To make it less of an apples/oranges comparison I'd break it down like this:
  • Massive vs Serum: Serum sounds wonderful and might have a little more programmability potential, but it also is a HUGE CPU hog. It is actually the single heaviest plugin I've used, CPU-wise. Massive sounds great, has a huge library (which is even larger if you get into Maschine expansions), super easy to program, and is much lighter on your system. I prefer Massive. (Massive also has one of the best preset browsers ever, if you're a preset user.)
  • Spire vs Hive: Both great-sounding synths, and both easy to program. In my opinion, Hive has the edge here, mainly in terms of usability. Just a really well-designed interface that makes it quick and powerful to navigate. (And Spire is not BAD in this department; Hive is just pretty close to perfection, for what it is.) Hive's sound also feels warmer versus Spire's more clinical sound (not a value judgement, both types of sound have their place), but that could just be a matter of what I was using them for at the time?
  • Nexus - Certainly a different breed from the others, but I also think it's great. In my experience the real key to Nexus is getting the effects and EQ under control when you're trying to work it into an arrangement. The Nexus presets are designed to sound amazing when you're previewing them, but the default effects and spectrum of many of the patches is often too much for a standard arrangement. Very quick and easy to tweak that stuff, though. The folder-based library structure they use is pretty weird- esp. once you start adding expansions, but you can use search filters to make finding/browsing patches way fast.

EDIT: And like at least one other person mentioned, if you already have Sylenth1 then Spire and Hive- while excellent- won't buy you as much as Massive, Serum, or Nexus, in terms of new sound options considering what you're already using.

Last edited by UltimateOutsider; 20th October 2015 at 06:17 AM..
Old 20th October 2015
  #7
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Complimentary : probably Massive
Old 20th October 2015
  #8
Massive is a boring suggestion but there are some really excellent preset packs for it that makes it hard to ignore...Massive and Serum Id say. Hive is similar to Sylenth. Nexus is limited as a synth.
Old 20th October 2015
  #9
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 View Post
Massive is a boring suggestion but there are some really excellent preset packs for it that makes it hard to ignore...Massive and Serum Id say. Hive is similar to Sylenth. Nexus is limited as a synth.
I have every synth listed in this thread, except Hive, which I will probably get soon. Upgraded to Omni 2 the day it released. I have 2 workstations set up identically in 2 rooms. Both get used a lot by a couple of different producers/composers, including myself.

Nexus gets more use here than any of the others. I'm sure that's a bit genre dependent, but people who write Nexus off quickly are making a mistake in my opinion. I did spend some dollars on a fairly large Nexus library and I'm sure that's part of it, but I find I get to sounds that just work often and quickly with Nexus. Super easy to change the FX and other parameters.

No, it's not going to cut it for sound design or hardcore, obsessive synth tweakers. But for making current and relevant sounding music, I think it's pretty great, even with Komplete Ultimate, Omni 2, etc, etc sitting on the same system.
Old 20th October 2015
  #10
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Another vote for Massive. Sylenth was my go-to synth until the whole 64 bit fiasco so I was kind of forced to get into Massive, and now that I can use both together again I definitely would say they're complimentary. Overall I would probably recommend Massive over any of the synths that's I've used on that list - so many waveform/routing options to create a variety of sounds in electronic music. I also do have an appreciation for Omnisphere and Nexus, but generally don't use either as a primary synth.

I agree with the previous post about Komplete. There's so much in there to use besides Massive that makes it the best value.
Old 20th October 2015
  #11
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If you're in to Massive or Serum territory, another one to look out for would be Harmor. In terms of pure balls, Harmor has it in spades. I've got all three, and if I'm looking for a truly big and thick sound, Harmor gets me there quickest. Still love Massive for the performance sequencers, and Serum for custom wavetable imports. All 3 are great tools.
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