Can’t open a preset in Massive? Good patch keeping practices

NI introduced a new file format for massive. Most of the presets floating on the interwebs are still in .ksd format at the time of writing. Luckily NI made it pretty easy to batch convert your old presets to the new format.
simply go to file>batch convert ksd.
After that you only need to select the right folder and all files will be converted. You'll be prompted to choose where to store the files, replacing the old ones or in a fresh folder, leaving the old ones intact.

1. click file. 2. choose KSD convert

Original Article

  • (everything written down here applies to the new file format too!)

Opening a patch in Massive is quite easy. Yet I get many questions about it. I guess it's a combination of compatibility and unfamiliarity.  Nothing wrong with having a bit of trouble getting to know a synth though.

First thing you need to know is that patches are only downwards compatible. So if a patch has been created in version 1.4, you can only open in it version 1.4+. Any patches created with an earlier version are compatible. So, go to your NI service center and hit update!

The quickest way to load a patch is by clicking on file (next to the massive logo) and locate the ksd file on your desktop. The patch will be loaded when you click on open. But, with a small extra effort there are much better and in the end efficient ways of archiving, opening and saving patches.

Good patch keeping practices

rebuilding your database with the new presets.

Let's assume you downloaded one of my patches and want to load it in Massive. To keep things orderly one should always add the downloaded patch to a sensible loaction. I.E the folder you keep all your (future)patches. Now to make the patch appear in the browser of massive you should add the folder you created containing the downloaded patch. To add the folder to the database click on file in the menu of the browser of your OS when Massive is in standalone mode. From the dropdown menu click on "Options".  Navigate to the browser tab. Now locate the folder via the Add button. Once you added the folder click on rebuilt database.

Next is tagging your patch. Audition the patch in standalone mode or your DAW. Determine which style it is. navigate to the attributes tab and select the genre, style or timbre etc. Add any extra info like "portamento event needed etc"  or anything that might be useful for future use.

Adding styles and tags your patches

Now click on save. The next time you search the categories you selected the saved preset will show up. If you work on multiple projects, always add the project name as a tag. You can add a tag by putting the tag in the comment box in the attributes tab. Once saved with a tag, you can always find the patches of the project quickly. Simply by doing a search for the tag in the browser tab. Anything entered in the comment box is searchable!

This can save you a lot of time in the future. More over if you are a sound designer and need the same type of sounds on semi regular basis. Simply tag your patches with meaningful tags like: suspension, car engine, rumble etc.

46 Responses

  1. i still cant open it, need video though ;[

    • Durk

      The quickest way to load a patch is by clicking on file (next to the massive logo) and locate the ksd file on your desktop. Click open.

      • One Man Wolf Pack

        I don’t think it is possible to open Massive patches if you are using a cracked Massive.

        • basshead

          @onemanwolfpack is that why? i got ahold of a cracked version and cant for the damn life of me open and ksd file?

          • Im using cracked massive and I was able to open .ksd files for 2 weeks,but then something happend and now I cant opern .ksd files anymore..

  2. nix

    hey , i downloaded some patches, managed to get them into my my version of massive but… only the original wave sound plays when i select the patch i want , also when i try and scroll through them it does move from the first patch i previously selected… now iv tried to click on file to convert the batch to ksd or the other way round but in my list iv only got : new sound, open sound, open recent sound,save, save as and options… none ask to convert batch ksd etc!!! whats that all about ?? lol im stuck please help, thanks in advance!!!

    • Durk

      You most likely have a version that still loads KSD files. Updatye via service center for the latest version of Massive.

      • nix

        yeah iv been trying but dude, i swear there websites retarded, its not recognising my passwords and user name, also when it finally logs me in and i click to the service center to upfate i get directed to a freaking blan page!! whats that all about? gosh im looking to scrap this synth full stop!

        • Durk

          Service center is software. When you download it you can use it to update.

      • Dean

        Hi well, i have the 1.1.1 version and i have the presets in massive but like nix, i just can hear the original sound, what can i do?

        • Durk

          You need to update to 1.5+ for them to work.

          • Ishan

            I tried launching service center, but it does not open. :/

          • Durk

            sounds like it needs an update?

  3. Dandee

    Maybe u should just learn how to use it rather than ‘scrap it’

  4. 2Late!

    Ey gozer, ik heb NI Massive geïnstalleerd (crack) en daarna de update, maar hij opent steeds de oude versie als ik de plugin wil openen met Fruity Loops :(

    • Durk

      helaas, je kunt cracks niet updaten.

  5. Carlos

    I have a cracked version of massive and i cant seem to open a KSD file, there are no options on file that say import KSD file. what do i do?

    • Durk

      Buy massive? 😉


    I can’t remember how to import whole Massive patch “packs” all together. It’s a pain to bring them in one at a time. I don’t regularly buy patch “packs” but I know I’ve done it before & was able to see them in the Browser. I know I’m missing a simple step, & it’s driving me mad.

    • Durk

      You need to use MAssive’s browser window search function and select the folder via the tree selector.

      • derek pitts

        My problem is getting the whole file with all it’s patches into the browser’s tree selector, without importing the patches, one by one, into the file that shows up in the browser empty. I ADD> select from Downloads off of hard drive> Rebuild DB. Then I have to > Import KSD sound one by one into the “tree”, cuz the file shows up empty in the browser’s tree. It works, but takes hours. I just want to import the whole file all at once. I’ve done it… I just don’t remember how.

        • Durk

          You dont have to rebuild your database. Go to the browser in the attribute panel, and from there you can load the Bank (A bank is different from db)

  7. derekpitts

    I know this is horrible but, I never use Attributes. I just label everything uniformly so I can type out what I’m looking for. The end result of what I do leaves the complete downloaded patch file nicely in the Browser. I just want to do it in one fell swoop.

    • Durk

      You can load a bank via the Atributes Panel – If you add any “tags” or not is not relevant. If you added the folder to your db it will show up in the tree.

  8. chris

    can you load presets that you have downloaded into the demo version of Massive . it seems to me that you can’t. but it is not directly listed as one of the limitations when you dl the demo version . Makes sense to not be able to save your own but to not be able to load others i kinda of think is dumb . well maybe . i’d just like to know if you knew the answer

    • Durk

      I’m afraid I can’t help you here. Best to ask in the NI forum (I think you can sign up without an account)

  9. DJ MOS

    Guys, its easy, download the 1.0 version an its got a built in converter, but if you have upgraded to 1.1.5 here’s wat you need to do…

    Make sure you save all your presets in the original massive sound folder…

    libaries/documents/native instuments/massive/sounds (then create a file name an save them in here there if you want them in syles/catagories)

    2. open massive
    3.just click FILE/OPTIONS/ADD
    4. locate the folder you made in libaries/documents/native instuments/massive/sounds
    5. YOUR DONE :)

    • Durk

      Already stipulated in RED at the TOP of the page…

  10. Joe

    Massive won’t let me update so I can’t batch convert and can’t open anything.

    • Durk

      Update service center and or contact NI.

  11. Thanks Durk didnt realize how many people didnt read the second paragraph

    • Durk

      Sometimes feels like the skipped the whole article 😉

  12. Adrian

    have updated all versions, not cracked versions of massive and cubase

    my new patches folder appears in my massive standalone file browser

    they are specified Massive patches

    but there are no sounds inside

    do i need to convert the files from ksd or anything?

    i have followed all the online videos to the letter

    but the sounds just don’t appear

    any help much appreciated

    the sounds do appear in the correct desktop folder

    • Durk

      Yes, like specified, you need to batch convert all your .ksd preset to nmsv format.

      Hope this helps. D

      • Adrian

        yes just saw alert at top

        thanks! working perfect now?

        why the format change to nmsv?

        • Durk

          Ni went from Kore to Machine.

  13. Ive tried soo many times, but my massive does not include a .ksd batch converter in the file tab. Is there another way?

    • You’ll have to update in NI Service center. Latest version has the batch convert.

    • Durk

      Update massive, there should be one.

  14. Rodrigo

    Hello, I use the version 1.1.4 of Massive, I downloaded several of Massive’s patch in KSD, but not all open … I wonder what do I do, since they are all in the same format (KSD) bad some open and others not.

    • Durk

      Most likely the ksd that do not open are made with a newer version. When converted all should work.

  15. Ninja Mode

    wow guys, just double click the file then if you really wana save it with your other presets just cut and paste it where you want or follow what this article says lol. its common sense if you ask me, surprised theres even a guide for something like this! too many people out there cracking massive and not asking NI forums for help/ brain dead from using too much pirated software.

  16. Fuck, the fuck, i’m just so fucking frustrated… Please, oh my fucking god!, what do i must do? These options don’t appear for me!, why? shit…

  17. This was extremely helpful, thank you.

  18. Hi!
    Thanks for the tutorial.
    Recently I got hold of a huge amount of presets. Now these presets are not tagged.
    As I am working on two computers (one in my office and one at home) I usually sync my ableton user folder which holds everything (samples, projects, presets of all synths). Does the tagging information get stored within the preset file so it will sync as well or is the tag stored somewhere else?
    I really don’t want to make an effort and realize I have to do it again as the tags don’t get stored within the preset file.

    • Durk

      Hey np.

      Yup, the meta info is stored in the preset file itself.

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