2009 NAMM Show: Native Instruments today announced Maschine, their next-generation music production workstation – a sort of Akai MPC/computer hybrid.
Maschine combines an advanced software sequencer and sampler with an integrated MPC-style performance controller. Maschine is designed to provide a tactile and immediate interface to computer-based music production setups.
I was skeptical about Maschine going into the announcement, but after seeing how effectively NI has married the MPC concept with computer-based production, Maschine looks like it should go on the short list for anyone looking for a production workstation.
With Maschine, all the main functions, including parameter automation, sample mapping and sound editing are immediately accessible through the controller and within the single-window user interface of the software. It can be used as both a self-contained standalone instrument and within any DAW or music sequencer.
Maschine takes advantage of all the benefits of computer integration, like total recall, superior processing power, memory and file handling and project transfer, while retaining the handling and tactile appeal of a hardware instrument.
Maschine will be available in March 2009 for a suggested retail price of $669 / 599 EUR. Street is expected to be about $599 US.
Check out the details below, along with a few photos from the introduction, and let me know what you think of Maschine!
The Maschine Controller
The Maschine controller was designed as a natural extension of the software, and makes the system feel and respond as a true instrument.
- 16 pressure-sensitive drum pads have been carefully engineered for response and durability. They illuminate to help you visualize sequence patterns and other crucial information.
- Eight rotary encoders, a concise layout of dedicated buttons and dual high-resolution displays give immediate access to all functions of Maschine without touching the computer mouse or keyboard.
- All features are quickly accessible “on the surface”, rather than hidden away in hierarchical sub menus.
- The Maschine hardware also doubles as a powerful universal controller for any MIDI compatible music gear, thanks to an included MIDI mapping application and support of the MCU protocol for sophisticated DAW control.
Making Music With Maschine
The real-time audio recording and resampling features in Maschine let you capture, map, sculpt and transform any external or internal signal immediately, and integrate the result into a running track, without ever breaking the flow of the music.
Multiple performance effects sections on the sample, group and master level provide a versatile arsenal of 20 high-quality algorithms ranging from conventional to experimental, all optimized for sound shaping and creative real-time control through the Maschine hardware.
If you’ve got a standard control keyboard, Maschine will recognize it, letting you play synths from the keyboard while producing with the Maschine controller.
The Maschine Sample Library
Maschine comes with a massive Native Instruments library of drum and instrument sounds targeting contemporary urban and electronic music styles, created in collaboration with international producers and sound designers. Maschine provides hundreds of drum kits, synthesizer sounds and acoustic instruments, with around ten thousand individual sounds overall.
All kits, instruments, samples and effects can be managed and located through a browser that uses categories and concise metadata.