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I bought the Native Instruments Machine a little over a year ago. Many users were upset with the limited features that were available out of the box.. The new version 1.5 brings a host of new improvements:
New and improved features:
- Performance page with eight assignable "Macro Controls" per Group
- Host Automation support
- Support for MIDI Continuous Controller and Pitchbend
- MPC program import (500/1000/2000(XL)/2500/3000/4000 models)
- "Save Project with samples" function for easily portable songs
- Enhanced slicing with editable markers and new "split" mode
- Destructive audio editing with trim, normalize, copy/paste, fade etc.
- New "Project default" preferences including project template
- New "vintage sound" MPC 60 and SP1200 emulation modes
- 16 Velocity Levels mode for controller
- New effect algorithm: Grain Stretch
- New "Add to Sample Map" function in browser
- New "Copy Sound without Note Events" option
- Adjustable polyphony limit per Sound
- "Direct Monitor" option in sampling mode
- MIDI export for patterns, including Drag and Drop to host
- Improved event editing via controller
- Improved waveform navigation via controller
- Various other enhancements
The Maschine hardware has been updated to include more functionality with editing of the on-board samples. This saves time by not having to use an external sample editor and then re-importing. Now you can slice to re-arrange loops and change the tempo. These workflow improvements include dedicated buttons to change the display and place the slices to the pads allowing the user to create all new arrangements of loops. There are buttons which which can be linked to trim, normalize, fade, zoom etc.. With some practice you can a lot of time and effort by not having to switch back and forth from the hardware to the mouse and plugin. The hardware unit can handle almost all the features available in the plugin.
There is Drag and drop midi, and drag and drop of audio to you DAW. You can also export the midi as a file to be dropped as well.
Macro Controls can be assigned to endless rotary knobs on the hardware. You can record the movements in real time in your DAW or use the macros as automation sources in your recording software. You can assign the macros to filter cutoff, gain stretch, sample reverse etc. To create endless and interesting sound changes.
Sounds to Midi Notes don’t play well with all sequencers. DAW integration with Logic and Pro Tools seem to have some difficulty sensing the midi feedback loop. This makes it difficult to use the sounds to midi feature and play machine sounds on the fly and have them record in real time in your DAW.
There is Improved integration with external sound integrating sources. You can now use a Maschine pad to drive an external sound source such as a hardware keyboard using the midi output of Maschine.
The new update allows you to save projects along with samples in a folder of your choosing. This makes it easy to travel and share a projects with other musicians you are working with and not have to worry about missing samples.
Included in the update are over 1 GB of additional samples. There are 100 new multi-sampled instruments and 15 new kits; including vintage kits from Goldbaby.
A huge new feature is the ability to audition kits with allows independent Kit and pattern loading. Now you can audition several kits with your newly created pattern to see which sounds work the best.
Even with the update Machine can still be frustrating to try and record an arrangement on the fly. Pattern changes can’t be triggered by midi and you have to alter some settings in the Maschine menu and your DAW to get them to work.
It takes some practice to find a workflow with Maschine, but there is an excellent reward when you adapt to the device. The feel of the pads and buttons are first rate. Version 1.5 is a significant and important update.
Maschine is Approx. $599