At first glance I was unsure what NI Maschine actually does. Drum machine, hardware sampler, MIDI controller, control surface… it actually does a little bit of everything.
Maschine is a hardware/software bundle, with powerful sampling, editing, and sequencing capabilities right out of the box. As you’d expect from Native Instruments the 6GB of preset sounds are top-quality, and you’re unlikely to get bored playing with 18,000 samples, 7,000 one-shots, 400 loops, 300 drum kits with 1,400 patterns, 388 sampled instruments, 170 FX/multi-FX presets18,000 samples, 7,000 one-shots, 400 loops, 300 drum kits with 1,400 patterns, 388 sampled instruments, and 170 FX/multi-FX presets.
Your computer’s RAM is the only limit to sample-length and number of samples, and you can import as many of your own REX2/MPC program samples as you need.
A user-friendly browser lets you tag your own imported samples and gives you instant access to any sound from the Maschine library.
Once your sounds are loaded and sequenced, there’s a powerful arsenal of studio-quality effects at your disposal. 22 high-quality effects – from standards such as reverbs, filters and EQs to creative tools like grain-delay, ice verb, freq shifter etc.
Perhaps the most useful software ability is NI Maschine’s full integration with VST, AU, and RTAS plug-in formats, meaning you can add any number of 3rd party plug-ins to Maschine’s arsenal, or indeed use Maschine as a a plug-in within your favourite DAW.
MASCHINE retains all of its capabilities as a plug-in – including total recall and routing up to 16 stereo outs to your host’s mixer. 16 back-lit pads (with velocity and after-touch), 11 high-resolution rotary encoders, and 41 assignable buttons give you direct control of all software functions of your DAW.
The ultra-sensitive pads can be used (rather obviously) to input drum patterns and basslines, but unlike similar units you can also play chords and melodies; with 16 velocity levels, swing (sounds, groups, global), pad-link, and note repeat – and there’s even the option to connect an external MIDI controller if you run out of notes.
All this makes Native Intruments’ Maschine a pretty solid foundation hub for your studio, and – what’s more – you can take it on the road with you to use as an instrument and/or MIDI controller for performing your own tracks, or sync it with other gear to add dynamics to your set.
The controller is super-sturdy yet easily portable, the highly responsive pads and 11 endless rotary knobs are addictively playable, while the two backlit displays keep you informed of what’s going on – even in the most demanding situations.
According to Modeselektor it’s so well-built you can even open a beer with it…
At €599.00 RRP Maschine is the most tactile, most versatile, and (crucially) most fun in any sampling unit on the market.
- Audio Units
- RTAS (Pro Tools 9 or higher)
Windows 7 (latest Service Pack, 32/64 Bit), Intel Core Duo or AMD Athlon 64 X2, 2 GB RAM
Mac OS X 10.6 or 10.7 (latest update), Intel Core Duo, 2 GB RAM
Native 64-bit support for stand-alone and plug-in versions
USB 2.0 Port, 11 GB free disk space for complete installation .
- Width: 320 mm / 12.6″
- Length: 295 mm / 11.6″
- Height: 60 mm / 2.4″
- 1.8 kg / 4 lbs
- 2 displays with 64×256 pixels
- 16 high-quality, illuminated pads with velocity and aftertouch
- 11 endless rotary encoders
- 41 backlit buttons
- USB 2.0