Oct 1

New Native Instruments Maschine Studio Hardware and Version 2.0 Software

Well life is full of surprises. I say surprises but I suppose we were all expecting at some point to see version 2.0 software for the Maschine, but were we expecting a super cool glossy-looking new maschine with two fab hi-res colour screens (480×272 pixels)? Maschine still exists but we now have a flagship model – Native Instruments Maschine Studio available one month from today on 1 November 2013 at a price of .. ouch! – 999 Euros.

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I cannot deny the fact that this version of Maschine really does look the Poodles Plums and immediately cries out “Buy Me – Buy Me”. As a new user to Maschine, the first question that came to my mind is will the version 2.0 software work on my existing Maschine. Seeing what Native Instruments are like, I convinced myself the answer to this would be a “Yes” but I wanted proof. On trying to get an answer to this I thought I would have a look at their Site and in particular the ‘Comparison’ page designed to assist you to decide which model of Maschine is right for you. Amongst the list was Full version of MASCHINE 2.0 software and I am very pleased to say this is included on all three models – Maschine Studio, Maschine and Maschine Mikro. Well thats a relief.

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So the next bit of pondering is, will it be a free upgrade and if not, what will they charge? Well it only free to people buying a Maschine or Mikro from todat through release. For everyone else it will be 99 Euros ($99). I suppose that is not bad considering what you are getting here. Also what is included in this software? Native Instruments state “MASCHINE 2.0 delivers a spectacular, tag-based visual browser, unlimited groups and insert effects, sidechaining, and a sleek, intuitive mixer – all directly accessible from the hardware. MASCHINE 2.0 hosts any VST or AU plug-in and perfectly integrates into any studio setup as a plug-in in all major DAWs. The software also boasts full multi-core support for ultra-fast performance” Well that has more than caught my attention.

If I get all of this for my existing Maschine, what am I missing out on (apart from the new screens) if I don’t upgrade to the new hardware. Native Instruments clever marketing here is implying that you do not need to upgrade the hardware and that their new flagship model – The Maschine Studio is aimed at producers who want unprecedented physical control and visual feedback without ever needing a mouse or computer screen. Going back to the comparison screen, there does not seem to be too many differences to warrant spending just under 1000 Euros.

The Studio has a built in collapsible stand and a power adaptor included. Neither of these seem to be that important. You can buy a stand for Maschine and it is Bus powered by USB. The Number of back-lit click buttons for direct parameter access is 39 on Maschine but this has been increased to 58 on Maschine Studio and includes dedicated Edit buttons. You can still Edit on Maschine but you need the use of the ‘Shift’ key. There is no doubt in mind that the Screens will make a big difference and Native Instruments insist that you will get enhanced ultra fast hardware focussed workflow with Studio as you will be able to see full waveform, pattern, scenes on the left display and detail view on right display. Also the Mixer is visible direct in the hardware. Lastly around the back the Maschine Studio has 3 MIDI Outs instead of 1.

OK say what about some more good news? I have just seen that the Version 2 Software has some great new plug-Ins called Drum Synth for you to create your own perfectly-tuned electronic and acoustic drum sounds in truly peerless sound quality. There are Five monophonic drum plug-ins – Kick, Snare, Hi-Hat, Tom and Percussion. I can’t wait to try these out and I have been told these sound fantastic.

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The Version 2.0 software provides you with a UI that delivers easier arrangement. It now has a proper mixer page, custom heads-up displays for NI plug-inss, a new browser and a much cleaner look – excellent. There are many other goodies including a new reverb, note repeat now has Gate, smarter control mapping, better sampling, sidechain anything and no more plug-in limit. What I like the best is no more group limit- yes that is what I said, you don’t just have to have 8 groups, how good is that – that is worth the $99 alone – Wow.

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Hold on I have found another one, you can now Route up to 16 stereo outs to your DAW for complete track isolation when mixing – Yes.

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