The Drum Broker and Big Noise MPC have announced their Akai MPC2000XL Giveaway, a chance to win a custom MPC2000XL and a 16 GB MPC2000XL flash drive with all Drum Broker kits and breaks.
Your chance to win this custom Akai MPC2000XL + all Drum Broker sample packs.
We are giving away a HUGE prize package to one lucky individual June 1st, 2013 which includes the following:
Customized Akai MPC2000XL from Big Noise MPC featuring:
2-Tone Bamboo Skin.
Grey Rubber Deck Embellishment.
MC-2000XL Flash Card Reader (new SATA to ATAPI version).
32MB Internal Memory.
Thick Fat Black Pads, Pad Corx.
Custom Pad Damping System.
Upgraded Knobs & Slider.
Large Rubber Feet.
16GB Akai MPC 2000XL Flash Drive Packed with the ENTIRE Drum Library (All Kits & Breaks) from The Drum Broker.
To enter, either leave your email address at the contest page, follow the tweet to win procedure, or purchase any products on the Big Noise MPC & Drum Broker sites from February 15, 2013 until May 31, 2013. The winner will be announced on June 1st, 2013.
First there was the Maschine, then came Maschine Mikro, and now Native Instruments has updated both to mk2 with new software features, an improved controller, and additional hardware accessories.
For those who have never heard of Maschine before, it is basically a combination of music production software with a dedicated hardware controller. A tightly integrated system that can be used standalone – including hosting of 3rd party plugins, or as a plugin in another host. The groovebox-like hardware controller can also be used to control external hardware and software via MIDI with Maschine’s MIDI mode.
Now, I realize I am a bit late to the party with this review, and to be honest after checking some earlier reviews I found pretty much everything I would like to say has already been written at Oh Drat. So I’ll try my best not to ruminate and list everything you can already find at the Native Instruments website anyway, and instead just mention a few things I found particularly interesting when using the new Maschine.
Multi-colored pads and group buttons on the Maschine mk2 controller.
While the rainbow colored, toy-like appearance did not appeal to me a whole lot at first, I found myself using color coding on sounds and groups pretty much from day one. I already did the same thing in other music production software to indicate groups of instruments, sounds, effects, etc. and having the same kind of thing in Maschine is a definite workflow improvement for me.
Besides having multi-color LEDs, the pads also have a much improved sensitivity. I thought the pads on the original Maschine were really good, but to me the Mk2 is an order of magnitude better still. The sensitivity is just amazing, even at really low velocities. I can now confidently tap away the night without worrying about waking up my kids in the next room.
I also enjoy the new screens a lot better, easier on the eyes and improved readability. It has helped me to do more from the hardware controller where before I would jump to the computer screen. The fact that you can now audition samples from the hardware before committing helps a lot too.
The new screens on the mk2 are very good in places where you have very little light.
On the whole many of these changes are seemingly minimal improvements, but in fact they are most useful. Like the little click response on buttons, something I didn’t even know I wanted until the mk2 came along, what a lovely improvement.
On the software part I feel that Native Instruments has an extremely difficult job. Besides implementing some of the new features to go with the hardware, there are tons of feature requests from existing and potential customers. It is not likely you’re ever going to be able to please everyone with any update, much less a point update.
Time stretch/pitch shift is a much requested feature that was implemented, but… for some reason it is not a real-time process. While the results of processed audio is impressive, it kind of stumps me why can’t just have a preview and commit function?
The additions of the Transient Master module, some new tape and tube saturation models for the Saturator module, and a free copy of the Massive software synthesizer are nice bonus.
With MASCHINE 1.8, all MASCHINE users get the full version of the modern legend MASSIVE – the synth that gave birth to the earth-shuddering bass tones and speaker-troubling leads that have defined the bass music genre. This monster synth contains 1,300 ready-to-go sounds, all instantly browseable via the MASCHINE hardware. MASCHINE’s eight control knobs offer direct access to MASSIVE’s eight Macro controls, for perfect synergy between hardware and synthesizer, and a lightning-fast workflow.
It is my guess that over time, Native Instruments is going to be integrating more and more of its sounds & effects into the Maschine package.
There are a bunch more improvements, of which I want to mention one that may seem minor but it certainly made my day. You can now use both your hands for recording automation of parameters by pinning down the “Auto Write”. I record automation a whole lot so this little feature is a godsend to me.
What didn’t get much attention is MIDI. I work pretty much completely in the box so it’s no big deal to me, but if you use a lot of external gear and need full MIDI implementation with MIDI CC and multiple outputs, version 1.8 does not yet bring what you’re looking for. Native Instruments never said they would implement this in the update so can’t blame them really, but it would be good to see full MIDI support nonetheless. I haven’t a clue how much work it is to get it implemented, perhaps it will take version 2.0 to get it…
The custom kits are available in a variety of colors.
Some companies were already offering custom stickers and modifications for the original Maschine, so Native Instruments cleverly pulled the market towards themselves by offering a custom kit with faceplate and knobs in various colors. Granted, the pricing of these kits is a bit steep, but I have to say they look really good. Great quality and replacing the magnetic faceplate and knobs is really easy.
The stand is also something you could probably do yourself for less money, but again, great quality piece of hardware and it looks sleek. It can be mounted on standard drum hardware with the included Mounting Adapter.
Alright, to finish I want to show the obligatory Jeremy Ellis video. It should be said that this makes me want to sit down with my Maschine all day, but realize that it is not likely you will ever get anywhere near the amazing stuff he does. At least, this is truth in my case.
Also, for a great overview of everything new in Maschine mk2 and the 1.8 software, check out this excellent video by Dubspot’s Matt Cellitti.
So what do I think?
Product: Native Instruments Maschine mk2 Format: VST/AU/RTAS/Standalone Price: 599 EUR / $669 USD Like: Amazing pads, great screens, many workflow improvements, fun! Don’t like: No real-time time stretch, No full MIDI implementation Verdict: 9/10
Improved pads, screens & workflow, new effects and the Massive synth included. No earth shaking features perhaps, but with mk2 the Maschine platform is moving along rather nicely.
At the same retail price of the first model, Native Instruments is definitely offering a superior package with Maschine mk2. For those who already have the original Maschine, the software update is free. Personally, I enjoy the pads and colored LEDs so much to justify getting the mk2, but whether the controller improvements are worth the upgrade or not is up to you.
There is still a lot of room for Maschine to grow, and I am pretty confident that Native Instruments is going to tackle some of the top feature requests in future upgrades, but as is, Maschine mk2 remains an amazing piece of gear. Native Instruments calls it fast, intuitive, powerful and flexible. I call it a joy to work with.
Akai Professional has announced the release of MPC Studio, a slimline MPC for portable music production.
Akai’s MPC Studio offers the most streamlined MPC experience yet.
Following on the heels of MPC Renaissance, which became available in stores in September and sold out immediately, MPC Studio is Akai Professional’s most streamlined MPC experience yet. At less than one inch thin with low-profile controls and a brushed aluminum body, MPC Studio is made to move, merging real MPC pads, iconic MPC workflow, and the same MPC Software used by MPC Renaissance to give producers a fully integrated portable music-making solution.
“Since MPC Renaissance hit stores, we’ve already updated, expanded, and enhanced the MPC Software three times—we’re committed to making it one of the most advanced and powerful DAWs available,” said Dan Gill, Akai Professional Product Manager. “The bonus of The Bank and other free MPC Expansions make MPC Studio and MPC Renaissance instantly powerful production instruments right out of the box.”
In addition to MPC Software, with purchase of MPC Studio, customers will get The Bank—a 7-gigabyte 300-instrument virtual workstation exploding with all the essential sounds of modern production, including basses, leads, effects, keyboards, and more—plus The 809, an MPC Expansion full of classic and punchy analog drums.
MPC Studio features
Now with MPC Software version 1.3.
Fuses MPC production capability with your Mac or PC.
16 MPC pads, 4 touch-sensitive Q-Link knobs.
Brushed aluminum body less than 1” thin.
USB-powered with low-profile controls.
MPC Note Repeat and MPC Swing.
Includes MPC Software, The Bank and 1 MPC Expansion.
MPC Studio is now available from music instrument retailers with an MSRP of $999 USD and an estimated street price of $599 USD. All three of Akai Professional’s new MPCs will be on display at Booth 6700 at the 2013 NAMM show, January 24-27 in Anaheim, California.
Numark has announced the NS7 II, a dramatically enhanced and updated version of the industry’s most advanced and best-selling motorized DJ controller, NS7.
For more than 20 years, Numark has set the pace in the world of digital DJing, empowering DJs with cutting-edge technology that has continually advanced the art form. In 2007, Numark and Serato® released NS7, a controller that blends different eras of DJing so completely it makes them virtually indistinguishable from each other. Since then, the powerful experience offered by NS7 has defined the top tier of DJ performance, setting the standard by which all other controllers are judged.
Now, with NS7 II, Numark is pushing the modern DJ’s performance capability even further, incorporating iconic technology from Akai Professional, the world leader in music production technology and creator of the legendary MPC. NS7 II’s 16 MPC pads can be instantly assigned to control five dynamic performance features in Serato DJ: Cues, Loop, Roll, Sampler, and Slicer. In addition, each pad features RGB illumination, allowing for a virtually endless amount of color variations assignable via MIDI. Vinyl platter control has never felt more familiar with its high- and low-torque motorized platters with real slip mats and real vinyl sitting on 3,600 ticks of resolution. NS7 II’s four-channel mixer works with or without a computer and includes a full array of external device inputs. Capacitive touch-activated filter, gain, EQ, and effects knobs are other features incorporated from Akai Professional, which turn the knobs themselves into control surfaces. DJs can use them for instant-on parameter control, blending effects, and instant frequency kills. “NS7 II is an interactive playground,” said Chris Roman, Numark Product Manager. “It’s built to squeeze every ounce of capability out of Serato DJ and push your creative limits. It’s born to perform and to empower DJs with maximum live-performance creative capability.”
NS7 II features
7” motorized turntables with 3600 ticks of resolution.
4-channel mixer and 24-bit audio interface built in.
16 backlit velocity-sensitive MPC pads from Akai Professional.
Capacitive touch-sensitive filter, gain, EQ, and effects knobs.
High- and low-torque turntable settings, 33rpm or 45rpm.
Comprehensive Loop, Sample, Slicer, and Hot Cue controls.
Strip Search™ virtual needle-drop technology.
Curve-adjustable CP-Pro crossfader.
Dedicated iZotope® effects controls.
Rugged all-metal construction.
Integrated laptop stand.
Serato DJ software included.
NS7 II will be unveiled at Booth 6700 at the 2013 NAMM show on January 24th.
Akai Professional has announced the MAX25 USB/MIDI/CV keyboard controller and MPX8, a standalone SD sample launcher with MPC pads.
MPX8 is one of Akai Professional’s most innovative pad instruments yet. Using a standard SD card, users can load virtually any sample onto MPX8 and then assign it to any of the unit’s eight backlit velocity- and pressure-sensitive pads. MPX8 also comes with a large library of standard samples built in, which can be used for live performance in front of a crowd, on a radio show, or for in-studio production. Its bright blue backlit display and intuitive interface make for easy operation in any amount of light. A 1/8-inch headphone output, two balanced 1/4-inch outputs, and five-pin MIDI and USB MIDI inputs and outputs are onboard.
“With MPX8, we’re giving musicians a quick and convenient way to have one-touch access to a virtually unlimited number of sounds, shots, stabs, and drops,” said Dan Gill, Akai Professional Product Manager. MPX8 comes with a drag-and-drop sample editor for Mac® and PC for easy sample conversion. Users can also save sample sets together as kits for easy recall and even tune and add reverb to samples.
Add sound samples via standard SD card (sold separately).
8 velocity-sensitive and pressure-sensitive pads.
Drag-and-drop sample editor for Mac and PC included.
Built-in library of popular sounds, samples, and bumps.
Tune, add reverb, save sample sets for easy recall.
USB MIDI plus standard MIDI inputs and outputs.
1/8” headphone output and balanced 1/4” outputs.
Akai Professional will also exhibit MAX25, a compact version of the innovative MAX49 USB/MIDI/CV keyboard controller that was released in 2012.
MAX25 has all of the same cutting-edge features as MAX49, including CV/Gate output, semi-weighted keys with aftertouch, a built-in step sequencer, expanded arpeggiator, and revolutionary LED touch faders for gradual or instant parameter value changes. The difference between MAX49 and MAX25 only lies in the number of onboard controls. Where MAX49 has 49 keys, 8 faders, and 12 pads, MAX25 has 25, 4, and 8, respectively. Like MAX49, MAX25 will come with AkaiConnect automatic-mapping software and Mackie Control® and HUI® modes for instant compatibility with many DAWs. “This is a controller that’s made to be in front of a crowd,” said Gill. “It’s everything people love about MAX49 but in a compact package that will fit perfectly in front of a laptop on stage.”
25 semi-weighted keys with aftertouch, 4 LED touch faders.
Included AkaiConnect software automatically maps to VSTs.
8 MPC pads, MPC Note Repeat, and MPC Swing.
4 pad banks, 4 fader banks: 64 assignable pads, faders, and buttons.
Step sequencer and expanded arpeggiator.
CV & Gate outputs (1V/Oct), Mackie Control® and HUI® modes.
Akai Professional will unveil MPX8 and MAX25 at Booth 6700 at the 2013 NAMM show, January 24-27 in Anaheim, California.
Boxed Ear has announced the release of Tempest vs MPC60, a free sample pack made with two of Roger Linn’s most coveted drum machines, the Dave Smith Instruments Tempest and the Akai MPC60.
Two classic drum machines, both designed by “the father of the drum machine” Roger Linn. The MPC60 is a sampler first released in 1988 and is considered one of the major contributors to the development of hip hop music. The Tempest is a modern analogue/digital hybrid drum machine released in 2011.
We thought it would be fun to bring them both together by synthesizing pure analog drum sounds on the Tempest and sampling them into the MPC60 for that tasty 12bit digital crunch.
Tempest vs MPC60 is free and is available now from the Boxed Ear website.