AskVideo has released Maschine Virtuosity, Diva Demystified & MachFive 3 Unleashed, three new video courses.
Maschine Virtuosity – Watching Jeremy Ellis demonstrate his legendary finger drumming techniques on Native Instruments’ amazing Maschine is like throwing gasoline on a fire… the result is very, very hot! Learn the secrets of drum pad performance in this exclusive course from the world’s foremost finger drumming virtuoso.
Diva Demystified – u-he Diva is a hungry synth! Hungry to produce the most retro synth sounds of the not-so-distant past. Dig into this deep, Dinosaur Impersonating Virtual Analog synthesizer with synthesist, Rishabh Rajan, and see how you can bring the sounds of the past rushing back to the present!
MachFive 3 Unleashed – MachFive 3 – MOTU’s massive, mothership of a sampler – is full-featured and very deep! But have no fear because MOTU software consultant Matt Vanacoro is here to demystify it! So get ready to learn MachFive 3 faster than the speed of sound in this inspiring 29-tutorial course!
The courses are available to AskVideo’s Full Library Pass members (starting at $25/month).
Native Instruments has announced a price drop on its critically acclaimed TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 DJ system, reducing the price permanently to $899 USD / 799 EUR.
TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 represents an unparalleled level of software and hardware integration that makes DJing more versatile, intuitive and fun. The full-featured controller combines a four-channel mixer section with ergonomic, high-quality control elements and an integrated audio interface – all built to professional specifications.
The included TRAKTOR PRO 2 software offers powerful performance functions such as Remix Deck™ technology, a loop recorder, and newly designed Macro FX. Based on ten years of digital DJing expertise, the highly successful TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 gives DJs of all genres unparalleled creative possibilities with supreme workflow and ease of use.
TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 is available at retailers worldwide and at the NI Online Shop, while supplies last.
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.
Native Instruments has announced a time-limited sales special, offering customers the chance to pick up KOMPLETE 8 and KOMPLETE 8 ULTIMATE at considerable savings for the next two months.
Customers choosing the KOMPLETE 8 package, which features 27 KOMPLETE Instruments and Effects, will save $160 / 100 EUR on the standard price – down to $399 / 399 EUR from $559 / 499 EUR. The KOMPLETE 8 ULTIMATE bundle, which comes with 50 Instruments and Effects, will be available for $699 / 699 EUR instead of $1099 / 999 EUR – a saving of $400 / 300 EUR.
The KOMPLETELY IRRESISTIBLE sales special will run until midnight (CET) on March 26, 2013, with the deal available at participating retailers and the NI Online Shop – while stocks last.
KOMPLETE 8 ULTIMATE contains 50 products and over 240 GB of sound – the entire range of KOMPLETE Instruments and Effects (at the time of release) on an external hard drive. In addition to the products in KOMPLETE 8, it also contains RAZOR, SESSION STRINGS PRO, SCARBEE FUNK GUITARIST, VINTAGE COMPRESSORS and many more.
KOMPLETE 8 will be available for $399 USD / 399 EUR. KOMPLETE 8 ULTIMATE will be available for $699 USD / 699 EUR. The offer is valid until March 26, 2013, and while stocks last.
Native Instruments has announced the release of Reverb Classics, two premium-quality algorithmic reverbs inspired by renowned studio hardware.
While each effect has its own distinct sound, both provide a rich, harmonic character that adds dimension and depth to any source. A first-of-its-kind display provides visual feedback to monitor the effect’s output in real time – a powerful feature for quickly shaping the effect with ease and precision. The REVERB CLASSICS were created in cooperation with Softube, the acclaimed Swedish company renowned for their painstakingly accurate emulations of audio hardware.
The REVERB CLASSICS faithfully recreate two renowned algorithmic reverb units that rose to prominence 1980s and 1990s. Each has been featured on countless studio recordings and is a standard effect in top studios around the world. The RC 24 provides a rich, dark, and instantly identifiable sound suitable for anything from subtle widening to dramatic sound design. The RC 48, while sharing some similarities, sounds richer, lush, and somewhat brighter by comparison.
The most striking feature of the REVERB CLASSICS is the prominent graphical display, which takes up roughly half of the interface. This display effectively visualizes the shape and depth of the reverb, as well as the decay of the reverb tail. The display immediately reacts to parameter adjustments, allowing users to visually monitor the effect in real time, and providing a new approach to reverb design.
The RC 24 digital studio reverb and RC 48 classic studio reverb.
Native Instruments Reverb Classics
The RC 24 is inspired by one of the first digital studio reverbs to gain wide popularity in recording studios around the world. Featuring Large Hall, Small Hall, and Room reverb algorithms, the distinctive sound of 12-bit A/D converters provides a unique quality that cuts through dense mixes with a unique presence. The RC 24 is equally useful on acoustic and electronic sounds for adding rich dimension, texture, and space while still preserving the original harmonics of a sound. Pushed to extreme settings, it can be used as a creative sound design tool, transforming relatively simple sounds into metallic percussive textures, dense, drone-like pads, or anything in between.
The RC 48 delivers two hall algorithms inspired by a classic studio reverb heard on numerous gold and platinum recordings, as well as game, TV, and film soundtracks. The RC 48 delivers lush, musical reverb renowned for the depth it gives to vocals and acoustic instruments. A wide variety of versatile textures can be achieved through adjusting the Diffusion and Spread controls, while an additional Effect option on the Size fader allows users to create interesting new modulation effects. The Random Hall algorithm also features Spin and Wander controls, providing random movement with lively, natural tails.
The Reverb Classics bundle (VST/AU/AAX) is available to purchase for $199 USD / 199 EUR. The individual effects are also available separately for $149 USD / 149 EUR each.
Native Instruments has introduced Scarbee Rickenbacker Bass, a new KONTAKT instrument featuring the sound of a Rickenbacker® 4003 bass guitar.
Sampled by bassist and instrument designer Thomas Skarbye, SCARBEE RICKENBACKER® BASS is also the first software version of this bass to be approved by Rickenbacker®.
SCARBEE RICKENBACKER® BASS delivers the sound of a Rickenbacker® 4003 bass for the first time in software as a Rickenbacker-approved KONTAKT instrument. Featured on many of history’s most important rock and pop recordings, the bass provides deep lows and a detailed midrange response that allow it to remain clear and present in a mix. RICKENBACKER® BASS features two varieties of picked articulations – open and palm-muted. RICKENBACKER® BASS is the first bass from SCARBEE to offer picked articulations. This playing style adds extra punch and attack to the crisp sound of the instrument. The palm-muted articulations recall the sound of popular recordings from the 1960s and 1970s. Another first in the SCARBEE line is the inclusion of the Jump Amp from GUITAR RIG PRO 5, providing all the amplified sounds in RICKENBACKER® BASS. By keeping the sound of the bass and the amplifier separate in this way, users are given an added degree of fine control over the tone.
RICKENBACKER® BASS was sampled by Thomas Skarbye – a highly regarded bassist whose sound design brand has become synonymous with quality and playability. To ensure the highest level of detail, Thomas Skarbye used a top-of-the-line Metric Halo® LIO-8 preamp, Mogami® patch cables, and Rotosound® bass strings to capture this instrument. His attention to detail also extends to playing technique. Avoiding Rickenbacker®’s integrated foam muting system, Skarbye recorded the palm-muted articulations with the pick hand over the bridge to ensure the realism of a true performance, while the open articulations were played between the pickups. All samples were recorded with the unique Rick-O-Sound stereo output for unmistakable Rickenbacker® tone. In recognition of the SCARBEE team’s exceptional work, SCARBEE RICKENBACKER® BASS has received Rickenbacker®’s official approval.
The SCARBEE and Native Instruments partnership have released numerous instrument libraries for KONTAKT and the free KONTAKT PLAYER. SCARBEE RICKENBACKER® BASS adds to SCARBEE’s reputation for precision and detail in sampled instruments.
Scarbee Rickenbacker Bass is available to purchase for $99 USD / 99 EUR.