MASCHINE, is both an instrument and controller that is made by Native Instruments, the maker of the KOMPLETE 8 Ultimate combines a pattern-based sequencer, professional sampler, multi-effect unit, and VST/AU plug-in host with tactile control. Because this is such a complex system I will break this review down into two parts. Part I will covered the hardware aspect, and this article, part II will cover the software portion as well as covering additional custom accessories you can get to spice up your MK2. Throughout there may be some crossover.
MASCHINE 1.8 Software
As I said in part I, MASCHINE is controller hardware and computer software that work together to create music. It can be used live on stage as well as in the studio. It has the qualities of a dedicated instrument, with the advanced editing capability of a software system that can become the creative center of your musical production. You can incorporate it into any Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) that supports VST, AU, or RTAS formats, or use it as a stand-alone unit. You can even use it to control your external MIDI hardware and software.
Like the hardware portion, MASCHINE's software is segmented into five main areas. At the top is the Header. This contains the main controls such as transport, main output volume levels, and display area. Below it on the left is the Browser area which provides the tools for storing, locating, and managing your projects, groups, sounds, samples, FX, and plug-ins.
Below the header on the right is the Arranger area. This section is where you put together your musical creation. You stack your clips into scenes and you have up to 64 scenes in order to build your arrangements. Below the Arranger area is the Control area. This allows you to control parameters and settings for each of the four modules at each project level (Sound, Group, and Master). This area can hold settings for samples, sounds, plug-ns, FX, MIDI, and routing. Finally the last section on the bottom is the Pattern Editor that gives you the ability for both step programming as well as real-time recording. This provides the basis for each scene. You can have up to 8 groups of 64 patterns. This area also supports automation for sounds, samples, FX, Plug-ins, and mixer parameters.