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iPhone App Review – iMASCHINE From Native Instruments

Native Instruments, the maker of KOMPLETE 8 and MASCHINE has just released their first ever iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad app and be forewarned it can be addictive. Based on their full blown product MASCHINE, iMASCHINE is a groove sketchpad that you can use to develop song ideas, play with beats, and even record and create your own audio samples.

iMASCHINE gives you the ability to play and record drums, create a melody on the keyboards, bass guitars, and more. Then when you are done, you can export and upload to the full version of MASCHINE or MASCHINE MIKRO. You can even upload your loop to SoundCloud and share with others.

iMASCHINE is an instrument that is made for users of all levels and styles so as to create spontaneous beats. It contains four groups that you can use as pads, keyboards or audio recorders making it effectively a 4-track recorder. You have a mixer page that provides the ability to adjust the levels and add two send effects to each track.

When you assign pads to a group, you get 16 pads that can be used for playing drums and one shot samples. In the pad sampling mode, you can record you own one-shot samples through the iOS devices built-in microphone.

The keyboard comes with two manuals for playing chords, bass, and melodies. It can go from –C2 to C6 and so provides you with a lot of range in tones. There is a note repeat function that lets you assign 4th, 8th, 16th, 16th triplets and 32nd notes for both keyboard and drum pad mode. The final mode is the audio record mode which lets you record vocal, or any other sound that you want to use as a sample.

The mixer page gives you the ability to make adjustments to the sound level of any of the four groups as well as set up two effects – Delay, Flanger, Chorus, LoFi, HP, BP and LP filters, that can be applied to any or all of the four tracks. There is a live-mode sequencer that automatically detects the recorded loop length as well.

iMASCHINE runs on iOS 4.3 or higher and on the iPod Touch 3G and iPhone 3GS or higher, and on the iPad 1 or 2. There are also add-on kits as well that you can purchase at the app store that bring you additional projects, kits, and instruments.

As I said before, iMASCHINE is very flexible as well as being addictive. You can start out with a simple drum beat, then add a bass line, then throw some keyboards and you’re cooking. If you have the MASCHINE you can export your project to your iTunes account and import it in where you can work further with it. Don’t have a MASCHINE, you can still upload your work to SoundCloud and share it with others. You can watch some videos of the iMASCHINE in action at the Native Instrument site.

What I like most about iMASCHINE is that it packs a lot musical ability into a very affordable application. You can get iMASCHINE at the Apple App Store either through iTunes, or directly from you iOS mobile device and at $4.99, what you really have is a 4-track mini Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) that you can take with you anywhere and work with at any time and it is for that reason that I can very highly recommend this app to you.

About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.

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