Posts Tagged ‘Native’

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Maschine: What is it? An in depth look

May 6, 2009

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Finally merging a fast and intuitive groove-box workflow with the power and versatility of software, MASCHINE enables an inspiring and spontaneous creative approach for today’s computer-based music production setups.

MASCHINE is built on an intelligent combination of timeless groove box and drum machine workflows, systematically refined and expanded to take advantage of the best aspects of computer technology. It brings together flexible step sequencing and real-time polyphonic recording in a forward-thinking pattern-based arrangement concept that makes it easy to jam out ideas, and turn them into full-blown songs in a way that is efficient, effortless and fun. MASCHINE was designed to accommodate and facilitate inspiration at any point in the creative process, from spontaneous beat creation to sophisticated multi-timbral arranging.

The advanced MASCHINE controller was designed as a natural extension of the software, and makes the system feel and respond as a true instrument. The 16 pressure-sensitive drum pads have been carefully engineered for the best possible response and durability, and they illuminate to visualize sequence patterns and other crucial information.

Eight rotary encoders, a concise layout of dedicated buttons and dual high-resolution displays give immediate access to all functions of MASCHINE without touching the computer mouse or keyboard. By design, all features are quickly accessible “on the surface” rather than hidden away in hierarchical sub menus. The MASCHINE hardware also doubles as a powerful universal controller for any MIDI compatible music gear, thanks to an included MIDI mapping application and support of the MCU protocol for sophisticated DAW control.

Native Instruments Maschine

Based on a powerful high-resolution sample engine, MASCHINE is a versatile instrument that renders intricate drum kits and percussion, loops and multi-sampled polyphonic instruments with uncompromising sonic accuracy, assisted by automatic sample mapping, beat slicing, note repeat and more.

The advanced real-time audio recording and resampling features in MASCHINE also allow producers and performers to capture, map, sculpt and transform any external or internal signal immediately, and seamlessly integrate the result into a running track without ever breaking the flow of the music. Multiple performance effects sections on the sample, group and master level provide a versatile arsenal of 20 highquality algorithms ranging from conventional to experimental, all optimized for profound sound shaping and creative real-time control through the MASCHINE hardware.

MASCHINE lets everyone get into making music right away through its massive library of drum and instrument sounds for contemporary urban and electronic music styles, created in collaboration with international cutting-edge producers and sound designers.

Based on several GByte of studio-quality samples, the arsenal of MASCHINE provides hundreds of drum kits, synthesizer sounds and acoustic instruments, with around ten thousand individual sounds overall. All kits, instruments, samples and effects can be efficiently managed and located through a highly convenient browser that uses categories and concise metadata.

With MASCHINE, all crucial functions including parameter automation, sample mapping and sound editing are always immediately accessible through the controller and within the concise single-window user interface of the software. Usable both as a self-contained standalone instrument and within any DAW or music sequencer, MASCHINE utilizes all the benefits of computer integration like total recall, superior processing power, memory and file handling, project transfer and more, while retaining the inspirational handling and tactile appeal of a hardware instrument.

NI Maschine

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Richie Hawtin on the Tweet

May 6, 2009

Everyone knows that NI love Richie Hawtin and Richie Hawtin loves Native Instuments, but their strictly-professional relationship has reached new heights as Hawtin’s label Minus has developed a new Twitter application that integrates directly with Traktor Pro.

The basic premise is that, every 30 seconds, the track you’re playing in Traktor Pro is automatically ‘tweeted’ to your Twitter account with a ‘Now playing:’ prefix, through Traktor’s Internet Broadcasting function. Check out Hawtin’s Twitter page to get a glimpse of the future.

Pretty clever stuff, and it will available to everyone outside The Cube in Traktor’s next update (available in June)

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Turn your laptop into a multi instument keyboard and vocal-processing powerhouse

January 9, 2009

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Regardless of what instrument you play or what software you use to record and compose, it’s never been easier to access massive libraries of synth and sample sounds, guitar and bass amp emulations, vintage-derived effects and so on. While all of this power and flexibility has been a boon for the home recordist, bringing these same software-derived sounds to the stage continues to vex many. The good news is that today’s multicore laptops have more than enough horsepower to handle the needs of most keyboardists, guitarists and experimental-leaning vocalists, as well as multi-instrumentalists who may need to jump between several instruments during a set. By choosing the correct software and hardware, as well as doing some critical housekeeping and asset-management chores, you can easily bring your best software instruments and effects to that stage and consolidate your hardware needs down to a few roadworthy essentials.

The host with the most

First and foremost, all of your software instruments and effects need to live somewhere. While it’s completely feasible for a keyboardist or guitarist to work solely within a workstation-style product such as Propellerhead Reason or Native Instruments GuitarRig, if you really want to take advantage of your plug-in collection or jump between instruments, you need to employ a more open-ended option. Two products that are built expressly for this purpose are Apple MainStage — part of the Apple Logic Studio bundle (; www.apple.com/logicstudio) — and Native Instruments Kore 2, which is now available in a software-only edition , as well as the software/hardware package  (www.native-instruments.com). Both programs do many of the same things: 1. They allow you to access, organize, edit, combine and recall the majority of the third-party plug-ins on your machine. 2. Both allow you to play software instruments and process live audio sources (guitar, bass, vocals and even feedback loops). 3. By largely removing the traditional elements of a DAW, both of these apps allow more CPU resources to be used for instruments and effects, thus keeping latency in check.

Choosing a host performance application will depend largely on what software you already own. Logic Studio users have a clear advantage in this department because all channel strips and saved plug-in settings are immediately available in MainStage; in other words, what you did in the studio shows up in MainStage. Kore, however, requires a little more prep work in the beginning (users will need to batch-convert their third-party plug-in sounds over to the KoreSound format), but it offers support for a wider range of plug-in formats as well as Windows PCs.

Time to organise..

The second major task in prepping your sounds for performance is figuring out exactly what you need and exactly what you don’t. If your goal is to replicate the sounds you used in your recordings, a recent demo or what have you, then that is the obvious place to start. Open up the original sessions, isolate the plug-ins that you need to use live and give each preset a specific name before saving them to a new folder. Of course, you can skip that step if you want to dive in and start playing. Either way, once you start to have a firmer grasp on what you’re going to need in a live show or rehearsal situation, that’s the time to start creating a performance library.

MainStage and Kore have different ways of creating that library. With MainStage, you’ll need to create a new Concert. A Concert can comprise any number of live audio and instrument channels, and the Performance pane can be customized to include a wide array of assignable controllers (which you can then easily map to your hardware), meters and patch selectors. You can load instruments and live signal processors in a row and select them interchangeably like presets on a piece of hardware. A single preset can comprise both audio and instrument plug-ins, and a Concert can include any number of presets. When you load a new Concert, all the associated instruments and samples are loaded in the background, and nothing really nails the CPU until a preset is selected. The load time between presets is generally very minimal.

The no hassle, buy nothing keyboard workstation

If you’re a budget-conscious keyboardist and you want a simple and reliant way to access an array of keyboard sounds that requires practically zero mousing around and almost no MIDI assignment editing, here it is.

Load up an empty 16-track session in your DAW of choice. Starting with the first track in the session, load up your first instrument sound and set this track to receive only MIDI channel 1. Repeat the process as needed (track 2 to MIDI channel 2, etc.) until you’ve loaded up all of the sounds you need or you’re out of MIDI channels. Changing MIDI channels on most portable MIDI keyboards (M-Audio Oxygen 8 V2, Axiom 49, etc.) is a simple one- or two-button process. With this setup, you only have to load one session into your DAW, and switching between sounds is as simple as changing the MIDI channel on your controller.