Native Instruments Maschine 1.6 Public Beta: Exclusive Preview!

Here is an exclusive brief overview of the new and improved features of Native Instruments Maschine from Dubspot Instructor and Synthesis & Sound Design expert Heinrich Zwahlen. If you are interested in a more detailed presentation you can check out NI site .

Over the past few days I took the upcoming version of Native Instruments Maschine for a spin and I was quite impressed about the new additions. A Public Beta of Maschine 1.6 is available for download for all registered users and I strongly recommend to check it out, since even if you are not planning to use plug-ins, 1.6 offers some nice workflow improvements and a better DAW integration.

For those of you who have not seen it yet, here is the list of features posted on the NI user forum:

After scanning all my plug-ins the look was the same except for the control area:

Right there we see Groove control on the sound level which is no doubt a great addition and will affect how much we can do even just within one group and also improve the work flow significantly.  That made me happy and there is an additional effect slot as well.

From there, I immediately wanted to see my plug-ins and noticed that only a few were showing after relaunching the app in 32bit mode though everything showed up as expected with a long list from top to bottom! Same thing happened on the effects side to my fullest satisfaction… hooray!

As expected Maschine scans all the plug-ins on start-up.. a function that can be disabled the preferences.

After loading in Massive, in no time I got the following display of the macro control and an edit button that opened the familiar face of the synth. That’s where the fun started. I switched the sound to keyboard and using the pads and macro knobs to play Massive became an instant winner for me. Being able to write hands-on automation in loop mode works also well for synth parts of course.

There are up to 16 Pages listed and you can even add more if need be. Auto-mapping seems to work well and the learn functions allowed me to make custom Massive for individual knobs, and assignments for a new page in no time assign to group macros to page in no time access DAW automation.

The output section now has 16 outs and is accessed with the out tab, personally I’m really happy about this as I won’t be forced anymore to use 2 Maschine instantiation to have separate outs for all sounds when mixing in Ableton. Also, I could use all 16 MIDI channels with external instruments, which is yet another important step for better DAW integration.

Renaming clips by right clicking is a no-brainer and will improve the usability of the Arranger along with the way the order of scenes (and also patterns) can be rearranged.

You can rename samples the same way!

Mapping multiple samples will get a lot easier: here the Kontakt 4 system was adopted where by the vertical mouse movement will adjust the key ranges. I hope that the corresponding shortcut for velocity zones will also be implemented.

Drag dropping audio files from the finder now works, and it would be nice to be able to load MP3s the same way. Locking Pads is for configuring master or slave pads, trigger or nudge multiple pads at once! Despite these new additions (namely the plug-ins) operation was still easy and quick, staying in line with the original philosophy of the instrument and there was no unreasonable latency or slow down I could detect. Of course there are some compatibility issues with 3rd party plug-ins to be ironed out. That is probably one of the main ongoing issues during the months to come. In conclusion, I think this upgrade will be a game changer for Native Instruments, and good for users since it will allow more loop oriented composers to sequence and mix entire tracks in Maschine.

If one is not enough you can always add a 2nd one in Kore or your DAW of choice. I guess these scenarios would call for a 2nd monitor or a way to drastically re-size the plug-ins. The main focus remains on performance where Maschine has become the first computer instrument that can actually be played like a conventional musical instrument.

My fellow Maschinists, I think this will make me spend even more time in Maschine standalone!

  • Dj Slix
  • 1/31/2011

Thanks for the video much better then the crap on that charges for info found online on sites like YouTube,