You can already sample and slice with Native Instruments’ groove production instrument. But soon, you’ll change loops’ pitch and time in real-time, too.
Maschine has been guided by focusing on certain means of working, ignoring others. The hardware/software combination from the start began with an MPC-style sampling workflow and drum machine features, and it’s added from there – eventually getting features like more elaborate pattern generation and editing, drum synths, more sound tools, and deeper arrangement powers.
But hang on – that’s not really an excuse for not doing time stretching. Real-time time stretching has been a feature on many similar hardware and software tools.
Now, it’s sort of nice that Maschine isn’t Ableton Live. In fact, it’s so nice that the combination of the two is one of the most common use cases for Maschine. But it’s so expected that you’d be able to work with changing pitch and time independently with loops, that it’s almost distracting when it isn’t there.
So, Maschine 2.7 adds that functionality. In addition to the existing Sampler, which lets you trigger sounds and loops and slice audio into chunks, there’s now an Audio plug-in device you can add to your projects. Audio will play loops in time with the project, and has the ability to time stretch in real-time.
The features we’re getting:
Real-time time stretching keeps loops in time with a project, without changing pitch
Loop hot swapping lets you change loops as you play – apparently without missing a beat, so you can audition lots of different loops or trigger different loops on the fly
Gate Mode lets you play a loop just by hitting a pad
Melodic re-pitching lets you change pitch in Gate Mode of a whole loop or portion of a loop, just by playing pads
The combination of pads and Gate Mode sounds really performer-friendly, and different from what you see elsewhere. That’s crucial, because since you can already do a lot of this in other tools, you need some reason to do it in Maschine.
I’m eager to get my hands on this and test it. It’s funny, I had some samples I wanted to play around with in the studio just before I saw this, and decided not to use Maschine because, well, this was missing. But because the pads on the Maschine MK3 hardware feel really, really great, and because sometimes you want to get hands-on with material using something other than the mouse, I’m intrigued by this. I find this sort of way of working can often generate different ideas. I’m sure a lot of you feel the same way. Actually, I know you do, because you’ve been yelling at NI to do this since the start. It looks like the wait might pay off with a unique, reflective implementation.
We’ll know soon enough – stay tuned.
The old way of doing things: the Sampling workflow: