Okay, so everyone wants to know about Maschine. Deservedly so. This is the single most useful, inspirational, FAST, extensible, *fun* music making device I've ever used. Hands down, nothing comes close, how does that sound?
In a previous post, I was mulling finding a balance between hardware tactility found in the old pad based samplers of yesteryear, ie the asr-x pro's, the mpc's, and the flexibility and creativity of software devices a la your garden variety daw like FL Studio or Abelton Live. The catch was always that the hardware was more fun, more real, more emotional, more groovy, but limited and slow. Something like naming a few samples could take an afternoon. We went through that back in the day because we had to, there was no other way. But once you've experienced the facilities afforded by mouse, keyboard and computer, with a screen roughly 50 times larger than the basic lcd screens found on these old boxes, well... it is very hard to go back.
So, software is strong on the speed and flexibility, but it has always lacked that tactility the boxes encouraged. Software has always felt cold, uninspirational. Just a bland piano roll'ed grid... it is kind of hard to get excited. Spend most of your time staring at a screen to figure out what is going on. Yuk, it can just kill creativity, any kind of flow or vibe you get while working on music.
But Maschine has come along and kicked that ying yang duality in the nutz. It is literally the tactility and grooviness of hands and ears based music, but when you need the keyboard and screen and mouse (and eyes), they're there. For naming files, or instantiating fx, or any of the myriad mundane tasks that go into making music with technology.
This thing is literally what I've been waiting for since music making/production moved to the computer.
Ni is a bit of a gnarly company, and maybe they are getting too big for their own good, maybe too big for our own good, as I can see them choking out smaller developers, especially in these "difficult economic times", but by god I love them for making Maschine, and all the while, the notion sits squarely in the background of all thoughts of Maschine... this is embryonic. This is the beginning of what Maschine will really come to be. NI themselves have really just realized what they have, so much so that they are dumping Kore entirely to make Maschine the centerpiece of what they do.
With that said, there is a lot that is wrong with Maschine, and I'd like to do a few posts about that, because, honestly, when you encounter some of Maschine's limitations, you have to ask yourself, have these Germans ever actually used a beat box, so glaring are some of their omissions. But I'm late to the party, I bought in at 1.6 where many of the most ridiculous oversights have been corrected. There are still some, and you'll be hearing about them. The first will be the pads, as that is what this post was supposed to be about, but larger thoughts entered. Though I've got a secret decoder ring hint: they suck.
More later, thanks for reading.
And to that ox guy, no wasn't stoned, just psyched to be posting again!