Not Just Sampling, Studying: Frente Cumbiero and Maschine, 1.8 and Human Upgrades

Yes, the tools are better and shinier – but there is a method to what musicians are doing with them. Maschine 1.8 arrives today, a bit early, a free update. I looked at this release when we went hands-on with the updated software and new color hardware. Whether or not you get the new controller, it features a new transient follower and tube and tape saturation effects, improvements to pitch and time shift, and better file handling. You also get a free serial for NI’s Massive synth. This is a good thing. But let’s back up and talk about what …

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Maschine, in Color: First CDM Hands-On With New Maschine Hardware, Software [Gallery]

Looks smart. There are smart features coming in version 1.8, too – and you get Massive for free. Photos by Arvid Jense for CDM. In living color: the popular drum machine – combining integrated hardware and software – is more colorful, but also more usable, via updates to the screen and pads alike. We’ve gotten a hands-on test with the gear to share some first-hand first impressions. Native Instruments’ Maschine hardware gets a major update today, and color is likely the first thing you’ll notice. The pads are backlit with a rainbow of RGB LEDs, as found on NI’s Kontrol …

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Leaked: New Maschine with RGB Pads, Custom Overlay Colors, New Software Features [Hands-on Coming]

RGB pads, custom hardware colors, and time stretching. Photo: Arvid Jense for CDM. Updated: Maschine is now more colorful (via new hardware), has new accessories including a handy stand, and updated, more usable software. CDM has an exclusive hands-on with the new hardware with impressions, updates on what’s changed in the hardware and software, and loads of pictures. Maschine, which combines custom drum-pad hardware with tightly-integrated production software, now gets a controller with RGB color pads and custom color cases. A software update for all users – including those of you with the original hardware- brings enhanced usability features, new …

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Mostly Robot, Behind the Scenes: When Electronic Masters Form a Band [Video, Panel Audio]

It began as a way to demonstrate Native Instruments technology. But watch the video above of Mostly Robot, and you’ll see what happens when some well-loved solo electronic stars work to form a band. This isn’t just about some cool toys: it’s about really playing electronics as an instrument. And as the Internet debates what it means to play, they ask a question that could be even more important: what does it mean to play together? Mostly Robot is an “all-star band” made up of some really amazing people. Jamie Lidell is known as the Warp artist who has gone …

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Inside Mostly Robot Superband: Jamie Lidell + Shiftee + Tim Exile + Mr Jimmy + Jeremy Ellis + Pfadfanderei

The cast of characters crazy enough to try this. Image courtesy Native Instruments. In 1985, Thomas Dolby, Herbie Hancock, Howard Jones, and Stevie Wonder met onstage in Los Angeles to perform a Synthesizer Medley. (See video, bottom.) Can vocalist/electronic music legend Jamie Lidell (and keyboadist Mr. Jimmy), experimental sound guru and producer Tim Exile, champion turntablist DJ Shiftee, and “finger drummer” virtuoso Jeremy Ellis pull off something that epic, backed by visuals from Berlin’s Pfadfinderei? That’s what music tech vendor Native Instruments is hoping, as it debuts the “superband” Mostly Robot at SÓNAR in Barcelona in June. Now, when you …

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Recue’s “Do Not Disturb”: Live Jam, Made in an Airport Hotel Room [Free Download]

It’s like musical survival training. Quick: you’re stuck in a hotel. Can you make some music? Our friend Recue, aka Riku Annala, was unexpectedly being stranded in a hotel and made it into a musical opportunity. The results are damned fine listening. (Thank whatever act of God / airlines prompted this.) You can enjoy the results, free. Riku writes: Dunno if you remember but some time ago I shared the little cheap tape head “saturation” thingy with you. I was recently ‘stuck’ in an airport hotel room (for other reasons than music), but the good thing was that I had …

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FL Studio 10.5 Performance Mode in Beta: Bridge Arrangement and Live, Easy Hardware Control

FL Studio’s live performance functionality has been teased for some time online, attracting enraptured eyeballs and plenty of discussion online. Now, you can give it a try for yourself in the new FL Studio 10.5 beta. My prediction: it’s definitely huge for FL Studio die-hards, but it could also attract some “lapsed” FL users back to the fold, and it’s almost certainly a reason to fire up a copy of Windows. (That’s the sound of a bunch of Boot Camp installations.) The best way to see what the performance mode is about is in the video above. It’s actually a …

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DJing, Decks, and a Grid of Samples: NI’s New Take on Traktor

What should DJing software look like, anyway? It’s just a teaser, but for once, the idea is simple, straightforward, and clear. Native Instruments have taken their DJ software, Traktor, and combined it with a grid of pads for sample triggering and loops. The upcoming hardware/software combination we expect later this spring. At the risk of stating the obvious, what’s significant about adding loop triggering to any DJ set is that you can more easily move beyond playing and mixing tracks. Even without drum machines, this kind of manipulation is part of the grand tradition of DJing, made all the more …

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Lying in Bed, One Take, Insanely Awesome Jamie Lidell with iMaschine, iPhone

Okay, I think this may be some of the best / worst promotional marketing I’ve seen for music software. It runs something like this: Do you want to be just like Jamie Lidell? The answer is as close as the iTunes App Store and your portable device. Just download Native Instruments’ iMaschine app to your iPhone, fire it up, and then … Forget it. Really. I mean, this guy is actually lying in bed in his PJs, the sound you’re hearing is really just the crappy internal microphone on an iPhone 4 iPod touch, and what you’re hearing really is …

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Maschine News: Portable Mikro; Finger Drumming with Jeremy Ellis; Maschine for iOS

Native Instruments reveals some big news for Maschine that’s … well, smaller. A new package has smaller hardware and lower price, with the same full-sized software. And an iOS version lets you use Maschine on iPad or iPhone. As their drum machine / drum sampler / groove workstation with plug-in hosting and doubling as plug-in matures, and becomes a focus of NI’s production and performance side, things are starting to heat up. And yes, this news comes just as we learn more about an upcoming analog drum machine. It’s a Labor Day full of drum machines. Shrunken Maschine: Maschine Mikro …

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