Back in 2009 Native Instruments Maschine burst onto the scene, finally there was a piece of hardware on the market to rival the all-conquering Akai MPC. Since then we’ve seen as Native Instruments Maschine Mikro MK2 Black version, Native Instruments Maschine MK2 Black and finally the product we’re going to be talking about today, the mighty Native Instruments Maschine Studio Black.
Whereas the Mikro was introduced to offer a stripped down version of the hardware, NI’s ultimate aim when introducing the Studio line was to give producers even more hands on control of their productions.
The unit’s build is very impressive indeed (it’s going to have to take a big beating for any substantial damage to the studio!) There is an integrated stand, which makes it a lot more comfortable if you’re going to be banging out drums and rhythms. If you are looking to take the unit on the road though, I would recommend getting a good case as the screens could easily get cracked in transit.
So lets get into some of the new features of the controller. A much larger unit than the original Maschine, the Studio features two new, larger, full OLED colour displays. These displays are full customisable, so you can change layout to match various different workflows.
Arranging and sequencing also just got a lot easier. The studio splits your arrange view in two, giving you an overview of the scenes and patterns on the left display and a more detailed view on the right display. Mixing on the unit is also greatly improved using NI’s new mixer UI mode.
NI also decided to include a new edit section to the unit. The large clickable jog wheel, positioned in the lower right of the controller can be used to adjust various parameters, depending on what you have selected on the Maschine studio.
Version 2.0 of Maschine’s software also offers a whole host of new features which improve workflow. There’s been a complete reprogramming of the systems audio engine so it now supports multi-core CPU processing, greatly increasing CPU headroom. Annoyingly the original software had a cap on the number of plugins and groups allowed in a session, this has now however been removed in version 2.0.
The new drum synthesizer engine is also a big new addition. The engine is broken down into five Maschine plugins for; kick, snare, hi-hat, percussion and toms. Each plugin then has a set of engines which model different types of the selected drum and each can be shaped differently with the various selectable parameters.
If you’re looking for an all in one unit to give you a more hands on approach in your production set up, the Maschine Studio ticks all the required boxes. Whereas with the original Maschine there is a lot of back and forth from the unit to a computer screen, the addition of the large displays means that it’s truly possible to use the Studio without having to even glance at your computer. The greatly improved software is also a massive boost, by adding multi-core CPU processing capabilities, you now won’t be restricted by heavy CPU loads, regardless of how many plugins you have running.
On our website you can also buy all of the Maschine products bundled with a copy of NI’s impressive Komplete. Komplete is NI’s software package featuring over 2,500 sounds, and more than 25 GB of instruments and effects in a single, studio-ready package. Featuring the likes of; Massive, FM8, Absynth, Monark and many more