New technology by definition usually starts big and clever. And this subsequently filters downwards, and this is definitely the case with iMaschine. The big bad Maschine groove doc family is quite a thing — their monolithic slab styling replete with full colour screens offer aspiring beat makers and experienced producers a wealth of tools. And those tools have been distilled down into iOS devices some time ago. And as these devices get better, faster, and more features filled, thus their ability to perform increases. And this is definitely the case with the launch of iMaschine2.
Obviously iOS devices are faster than ever, but it’s the new 3D touch features of newer iPads and iPhones that bring the previously impossible to the tablet table — pressure sensitive on-screen pads. So now you can be more expressive in your performance while on the go. Anyway, on with the official words:
Native Instruments introduces iMASCHINE 2
All-new version allows on-the-go producers to create full tracks with new advanced features
Berlin, November 12, 2015 – Native Instruments today introduced iMASCHINE 2 – the follow up to their acclaimed beat making sketchpad for iOS. iMASCHINE 2 expands on the original with a new set of powerful features, including the Arranger, Step Mode, and Smart Play functionality. It is also the first music production app to include optimizations for the new 3D Touch features on iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. The app is aimed at users of the original iMASCHINE, as well as iOS users who want to start making music at an affordable price. It is also the perfect mobile complement to the full home studio setups of MASCHINE hardware owners. iMASCHINE 2 normally costs $9.99, but is available at the Apple App Store for a special introductory price of $4.99 until December 1, 2015.
iMASCHINE 2 adds new, powerful features to the acclaimed simple workflow of the original. The Arranger allows producers to turn loops and scenes into full tracks by creating different patterns per group, and then adding, moving, and deleting song sections. Step Mode facilitates drum programming with no finger drumming skills required – users can use the 4×4 pad grid as a step sequencer to produce loops. The new Smart Play keyboard introduces Scale, Chord and arpeggiator functionality to iMaschine 2, allowing users to play chords, melodies, and basslines that are always in-key. Scale mode offers users to select from a variety of traditional and non-traditional scales, while Chord mode will turn a single key stroke into a full chord, which is especially useful when working on a mobile device. Within Chord Mode, the new Chord Sets present ready-to-play progressions to inspire and augment compositions. Furthermore, a powerful arpeggiator makes it easy to add dynamic motion to a track. Projects created with the original iMASCHINE open effortlessly in iMASCHINE 2, allowing producers to use these new features on all their tracks.
iMASCHINE 2 introduces color coding for fast visual organization of projects. Users can now find sounds and groups by color and navigate through songs with ease. For users of iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, iMASCHINE 2 makes creative use of 3D Touch – Apple’s latest interactive feature. For example, when using the Note Repeat feature, 3D Touch adjusts playing dynamics based on how hard users press a pad, mirroring the functionality of MASCHINE hardware. In the same mode, users can also adjust the rate – the harder a user presses a pad, the more rapid the rate is played. Producers can accelerate their workflow further with 3D Touch Quick Actions for entering Step Mode, muting pads, or erasing notes, and even to open up a new project or directly enter the field recording function from the home screen of their iPhone.
iMASCHINE 2 includes the Mixer page, effects, and sample editor from the original software. The Mixer page allows for level balancing of each of the four groups in iMASCHINE 2. The effects section lets users quickly and easily add space, motion, and additional sound shaping to a track with professional effects. A convenient sampling feature allows producers to import music directly from their iTunes music collection, or create their own sample library. Once finished, projects created in iMASCHINE can be exported and opened in the full MASCHINE software for further adjustments and finalization, or uploaded directly to Soundcloud.
Until December 1, 2015, Native Instruments are offering iMASCHINE 2 at a time-limited introductory price of $4.99. For users who have created music with the sounds in iMASCHINE Expansions or those looking to expand their sound palette further, Native Instruments have created the ULTIMATE COLLECTION – a specially priced bundle of 36 iMASCHINE Expansions available for $0.99 until December 1, 2015 – the price of just one iMASCHINE Expansion.
A video featuring producer TK Kayembe creating a track over the course of one day in Los Angeles has been released to demonstrate the new features in iMASCHINE 2.
Pricing and availability
iMASCHINE 2 is available in the Apple App Store. Until December 1, 2015 it is available for a special introductory price of $4.99. The ULTIMATE COLLECTION is available at the Expansions Store for $0.99 until December 1, 2015.
Further product information and press material
Additional information on iMASCHINE 2 is available at: www.native-instruments.com/imaschine2
BEATS OF ALL SIZES
Yeah, that’s an iPad Pro in the picture, up against a now tiny iPhone 5S. And I can run iMachine2 on both of them and have a studio with me wherever I am. I like the way NI call it a sketchpad, because while iMaschine2 really does deliver a lot, it’s no replacement for beating the crap out of a lump of plastic with real pads, nor does it offer the complete experience of running said plastic with the full glory of a laptop. But it’s still bloody good.
Interesting side note — the iPad Pro offers an experience much closer to the physical Maschine. The pads are pretty much full-sized. I’m not sure how hard I want to hammer the screen though.
I speculatively grabbed iMaschine2 before the announcement and have played with it for a sum total of 45 minutes. But I like what I see. I will however task people considerably more experienced in all things Maschine with telling you if it’s really good or not. That said, at the current price of $4.99 it’s a total steal, especially as it’s a universal app too.