MOTU has released MachFive 3.0, a major upgrade to their universal sampler for creative music production. Rebuilt from the ground up, version 3.0 includes a new user interface design, an extensive 45 GB sound library, seven signature instruments based on new scripting technology, a new hybrid synthesis engine, licensed algorithms from the IRCAM research institute, and many other new features and enhancements.
Design and features
The MachFive 3 window displays a tabbed list on the left-hand side, main controls across the top, and a tabbed main area in the rest of the window for access to all other features. Sections can be resized, shown, or hidden as needed, to streamline operation for any task or workflow. MachFive's window is designed to operate at various sizes, from a compact plug-in running inside host software to a full screen application taking full advantage of cinema-sized displays.
To load sounds into MachFive's unlimited parts, a multi-column preset browser fills the MachFive window and remains open while loading multiple parts to save time. "Favorite" locations are listed along with hard drive volumes, frequently accessed folders, sound banks, and 3rd-party sampler disc images.
Most of MachFive's thousands of factory-supplied presets provide macro controls for direct access to the sound's most crucial and interesting parameters, from reverb time to filter cutoff frequency. This allows users to tweak sounds quickly, without having to dig through complicated screens full of controls. Some macros even adjust several parameters at once to completely transform the sound with a simple knob twist.
For deeper editing and sound design, additional tabs are available for the Oscillator Editor, Mapping Editor, Tree Editor, List Editor, Mixer view, Performance (multi) view, Effects Rack, Event Processor Rack, modulation settings panel, and other settings.
Sounds and Instruments
MachFive 3 includes 7 DVDs with 45 GB of multi-sampled instruments, synth patches, loops, phrases, sound design elements, and sound effects. The Universal Loops & Instruments sound bank is the most versatile, spanning a wide variety of acoustic and electric musical instruments, genres, eras, geographical regions, and cultural styles. The MachFive Biosphere sound bank provides hundreds of fresh, rich synth textures, including sweeping arpeggiations, enveloping atmospheres, soaring leads, anthem stacks, resonating pads and many other sounds developed by leading programmers. From car crashes to space storms, the 8 GB Xtreme FX bonus library developed by ultimatesoundbank.com provides 5000 creative sound effects, foley effects, and provocative sound textures that are ideal for music production and sound design alike. MachFive 3's new synth engine produces twelve milestone forms of synthesis developed over the past 40 years, from classic additive and subtractive, to frequency modulation (FM), wavetable, and even granular synthesis. MachFive's granular synthesizer has been licensed from the IRCAM institute in Paris and represents one of the most advanced, yet easy-to-use forms of this technology currently available.
MachFive's effects architecture has been redesigned to facilitate the use of effects processing both in sound design and in MachFive's conventional mixer. 47 different effects, including convolution reverb, can be applied to sound design objects such as individual oscillators/keygroups, keygroup layers, and programs (presets), where they essentially become part of the sound itself. Alternately, effects can be applied throughout MachFive's mixer as channel inserts, aux bus inserts, and even as master effects on the master fader, limited only by CPU resources.
Rounding out MachFive's included sound library are seven signature acoustic and electric multi-sample instruments, developed in partnership with acousticsamples.net, that showcase MachFive's new scripting technology:
- Telematic — a recreation of the Fender Telecaster electric guitar with 9500 samples, five velocity layers, four round robin samples per note, separate up and down strokes, hammer on, pull off, slides up and down, mutes, fret noises, chord recognition, strumming engine, chord sequencing, automatic hand position, and solo mode string detection.
- Star Drums — a drum set in both acoustic and processed versions with multiple mics, mixing, adjustable sample cycling, and easy setup with support for General MIDI and other industry standard MIDI controller mappings.
- J-Bass — a deeply sampled and scripted electric bass with a variety of playing techniques, including finger and pick (with or without muting from the right hand), legato, hammer, and slide.
- The Upright — acoustic upright bass supplied with multiple miking positions and many playing techniques including hammer, slide, legato, slap, release volume, and sensitivity.
- F Grand 278 — Fazioli concert grand with release volume, pedal volume, key noises, resonance volume (the sound of the body of the piano), room ambiance (convolution), velocity sensitivity and velocity amplification.
- Mark 79 — richly-sampled classic Fender Rhodes Mark II suitcase piano from 1979, including 2500 samples across ten velocity layers with time-based release samples for accurate staccato, resonance, effects such as tremolo and spring reverb, and adjustable key and pedal noise.
- Percussiv — a comprehensive latin/world percussion set with both General MIDI and default mappings.
And lots more...
Pricing and Availability
MachFive 3 costs $495. Registered version 1 and 2 users can upgrade for $179. A competitive upgrade is also available, with proof of ownership, for $295.
It's available for 32- and 64-bit Windows and Mac OS X in stand-alone and VST, AU and RTAS plug-in formats.