Native Instruments has released a feature-packed new software update for their Maschine family of music-making tools. The Maschine 2.6 update, free to all registered owners of Maschine 2 software, brings several innovative features to Maschine Studio, Maschine MK1 and 2, and Maschine Mikro that were previously only available for Maschine JAM customers. It includes a suite of features that help spark creativity, add variety to tracks, and add flair to live performances. It also extends Maschine's powerful workflow to external synths by introducing MIDI CC capabilities.
Maschine 2.6 comes with a new tool to help music producers spice up their compositions. Variation Engine, now for Maschine Studio, Maschine MK1 and 2, and Maschine Mikro, relies on two unique functions, Humanize and Randomize, to add variety and spontaneity to any programmed melody or drum pattern. First enabled on the Maschine JAM, Humanize shakes up the quantization on existing patterns and moves the notes to give programmed patterns the feeling of having been played naturally, loosen up a drum beat, or add swing to a melody. And to help spark new ideas or add texture, Randomize creates new patterns with random velocities and note positions.
The new Maschine 2.6 software update also includes tools to encourage experimentation and spontaneity. Lock, another feature previously implemented in Maschine JAM, makes it easy, for example, to tweak a sound's characters, change an envelope, open a filter, or modulate any other parameter without worrying about losing their previous work. Musicians using the Maschine Studio or Maschine MK1 and 2 controllers can now take snapshots of the parameters and then push a button to return to their original settings. Users can create up to 64 snapshots, and with the help of Morph, blend seamlessly from one snapshot to any other snapshot, making it easy to discover new transitions.
With Maschine 2.6, producers will now be able to send MIDI CC messages to their favorite external MIDI-enabled synths and drum machines directly from all Maschine hardware. MIDI CC allows performance data, like attributes and parameters, to be transmitted to the external device. This means musicians can, for example, change the tone of the kick on their favorite Roland groovebox or sweep the LFO on their beloved Korg synth as if they were software instruments.
This update also brings classic features standard on Maschine Studio, Maschine MK1 and 2, and Maschine Mikro to the Maschine JAM. Now producers can change a note's pitch, velocity, length, swing, and position directly from the Maschine JAM via the step sequencer. It's also possible to modulate parameters, like changing reverb depth, adjusting a favorite plugin, or tuning a drum, on each step. With Maschine 2.6, users can also quickly adjust the velocity levels on each note in step mode by pressing any of the 16 fixed velocity levels on a dedicated grid.
Tutorial videos explaining the new features are available: