Native Instruments new all in one beat-making machine is here

Native Instruments are taking their iconic Maschine away from the computer and into your lap with their completely standalone production controller.

Maschine+ brings the power of Native Instrument’s renowned production controller into it’s own. After years of work and teasing the standalone production controller is now here, giving the full range of beat-making components to producers without requiring to plug it into any other software or hardware.

With on-board instruments, effects, and loads of samples creators can jam straight onto the device and start putting together their beats. It has been designed to offer all of the control a creator needs to fully create, play and produce their music together.

Of course once you’ve started putting tracks together and editing their effects and samples you can transfer it over to a DAW to expand upon it. But the idea behind the Maschine+ is that it is an all-in-one production machine with the power and capability to create fully fledged tracks within itself.

9 Instruments – There are nine synths and sampled instruments that feature inside the Maschine+ for a range of potential sounds that can be played using on-board sequencing or played using its performance pads.

35 Effects – Loads of effects mean true customisation of every sample and recording you lay down. Using the array of touch sensitive knobs and the powerful variety of push pad controls you can create unique soundscapes with pinpoint detail.

1000s of Sounds – There are thousands of samples to make use of to lay down your track and expand it with a diverse sound palette.

Sample Everything – The on-board sampler makes chopping and editing clips a pleasure to do. With Maschine+’s array of inputs you can record your own instruments, record from a turntable, lay down some vocals and then produce them with power.

Create With Clips – Clips let you arrange your recordings, sounds and samples on a timeline to give you true production power. This is where the necessity of a DAW is removed as you can put together your tracks completely on the Maschine+ with their simple yet powerful Clips function.

Expand Your Potential – With the ability to outboard your gear you can control other devices with your Maschine+. With a computer it works as a production controller like the original Maschine. With Wi-Fi enabled too, you can expand on your sounds and tools instantly.

Native Instruments long-awaited Maschine+ is available for £1099. Find out more and get your own here.

Allen & Heath may be about to buy Traktor from Native Instruments

Audio mixing hardware company Allen & Heath are thought to be in discussion with Native Instruments to acquire their DJ software and controllers Traktor.

If reports from DJ TechTools are to be believed, Allen & Heath may be looking into buying Traktor from Native Instruments.

Traktor software and Native Instruments’ controllers were revolutionary when released, but recently NI have struggled to keep afloat, with slowed updates to hardware and software, amid staff layoffs, allegations of company racism, as well as company founders Daniel Haver and Mate Galic stepping down.

This could be Allen & Heath taking a bigger leap into DJ controllers and its first steps into software. Rekordbox from Pioneer is a fully integrated DJ software package, that seamlessly merges software, hardware and cloud services. With a software solution under their belt, Allen & Heath would be in a good position to compete. This competition is great for consumers and could spur some fresh innovation into Traktor.

Nothing has been confirmed by either Native Instruments or Allen & Heath. Native Instruments may only sell a portion of Traktor, for example only the software side. They may sell to another company. We may see a partnership with another company rather than full acquisition.

The best audio gear for mixing music

Whether you’re more of a speaker of headphones person, there are some specific details you need to keep an eye on when looking to upgrade your audio gear for mixing and mastering.

Studio Monitors

Reference monitors are different to most hi-fi systems found in your living room. Their goal is to provide a flat frequency response rather than ampliying the highs and lows. This gives a natural, unenhanced and true-to-life sound.

KRK Rokit’s line have been a long-time favourite for bedroom producers. They combine high quality audio with affordability. The latest G4 series from 2019 includes an LCD screen.

KRK Rokit
Around $350
Headphones

Similarly to speakers, you’re looking for something fairly flat in the frequency response department. Stay away from earbuds and bluetooth headphones. Most studio environments will have two different types of headphones for different scenarios.

Closed Back – Recording
Sennheiser HD280PRO
$99.90
Open Back – Mixing
Beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO
$149

For more studio gear buys, check our top 10 tools for music producers.

Poly Effects Beebo touch screen modular synth in a guitar pedal

The Beebo multi modulation effects pedal lets you customise your own effects presets, giving you endless possibility for sound output.

Beebo from Poly Effects doubles as both a guitar pedal and digital modular synth. Control all aspects using the five-inch touch screen, with two knobs at the top for changing parameters. Tap one of the three foot switches to quickly change a value, or connect up parameters to a random source, an LFO or an envelope follower for example.

Combine traditional effects such as auto swell, delay, algorithmic reverb, chorus, looping delay, mono & stereo EQ, mono & stereo compressor, pan, phaser, reverse, rotary, saturator, phaser, warmth and through zero flanger. With synth modules from Mutable Instruments loaded up on the pedal, such as Clouds, Grids, Plaits and Warps.

Build your own effect presets right on the pedal, or import and export presets using a flash drive. Send control signals out as MIDI CC to control other pedals.

The Beebo is physically the same as the Poly Effects Digital, with similar hardware but different firmware. Poly Effects allow you to easily swap firmware between the two models in the settings, effectively giving you two pedals in one.

Comparisons have been drawn between the Poly Effects Beebo and the Zoia from Empress. A similarly extensive system in pedal form. Together they compliment each other very well. If you owned both, in theory you’d never need buy another pedal again.

The Beebo cost $399 on Reverb, which is a reasonable price for such a complex, all-in-one pedal.

TheoryBoard returns to teach music theory whilst making music producing simple

This unique MIDI controller makes for simplified music creation whilst teaching you the essentials of music theory.

A few years ago we looked at a unique new MIDI controller that was gaining traction on Kickstarter called TheoryBoard. The innovative design made for a controller that made jumping into music production and creation on computers easy whilst an intuitive design taught it’s users as they used it.

3 years on and TheoryBoard are back with an updated and enhanced controller and a fresh new Kickstarter which has already soared past its fundraising goal. Within 3 hours the new TheoryBoard had reached it’s goal of £7,963 needed to make it an available reality and it’s now sitting pretty at over £180,000 at the time of writing.

The board is designed with classic MIDI push pads for playing out rhythm and notes on but is colour-coded to show users where the matching notes of a scale stand without any prior knowledge needed. It allows creators to explore and produce chords and notes that are always going to sound correct.

The most impressive sounding part of the new and updated TheoryBoard is the ‘Live Note Update’ feature. This new section highlights 4 octaves of the notes within a chord whenever you press one of the chord buttons. This makes creating melody lines and solos the smoothest they can be as you know exactly where to press to stay in key.

If it all sounds incredibly simple that’s because it is. It’s designed with total beginners in mind so that the barriers to getting started with creating something that sounds good are diminished whilst also allowing learning through playing so that you’re not just pushing at buttons that will always sound “correct”.

It sounds like an intuitive way to play with music production that may open up the doors to the creative world for a lot of people who’ve found the learning curve to steep to really dive in before.

Find out more on their Kickstarter campaign and back the project to nab one for yourself when they plan to start shipping in December for as little as $499.

Behringer can now create controllable analogue synth in a single tiny chip

Using the power of their good friends Coolaudio, Behringer have access to an incredible new music-making chip.

Coolaudio, an analogue and mixed-signal design company working under Behringer, have created an impressive new little piece of tech. Their V3397 chip is a revolutionary piece of miniscule technology that is capable of producing multiple waveforms for an analogue synth.

Its super-compact design means a boatload of new potential for Behringer synths. With the chip creating high-performance and quality sound in the size of a single chip they’ll be able to make instruments of diverse sizes including the potential for new compact, super-portable instruments.

Behringer say:

Wow – imagine a complete “Analog Synth On-a-Chip”.


Our sister company Coolaudio who designs highly sophisticated semiconductors, has just released a complete voice (2 multi-waveform Oscillators, a VCF plus 4 VCAs) on a single chip. The chip is an improved version of the Curtis CM3396 and will allow us to create high-performance analog poly synths in a very compact manner.

Stay tuned…

See their full post with the description of the chip’s capabilities here:

Teenage Engineering and Rick & Morty team up for a ridiculous beatmaker

Who doesn’t want a bunch of Rick and Morty samples all digitised and fuzzed up for making weird little beats, huh?

If you’re not aware of Teenage Engineering they’re some of the coolest creators of weird and wonderful music-making packages in a very portable form. Their OP-1 is still one of the coolest pieces of kit I’ve seen come out in recent years.

They’ve recruited Rick and Morty creator Justin Roiland to provide samples for their latest Pocket Operator, a series of stripped down all-in-one beatmakers. It uses an onboard 16-step sequencer with a collection of different sounds on top of the R&M samples to play with and mix.

You can manipulate samples by changing their pitch and speed and adding different effects to get a range of different sounds in your sequence. It seems like a whole lot of fun, though some of the digitised samples are more of a funny novelty than any actual use in creating with.

But that’s okay, you can use a built-in microphone (or plug in your own) to record your own samples over the top of the vocal cuts from the animated series. Because of this you can essentially re-write the entire sample bank and it basically becomes their standard PO-35 Speak but with cool animations.

You can find the PO-137 Rick and Morty for as cheap as £79 if you look around online or around $120 in the US. Here’s Andrew Huang having fun with it so you can see how it works and get a hankering for some candy at the same time.

Join 9 artists walking you through creating an awesome track from scratch in Ableton’s new free video series

Ableton’s new video series explores how nine very different creators create music from the very bottom with insightful tips and creative inspiration.

Made In Ableton Live is an awesome new video series on YouTube that you can watch right away. Full of unique tips, creative tricks, and inspiring work with virtual instruments, samples, and recording techniques from nine professional artists.

Each artist creates a track from scratch so you can see all the processes and techniques that they use to provide you with fuel to enhance your tracks or give you the motivation you need to start a new track with methods in mind.

We’ll post them all below for you to explore and hopefully take some creative inspiration from:

Bad Snacks

Bad Snacks uses live takes from her electric violin as a starting point for a warm and melodious house track. With methods like creative panning, MIDI effects and lo-fi processing, she brings warmth, vibrancy and character to her creations. 



https://badsnacks.bandcamp.com/track/kenmore-instrumental?from=embed

Eomac

Eomac creates a full-frequency sample pack using field recordings captured in the street on his phone, and produces a techno track with it. Watching his methodology in action is a valuable lesson in sound design, and a perfect demonstration of the idea that there is music everywhere.

Rachel K Collier 

Rachel K Collier guides us through intuitive audio routing and live improvisational looping to craft a distinctive, uplifting club track. She introduces the concept of cue mixing, demonstrates her workflow on Push and layers up vocals in this expressive performance. 

Abayomi 

Abayomi integrates analog hardware and in-the-box sequencing and synthesis to make a detailed, melodic techno track. He guides us through practical project templates, creates unique presets and employs sound design to achieve a style all his own. 

Keychee 

Keychee builds up a hard-stepping hit of hip hop-flavored funk using drum layering, automated envelopes, sidechain compression and master effects chains. The end result is a textured, dynamic track layered with rich synth hooks, all created in the box. 

Novaa

Novaa showcases inventive ways of processing her voice while remixing her own track for a brooding take on hyper-modern pop. Using effects like autotune and vocoder, she takes her singing in new and exciting directions while promoting the idea of embracing imperfections.

Underbelly

Underbelly structures his track composition around different energy levels. Organization is key as he shows us how he builds Instrument Racks and navigates his library, but equally important is the sound design involved in making a killer bassline. 

Anna Disclaim 

Anna Disclaim turns samples and her own voice into data using audio-to-MIDI techniques to craft a distinctive strain of pop-noir. As well as creating melodic elements using her voice, she also highlights the creative potential when re-sampling existing parts of a track using Simpler. 

Freddie Joachim 

Freddie Joachim chops up some Rhodes samples, slices drum breaks and lays down some live guitar. From turning shakers into hi-hats to creative quantizing and creating stereo width, his session is loaded with classy techniques to make a seriously smooth jam. 

Get up to half price on music software and hardware in Native Instruments’s huge sale

Native Instruments have a huge sale on with discounts on Komplete MIDI keyboards, Maschines, effects, and more.

Native Instruments have huge offers on their music kit, programs, digital effects, instruments – everything a music producer could want to look at!

Their distinguished KOMPLETE packs, full of instruments and effects for use in digital music production that has been lauded by many is on sale at half price. There are 4 versions available for however much or as little as you want from the brilliant pack.

There’s also offering 50% off a bunch of their single instruments and effects for updates and upgrades. So if you’ve been looking to get the latest version of KONTAKT or want to upgrade to MASSIVE X now is the time.

Their beloved DJ software, Traktor Pro 3 is available for just £22! Overall you can save up to £424.50 off on a bunch of their hardware instruments and controllers and software.

Head to the sales now and nab yourself some of the top quality music production kit around.

Drum Channel are giving away 1,000 memberships to lessons from Chad Smith, Mick Fleetwood, Stewart Copeland & many more

Learn drums with some of the biggest legends in drumming history with the chance at a free 30-day membership to Drum Channel.

If you’ve got a drum kit at home then there is potentially no better time to take your skills to the next level than with venues closed and more time at home than ever before.

Drum Channel are helping 1000 lucky people to improve and learn on the drums with 30 days free to their lessons, courses, and secrets from prolific and famous drummers around the world.

Lessons and guidance include legends like Chad Smith, Abe Laboriel JR., Stewart Copeland, Taylor Hawkins, Sheila E., Gregg Bissonette, Terry Bozzio, Mick Fleetwood, Charlie Watts, Thomas Pridgen, Thomas Lang and over 100 more.

As mentioned, this is a limited giveaway for 1000 people so head over and see if you can nab yourself this fantastic deal.