In late May, Native Instruments updated the iMaschine iOS application after a few years. The first version of the application was designed exclusively for iPhone, and although it worked on iPad through the graphical rescaling that automatically performs iOS, clearly did not take advantage of the possibilities of a larger screen. The new version fits all screen types of iOS devices, and adds a few new features that enhance the workflow and extend the creative possibilities of the application.
Exactly what is it for?
The best way to explain the utility of the application may be to say what it is not: it is not the Maschine software tucked inside an iPad, nor does it make the iPad an additional controller to be used with Maschine hardware. If you look at the entire name of the application we will see that it is "iMaschine: The Groove Sketchpad", or in Spanish "sketchbook of rhythms" (yes, I have translated groove as rhythm, do not kill me). And it is precisely to make sketches for what we can use the application, sketches that we can then transfer to the computer and continue working with them using conventional hardware and software Maschine. Do you achieve these goals? That is precisely what we are going to analyze.
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At the time of taking iPad what we have done with iMaschine we have two options, or export to Soundcloud a recording of what we have done (for which we must have an account in Soundcloud and the application authorized), in which we can choose If the track is public or privately uploaded, and if we want to also send our social networks (Twitter and Facebook) a publication for our contacts and followers. I show you a couple of very simple things made with iMaschine and exported to Soundcloud, you do not have to listen to them all, because they are short stuff playing in constant loop:
The other option is to export to continue working on the computer, in which case the application creates a ZIP file containing on the one hand a .wav file with the rendering of what we have done, and a project file for Maschine together with all the Samples required, which can be opened with Maschine software version 1.7 onwards. The ZIP can be rescued from the iPad using iTunes. Once unzipped the project file can be opened without problems from the software and continue the work of the same using the workflow of the hardware-software combination of Maschine without any problem. This is probably the strongest point of the application.
It is missing among the export options being able to include the final audio of our project in the iTunes library.
The application works really well, works very smoothly at all times and has not been hung on any occasion. Fast loads samples and exports and sends Soundcloud recordings very fast. Editing samples is really simple and effective and catching the trick to play using the touch screen, although it is unforgivable not to use any controller. Understood that the purpose of NI is to offer an application for mobility, to make sketches while you are out of your environment, but a few freaks sometimes have a mini keyboard Korg or Akai to the bottom of the backpack next to the iPad, and we could also use it with iMaschine.
The method for recording the sequences will wreck the nerves of those who are not accustomed to "touching", although probably the excuse of Native Instruments not to include a visual editor will again be that it is an application for mobility and sketches, and for That is not worth an elaborate publisher, leaving the sequencing in the hands of improvisation and momentary inspiration of the user.
Of course, it is undeniable that the function of the application to export the projects to be continued with the computer, works perfectly and fulfills its purpose. That is why the application remains as well recommended for all those who already work with a system based on Maschine. Those are indeed those who will find meaning to the application, their moment of inspiration returning from work in the subway can have its continuation just sitting in the studio.
Should NI consider including a visual editor and external controller option to grow the application? It depends. If you pretend that people who are not Maschine users on the computer are engaged in making music with the iPad application, it is imperative, the current application is not used to make "complete" music creations. If they only pretend to be an extension of the work with the computer system, you can leave it as is. Of course, they will have to be clear the potential audience that they give up. There are other applications that allow