Maschine JAM new from Native Instruments
The Maschine JAM is brand new from Native Instruments and in a nutshell it brings the controller/software up to speed with what pad controller users possibly expect from their production packages.
You see Maschine has always been a very powerful music making tool, but if there’s one possible criticism it’s that due to their faithful adherence to the Groovebox style workflow, all hose sub menus can be a little trick at times.
But with the new Maschine JAM this is all set to change.
A New Era
The Maschine JAM combines a similar workflow to the Ableton PUSH and/or Novation Launchpad with their own Maschine and Kontrol S-Series controllers to bring you a product that allows you to build a track on the fly, hence the name ‘JAM.’
The physical Maschine JAM controller features 8×8 multi-coloured pads which can be used for triggering scenes and/or sounds depending on the different modes used.
When used in Step Mode, the pads become a multitrack step sequencer which can be used to trigger one, four or eight sounds at the same time.
In Pad Mode you can play the Maschine JAM much like one would do with a PUSH or Launchpad by triggering sounds in real-time.
Piano Roll Mode allows one to make use of a variety of scales to step-sequence melodies.
Another cool feature is the Variation Engine which as the name suggests will create variations to your sequences by randomizing values and thus modifying the matrix. A built-in humanizer adds natural rhythmic fluctuations to programmed sequences.
It should be noted though that the Maschine JAM is designed more for ‘jamming’ sequences than actual finger drumming; for the price point the pads on this controller are more the basic push-button type.
The Maschine JAM also boasts eight touch strips called Smart Strips and each supports dual touch – i.e. you can use to fingers on one strip. These strips are mapped to a bunch of new performance FX to enhance your ‘jam.’
“The Smart Strips each feature multi-color LED meters to monitor the level of the assigned function, and can be used to alter macros, key instrument parameters, and even play melodies and chords with the unique Notes function. A powerful Lock function stores parameter snapshots that can revert back to their original settings or morph between multiple lock states.”
Who would use the JAM?
The Maschine JAM fits neatly into the laptop type ‘on-the-go’ music producer. The unit is flat, portable and very importantly has not protruding bits than can easily get damaged.
The big bonus is that the Maschine JAM includes the full Maschine software which includes a revised 9 gig audio library and the new Komplete 11 Select.
As part of their launch you also get a special offer of two free Maschine Expansions (there are 20 in total) when registering your products.
For the launch, there’s also a special offer of two free Maschine Expansions (out of twenty) when you register a Maschine Jam – clearly an opportunity to beef up a production library.
The other bonus is that Maschine JAM is NOT restricted to Maschine either. Aside from working as a plugin inside other DAWs it can also be used in MIDI mode for sequencers such as Ableton Live which thrives on pad controller type input.
And all this for an intro offer of $ 399 (R 5,800 excl. import duties)
Native Instruments is distributed through Tuerk Music Technologies in South Africa.
Watch the Maschine JAM promo video below.