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Maschine Studio and Maschine 2.0 are the latest hardware and software iterations of Native Instruments' famous 'Groove Production Studio' combo. While Maschine Studio now sits at the top of the controller lineup, the Maschine 2.0 software works with the entire range: Maschine, Maschine Mk II, Maschine Mikro and Maschine Studio.
Maschine 2.0 is a complete rewrite of the software, introducing a fresh, clean new look, a new audio engine with multicore support and plenty of workflow enhancements and new toys.The multicore support certainly hits the spot: a project pushing the CPU meter into the red on our i7 iMac in Maschine 1.8 barely tickled 40% in Maschine 2.0.
When it comes to the numbers, "unlimited" appears to be the new watchword, applying to Groups (used to be limited to eight), Scenes (64) and plugins (four per Group, three per Sound).
The main draw of Maschine Studio is that pair of gorgeous 480x272 resolution full- colour displays. Much of the time, these simply give you a prettier version of what you see on Maschine/Mikro's monochrome screens - but they also show a lot of extra stuff that their predecessors can't.
Our favourite new Maschine 2.0 feature is Drumsynths. These are a collection of five dedicated drum and percussion synth plugins (Kick, Snare, Hi-Hat, Tom and Percussion) that draw on a range of sound generation techniques (virtual analogue, physical modeling, etc).
The Maschine Studio is a big, spacious controller that gives off a profound impression of solidity and quality.