NI releases iMaschine 2: the mobile sketchpad becomes a production platform

Although it's never been the most inherently powerful iOS music making app on the market, Native Instruments' iMaschine has been a perennial favourite among producers, not least because ideas sketched out in it can easily be developed in the desktop version of Maschine.

With iMaschine 2, though, it looks like NI has come up with an app that is a more capable production tool in its own right, with a greater focus on creating full tracks (as opposed to just loops).

With this in mind, there's now an Arranger, which enables you to turn loops and scenes into songs, while Step Mode lets you use a 4x4 grid as a step sequencer and can be employed to generate loops.

To aid composition, the Smart Play keyboard (inherited from NI's Komplete Kontrol Series keyboards) ensures that your playing will always be 'in key', and you can select specific scales (both traditional and non-traditional) to work in. Chord mode, meanwhile, turns a single key stroke into a full chord, and also offers Chord Sets - ready-to-play progressions that can be used in your compositions. There's an arpeggiator, too.

As a further bonus, iMaschine 2 makes use of Apple's 3D Touch facility; if you own an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus, this adds more creative options. If you use the Note Repeat feature on one of these devices, for example, the dynamics are adjusted based on how hard you press a pad - just like in the full version of Maschine. 3D Touch can also control the rate when using Note Repeat, and be used to speed up your workflow in other areas of iMaschine 2.

Of course, iMaschine 2 retains some of its predecessor's key features - the mixer page, effects and sample editor - while finished projects can be exported and opened in the full version of Maschine or uploaded directly to SoundCloud.

iMaschine 2 is available now from the Apple App Store for the introductory price of £3.99/$4.99, which applies until 1 December 2015. NI has also released the Ultimate Collection - a bundle of 36 iMaschine expansions that can be purchased for $0.99 until the same date.

Find out more on the Native Instruments website.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.