Maschine 2.1 Update: A Video Walkthrough

With Native Instruments’ recent Maschine 2.1 software update, there’s never been a better time for experienced Maschine-ists to work—or for curious newcomers to explore the Maschine world. There’s some very cool new Drumsynth features, like the Grit Kick and Shaker Performer mode. Many workflow enhancements also help you make your music faster and smarter. Check out our videos to see what you need to know.

Native Instruments recently issued the Maschine 2.1 software upgrade, a free update for registered Maschine 2 users, and of course included with any Maschine hardware controller purchase. For an incremental update, Maschine 2.1 drops off a grip of helpful workflow improvements—many of them common user requests (see the list and second video below).

To keep it fun, NI also tacked on some new Drumsynth engine abilities. In the first video below, we walk you through the new Drumsynth Grit Kick, a deep and airy electronic kick boom that when gated also packs a tight punch. Its signature Grind control adds a bitcrush-style effect that lets you throw some dirt on your productions. There’s also the new Shaker Performer mode added to the Percussion Drumsynth. With this, every Drumsynth Shaker patch comes with its own rhythmically gifted digital assistant. The Performer mode plays funky shaker patterns when you hold down a single note, with plenty of adjustable swing, accent, timing, and fill controls for you to customize the feel.

Now for the power-user features for true Maschine heads. The second video shows you a checklist of mostly workflow features that Maschine-philes have desired. Beginners will enjoy them as well, without knowing just how good they have it.

  • A Preferences setting that only turns the metronome on when the Record button is enabled.
  • An input quantize option that will quantize notes in real time as you play them live on the pads (also in Preferences).
  • A batch function to set all sounds in a group to the same MIDI channel. MIDI export is available on the Group and Sound levels.
  • Scenes can be selected/triggered via MIDI input when Maschine is running standalone.
  • Volume and pan knobs for Sounds and Groups are only displayed when you hover over them.
  • Instantiating the first plug-in on an empty Sound updates the name of that sound to the plug-in name.
  • CNTRL +Drag (PC) or OPT + Drag (Mac) copy-pastes single elements (patterns, scenes, plug-ins, notes, etc.) in the Groups / Sounds lists and the plug-in chain.
  • Native Instruments plug-in windows can be pinned to remain active when not in focus.
  • The hardware Shift button enables fast-scroll browsing, 20 items at a time.
  • Real-time group erase function by holding down the hardware Erase + Group buttons.


Maschine 2.1 includes various bug fixes, performance, and stability improvements, such as Browser performance improvements. Also, when you’re on the sample recording screen, you’ll still have access to the sounds on the Maschine’s pads.

A couple of last items to mention involve enhancements to the hardware controller screens brought about with the Maschine 2.1 update. All Maschine and Maschine MK2 controllers now include access to level and pan settings for Groups and Sounds from the Mix page. And from Maschine and Maschine Studio controllers, you can now toggle the Browser, Mixer, and Mod sections of the software on and off from the Navigate page of the hardware display. 

Interested in Maschine 2.1? Now through May 31, 2014, all Maschine hardware is discounted in the DJ TechTools store

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