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MOTU MachFive v3 just released -- includes scripting, FM etc


Mark Schmieder

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MOTU have finally launched MachFive v3, and now it's obvious why there was such a long delay:

 

http://www.motu.com/products/software/machfive/

 

This is a monster of a sampling+synthesis engine!

 

It includes 12 types of synthesis (FM amongst them), and an advanced scripting engine.

 

http://www.motu.com/products/software/machfive/body.html

 

http://www.motu.com/products/software/machfive/features.html

 

http://www.motu.com/products/software/machfive/sounds.html#deep-synth

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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I just went through the hassle of viewing the demo vids and sounds on my HD screen and big (neutral) monitoring system, after convincing my Linux mplayer to play quicktime on top of flash (actually I compiled a new version) and finding out some of the demo vids don't like having the aac audio upsampled to 192kHz...

 

The UI looks nice, the suggestion of covering many types of synths isn't made true (the piano example is nice, but bores like the rest of them after about 20 secs and the effects turnb so ugly so soon either the guy is talented at that or they simply aren't worth much). The sounds makes me want to puke. Period.

 

 

Theo Verelst

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I just listened to a bunch of the demos/videos, and it's a mixed bag.

 

While some of it isn't very deep and is meant as introductory sounds, there is also some deeper stuff in there, and the engine itself is probably the most advanced.

 

The overall presentation and sound set remind me a bit of Ableton Live Pro though (having recently downloaded their full suite to evaluate).

 

In other words, good bang for buck, but a bit redundant for many.

 

All the same, the advanced engine makes the difference, and I expect this is the version that will finally bring more developers on board to create add-on libraries that go beyond what is possible with EXS24, HALion, Kontakt, and other current sample engines.

 

The material and features seem to come from a variety of sources, including IRCAM. The more fleshed out patches sound quite nice; remember that the MAJORITY of the video demos are just a feature walk-through and are fairly naked sounds sans production, effects, layering, etc.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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I of course know MOTU from the backpage of Keyboard and other magazines and the stores I went to and am aware of at least a decent standing for their name. I can't help finding also the broader sounds in the demo too sh*tty to take so much detailed notice of. I agree there might be good people who contributed and deserve respect for their work. When I was at Ircam in Paris some number of years ago and saw the people working on (at the time too ) Open Source and the more closed source developers and their demos I didn't have the impression they were pushing for being the worlds best developers, but rather taking a nice corner and do something they like.

 

I'm affraid *IF* there would be effects which would work good enough (for the norms I like) *THEN* that would be eeky, because what I don't like about the sound probably can't come out that right anymore, but I suppose that enters deep territory.

 

I mean I can listen to DSI demos for hours thinking it's great but some programmers are soooo wrong, I can use the Kurzweil PC3 for years and *KNOW* some deep things are wrong which could and should be good, play my own DSP based synth for hours and very well know it's limitations and come back for more because it's still fun to try details and sounds out and I'm sure I can listen to the bulk of software plugs for hours, minutes, or the rest of my life, but they won't grow on me. I'm pretty sure.

 

It's like the Blurays I've played (lets say a hundred of them were seriously listened to in surround): the sound is of course pretty nice, and here and there are audio gems, but generally I also suspect too much orchestral stuff has been replaced by un-nice software and productions too influenced by stuff which is unduly called important only because it is "new"...

 

Nothing against playing around with it of course, in fact I did have some fun with the Yamaha organ simulation I compiled for Linux after you mentioned it.

 

Theo

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All the same, the advanced engine makes the difference, and I expect this is the version that will finally bring more developers on board to create add-on libraries that go beyond what is possible with EXS24, HALion, Kontakt, and other current sample engines.

+1. Though it's not very clear as to how scripting is more advanced than, say, in Kontakt. But I'm optimistic, nonetheless...

 

The overall presentation and sound set remind me a bit of Ableton Live Pro though (having recently downloaded their full suite to evaluate).

I felt the same - in fact, my first thoughts on going through the demos and specs - "is this designed to be an Ableton-killer?".

 

BTW, does anyone here have experience with the earlier version, or even MOTU Digital Performer? Especially in a live context?

 

This is really what MIDI was originally about encouraging cooperation between companies that make the world a more creative place." - Dave Smith
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I've used Digital Performer for almost nine years now, and it's the reason I chose a Mac (which I was 0% familiar with at the time) vs. Windows (a platform for which I was one of the early pre-alpha/beta testers!).

 

I have tried other DAW's -- including recently -- and still (especially since the version 7 update) find DP the most intuitive and flexible in workflow, and the most feature-complete as an integrated audio/MIDI program.

 

ProTools might have a slight edge for audio, but DP rules for MIDI. Period. Logic tries but falls short. DP also has the most full-featured notation tools built in. And those who use it live say it is very easy for them to quickly set up live templates for multi-track projects and minimize latency.

 

I own Mach Five v2 but only bought it due to the pre-sales promotional for v3. As someone who owns more sample libraries than I care to mention, content is a hard sell for me. I like Mach Five because of its interface. Never liked Kontakt's, but it has improved a bit. Mach Five has the cleanest and most flexible workflow.

 

But I don't have time to create sample libraries so don't make use of its advantages. That's why I'm hoping other vendors will step forward and take advantage of its new scripting, which is based on the same Lua language that is widely employed in video games such as World of Warcraft and which most of Adobe Lightroom is built atop. A very powerful scripting language, and more likely to stay forward-compatible than the proprietary KSP in Kontakt.

 

My copy of Komplete 8 Ultimate upgrade hasn't arrived yet as there is a shortage and the US has to wait for European orders to be fulfilled first. Thus I cannot review Kontakt 5 yet -- perhaps it is a game-changer, as the specs suggest.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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