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CAMBRIDGE,  MA -- Tuesday, September 13, 2011. MOTU is now shipping MachFive 3.0, a major upgrade to their universal sampler for creative music production. Rebuilt from the ground up, version 3.0 includes a new user interface design, an extensive 45 GB sound library, seven signature instruments based on new scripting technology, a new hybrid synthesis engine, licensed algorithms from the IRCAM research institute, and many other new features and enhancements.

"With exciting new features and unified, cutting-edge technologies, MachFive 3 achieves our goal: to deliver an inspiring creative sampler and sound design tool for musicians, producers, engineers, DJs, remixers, and sound designers," said Jim Cooper, MOTU Director of Marketing.

Design and features

The MachFive 3 window displays a tabbed list on the left-hand side, main  controls across the top, and a tabbed main area in the rest of the  window for access to all other features. Sections can be resized, shown, or hidden as needed, to streamline operation for any task or workflow. MachFive's window is designed to operate at various sizes, from a compact plug-in running inside host software to a full screen application taking full advantage of cinema-sized displays.

To load sounds into MachFive's unlimited parts, a multi-column preset browser fills the MachFive window and remains open while loading multiple parts to save time. "Favorite" locations are listed along with hard drive volumes, frequently accessed folders, sound banks, and 3rd-party sampler disc images. Type a word or phrase into the new search field to instantly list all matching presets from all sound banks and  libraries.

Once sounds are loaded, users click any part to view basic settings in the Info tab, including a representative graphic of the sound currently loaded into the part, a virtual keyboard for playing the sound, several  basic "macro" controls for tweaking the sound, and text hints for using the macro controls.

Most of MachFive's thousands of factory-supplied presets provide macro controls for direct access to the sound's most crucial and interesting parameters, from reverb time to filter cutoff frequency. This allows users to tweak sounds quickly, without having to dig through complicated screens full of controls. Some macros even adjust several parameters at  once to completely transform the sound with a simple knob twist.

For deeper editing and sound design, additional tabs are available for the Oscillator Editor, Mapping Editor, Tree Editor, List Editor, Mixer view, Performance (multi) view, Effects Rack, Event Processor Rack, modulation settings panel, and other settings.

Sounds and Instruments

MachFive 3 includes 7 DVDs with 45 GB of multi-sampled instruments, synth patches, loops, phrases, sound design elements, and sound effects. The Universal Loops & Instruments sound bank is the most versatile, spanning a wide variety of acoustic and electric musical instruments, genres, eras, geographical regions, and cultural styles. The MachFive Biosphere™ sound bank provides hundreds of fresh, rich synth textures, including sweeping arpeggiations, enveloping atmospheres, soaring leads, anthem stacks, resonating pads and many other sounds developed by leading programmers. From car crashes to space storms, the 8 GB Xtreme FX bonus library developed by ultimatesoundbank.com provides 5000 creative sound effects, foley effects, and provocative sound textures that are ideal for music production and sound design alike.

All of these multi-sampled sounds can be used side by side — or even combined — with MachFive 3's new synth engine, which produces twelve milestone forms of synthesis developed over the past 40 years, from classic additive and subtractive, to frequency modulation (FM), wavetable, and even granular synthesis. MachFive's granular synthesizer has been licensed from the IRCAM institute in Paris and represents one  of the most advanced, yet easy-to-use forms of this technology currently available. Users can load any sound and quickly transform it into completely new material. Further dynamic sound morphing can be be easily applied by simply automating or modulating granular synth controls such as speed, direction, density and grain size.

MachFive's  effects architecture has been redesigned to facilitate the use of  effects processing both in sound design and in MachFive's conventional  mixer. 47 different effects, including convolution reverb, can be  applied to sound design objects such as individual  oscillators/keygroups, keygroup layers, and programs (presets), where  they essentially become part of the sound itself. Alternately, effects  can be applied throughout MachFive's mixer as channel inserts, aux bus  inserts, and even as master effects on the master fader, limited only by  CPU resources.

Rounding  out MachFive's included sound library are seven signature acoustic and  electric multi-sample instruments, developed in partnership with  acousticsamples.net, that showcase MachFive's new scripting technology.  Together, these instruments deliver a complete rhythm section to any  computer desktop, including guitar, bass, keys, drums, and percussion.  Like a real player, MachFive's scripted instruments add expressive  nuance that faithfully reproduces not only the sound but the playing  characteristics of the instrument, including finger picking techniques,  string hammer-ons, note-bending, and chord strumming. The electric  guitar and bass instruments play proper fingerings and inversions for  guitar chords, regardless of how they are played on a keyboard or other  MIDI controller. MachFive's signature instruments set a new standard for  virtual instrument realism and ease of use:

Telematic™ —  a dynamic recreation of the Fender® Telecaster® electric guitar with  9500 samples, five velocity layers, four round robin samples per note,  separate up and down strokes, hammer on, pull off, slides up and down,  mutes, fret noises, chord recognition, strumming engine, chord  sequencing, automatic hand position, and solo mode string detection.

Star Drums™ —  a complete drum set in both acoustic and processed versions with  multiple mics, mixing, adjustable sample cycling, and easy setup with  support for General MIDI and other industry standard MIDI controller  mappings.

J-Bass™ —  a deeply sampled and scripted electric bass with a variety of playing  techniques, including finger and pick (with or without muting from the  right hand), legato, hammer, and slide.

The Upright™ —  a world-class acoustic upright bass supplied with multiple miking  positions and many playing techniques including hammer, slide, legato,  slap, release volume, and sensitivity.

F Grand 278™ —  expertly crafted Fazioli concert grand with release volume, pedal  volume, key noises, resonance volume (the sound of the body of the  piano), room ambiance (convolution), velocity sensitivity and velocity  amplification.

Mark 79™ —  richly-sampled classic Fender® Rhodes® Mark II suitcase piano from  1979, including 2500 samples across ten velocity layers with time-based  release samples for accurate staccato, resonance, effects such as  tremolo and spring reverb, and adjustable key and pedal noise.

Percussiv™ — a comprehensive latin/world percussion set with both General MIDI and default mappings.


Built  on the 3rd-generation UVI Engine XT, MachFive provides a host of  advanced features for high-end music production, such as on-the-fly  upsampling and downsampling, so that users do not need to be concerned  with the bit depth or sample rate of their sample material. Other  advanced features include an enhanced, highly efficient disk streaming  engine, support for HD audio, and full support for up to 7.1  multi-channel surround sound.

MachFive  3 excels at audio time-stretching and pitch-shifting with algorithms  licensed from the renowned IRCAM research institute. Audio material can  be stretched as much as four to five times slower or faster with no  noticeable or harmful artifacts, while maintaining stereo phase  coherence and rhythmic accuracy. For example, a guitar pick can be heard  slowly scraping across each string in the strum of a chord that has  been slowed down to 25% of its original speed, with audio clarity akin  to the vivid visual clarity of slow-motion high-definition video.  Several modes are provided to produce optimum results for various types  of audio material. Time-stretching examples can be listened to here:

To  fully support its advanced, flexible synthesis, sampling and sound  design environment, almost every setting in MachFive can be automated,  modulated, or both, with an unlimited number of internal sources  (syncable LFOs, unlimited multi-point envelopes, rhythmic step  envelopes, user-programmable macros, etc.) and external assignments via  straight-forward MIDI Learn. Advanced external sources include unipolar  random, unipolar unison, organ pan, and poly aftertouch. Mappers provide  additional shaping of automation control. The open-ended architecture  allows for unlimited modulation connections, available at every stage in  the synthesis engine. MachFive's Tree Editor is an ideal place to view  and manage modulation connections, as it shows everything in orderly  hierarchical fashion.

For  multi-sample instrument development, MachFive 3 provides a colorful,  full-screen graphic Mapping Editor with many convenient tools for  quickly building multi-sample, multi-layer presets. Performance View  provides a straightforward graphic interface for programming key  switches, key range crossfades, velocity crossfades, and other dynamic  multi-layer behaviors. The Layer Rules Editor provides a hierarchical,  rules-based system for more complex behaviors between sample layers,  based on MIDI input characteristics such as note duration, playing  speed, same-note cycling, and others.

For  professional sound designers with programming chops, MachFive provides a  scripting engine to support custom scripted instruments written in  MachFiveScript™, a straightforward programming API based on an  industry-standard programming language (www.lua.org)  used heavily in the gaming industry. Script processors perform  advanced, customized transformations and analysis of MIDI data streams,  as demonstrated by MachFive's included signature instruments. For  example, MachFive's Telematic script, developed by acousticsamples.net,  can generate authentic chord strumming.

Script  processors and event processors are managed in MachFive's Event  Processor Rack, which looks and works just like the Effects Rack: users  choose a part and then load processors into the rack. Preset event  processors include an advanced arpeggiator with dozens of presents, a  user-editable micro tuner that supports the open-standard Scala  microtonal scale standard, a chord recognition module, a chord  generator, a unison generator, and an ensemble generator.

Additional MachFive 3 Feature Highlights

LoopLab™ — An advanced slice loop editor that supports REX, ACID, UFS, Apple Loops, and custom loops.

Universal  3rd-party sample library support – Directly reads all major 3rd-party  hardware/software sample formats and sample discs (Kontakt, Giga, EXS24,  HALion, Kurzweil, Akai, Roland, Ensoniq, Sample Cell, and many others)  with no conversion, for consolidated sound library management.

Complete mixing – Graphic mixer with faders, FX inserts, and unlimited channels.

New  Xpander filter — Based on the venerable Oberheim Xpander, this new  filter provides 37 modes, each a separate filter in its own right.

IR  Verb™ — A CPU-efficient convolution reverb processor that provides  hundreds of presets for acoustic spaces, classic high-end studio  reverbs, vintage plates and spring reverbs, plus eclectic impulse  responses for sound design. Drag and drop your own IRs, and you can even  edit IR waveforms directly.

Drag  and drop operation — Supports easy drag and drop importing of audio  files, loops, and samples to and from the computer desktop or a host  software application.

Multi-sample  import — Drag and drop multiple samples in one operation to map them  intelligently into layers or splits. With straightforward sample-naming  conventions, hundreds of samples can be precisely mapped in seconds with  a single drag and drop operation.

Multiple outputs – Submix to 17 stereo output pairs.

Unlimited polyphony – Includes ultra-low software latency.

System specs, availability, and pricing

MachFive  3.0 supports Mac OS X (10.5 or later) and Windows 7/Vista. It operates  stand-alone or as a plug-in (AU, VST and RTAS). 64-bit operation is  available for supporting systems and hosts.

MachFive  3.0 is now shipping. Price remains the same at $495. Registered version  1 and 2 users can upgrade to version 3 for $179. A competitive upgrade  is also available, with proof of ownership, for $295.

Further info and product images

To upgrade, visit the MOTU on-line store:

For further information about MachFive 3:

For images of MachFive 3.0:

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