Maschine 2.2 update a Push Killer?

Native Instruments has released Maschine 2.2 – an update that adds new options that give you scales (like on the Push), one finger chords, chord progressions and an arpeggiator. If you have not upgraded to version 2 of the software now is the time. It's also half off at $50 if you own 1.0. Don't be afraid because you can have both version 1.0 and 2.0 on your system at the same time. Just in case you are having problems finding your way around the new features in 2.0. Also If you are lucky enough to own a Maschine Studio, it unlocks the touch-sensitive knobs. This update also delivers full Komplete Kontrol S-Series keyboard integration.

Maschine 2.2 extends Note Repeat into a fully-functional arpeggiator. Play any number of notes and let Maschine turn them into a melodic pattern. Use the arpeggiator in combination with Scale and Chord Modes and get polyphonic performances from just one key – always in tune. What’s huge, is the output of the arpeggiator is recorded into the Pattern Editor.

Maschine 2.2 extends Keyboard Mode with a new scale and chord engine – fully integrated into the Maschine workflow. Select your scale and start playing melodies on Maschine’s 16 pads that are always in key. Engage Chord Mode and play chords directly into your compositions. The actually notes of the chords are also recorded, not just the single pad/note you selected. 

Maschine 2.2 gives you full keyboard functionality within the Maschine environment. Press browse on your Komplete Kontrol keyboard and the Komplete Browser pops up on your computer screen, letting you select and load a sound directly into a sound slot in Maschine. Watch scales, chords, and arpeggios light up across Komplete Kontrol’s Light Guide, see the color of your sounds in Maschine directly on the keyboards, and get mapped parameters instantly with Native Map.

Maschine 2.2 unlocks Maschine Studio’s touch-sensitive knobs. For example, when browsing, touching a knob automatically takes you to the tag cloud on the hardware display. Depending on which control knob you touch, you’ll see all available options and functions in a pop-up list. For instance, routing options for sounds and groups. Absolutely no menu diving – a turbocharged workflow.

Other updates – Discover the new Grit kick engine, shaker performer mode, group MIDI export, and more.
The update is a free download for Maschine 2 users. And the update is currently 50% off.  See the NI site for details.

So did the Maschine just leap frog the Push? Yes and No and depending on what angle. The new chord and chord progression features in Maschine are not currently "built in" to Ableton or the Push's software. You have to go and dig around and manually create them with the midi effects plugins. So it's much easier right now in Maschine. The chord progression feature (chord styles) is not something you can easily do in Ableton as of yet.
The new ARP feature? Cool but nothing new and should have been included long time ago.
The new Scale feature in Maschine? Works well but the Push can do that and does it well.
The integration with NI's Komplete and the workflow? This is where Maschine and NI are killing. Its so much fun to work in and have the different colours of Komplete at your finger tips. NI has always destroyed at creating great sounds, kits and synths. If you love NI's instruments then you will love the workflow. Getting your ideas into Ableton? Thats another story. But in stand alone Maschine software it works well to create ideas. I just hate arranging and deep editing in Maschine. It can't come close to Ableton as a DAW yet. 
Touch sensitivity on the Studio? Cool. The Studio is amazing. 
Overall its a fantastic update that if you own a Maschine you will have a lot more weapons and ways to be inspired.

Mitch Lee