With the Static Friction Maschine Expansion pack, Native Instruments aims to bring tech-house sounds to their Maschine and Mikro. NI on its own obviously does an amazing job with these sorts of projects all the time, but for this one, they’ve gone a step further and enlisted tech-house giant Florian Meindl for even more authoritative quality control. We spoke with Meindl about this new expansion pack and what went into making it.
How did the Static Friction Maschine Expansion pack come together?
I studied Music Technology in London and I use almost all Native Instruments products, so sometimes they call me in for my opinion on different products like their DJ software Traktor, its controllers, and also for Maschine, which I use a lot on stage and in the studio. I’ve also run a very successful loops and samples label called Riemann Kollektion for six years, so I have a lot of experience in creating high-quality audio content which actually works and sounds good in the club. So when I got my first Maschine I instantly recognized its potential and was thinking of creating my own kits. Things came together and I got the offer to create a whole expansion pack, which is kind of the “sound designers album” to me—the masterclass of sound design. A huge amount of sound design, rhythmic feel, balance of sound and real night-club experience is inside this expansion pack. And, of course, my style is, too.
Can you give us a high-level breakdown of what it is?
First of all, it is very useful in practical situations like when you use the Maschine live in the club or when you need a perfect-sounding rhythm for a studio production. I want to highlight the vocal samples, which can be triggered in a live set or in addition to a DJ set in live situations, and also the snare rolls, which can create very intense moments in clubs and at festivals. I road-tested it a couple of times around the globe already and I can assure you, it is insane! Besides these special kits, there are many full-track kits which include pretty much everything you need to produce a full track. The good thing about Maschine is that you can only take a few elements of these or change the rhythm or only take the rhythm and exchange the sounds. The possibilities are endless, even though I feel like Maschine gives you limits, which are good for your creativity.
Another thing I want to highlight is the incorporation of 40 Massive presets, which can be tweaked live and adjusted to your needs in the studio. I would love to see somebody who is reinterpreting my kits with his or her own rhythms and melodies create a whole live set; this would sound like a remix of an album of mine. I’m very curious if somebody is up for doing that, and how the end result will be. So you see, this is not another sample pack—this is much, much more. You can tweak literally every atom of this “sound designers album,” as I tend to call it.
What type of gear did you use to create the pack?
- The Ekdahl Moisturizer, which is an outstanding analog spring reverb. It consists of three units, which are all amazing. Firstly, the Distortion, which brings sweet warmth, a Filter which sounds like Daft Punk 20 years ago, and a real spring reverb where you can touch the spring and get a big-sounding effect, like in a large metal tube. I used it on so many sounds, and that is the reason everything sounds fat and warm. I even created a whole special kit with only sounds from hitting and abusing the metal spring.
- My Virus TI Desktop synth, which can create pretty much everything from kick drums to effects, and obviously synth sounds.
- An old Sony Cassette recorder from my dad, which I use to get a dirty lo-fi saturation sound, mainly on drums and chords.
- All Arturia and Native Instruments software synths.
- Almost all UAD Plugins, which still sound amazing to me. I use them in all of my music productions, too, of course.
- A selection of good microphones and interesting acoustic environments including field recordings for many sounds. I layered a lot of classic 808 sounds which are sampled from original Roland gear with self-recorded sounds from hand-claps, mouth sounds, hitting objects, and, as I said, field recordings from the nature or different rooms.
- I think I also used the Maschine to create the pack [laughs]
Have you used any of the pieces from the expansion pack to create your own tracks for release?
Yes, some sounds even have been exported from my existing releases and I have a few unreleased tracks which will be released on my label FLASH Recordings in the near future. It’s not a problem for me to hear my sounds in other productions. I think it’s interesting and it’s always a reinterpretation anyways, because everybody is tweaking the material and using it with their own style.