More than just a sampler
"MachFive 3 is a generational leap forward from previous releases, building on already-solid sampling and import abilities with a new user interface and vastly expanded sonic features. It's almost unfair to call it a sampler in the narrow sense, as it's really a hybrid of synthesizer and sampler. Coupled with scripting, interactive engines, signal processing, and effects, it's a giant toolbox for sound design and instrument creation."
"There’s tremendous attention to detail, both sonically and in visual interface design... Think of a restaurant with a really long list of tasty courses—it’s a nice problem to have. But with features like 'breadcrumbs' that show where you are in the hierarchy, as on the Mac Finder and Windows Explorer, you can easily retrace your steps. All in all, MOTU has done an uncommonly good job of making all this power navigable."
"Seeing these tools reduced to their essential elements is refreshing; you cover the vast majority of what you need without some of the complexity and individual quirks of dedicated synths."
More (tasty) filters
"First, off, you have an astounding selection of filter choices...the Oberheim filter options in MachFive are especially tasty."
"Unbeatable sound manipulation"
"If all you want is a sampler to import libraries and provide killer ready-to-use sounds, MachFive 3 won’t disappoint. But if you’re tempted to dive further into uncharted waters of sound design, it’s unparalleled. You get an integrated workflow that packs synthesis and sampling seamlessly into one box, plus an array of fantastic filters, modulation options, and analog- and digital-style effects. For sonic adventurers, having event processing and scripting, plus richly capable granular and stretching tools, can help you make instruments that sound like nothing else. All of this comes in a redesigned interface that’s attractive, manageable, and takes full advantage of a big screen. For synth lovers, no other sampler better integrates synthesizer functions, which is why we’re awarding MachFive 3 a Key Buy. There’s really only one problem: You may be spending some long evenings in your studio hiding from friends and family!"
Much more than just a sampler
MusicRadar is duly impressed with MachFive 3's synthesis engines: "MachFive 3 takes an evolutionary step from mere sampler to something much more complex." Adding, "What makes MachFive 3 more than just a sampler? Its 12 synth engines, that's what...the range of sonic possibilities opened up by this one instrument is truly wondrous to behold."
The last virtual instrument you'll ever need?
"MachFive 3 is advertised as the only software instrument you'll ever need, and there really is no reason why it couldn't be - apart from the general benefits of diversity, of course."
Remarkably detailed instruments
"The two bass instruments (J Bass and The Upright) provide a level of detail that surpass sample-based systems; the sound is detailed and present, and supports an up-front role for the low tones."
"To me, the most spectacular instrument is Telematic, a guitar-based device that generates chords or single-string lines by watching your playing and adjusting its output to create guitaristic musical forms. The sample set is excellent, but it is this playback-management that makes the day; it allows you to work with your keyboard as expected, but end up with phrases that you would swear are coming from a guitarist's hand…and that’s speaking as a guitarist who also plays keyboards."
Inspired sound design
"MachFive's interface is about having everything under your fingertips (or, rather, mouse cursor). The speed at which I was able to span a group of velocity-layered samples across the keyboard, test and tweak them to proper levels, and set up the necessary zone fading, blew me away."
"This software restores the 'Fun' in sound development, and I’m finding myself spending a lot more time creating personalized sounds rather than scanning through soundbanks. If that sounds more like what you’re looking for in a software sampler, you owe it to yourself to try out MachFive 3."
Electronic Musician Magazine
"MachFive has everything you’d expect, with robust importing, extensive editing, built-in effects including convolution reverb, lots of content (a 45GB library with some outstanding instruments), and yes, even scripting. But what make MachFive 3 more than “just another sampler” are the unique elements you won’t find elsewhere."
As good as it gets
"Overall, MachFive 3 is so much more than just a way to play back samples. The synthesis capabilities and sound design options are as good as it gets, with an interface that’s aesthetic, clean, and easy to navigate. Overall, this program makes me think “musical instrument” first, and “software program” a distant second: Even when hitting the rocket-science level, MachFive 3 makes it easy for you."
"The guitar and bass are particularly impressive, but the other featured instruments— piano, drums, electric piano, and percussion— sound fabulous."
Dual synthesizer/sampler identity
"I was taken aback by how easy it was to find my way around; MachFive 3 seems to make finding features unusually obvious. The printed manual—both logical and clear—doesn’t hurt, either. But the “big feature” for me is MachFive 3’s dual synthesizer/sampler identity, with multiple synth engines (wavetable, virtual analog, FM, drum, and even granular synthesis, licensed from IRCAM from which they also licensed stretch algorithms). Not only are there a ton of filters, from standard to esoteric, but MachFive 3 bases 37 additional filters on the original Oberheim Xpander filter designs. As someone who often layers synth samples with acoustic sounds, being able to use modeled waveforms is wonderful. You could just treat this instrument as a synth and still be a happy camper."
Excellent scripted instruments
"Telematic is a re-creation of the Fender Telecaster electric guitar and includes just about every playing technique imaginable. Advanced features include chord recognition, strumming, chord sequencing, automatic hand position, and string detection in solo mode."
"There are two pianos in MachFive 3: a lovely sounding Fazioli grand and a Fender Rhodes emulation (Mark 79). Both are faithful re-creations, with all the nuances you might expect from deeply sampled pianos."
"Star Drums certainly lives up to its name, containing both acoustic and processed versions, multiple microphones and mixing facilities. Simply designed, it's versatile, effective and easy to play using a controller keyboard."
Impressive new synth engine
"Granular synthesis is capable of producing amazing results from a simple stereo sample."
"Well laid-out and logical to use"
"The redesigned interface is bang up-to-date and extremely well implemented. From beginning to end — or put another way, from the Parts view to Mixer — all the different stages of this complex software are easily accessed, well laid-out and logical to use. To help you out if you do get confused there's also a brialliant Tree editor, which displays the organisational relationships between all the elements involved in a complex routing system."
9 out of 10 stars
"Thanks to its huge library plus the inclusion of synthesis, time-stretching, pitch-shifting and scripting technology, MachFive version 3 is an impressive update to an already well-established and powerful sampler."
AIR Users Blog
The new go-to sampler for Pro Tools users?
"The thing I love (yes love) about MachFive 3 is how easy it is to start with nothing and in a matter of minutes have an amazing sound from scratch, be that from samples or from synthesis. What it makes me feel is that this is what Omnisphere would be like if you could create you own sounds and not just modify the existing patches. This is one serious powerhouse of a virtual instrument."
"A self contained sound creation workstation"
"To be honest, to call MachFive 3 a sampler is not fair, it’s better to imagine it as a self contained sound creation workstation that ticks far more boxes than a sampler."
"I have to say, these are some seriously good instruments for those who want as-near-as-possible instrument realism. They are the kind of instruments that get the creative juices running and surely isn’t that what this is all about?"
"What becomes apparent very quickly with MachFive 3 is that it is feature packed. It’s like the designers sat in a room and said let's create a list of everything people could ever want in a VI, then add a few more things and ship it as MachFive 3. There seems to be no feature or expense spared..."
"The Swiss Army Knife of samplers"
"I’m starting to think of MachFive 3 as the Swiss Army Knife of samplers. Think of a task you need to do in the creation of a track, be that playing a standard sample instrument (which MachFive 3 loads in virtually every popular format), slicing a beat and then dropping it in your DAW timeline, creating a synth from scratch with virtually any kind of synthesis and with endless modulation sources, time stretching some vocals - then MachFive 3 can do it. Better still, in most cases you can do it without reading the manual, which incidentally is supplied in paper format for a nice change!"
"...this version has really won me over. What all of us need when making music is great sounds, powerful features and ease of use. Perhaps it’s called MachFive 3 because it ticks all three of those requirements."