00master copyIts not very often that I can say that I have truly been left in awe of a person after a few solitary hours spent. But Tuesday 10th June 2014 left me stumped. After the norm of a 9 to 530 I made my way across the intercity underground overground network in anticipation of what was in store. My destination; Hackney Wick. When I arrived at the station I eagerly jumped off the train and trotted down the winding slope, which was then followed by a brisk walk around the corner to Number 90. Of course… I was early.

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As I entered the building the tables and chairs were being shuffled and positioned by the staff for optimum engagement. Being the first to arrive allowed me the privilege of picking my spot for the evening. Perfect. So I took my seat awaiting the arrival of the man himself. Moments passed and the other students trickled in. We began to exchange pleasantries, which were all put on pause for a moment. Off to the left through the double glass doors, in stepped a tall, slender framed man with duffle style bag across his shoulder. Mike Huckaby had arrived. We all stood to greet him, one after the next which was returned with a humble “hi” and a shake of the hand.

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Out of the bag he pulled his arsenal and laid them out on the table similar to a surgeon about to operate. The staple MacBook was accompanied by Native Instruments’ Maschine Studio (powered by Maschine 2.0); the most recent addition to the Native Instruments armoury. I had not yet come into contact with one, but it definitely is a piece of hardware to admire. With each piece of now connected, the rainbow of lights glowed across the Studio buttons as it came to life in true NI fashion. Room 4/4 was in session.

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Its hard to do justice in words to the insight given in the 3 hours I was privileged to. We all followed suit as best we could as Mike guided us through the labyrinth of Maschine 2.0. Each of us dumfounded with every bite of information he cared to share with our infantile minds. If you can understand music as being a sonic conception, and the Maschine being your choice of vehicle, then Mike Huckaby is your onboard satellite navigation. His mastery of sound design led us through a spectrum of genres in his demonstration through the manipulation of any sound he chose. From classic House baselines to modulating Techno. At times we were caught looking left and right at each other in disbelief of what we were hearing. “How is he doing that?”.

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As the sun disappeared beyond the canal, and the light faded in the room, I glanced at the clock and realised I had been lost in his vortex and time ran away with us. I almost felt that we had only moved into second gear, as he glanced across at us with a slight grin at his taster session. Before the close, to my own personal dismay, TFL had come calling. It was time for me to depart. I made my apologies and thanks Mike on my exit, for sharing his knowledge with us. As I made my way back to the station, I tried to comprehend what I had just experienced. I found myself awkwardly chuckling whilst shaking my head as his words played over and over again in my head… “Hard Knock Maschine Wisdom… Hard Knock Maschine Wisdom”. I can do nothing more than agree with that statement.

Mike Huckaby, Room 4/4, Number 90, Native Instruments, Deck.co.uk, … Thank You.

By Anwaar

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