Maschine - A Few Months Later - How Is It?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
contakt321
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Maschine - A Few Months Later - How Is It?

Post by contakt321 » Tue Apr 14, 2009 3:19 pm

So...

For those of you that have had Maschine for a month of two now, how are you feeling about it?

Is it blowing your mind? Speeding up your workflow?

What are you doing with it that you love?

Definitely curious about this.

contakt321
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Re: Maschine - A Few Months Later - How Is It?

Post by contakt321 » Wed Apr 15, 2009 2:45 pm

Bump.

v00d00ppl
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Re: Maschine - A Few Months Later - How Is It?

Post by v00d00ppl » Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:03 pm

bump....i want to hear how workflow has improved over 7 and i also want to hear how well it would integrate into 8.
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Semuta
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Re: Maschine - A Few Months Later - How Is It?

Post by Semuta » Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:26 pm

Umm, I have an MPC and a MachineDrum, so coming from that kind of drum programming, Maschine has been very nice. The best of both worlds in a sense as far as pattern programming. That is, if you program your own patterns, this is the easiest, funnest way to do it so far.

The included sound library is very good, and I really like the controller so far. The controller has some quirks that I'm not totally happy about in terms of using it generically; mainly to do with how it keeps up with light/button status that you send from software, and some limitations about the types of controls you can assign to knobs (you can't configure knobs as infinite controllers for use as jog etc) but overall, the quality and versatility are very good.

The software is great especially with all the integration. The really big downside is that currently there is not inbound or outbound midi implementation (other than program change). I can't drive the sounds in Maschine from the ableton piano roll, nor can I drive outboard or software elements with Maschine's pattern sequencer. An NI moderator has alluded to improvement and expansion in this area in an upcoming update, but NI isn't always the fastest about getting updates out. We'll see.

Overall, I feel like I got a really good midi controller, plus a really kickass drum programming soft/plugin that also happen to tightly integrate, all for not a truckload of cash.
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Re: Maschine - A Few Months Later - How Is It?

Post by v00d00ppl » Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:17 pm

is there swing % programming like on the mpc as well?
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Re: Maschine - A Few Months Later - How Is It?

Post by pepezabala » Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:48 pm

Semuta wrote:
The software is great especially with all the integration. The really big downside is that currently there is not inbound or outbound midi implementation (other than program change). I can't drive the sounds in Maschine from the ableton piano roll, nor can I drive outboard or software elements with Maschine's pattern sequencer. An NI moderator has alluded to improvement and expansion in this area in an upcoming update, but NI isn't always the fastest about getting updates out. We'll see.
really? You can't like hit a drumrack in live with the pads? I only saw the other day that they have an Ableton-mode in which maschine will indicate clip-status with the lights of the pads and liked it. But you can't use it as a generic midi-controller?

continuous
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Re: Maschine - A Few Months Later - How Is It?

Post by continuous » Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:39 pm

You can use it as a generic midi controller, although I don't personally, but you can't write your midi in Live's piano roll and have it trigger notes in Maschine or write notes in Maschine to drive other softs.

Couple of other points...

• Maschine keeps running as long as Live's transport is running so when working in Session view you set up a clip with a program message to fire off an empty scene in Maschine to have it run silently. No biggie.

• At this point Maschine doesn't control Live's drumracks the way a PadKontrol can but I am hoping this is possible at some point.

Those issues being stated I really like sketching in Maschine. My favorite aspect is the step sequencer and lcd combo... being able to load a kit and then build a beat up on e piece at a time. This is all coming from a relative noob so grains of salt.

contakt321
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Re: Maschine - A Few Months Later - How Is It?

Post by contakt321 » Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:43 pm

Man, I wish I knew someone here in NYC so I could fiddle.

Was hoping to get some hands on time at NAMM but it didn't happen.

continuous
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Re: Maschine - A Few Months Later - How Is It?

Post by continuous » Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:56 pm

v00d00ppl wrote:is there swing % programming like on the mpc as well?
There is an overall swing amount and then there seems to be a per group swing amount as well, though I'm not sure how it works at this point. I've never used an mpc so not sure how that compares to the way an mpc works.

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Re: Maschine - A Few Months Later - How Is It?

Post by tjwett » Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:41 am

contakt321 wrote:Man, I wish I knew someone here in NYC so I could fiddle.

Was hoping to get some hands on time at NAMM but it didn't happen.
there's one setup decently at the Guitar Centers on both Flatbush Ave and in Manhattan. both have their own little kiosk type thing with a dedicated lappy, Maschine and headphones. i've never seen anyone near it, was able to fuck with it for a good half hour at a time. pretty cool little box.

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Re: Maschine - A Few Months Later - How Is It?

Post by Joshua Lee » Fri Apr 17, 2009 4:22 am

I've been using mine alot lately and I've come to have somewhat of a love/hate relationship with it. More love than hate for the most part, however. Although some of the things I hate are a pretty big deal to me, too, though...

I know NI are playing up the strengths like crazy with all their videos and stuff, so I'm going to first concentrate on the things I don't like about it. Actually most of them have already been stated here already, as well, but here goes my negative list: The MAIN thing that I don't like about Maschine is that, at least in my experience, it does not work well as a plug-in within Live at all. It has already been alluded to here that it lacks MIDI In/Out and therefore you cannot jam out and record your MIDI into Live and then edit and tweak it. Even if you could (MIDI out is 'supposed' to be added in an upcoming update...), Maschine doesn't respond to MIDI in either, so the part you recorded wouldn't be able to drive Maschine anyway. When people started asking about this on the NI forum, they were told things like "just record it to audio" and "if you're using it like that you're missing out on 90% of what Maschine is all about"- that's also part of a whole other story that I will get to, as well... Bottom line, don't expect the kind of integration with Live itself that you are used to from, well, pretty much any other plug-in... Pretty much the only thing you can do is trigger Maschine's scenes via program change, which is pretty much less than ideal for me, personally. Furthermore, when I use Maschine as a plug-in I'm having some serious CPU issues on my MacBook Pro 2.16 Core 2 Duo machine with 3 gigs of RAM. I often cannot use more than 1 group on Maschine even when running only 1 or 2 audio tracks in Live, and even then my CPU meter is close to being maxed out. When I start adding more groups, it invariably sends my CPU over and everything stalls out. It does work fine for me in stand-alone mode in this regard and I can run all 8 groups without any glitch whatsoever. But, I'm an Ableton user, so that doesn't do me a whole lot of good, I need it to work well as a plug-in. Bottom line is that if you also plan to use it mainly as a plug-in, I would wait until (or if...) they get things sorted. Just my opinion, though.

As far as the CPU thing while in plug-in mode, judging from the NI Maschine forum, I am not alone in having these problems, either. Many other users are reporting the same thing, and the thing that really pisses me off about it is that no one from NI or the moderator staff is even acknowledging that there even might be a problem! Blame has been shifted everywhere from motherboards to Live itself... I have NEVER had a problem with CPU using Live on my computer until now and as soon as I take Maschine out of the equation my CPU goes back to normal. Also, the level of participation from anyone at NI over on the Maschine forum is almost nil and quite different from what I have come to expect from the Ableton camp. I would highly recommend for anyone purchasing Maschine to go over there first. Who knows you may think differently about it than I do, either way you will have a better idea...

Another smaller thing is that currently Maschine doesn't have the capability to do Instant Mappings to Drum Racks with its pads like the PadKontrol, Trigger Finger, etc. Since I plan on purchasing the APC 40 to do my scene triggering, my idea was to use Maschine as my drum nerve center by being able to use Maschine's sounds and then jump over to controlling a Drum Rack instantly. I'm pretty sure someone could do this, but it would be nice not to have to fool around with all that, considering that it is a $600 or so piece of gear.... Someone like Machinate or Hoffman 2k could probably whip something like that up over a weekend, though :)

But, as I said it do like it more than I dislike it. It is fun to use and in stand-alone mode you can certainly do all the stuff shown on the NI videos, etc. The library is fantastic, imho. I like mnml, techno, and house and I think there are some REALLY great artist kits. The browsing is incredible, too. The MIDI control functions are becoming really valuable to me and the fact is that you can do some of the APC-40 stuff right now on the Maschine (APC-40 will eventually do it better, though, I think...) as far as triggering clips w/ visual feedback (although no LED collars for the rotaries on Maschine...). The MIDI side still has alot of untapped potential, too. The FX are pretty good and offer a different way of working, and with a few additions could become a real strength for Maschine (by adding an LFO delay and/or Beatmasher effect from Traktor, etc...). The sequencer is also quite powerful and very fun. However, not to the point that I'd want to give up Live, which almost seems what NI is trying to push people to do, which is a real shame, because in tandem they would be devastating.

In summation, if NI were to fix Maschine's plug-in performance they would have a REAL hit on their hands. Too bad NI aren't making me feel more confident about that happening at this time, though....

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Re: Maschine - A Few Months Later - How Is It?

Post by glitchrock-buddha » Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:15 am

Joshua Lee wrote:I've been using mine alot lately and I've come to have somewhat of a love/hate relationship with it. More love than hate for the most part, however. Although some of the things I hate are a pretty big deal to me, too, though...

I know NI are playing up the strengths like crazy with all their videos and stuff, so I'm going to first concentrate on the things I don't like about it. Actually most of them have already been stated here already, as well, but here goes my negative list: The MAIN thing that I don't like about Maschine is that, at least in my experience, it does not work well as a plug-in within Live at all. It has already been alluded to here that it lacks MIDI In/Out and therefore you cannot jam out and record your MIDI into Live and then edit and tweak it. Even if you could (MIDI out is 'supposed' to be added in an upcoming update...), Maschine doesn't respond to MIDI in either, so the part you recorded wouldn't be able to drive Maschine anyway. When people started asking about this on the NI forum, they were told things like "just record it to audio" and "if you're using it like that you're missing out on 90% of what Maschine is all about"- that's also part of a whole other story that I will get to, as well... Bottom line, don't expect the kind of integration with Live itself that you are used to from, well, pretty much any other plug-in... Pretty much the only thing you can do is trigger Maschine's scenes via program change, which is pretty much less than ideal for me, personally. Furthermore, when I use Maschine as a plug-in I'm having some serious CPU issues on my MacBook Pro 2.16 Core 2 Duo machine with 3 gigs of RAM. I often cannot use more than 1 group on Maschine even when running only 1 or 2 audio tracks in Live, and even then my CPU meter is close to being maxed out. When I start adding more groups, it invariably sends my CPU over and everything stalls out. It does work fine for me in stand-alone mode in this regard and I can run all 8 groups without any glitch whatsoever. But, I'm an Ableton user, so that doesn't do me a whole lot of good, I need it to work well as a plug-in. Bottom line is that if you also plan to use it mainly as a plug-in, I would wait until (or if...) they get things sorted. Just my opinion, though.

As far as the CPU thing while in plug-in mode, judging from the NI Maschine forum, I am not alone in having these problems, either. Many other users are reporting the same thing, and the thing that really pisses me off about it is that no one from NI or the moderator staff is even acknowledging that there even might be a problem! Blame has been shifted everywhere from motherboards to Live itself... I have NEVER had a problem with CPU using Live on my computer until now and as soon as I take Maschine out of the equation my CPU goes back to normal. Also, the level of participation from anyone at NI over on the Maschine forum is almost nil and quite different from what I have come to expect from the Ableton camp. I would highly recommend for anyone purchasing Maschine to go over there first. Who knows you may think differently about it than I do, either way you will have a better idea...

Another smaller thing is that currently Maschine doesn't have the capability to do Instant Mappings to Drum Racks with its pads like the PadKontrol, Trigger Finger, etc. Since I plan on purchasing the APC 40 to do my scene triggering, my idea was to use Maschine as my drum nerve center by being able to use Maschine's sounds and then jump over to controlling a Drum Rack instantly. I'm pretty sure someone could do this, but it would be nice not to have to fool around with all that, considering that it is a $600 or so piece of gear.... Someone like Machinate or Hoffman 2k could probably whip something like that up over a weekend, though :)

But, as I said it do like it more than I dislike it. It is fun to use and in stand-alone mode you can certainly do all the stuff shown on the NI videos, etc. The library is fantastic, imho. I like mnml, techno, and house and I think there are some REALLY great artist kits. The browsing is incredible, too. The MIDI control functions are becoming really valuable to me and the fact is that you can do some of the APC-40 stuff right now on the Maschine (APC-40 will eventually do it better, though, I think...) as far as triggering clips w/ visual feedback (although no LED collars for the rotaries on Maschine...). The MIDI side still has alot of untapped potential, too. The FX are pretty good and offer a different way of working, and with a few additions could become a real strength for Maschine (by adding an LFO delay and/or Beatmasher effect from Traktor, etc...). The sequencer is also quite powerful and very fun. However, not to the point that I'd want to give up Live, which almost seems what NI is trying to push people to do, which is a real shame, because in tandem they would be devastating.

In summation, if NI were to fix Maschine's plug-in performance they would have a REAL hit on their hands. Too bad NI aren't making me feel more confident about that happening at this time, though....
Interesting. I've been wanting to run maschine as a plug-in inside Live and I too have a 2.16 macbook pro. I've been pretty much banking on being able to run maschine between at 30-40% cpu using at most 2 groups at a time though. Sounds like I might be a bit optimistic with my hopes?

Does it utilize multiple cores in standalone mode? Running it as a plug-in in Live means that it will only be using one core and since Live allocates cpu by alternating tracks, that huge cpu hit on one track will be killer. If it could utilize multiple cores in standalone, maybe it would be better to route the audio to Live from Maschine as a separate application and use some external midi sync software. Have you tried that?
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Re: Maschine - A Few Months Later - How Is It?

Post by continuous » Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:30 am

Coupla things....

• For what it's worth, I'm not having any cpu issues at all. I'm running a MBP 2.2 Core Duo (with Coolbook), 2gigs of RAM and a Motu Traveler 156 Sample Buffer (8.46 ms total). At the moment I've got a sketched out set running at 21-23% with Maschine in one track, Massive (from within Kore) on another, some resampled stuff in another track. On sends a dubstation, Kore FX reverbs, PSP Vintage Warmer and an external audio out/back in to my Kaoss Pad (for Massive at the mo).

• My one real flinch with Maschine is that it adds another layer and I had promised myself that "less is more" and I should start doing as much in Live as possible. Reduce, reuse etc. This could be said about Kore as well of course but I already had Komplete so Kore seemed like a no brainer and it has been good to me though the browsing REALLY needs improvement IMHO.

As far as adding another layer to the onion, i mean work flow, I imagine that's true of an MPC as well? What I've been doing is sketching stuff in Maschine then flushing it out a little in Live with Komplete stuff and effects. Still haven't finished any tracks though. :cry: But again I ramble. (STFU self!) My 2009 goal was to not post until I put up a track...FAIL!

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Re: Maschine - A Few Months Later - How Is It?

Post by poodleface » Fri Apr 17, 2009 2:55 pm

Joshua Lee wrote:It has already been alluded to here that it lacks MIDI In/Out and therefore you cannot jam out and record your MIDI into Live and then edit and tweak it. Even if you could (MIDI out is 'supposed' to be added in an upcoming update...)
Yeah, NI was supposed to do this with Kore too. Never happened.
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Re: Maschine - A Few Months Later - How Is It?

Post by ewistrand » Fri Apr 17, 2009 2:57 pm

glitchrock-buddha wrote:[Does it utilize multiple cores in standalone mode?
No, it doesn't. The DVD release version did, but there were weird issues with some systems with multicore support enabled. I wouldn't be surprised to see multicore support return at a later date, though.
continuous wrote: I'm running a MBP 2.2 Core Duo (with Coolbook)
And there's the secret- use Coolbook, QuietMBP or any other form of kernel extension designed to turn off speedstepping.

Your Maschine forum moderator,
ew
Last edited by ewistrand on Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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