Maschine and Ableton users- what kind of fun are you having?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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smutek
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Maschine and Ableton users- what kind of fun are you having?

Post by smutek » Mon Dec 21, 2009 1:23 am

I ask because I was thinking about selling my 1200's, my mixer and my Serato box and buying Maschine.

I don't mix very often anymore to be honest, and I know the Ableton/Serato partnership thing will probably drop this coming year, but still man, when I mix records I'm just not into all of that mad scientist kind of stuff. I'm more than content just mixing 2 records together, so I'm not sure how well I would take advantage of any crazy new technology.

I don't gig anymore, haven't spun out in years and don't really have the motivation to try. I do enjoy mixing but I don't spend a lot of time in front of my decks these days, so I don't really think I would miss them. Have a couple of belt drive Numarks in the attic, could always use one of those for listening to or ripping vinyl. (I'm not an audiophile either)

What do I hope to get out of Maschine?

I don't know man, watching the videos, it just seems cool to have everything right there in one box. I've taken a really long break from making music and have been having the itch again. Maschine seems cool in that it really looks like a pretty well self contained instrument. As for the rest of my set up I have Live 7, an Axiom 49, and an FCB 1010. Oh yeah, and a Yamaha Guitar and this Alesis drum pad thing.

Just curious, and I know there's been a lot of threads on maschine, but I was hoping maybe some of you could share your happy stories with Maschine and also with Maschine and Ableton, particularly Live 7. Like, what kind of stuff are you doing with them together?

arctic ranger
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Re: Maschine and Ableton users- what kind of fun are you having?

Post by arctic ranger » Mon Dec 21, 2009 1:49 am

no happy stories here until i get maschine :wink:
for whatever reason i havent been able to get into lives drum racks and impulse.

for my workflow anyways i absolutely love reasons redrum

for me its easy to get a good groove going, you can open up rex files to their individual hits and the way the preview/browser works
is very convenient

that being said, ive looked at all the vids for maschine and gotten as much info as i can and it sounds like the ultimate integrated
drum tool for ableton or whatever daw.

i am exactly like you in the way that i might sell a bunch of stuff and pick this beauty up.

i then will be in drum+ableton heaven!!
mpb c2d, remote sl, mpc1000, korg legacy, zebra 2, phoscyon, devastator

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exper
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Re: Maschine and Ableton users- what kind of fun are you having?

Post by exper » Mon Dec 21, 2009 2:36 am

I'm totally not exaggerating when I say Maschine is the best purchase I've made in a long, long time. It has brought back fun to writing music for me. I started out with all hardware years ago, and this is the best of both worlds. I can't say anything specific about using it in Live to sequence other instruments, but as a plugin, it is great. Really fun as a vst effect as well, with pattern based effects, automating the delay times, filter cutoff, etc. Seriously, just get it! Also, consider buying a used copy, I picked up Maschine from a local craigslist posting to around $300. You may not have to sell everything!

smutek
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Re: Maschine and Ableton users- what kind of fun are you having?

Post by smutek » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:12 am

Thanks both of you, tight Live integration isn't a deal breaker, I'm really just curious about the thing.

Reading trough the NI Maschine Forums now.

glitchrock-buddha
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Re: Maschine and Ableton users- what kind of fun are you having?

Post by glitchrock-buddha » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:30 am

Have you ever used an MPC? OR for that matter a hardware groovebox? It's about the funnest electronic music making experience there is.
Now imagine having the MPC style workflow, except that it can be a plug-in saved with your song! To me that is F'n brilliant.

When I moved from hardware to software only (around the time of Reason 1/Logic 5), at first I didn't mind making beats on the computer. But I always found it a pain to route drum plug-ins to different channels and all that and I found it tedious searching through tons of samples on the computer. Last year I started to find that I was doing more and more with hardware for keyboard instruments and synths but still mousing a lot with drum kit creation and pattern writing. Consequently drum beat making started to become my least favorite thing. I work on computers in the day and don't much like the feeling of using the mouse all day. Then Maschine came and in one swoop took away all necessity for the mouse when making beats! I love it.

Not to mention it's so much easier now to get electronic beats into a jamming situation with friends. I play once to twice a week with others and I've got my keyboard, the APC40 and Maschine setup. I'll quickly make beats from the controller which the drummer plays along to (that would never happen using the mouse), or jam on the pads along with drums in between playing keyboards, or loop things from the keys using the APC40. Wicked combo.

So, I have Maschine on one track, which takes care of the beats, and then the rest of the tracks are pretty much instruments. It's a great live setup with the APC40.

Can't recommend it enough. It really did make beat-making fun again for me.
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timothyallan
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Re: Maschine and Ableton users- what kind of fun are you having?

Post by timothyallan » Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:40 am

I bought an MPC and sold it 8 months later as I just never used the thing. It was quicker for me to do things in Live. Is Maschine just like an integrated MPC with some more bells and whistles?

glitchrock-buddha
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Re: Maschine and Ableton users- what kind of fun are you having?

Post by glitchrock-buddha » Mon Dec 21, 2009 7:12 am

timothyallan wrote:I bought an MPC and sold it 8 months later as I just never used the thing. It was quicker for me to do things in Live. Is Maschine just like an integrated MPC with some more bells and whistles?
Sort of I guess. Except with the obvious pros and cons of it being a plug-in or standalone app on the computer. Otherwise I don't know the MPC quite well enough to compare all the features. I can see how it would faster just working in Live though. That was always my mentality when thinking about external drum machines. Rather have it all together. So to me, Maschine is the best of both worlds. I still get to have it all be in the DAW.

I just can't wait until the 1.5 update. It will be so much more useful as a performance tool once there are assignable macros per group.

I also recently got the Korg MS-20 controller for the MS-20 plug-in. Rockin' Maschine and tweaking away on the MS-20 feels like I'm back in the olden days! Lots of fun. ;) (Although I didn't actually participate in the olden days of synth and drum machine hardware - I was guitar only until about the turn of the millennium.)
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starving student
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Re: Maschine and Ableton users- what kind of fun are you having?

Post by starving student » Mon Dec 21, 2009 7:42 am

quickie, how do you zoom in sample edit mode on the hardware or is this not possible???

about maschine, exellent beatmaschine, no sync problems cause it's inside of live as well as stand alone, it is heavy on the cpu but my computer is no muscle machine at 2.0ghz cd2, 2gigs of ram

back to workin machine, someone please answer my question :mrgreen:

alex.the.forge
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Re: Maschine and Ableton users- what kind of fun are you having?

Post by alex.the.forge » Mon Dec 21, 2009 7:42 am

smutek wrote:.... Have a couple of belt drive Numarks in the attic, could always use one of those for listening to or ripping vinyl. (I'm not an audiophile either)
even if you're not so much concerned about the quality, you might get timing fluctuations if you're ripping from belt drive which could make warping a miserable experience!

but Machine does sound damn cool, I'd love to try one

exper
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Re: Maschine and Ableton users- what kind of fun are you having?

Post by exper » Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:42 am

starving student wrote:quickie, how do you zoom in sample edit mode on the hardware or is this not possible???

about maschine, exellent beatmaschine, no sync problems cause it's inside of live as well as stand alone, it is heavy on the cpu but my computer is no muscle machine at 2.0ghz cd2, 2gigs of ram

back to workin machine, someone please answer my question :mrgreen:
ATM, no, but soon. I think Maschine became a much bigger beast than NI thought at first, but they seem to be really listening to the users, as these updates were pretty much all requested. I can't wait to see what they come up with for version 2!

Anyway, It's coming in the next free update:

(Quote from NI's site)

Upcoming patch: Version 1.5

---------

The update will include the following improvements:

New and improved features:
Performance page with eight assignable "Macro Controls" per Group
Host Automation support
Support for MIDI Continuous Controller and Pitchbend
MPC program import (specific models tba)
Enhanced slicing with editable markers and new "split" mode
Destructive audio editing with trim, normalize, etc.
New "vintage sound" MPC 60 and SP1200 emulation modes
16 Velocity Levels mode for controller
New "Grain Stretcher" effect type
"Direct Monitor" option in sampling mode
MIDI export for patterns, including Drag and Drop to host
Improved event editing via controller
Improved waveform navigation via controller
Various other enhancements

naburo
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Re: Maschine and Ableton users- what kind of fun are you having?

Post by naburo » Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:34 am

okay, at first i wasn´t very charmed with maschine,
but in the meantime, I must admit it is fun working with.

You can sketch up some ideas in your living room or riding the train,
and than come back to your studio and work out things in detail.

I am using maschine in Live in conjunction with Kore2 and this is giving me a real nice workflow. Maschine is getting one slot in Kore2 and all NI Plugs are managed straight through either Kore2 or Maschine.

so i would say go for it

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polyslax
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Re: Maschine and Ableton users- what kind of fun are you having?

Post by polyslax » Mon Dec 21, 2009 12:30 pm

Wouldn't want to see you set yourself up for disappointment Smu... I've been in that headspace, this is really gonna inspire me to make some music.

That said, Maschine is hella fun and easily one of the best bits of gear I've purchased... really intuitive to use, great library, solid hardware, pretty damn flexible and getting better by the minute. No complaints here. Btw, using it in L7, OSX 10.5.8, ultra stable for me.
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Re: Maschine and Ableton users- what kind of fun are you having?

Post by 33tetragammon » Mon Dec 21, 2009 12:34 pm

Maschine is a godsend,a hands-on powerhouse and awesome midi/mackie controller that will only get better and better(especially with that upcoming 1.5 update).
N.I. are at the top of their game with something like that.
plus it's easy and intuitive(and most importantly :HUGE(almost mousless) FUN)to use.

not having Maschine is like having Ableton Live without something as brilliant and hands-on as the awesome APC-40 with that NativeKontrol mod.

plus they look mighty sexy side by side!

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Re: Maschine and Ableton users- what kind of fun are you having?

Post by Bongsau » Mon Dec 21, 2009 1:38 pm

I've not had Maschine all that long but am very pleased with it and agree with a lot of the previous posts; it is very easy and very fun to use. The pads feel great and the encoders are very smooth, and i've had no stability issues at all within Live 6.11.

If you may have to sell your decks to fund your purchase I have been having a great time with Maschine loaded into my Live DJ session where my 'turntable' and loop tracks can be sent to Maschine for resampling. Set sample mode to sync, grab a loop and you can then slice, effect, reorder and so on before mixing into another track/group etc. It's not everyones ideal way of DJing, but personally i've found that having Maschine alongside my SL Zero has added an extra tactile feel to mixing as well as more remix/FX options.

quickie, how do you zoom in sample edit mode on the hardware or is this not possible???
When in Sampling Mode hold Navigate then pads 1,2,3 & 6 can be used to move about and zoom in and out.

smutek
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Re: Maschine and Ableton users- what kind of fun are you having?

Post by smutek » Mon Dec 21, 2009 2:54 pm

glitchrock-buddha wrote:Have you ever used an MPC? OR for that matter a hardware groovebox? It's about the funnest electronic music making experience there is.
Nope, I started off on a computer with Reason and then switched over to live. I've owned a couple of (2) synths, but I've never experienced working with an MPC or any kind of groove box. I've watched a lot of videos and they look fun.
glitchrock-buddha wrote: Then Maschine came and in one swoop took away all necessity for the mouse when making beats! I love it.

Can't recommend it enough. It really did make beat-making fun again for me.
Yeah man, I guess that's what I'm looking for right there. Less mucking about in the computer, mousing and menus, more self contained in one hands on unit.
starving student wrote: it is heavy on the cpu but my computer is no muscle machine at 2.0ghz cd2, 2gigs of ram
My main setup is a 2.0ghz DC G5, 10.5 gigs of ram. I didn't even think to check the sys requirements yet, I wonder how that computer will handle it?

Worst case I also have a black macbook, it's a joint laptop for my wife and I but unless one of us has a client meeting that requires its use it is generally available to either of us when we need it. For the most part it is the slouching on the couch computer and doubles as my serato computer now. Can't remember the specs on it, but I suppose it would be enough to run the Maschine software. It handles Live well last I used it.

**edit** Just read the specs, would definitely have to run on the macbook, no biggie though.
alex.the.forge wrote:
smutek wrote:.... Have a couple of belt drive Numarks in the attic, could always use one of those for listening to or ripping vinyl. (I'm not an audiophile either)
even if you're not so much concerned about the quality, you might get timing fluctuations if you're ripping from belt drive which could make warping a miserable experience!

but Machine does sound damn cool, I'd love to try one
Thanks for that and good point forge. I never really could get into DJing with Ableton though, I guess I'm just more of a traditionalist. I think any rips I'd do would be mainly for listening to on the iPod and such.

If I do get the itch to Dj I do still have a Traktor 2.5 license - and if I am brave enough to start using Ableton for Djing most of my edm vinyl is already ripped, and the majority of what I've collected over the past few years has been digital purchases, so I think I'm all set there.
polyslax wrote:Wouldn't want to see you set yourself up for disappointment Smu... I've been in that headspace, this is really gonna inspire me to make some music.

That said, Maschine is hella fun and easily one of the best bits of gear I've purchased... really intuitive to use, great library, solid hardware, pretty damn flexible and getting better by the minute. No complaints here. Btw, using it in L7, OSX 10.5.8, ultra stable for me.
Cool - yeah I thought of that as well because I do that sort of shit a lot, especially with music gear. I guess worst case scenario would be just something else sitting around - good thing would be that it would take up a lot less space than my Dj setup does!

I just do this music stuff for fun, I'm not into sound engines, mastering, synth programming, or max patches. Absolutely no disrespect to the mad scientists, in fact much love and respect. Just that it isn't my cup of tea and it isn't why I got into this.

I'm not trying to be pro, play out, or get a release either. I just want something I can get up and running quickly, rock out, have some fun, enjoy using, delve deeper on my own time and see where it might take me.

Seems to be all great reviews here. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised browsing the NI Maschine forums - quite a difference from the Traktor 2 days when it was just a blood fest of pissed off disappointed users and desperate fanboys trying to hold the line.

I certainly saw some support requests and bug reports but it definitely seemed to be more community oriented around users enjoying the unit.

Lots of great info and advice all around, thanks for that Ableton friends!

8)
Last edited by smutek on Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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