I had an MPC and sold it as I never used it. I never 'chop' up drum loops and just usually do single hits. If I need to do envelopes etc I'll just use Live. Is maschine only good if you play in your own drum hits on the fly? I'm yet to see a compelling video on it that didn't involve hip hop and just slicing up other peoples music with it.
Even if you did chop up loops, live can accomplish the same ('slice to midi') in a matter of seconds. I think the main appeal of Maschine for people is simply the physical hardware element. There's all this talk about "you can do all this without ever touching a mouse or looking at a screen!" Which is meaningless to me, since I fundamentally don't agree that avoiding the mouse/screen is superior to needing to use them. But I realize it's a taste thing; physical hands-on has a strong appeal to many people.
well, it simply works any way you want it to, to start one possibility is to use it as a plugin within ableton or any other host (comes with VST, AU and RTAS plug) and you can instantly swop (while the sequencer is running) between midi mode (controlling your sequencer or any other assigned midi control, instruments, etc.) and maschine mode (controlling maschine no matter where the focus previously was!!! with all
it's functions within the host and everything is alway 100% top notch in sync) and then obviously you can render or resample or do whatever you want, like you would do with any other plugin.
or you can drag out of maschine a midi or audio pattern and just drop it into ableton (or any other DAW), the point is that as squelcht described the way you create patterns with it is somehow very different (hard to explain, you need to really use it to understand, i have an PadK as well and with maschine it's totally different) and the midi patterns you can obviously drag into any midi channel that contains an instrument and then use it further from there in ableton (do what you would with any other midi pattern in ableton) or you can choose that maschine creates an audio file out of your midi pattern you have in maschine with the choosen sound in maschine, the audio loop is 100% accurate and you drop it into an audio channel of ableton and it will loop synced along... just plain awesome, just so awesome... that i have no words for it, it's really something i consider for once perfect.
or you can at any time 'traditionally' render any part or loop or loop section, or a whole song as audio.
@ tarekith, the conrol editor is super powerful, and will still become even more powerful, it took me 2 days to create the perfect traktor template, but now i have it the way i was always dreaming of... if you have maschine i am happy to send it to you and share it, but it is layed out for 100% manual
mixing and manual beat matching, cause i come from over 15 years of turntables and like the little human 'glitch' when betamatching and doing long, long mixes with corrections, i made my layout for 3 decks and fx and many, many other functions including browsing and loading all on one layer!!! with one sub layer on the knob page for switching to fave crates and some other layouts... and that all with total visual feedback of all functions. no need to ever touch the computer again once i placed it in the booth, the only thing i need is visuality to it, to see the tracks in the browser and to have every now and then a little glimpse at the waveform, absolute perfect, same accounts being the general controller for Live (i also customised the standard template it comes with) and logic (the MCU mode, i also customised a bit) and the standard templates are all great as well, traktor, battery, live, massive, pro 53, mackie control, etc, etc.
there are also plenty of people out who made already heavy alterations to the maschine as a live controller with different remote scripts for any type of workflow....
and did i already mentioned that maschine standalone is the utmost fun i had in years making music?