To Maschine Or Not To Maschine

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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Syncretia
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To Maschine Or Not To Maschine

Post by Syncretia » Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:06 pm

AAArrrrrggggg. This whole Maschine thing is so frustrating. NI have created this thing that is so close to a DAW, and overlaps with so much functionality in Ableton that it annoys the hell out of me. I went to the DJ store the other day and said I was thinking about buying the MPD24 (simple drum pads). Basically, every guy in store's ears pricked up and were like "Oh not you should buy Maschine, you absolutely need that. You're just @#$#ing in the wind without that". So I did a google search "Do I need Maschine", and I got
Yes. Everybody needs a Maschine. Resistance is futile.
(http://forum.cakewalk.com/tm.aspx?m=195 ... print=true)

Sure. Maschine looks great. It has some really nice kits and pre-made loops. But is it really that necessary? Can't Ableton do most of the stuff it does anyway? I just don't want to get sucked in by NI's hype. I'm sick of it and their support licks @#$#s.

I own an APC40, MaxForLive, and I like building my own patches so I figure I can do anything with that combo that Maschine can do.

Here is a feature breakdown (some points :
With the fully integrated hardware you control every function and parameter of the software running on your computer, making your workflow super fast and smooth
APC40
Convenient integration as a plug-in into any VST, AU or RTAS supported DAWTotal recall of all parameters either in standalone mode or as a plug-in
Irrelavant
Browse and load all instrument and effect presets from KOMPLETE 8 directly from the hardware – use the 8 knobs to filter results to quickly get you to the sound you want
I barely use any of the Komplete 7 presets as it stands. I can't find any that sound good. With the exception some Reaktor patches but I'm guessing that Maschine doesn't integrate with Reaktor in the same way it does other NI instruments.
Frequent software updates means MASCHINE continues to evolve to fit your production needs
Just like every other piece of software on the market.
Load your samples, effects and plug-ins and control them with the pads and knobs - there’s no need to touch the computer’s mouse or keyboard
Well, this would seem to be the key point if I wanted to use Maschine as my DAW, but I don't. I want to use Ableton.
16 highly-sensitive back-lit pads with velocity and after-touch
Probably the one thing I'm really keen on. But, I have the APC40 for step sequencing and the MPD24 is a lot cheaper.
11 higher-than-MIDI-resolution rotary encoders for true analog feel and realtime multi-parameter tweaking
Buh?
41 buttons for direct control of all software functions, combinable with a shift function to open up even more control possibilities
I don't want to control more software. The APC40 is enough for me.
Two 64 x 256 pixel backlit displays – instantly find the information you need, even in the darkest club situation
Hmmm... Might be a bonus. But depends on how it helps me DJ with Ableton. I'm guessing it wouldn't
Two modes: XOX drum machine step sequencer and MPC®-style live recording
These are really big features. The current APC40 step sequencers are really still in a nascent state. But, theoretically, the APC40 should be better because it has 26 more buttons than the Maschine controller. The sequencers are improving and I plan to build my own soon. However, the APC40 is not velocity sensitive :(
Clip-based concept for intuitive arrangement of your project into scenes and songs
I wonder where they got that from?
Classic groove box functions such as 16 velocity levels, swing (sounds, groups, global), pad-link, and note repeat
See two points above, but Maschine definitely seems to be a few steps ahead in the step sequencing department. But, I can't build my own step sequencer.
Use one button and 8 knobs to automate sampler, effects or plug-in parameters simultaneously in real time
APC40
Select and edit note events directly from the controller for efficient workflow
Might be good. ?
MIDI In and Out for sequencing external soft- or hardware, or connecting an external MIDI keyboard for playing complex melodic ideas
There's a novel idea.
Sample-length and number of samples only limited by your computer's RAM capacity
Snooze
Polyphony up to 32 voices for each sound, with choke, legato and glide options
Clutching at straws here
Powerful slicing by transient detection, fixed grid or equal splits with automatic pad assignment
Automatic pad assignment would be good but this could be built in MaxForLive.
Destructive sample editing (e.g. truncate, normalize, reverse, etc)
I would like this to help organise clips.
Convenient import of own samples, REX2 files and MPC® programs
So what.
Vintage Sampling Modes emulating the sound of the MPC60* and/ SP1200*
Meh.
Supports up to 24-bit/192kHz audio when using a high-quality audio interface like
Yep.
Native support for the new 'NIS' NI sound format - browse and load the presets of all KOMPLETE 8 Instruments and Effects directly from MASCHINE's hardware browser
Probably a good thing but not big on Komplete except for maybe Reaktor and Battery (which I wouldn't use if I had Maschine)
One instrument and up to 4 effect plug-ins can be opened in each sound slot - 16 sound slots are available in each of the 8 groups
I don't want to start loading up more FX inside what is essentially just a VST I will use inside Ableton.
Real auto-map: MASCHINE automatically maps the plug-in parameters to the controller knobs
APC40
Get started using the new hosting possibility with the included REAKTOR, KONTAKT and GUITAR RIG PLAYER plug-ins and sounds from KOMPLETE ELEMENTS
Inegration with Reaktor sounds great. But, Reaktor has a pig of a UI so it's hard to see how Maschine would integrate well with it.
Over 6 GB of sounds including 18,000 samples, 7,000 one-shots, 400 loops, 300 drum kits with 1,400 patterns, 388 sampled instruments, 170 FX/multi-FX presets, and 60 demo projects
Perhaps this might be a good reason for buying it. Not sure. Is there a better drum library I can buy on the net for a couple of hundred bucks?
Contains multi-sampled acoustic instruments of all genres such as pianos, organs, strings, brass and much more
Why would I use Maschine for instruments like these when I have Ableton?
Browse and load projects, patterns, kits, sounds and effects conveniently from the hardware, including all KOMPLETE 8 presets without touching your computer’s keyboard or mouse
A lot of emphasis is put on this. But, when you are in the studio, it's hard to see how you will ever get away from using the keyboard and mouse completely. And when playing live, I'll use the APC40.
As a plug-in, MASCHINE retains all of its capabilities including total recall and routing up to 16 stereo outs to your host's mixer
Drag and drop of audio or MIDI files directly to DAW, or drag samples directly from your computer into MASCHINE’s sound slots
Export note events as MIDI files
Import iMASCHINE projects, REX files and MPC programs
Group Macro Controls: Assign any parameter of the dedicated group (f.e. filter, envelope, any effect parameter) to the 8 knobs on the hardware or to your host sequencer for automation
Instant navigation: Open several instances of MASCHINE in your host sequencer and easily switch between them using just one controller
Add MASCHINE MIKRO to your setup in parallel with MASCHINE - for additional hands-on control of your DAW
Conveniently bounce songs or individual patterns as 8, 16 and 24 Bit WAV files, or drag and drop them directly to your DAW
A) Feature gap between Ableton, APC40, MaxForLive / Maschine
B) Annoyance of having more hardware
C) Time spent learning new stuff
D) Cost of Maschine

Is A - (B + C + D) > 0?
Download and listen @ http://www.syncretia.com

djadonis206
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Re: To Maschine Or Not To Maschine

Post by djadonis206 » Fri Sep 16, 2011 3:48 pm

TLDR

If you have the money, get one. You wont regret it.
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pencilrocket
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Re: To Maschine Or Not To Maschine

Post by pencilrocket » Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:15 pm

Then I say it is useless. Shareware quality sequencer with drum pad. Its sequencer is far from DAW and never generate commercial-level song. It's okay as a toy.
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Tone Deft
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Re: To Maschine Or Not To Maschine

Post by Tone Deft » Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:25 pm

TLDR;

buy it from a store with a 30 day return policy, set some time aside from your responsibilities and spend time with it.

from what I've read there's no way in hell you'll return it.
oddstep wrote:I agree with all of this. I'm just bored of writing "its music, just listen and trust your judgement"

djadonis206
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Re: To Maschine Or Not To Maschine

Post by djadonis206 » Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:34 pm

Tone, I don't think you can return 'em because they come with software. The floor gromits at GC are kind of lame about that kind of stuff.

But with that said, they're not hard to sell.

To the OP - you know only people with problems come to forums to get help. The rest of the thousands of followers are making music on their maschines.

You really have to try it for yourself.
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fisto
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Re: To Maschine Or Not To Maschine

Post by fisto » Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:57 pm

get one, you will love it for suuuuuure :mrgreen:
I would never ever return mine.

Buleriachk
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Re: To Maschine Or Not To Maschine

Post by Buleriachk » Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:00 pm

I tried Maschine and sent it back (Musicians' Friend). It wouldn't import/export any of my .wav loops (not able to import WAV loops? WTF?) At first glance, it is a very attractive toy, but I eventually went with the 2nd generation padKontrol (I had Battery to organize the pads, although drum racks are pretty easy as well).

It sure LOOKS like it would be productive if integrated with Ableton, but I don't think it is, especially with the inability to import/export loops....

Tone Deft
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Re: To Maschine Or Not To Maschine

Post by Tone Deft » Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:10 pm

sounds like a user fail, not Maschine's fault.
oddstep wrote:I agree with all of this. I'm just bored of writing "its music, just listen and trust your judgement"

razorblade
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Re: To Maschine Or Not To Maschine

Post by razorblade » Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:56 pm

Buleriachk wrote:I tried Maschine and sent it back (Musicians' Friend). It wouldn't import/export any of my .wav loops (not able to import WAV loops? WTF?) At first glance, it is a very attractive toy, but I eventually went with the 2nd generation padKontrol (I had Battery to organize the pads, although drum racks are pretty easy as well).

It sure LOOKS like it would be productive if integrated with Ableton, but I don't think it is, especially with the inability to import/export loops....
You should have read the manual. Then you wouldn't make silly statements like this.

Maschine most definitely imports and exports wav files.
No...I am 3phase!

23kon
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Re: To Maschine Or Not To Maschine

Post by 23kon » Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:12 pm

Thought this might be of interest ... a thread that I started a while back

http://forum.ableton.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=165823

I just made a couple of posts in this thread too on my thoughts on the Mikro and the iMaschine...

http://forum.ableton.com/viewtopic.php? ... 7&start=15

Syncretia
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Re: To Maschine Or Not To Maschine

Post by Syncretia » Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:24 pm

No offense but these are the kinds of comments I hear all the time about Maschine:

if i had the budget, I would buy machine today.

If you have the money, get one. You wont regret it.

from what I've read there's no way in hell you'll return it


I was hoping to raise the discussion above "Oh , you definitely need that". I want to know WHY I need it.

This is my feeling at the moment:
I vote for a MPD 32. I tested Maschine and gave it back. I don't really understand the hype. Doesn't a pad controller, Drumracks and Live give you the same...? Is searching for samples with a tiny display and a rubber knob so much better.
But...

Let's say this debate rests on MPC Style Recording. I want to do MPC style recording. I.e.

-pick how long my loop will go for
-Press record
-The thing starts looping the bar
-Hit the pad on the 1 and the 3 for the kick
-Hihats on 8th notes
-Snare on 2 and 4
-Everything is automatically quantised.
-I can add as many drum layers as I have pads mapped to samples.

This is what the MPC does. And this is also what Maschine does. I want Ableton to do this. If I get an MPD24, can Ableton do this? Is there a Max patch to do this?
Download and listen @ http://www.syncretia.com

2be
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Re: To Maschine Or Not To Maschine

Post by 2be » Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:44 pm

I think you don't get the concept of the Maschine at all.
Sure, there are areas that are not on the current standard of DAWs, e.g. the integrated sequencer. But that's not what Maschine trys to excel in.
Maschine is all about the workflow. You could do everything on the controller if you wanted to, without even touching the mouse. In fact it happened to me that multiple times my screen turned off while producing a nice loop.
You produce just with your ears and your hands, not by staring on a screen and clicking little buttons with your mouse. It's a very intutive and fun way to produce and it has helped me a lot in terms of drum programming, groove and rythm.
In my workflow, I produce the loops in Maschine, export them easily to Ableton Live, arrange and mix them. You could have a smilar convenient workflow, but it would be nowhere as fun or hands-on like using the Maschine for that.

Calling Maschine a toy...

delicioso
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Re: To Maschine Or Not To Maschine

Post by delicioso » Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:54 pm

Kruddler wrote:
Load your samples, effects and plug-ins and control them with the pads and knobs - there’s no need to touch the computer’s mouse or keyboard
Well, this would seem to be the key point if I wanted to use Maschine as my DAW, but I don't. I want to use Ableton.
Maschine is not meant to replace a DAW for all that DAWs do but it can replace a DAW (including Live) as a production tool.
Kruddler wrote:
Real auto-map: MASCHINE automatically maps the plug-in parameters to the controller knobs
APC40
Maschine has two LCD displays on the hardware itself that shows the names for the controls, so you don't have to look at the computer screen at all unlike with the APC40.
Kruddler wrote:
Browse and load projects, patterns, kits, sounds and effects conveniently from the hardware, including all KOMPLETE 8 presets without touching your computer’s keyboard or mouse
A lot of emphasis is put on this. But, when you are in the studio, it's hard to see how you will ever get away from using the keyboard and mouse completely.
You really can do pretty much everything from the hardware without ever toching a mouse/trackpad or even looking at the computer. The level of integration between the software and the dedicated hardware is unrivaled and this is where the magic lies in it for me. It transforms the experience of using software from a mouse/qwerty keyboard process to a very fast and hands-on one that feels like a self-contained hardware.

djadonis206
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Re: To Maschine Or Not To Maschine

Post by djadonis206 » Sat Sep 17, 2011 12:04 am

Kruddler wrote:No offense but these are the kinds of comments I hear all the time about Maschine:

if i had the budget, I would buy machine today.

If you have the money, get one. You wont regret it.

from what I've read there's no way in hell you'll return it


I was hoping to raise the discussion above "Oh , you definitely need that". I want to know WHY I need it.

This is my feeling at the moment:
I vote for a MPD 32. I tested Maschine and gave it back. I don't really understand the hype. Doesn't a pad controller, Drumracks and Live give you the same...? Is searching for samples with a tiny display and a rubber knob so much better.
But...

Let's say this debate rests on MPC Style Recording. I want to do MPC style recording. I.e.

-pick how long my loop will go for
-Press record
-The thing starts looping the bar
-Hit the pad on the 1 and the 3 for the kick
-Hihats on 8th notes
-Snare on 2 and 4
-Everything is automatically quantised.
-I can add as many drum layers as I have pads mapped to samples.

This is what the MPC does. And this is also what Maschine does. I want Ableton to do this. If I get an MPD24, can Ableton do this? Is there a Max patch to do this?
Only you know what you need.

To get you started, here's a couple of the 100 or so threads on Maschine and whether it's right for whoever...good luck

http://forum.ableton.com/viewtopic.php? ... schine+mpd

http://forum.ableton.com/viewtopic.php? ... schine+mpd

http://forum.ableton.com/viewtopic.php? ... schine+mpd

Also Native Instruments has a pretty active maschine forum and loads of people on that forum use Ableton and have had some experience with an Akai controller
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starving student
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Re: To Maschine Or Not To Maschine

Post by starving student » Sat Sep 17, 2011 12:12 am

just forget about it dude, I'm already sick of how many maschines I'm seeing out there.

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