Upgrading to Suite or getting different gear

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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ShakingTheBeats
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Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:54 pm

Upgrading to Suite or getting different gear

Post by ShakingTheBeats » Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:30 pm

Hi.

I feel I 'top' the standard version and I feel I need a better synth and sampler. I'm looking into two options:

- Upgrade to Suite, mainly, because Operator and better sampler. I don't know much about Max, yet. It seems pretty amazing.

- I have been researching the Maschine MK3. It comes with great instruments and packs (Massive, Komplete, etc). The chords and keyboard modes seeming very useful.

Anyone knows about these two.

Bottom line for me is that I'm attracted to Machine MK3 to create and be off the screen/mouse for all my production process. I'm getting more and more aware of Maschine limitations, specially, with arrangements and how to transfer projects to Live. I see a lot of posts about issues with Maschine-Ableton workflow.

Thanks.

ShelLuser
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Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 10:26 pm
Location: Wageningen, Netherlands

Re: Upgrading to Suite or getting different gear

Post by ShelLuser » Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:10 pm

ShakingTheBeats wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:30 pm
I feel I 'top' the standard version and I feel I need a better synth and sampler. I'm looking into two options:

- Upgrade to Suite, mainly, because Operator and better sampler. I don't know much about Max, yet. It seems pretty amazing.

- I have been researching the Maschine MK3. It comes with great instruments and packs (Massive, Komplete, etc). The chords and keyboard modes seeming very useful.
But what is your intended goal from all this? What exactly do you hope to achieve?

I'm asking because you're comparing apples and oranges here. Although Maschine can be made to work with Live (somewhat easily) it would become a completely different workflow. It would not necessarily provide you with a better synth and sampler but merely a way to use a collection of sounds (which can include some synths and samplers), but its primary goal is still beat making and percussion, not necessarily instrumental performances (though it can do that too).

Don't expect the ability to complete tune a synth (such as Absynth 5) from behind the Maschine controller, not going to happen.... What you can fully set up is the sound that should be generated by your pad, you can even add instruments and effects to new pads, but the collection of 'vanilla' instruments and effects is limited:

Image

... and you'll want to use those vanilla devices first and foremost because these can easily be controlled. But as you can see.. don't expect a nice collection of analog and FM synths in here. Though, in all fairness, Maschine Mk3 does provide Komplete 12 select which is a nice product in itself. But... you're still not easily going to configure all those expansions from behind the controller.

For example, one of my favorite Reaktor instruments is Mikro Prism, I actually bought it individually during one of N.I. discount periods (Holiday seasons), this one:

Image

Notice the exciter section? It has 4 controls: impulse and noise, but also allows you to set the high and low cutoff frequencies. Yah, so let's look at the Maschine controller:

Image

See what I mean? I cannot easily set the cut off frequencies together with the impulse and noise settings. I can change them mind you but only on page 2 of the settings. It's doable, it works, but it's not exactly easy to operate the Prism like this. Not to mention that I can only work with 1 single preset here: the sound which I loaded. If for some reason I'm not satisfied and I want to load something else then I'll have to go to a completely different section again (the browser).

And that's something you'll come across more often as you progress into the world of Maschine so to speak. Maschine is awesome for playing beats and setting up sound projects to work with, but it's most definitely not a synth or a substitute of that.
ShakingTheBeats wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:30 pm
Bottom line for me is that I'm attracted to Machine MK3 to create and be off the screen/mouse for all my production process. I'm getting more and more aware of Maschine limitations, specially, with arrangements and how to transfer projects to Live. I see a lot of posts about issues with Maschine-Ableton workflow.
My take: assuming you still want Live to sit at the heart of your projects then you should consider grabbing Push. Because Push does everything you're describing here. I can fully control Operator (for which you need to have Suite as well) right from behind Push. Which is why Push can honestly be considered a Live instrument.

Better yet, it's not even fully limited to Live either. I've been using Push within Reason (another daw) without issues and it was still a lot of fun to play. Of course in the end I wanted my keyboard again for more control but ey, fact remains that Push did a good job as well.

Anyway, yah, I know about these two (Maschine Mk3 & Ableton Live suite edition) because I own both ;)

Hope this can help you out a bit.
With kind regards,

Peter

Using the 'Power' Trio: Live 10 Suite (+ Push & Max 8 ), Reason 10 and Maschine Mk3 (+ the ultimate Komplete 12).
Blog: SynthFan (under heavy construction!)

ShakingTheBeats
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:54 pm

Re: Upgrading to Suite or getting different gear

Post by ShakingTheBeats » Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:44 pm

Thanks for the comments. They are very valuable.

Answering your question...I'm trying to make better music. I do full tracks of downtempo (Hip hop beats) and House with Live Standard. Plus, I tend to use World music instruments in there.

Based on my knowledge, Suite inlcuded Oscilator, Analog, Bass that would help me create better pads and leads. Plus, for Sampler. Maschine has Massive which it could be compared to Oscilator (Again, based on my undestanding), etc.

This video compares Push and Maschine MK3 and it seems that Maschine has a lot to offer. Specially, I might see better value getting Maschine MK3 with Komplete 12 and I already have the Ableton Standard than upgrading to Suite with Push:

MASCHINE MK3 vs ABLETON PUSH 2: Top 18 features compared:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8I_TnRZcHpg

The option that I was leaning towards was upgrading to Live Suite without Push because Maschine MK3 might require a time consuming learning curve that I rather spend making music with Ableton Suite. With that said, Maschine MK3 seems a solid product with a lot to offer.

I hope I make sense.

ShelLuser
Posts: 3892
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 10:26 pm
Location: Wageningen, Netherlands

Re: Upgrading to Suite or getting different gear

Post by ShelLuser » Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:03 pm

ShakingTheBeats wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:44 pm
Answering your question...I'm trying to make better music. I do full tracks of downtempo (Hip hop beats) and House with Live Standard. Plus, I tend to use World music instruments in there.

Based on my knowledge, Suite inlcuded Oscilator, Analog, Bass that would help me create better pads and leads. Plus, for Sampler. Maschine has Massive which it could be compared to Oscilator (Again, based on my undestanding), etc.
Here is a comparison of Live editions. Suite has Analog & Operator (Analog & FM synthesizers), Simpler & Sampler which are both sample editors / players, Collision for percussive / mallet sounds, Tension for string based sounds, Impulse for 8 pad percussion sounds and the drum rack of course. Not to forget about Wavetable and Max for Live.

Thing is... this can definitely be a solid foundation for downtempo and such however I think it's also fair to say that those music types centre for a large(r) portion around good beats and short back melodies. And as you know Maschine is first and foremost a beat producer.

Not to mention that Maschine also provides it own audio device which can be seriously handy as soon as you want to expand with vocals and such. And then there's this small detail that it's basically one heck of a beat maker (those 16 pads are amazing, seriously!).

And as you said: it comes with Komplete Select which provides Massive (a very impressive synth), Monark & Drum lab. Scarbee is also very cool. Best of all: you can also use those instruments within Live standard if you'd want to.
ShakingTheBeats wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:44 pm
The option that I was leaning towards was upgrading to Live Suite without Push because Maschine MK3 might require a time consuming learning curve that I rather spend making music with Ableton Suite. With that said, Maschine MK3 seems a solid product with a lot to offer.
Based on what you told me here I have to change my previous suggestion and agree that the Maschine Mk3 makes more sense here. Optionally you can expand with Komplete 12 (which I'd highly recommend) after which you'll also get a ton of devices and sounds which can seriously spice things up and better yet: can also be used in Live again. Who cares if you can't control Operator directly, you'd have FM8. Analog? Well, there's always Massive and Massive X. Absynth 5 anyone (= one of my favorite synths ;)).

One very important thing to keep in mind: Maschine can do a ton of things but it's not a real DAW, it has its limitations. Which is when Live could help you out by filling in those gaps.

Hope this can help. Do us a favor and let us know what you decided and how it turned out for you :)
With kind regards,

Peter

Using the 'Power' Trio: Live 10 Suite (+ Push & Max 8 ), Reason 10 and Maschine Mk3 (+ the ultimate Komplete 12).
Blog: SynthFan (under heavy construction!)

ShakingTheBeats
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:54 pm

Re: Upgrading to Suite or getting different gear

Post by ShakingTheBeats » Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:27 pm

Thanks a lot, again.
Definitely, very helpful advice and I think that you nailed where I am.

May I ask you how is your workflow Maschine-Ableton. Do you use is as a VST in Ableton (Is it a 'clean' process - I have seen plenty of comments from people having problem in this area) or you work on Maschine away from Ableton and, next, export patterns in .wav to use in Ableton, This might not be ideal if you want to do final edits, final touches, etc.

I will let you know what I get. I think I won't be wrong either way because I will be getting more than what I have now, I will continue learning to get better. For sure, I love Ableton, I have been using it since Live 7. Stopped making music and now, I'm picking up speed. ;)

jestermgee
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Re: Upgrading to Suite or getting different gear

Post by jestermgee » Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:54 pm

If you like live, don’t go maschine.

It doesn’t integrate well as an instrument with Live. It has some good sounds with it but I’ll spend most your time noodling around trying to figure out how to get your ideas from maschine to live and it’s also a whole other environment to learn. Can be great to waste time with but Live is just better to work in especially if you get a Push.

Suite can be a good upgrade if you like Lives instruments. But if you have ideas about what kind of synth you want there is a huge range out there that can offer a lot of value. Depends what music you make.
Last edited by jestermgee on Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ShelLuser
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Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 10:26 pm
Location: Wageningen, Netherlands

Re: Upgrading to Suite or getting different gear

Post by ShelLuser » Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:54 pm

ShakingTheBeats wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:27 pm
May I ask you how is your workflow Maschine-Ableton. Do you use is as a VST in Ableton (Is it a 'clean' process - I have seen plenty of comments from people having problem in this area) or you work on Maschine away from Ableton and, next, export patterns in .wav to use in Ableton, This might not be ideal if you want to do final edits, final touches, etc.
First: keep well in mind that my demands / goals are quite different from yours. I consider myself a sound designer first and foremost which automatically means that my goals and ditto workflow are quite different. I also don't really specialize in a specific genre but just mess around based on my mood. One week I'm experimenting with orchestral setups (severe weak spot of mine! :P), next I'm trying to lay down some heavy-metal based material (I once made a weird "elastic / rubber band" sound, then I applied Live's Amp audio effect onto it and it quickly turned into heavily distorted electric lead 8O). Good times :)

Anyway, my workflow is extremely varied also because I only got the Maschine a few weeks ago (in addition to my Push) and I'm still learning about its specific inner workings.

If I need a beat ("percussion") I chose between 2 approaches...

What I usually do is to hop over to Reason (which is another DAW I favor), load up the Kong drum designer, set something up (backed up by my Push) which I then play using Maschine in 'MIDI mode'. Not a very optimal setup, but extremely satisfying nonetheless because I'll take Maschine for percussion (also over Push) any day of the week. Nothing negative about Push, but 2 handed drumming is much more accessible on a 4x4 grid vs a 4x4 section on an 8x8 grid.

Obviously I'm also using the Maschine software, mostly as a VST. I load it using Push, move my chair over to the Maschine and then start working on percussion and optionally some backgrounds.

Although I definitely agree with Jester up there that using Maschine within Live can be tricky I don't agree that it's very difficult. It simply requires an attitude adjustment ("Within Maschine do what Maschiners do" (some pun intended, but also meant seriously)).

See, I've been using Reason rewired into Live for years now and a big part of that workflow is to split up my work. One example is percussion (which I mentioned above): if I need a beat within my work I usually rely on Reason (in specific the Kong drum designer). This means that in order to change settings and stuff I'll have to hop over to Reason and do my changes there. Not much of a problem if you have a Push next to your keyboard.

But the trick is to know where to start. I don't start with setting up material in Live and then trying to make Reason "fit in" because that would become a (horrid) chore in itself. Instead I start by making my beat(s), sort that out after which I'll work on making everything else "fit in" within Live.

And I'm using this same approach with Maschine: 2 semi-separated environments, ergo: two places to "do" stuff. And like you said: it really helps that you can change and customize a lot from behing the Maschine controller itself.

In other words: even though it's quite easy to push your audio (or MIDI) out of Maschine into Live I hardly bother with that. Instead I treat the Maschine material "as is" and I'm adding onto that within Live, just like I do with my Reason material.

The downside to this is that you need to define your workflow. See.. if you want to record material within the Maschine VST you have to rely on the host transport to make that work. In other words: Live needs to 'play' before you can record in Maschine. For me this is a no brainer because my Push sits right next to my Maschine (so I simply press 'play' on Push), but with a dedicated Maschine this could become tricky (you'd have to change modes to control this behavior from Maschine, or place it close to your keyboard/mouse so that you can simply start stuff by hitting 'enter').

See also this article: https://support.native-instruments.com/ ... e-Template

But this is also where stand-alone sessions within Maschine can help out. Run Maschine stand-alone, use the controller (and software) to set up a beat and optionally some background melodies and then save, shut down, start Live, load the VST, load your project and then fill in all the blanks using Live, optionally backed by Komplete 12(?).

That's what I'd recommend :)

But what I definitely do agree on with Jester is that this kind of workflow can take getting used to. And I honestly wouldn't be surprised at all if the main reason why I'm enjoying Maschine + Live so much is because I've become very used to using 2 products "semi-separately" due to using Reason and Live as a combination for over 9 years now.
With kind regards,

Peter

Using the 'Power' Trio: Live 10 Suite (+ Push & Max 8 ), Reason 10 and Maschine Mk3 (+ the ultimate Komplete 12).
Blog: SynthFan (under heavy construction!)

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