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Seeking a pad controller with equal or higher quality pads than Maschine MKII
Old 16th October 2013
  #1
Gear Maniac
Seeking a pad controller with equal or higher quality pads than Maschine MKII

I've had Maschine for a few years now (updated to the MKII hardware). I've concluded that the Maschine workflow isn't really for me; however, I love Maschine's pads. They are very sensitive and allow me to play in highly nuanced drum parts. I can also do excellent finger rolls.

I'm looking for a pad controller, preferably a compact one, that has pads of equal or higher quality/sensitivity. Does this exist?

I tried some of the lower budget pad controllers (Akai LPD8, Korg nanoPAD2). They were all right, nice for the money but the pads just weren't up to par (not unexpectedly).

Any suggestions?
Old 16th October 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
 
valis's Avatar
My current favorite is actually PUSH to be honest, I have an MPD32 but never found it close to what I remember my MPC2k to be in the 90's (which was probably cork modded but I can't recall 100%).
Old 16th October 2013
  #3
Lives for gear
 

I use a first issue Axiom 25, the pads are adjustable sensitivity and feel much better than the LPD8, plus it was $20.00 at a yard sale. Still got a lot of stuff to figure out with zones, etc., but I've got the transport buttons working in LE9, so I'm making progress.
Old 16th October 2013
  #4
Lives for gear
Well.. this is not going to be easy b/c I hear Maschine MKII has the best pads out of any controller on the market

Honestly... there's no real reason (at least that I'm aware of) that you can't just keep the controller and ditch the software. Or... downgrade to the Maschine Mikro if you don't want all of the features your MKii has.


Personally... I have a Korg padKontrol at the moment. The padKontrol has fantastic pads. I can't say if they are better than Maschine MKii b/c I haven't touched on yet but, I've spoken to people who've used both and everyone prefers mkii. However... the Korg is no slouch at all! It's very responsive... and the entire pad triggers sound (not just the middle of the pad). The pads have a sturdy'like quality to them. They don't feel squishly. They feel like it's a good solid-ish rubber-ish material, and it just works.

Also.. the XY pad really sets this thing off!! I'm going to be upgrading to Maschine Studio (b/c i want to software integration), but I will absolutely be keeping the padKontrol.. just for the XY pad. It's that good. I've never made snare rolls and hihat rolls so effortlessly on this thing. Can really be my secret weapon for soing that stuff fast. And also... recording those rolls with low velocity to increasing high velocity, all with the swipe of a finger. Fantastic. It's worth the price of admission alone. Unless you add a nanopad to do the same thing. However... you can get a padKontrol for pretty cheap now. Got mine for $60 off of Craigslist.


The only other thing you could possibly do is grab an MPD18.. but upgrade the pads. The MPD series (and MPK) is complete ****e IMHO in terms of pad sensitivity. I don't understand how someone could keep it after having better pads. I only had mine for a while b/c I didn't know there were much better options.

The MPD was very responsive after installing the pad upgrades but... 1) i voided my warranty to do it, 2) it's just upsetting to have to do it in the first place, and 3) I couldn't close the controller too tight b/c the lower row of pads stopping being responsive (b/c they were being squeezed too tight).


So yeah... if you absolutely can't find a way to keep using your Maschine, or grabbing a Maschine Mikro.... get a Korg padKontrol defintely. May not be the absolutely best.... but it's very very good IMO.
Old 17th October 2013
  #5
0e0
Gear Maniac
I know some people will not agree with this.

But I absolutely love the M-Audio Trigger Finger. It's really frustrating because I would liek to get something more up-to-date but I'm so used to the feel of it.

j

0=0
Old 17th October 2013
  #6
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steveswisher's Avatar
 

Sell the MK2 and buy a Maschine Mikro MK1 to use as MIDI controller. I bought mine for $110 (hardware only) on eBay. The pads are great.
Old 17th October 2013
  #7
Brb
Gear Addict
 
Brb's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by steveswisher View Post
Sell the MK2 and buy a Maschine Mikro MK1 to use as MIDI controller. I bought mine for $110 (hardware only) on eBay. The pads are great.

The mk 1 pads are good but the mk 2 are way better
Old 17th October 2013
  #8
Lives for gear
Yeah... quite a few people have told me the MKII poops on the MKI.

I know for a fact that used to sell pad upgrades for the MKI.

Anything they push pad upgrades for... I'm starting to stay away from. (I know you can technically upgrade anything.. i'm just saying.. they really focus on upgrading MPD's and Maschine MKI's)
Old 17th October 2013
  #9
Gear Nut
 
seany's Avatar
 

Korg PadKontrol. I got a lend of a friends Akai MPD and didn't like it because I had to use 2 fingers at once to even trigger it. I got the PadKontrol and love it as the pads are very sensitive. I now have Maschine Mark I as well but the pads aren't quite as sensitive as the Korg.
Old 17th October 2013
  #10
Gear Maniac
Thanks for your input guys/gals. I would never go back from MKII to MKI; I've had both and the MKII's pads are noticeably superior. I feel like there is enough redundancy between Maschine and PadKontrol that I ought to just stick with Maschine. And ideally I'd like something with more portability than even the Maschine Mikro (if the LPD8's pads were up to par it would be perfect). I guess I was hoping that there was something more exotic that I'd never even heard of. Anybody used the Midi Fighter?

It looks like I'm sticking with my Maschine Mikro MKII for the moment. The pads are definitely excellent. Perhaps I can learn to have a more natural connection to its workflow :D
Old 17th October 2013
  #11
Gear Maniac
Also, DON'T buy something that could use a pad upgrade! It's just evidence of an inferior product to begin with. And upgrading your pads voids your warranty! I would never go that route.
Old 19th October 2013
  #12
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CPhoenix View Post
Yeah... quite a few people have told me the MKII poops on the MKI.

I know for a fact that used to sell pad upgrades for the MKI.

Anything they push pad upgrades for... I'm starting to stay away from. (I know you can technically upgrade anything.. i'm just saying.. they really focus on upgrading MPD's and Maschine MKI's)
Well, just because someone sells "pad upgrades" for the MKI doesn't mean it's needed or that the MKI pads are poor. It's just the same people who sell them for Akai pads trying to make a quick buck from noobs. You'd have to be seriously clueless to get those "pad upgrades" for Maschine, period. And while it's true that MKII pads are an improvement over MKI, it's not a night and day type difference. MKI pads still hold their own over any other available pad controller.

The only thing that comes close is the padkontrol but what lets it down is the overall cheap plastic build quality. The unit and the pads will start to wear down and will start making creaking noises after prolonged fingerbanging.
Old 19th October 2013
  #13
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steveswisher's Avatar
 

I'd really love to see a mini Maschine hardware option. Something with no screen. About half (or less) the size of the Mikro and thin like the SparkLE. It could have 2/3 scale pads, a shift button for accessing groups etc. note repeat and a couple other basic pad controller functions. About the size of the Akai Element but made for maschine.
Old 19th October 2013
  #14
Why not just use maschine as a controller shift+control and there you go.
Old 19th October 2013
  #15
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0e0 View Post
I know some people will not agree with this.

But I absolutely love the M-Audio Trigger Finger. It's really frustrating because I would liek to get something more up-to-date but I'm so used to the feel of it.

j

0=0
Completely agree with this.

I've owned many controllers (including various MPCs) and the closest I've come is an Akai XR-20 and the Arturia Spark's pads.
Old 19th October 2013
  #16
Gear Nut
 
tombot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by daez View Post
Why not just use maschine as a controller shift+control and there you go.
+1
Old 19th October 2013
  #17
Lives for gear
 

Id highly recommend looking at both livid base which Ive had for a day and a half but know it well already - really good quality. I nearly went with Push but when I saw the integration of base with Reason 7 (Igot both for $500) and in the Bitwig demos they use Base. The other is keith Mcmillans qunexus. Its pads are apparently excellent and its got native osc,midi and cv. Both of those if you shop around you could get for $550 and be totally set
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