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NI Maschine vs Ableton Push? Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 28th February 2014
  #1
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NI Maschine vs Ableton Push?

NI Maschine vs Ableton Push?

Everyone is giving me mixed opinions.

I want a console to produce music AND also to perform with at gigs. I already use Serato DJ to dj, and Ableton 8 to produce. (I wish Serato DJ had The Bridge like Serato Scratch Live did with Ableton...)
Old 28th February 2014
  #2
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If you're already using Ableton then i'd grab Push. It only makes sense.

Unless you're looking to switch away from Ableton, then try Maschine
Old 28th February 2014
  #3
doubt youll find anything but mixed opinions. its all a matter of taste and both devices have their pros/cons.
Old 1st March 2014
  #4
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I'd have to go with Push, since you're looking to perform live. In the studio, it's probably a fair toss-up between the two (depending on taste), but for performing live, the 64 pads on Push give it an edge towards playability.
Old 1st March 2014
  #5
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Is it so, that the Suite tools are just a big 'meh' compared to NI stuff? Push seems really interesting to me but I have the impression that almost any decent vst will just destroy Ableton's own instruments and sounds. Of course it's all subjective but versatility is something that is not, and I don't see Ableton as much of a chameleon as I see something like Komplete+Maschine.
Old 1st March 2014
  #6
i really like Operator and Sampler, but besides that, i usually go for the komplete plugs. that said, the push is absolute integration with ableton, and you can program it to control VSTs. ive never used maschine, though, so i cant really speak on that. when i was choosing, as the OP is, i watched alot of youtube vids about each device to figure out which one would best suit my workflow. everything else was just opinion, and while opinions can be valuable, only you know how you work.
Old 1st March 2014
  #7
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I just bought Push and I am blown away! The closest a controller has got being a creational device imho. Its all about the integration. Choose the hardware which is supported the best by your main platform. If Komplete is a problem, you can get all the presets of 9 ultimate in Ableton's format for little money.

And I havent even tried the custom scripts yet :D
Old 2nd March 2014
  #8
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Push if you use Ableton, without a doubt.

Machine in another DAW for drums & Push in another DAW for keys with PXT General script.
Old 3rd March 2014
  #9
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I've been trying to decide the same - Maschine 2.0 (Maschine Studio or MK2) or Push. I'm not (that) invested in either Maschine or Ableton really, so I can start fresh. I've used Ableton in the past and have a Maschine MK1 (though the pads are failing).

Am I correct in understanding that with Push, you cannot load 3rd-party VSTs from the hardware unless you make instrument racks? But even then, you can't browse presets from the hardware? With Maschine, you can load 3rd-party VSTs, but you cannot browse presets from the hardware from what I know. I guess at least Push has the 3rd-party extension that allows you to browse certain 3rd-party VSTs AND presets from the hardware (like Komplete and Omnisphere). I do like Maschine's ability to browse all samples from the hardware and create kits on the fly. Can you do that with Push or is it just the Drum Racks you've set up previously?

I'm not into sampling - more about getting song ideas sketched out quickly, especially if I'm working with another writer in the studio. Thoughts?
Old 3rd March 2014
  #10
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I have a Push. I am a big Ableton user. That said, as other have stated, if you have Ableton, get Push. Maschine is a controller for Maschine software, and not outside of that. If you want to work only in Maschine, then that's fine; if you want control over you whole workflow, get Push. There's really not a comparison between the two, they're for different purposes.
Old 3rd March 2014
  #11
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I switched from Maschine to Push myself... I had the v.1 and while it was nice looking, it didn't take very long for the pads to die... I got a dust cover for the Push right after I got it just in case. But the quality of the build and the Live integration makes it a keeper. I would say go Maschine if you are used to MPCs but want to have DAW integration.
Old 3rd March 2014
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianbotkiller View Post
Maschine is a controller for Maschine software, and not outside of that. If you want to work only in Maschine, then that's fine; if you want control over you whole workflow, get Push. There's really not a comparison between the two, they're for different purposes.
Actually Maschine works well as a Ableton controller. It comes with a complete Ableton control template right out-of-the-box. You can switch between control of Ableton and the Maschine software on the fly with just a shift-button press. I used the Serato/Ableton Bridge while DJing and was able to control both Ableton (loops, mixer, FX, etc.) and the Maschine plugin (drums, percussion, step sequencer, etc) all from the Maschine controller without needing to look at the Ableton or Maschine screen windows. The template is that good.

The advantages of Push too me are only apparent if you're satisfied with the built-in Ableton sounds/devices and plan on composing primarily in Ableton. Since Push is a basically a 1:1 hardware extension of Ableton, it turns Ableton into a complete keyboard workstation. You sit in front of it and crank out tracks.

Using Maschine + any midi keyboard is the basically same thing. There's a fair amount of feature overlap. The advantages of Maschine are that you can use it any DAW, so you're not locked into Ableton. Another big plus is the Maschine library/included plugins are way better than Ableton IMO and make it a much better bang-for-your-buck than Push.

I personally prefer Maschine for writing. There's something about using it in standalone mode that get's my creative juices flowing and keeps me focused in a hardware kind of way. It's limited in a good way. With Ableton I always end up just dicking around and not getting anywhere most of the time. Ableton does almost too many cool things. You can spend days just playing with M4L stuff or screwing with scenes or controllers. Maschine on the other hand is just: find sound/kit, play-into-pattern, arrange-into-song, DONE. No loops (except in a recycle, hardware sampler way), esoteric/weird plugins, no live performance/DJ stuff, just make beats/get work done. I made probably 10-15 beats the first year I dedicated to mastering Ableton. I made around 30 beats the first MONTH I had Maschine.

I do like the instrument aspect of Push and thought about getting one just for that, but the J74 mappings pretty much solved that one. It adds the Push isometric keyboard layout (plus a bunch of others) to the Launchpad. Since he added a way to vary the note velocity randomly within a range, I don't miss velocity sensitive buttons. It works with any DAW and especially well with Maschine. Not bad for 8 bucks.
Old 3rd March 2014
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolout View Post
Actually Maschine works well as a Ableton controller. It comes with a complete Ableton control template right out-of-the-box. You can switch between control of Ableton and the Maschine software on the fly with just a shift-button press. I used the Serato/Ableton Bridge while DJing and was able to control both Ableton (loops, mixer, FX, etc.) and the Maschine plugin (drums, percussion, step sequencer, etc) all from the Maschine controller without needing to look at the Ableton or Maschine screen windows. The template is that good.

The advantages of Push too me are only apparent if you're satisfied with the built-in Ableton sounds/devices and plan on composing primarily in Ableton. Since Push is a basically a 1:1 hardware extension of Ableton, it turns Ableton into a complete keyboard workstation. You sit in front of it and crank out tracks.

Using Maschine + any midi keyboard is the basically same thing. There's a fair amount of feature overlap. The advantages of Maschine are that you can use it any DAW, so you're not locked into Ableton. Another big plus is the Maschine library/included plugins are way better than Ableton IMO and make it a much better bang-for-your-buck than Push.

I personally prefer Maschine for writing. There's something about using it in standalone mode that get's my creative juices flowing and keeps me focused in a hardware kind of way. It's limited in a good way. With Ableton I always end up just dicking around and not getting anywhere most of the time. Ableton does almost too many cool things. You can spend days just playing with M4L stuff or screwing with scenes or controllers. Maschine on the other hand is just: find sound/kit, play-into-pattern, arrange-into-song, DONE. No loops (except in a recycle, hardware sampler way), esoteric/weird plugins, no live performance/DJ stuff, just make beats/get work done. I made probably 10-15 beats the first year I dedicated to mastering Ableton. I made around 30 beats the first MONTH I had Maschine.

I do like the instrument aspect of Push and thought about getting one just for that, but the J74 mappings pretty much solved that one. It adds the Push isometric keyboard layout (plus a bunch of others) to the Launchpad. Since he added a way to vary the note velocity randomly within a range, I don't miss velocity sensitive buttons. It works with any DAW and especially well with Maschine. Not bad for 8 bucks.
If you have Komplete or UAD you can get all the presets as racks. So you can browse them with Push. Otherwise it sucks, if you have many presets. But there are ways.

I think that is relative. To me its just the right amount of limiting. You cant build or tweak m4l devices on the push. Only navigate, record, playback, perform and minor editing. Basically a music instrument with a recorder.

Generally the Push should be usable in other DAWs as well, there are custom scripts. In the end its just a MIDI device that you can map like any other. But to me the selling point the well integration and ease of use in Ableton (probably Bitwig too)

But its just about which software you want to use primarily. Choose accordingly.
Old 3rd March 2014
  #14
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I agree, it works with it, but not like Push does.
Old 3rd March 2014
  #15
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Push really turns Ableton Live into more of an instrument. I find myself playing Push and not looking at the screen. A great creative tool and definite keeper for me.
Old 4th March 2014
  #16
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It's been 8 years since the last time I created a track without using a mouse but Push changed that, It's a great controller. I have a good friend that uses Machine studio with great results also, get both!
Old 4th March 2014
  #17
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Get both, slut!
Old 5th March 2014
  #18
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Hi, well I'm new to this and I'm an ableton user. I was wondering if it is logical to buy a maschine to control ableton with it. I found a great deal on a maschine mk1 and I can't afford push right now. can you do live performances and record midi with maschine on ableton without the need for its plugin? and is it easy? I don't have any other instruments. So I want sth that would do everything for me including mixing and capable of live performances using ableton. is maschine the right controller for me to go with?
Old 5th March 2014
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkr_legend View Post
Hi, well I'm new to this and I'm an ableton user. I was wondering if it is logical to buy a maschine to control ableton with it. I found a great deal on a maschine mk1 and I can't afford push right now. can you do live performances and record midi with maschine on ableton without the need for its plugin? and is it easy? I don't have any other instruments. So I want sth that would do everything for me including mixing and capable of live performances using ableton. is maschine the right controller for me to go with?

No, save for push.
Old 6th March 2014
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkr_legend View Post
can you do live performances and record midi with maschine on ableton without the need for its plugin? and is it easy? I don't have any other instruments.
Yes you can use the Maschine controller to control Ableton without using the Maschine software. If you're not completely settled on using Ableton however you might prefer using the Maschine software to Ableton. I personally do and find the built-in library sounds and integration of Native Instruments plugin easier and better than Ableton's. Of course chords are limited with just 16-pads, so you really need some sort of keyboard to use with Maschine, unless you're just doing basslines and melodies w/ samples.

I have a couple of friends that own Push (one tried to sell me his) and they both said to me it was more geared towards studio production vs live use. They preferred using APC-40 for live shows because of the extra knobs and faders. I would get Push only if you're completely in love Ableton and want it to be the center of everything you do. To me Maschine is more flexible and a better deal. The sound library alone is worth the price really. Just make sure if you buy it used you get the owner to transfer the serial over to you with Native Instruments.
Old 6th March 2014
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolout View Post
Yes you can use the Maschine controller to control Ableton without using the Maschine software. If you're not completely settled on using Ableton however you might prefer using the Maschine software to Ableton. I personally do and find the built-in library sounds and integration of Native Instruments plugin easier and better than Ableton's. Of course chords are limited with just 16-pads, so you really need some sort of keyboard to use with Maschine, unless you're just doing basslines and melodies w/ samples.

I have a couple of friends that own Push (one tried to sell me his) and they both said to me it was more geared towards studio production vs live use. They preferred using APC-40 for live shows because of the extra knobs and faders. I would get Push only if you're completely in love Ableton and want it to be the center of everything you do. To me Maschine is more flexible and a better deal. The sound library alone is worth the price really. Just make sure if you buy it used you get the owner to transfer the serial over to you with Native Instruments.
are you saying Maschine is better, or as good as push in live performances? I don't really mind that much about the 4x4 pads. I can get a keyboard or a launchpad to fill its void later but i don't feel the need for it right now. the thing that's important to me is to easily use knobs to adjust volumes, bpm, frequency change and transposing notes in live mixing and also using pads as notes in ableton's instruments for music production. p.s: I have never used maschine but I used traktor and I liked it.
Old 6th March 2014
  #22
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Originally Posted by pkr_legend View Post
are you saying Maschine is better, or as good as push in live performances? I don't really mind that much about the 4x4 pads. I can get a keyboard or a launchpad to fill its void later but i don't feel the need for it right now. the thing that's important to me is to easily use knobs to adjust volumes, bpm, frequency change and transposing notes in live mixing and also using pads as notes in ableton's instruments for music production. p.s: I have never used maschine but I used traktor and I liked it.
Yes...the Maschine template will do all that. One main difference vs Push (beside the amount of pads) is that controlling Ableton is Push's primary function so everything is labelled for that and probably more intuitive. On the Maschine template some of the functions are mapped to buttons with similar names (the "scene" button for example although they have completely different meanings in each software), while others are not. I had to use a little sticker label-maker to remind me, but I do that for all my midi controllers. Like I said before I personally choose Maschine for it's flexibility and sound library...plus it's a lot cheaper 2nd hand. If you've completely settled on just using Ableton then investing in Push is probably the best.

Check out these videos, compare, and make up your own mind:

Controlling Ableton Live with Maschine - New Controller Editor Template Guide - YouTube

Ableton Push Review - Sonic LAB - YouTube
Old 7th March 2014
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Santtu View Post
Is it so, that the Suite tools are just a big 'meh' compared to NI stuff? Push seems really interesting to me but I have the impression that almost any decent vst will just destroy Ableton's own instruments and sounds. Of course it's all subjective but versatility is something that is not, and I don't see Ableton as much of a chameleon as I see something like Komplete+Maschine.
Operator is arguably the best digital synth I've ever played. It's a bit limited, but the tone is second to none. Analog isn't as great but still very useable and fast, CPU effecient both of them as well. Ableton's fx are second to none also.
Old 7th March 2014
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myrok View Post
Operator is arguably the best digital synth I've ever played. It's a bit limited, but the tone is second to none. Analog isn't as great but still very useable and fast, CPU effecient both of them as well. Ableton's fx are second to none also.
Ableton's presets always striked me as really boring, so I've never looked twice. Probably judged prematurely. I'll look into it!

But I can fully agree with the fxs simplicity is king
Old 7th March 2014
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimi7777 View Post
Ableton's presets always striked me as really boring, so I've never looked twice. Probably judged prematurely. I'll look into it!

But I can fully agree with the fxs simplicity is king
If you have the Suite and you're not using Operator you're missing out.

Analog is ok but I find Tension and Collision really useful too, especially for adding unusual percussive timbres to loops etc. A cool thing to do is to set up a M4L device randomizer or two and let it run loose on the plugs, you can come up with some very unique sounds.

Sampler is a fine instrument also, not a fine sampler per se, but an excellent instrument in it's own right.
Old 7th March 2014
  #27
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Alright. I've played a little bit with Operator. I have to admit that I underestimated it's power. It may be limited, but with the options you have you can get a really nice sound! A shame the presets don't live up to its potential (at least to my ears)
Old 7th March 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimi7777 View Post
Alright. I've played a little bit with Operator. I have to admit that I underestimated it's power. It may be limited, but with the options you have you can get a really nice sound! A shame the presets don't live up to its potential (at least to my ears)
Yeah I don't even touch the presets, never have never will. It's a mean FM bass machine and when you modulate the volume of the different OSC's you can get some seriously mean sounds. Then it has all the different serial / parallel combos that change the tone, a simple tone knob, master pitch envelope, it's really a great unit.

I used to think it was a little limited, but with the new MAX LFO tool I find myself using operator as much as any other synth. Really an amazingly clean and up front / hard sounding tone.
Old 8th March 2014
  #29
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I would save up for the push. I have a maschine now, and between midi tempo problems and making the minitaur freeze every now and again it is unusable live for me. Going to have to switch over to a push soon and learn ableton, it only makes since at this point. Sad thing is it would only take a few software fixes from NI, but at this point I don't see any help coming and it seems more like a half finished product rather than something for touring musicians.
Old 8th April 2014
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Guy View Post
the push is absolute integration with ableton, and you can program it to control VSTs. ive never used maschine, though, so i cant really speak on that.
Push is actually not quite "absolute integration with ableton". It only integrates with a small subset of Ableton Live's features, particularly ones focused on composing with Live's built-in sounds. If hands-on sampling is your thing, Push doesn't do any of that. You can't do anything like record or slice samples in Live using Push and the browsing aspect is surprisingly awful. So for the many other things that Live does, you're still forced to use the mouse/computer screen even if you have Push. Maschine, on the other hand, was designed with total integration in mind between its hardware and software. You can literally control pretty much everything from just the hardware.
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