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Can't decide between Maschine MK3, MPC2500, or MPC Live
Old 20th March 2018
  #1
Gear Head
 

Can't decide between Maschine MK3, MPC2500, or MPC Live

I'm kind of new to this. I spent the last year doing more electronic music, with my DAW being FL Studio. I recently started to discover sampling, and that led me down the history of the MPC, and watching videos of people making beats on it, and the Maschine. I'm really interested in getting started with making beats using samples.

I've tried the whole FPC/SliceX workflow in FL Studio and to me it's pretty tedious. Honestly, I've never really been much of a keyboard and mouse person when it comes to recording music. I have a guitar background, been playing for 14 years, and up until about 2010, I used a Boss BR-864 digital 8 track recorder, no computer except for exporting the final mix.

So I've always been kind of more comfortable with a hardware unit. I've been looking into the Maschine MK3, MPC 2500 w/ JOS, and the MPC Live.

I want something hands on, which all of these provide, but it's a matter of asking myself if I want to be tied to a computer or not. I also should ask myself if I want something that is strictly for sampling, or that will give me the potential to use it for many other different styles of music.

A friend of mine said that I should probably get the maschine because it is newer tech, comes with a great library of sounds to get started, and would probably be much easier.

But I'm still not sure. Is the learning curve of the 2500 difficult? Will I become frustrated with having to source my own sounds and drum kits? If I do go 2500, I could probably just use that strictly for sampled beats, and then continue using FL Studio for all other music.

The MPC Live seems appealing as well, but with a price of $1200, I'm not sure. I keep hearing that the Akai software is crappy and buggy, and that the onboard sounds and effects aren't that great.

I'm just worried about dropping $600 for a MK3 and then years down the line it becomes useless when it's not supported anymore on newer OS's and computers. At least I know that with a 2500, or even the Live, it will work standalone forever.

Any advice is appreciated. Has anyone owned a standalone MPC, got frustrated and moved to Maschine, or vice versa? How about MPC Live vs Maschine?

It is kind of a bummer that none of my local music stores have either on display to try out, and they refuse to open a box to let me try.
Old 20th March 2018
  #2
Here for the gear
 

I used Maschine for a few years and switched to the MPC Live and I‘m glad I did.
Maschine and the whole Native Instruments ecosystem is great. Everything works well together and you get a ton of sounds.

But a few important things lead me to switch sides to Akai:

If you‘re looking for an almost computer free workflow, than Maschine is frustratingly close, but not close enough. I found myself using the sequencer exclusively on the computer, so I tried the Maschine Jam to balance that. Didn‘t work out, because, as I learned, step-programming is a creativity blocker for me.

The sequencer on the Live on the other hand is great. No computer needed. The touchscreen GUI is even better then the desktop version.

The MPC has also the better workflow for sampling. Way more intuitive than trying the same things on the Maschine hardware.

What suprised me, is that the MPC workflow has been really influential in how HipHop is typically sequenced and arranged.
I had a Akai rack sampler in the 90s and never experienced the MPC workflow before, so finding key functions for my kind of production so readily available is great.

The whole standalone feeling of the MPC could lead you to try to implement more hardware. It‘s really easy to record and layer audio tracks and samples. Next thing you know, you will get yourself some desktop synths, like Rolands SH-01A or something.

And the best thing: With Maschine I ended up with a lot of patterns and struggling finishing a song. With the MPC that‘s completely different. You still got your patterns / sequences, but the arranger in song mode makes it easy to take the next step and build a song.

I don‘t miss any other features coming from Maschine. But the tight integrated workflow of Maschine with the Komplete Keyboards is on another level, compared to the MPC-Advanced integration. That‘s where Akai has to step up.

The current version of the MPC software runs stable and I experienced no problems whatsoever.

So, that‘s my personal and very subjective experience with both systems.
Old 21st March 2018
  #3
Here for the gear
 

I have experience in both Maschine and the MPC. I used Maschine for years (2009 - 2017) and it was great. However, I grew tired of a few things:
  • Being tied to a computer
  • Issues with Maschine hardware
  • Maschine software that was not updated as needed
  • I just needed a change

I do Boom Bap so I figured why not go old school and try an MPC? I got the MPC 2500 and love it.

Now, the one I got comes with JJOS (paid). Make sure you get that - it's great. And even thought I miss some features of Maschine, I absolutely love the MPC work flow.

It's obviously sampled-centered but it can easily be used as a controller as well. What I usually do is make sample-based beat and then record each track out to Ableton then mix from there. It's great that way.

As for Maschine, I loved the MK1/MK2 but both units I had eventually crapped out on me. The MK1 had hardware issues and my MK2 was both hardware/software related so I was really turned off. I decided to try the MK3 and even though it looks really nice, I didn't like it too much. I made a video about it. Apparently a lot of people don't like what I had to say about it LOL. I guess they're all MK3 owners or serious NI fanboys.

YouTube

So for me it's the MPC 2500. I know someone that does soldering so I've had some of the switches upgraded, plus I upgraded my screen and pads myself. It's fun doing that stuff.

You can definitely do a lot with either the MPC or Maschine, but it all boils down to what you want to do, and what kind of beats you want to make. For me, I just happened to go back a bit and dive into the MPC world. That might not be for you, but maybe it might. Maschine is really good too, but the issue is that you're tied to a computer.

YouTube
Old 21st March 2018
  #4
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by misterfade View Post
I have experience in both Maschine and the MPC. I used Maschine for years (2009 - 2017) and it was great. However, I grew tired of a few things:
  • Being tied to a computer
  • Issues with Maschine hardware
  • Maschine software that was not updated as needed
  • I just needed a change

I do Boom Bap so I figured why not go old school and try an MPC? I got the MPC 2500 and love it.

Now, the one I got comes with JJOS (paid). Make sure you get that - it's great. And even thought I miss some features of Maschine, I absolutely love the MPC work flow.

It's obviously sampled-centered but it can easily be used as a controller as well. What I usually do is make sample-based beat and then record each track out to Ableton then mix from there. It's great that way.

As for Maschine, I loved the MK1/MK2 but both units I had eventually crapped out on me. The MK1 had hardware issues and my MK2 was both hardware/software related so I was really turned off. I decided to try the MK3 and even though it looks really nice, I didn't like it too much. I made a video about it. Apparently a lot of people don't like what I had to say about it LOL. I guess they're all MK3 owners or serious NI fanboys.

YouTube

So for me it's the MPC 2500. I know someone that does soldering so I've had some of the switches upgraded, plus I upgraded my screen and pads myself. It's fun doing that stuff.

You can definitely do a lot with either the MPC or Maschine, but it all boils down to what you want to do, and what kind of beats you want to make. For me, I just happened to go back a bit and dive into the MPC world. That might not be for you, but maybe it might. Maschine is really good too, but the issue is that you're tied to a computer.

YouTube

I actually watched your videos last night haha. Does the 2500 come with it's own drum kits, or do you have to source them yourself? Where did you purchase yours? I notice it has aftermarket orange pads.
Old 21st March 2018
  #5
Lives for gear
 
atma's Avatar
If you want to learn to make beats using actual samples from records/recordings, you need to expect to have to put a lot of time/effort into sourcing original material from old albums and learning how to properly sample/slice/manipulate them in order to make beats. It's a somewhat steep initial learning curve, but if you're genuinely dedicated, it's a much more organic and legit process than using any kind of 'preset' samples that come with whatever hardware interface you end up using. If your goal is actual sampling, I would make sure that whatever box you choose is capable of some type of standalone sampling process (and not just a glorified Midi controller for a PC DAW). In that sense, I would actually go with one of the older MPCs (my preference is the MPC4000). It's definitely a more difficult route to go old school, sample-based, but I believe (from personal experience) that you'll be forced to learn to be creative in a way that you wouldn't otherwise, using a box that has tons of built-in prefabricated samples. I've been making hip-hop for over 20 years, so I do have a great deal of experience in the field. However, a lot of these issues come down to personal preference, experience, and individual workflow.
Old 21st March 2018
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Farmboy presents's Avatar
Your path reads similar to mine! I've got a 2500 with jjos. Love the build quality and that any parts that do crap out from being banged on can easily be sourced. I originally planned to make all my own samples but have recently bought a huge package of samples that were on sale as a bundle. There always seems to be some sale on.

It's a very easy machine to use but with some pretty cool features esp. After the jjos install.

I love not using a computer for anything but record onto a korg 3200 hard disk. The mpc syncs seamlessly to this. It is the sequencr that i really enjoy; much to my suprise: its what makes the sampler work IMO. Loading samples from a computer is simple via usb. I also bought a tutorial which got me up to speed with some great tips. Got 8 outs and 4 midi outs.. i really like it.
Old 21st March 2018
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Patrick_'s Avatar
I’ve had them ALL. I went BACK to maschine. Reasons being is Serato Sampler and I don’t have time to be tracking out beats anymore.

Finally NI Is getting maschine sequencer in order and it has an Ableton feeling that I like though I could never get along with Ableton. The maschine controller gives you access to EVERY DAMN PARAMETER via the controller knobs and that itself makes it easier for me.

All my mpc’s are catching dust. That’s just MY opinion.
Old 21st March 2018
  #8
Lives for gear
 

if you want to automate tempo changes, time signature changes, record mutes, explode tracks, freeze samples on a per pad basis.... don't get maschine
Old 21st March 2018
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Patrick_'s Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain 8 View Post
if you want to automate tempo changes, time signature changes, record mutes, explode tracks, freeze samples on a per pad basis.... don't get maschine
And we weren’t doing this on mpc’s, sp1200’s, nor ASR10’s last I checked lol.
Old 21st March 2018
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick_ View Post
And we weren’t doing this on mpc’s, sp1200’s, nor ASR10’s last I checked lol.
you didn't check hard enough, my mpc 500, 1000, 2500, and (4000 that I've used)
automate tempo, time signature, and record mutes, also they allow you to assign whatever midi note you want to a pad, and have midi merge feature which also my maschine cannot do.

the new mpcs live and x explode tracks, and freeze samples on a per pad basis.

all I said was if you want to do those things then don't get a maschine...

how do you think chief Xcel made this beat originally?

Old 21st March 2018
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Patrick_'s Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain 8 View Post
you didn't check hard enough, my mpc 500, 1000, 2500, and (4000 that I've used)
automate tempo, time signature, and record mutes, also they allow you to assign whatever midi note you want to a pad, and have midi merge feature which also my maschine cannot do.

the new mpcs live and x explode tracks, and freeze samples on a per pad basis.

all I said was if you want to do those things then don't get a maschine...

how do you think chief Xcel made this beat originally?

That’s extra nerd ism Stuff. I was muting off the mpc’s in real-time or on consoles or via midi. I don’t get too technical if I need to layer then I do but I’m a dinosaur.

And I got in during the wutang era.
Old 21st March 2018
  #12
Lives for gear
 

as far as I'm concerned it's still the Wu Tang Era!

it's not that nerdy really, all the mpcs allow you to set an individual tempo for each sequence, so you just make sequence 1 the slowest tempo, then make each sequence after that a faster tempo so on and so on and then string them together.
so you could have 100 sequences with 100 different tempos in one song if you wanted to.
Old 21st March 2018
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Patrick_'s Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain 8 View Post
as far as I'm concerned it's still the Wu Tang Era!

it's not that nerdy really, all the mpcs allow you to set an individual tempo for each sequence, so you just make sequence 1 the slowest tempo, then make each sequence after that a faster tempo so on and so on and then string them together.
so you could have 100 sequences with 100 different tempos in one song if you wanted to.
Yes we did that on song mode and YES maschine doesn’t do that in standalone but it’s ways around it. Shrugs. Man I just make the music and keep the f moving b.
Old 21st March 2018
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick_ View Post
Man I just make the music and keep the f moving b.
that's what we all do, but that's not what the Op asked.
Old 22nd March 2018
  #15
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rich2k4 View Post
I actually watched your videos last night haha. Does the 2500 come with it's own drum kits, or do you have to source them yourself? Where did you purchase yours? I notice it has aftermarket orange pads.
I just loaded up my own kits I had for a while. Bought a few, downloaded some free ones. There's a lot of kits out there if you look around.
Old 22nd March 2018
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mennis View Post
I used Maschine for a few years and switched to the MPC Live and I‘m glad I did.
Maschine and the whole Native Instruments ecosystem is great. Everything works well together and you get a ton of sounds.

But a few important things lead me to switch sides to Akai:

If you‘re looking for an almost computer free workflow, than Maschine is frustratingly close, but not close enough. I found myself using the sequencer exclusively on the computer, so I tried the Maschine Jam to balance that. Didn‘t work out, because, as I learned, step-programming is a creativity blocker for me.

The sequencer on the Live on the other hand is great. No computer needed. The touchscreen GUI is even better then the desktop version.

The MPC has also the better workflow for sampling. Way more intuitive than trying the same things on the Maschine hardware.

What suprised me, is that the MPC workflow has been really influential in how HipHop is typically sequenced and arranged.
I had a Akai rack sampler in the 90s and never experienced the MPC workflow before, so finding key functions for my kind of production so readily available is great.

The whole standalone feeling of the MPC could lead you to try to implement more hardware. It‘s really easy to record and layer audio tracks and samples. Next thing you know, you will get yourself some desktop synths, like Rolands SH-01A or something.

And the best thing: With Maschine I ended up with a lot of patterns and struggling finishing a song. With the MPC that‘s completely different. You still got your patterns / sequences, but the arranger in song mode makes it easy to take the next step and build a song.

I don‘t miss any other features coming from Maschine. But the tight integrated workflow of Maschine with the Komplete Keyboards is on another level, compared to the MPC-Advanced integration. That‘s where Akai has to step up.

The current version of the MPC software runs stable and I experienced no problems whatsoever.

So, that‘s my personal and very subjective experience with both systems.

I think this is the answer I was looking for per my post yesterday...When I was on the MPC things just seem to get done faster, but with maschine and looking at the computer more then the actual music creativity.. Im going to pick up the mpc live today or tomorrow.
Old 7th June 2019
  #17
Gear Addict
 
themixtape's Avatar
I've had them all, too. It's tough to choose, often. Maschine MK3 is my preferred method for chopping samples, though, for sure. Duplicate, chop... it's lightning-fast. Lightning-fast. I think it's faster than the MPC, and a lot of people who frequently chop on both might have to agree. I dig on the colored waveforms, depending on the group, too. It's just fun.

Reason I found this post... I'm considering picking up an MPC1000 again. But I don't know. MK3 feels standalone if you just close the lid on your laptop and put it under it. My laptop's battery lasts for 5 hours (Windows 7, 64-bit, Dell Precision). Can sample from my battery-powered turntable, and my iphone if I want... can sit in the park and make beats for hours.

There's a lot to be said about the MPC.... a lot. Just deep in thought, lately....
Old 9th June 2019
  #18
Lives for gear
 

the amount of sequencing/midi variation you can do on an mpc compared to what you can do with maschine is about a 10-3
Old 9th June 2019
  #19
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rich2k4 View Post
I'm kind of new to this. I spent the last year doing more electronic music, with my DAW being FL Studio. I recently started to discover sampling, and that led me down the history of the MPC, and watching videos of people making beats on it, and the Maschine. I'm really interested in getting started with making beats using samples.

I've tried the whole FPC/SliceX workflow in FL Studio and to me it's pretty tedious. Honestly, I've never really been much of a keyboard and mouse person when it comes to recording music. I have a guitar background, been playing for 14 years, and up until about 2010, I used a Boss BR-864 digital 8 track recorder, no computer except for exporting the final mix.

So I've always been kind of more comfortable with a hardware unit. I've been looking into the Maschine MK3, MPC 2500 w/ JOS, and the MPC Live.

I want something hands on, which all of these provide, but it's a matter of asking myself if I want to be tied to a computer or not. I also should ask myself if I want something that is strictly for sampling, or that will give me the potential to use it for many other different styles of music.

A friend of mine said that I should probably get the maschine because it is newer tech, comes with a great library of sounds to get started, and would probably be much easier.

But I'm still not sure. Is the learning curve of the 2500 difficult? Will I become frustrated with having to source my own sounds and drum kits? If I do go 2500, I could probably just use that strictly for sampled beats, and then continue using FL Studio for all other music.

The MPC Live seems appealing as well, but with a price of $1200, I'm not sure. I keep hearing that the Akai software is crappy and buggy, and that the onboard sounds and effects aren't that great.

I'm just worried about dropping $600 for a MK3 and then years down the line it becomes useless when it's not supported anymore on newer OS's and computers. At least I know that with a 2500, or even the Live, it will work standalone forever.

Any advice is appreciated. Has anyone owned a standalone MPC, got frustrated and moved to Maschine, or vice versa? How about MPC Live vs Maschine?

It is kind of a bummer that none of my local music stores have either on display to try out, and they refuse to open a box to let me try.
I came from a MPC 2000 background and started using DAWS and never looked back.

I own Maschine mp3 and Ableton Push 2.

To be honest I like Push 2 better but I think it is because I enjoy the Ableton workflow better.


Chopping/Warping samples is easy and mainly a right click method although Push 2 has some more options I enjoy just using the Wave view.


Maschine mp3 has a pretty complicated workflow IMO but I'm sure it is fully capable.



I also used to use Reason/Recycle but that method might be a little convoluted but I probably made some of my best sample based productions with that with no pad controller.

Ableton alone has a similar workflow now with just one program, but Recycle had a cool stretch function that sounded cool on chops. Almost similar to a delay effect.

Reason has a limited version of Recycle built-in now but lacks the stretch knob.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #20
Gear Addict
 

I have a room full of hardware trying to get away from the computer but I ultimately went back to Ableton. I tried Maschine, Akai, Beat Thang, OP-1, etc and they just aren’t as powerful as using FL Studio or Ableton. Just save yourself a ton of money, time and frustration and stick with your DAW. You will find that hardware solutions are more frustrating and limited than just learning you DAW.

If you are frustrated with FL Studio, try Ableton Live. I use Ableton for everything now and it’s so fast and easy to do whatever you want. I just use the computer keyboard to play out the parts and don’t even use a USB keyboard anymore. I get where you are coming from because I went down the same road. I started on Ensoniq EPS-16+ hardware and loved it. The DAW is just so much more powerful than any hardware solution out there now that you will find yourself chasing ghosts.

Stick with FL Studio or learn Ableton and stick with it. If you want hardware, get PUSH 2 for Ableton or a hardware interface that works with FL Studio but you will find that none of the hardware out there will be able to come close to your DAW - even for sampling. Learn your DAW really well and just use that.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #21
Lives for gear
 

The sweet spots on the earlier hardware are hard to give up for me.My ears demand it.Something pleasant and sometimes brutal really add something to your musicallity.I like to think people can hear it too even in the mix.Something been missing in action since daws seem to have taken over most duties.
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