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My (Civil) Maschine Review-(Yes, your MPC's will survive) Drum Machines & Samplers
Old 1st January 2011
  #1
Gear Head
 

My (Civil) Maschine Review-(Yes, your MPC's will survive)

Quick Note; I'm not affiliated with Native Instruments, Akai, or Roland. Everything in this thread does not warrant me a paycheck. I'm not a salesman. With that said--

I love the Maschine! It is a great and well thought out product in it's own respect, not in comparison to the SP1200, or the MV or the MPC. The hardware is light, looks neat, and is very intuitive. I've been getting down on Maschine long enough to where I consider myself skilled with using it, and I have not been using it long--perhaps a month. The great thing about the product and NI in general is that the manual is very in depth, so if you read the manual it will be incredibly easy to approach this product.

Physically, like I said the controller is very lightweight and appealing to the eyes. The pads feel nice (but are not similiar to the pads of an MPC to be honest) but are very responsive to their own defense and feel nice when programming your beats. The screens are easy on the eyes for when you lean against the controller to look at audio files when your chopping up samples. The knobs are not cheap feeling, and if you are the kind of person who likes to really twist knobs and go hard on the pads then you will be satisfied with the Maschine controller. Everything is very easy to find on the controller with the exception of a few things that are easier to program on the Maschine software. However, it is important to note that there are in fact things you cannot do on the Maschine controller, like import sounds. If your sounds are coming from your User Folder though, that shouldn't be a big issue because your already looking at your computer screen anway.

Software-Wise,
the Maschine controller interacts very will with it's software. The software is very, very simple and to some this is a bit of a complaint. Some complain that there is not enough features when it comes to editing samples and that the Maschine software is limited in comparison to that of the MPC's sequencer or a DAW. However, Maschine is NOT AN MPC OR A DAW. Remember that Maschine is a CONTROLLER-the hardware itself is not a sequencer, which means right off the bat that is not an MPC. However, the modern technology of Software combined with the feeling of Hardware makes the Maschine feel great workflow wise--and that is what the Maschine is about, creative, simple and natural workflow. It is sure as hell better than constantly reaching for your mouse! Not that any of MPC users have that dilemma, but I did when I began working totally in the box with just an MPK, lol...

If I'm an MPC User, what is so great about the Maschine?
If you are completely comfortable with your MPC workflow, you should not change to Maschine. You might be disappointed. The Maschine is very helpful to bridge that gap for cats who want to work with Software and a Computer Screen with the feel of 16-Pad MPC-looking Hardware.

Something important though is that the MPC can achieve the same thing...using the MPC with Ableton Live is a very powerful hardware-software combination as well. However, Ableton is not the MPC and the MPC is not the Ableton. However, the Maschine is the Maschine, meaning they are completely integrated and designed for each other. While you can configure the MPC to interact with Ableton to your comfort, it is nice to have the Maschine software be completely designed in conjuction with the Maschine controller. This is what pulls people into Maschine in the first place.

However, the Maschine only has ONE, Midi-Out. If you are trying to sequence all kind of modules and workstations with Maschine, well, you will be severely disappointed because it is not possible. If you are working with lots of analog gear and are comfortable routing the midi outs of an MPC to your analog gear then there is no reason for you to switch your workflow if it works for you.

In contrast, if you are looking to sequence in the box, you will be very satisfied with the Maschine with the MIDI-Out routed to a Midi-Controller, especially when the 1.6 Update drops and you can use 3rd Party Plug-Ins like Reaktor, Absynth, Massive & etc within the Maschine Software.

If I'm an MPC User, should I check out the Maschine?
Really couldn't hurt to try if you're willing to drop the money on the Maschine. However, if the MPC workflow is completely sufficient and comfortable to you, you have absolutely no reason to try it out other than the sake of experimentation--but who knows, you might actually like the Maschine, but perhaps not for the same purposes as your MPC.

In conclusion (for those who don't want to read the whole review)
Don't change your workflow if the MPC works for you. The Maschine is a very strong product, but if you feel it doesn't add to your set-up, then don't add it--however, don't insult it for that same reason. The Maschine is a controller, not a stand alone powerhouse. The Maschine has a great, simple sequencer but it cannot sequence multiple midi workstations and modules. However, the Maschine in conjunction with a Midi-Controller used to play the Maschine's own instruments (and your own imported instruments) as well as soon with the 1.6 update, 3rd Party Plug-In Instruments, the Maschine can achieve something similiar, just IN THE BOX-not analog (: Honestly, I personally feel that one is not better or worse than the other. They are both amazing, but for different reasons. The MPC is incredibly powerful and a classic, and the Maschine is incredibly powerful but is in its early stages and I can only see it improving at the rate it is going.
Old 1st January 2011
  #2
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CeeAsh View Post
Quick Note; I'm not affiliated with Native Instruments, Akai, or Roland. Everything in this thread does not warrant me a paycheck. I'm not a salesman. With that said--

I love the Maschine! It is a great and well thought out product in it's own respect, not in comparison to the SP1200, or the MV or the MPC. The hardware is light, looks neat, and is very intuitive. I've been getting down on Maschine long enough to where I consider myself skilled with using it, and I have not been using it long--perhaps a month. The great thing about the product and NI in general is that the manual is very in depth, so if you read the manual it will be incredibly easy to approach this product.

Physically, like I said the controller is very lightweight and appealing to the eyes. The pads feel nice (but are not similiar to the pads of an MPC to be honest) but are very responsive to their own defense and feel nice when programming your beats. The screens are easy on the eyes for when you lean against the controller to look at audio files when your chopping up samples. The knobs are not cheap feeling, and if you are the kind of person who likes to really twist knobs and go hard on the pads then you will be satisfied with the Maschine controller. Everything is very easy to find on the controller with the exception of a few things that are easier to program on the Maschine software. However, it is important to note that there are in fact things you cannot do on the Maschine controller, like import sounds. If your sounds are coming from your User Folder though, that shouldn't be a big issue because your already looking at your computer screen anway.

Software-Wise,
the Maschine controller interacts very will with it's software. The software is very, very simple and to some this is a bit of a complaint. Some complain that there is not enough features when it comes to editing samples and that the Maschine software is limited in comparison to that of the MPC's sequencer or a DAW. However, Maschine is NOT AN MPC OR A DAW. Remember that Maschine is a CONTROLLER-the hardware itself is not a sequencer, which means right off the bat that is not an MPC. However, the modern technology of Software combined with the feeling of Hardware makes the Maschine feel great workflow wise--and that is what the Maschine is about, creative, simple and natural workflow. It is sure as hell better than constantly reaching for your mouse! Not that any of MPC users have that dilemma, but I did when I began working totally in the box with just an MPK, lol...

If I'm an MPC User, what is so great about the Maschine?
If you are completely comfortable with your MPC workflow, you should not change to Maschine. You might be disappointed. The Maschine is very helpful to bridge that gap for cats who want to work with Software and a Computer Screen with the feel of 16-Pad MPC-looking Hardware.

Something important though is that the MPC can achieve the same thing...using the MPC with Ableton Live is a very powerful hardware-software combination as well. However, Ableton is not the MPC and the MPC is not the Ableton. However, the Maschine is the Maschine, meaning they are completely integrated and designed for each other. While you can configure the MPC to interact with Ableton to your comfort, it is nice to have the Maschine software be completely designed in conjuction with the Maschine controller. This is what pulls people into Maschine in the first place.

However, the Maschine only has ONE, Midi-Out. If you are trying to sequence all kind of modules and workstations with Maschine, well, you will be severely disappointed because it is not possible. If you are working with lots of analog gear and are comfortable routing the midi outs of an MPC to your analog gear then there is no reason for you to switch your workflow if it works for you.

In contrast, if you are looking to sequence in the box, you will be very satisfied with the Maschine with the MIDI-Out routed to a Midi-Controller, especially when the 1.6 Update drops and you can use 3rd Party Plug-Ins like Reaktor, Absynth, Massive & etc within the Maschine Software.

If I'm an MPC User, should I check out the Maschine?
Really couldn't hurt to try if you're willing to drop the money on the Maschine. However, if the MPC workflow is completely sufficient and comfortable to you, you have absolutely no reason to try it out other than the sake of experimentation--but who knows, you might actually like the Maschine, but perhaps not for the same purposes as your MPC.

In conclusion (for those who don't want to read the whole review)
Don't change your workflow if the MPC works for you. The Maschine is a very strong product, but if you feel it doesn't add to your set-up, then don't add it--however, don't insult it for that same reason. The Maschine is a controller, not a stand alone powerhouse. The Maschine has a great, simple sequencer but it cannot sequence multiple midi workstations and modules. However, the Maschine in conjunction with a Midi-Controller used to play the Maschine's own instruments (and your own imported instruments) as well as soon with the 1.6 update, 3rd Party Plug-In Instruments, the Maschine can achieve something similiar, just IN THE BOX-not analog (: Honestly, I personally feel that one is not better or worse than the other. They are both amazing, but for different reasons. The MPC is incredibly powerful and a classic, and the Maschine is incredibly powerful but is in its early stages and I can only see it improving at the rate it is going.
Well stated and true. The MPC Series in conjunction with software is an excellent combination. In terms of competing with Maschine, there really is no competition. As you've mentioned, Maschine is a specifically designed controller interface to its software counterpart. The MPC is a dedicated hardware sequencer, sampler, synth that also can serve in the capacity of a controller interface, despite the fact that it was not designed with that specific purpose in mind.

I've been entertaining adding Maschine to the setup but I like the way that the MPC handles sequencer/controller duties so well that I'd probably wind up just using both, depending on the vibe of the composition. I've mentioned in the past that if the MPC 4000's sequencer could handle more polyphony, I'd probably never stop using it but that's where Maschine comes in.

Good stuff

- KS
Old 2nd January 2011
  #3
Gear Addict
 

A few points and corrections:

Quote:
Originally Posted by CeeAsh View Post
The pads feel nice (but are not similiar to the pads of an MPC to be honest) but are very responsive to their own defense and feel nice when programming your beats.
MPC pads are the least responsive compared to other pad controllers so it's a good thing that they're not like MPC pads. But yeah, Maschine's pads are even more responsive than the venerable padKontrol which pleasantly surprised me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CeeAsh View Post
Remember that Maschine is a CONTROLLER-the hardware itself is not a sequencer, which means right off the bat that is not an MPC.
Well, Maschine is not meant to be a MPC. It's the next level of where MPC should have gone if Akai didn't miss the boat. Anyway, it's not accurate to say that "Maschine is a controller". It's a tightly integrated combination of a dedicated hardware and software that happens to live in a regular computer. MPC just has a very limited software that happens to live inside the dedicated hardware that also houses the proprietary and very limited computer that it is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CeeAsh View Post
However, the Maschine only has ONE, Midi-Out. If you are trying to sequence all kind of modules and workstations with Maschine, well, you will be severely disappointed because it is not possible.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CeeAsh View Post
it cannot sequence multiple midi workstations and modules.
Actually, this is not true. You can sequence multiple (up to 16) hardware modules and workstations at once. Maschine recognizes multiple MIDI ports and gives you 16 MIDI channels.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kstackm View Post
Well stated and true. The MPC Series in conjunction with software is an excellent combination. In terms of competing with Maschine, there really is no competition.
There is no competition between the level of integration in Maschine compared to using MPC in conjunction with software. This is one of the main advantages of Maschine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kstackm View Post
As you've mentioned, Maschine is a specifically designed controller interface to its software counterpart. The MPC is a dedicated hardware sequencer, sampler, synth that also can serve in the capacity of a controller interface, despite the fact that it was not designed with that specific purpose in mind.
Using MPC as a controller interface doesn't even remotely come anywhere close to Maschine's capabilities as a general MIDI controller interface. Maschine comes with an easy to use, powerful controller editor to make custom templates for whatever software with visual feedback through the lighted pads as well as showing device/parameter names and values for the knobs and buttons on the dual displays on the controller. And you can switch instantly from Maschine mode to MIDI control mode and between different templates all from the controller.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #4
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s12512's Avatar
som1 luvs machine!!
Old 3rd January 2011
  #5
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Silver Sonya's Avatar
 

Noggin, please stop.

I don't have an MPC, I have a Maschine. And you are driving ME nuts.

We get it. You love it.

Please stop.

- c
Old 3rd January 2011
  #6
Gear Addict
 
tomlee's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
Noggin, please stop.

I don't have an MPC, I have an Maschine. And you are driving ME nuts.

We get it. You love it.

Please stop.

- c
while there were some salient and useful information embedded in noggin's post ... yeah, initial reaction was "oh, here we go again"
Old 3rd January 2011
  #7
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Silver Sonya's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomlee View Post
while there were some salient and useful information embedded in noggin's post ... yeah, initial reaction was "oh, here we go again"
His points are intelligent. He is intelligent. And I share his enthusiasm for the thing itself.

But the evangelical zeal is just too much.

- c
Old 3rd January 2011
  #8
Gear Addict
 
PeeWeeGee's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
His points are intelligent. He is intelligent. And I share his enthusiasm for the thing itself.

But the evangelical zeal is just too much.

- c
+1

The best "advertising" for Maschine is to post some vids with you making some high-powered tracks using SOLELY Maschine as your tool. Nothing beats demonstration!
Old 3rd January 2011
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
His points are intelligent. He is intelligent. And I share his enthusiasm for the thing itself.

But the evangelical zeal is just too much.

- c

The problem is that with that zeal comes a whole lot of assumption and mis-information. It would be different if there was some accuracy or a bit of self-research to go with his claims.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wax808 View Post
The problem is that with that zeal comes a whole lot of assumption and mis-information. It would be different if there was some accuracy or a bit of self-research to go with his claims.
YEA!!thumbsup
Old 3rd January 2011
  #11
Gear Addict
 

Talk about assumption and misinformation:
Quote:
Originally Posted by CeeAsh View Post
it cannot sequence multiple midi workstations and modules.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wax808 View Post
The "MPC Sound" is far from a myth. On the MPC-1000 it has directly to do with the output voltage on the main outs. Part of it is the compressor that's turned on by default.

It doesn't matter how people quantify it, doubters who have never used one live just cant understand. I will tell you this though from much experience: When you feed the main outs of an MPC-1000 into a large PA system it just plain rocks the fvcking house. It's got a presence thats magic, it's straight up hip-hop.... and the crowd feels it.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noggin View Post
Talk about assumption and misinformation:


No, the quote of me is an "opinion". And anyone who uses an MPC1000 live knows that sound, just like anyone who pushes an analog synth through a PA knows that sound. It's far superior IMHOpinion.

But you wouldn't know this, the more I see you post the more sure I am that you've never laid hands on an MPC much less used them in any capacity. You seem pretty unaware of what they can or can't do, and that makes you one of the least qualified people to draw a comparison between an MPC and your laptop controller.

And this is the problem with doing research on the internet. People who are earnestly trying to do their research run across posts by overly vocal and bizarrely critical guys like yourself..... You criticize without knowing, and heap praise without truly understanding. And you do it a LOT......

It's annoying, distracting, and ultimately destructive in terms of leaving a bad Maschine taste in peoples mouths. It's a great product but you are one of it's worst ambassadors......
Old 3rd January 2011
  #13
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Seriously, you think that the MPC1000 makes the sound better when hooked on a PA system?
Old 3rd January 2011
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by godphaser View Post
Seriously, you think that the MPC1000 makes the sound better when hooked on a PA system?

No, it doesn't make the sound coming through a PA system better.

But it does sound better stock than just about anything else you can plug in by itself. Any sampled played by the MPC itself will be colored with the compressor and it's outputs are hot as hell.... It also does a nice job heating up weaker signals from other devices.

Keep in mind that terms like "better" are completely subjective. But it's been my experience that my MPC1000 knocks better than anything else out there. I did a show on December 18th. Most of the night was hip-hop with a DJ setup, my drummer and I did the freestyle session live.... My MPC and Mopho were doing most of the work on the electronic side, it was monstruous compared to the DJ setup...... WOMP WOMP WOMP!!!!! People were flipping out about how big it sounded.


So yeah....... just my experience.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #15
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Oh ok, so you talk about MPC1k compressor, in fact.

Because, you know, if I play a sample from, let's say iTunes, with the exact same output volume as your MPC1K, it will sound identical, PA system or not.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by godphaser View Post
Oh ok, so you talk about MPC1k compressor, in fact.

Because, you know, if I play a sample from, let's say iTunes, with the exact same output volume as your MPC1K, it will sound identical, PA system or not.

Well yeah, voltage is voltage. If it looks exactly the same on an O-scope its gonna sound the same.

I use all kinds of hardware in my signal chain. Some of it lacks punch like my Blofeld, some pieces have big balls like my Virus and Mopho..... and one piece of hardware has the biggest most grotesque set of balls you've ever seen, that's my MPC1000.

Someone on the MPC-forums did a comparison with the MPC1000's voltage output out of it's main outputs compared to other machines. I remember it being pretty significant, but I don't know what happened to the thread.

If you have an MPC try it sometime, I push my Blofeld through mine and it really brings it to life.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #17
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Output volume has nothing to do with "punch" or maybe there is a misunderstanding here.

When you say that the Blofeld has a lack of punch, do you mean he cannot reach the volume level of your MPC?
Old 3rd January 2011
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by godphaser View Post
Output volume has nothing to do with "punch" or maybe there is a misunderstanding here.

When you say that the Blofeld has a lack of punch, do you mean he cannot reach the volume level of your MPC?

I guess "punch" is subjective too. And no, poor Blofeld cannot reach the volume level of Mr. Giant Balls.

Volume is part of it, the built in compressor is part of it. I just know it sounds better in a live PA system than anything else I possess. And that really sucks because I'm finding my MV-8000 to be superior as far as live workflow is concerned..... Now WTF am I supposed to do?!?!?!


haha....
Old 4th January 2011
  #19
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rickrock305's Avatar
 

My (Civil) Maschine Review-(Yes, your MPC's will survive)

Apparently "civil" and "Maschine" simply can't coexist

And noggin, I've never seen someone go so hard for a piece o equipment. Did you design the Maschine or something? Damn, don't take it so personal! heh
Old 4th January 2011
  #20
mp3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wax808 View Post
I guess "punch" is subjective too. And no, poor Blofeld cannot reach the volume level of Mr. Giant Balls.

Volume is part of it, the built in compressor is part of it. I just know it sounds better in a live PA system than anything else I possess. And that really sucks because I'm finding my MV-8000 to be superior as far as live workflow is concerned..... Now WTF am I supposed to do?!?!?!


haha....
LOL how about pass its outputs through your 1k? The input signal passes through the master compressor and EQ. Not sure about the stock OS, but in JJ OS you can also filter the input signal and/or apply the other two effects blocks to it, all live and in real time. You can also timestretch/pitchshift the input signal in real time in JJ OS.
Old 4th January 2011
  #21
Gear Nut
 

Excellent review!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
Noggin, please stop.

I don't have an MPC, I have a Maschine. And you are driving ME nuts.

We get it. You love it.

Please stop.

- c
Agreed. I've got Maschine as well and couldn't be happier but this is getting really annoying.
Old 4th January 2011
  #22
Gear Addict
 

It's always fun when people get so worked up over discussing gear that they resort to personal attacks.
Old 4th January 2011
  #23
mp3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noggin View Post
It's always fun when people get so worked up over discussing gear that they resort to personal attacks.
So how black is that kettle, pot?
Old 4th January 2011
  #24
Gear Addict
 

Like I said, it's always fun when people get so worked up over discussing gear that they resort to personal attacks.
Old 4th January 2011
  #25
mp3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noggin View Post
VERY Black.
Indeed.
Old 4th January 2011
  #26
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Silver Sonya's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by noggin View Post
It's always fun when people get so worked up over discussing gear that they resort to personal attacks.
I take no pleasure in attacking you. I hate to hurt anyone's feelings. And you're also championing a piece of gear that I love. The Maschine is awesome.

I think you're very enthusiastic. And I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Actually, I find it quite beautiful.

But haven't you ever had a friend who loved, say, Sonny Rollins or Bob Marley or Jimi Hendix or Wu Tang (or whoever) so much that they turned you off of it?

You understand this principle?

- c
Old 4th January 2011
  #27
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You know, I've seen a few Maschine/MPC threads and notice something:

I don't know why but there seems to be an inferiority complex with Maschine users. It's a tool, it's cool, move on, do music with it...

I am a Maschine user. As my name suggests, I also use and own MPCs (a lot of them!). And both are great tools.

I really don't see why Maschine users have to keep comparing it to the MPC ---because by comparing, it comes across as if the MPC is indeed a superior tool.

Just use the Maschine, the MPC, or both and worry about making better sounding product from them.

My 0.01's worth.
Old 4th January 2011
  #28
Gear Addict
 

Hey, it's all good. I just have a little fun when I see people get so worked up over discussing gear that they resort to personal attacks.
Old 4th January 2011
  #29
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Noggin, please answer the question at the end of my last post.

Do you understand why people are reacting this way?

Do you understand how overselling can backfire?

- c
Old 4th January 2011
  #30
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Quote:
I guess "punch" is subjective too. And no, poor Blofeld cannot reach the volume level of Mr. Giant Balls.

Volume is part of it, the built in compressor is part of it. I just know it sounds better in a live PA system than anything else I possess. And that really sucks because I'm finding my MV-8000 to be superior as far as live workflow is concerned..... Now WTF am I supposed to do?!?!?!
Maybe you can buy a nice small mixer.
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