Native Instruments Maschine MKI
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Native Instruments Maschine MKI

Maschine MKI, Secuenciador de Bucles from Native Instruments in the Maschine series.

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TreDay 08/10/2014

Native Instruments Maschine MKI : la opinión de TreDay (content in English)

"Fast and inspiring production workflow"
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Native Instruments has made sure that learning how to use Maschine is as easy as possible. The software and driver installation is the same as all other Native Instruments products, very standard fare. The manual has pictures and diagrams for each of Maschine’s functions and they’ve uploaded a wealth of videos walking you through using Maschine step-by-step.

SUITABILITY/PERFORMANCE

I haven't had any performance issues or instability. The software doesn't seem bloated but I can't say that it feels exceptionally light, either. That said, there's no lag and I've had no problems even with projects with many sounds and patterns.

OVERALL OPINION

Once you start the software, you’re greeted with the biggest selling point of Maschine--The Interface. Every function related to using Maschine is accessible on the hardware with no need to look at your computer monitor. Since it’s marketed as a marriage of software with a dedicated hardware controller, the quality of the hardware is paramount. The endless encoders are smooth and the velocity-sensitive pads have a fantastic feel and are responsive to all levels of pressure. The layout is well designed, with every control placed in an intuitive location and there are enough buttons and knobs to keep page and menu diving to a minimum. I find this tactile workflow to be very engaging and there’s just a kind of connection with pressing pads and tweaking knobs to produce and arrange your songs that you just don’t get with a traditional mouse-driven DAW interface.

However, the groovebox-style design isn’t without shortcomings. Maschine simply can’t handle multi-track recording. It doesn’t even have the concept of “audio tracks.” It’s designed to use patterns of midi notes, software synthesizers, and short samples which isn’t ideal for many styles of music. The capability to cut, copy, paste, and other standard audio editing functions aren’t there. When I have a desire to write and record a guitar and vocal based song, it’s just not feasible to produce that in Maschine and I must use a different program.

Though, I call that a shortcoming, I hesitate to call it a flaw. Native Instruments deliberately avoided those features and instead opted for a hardware-software combination with a very narrow focus on features that lent themselves to immediacy and inspiration, which I personally enjoy.

The included library is solid. A decent quality assortment of various drum hits, synth stabs, live instruments, and sound effect samples. As of version 2.0 they’ve created and included a great drum synth that’s capable of recreating both classic drum synth sounds as well as some more realistic percussion. Native Instruments also gives Maschine owners a free copy of Massive which means that you can really have everything you need to start producing with a single purchase.

The sampling capabilities are a bit of mixed bag. The knob based interface for trimming and chopping samples is extremely fast, but without some of the more advanced audio editing features and the baffling lack of timestretch, you may find Maschine’s sampling a bit lacking for your needs.

Maschine is a fast and creative production environment. The groovebox design places an emphasis on tactile control and pattern based song arrangement which doesn’t work for every genre of music, but is extremely fun for the ones it does work for.


Pros:

+Fast, Fun User Interface
+Good Sound Library including Massive
+Well-built hardware


Cons:
-Does not have the functions or interface necessary for certain kinds of music
-Sampler missing some key options