Native Instruments Maschine MKI
Native Instruments Maschine MKI

Loop Sequencer of the Maschine series

User Reviews: 4.251

All user reviews for the Native Instruments Maschine MKI

Average Score: 4.2 ( 4.2/5 based on 51 reviews )
  23 reviews 45 %
  19 reviews 37 %
  2 reviews 4 %
  3 reviews 6 %
  1 user review 2 %
Value For Money: Excellent
TreDay 10/08/2014

TreDay's review "Fast and inspiring production workflow"

4
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
vsavagellc 10/24/2011

vsavagellc's review "The Akai Mpc Killer!"

5
Coming from an Mpc 3000 & 1000 production background, I found Maschine a breeze to use. The installation was very simple and straight forward as well as the documentation (manual).

Maschine interface is quite easy to get use to, if you've used an Mpc then maschine should be a breeze for your but if not the manual included explains everything in detail. I do wish Native Instruments would have included video tutorials as they would help those who are new groove maschines (pun intended). Now there are plenty of youtube videos out there but some people don't know how to navigate the net too well or and or are not able to stream videos online (ie some college students).


Aside from that small suggestion or gripe (whichever fits best) everything else was perfect. Not only are the functions laid out in a organized manor but the shift options and dual function commands are very easy to get the hang of.

Lastly, I loved the fact that everything could be controlled from the hardware interface: Sampling,chopping,truncating,browsing samples,transport functions etc.

SUITABILITY/PERFORMANCE

What's really cool is that Maschine software and Hardware interface both work flawlessly together. Whatever is being down via the hardware unit can be seen in software in real time and vice versa. In fact they work so well you don't ever have to look at the computer screen when working and that's the work flow an akai mpc user LOVES.

I've run Maschine on a few different setups and each runs the unit perfectly. Here are my setups.

Older Mac

Mac G4 1.5ghz,
2ghz Processor,
Delta 1010 Soundcard
Stock Ati Vid Card

Windows Machine
Delta 1010 Soundcard
Custom made 3ghz Quad Core
4gigs of Ram
5700 (ATI) Vid Card

Mobile Setup
Saffire 6 Usb Interface
Stock Vid Card
4ghz Ram
DualCore 2.2ghz Processor


I don't run into any issues using machine with either one of the setups listed above and I've had the original unit since 2008 when I was sound designing for it. With that said you should be fine using any computer made within the time from of

2008-20 – whatever.. Unless you are a really heavy plugin user.



OVERALL OPINION

What I like most about Maschine is it's SPEED! This is the fastest groove box I've ever used. The time it takes to sample,chop and lay your samples across the pads can take a quite a while on a mpc 3000. When the Mpc 1000 can out it was 5x times faster but maschine is nearly instant!

I do wish the build was a little more solid, not saying that it isn't but it's really light which makes feel as if it would shatter if I accidentally dropped it or, maybe I'm just use to lugging around heavier units .

Maschines sound quality is superb they even have an mpc 3000 and Sp 1200 emulator built into the sampler. My advice is process your sound through an older preamp. You get a really nice feel with them.


If I was a new producer looking to get my hands on a groove box Maschine would be my go to unit for 5 reasons

1. It's easy to use
2. Quality (Sound)
3. It's doesn't cost much
4. Can expand any setup
5. Kills any groove box on the market (even the mpc)
ericthegreat 09/25/2011

ericthegreat's review "Great System."

4
Native instruments maschine is a great production system. Its hardware integration is second to none and its paving the way for music computer production.

Its has 8 banks of 16 pads with 2 effects per pad/bank/project. With the included sounds, you can compose an orchestra. I don't know of a single MPC that has more. You want 10 kicks in your project? Go ahead. 5 snares? Sure. A bank for just sample chops? Go to town. You will NOT run out of space. If you do, you're doing a lot wrong anyway. No, you don't need to layer 10 kicks. Stop it! But I do like to mix sounds that otherwise wouldn't make sense. I don't like to sample, so I'll instead create an 8 bar jazz loop complete with a full jazz brush kit, then layer it with 808's, Vinyl kits, trance kicks, etc. to make the song sound sampled when it isn't.

SUITABILITY/PERFORMANCE

Its performance is amazing and very easy to understand, I have been using it for a few months now after trying it out in guitar center one weekend. I am very happy with it, setting it up and getting it going couldn’t be easier.

OVERALL OPINION

Overall, there is very little that the Maschine can't do that you would want it to do. Come the next upgrade that's already been announced, there is likely NOTHING your Maschine won't be able to do, but there will be tons that it would be able to do that your MPC never could or will, and for a ton less than it would take for you to be able to pull it off with software and midi controllers. The only complaint I hear a lot of now is "no time stretch" (which I don't use anyway, but a lot of people do, and the MPC can do it. But add plug-in compatibility, and you'll have it.
yoTrakkz 08/04/2011

yoTrakkz's review "Machine is ok.."

4
Well the Native Instruments Machine is what I used for about 3 months. I had no compatibility issues with it at all. It took a little while to understand it, so I had use the manual a lot. All of the functions are pretty easy and works seamlessly with my software. I was running it on windows vista, and then switched it over to windows 7. Worked fine, and didn’t use much cpu.


SUITABILITY/PERFORMANCE

The software was very stable, I was using this for sampling for hip hop. It came loaded with sounds and kits, but I really wants into any of them. I used all of my own sounds drums and samples. This Machine was very stable but it didn’t feel as good as the MPC does. That’s what left me in a blank spot. After messing with it for a little bit I was in love with it, but as time went on it made me miss my MPC.


OVERALL OPINION

I am glad I purchased this item and had the chance to work with it, it just wasn’t for me though, coming from the MPC this didn’t feel real to me. Felt more like a toy, but I can say that it’s a very professional piece of equipment. I have just always been an MPC user and its hard to switch over to different pads when you have been using the same ones for 6 plus years. This was the only model of the Machine that I have tried, I think they did an upgrade or too since then. So it could be better now, maybe I will give it another shot down the road. It connected well with the pc, but if you are using a computer than doesn’t have a lot of RAM then you wont be able to use this. You will experience Latency and other issues. Over all this product was good, just wasn’t for me.
James... 08/03/2011

James...'s review "Great controller for maschine"

4
I used to do a lot of freelance beatwork for a few rappers areound Atlanta. Some live and some in the studio. I ended up using maschine a lot for those projects. I found it excelled at sampling and beatmaking in general. I elected to use the Maschine controller with it. I only used it with Maschine. Typically my setup was Maschine running on a laptop with the controller plugged in via usb. In this environment it works wonderfully. In man ways the controller is set up to be a reflection of the software environment on a hardware level. All the most important functions like triggers and manipulation parameters can be controlled from the device. The sixteen pads are very comfortable and sensitive. Looking at them you might not expect much but they are actually quite well made and react great. My favorite feature by far is the transport controls. In a live setting I can't afford to go into the program and make major adjustments between songs and the transport control lets me do this quickly and easily. The encoders also are a nice touch although I rarely need them.

The real strength of this controller is being able to have a visual connection between the software and the buttons you see. In a live situation this allows very fast use and a quick route to get things done. I would say that if you use maschine often at all, you MUST get the controller. I couldn't imagine using maschine without it, especially live. I would be lost. The value is pretty could. Like I said, if you are a maschine user, it's a must buy. The quality is good. Never gave me any trouble. I took it probably 20 or so shows. Recommended if you need triggers and pads especially. Just don't try to use it for what it's not. I can't see this being super useful outside of maschine. At that point its a decent beat pad and that's all.
moosers 03/28/2011

moosers's review

5
Native Instruments Maschine Controller is a MIDI based device for use with the beat making program Maschine. They sell this as a pack with the software, but I think you can buy each individually as well if I'm not mistaken, as you can also use the Maschine Controller with other software since it's a general MIDI device. I've used it only with the Maschine software itself, as of course since it's designed for use with it, everything matches up in terms of the interface of the software and the controls on this MIDI device. The controller is quite in depth and really a great thing to have if you're using Maschine. It's got MIDI connections for input and output, but it also has a USB port which is going to be the best way to use it if you're using it with the Maschine software. On the controller itself you'll find a ton of different controls for the software, including a transport section, trigger pads a la an MPC, sound parameter controls, and a whole lot more. Pretty much everything you'll find in the software will be paralleled in some way or another on the controller. I can't speak much to using this outside of Maschine, but I probably wouldn't recommend it even though it is possible, as it's really well designed for use with Maschine. I don't know what the differences in price would be for this with and without the software, but I'd really only check it out thoroughly if you're using Maschine or are looking to get the combo of this MIDI controller and the software together. For those who choose to go this route, you're getting one of the best pieces of software out there for making grooves. For those who already have Maschine, I'd highly recommend checking out the controller as it can save you a lot of time and makes using the software all that much easier.
moosers 03/18/2011

moosers's review

5
Native Instruments' Maschine software is designed to turn your computer into a beat production studio. Paired with the Maschine controller, it's some of the most in depth software and hardware combo out there for making beats and grooves. You can use Maschine as either a stand alone piece of software or as a plug-in in Logic or another DAW. Included in the software is a sequencer, sampler, and a sample library, as well as effects and the MIDI controller that helps control everything. I don't own Maschine but I work often at a producer's home studio as his engineer and he uses this all the time for making drum patterns. The software will definitely take some time to learn all the ins and outs of as there is a ton you can do with it between all the features. As with any software there is a learning curve, but I've found Maschine to be pretty user friendly for the most part. The manual is probably something you're going to want to have around if you're just getting started with Maschine.

SUITABILITY/PERFORMANCE

The studio that I've used Native Instruments Maschine on is Pro Tools HD based, but also has Logic Pro. The producer who owns the studio uses it in both DAW's, while the computer being used is a G5 desktop that's more than capable of handling a lot of tasks at once. Definitely make sure you have a pretty strong system before purchasing Maschine if you want to use it to it's full capacity.

OVERALL OPINION

Native Instruments' Maschine is definitely up there with the best, if not the best, groove production pieces of software that I've used. When paired with the in depth and very helpful MIDI controller, you've never had more control over making your beats. There are literally no restrictions with this - only your imagination. Unfortunately Maschine has to purchased individually and isn't included with Komplete or anything like that, but even so it's certainly worth a good look at for anyone making music with your DAW. With more and more people doing everything in the box, Maschine (or something or comparable quality) is becoming highly necessary to have in any working studio environment.
Audiofanzine FR 03/14/2009

Audiofanzine FR's review

4
(Originally written by Thingummy tetchy/translated from Audiofanzine FR)
I've been owning it for two days. It's the tool I had been waiting for a long time. I started writing music with machines and then switched to a PC so this hardware/software bundle wonderfully combines both worlds. It combines the ease of hardware programming (without sub-menus like on a RM1X or a MPC) with the convenience of an HDD packed with a huge sample bank.

SUITABILITY/PERFORMANCE

- The hardware is conceived so you don't have to search in endless menus and sub-menus.

High-quality controller (sturdy and accurate encoders, pads on the same quality as a MPC), light and compact. This controller allows you to forget about the mouse but it can be convenient to use both.

- The software is quite good, it provides enough sound banks, effects and sampling functions (although editing possibilities aren't as good as with Battery, Absynth, and other virtual drum machines and synths with a huge number of parameters).

OVERALL OPINION

As a summary, this bundle offers the same possibilities as a system combining an RM1X, an MPC and a PC.

I work with a 2.1 GHz Macbook with 2 GB Ram and Mac OS 10.5.6. I didn't have any problems installing the software (it took 30 minutes, registration included) and the latency I get is between 7 and 8 seconds (with shorter latency times you can hear some noise).

I'm fully satisfied with this hardware/software bundle and I think it's a good solution (once again, it's my personal opinion and other people will prefer other controllers and software tools). You'll need other synths if you want more possibilities.

PS: I give it an 8 because nothing is perfect and the grade depends on the user's expectations.
just_blaaaze 01/17/2014

just_blaaaze's review (This content has been automatically translated from English) " Really good!"

The installation is done without much problem on Windows, but Maschine 1.5 is difficult to install on my Mac Pro, a bone problem simply, if it's Native Instruments is very serious, very reliable.

SUITABILITY/PERFORMANCE

I have a windows 2008, vista, it works
I have a Mac Pro 8core, everything works too!

OVERALL OPINION

I use it for 1 week. I had an MPC 500, MPC 2000 XL and one I just tested the MPC 3000 MPC is really cool, but it became obsolete in my opinion. Maschine uses the MPC style but it is much more modern, and compatibility is huge, it can be full of things with Maschine, the controller is perfectly designed, you can do everything from lasurfac control. Maschine is intere perfectly Logic or Pro Tools. THE TEST, I preferred rather than the MKI MKII. This is my opinion, but it's blah blah, test maschine, you will see that it's heavy
RedPen 12/05/2013

RedPen's review (This content has been automatically translated from English) " My tool work! Great!"

5
Maschine gave me the eye for a long time. I wanted an MPC to start, and then I changed my mind, so I tried it side Native Instruments.

-Installation takes about thirty minutes to install the software and its banks provided, it is a bit long but hey, no choice. Once registered on the Maschine Service Center in NI, it's gone!
==> Internet is full of tutorials, the manual has not been useful to me.

SUITABILITY/PERFORMANCE

Better to have a powerful computer to run Maschine.
It may very well turn the app on a small standalone processor (and again, not too loaded VST instruments in the soft Maschine) but to be able to enjoy as route Maschine in Ableton Live or Logic Pro, open multiple instances so a powerful computer is better!

Soft demand still okay resource for my part I'm on a MacBook Pro I7 2012, and it runs itself. The app crashed a few times because I had not done some updates on VST which opened with Reaktor but nothing too bad. See however in the long term, based on the advice of other users who may have encountered other problems, for example.

The app is a bit confusing at first, but within a few hours we made it, and within days you can actually control it well.
Additionally, NI offers a library of 6gigas of sound, which is quite big, and if you do not like, you can buy other banks or sounds then make yours ;)

OVERALL OPINION

I use it for the month of October, so almost three months.
I never had a product of such a kind hands, and I must say that I can not separate myself! Sampler, Slicer, Composer, you can insert his VST ... it's just enjoyable! the first grooves come quickly and it's addictive limit for me!
The hybrid combination Hardware + Software is really a good idea, you can enjoy the flexibility and ease of software while being able to compose on the Hardware, you can actually detach his eyes and attention of the computer to focus on the Hardware !
I did everything on Ableton Live Maschine before but since I'm doing it, and I export my patterns in Ableton Live, I reorder etc ... it's endless!

At the time of this writing, Maschine Studio is released and given size it does not want me, unlike soft Maschine Drum Synth 2.0 and I intend to buy soon! The upgrade is against pay 99 euros, it's a shame ...

I remake this choice without hesitation!