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Choosing the Maschine that’s Right for You

Native Instruments has toyed with hardware over the years, but it wasn’t until 2009 when they introduced the critically acclaimed Maschine that they gained a traction for their game-changing groovebox. Both making something digitally native, and a stepping stone into learning finger drumming, music production, and sampling, the Maschine has become a household name in the world of music production, and though most of the models have similar features, in this article we’re going to breakdown what Maschine is right for you.

The Best Maschine for Traveling

Maschine Mikro MK3

Maschine Mikro MK3

In the third incarnation of Maschine Mikro, the power of Native Instrument’s original hardware controller has moved to an even more a compact size, opting for a minimalistic design that adds functionality and removes the all other distraction. Fitted in a sleeker, smaller design, the Maschine Mikro MK3 has come a long way since its 2011 debuted, and this time it comes with the feature-packed Maschine 2 software bundle.

Sporting a tiny data-focused screen, the MK3 uses an encoder to toggle through specific pads, settings and otherwise, moving away from its predecessors’ navigation focused screens, In lieu of a small but spacious screen, Native Instruments has opted for function focused buttons for sample, swing, pitch, and volume, in addition to these new buttons comes a grouping of sound swapping buttons that allow you to browse presets and sounds while never having to pause your creative process. Moving in the direction of the new Maschine models, the Maschine MK3 has a dual touch-strip for added textural control over your instruments or FX racks.

The new placements for mode switching, repeat, arp, lock and transport position allows for faster finger drumming and performance control, this paired with the new larger and more responsive pads makes this the Maschine to have if you’re on the go.

Features:

  • 16 RGB Backlit Trigger Pads
  • Velocity & Pressure-sensitive
  • 1 Push Encoder Knob
  • 28 Programmable Buttons
  • LCD Display
  • 9+ Gigs of Maschine Content
  • Bundled with Maschine 2 Software, Drum Synth, Perform FX & Komplete Select 11
  • USB Midi Enabled

The Best Maschine for Live Shows & Ableton

Maschine Jam

Maschine Jam

In 2016 Native Instruments tried to get in on the growing popularity of trigger-based controllers, and thus the Maschine Jam was born. The first Native Instruments product to support Ableton Link, the Jam brings Ableton’s workflow to the Maschine platform, but also come pre-mapped with Ableton’s workflow intact allowing all Link-enabled devices to sync seamlessly. With the inclusion of Native Instrument’s proprietary Smart Strips and their dual-touch technology, the Smart Strips allow users to strum, pluck, and tap digital instruments to bring a variety of textures and mappable parameters directly to your fingertips.

Features:

  • 8 Dual-touch “Smart Strips”
  • Velocity & Pressure-sensitive
  • 1 Touch-sensitive Push Encoder
  • 1 D Pad for Navigation
  • 64 Multi-color Click Pads
  • 31 Click Buttons
  • 8 Multi-Color Group Buttons
  • 8 Multi-Color Scene Buttons
  • 9+ Gigs of Maschine Content
  • Bundled with Maschine 2 Software, Drum Synth, Perform FX & Komplete Select 11
  • USB Midi Enabled
  • Ableton Link Enabled

The Best Maschine for Your Home Studio

Maschine MK3

Maschine MK3

Like its smaller counterpart, the Maschine MK3 is the newest evolution to Native Instrument’s Maschine line. Streamlining its intuitive workflow by getting rid of unnecessary fluff and ergonomically redesigning the facade, the latest incarnation of the Maschine keeps its classic groovebox charm and fixes where the original went awry.

Taking nods from the Maschine Studio, and grafting them into a more affordable package, the Maschine MK3 features full-color screens, touch strips, the NKS system, larger pads than its predecessor. The larger shift in the new standard Maschine is its full audio interface which allows people to sample live and also play directly from the Maschine itself.

Features:

  • 16 RGB Backlit Trigger Pads
  • Velocity & Pressure-sensitive with 16 Fixed Velocity Modes
  • 8 Touch-sensitive Encoders
  • 1 Jog Wheel
  • 1 Volume Knob
  • 58 Programmable Buttons
  • 8 Multi-Color Group Buttons
  • 2 Full-Color RGB Displays
  • NKS Support
  • 45+ Gigs of Content
  • Bundled with Maschine 2 Software, Drum Synth, Perform FX & Komplete Select 11
  • 1 MIDI In / 3 MIDI Out
  • USB MIDI Enabled

The Best Maschine for Professionals

Maschine Studio

Maschine StudioThe most powerful of Native Instrument’s most innovative product line, the Maschine Studio was made to be the MPC-killer. Fully utilizing every aspect of the Maschine’s eyes-off ethos, the Maschine Studio was made with the express purpose that you would never have to look at your computer screen. Packed with native instruments proprietary NKS technology, users can browse their entire Native Instruments libraries, presets, samples and NKS enabled technologies all from the comfort of their Maschine studio. If MPC fans weren’t loyalist (especially to the point that they bought MPC – X), this could have been the straw that broke Akai’s back, but alas it ended up being the last great innovation that Native Instruments has thus far released.

Features:

  • 16 RGB Backlit Trigger Pads
  • Velocity & Pressure-sensitive
  • 8 Touch-sensitive Encoders
  • 1 Jog Wheel
  • 1 Volume Knob
  • 58 Programmable Buttons
  • 8 Multi-Color Group Buttons
  • 2 Color Displays
  • NKS Support
  • Collapsible Stand
  • 9+ Gigs of Maschine Content
  • Bundled with Maschine 2 Software, Drum Synth, Perform FX & Komplete Select 11
  • 1 MIDI In / 3 MIDI Out
  • USB MIDI Enabled
  • Ableton Link Enabled