Software only workflow - any features missing?

mostly_lucid Member Posts: 13 Newcomer
edited February 2022 in Maschine

I searched and could not find a discussion on this already, so I apologize in advance if this is a duplicate. There are discussions about people that bought a used hardware (or none at all) and need the software. This is different.

I have a MK2, and no budget to upgrade to a MK3. However, the software running on a i9, with a large 43" 4k monitor provides a pretty good work environment. Although working as a VST inside Studio one kind of sucks due to the size, but that is a different topic!

I personally have very little need or desire to work on 2 small 3 inch screens, if I am in my studio anyway 100% of the time.

I am wondering how many others work this way, meaning you use the hardware to input the beats, maybe select groups etc, but most of the editing and 'real' work gets done in the software?

The reason I ask is it seems most tutorials I can find all assume two things, first that I have a MK3 and second that I want to do everything from it vs using the software.

I have seen a few people comment along the lines of 'it is almost useless without the hardware' or 'there is a huge list of things you can do from hardware that is impossible from software' -- that has not been my experience and I would be VERY interested to learn what you can do on the hardware that you cannot do on the software.

For instance, someone said 'velocity sensitive pads' -- which of course is kind of true, but you can easily modify the velocity afterwards. Plus like I said, I actually do own a MK2, but working on a 4k 42" display is a nicer experience.





  • darkwaves
    darkwaves Member Posts: 262 Pro
    edited February 2022

    Only a few things you can't do from the software. Variation engine and lock states come to mind. Several things are just quicker to access. There have been discussion regarding "production tool" or "performance tool". It's obviously a bit of both, but I feel it's far more on the performance side.

    I wouldn't say it's useless without the hardware; but I'd question using the maschine software over pretty much any DAW. If I have a computer at my disposal, I'm probably not reaching for the maschine software.

  • Nico_NI
    Nico_NI Administrator Posts: 1,130 admin

    @darkwaves summed it up pretty well. Maschine software isn't designed as a DAW but primarily as the interface between your Maschine hardware and your DAW.

    Lock States is indeed among the hardware only features, feel free to check out our video with Jeremy to know more:

  • mostly_lucid
    mostly_lucid Member Posts: 13 Newcomer
    edited February 2022

    Interesting. I use Studio One and next up is getting Maschine setup with it properly.

    I mostly use Studio One for recording some small live events and building up basic drum/base/guitar/key tracks just for fun with everything live except for the base guitar. But I have always loved EDM (trance the most, but most every sub-genere) and obviously Maschine really shines in that area.

    I don't even know what lock states are!

    watching your video now however, so I am sure that will be remedied shortly.

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,099 mod
    edited February 2022

    It's definitively not useless you can do most things from the SW but it's designed to be practical with the HW, Maschine doesn't have a ton of keyboard shortcuts, sub-menus, right-click options, etc as regular SW does. I've personally always used a combo of both the HW and mouse/keyboard.

    Are you working with only a pc-keyboard and mouse or do you also have a MIDI Keyboard?

    • No modulation recording (in case you have external MIDI devices and want to twist knobs), you can use the mouse to draw or to twist knobs on the outer ring tho.
    • You cant do anything related to Smart Play: Chords, Sets, Scales, etc...
    • No Note repeat or Arp's.
    • No Access to Fixed Vel, 16 Vel, etc... (not sure it's fair to have this listed tho)
    • No quick actions like doubling a pattern length and having the MIDI also doubled automatically.
    • No variation engine.
    • No Choke MIDI.
    • No Lock states as mentioned previously.

    There's probably a couple of other things I cant remember. If you have Maschine and are used to it using it without a SW should be OK for the most part, I wouldn't recommend it as an approach for a new user tho.

  • mostly_lucid
    mostly_lucid Member Posts: 13 Newcomer
    edited February 2022

    Thanks, I appreciate all the help.

    Yes, I have a M-Audio Keystation Pro 88 keyboard.

    I enjoy using the MK2 - I do wish I had the screens of the MK3 but despite making the MOST earnest plea with my wife I was unable to convince her that 3 monitors, with one of them being a 43" 4k was just 'not enough'.

    As a full time software developer I have the luxury of being able to invest in computer hardware as 'needed for work' -- but apparently there are limits.

    And locked states are cool!

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