Buying Maschine plus if you already have a MK3

Vanderb0s Member Posts: 2 Newcomer

I use my Maschine MK3 on a heavy duty desktop PC. This results in great performance but very limited mobility. But now I will requrie to use it away from home quite often. I am doubting between 2 options:

  1. Buy a laptop in addition to the desktop, where I also can use the MK3 on.
  2. Also buy a Mschine PLus

Any advice ? Recommendatiosn ?

And will it give conflcts in option 2 if I connect the PLus to my desktop to imprt / export files or projects ?


  • Sunborn
    Sunborn NKS User Library Mod Posts: 2,465 mod

    I will go for option 1 all the way (it is much cheaper), unless if you are a professional.

    From the other hand, if you buy a Maschine + then it is not necessary to buy a laptop.

    Either way, you should not have any conflicts

  • LostInFoundation
    LostInFoundation Member Posts: 4,315 Expert
    edited June 2023

    If you want an opinion from someone who owns both, here is my experience:

    I bought M+ after years using the various precedent Maschine models with computer.

    What I was looking for wasn’t too much mobility, but something faster to grab and start making music with.

    For this, M+ is a very good device. You turn it on, you start making music. No thinking, no “this is not working, let’s see why”, no hundred things to update, no “but I could also use my DAW to do also this and that”. It does what it does, you know it and therefore you do that.

    That said, I am also lucky enough to have a Surface Pro that I bought exactly to use for mobility. When I move from my house for some days and I want to be able to do anything I do in my studio without the compromises a device like M+ has, this setup is very efficient. Removing the keyboard and putting the Surface just at the end of my MK3 practically gives me a big screen (and a touch one) for the softwares I use. And I’m not limited anymore by M+ internal instruments. I can use any plugin I want and all the NI arsenal of instruments. Add to this that Surface has a battery that also serves the MK3 (some hours with real mobility, no need for power sockets) and built in speakers in case you don’t carry an external speaker with you and you want someone to listen to what you are doing (otherwise I use headphones) and you’ll have a clearly more powerful “device” than M+.

    Therefore, my suggestion is: think very good to what your aim is. If you REALLY want to work without a computer, M+ is a very good device (within its limitations). If you are just worried about mobility, there are very valid alternatives, which will also give you more “horsepower” and flexibility.

    About conflicts, it depends on what you mean. First thing that comes in mind for me is that if you produce a project on computer and use a lot of plugins, the only way to translate this into M+ standalone is to render those tracks to audio. Only projects with the exact arsenal included in M+ can be moved to it without any caveat. Therefore, yes, there is some conflicts. It’s just a matter to know what it can do and not expect anything more to not be deluded

  • LostInFoundation
    LostInFoundation Member Posts: 4,315 Expert
    edited June 2023

    I guess if this is a bot writing with AI.

    In any case, a couple of corrections to what he wrote, to not give you false expectations:

    M+ and MK3 workflows are practically identical (if you don’t take in consideration the use you can do in a computer for mouse and keyboard inputs, but this is practically obvious…). If you close the laptop screen and use only the MK3 to control the software , the workflow is IDENTICAL to the one with M+

    M+ DO NOT have a touchscreen

    Maschine software is EXACTLY the same and it doesn’t support ANY third party plugins

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,818 Expert
    edited June 2023

    You may sell MK3 and buy M+ No need to have the both. M+ is MK3 plus something more....

    If you just want to be on the move and do not require real standalone feel, like sitting in the chair and turning knobs, I would buy light laptop. Mainly, if you want full compatibility (if you want to use on the move the same plugins as at home and at home use more than M+ has...). And also CPU and RAM may be considered. M+ has rather weak CPU and not much RAM. It probably works fine for many tasks, but you cannot expect to use it for heavier projects....

    And still M+ does not have battery, so if on move one needs to add external battery... So, wires.

    If you are on Win, you could try secondhand Microsoft Surface 7 (or even better 7+, that model has replacable SSD) Pro. (with i5 it is passively cooled). I have bought few for aprox. 600 EUR (including keyboard and pen). It is stronger than M+, but not very strong. One may use it for smaller projects.

    What is the best solution for you heavily depends on how complex projects you have and what type of portability you seek for...


    I haven't read the LostInFoundation reply. He also writes about Surface Pro. And he owns all three M+, MK3 ans Surface, I do not own M+.

  • lord-carlos
    lord-carlos Member Posts: 2,521 Expert

    Yes, it's a spam bot with AI. I made a thread about this problem. NI said "thanks" and shadowbanned the thread without saying why. 😩

  • Percivale
    Percivale Member Posts: 209 Advisor
    edited June 2023

    I had the MK3 now just got a Maschine+ still finding my way around as a standalone. It is not so lightweight that I would carry it around (to me), but I did used it with a power bank, small speaker and a laptop stand. You will have to purchase a high capacity fast SD card too. My fallback is that if it did not work out, I will just use it as a MK3 or sell it on. Why not consider other devices since you already owned a MK3.

  • LostInFoundation
    LostInFoundation Member Posts: 4,315 Expert
    edited June 2023

    Oh yes…I forgot also this: a laptop can also be seen as a bigger storage device.

    Therefore: you can see the laptop as a

    1. battery for MK3
    2. speaker for MK3
    3. storage device for MK3
    4. big screen for MK3
    5. device for making all VST work
    6. better processor/RAM

    All with one cable. Try to think if you have to add all these things to M+…portability is strongly reduced with all these cables and peripherals (if you need them).

    So…once again… If you REALLY want the standalone and the “grab and play” experience M+ is for you, otherwise MK3 and laptop is superior

    (BTW: if you have the money, Kubrak’s suggestion is good: sell MK3 and buy M+ and laptop, so you’ll have both worlds. Even if, in my experience, M+ as a controller for software has a little more hiccups than MK3)

  • LostInFoundation
    LostInFoundation Member Posts: 4,315 Expert
  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,959 mod
    edited June 2023

    You pick between

    • Lower performance and price with the M+ but with quite a lot of limitations (that might or might not be important to you)
    • Generally much higher performance but also a bit higher price with a Laptop + MK3

    For me, the most important aspect is "why" and "how" you need to use it outside your home.

    "Why" Because generally, if you need mobility a laptop will do many, many things that might come in handy that an M+ can't do not just related to Maschine but also normal computer-related tasks, a laptop as many more uses outside of music.

    "How" because if you plan on using the project on both your desktop and M+ note that you don't have all instruments for example, also you will need to use Maschine SW on your desktop while at home and be 100% anything that requires the computer to setup (like MIDI mappings, UI parts of plugins, etc...) are done to the project when you transfer it because you wont have a computer with you to change that stuff...

    Shadowbanned? What are you talking about? Is it this thread: ??

    There's not much more we can do about these bots, flag them and as soon as I or another mod sees it we ban them and delete their content.

    wow... What the heck!? Just tag me next time because I don't hang out in the Kontakt forum, that's insane.. lol. I banned 15 bots or more.

  • LostInFoundation
    LostInFoundation Member Posts: 4,315 Expert

    Noooooo…it was the funniest thread in the forum 😂😂😂

  • Vanderb0s
    Vanderb0s Member Posts: 2 Newcomer

    Thank you all for the very helpful feedback !

    If you look second hand A machine plus and Surface 7 pro + are more or less in the same range.

    I see some benefits for both options 😊

    I liked the suggestion of LostInFoundation of seeing it as something fast to grab. Seeing it as an instrument to generate ideas. I could then use my desktop with DAW to work out the detail further. Downside I see is that this would only work in one direction. E.g. create an idea on Maschine +, after ideation is done (or the project gets to heavy) transfer it to desktop and finish it their. The other way around from desktop project to Maschine + might result performance and missing instrument issues.

    A laptop has indeed the downside that the better performance you want the more you spend. The reason I changed to desktop was that even with quite a heavy duty (expensive) laptop, I had some performance issues on bigger projects. Price wise a second hand Surface 7 pro is ok. Question is if performance will be good enough. The other benefits are clearly there having a power supply + touch screen + (poor?) speaker. And the fact that you can do a lot of other things on the laptop. For example run you DAW, add Focus rite external soundcard and record life. Also in this scenario I expect that after ‘ideation’ you transfer the project to the desktop for finalizing

    Beside performance of the Surface 7 pro, my other concern is that the ‘quick to grab’ benefit (of the Maschine plus) might be reduced if you have to connect two devices.

    Once again thank you for the good feedback ! I see benefits of both options 😊

    I do a bit more thinking. But reading all this, already gives me a lot of energy to start creating 😊

  • LostInFoundation
    LostInFoundation Member Posts: 4,315 Expert

    I won’t go Surface 7. Yes it works, but if you can afford it buy newer models.

    Yes, the right definition for a laptop speakers is definitely “poor” 😂. But at least they are there.

    External audio interfaces can be added to M+ too (just plug into M+ usb)

    Connecting 2 devices is surely one more than only M+. But also with M+ standalone you have to connect something: its power supply. Therefore is in any case one cable to connect ☺️. But with the usb to laptop you can also use it for a couple (or 3) hours in the park. With the M+ standalone you can only if you also buy an external battery (unless in your city trees in the park have power sockets…in 2023 everything is possible 😂)

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