Maschine Wear and Tear

psifidelicat Member Posts: 8 Member
edited January 2022 in Maschine

This thread is meant to exchange experience about the longevity of maschine controllers. To gather some data about typical lifespans of the hardware and best maintenance practices.

Any hardware manufacturer should also be judged by the build quailty of their products. However I don't want this to be a "NI is evil because their products don't outlast eternity!" thread. Im gonna approach it naively and just assume that they also intend their hardware to last longer than 1 day after warranty. It might be wishful thinking but ideally, user experiences can also help the engineers at NI to make effective improvements on future hardware revisions.

My experience with the MK3

after ~3.5 years of moderate use

My controller recently started to exhibit symptoms of dementia, meaning that occasionaly it will outright fail to start to do anything but function as an audio interface. However I have yet to confirm this is a hardware issue and not just some software glitch in my OS.

Some of the endless encoders have occasional ghost inputs, but so far this hasn't caused me any problems.

And the pads have lost a fair amount of sensitivity - mainly that the range of minimal registered velocity and maximum velocity seems to be significantly smaller than it used to be. At least according to my subjective impression. The pad sensitivity hardware setting doesn't help much with that, and for the provided velocity scaling options (Soft3 - Hard3) I honestly find it difficult to notice any difference between them.

Otherwise I'm still quite happy with the build quality, all the buttons still feel super precise and reliable, all the labels are readable. If I gave it a proper clean it would look almost new.

Besides putting a deck saver on when I don't use it, it doesn't demand much maintenance.

My maintenance tip #1

Don't pour beer over your pads. 😛 I tried that with my MK2 back in the day and I suspect the MK3 is also not designed to handle this kind of input.



  • Kaldosh
    Kaldosh Member Posts: 173 Advisor

    its definitly sofware related most of the time. I'd rather not elaborate but you are right, don't beer over your pads or keys, never a good idea😄

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 1,799 mod
    edited January 2022

    From my experience with the Studio and MK3 the main problems were:

    • Knobs lose their strength/resistance over time and end up with a very different feel from one another.
    • The USB port in the back eventually becomes sensitive, wiggling the cable/connector causes a lost connection.
    • I've had ghost input issues on knobs come and go, never fully understood what causes it or what fixed it.
    • On the Studio sometimes Pads start not triggering or triggering other pads, I've always solved this by lifting up the Pad rubber and wiggling it around a bit, I suspect I was just dust/dirt accumulated inside.

    With the M+ it's early to tell, no knob issues so far but touching the USB connector does cause a disconnect.

    EDIT: It seems this only happens with some 3rd party USB Cables that have more wiggle room in the plastic that surrounds the metal connector, with the NI cable it's all good I think, I don't want to test it too hard and end up with a broken connector tho.

  • Jo.
    Jo. Member Posts: 27 Helper

    On my MK3 :

    Some buttons seem tired sometimes, I had some issues with shift and mute especially (because used a lot I guess). I have to push them a lot more for them to work properly.

    For the knobs, as D-One said, they lose their strength very quickly but not in the same way, so you have different resistances at the end, annoying but not a big deal for me.

    Sometimes I also had a problem of value jumps, without touching the knobs.

    On these same jumping knobs, sometimes, when I modulate a parameter by hand, say I start at 0 to go to 100, then I go down the value by turning to the left, but impossible to go back to 0, by turning all the way left, the value remains on 2 or 3, or even 10, whatever value but not zero anymore.

  • drewhjava
    drewhjava Member Posts: 31 Helper

    I've had Maschine Plus since it came out

    * Just started seeing ghost values

    * Right most knob is losing resistance, probably due to always using it to browse sounds

    Everything else fine.

  • ShelLuser
    ShelLuser Member Posts: 225 Pro

    But... but... I always want to share my beer with friends, even if they're AI's 🍻 😋

    For what's it worth I think NI has done some serious improvements on the overall quality of their controllers, but my experiences are also based on bias. I actually owned a Maschine 1st generation for a very brief period of time and I was shocked with the poor condifiton of the rotaries, the whole device felt extremely cheap to me even though it was quite an expensive purchase. Worse yet one of the rotaries had a stutter / jitter and there was no way to use it because things would shift back and forth!

    Sent it back to the store and I got my money back. Bought myself the Akai MPD24 not much later and I considered myself "cured" from wanting to have a Maschine.

    Fast forward to here and now and I own 2 (the Mk3 & Mikro), better yet: I love 'm! 😎

    My Mk3 sits safely in my home studio with one of those hard plastic covers because yeah, these devices really enjoy their beer but can't handle it quite well 😁 My MPD24 was in a rather poor condition because of that (the best cover it had were a stack of papers).

    But I'm actually using my Mikro "on the road", often taking it with me in my backpack through public transport and while I do try to be careful with my bags accidents can sometimes happen. Well, so far, so good. It even withstood some abuses from colleagues who treat it a bit differently than I do (careful enough mind you, but the critter is meant to be played!).

    Anyway, I looked it up: I got my Maschines around the end of 2019, so roughly 2,5 years ago and so far... no issues at all.

  • Murat Kayi
    Murat Kayi Member Posts: 378 Pro

    @D-One how do you mean, lifted the rubber?

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 1,799 mod
    edited January 2022

    The pads themselves, not sure what exact material it is... silicone? I would grab the edges with fingers tips and lift them up, wiggle them around a bit, sometimes rest my whole hand against all pads and wiggle them in a circular movement too. I am not sure if this is a good idea long-term so if someone breaks something don't go holding me accountable! It did fix several issues for me for a few months until I would have to do it again.

    I think I never disassembled the Studio but did it a couple of times to the MK3 to clean it up.

    The Gif is with the M+ which has stiffer pads and also a much tighter fit, they don't move as much as the Studio. This reminds me I should moisturize my hands more often, my index finger looks bad. 😂

  • Murat Kayi
    Murat Kayi Member Posts: 378 Pro

    Phew ok, for a moment there I feared my future would include disassembling my Maschine beginning with breaking off the pads like with an unloved computer keyboard or something, hahaha

  • defyosef
    defyosef Member Posts: 27 Member

    For loose encoders MX o-rings are worth a try.

    Installed them MK3 recently and while they don't feel brand new, there was a noticeable improvement.

  • WonkyFresh
    WonkyFresh Member Posts: 10 Member

    I'm having an issue with F3 button on my Mikro MK2. This button always required more power to press, but now it's gone worse. I have to press as hard as I can for it to react. I've tried to lift it from both sides and wiggle that, but nothing seems to help.

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 1,799 mod
    edited February 2022

    Lifting it won't do anything, it's a different technology from the Pads, it works the same way an MX Key Switch works on a mechanical keyboard, the plastic just pushes a tiny switch.

    Sounds like the switch will fully break eventually, those cost like 0.25 cents each if you can find a local electronics repair shop... maybe the solder is breaking or something, that would be an even easier fix; or you can send it to NI for repair.

  • WonkyFresh
    WonkyFresh Member Posts: 10 Member

    Thanks again D-One! 🙏 F3 button is not working at all now, so I guess I have to ask a local repair service about those MX key switches. Not sure if I want to risk my Maschine trying to fix it myself. Is there a way to select "Fix Velocity" in the program instead of using the controller? 😕

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 1,799 mod

    hehe MX switches are keyboard only, this is just a regular tactile switch. Yes, pls don't try it yourself, it's quite hard to fix it without experience.

    AFAIK fixed velocity is only available from the HW.

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