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Few questions before buying Maschine +

PEZ84
PEZ84 Member Posts: 5 Sine

Hello,

Following some advice on this forum, I'm considering buying a Maschine +, but there are just a few things I'd like to clarify to make sure it's the right machine for me.

- I play in a band and I would like the Maschine to completely replace our computer on stage. For already recorded songs (backing tracks of a whole song to be precise), that I don't especially intend to cut into samples etc. inside the maschine+, is it possible to simply "play" these songs on the maschine+ ?

-Is it possible to use the maschine in complex midi circuits, with a drum machine as input and synths / sequencers as output?


Thanks in advance, and have a nice day 😀

Best Answers

  • darkwaves
    darkwaves Member Posts: 162 Saw
    Answer ✓

    I meant that I wouldn't buy M+ for that specific use case. You can do it. I would probably have it in a different project; but I'd wait to hear from people that actually perform with the device.

    Focusing on that 2nd question. Maschine's arp is for maschine's pads (and maybe a komplete kontrol midi controller). As an example; I could have my microfreak setup to send midi into maschine and then into my MODX. The microfreak has an arp (and all sorts of fun sequencing stuff). No problem.

    I wouldn't be able to send midi from the microfreak, into maschine, through maschine's arp (or note repeat or scale mode or any of that fun stuff) and then into the MODX. Again; not a maschine+ thing. You'd have the same issue with the maschine software and a laptop.

    I'm kind of harping on it because the behavior isn't what I'd expect. I think many people buy into maschine and get caught off guard because it doesn't do what you'd expect.

  • Flexi
    Flexi Member Posts: 219 Saw
    Answer ✓

    I do something similar, but I break the backing tracks down in to loops, so if you want to jam out for a bit with your band, you can just play a 16 bar loop etc, it becomes way more practical then, you soon realise that your backing tracks can be broken down in to repeatable loops, and nobody live notices a thing if its all repeating without any little differences, its live right, not a studio recording.

    A Maschine Jam plugged in to the Maschine+ is really good for this approach too.

    Always take a back up of some kind though, Maschine+ is still a bit flakey especially with dirty supply, and it is not like you can unplug it and run it on internal power while playing, a cheap old iPad/iPhone could save you in a pinch during an M+ reboot, an old hand me down iPhone 7 here running Launchpad with a Launchpad mini connected is my back up, very small, so doesn't get in the way, and there for emergencies, or link it and use it, either way lol.

Answers

  • Jean Voyage
    Jean Voyage Member Posts: 24 Sine

    I would advise you not to buy the Plus for its lack of stability and lack of features and polish. It’s not an intuitive computer replacement if you want to use it to manage sounds, loops, clips etc

    At best it currently is a limited sketch board already made superfluous by the existence of 15h battery time M1 Macs plus MK3.

    I regret my purchase and I only paid half price.

  • darkwaves
    darkwaves Member Posts: 162 Saw

    To actually answer your questions:

    For already recorded songs (backing tracks of a whole song to be precise), that I don't especially intend to cut into samples etc. inside the maschine+, is it possible to simply "play" these songs on the maschine+ ?

    Yes, though I wouldn't use it for this use case. It sounds like you're just talking about playing a 5 minute wav file?

    Is it possible to use the maschine in complex midi circuits, with a drum machine as input and synths / sequencers as output?

    Not sure I understand this. If you're asking if you can connect a drum machine to be a midi input; then yes. If you want to connect other devices as midi out? Sure. You want that midi input from the drum maschine to go to one of your synths? Cool? No problem.

    You have a sequence on a drum machine going into maschine and decide you want to hit record and start playing a new pattern on maschine? Now you have a problem (not specific to M+; you'd have the same issue with the maschine software). Maschine will switch to the 'track' with the midi input. In other words; you're trying to record yourself hitting pads on maschine; and maschine is going to try to record the input from the drum machine. You don't "arm" a "track" in maschine. It's just going to try to record input. That may or may not be an issue for you; but it seems to be a 'gotcha' for many of the people talking about live performance here.

  • PEZ84
    PEZ84 Member Posts: 5 Sine

    Thanks for your answers !

    For the first question, the point is that if I completely remove the computer I must have something to play like a 3 minutes opening track with noises while we set up on stage for example, so yes basicaly playing a 5 minutes wav file is what I want to do. Why would you not recommend it ?

    For the second question, it was just to know If I could for example Jam with (in midi order) 1- the Drum Machine / 2- The Maschine+ to add or remove samples for example / 3 - Live synthetisers using midi signal like for arpegiator for instance. I understand that it is not an issue ?

    Thanks again 😁

  • darkwaves
    darkwaves Member Posts: 162 Saw
    Answer ✓

    I meant that I wouldn't buy M+ for that specific use case. You can do it. I would probably have it in a different project; but I'd wait to hear from people that actually perform with the device.

    Focusing on that 2nd question. Maschine's arp is for maschine's pads (and maybe a komplete kontrol midi controller). As an example; I could have my microfreak setup to send midi into maschine and then into my MODX. The microfreak has an arp (and all sorts of fun sequencing stuff). No problem.

    I wouldn't be able to send midi from the microfreak, into maschine, through maschine's arp (or note repeat or scale mode or any of that fun stuff) and then into the MODX. Again; not a maschine+ thing. You'd have the same issue with the maschine software and a laptop.

    I'm kind of harping on it because the behavior isn't what I'd expect. I think many people buy into maschine and get caught off guard because it doesn't do what you'd expect.

  • Flexi
    Flexi Member Posts: 219 Saw
    edited October 11

    1 No, not really, there is no disk streaming, so realistically you would want to avoid longer files like that if at all possible.

    2 Yeah no problem at all, MIDI is pretty basic stuff anyway.

    Depending on how many long files you need, you might want to look at the MPCOS devices, they have disk streaming and a lot of crossover with the feature set of the M+, I use the Akai Force with the M+.

  • D-One
    D-One PortugalModerator Posts: 819 mod
    edited October 12

    - I play in a band and I would like the Maschine to completely replace our computer on stage. For already recorded songs (backing tracks of a whole song to be precise), that I don't especially intend to cut into samples etc. inside the maschine+, is it possible to simply "play" these songs on the maschine+ ?

    It's technically possible but not very practical, the SW is designed for one BPM (and time signature) so simple things such as sending a metronome to your band mates is a pain. So, it kind of depends on the details that you require out of a backing track.


    For the first question, the point is that if I completely remove the computer I must have something to play like a 3 minutes opening track with noises while we set up on stage for example, so yes basicaly playing a 5 minutes wav file is what I want to do.

    If that's all you need 1300$ production device seems like total overkill, just buy a cheap CDJ, or ask for it in your technical rider since most venues have those at hand anyway. There are other dedicated backing track devices out there at half the price of an M+.


    For the second question, it was just to know If I could for example Jam with (in midi order)

    1- the Drum Machine

    2- The Maschine+ to add or remove samples for example

    3 - Live synthetisers using midi signal like for arpegiator for instance. I understand that it is not an issue ?

    Yes... But you can't arpegiate MIDI coming from another 3rd party MIDI device on the M+, it's ARP only works internally or with other NI HW (KK-S keyboards or MAS-Jam)

  • PEZ84
    PEZ84 Member Posts: 5 Sine

    Thanks for your answers !

    "If that's all you need 1300$ production device seems like total overkill, just buy a cheap CDJ, or ask for it in your technical rider since most venues have those at hand anyway. There are other dedicated backing track devices out there at half the price of an M+."

    --> It is not why I buy the Maschine ahah, but I was just wondering if it could basically replace entirely my computer for that kind of cases, but I understand that it is not optimal.

    My main need is to be able to easily replace the drum machine and add samples created or imported in the Maschine and add and remove them easily on stage to improvise for example.

    To sum up, I want to be able to play my songs with created or imported samples with other live musicians, and also to be able to improvise a bit and decide to add one more chorus or one more verse while playing live, that is why I need a groovebox/ sampler.

    Do you think it is still a good option for me ?


    Thanks again :-)

  • Flexi
    Flexi Member Posts: 219 Saw
    Answer ✓

    I do something similar, but I break the backing tracks down in to loops, so if you want to jam out for a bit with your band, you can just play a 16 bar loop etc, it becomes way more practical then, you soon realise that your backing tracks can be broken down in to repeatable loops, and nobody live notices a thing if its all repeating without any little differences, its live right, not a studio recording.

    A Maschine Jam plugged in to the Maschine+ is really good for this approach too.

    Always take a back up of some kind though, Maschine+ is still a bit flakey especially with dirty supply, and it is not like you can unplug it and run it on internal power while playing, a cheap old iPad/iPhone could save you in a pinch during an M+ reboot, an old hand me down iPhone 7 here running Launchpad with a Launchpad mini connected is my back up, very small, so doesn't get in the way, and there for emergencies, or link it and use it, either way lol.

  • PEZ84
    PEZ84 Member Posts: 5 Sine

    Thanks a lot Flexi for your answer, it is very enlightening !

    Actually I really liked what I saw about the Maschine + on youtube, but I can't choose between the Maschine + and the Akai Force.

    I have the feeling than the Akai Force is a bit more powerfull to do what I want, but unfortunately it is a bit too big for my setup, so I would prefer getting the Maschine +.

    Do you guys have an opinion on rather I should choose the Akai Force or the Maschine ?

    (I also liked on your answer the fact that If I really want more options, I can add the Maschine Jam later!)

  • DeepThumb
    DeepThumb Member Posts: 98 Tri
    edited October 12

    In order to maximize your confusion with a very different approach:

    Have you considered Elektron's Oktatrak?

    Its design is old but you will find it nearly everywhere...

  • D-One
    D-One PortugalModerator Posts: 819 mod

    In that case yes, it could be an option for you. Similarly to @Flexi I use the M+ live with bits and pieces of the original song divided into Sections that I trigger live.

    Just note that using a more classic groove box/sampler workflow like that you most likely will need a project per song, this means a bit of silence in between songs for loading them.... Only mentioning this because it's a turnoff for some folks but with band, it can easily be mitigated by the other bandmates taking care of songs endings.

    As long as your band doesn't need multiple time signatures, BPM changes, polyrhythm stuff you should be good after learning the device.

  • Flexi
    Flexi Member Posts: 219 Saw
    edited October 12

    I actually have both, and yes the Force is a beast in size, but it does feel very solid, it is kind of a 50/50 horse race with Maschine+ vs Force

    Maschine+ is the better feel of hardware, it just has a quality sheen on it (Not that the Force is bad in anyway at all, and the screens above the dials, absolute mustard)

    Force is definitely better overall software and seems to have more interest in updates by Akai, the overhaul they did of it a year or so ago really made it special, with audio tracks and disk streaming, it is a long way ahead of Maschine in features alone.

    Maschine+ is more intuitive if you have ever used a Maschine before, and the Force does have way more shift key options (kind of expected when it is that more powerful really) but the touchscreen is actually a god send

    Sounds I am kind of 50/50, Massive is obviously one of the most important synths of all time, so would give Maschine+ the edge because of that.

    Force way better storage, 4tb SSD in mine.

    Force wins in every department when it comes to external interfacing , LAN for link, XLR inputs, CV/Gate, Multiple audio outs, Both types of USB3 host/Client.

    As you can see it is pretty 50/50, but at a push, live, I would favour the Force personally, I have just found it more reliable and stable overall (And to be fair, I wouldn't buy another M+ if it got damaged, I would just go back to MK3, I would 100% buy another Force, so why take the risk hahaha)

  • PEZ84
    PEZ84 Member Posts: 5 Sine

    Thanks a lot for all your answers !

    I think I will try my luck with the Maschine+ (mainly because of the size), but I will buy it second-hand so if I don't like it I will be able to re-sell it and to change my mind !

    Thanks again :-)

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