It’s November 14th, 2018.

Here’s some stuff I’ve been thinking about, that isn’t always clear, when it comes to new music gear. I always try to spread the knowledge when I can.

 

Maschine Mikro MK3 and older Maschine controllers.  Everyone’s loving the new Maschine Mikro MK3. It’s $90 less than the Mikro MK2 was, with a street price of $259.

Here’s something not everyone knows— the MK2 could “chop” samples using the clicky knob (without looking at the screen). The MK3 cannot do this, at all. There is no function that lets you do this with the hardware. You’re stuck using the mouse to chop your sample’s start and end points.

While it’s pretty…. if I were you, I’d just spring for the regular MK3, with those huge, gorgeous color screens. Or better yet, if you’re looking to upgrade your old Maschine controller (maybe from a Mikro MK2), and don’t have a ton of dough, pick up a used MK2 controller right now. (especially from Reverb.com) They are only like $150-200 without the Maschine software license (which you already have). Holy crap, that’s cheap. Same goes for the Maschine Studio. It can easily be found used without software for only $300, or with, for barely $100 more. I picked up a black Maschine Studio and MK2 combined about a year ago for only $380 shipped. Sold the MK2 for $300 a few months back and that left me with a Maschine Studio for only $80. Deals can be found!

Here’s another pro tip– the NI Komplete Kontrol A25 Keyboard controller comes with a full software license for Maschine Essentials. It’s basically EXACTLY like the Maschine 2.0 software, but without a bunch of the factory sound library. You get like 1.6gb of sounds instead of 8gb. So what, though. If you’re the type of person who likes sampling your own, and/or using a lot of your own .wav files (drums, etc)… there is no cheaper route to Maschine than buying a used MK2 controller (black or white) for $160, and then picking up the Native Instruments A25 controller new (for the same price). You’ll have the full Maschine software, a dope keyboard, and an actual Maschine controller with screens, so you barely have to look at your screen, when making music. For just over $300.

Ableton Live 10….
Speaking of chopping samples….. Ableton 10 has been out for a while. And you still (still) can’t chop samples manually with any MIDI controller. You can only chop samples manually with a Push 2.

Why the hell would anyone pay $799 for a Push 2 controller? Push 2 plus Ableton 10 Suite is $1350. Push 2 comes with Ableton 10 Intro, which can cover a lot of ground, for $799… but still… $800? Fuckin-a.

A lot of people don’t even like Push 2. From my research, they find the price (and workflow) of Maschine MK3 much more intuitive, and something way beyond Live. Most Live users I’ve watched on YouTube and/or read about prefer to use a Launchpad MK2 or Launchpad Pro and/or a Launch Control XL with Ableton, and FYI– Ableton Live Lite (which comes free with both/either) can do basically everything Suite can do… LP MK2 and LC XL total only $310 new. Ableton Live Lite comes with either of ’em… $1350? Or only $310? Which is the smarter option?

Way back in 2009 or 2010, when Maschine MKI came out, you could easily chop samples using the knobs (start/end points). Way, way back then. Almost 10 years later, and you still can’t do this with Ableton, unless you invest in an $800 dedicated  controller? I mean yeah, Push 2 is cool as hell, but…. Maschine MK3, for hip-hop… I can’t imagine an easier-to-use option and solution.

The ever-awesome SaintJoe of SoundsAndGear.com, MaschineTutorials.com, PushTutorials.com…. shows how Push 2 can be used to manually chop samples. Again, Maschine was able to do this nine years ago, and the MPC was able to do it many years before that. I just do not understand Ableton’s refusal to let any generic MIDI controller (with knobs) midi-map a sample’s start/end points. The Poise plugin (which I am still a huge fan of) has been able to do this since day one as well.

my Poise tutorial uploaded March 2013 (start from 8:00 to show how easily I can midi-map the sample start AND end points, and more):

Another random thought: There is a huge need for more weighted-key digital pianos with 73 or 76 keys (instead of 88). The #1 reason– playing live with a smaller board, #2 reason– they take up less space. And #3- no one usually plays the lowest or highest keys, in a practical enviornment.

And I am still trying to get the word out to make Yamaha do a 73-key weighted digital piano (like their P-121) but with the REFACE CP knobs and sounds in it. AND the ability to save like 20 presets (tiny little OLED screen with text and number). Yamaha, get on this. The P-121 is $550 new. A “Reface P” wouldn’t cost them much more to make ($750 street price?). Rhodes, Wurly, grand/upright piano, Clav, and a CP-80, with all those effects. AND MIDI I/O (not USB-to-MIDI). Get on it. You guys are throwing money away right now.

 

Anyway…. back to the dedicated hardware controllers for their dedicated software. Don’t fall for a lot of the gimmicky stuff out there (in my opinion, Push 2 is gimmicky and extremely overpriced)…. there are so many awesome pieces of gear that came out years ago that people seem to have forgotten about… but, it’s still there (on the used market) and it’s still dope.

More to come… just had to get this stuff off my chest…

 

 

 

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