Maschine MK3 and LaunchPad Pro MK3

Hey guys, not a “what to buy” post, because I already decided on the Maschine MK3, but after a few weeks with it I hate it, or I hate the workflow for production. I wanted a controller for drums that would be a good addition to my workflow, and any other features are a bonus! I record live guitars, bass, synths and a Rhodes MK1 in my studio. My workflow is already established in Logic and Ableton, and after using I for a bit I’m just not prepared to switch to Maschine software. And I can’t start projects in Maschine and then import all the files into another DAW because I never start wth drums, it’s always guitar, rhodes or synths recorded first, then drums and bass. Maschine is also not great for recording audio and arranging audio clips either.

I tried using Maschine as a plugin in Logic and that’s a complete dread, I did just order the new 14” M1 Pro 10 core so maybe that will be easier on the CPU to run them at the same time, but still… the non synced transport controls and running a DAW inside a DAW, with stupid routing and cramped GUI is fundamentally not working for me.

My last resort was to keep my Maschine, predominantly use it as a MIDI controller (Midi Mode) and then whenever I want to use some of Maschine’s nice features like the expansions, sampler models, and quick drum programming, I would just open Maschine, build the part up quickly and import the audio into Logic.

But that feels like a waste of money to me. I’d literally be using it backwards considering the whole point of Maschine is to use the Maschine software together with the Hardware 90% of the time and then 10% in MIDI mode when you want some extra control in another DAW. I would be 90% MIDI mode with Logic and 10% Maschine software…

So now I’ve considered buying a Launchpad, it has good integration with Logic and better integration with Ableton, but there’s a lot of trade offs…

No expansions, No screens with plugin controls, No Maschine software if I ever want to use it, also it’s literally just a MIDI controller with no other software benefits, No interface onboard and there’s No fixed velocity option!!

It will be good for playing in drums (with lots of velocity tweaking afterwards…) useful chord functions, 4 track sequencer, controlling logic etc. But I already have the 61SL MK3 from Novation which does all of that, just not on a pad based controller layout that can sit directly beside my Laptop.

SO, if anyone can be of some help that would be really appreciated. I can’t decide what’s going to be best for my situation and I don’t know how both of them feel because I’ve only ever played the Maschine. The Launchpad Pro is quite a bit less expensive but you’re loosing a lot. Is there any way I can make my Maschine work for me? Or is the LaunchPad just the better option for my circumstance?

Thanks in advance if you took the time to read this book and offer some help!

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My personal opinion at this time is that using the big Maschine mk3 in midi mode only is the best for my studio workflow. It is true that you’re throwing away 75% of what it can do. For me personally the feel and responsiveness of the pads make it so that I still stick with it.

I do think the big maschine mk3 has an audio interface on board though…so you should be able to use it for that.

As for the mk3 vs the launchpad. The maschine in midi mode does not really make use of the screens either, so in that sense the launchpad is a better deal. What I do not like as much about the launchpad is that the pads are smaller and there are so many of them that intuitive drumming is actually harder. It’s easier to miss a note and there’s too much choice in a way. I prefer 16 pads and get the variation out of my playing instead of all of those pads.

To illustrate, the launchpad with all those sounds mapped feels a bit like this drumkit:

Do the pads feel the same on both the Machine Mikro mk3 and machine mk3, as I think I am going to go for the mikro as I already have the machine software, but you are right the machine software is not the best but you can get some good sounds and loops out of it, it’s just a case of working around it’s limitations and annoyances.

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The mikro mk3 and the big mk3 come very close in my opinion. Only the softest of soft notes are not being sent out by the mikro but in practice I never play that softly.

Thanks Robert, it’s definitely a bummer to throw away so much with Maschine in Midi mode, but I guess there is no “all in one” devices for our needs.

Are you using Logic or Ableton for your DAW or are you using another option? Because as good as the Launchpad is, I think it also only shines if you use it with logic or ableton because of all the DAW control which makes life easier for other daily tasks, and the chord/scale modes can be a creative tool outside of a piano key layout. The DAW control is great since you can scroll through tracks with the arrow buttons unlike being locked to 8 faders and sometimes banking over doesn’t register with a DAW when you midi map it. The “faders” are also using the velocity sensitive architecture from the pads, so if you hit a pad in fader mode softly then it will reduce/boost the gain slowly, and if you hit it hard it will reduce/boost very quick!

Having a controller built for Logic and Ableton with pans, faders, transport controls, live loops control, performance modes and custom modes available to make your own mappings is pretty powerful considering the price and the job I need it to do 90% of the time but the pads being small are a big downside, and the fact that I can’t select fixed velocity sucks too.

But I guess I can’t do that in Midi Mode either on the Maschine can I? I never use a fixed velocity on my tracks, it’s always edited by hand but for a Live Funky Pop sound it’s easier to record using a fixed 100 velocity setting and then go in and edit them how you want after so the velocities aren’t all over the place.

Ugh I hate trying to chose between two products when it’s “which one is going to kind of meet my needs”

1 Question, how much do you find yourself using Maschine expansions and features when you’re already in another workflow with a different DAW? Am I right to guess 10% or less

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Right now my DAW is Reaper, which looks ugly but is cheap and actually very good! The thing is that I have this workflow that I developed over the past decade using my mouse and some hotkeys for basically everything. I actually did buy control surfaces in the past, but in the end I always end up not using them and using my mouse :slight_smile:

So yeah… for me it’s just the maschine in midi mode. I never used any of the sounds that come with maschine software. Nothing. I did use Native Instruments Abbey Road kits and now I’m basically only using Addictive Drums 2 (which has a lot of sounds sinds I own almost all the kits).

Fixed velocity should be easy to add after recording though… select all midi notes and then there must be this “set velocity” option in basically any DAW.

Another way to do it in for example addictive drums is to set the velocity curve all the way to the top. Then every hit you hear is full velocity while playing. Then you can go in, select all the midi notes at the same time, set them to max velocity, then set the velocity curve in addictive drums back to normal and then go through the notes adjusting the velocity to taste.

Short answer: No there is no controller that really fits our needs exactly. This whole way of playing drums is a bit of a “maverick” style thing that involves a lot of messing around and hacks an so forth. It also seems that the pad controller companies don’t really care about how someone like me uses their controllers. They do care a little, but clearly there will be more devices sold to a crowd that’s into electronic beatmaking.

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Thanks for taking the time to help me out here, it’s an unfortunate situation but I guess it is what it is. I can’t see the Novation being “Better” in any way but I can see it being a bit of money saved to accomplish the same tasks.

It’s nice to have the interface onboard and future maschine content accessible if you own the maschine but when am I ever going to want to use the maschine inputs when I can just plug into my Apollo Twin X instead… I think I’m getting caught up in the whole Native Instruments and Features marketing here… the Launchpad is built for Logic and it is supposed to work seamlessly, although I’ve had major issues with my 61SL MK3 working with Logic so I won’t know until it’s in my hands.

I’ll just have to contact the store, see if they’ll extend my return policy until the Launchpad arrives and then test them both side by side for my needs :confused:

Cheers and thanks for having this community available!

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Something I stumbled on today that could be big, in the future at least… Probably deeper DAW integration on the MK4 whenever that comes around. But check this post ( )

Currently it’s only for Logic and Ableton but Logic is only $199 and it’s incredible, probably the best all around DAW available and it comes with a huge 60Gb sound library that also includes a ridiculous amount of stock plugins/virtual instruments and now Dolby Atmos / Spatial Audio. Might be worth checking out!

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Good to know! Would be very nice if this is implemented.

Use Ableton link to do the machine stuff in Ableton

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