NI Maschine MK3 and Maschine Mikro MK3 and latency


We are looking for our first Midi drum controller. We have watched the videos here and have decide on the Maschine Mikro MK3… I think.

After watching the video where an audio interface was recommended, I’m starting to get confused. The Maschine Mikro MK3 has no audio outputs only a USB B, does that mean that there will be an unacceptable amount of latency? Should we be looking at the Maschine MK3 for more than twice the money?

I’m sorry if this has been asked before but I have looked and could find reference to it. Most if not all the lower to mid range controllers have USB B only.

There is a used Maschine MK3 at one of the large music stores for 200 dollars off, supposedly in new condition with all the software transferred back. I wont be able to look at it for a bit as I’m just back home from back surgery. We picked up a Midi controller keyboard to keep me occupied and its working out well.
While I was down in the rabbit hole I stumbled across QFG, and well, here I am.

Take Care,

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Hey Ted,

So the short answer to your question is:

  • The controller (like the mikro mk3) is just a midi controller. No sound coming out of it, no sounds being inside of it.
  • The controller plugs into a computer and on the computer there is software with the sounds. In the case of what I recommend for the quest for groove “Addictive Drums 2”.
  • In order to not get problems with latency you will now also need a dedicated audio interface, which you can then plug into the computer as well and that’s also the device you plug your speakers and/or headphones into. If you then set the buffer size of the audio interface to very low, the latency will be inaudible.

Some people on windows use these “Asio4all” drivers and try to run everything through the onboard soundchip of the computer. On macs some people use the onboard mac sound processing. I personally still notice latency with those options. On mac it’s pretty good, but not as good as a dedicated audio interface with a low buffer size.

The thing with the big Maschine mk3 is that it has an onboard audio interface, so you’re basically buying a two-in-one. That’s an option for sure, but buying a Maschine mikro mk3 and also a Focusrite Scarlett Solo interface will be cheaper, which is why I recommend that option.

All of the setup options en what stuff I currently recommend are explained in my beginner course by the way. It’s free for everyone so I recommend checking that out too.

Thanks for your reply Robert,

I have watched your video describing latency where you say that latency should not be a problem with most controllers, is the Mikro one of those controllers?
Yes we are on a windows desktop and will go with a Maschine Mikro MK3.
As you said we have a midi keyboard that works well, I don’t notice any latency with it. But we may with the Mikro?

We would be using the Mikro in our home office, as we don’t have a studio full of gear.
We have a good set of speakers running off the sound card in our desktop attached by a 3.5mm jack. Installing another set of monitors really isn’t an option with the room we have the office in.

We could rig up an audio switcher or cable adapter arrangement switching from the Focusrite Scarlett (which does come bundled with Addictive Drums 2), or the desktop, to the speakers, but that could cause a problem for others using the computer.
If you needed to fool around switching connections it might also lead one to using the drum controller less often.
The audio interface and studio monitor would also add more than the cost of the Mikro.

Thanks once again,
We have learned a lot from your beginner series.
I just want to play some drums and have an enjoyable experience.


Hey Ted,

The maschine Mikro controller has no latency in terms of the midi notes. That only happens with controllers like the Sensel Morph and Joue pad and to an degree the Roli blocks. Those are different types of controllers that “scan” a surface area. This will take some time, causing a delay. The maschine mikro has normal old fashione pads and pad sensors that work with conducting ink. So no worries, no delays coming from the mikro!


I was envisioning a box of gear to be added, just to play the Mikro.
If I can get away without having to buy an audio interface that would be great, I could save my money and put that toward some of your lessons.

I appreciate your information and knowledge. We will go with the Mikro and no interface, at least for now.
I hope to see you in the lesson section in the future.

Take Care,

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Rats. I was considering purchase of a Maschine Mikro MK3, but you wrote that it does not load VSTs and actuates them on the Host. As I am a finger drummer and guitarist/bassist, what can I get to play the VSTs from Garritan World Percussion? Am I stuck with a $600-$700 solution?

Hey Bitmancer,

You just need a computer for that. Right now there are no real standalone machines that load VST’s that can then be played with a pad controller. I guess the smallest laptop you can find is the most mobile solution at the moment :slight_smile:

We’re not at the point yet where stuff like this can be done on a phone or an iPad. I hope that point in future is getting closer and will be with us soon.

That is why I asked you, as an extensively experienced individual. Thank you for taking the time to respond!

A Raspberry Pi device would be my preferred, minimum-configuration solution. Do you think it would have enough horsepower to work? I am also checking in with your similarly experienced colleagues who are trying to implement that, to see what roadblocks they find.

Again, thanks!

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A raspberry pie might work, but I think it probably does not have enough raw power to process sound at these super low latencies. I have not seen anyone do it so far, but I also have not really immersed myself into this so I might be wrong.

As a systems engineer, my worry was latency as well. We shall see! Thanks again!

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