After much deliberation, I’ve bought a Native Instruments Maschine. I’m going to make a series of posts to explain my immersion into the world of Maschine.

This was a considered choice – I’d looked at various MIDI controllers, Ableton Push and the like. My primary intention was to make and perform music live. My music has always been created counter intuitively – occasional use of a MIDI keyboard and controllers, but more often than not, I’ve created music with mouse clicks.

The Maschine fits my bill because, unlike the Ableton Push, it’s far more flexible and (if buying second hand) far less expensive. Push is a £600 controller that only works with Ableton. Maschine cost me £200 and works with Ableton and Logic, but also works as it’s own creation environment. It comes bundled with the Maschine software, which is a DAW in it’s own right, though it is far more limited than others – you are very much limited to rhythmic compositions, with everything dictated by a bar length.

Maschine organises its music differently to a linear DAW and it is far more inline with Ableton’s clip mode. These are arranged in Patterns, which can then be contained within Scenes. It’s beginning to make sense now.

How does it sound? So far it feels fairly effortless and surprisingly easy. Here is my first attempt at creating a full length track in Maschine. It’s incredibly rough around the edges – there’s next to no mixing or mastering. I haven’t figured out recording automation as of yet. But it’s easy to see where it can go from here.