Native Instruments have built up a reputation for creating really fun, intuitive, creative tools for music production. The Maschine MK3 utilises everything they have been learned throughout the years. The Maschine MK3 is a great example of Native Instrument combining their hardware Prowess with the huge collection of great software. If you're already apart of the Native ecosystem the Maschine is brilliant to help your creativity. So whats new in the MK3?
High Resolution Screens
The first thing you will notice is the 2 large high resolution screens at the top. These screens are really clean looking, plenty bright and the full colour display brings out all of the detail in your mix. The screens can be utilised for different things depending on what mode you are in. Having the two large displays makes a huge difference in the work flow as you rarely need to look up at your computer. Everything pretty much can be viewed and controlled on the hardware itself.
Improved Bigger Pads
The Maschine MK3 comes equipped with bigger pads making it easier to finger drum and be a bit more complex. The pads are more sensitive to light touches giving you far more dynamic and expression in your playing. They have a great feel and i would argue are some of the best feeling pads on any sampler/production centres.
The audio Interface
The MK3 is now a fully fledged audio interface. The Maschine has plenty of inputs and outputs and means you can channel your computer audio through the audio interface built into the Maschine. On the rear of the unit you will find headphone out, volume control, line out with volume control, jack outputs, mic inputs, jack inputs, midi inputs and even pedal control input. The MK3 can be powered using the provided power supply or can actually be completely USB powered. The screen and pad brightness is a bit dimmer when powered purely via USB but this doesn't affect your performance.
All the New Dedicated Buttons
Native Instruments have added a bunch of dedicated buttons on the Maschine MK3 which really speeds up productivity. The first new buttons you might spot are along the top of the pad section. The 4 buttons let you toggle between different pad modes. These include regular pad mode, keyboard mode, chord mode and step sequencer mode.
The Lock Button
This is a really clever function that maschine have included, one i haven't seen any other brand think of this yet. Once you press the lock button, you can adjust as many parameters as you want. You can completely change the sound of the samples and then by clicking the lock button again you can simply revert back to your original version of the mix. You can even save up to 64 snapshots of different lock mode settings and jump between them all seemlessly. Other brands have similar features however i haven't seen anybody implement in this way. I feel like it's much more flexible and powerful than what the competitors are offering.
The New Jog wheel
The newly included jog wheel is a clever piece of engineering. Not only can you use it to scroll and click on it to select. You can also toggle it left and right to jump between menus effortlessly. This makes navigating on the hardware a super simple and gives you even less reason to look up at your computer. Even the knobs under the screen are all touch sensitive so can expand menus by simply touching the top.
The Smart Strip
The Smart strip as Native call it, is a ribbon controller that adds some great performance functionality. You can use the strip to adjust parameters for pitch bend and the Mod wheel. It comes into its own when using it with the built in performance effects. One clever performance effect is the note mode on the smart strip. You can cycle through every pad in the active pad section or can hold the notes you want to be played and it will cycle through just those notes.
The Maschine MK3 is a huge improvement from the MK2, so much so, it makes you question whether you actually need a full Mashine Studio. It is so feature packed that you may question whether the jump up in price is worth it. On top of all the above features there are countless others such as dedicated Macro button to let you assign macros straight from the hardware, note repeat button, fixed velocity button and much more. Combine this with Native Instruments brilliant collection of plug ins and you can't go wrong, whatever style of music you create.
The Maschine MK3 is available to order online
or come into our Birmingham Show Room.