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Native Instruments Maschine Studio - Black Reviews

4.5 stars based on 28 customer reviews
Questions about the Native Instruments Maschine Studio - Black?

Questions about the Native Instruments Maschine Studio - Black?

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  • from Florida June 20, 2017


    The maschine is everything I thought it was plus more!! It gave me the confidence I needed to take my production to the next level

  • from Yorktown, VA May 24, 2017


    It took forever to get the VST's installed correctly. Somehow the 32 and 64 bit install paths got inverted with some of the instruments and Reaktor wouldn't work for a while. It's all working now, and I love this thing.

  • from Planet Earth January 30, 2017Music Background:
    hip hop r and b jazz rock funk


    I have had this for a while now and it is amazing . Maschine studio is exactly what it is called . It can be used as a studio. Most people look at it as just a beat maker but its way more . I have recorded guitars , bass and other live instruments onto Machine Studio. It is defiantly great for producing Hip Hop but you can do so much more with it if you think outside the box. Thank you Native Instruments !!!!

  • from CT January 19, 2017Music Background:
    Music producer

    The best maschine yet!!!!!!!!

    Awesome easy to navigate and great software thank you Team Koons!!!!

  • from Australia May 14, 2016Music Background:
    DJ Music Producer


    This is the heart and soul of my studio, this think is incredible and so creative i would pay more than $10,000 for this,
    I nether thought making music would be so easy and so much Fun,
    I have lots of equipment from Neumann Microphones to Gibson Guitars, and i would give them all up for this,
    You can create a song from start to finish ,
    There is a learning curve but spend time with this and you will never regret it.
    Only think I don't Like is how you record Vocals and instruments I still do this in Logic I hope they improve this in the next or future software updates,
    I Don't want to use Logic any more.
    Incredible I LOVE IT

  • from United States May 22, 2015Music Background:


    The Maschine Studio is great. I'm still getting my bearings, as I skipped a generation of Maschine, from the MK1 to the Studio. Everything about the Studio is the same as the MK1 but more streamlined to give you a faster workflow. The biggest difference is the software, which is almost completely different that Maschine 1.x. I actually prefer 1.x right now, but I think that's because it's what I've used for the bulk of the time I've been involved in production. Great product either way.

  • from Berkeley ca April 29, 2015Music Background:



  • from April 3, 2015Music Background:
    Musician/audio engineer

    Maschine studio is amazing

    What a piece of inspiration! So powerful and versatile. Everything in one place, tactile and ready to go and ignite your work whatever your workflow of programming.

  • from Suffolk, VA February 18, 2015Music Background:
    Club DJ and house/hybrid music producer.


    I have been in the DJ / producing in the street for over 30 years now. I was the first one to come out in the DJ Studio using MIDI control and production groove machines alongside my mixing progression. When I got the machine mk2 I was so blown away that I had to automatically just get the studio program instead. Right out of the box it blew me away. I have yet to use my MIDI keyboard controller because of its awesome scaling and control of dis for rent instruments / VST plugins and all around control of mastering and effects. If you are an experienced DJ our producer you will not be disappointed. The expansion packs that come along with it also pack in A great expansion to the sound database. Once you are able to use and understand the flow of machine you will never want to use another crew production platform ever again. I recommend this not only because it has an endless scalability but also because of its sound and control of effects that do not have to be with in the track itself. You can put effects on different banks are with in the same things that you have control sounds our program sounds and you will never ever be disappointed.

  • from rancho cucamonga, CA October 17, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist DJ/ Beat Maker


    Words cannot describe. Finally; a piece of gear that doesn't limit my creative drive. Buttons are solid and feel (expensive). Software works flawlessly (I'm On PC). Along with Komplete 9 Ultimate, the Maschine studio is a beast! Handles my Hip Hop and EDM no problem. I have had this Maschine for 4 months and I am still finding new things to play with. I AM KOMPLETELY SATIFIED WITH MY STUDIO. Good job Native Instruments!

  • from Albany,NY July 31, 2014Music Background:
    Music Producer,Recording Engineer

    The best creative tool I have ever owned. End of Story...

    My main issue with software as a production tool is that I find myself grabbing the mouse,adjusting my screen view,digging through folders for my samples,drums,VST instruments,ect. I started looking for something would keep me in a creative mode rather than feeling like im dealing with a computer program. After 5 years of Ableton Live(which I love) and then taking some great advice from fellow beatmakers along with Mike Harris ; my sweetwater rep , I made the jump to this incredible piece of gear.

    Since using this for just three weeks ..it has made me fall in love with the creation/production process all over again. I never look at my CPU screen...ever. Im locked in to the Maschine Studio controller. I'm so impressed with the workflow. It has an old school feel with the new school quickness and features. Tagging your drums,samples,sounds makes it so easy to get the sounds you are thinking about immediately. The pads and the feel of the sequencer are perfect for my taste...loose but extremely responsive.

    I could go on about the Kontact(as well as third party VST integration) with Automapping,Automation, quick access to effects and the dual color LCD screens with event editing and arrangement but...you should get one and find out for yourself.

  • from Jacksonville, IL May 12, 2014Music Background:

    Great Investment

    Well worth the money, the workflow is great. I have the Maschine MK2 and debated on getting the Studio but glad that I finally decided to go with the Studio. Being able to view the sequencer on the Studio is a huge plus. Sweetwater has some of the best service around as I will continue to shop with them for a very long time.

  • from Santa Barbara, CA May 1, 2014Music Background:
    Retired semi-pro Musician


    At the price drop price, this is a no-brainer, if you don't have one already, unless you're not into music at all.... :)

  • from Fort Drum April 7, 2014Music Background:

    Good things comes for those who wait!!

    I've never parted ways with my original Maschine MK 1 since purchasing it in 2009. I liked the MK 2, but could not justify getting it besides from small improvements over the MK. Can I make outstanding beats with my MK1? Yes! Could I do the majority of tasks on my my MK1? of course. But the studio is beautiful and solid! Having the two screens allows me to keep my eyes on the hardware and not clicking a mouse every minute. This allows the same feeling I get from working on a standalone piece of hardware. I am a sucker for a quality jog wheel, which I missed from my MPC. The studio is a lot more in price, I debated this so much, but Native Instruments have got it right and Sweetwater has made is easier to afford through payment plans.

  • from United States January 2, 2014Music Background:

    Great tool, nothing like it

    I am a producer for multiple genres and find that Maschine has no shortcomings. The abundance of effects and tools it offers makes it he most valuable piece of equipment in my arsenal. I would recommend this as a serious buy for any serious producer.

  • from Richmond, CA. December 15, 2013Music Background:
    Music Producer, Recording Student, Studio Owner.

    Mean Maschine!

    The coolest beat maschine I've ever used! The look, build, and feel is something out of a producers dream. The new 2.0 software is smooth as silk and very easy to use. The workflow is unequalled! Compatibility with other D.A.W.s is a piece of cake. And beat making will be like a kid in a candy store. "Off The Hook!" Thanks Sweetwater!

  • from New Bedford, MA USA November 16, 2013Music Background:
    Urban Music Producer, DJ, MC

    It's For A Studio!

    This is the Maschine Studio that being said should explain why no soundcard. If you have a studio this is perfect because you should have a soundcard in a studio that would probably be better than anything NI would put in the Maschine Studio. Besides that the screens are on point it makes things much easier to get around to. The extra buttons and jog wheel help out when navigating around making it quicker to get the job done. We already know about the pads on the Maschnie and the volume controls for Master, Group and Sound plus the mixer on top of that. The software has some newer options that should have been in the older versions and we can finally use multi cores... So far I'm truly loving the hardware and software. I can't wait to MIDI it up to my DAW and control my DAW from my Machine Studio.

  • from Seattle,Washington November 9, 2013Music Background:
    Hip Hop

    Truly Epic

    Wow, this is the best paper weight I've ever bought. It has an awesome sound card and audio.

  • from October 15, 2013

    No soundcard...So What!

    Cory, do you not realize how stupid your review sounds? That is not the mission of Maschine Studio. You would realize that this does not have a sound card by looking at the rear of the unit in one of the 14 provided pictures here on Sweetwater. Google before you post!

  • from Wilmington, de October 6, 2013Music Background:
    Keeper of all things MUSIC.

    This is the most beautiful piece plastic and rubber I've ever seen in my life!

    This 5 star rating is contingent on this piece being complete with a built in sound card. No sound card, no good. Sound card and Maschine Studio=best thing ever. Otherwise, back to the drawing board. I will get one at launch IF it has a sound card in it. Please have a sound card, please. I could live off of this and komplete 9 ultimate alone. Maybe a sandwich here or there, but probably not necessary.

  • from Mammoth Lakes, CA August 15, 2014Music Background:
    Studio & live engineer, guitar, vocals, songwriting, producer.

    Awesome Tool!

    I'm not sure if I'd be as impressed with this if I hadn't already owned Komplete 9 Ultimate. The fact is that I did, and when I installed the software and fired the thing up, it was like the proverbial kid in a candy store. It's super addictive and a great creative tool. I'm not primarily an electronic producer, but definitely like specific types of beat based music. Also, it takes about 20 seconds to drop an Abby Roads kit (or whatever you have) into a group and have a drum track to practice guitar or bass to. I've even used the Fishman TriplePlay as a plugin for inputting synth lines using my guitar as a controller. What a blast!

    The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars, is that I've had to rethink my process a bit while working with scenes.I'm still learning Maschine and can't remember exactly what was tripping me up, but it had something to do with arranging scenes. I haven't used it for a couple weeks, but want to get back to it when I have time.

  • from Santa Cruz, CA, United States November 24, 2013Music Background:
    Producer (Hip Hop, Electronic), Artist

    Awesome gear but a WARNING!

    I've been an NI fan for years utilizing the Maschine MKI, Traktor, Komplete 9, and numerous expansion packs. Studio is a fantastic product and thus far I'm an avid proponent of the 2.0 software release. BUT one thing to mention for some prior MK users who've been using the 1.0 software. If you're like me and use Maschine 1 as a plugin within say Live, Logic, Pro Tools, etc., note that Maschine 2.0 WILL NOT open Maschine 1 plugin work within a 3rd party DAW UNLESS the work done within the Maschine 1 plugin is saved as an NI project. The reason for this is that 2.0 is a completely separate program than 1.0. This won't effect you if you've only used Maschine 1.0 as a standalone DAW because you would have saved your projects anyways but if you're like me and have 100's of say Pro Tools or Live sessions where you used Maschine as a plugin, then you're also probably like me where you didn't save the Maschine plugin work as an NI Project because the saving process is already being handled by saving the Live, Pro Tools, etc., session which then saves all plugin parameters within it, Maschine included.

    This isn't a problem for someone that doesn't mind holding onto their 1.0 license but if you are wanting to sell your MK in order to upgrade to the Studio, then before you sell off your gear and your 1.0 license, KNOW that you'll have to go back through EVERY SINGLE session in your library and save your Maschine plugin as an NI Project. If you don't do this and you transfer your license to a buyer, your new 2.0 license WILL NOT allow you to open your old 1.0 sessions.

    I contacted NI Support about this issue, letting them know that they are in ways, handcuffing people like me from selling off old MK gear with the intention of stepping up to the Studio. By handcuffed I mean, either I have to go back and spend the numerous hours opening up every single session I have across all of my different hard drives and saving my Maschine plugin work as projects OR I just have to hold onto my 1.0 license thus the MK in order to access old projects.

    My suggestion to NI was to allow the new 2.0 license to also be able to open 1.0 instantiations but NI didn't respond to that inquiry. They did respond to other emails I sent basically saying that this was the workflow that needed to happen and that licensing alterations wouldn't be allowed. Imo, NI should have planned for this with the likelihood that many Studio buyers would have been MK users in the past, and many of those users utilizing Maschine as a plugin. No mention of this workflow is posted on the NI Maschine Product pages so I wanted to make sure people would know this before making the jump.

    That said, aside from this bs, Studio is awesome as is the the 2.0 software and I do recommend the product. NI is at the top of the food chain for the products they offer. I hope that enough people will send in support inquiries/complaints about this issue that they will consider remedying the license issue.

  • from Chesapeake, VA June 7, 2014Music Background:
    Dutch House Producer

    Must have gear

    I have the MK2 and have used MPC products & honestly I love this like I do my Ableton Push.....Its makes work so much easier with the large led screens and if you were lucky enough to get it at $799 you got a huge deal.

  • from United States May 23, 2014Music Background:
    Pianist, Songwriter, Composer

    Nice But Seems to Miss the Point

    I primarily am a pianist, but have over the years built up a significant quantity of computer-based gear. I also compose songs in the more traditional arenas of rock and folk, and do not create or listen to EDM or similar genres. However, I was interested in expanding the horizons a bit, and wanted to create instrumental music with soundscapes and eastern influences. For the latter, I thought that the Studio might fit the bill.

    After using Studio for a couple of weeks, I returned it. Now, I do not confess to have mastered the device at all, and in capable hands, I have no doubt that it can be quite impressive, but I did figure out most of the device basics. Here's what I found:

    First of all, the "standalone" mode that NI so cheerily throws about in their marketing blitz for the unit is rather misleading. You cannot use this device without a computer. The "standalone" mode means using the device without a DAW. But wait a second. The Maschine 2.0 has to be running, and that's pretty near to a DAW as I've seen. This means, of course, that even in live use, where the device would probably work well, you still need to have a computer connected, and the 2.0 software running.

    Not a big deal, but the Studio is not bus-powered, and there are lots of smaller, bus powered, and capable controllers available for far less than the cost of this unit. So, then, you really need to use it in a studio, which might be why they named it the Studio.

    There are two issues with studio (the room, that is) use. First, the device is really big. Even on a large desk, I had trouble finding a suitable place for it. But, its large size allows for really nice, large pads, and lots of dedicated buttons. It's big, but well made, and I can't fault the layout other than the ridiculous screens.

    The second issue is a larger one. All the hype about those two gorgeous color screens is just that, hype. For one thing, these color screens are not particularly clear, nothing like a computer screen or a tablet device. And, they're really, really small! Yes, they organize information reasonably well, but so does that huge, clear computer display standing right behind the Studio. Which has to be powered up anyway, because you need to be running the software. And the computer screen is far easier to deal with in terms of both size and amount of information provided. Without the screens, the Studio would be a manageable size, so since they nearly double the size of the device, they should be capable of doing really useful things, not simply mirror the computer screen in pint-size dimension.

    In practice, I found myself rarely using the two mini screens at all. It was fear easier to look at my main display. The notion that scrolling through two mini screens with text the size of a pinhead is somehow going to accelerate work flow is just silly. It doesn't. One has to scroll through endless menus, just like you do on a computer. The dedicated buttons definitely help workflow, but the screens do not. So, if you have to look up at the computer, you may as well use a mouse, something that works remarkably well.

    As for the software, Studio 2.0, I liked it. But again, I found myself asking what the point of it is when most of us own full on DAW's like Live and Logic. The pattern focus in the software is nice, and it's generally easy to use, but it doesn't do anything that DAW's can't do. It is a bit simpler, and that's nice. And, with a mini keyboard controller and a mouse I found my workflow better with 2.0 than when using Studio.

    All in all, I think it's a better bet to go with one of the smaller units. They are bus powered, portable, and do everything that Studio does without the two mini screens. In fact, since you have to have the software running anyway, I'm not sure what the point of the screens are really. Well, they look very cool. And, I imagine that is a big selling point for an expensive machine. So, as the title states, Studio is a nice device, but for me it has no point.

  • from Chicago August 3, 2015Music Background:

    Way Too Much...

    I have to be completely honest here. This thing seems extremely user friendly and full featured. At the end of the day it is complete garbage. First and foremost: Maschine takes a LOT of time to install and uses up significant amounts of CPU so if you computer is not new, just forget it. Also don't kid yourself; the construction of this thing feels cheap. Most importantly, the sound of these drums are super digital, thin, and highly identifiable on recordings.

    I was looking for a drum machine. Maschine ironically does too much. It is difficult to integrate in my workflow. It includes synths, effects, sequencing and a whole interface of its own. But if you are already used to a real DAW, this thing is just way more than you need. Did NI think they were going to replace sequencers like Pro Tools or Ableton? It takes awhile to really get going on this thing and it just cluttered up my workflow. Crashed ableton when working as a plugin. Crashes in standalone mode. It takes awhile to set it up just to route into your DAW tracks if you want to use your own sequencer, assuming you can run both at once. The fastest workflow I found was just running maschine standalone, making some simple drum loops, and then bouncing those to use in ableton.

    One major missing feature is an audio output. if you wanted to use this as a drum machine "instrument" and just record directly into pro tools at the studio, forget it. You can only run this thing through your laptop as a controller. I would actually suggest doing just that - run maschine on a laptop and then record into pro tools on another computer.

    NI is just trying to cash out on us by selling new sample packs and products all the time. Out of the box this thing sounds cool. The stock kits are set up for "trap" and "edm". But once you start digging in you end up wanting something more substantial. It is difficult to integrate your own samples if you already have a library. The machine expansions are much more user friendly.

    In all fairness, if you are just starting out or looking to totally re-work your workflow then this unit is very full featured and fun to use. But if you are already a busy producer and just need a new drum machine this is going to be far more than you bargained for. The sound is very digital; and all NI products are plastic with fancy marketing. I'm not sure what the solution is at this point. I can make beats much faster with ableton drum rack or just using the PT sequencer. Maschine was just too glitchy and had too many unnecessary features.

  • from Tampa February 13, 2016

    Sold My Ren for this?!?!?

    I totally agree with the last guys review. Maschine sounds nothing like an Mpc and the workflow for me is not better at all simply put the Maschine has no soul but the Mpc does all ni has to offer is high quality sounds sonically amazing but I'm selling mines now on craigslist Tampa with the komplete kontrol 61 if anyone's interested in going back with akai if it ain't broke don't try and fix it.

  • from United States November 23, 2013Music Background:
    Home Studio Musician

    Right out of the box, long time Maschine MKI user with some serious disappointments.

    My bias towards NI is strained to say the least at this point. I loved Kore 2, and incidentally, guess which plugin causes Maschine 2 to crash? (Among a handful of others, which work fine in other DAWs, and now have to be moved out of Maschine's path, or it won't load)

    So here we are, a beautifully made bright new shiny controller, which I actually have nothing but good things to say about... but then you remember that it depends on software.

    Here Maschine, let me point you at my directory of projects AND my communal directory of samples, in the user library tab. Oh, you CAN'T find the samples I just pointed you at? You want me to go one at a time, rather than letting me point at a directory just like Battery, and solve this problem in an efficient and user friendly way?

    OK, I'll just load a factory group.

    Now let's play a beat in, straight off the pads. WTF? Why are double and triple stroke hits that work fine on the Mk I not working on Studio? If I'm even touching a corner of a pad, I can no longer hit it with another finger. I guess double and triple stroke rolls require separate pads now, because something fundamental was taken away, about how I play Maschine. That's kind of a big deal. In fact, it seems that the pads are now EXTREMELY sensative to how close to the center I strike them. That is total BS and is going to mess with how a lot of people play.

    Can I finally timestretch in real time? Ok, that's a dead horse that has been beaten into mush, and the answer is no. I have to do a destructive edit to do what almost every other thing that deals with audio samples can do, even though the company that made this product has a wealth of sample manipulation and graintable experience, and in a worst case scenario, could license elastic audio from somewhere else and be done with it.

    So I'm left with a pretty librarian that isn't good for finger drumming, no matter how many Jeremy Ellis videos are thrown up, and a tool that breaks other tools made by the same company, yet still manages to pull the best features in from said tools. (I guess Kore 2 morphing was just a dumb idea that wasn't even worth considering, further limiting Maschine's live performance flexibility)

    I like the drum synths and the hardware quality. The flow for sequencing a beat is still good. That's it. The rest is all fluff and crap. This thing is very close to heading back to the store, and if it goes, I think so too will go my future Native Instrument patronage. You've made some great products and ran them into the ground. You can't even be arsed to include 2 quarter inch outputs, just to limit the amount of gear one would need to take Maschine on the go... for $1000.

  • from June 2, 2015

    Incapable of compund time signatures

    Good if your compositions are in one time signature and one time signature only.
    NI needs to create a Machine unit that will work with compositions that actually flows past the normal repetitious single time signature(s) and allow for more spacious and diverse time signature possibilities.
    THAT would be a really valuable tool. So far this thing is simply a toy. A very expensive toy. It is well built and has a lot of features to produce easily connective music that is mono rhythmic in it's basis like much of what's heard in Dance and some Ambient type genres.


  • Mitch Gallagher

    "Hybrid music production system" is a phrase that is often applied to Native Instruments' Maschine, especially to the newest flagship version, Maschine Studio. In this case, "hybrid music production system" means that Maschine Studio brings together both software and hardware aspects of music production. We're talking an instrument, a control surface, displays, MIDI I/O (one in, three out), and more, combined with production software that can sequence; sample; host plug-ins; run as an AAX, VST, or Audio Units plug-in (while still hosting VST and Audio Units plug-ins); and serve as a librarian for beats and full track productions, and that comes with loads of effects and instruments and a library of content.

    Available in black and white, the Maschine Studio hardware comprises 16 multicolor pads for playing beats and parts, transport controls, an array of dedicated buttons for selecting functions on the fly, stereo LED meters, master volume control knob, and best of all, two beautiful full-color built-in displays. Those displays let you keep your focus 100% on the Maschine Studio hardware, whether you are sequencing, creating beats, working with plug-ins, or working with audio samples -- the computer's monitor and mouse suddenly become non-central to the process. What this means is that you work with Maschine Studio as an instrument for making music. The software and the hardware merge inside the controller into a very usable and inspiring whole.

    If you're making beats or electronic music, Maschine Studio is a no-brainer. But it's also a great solution for anyone who works with drum instruments, samples, and software instruments. (That's most of us, these days!) It allows you to get hands on with music production and to work in a streamlined, efficient way that feels natural for a musician. The bundled sounds, instruments, and effects give you great resources for building your productions, and Maschine Studio also integrates perfectly with Native Instruments' massive (and immensely powerful) Komplete 9 and Komplete 9 Ultimate instrument/sample library/effects collections.

    Maschine Studio takes the "hybrid music production system" concept to stratospheric heights. The integration between software and hardware is super tight, the ergonomics are well thought out, the learning curve is easy, and the feature set is complete. Put this one on the "Very Cool, Must Have" list.

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