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Native Instruments Maschine - Black Reviews

4.0 stars based on 25 customer reviews
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Sweetwater Advice

  • Brian Dillon

    I've been a producer for the better part of a decade, and I'm always looking out for better hands-on ways to chop samples and make beats. Native Instruments Maschine was exactly what I was missing. I mostly use it to create sounds in standalone mode, but it's also great as a plug-in in Pro Tools. The Komplete Select bundle comes with a lot of great sounds, and I use the included Massive synth on virtually all of my productions.

  • Dan Overstreet

    Native Instruments Maschine is my go-to piece of gear for quickly sketching and developing ideas. This thing is just plain FUN!

  • J C
    from NYC November 26, 2016Music Background:

    Awesome Maschine!

    i bought this wanted something i could tap away portably on my lap while watching tv or on a long trip and i love it. ♥ i then got a ni Komplete Kontroller they work together beautifully and Sweetwater
    is great ☆☆☆☆☆

  • Michael Michalski
    from Mansfield, OH February 8, 2016Music Background:

    Not just for beat makers

    I picked this up just because I could and I thought it would be good to explore alternative writing methods. I am a studio only guy at this point so I hesitated to pick up a tool that appeared to be a performance oriented tool. Little did I know what a workflow changer this was.

    I have always worked in pretty standard DAWs, particularly Sonar. My problem was that I really had a difficult time separating the exercise of writing from the exercise of mixing. It wasn't that I couldn't. I was just that I didn't because I was using the same tool for both.

    Enter Maschine. With this beast, I can completely concentrate on the writing activity. Having an "instrument" really gets me immersed in writing. When I get the track to a place where I am done with the writing, I export the audio at the sound level, pull it into Sonar and mix away. If I need to make a change a part, I just load up Maschine 2, make the change, export again, and just replace the audio in the corresponding track in Sonar. Quick and easy.

    I am even writing cinematic orchestral tracks with Maschine. I like it so much that I ordered a Mikro for the road. (Some will tell you that this is fine in a backpack but I travel internationally and the Mikro makes more sense after lugging this a couple of times.

    Highly recommended bit of kit.

  • Sean
    from Detroit April 26, 2015Music Background:

    buy this NOW!!

    Been making music for over 10 years doing mostly techno and house. Ive used every software you can think of. Tons of grooveboxes rm1x, em-1mc 303,505,909,307,808, still have the 505 though. And nothing comes close. This thing is a beast. Your not limited to anything. Only your mind and computer specs. The real cool thing is you dont even need to look at your computer. Just the hardware. The electribes and all are cool, they definately will help you learn to write your song, but they never feel finished to me. The sounds are lacking for my taste. This thing is the real deal. This with a few soft synths and you can make a record ready track. The only thing i can complain about is there is a glitch in the model i have (mk1) on the last knob that messes up the parameters. Gonna get that fixed though. Other than that, forget your rent this month and pay the late fee and get this now. You will not be dissapointed!!!

  • Angelo
    from Seattle, WA February 24, 2015Music Background:

    The Future is Now

    Have been hemming and hawing over whether (or really when) to buy a workstation as I've been missing the immediacy of a hardware interface where everything jives from the get-go. I had that back in the day with my beloved and dearly missed Motif ES6 and I was so productive because of it. so here I am, wanting to get the MOXF6 or, due to the price drop, maybe a Korg Krome 61...but i just can't stand the idea of really just buying the keyboard for hardware control (primarily for the sequencer with an on-the-fly performance scenario in mind) with all those ROMpler sounds...sorry, just NOT interested in the multilayered pianos, wurlies, b-3s, horns...you get the idea. and here i have AMAZING software synths with exotic synthesis methods & flexibility yet not as immediate or intimate to control, to play as an extension of myself...

    well, after eyeballing this Machine thing for a while now (because I have really not connected with NI the way I have with my primary softsynth arsenal) I went ahead and committed to Maschine mk2...BEST THING I HAVE DONE! A beast, highest quality build/ergonomics, actually a killer value if you consider it comes with the acclaimed Massive amongst the other extras.

    Now I am back to a level of productivity, interaction, inspiration not really seen since my beloved Motif ES6 days. The NI Maschine software/hardware integration and coalesance IS the future...it is realized HERE & NOW! The Maschine 2.2 pattern sequencing software is GREAT standalone not to mention working without a hitch within my DAW love Logic Pro X!
    I tell you what, I did the e-voucher thing and picked up one of their extension packs for Maschine: worth it.

    And now, I must admit, Maschine has been THAT convincing to me, THAT satisfying as they have got me hooked and they know it...it's a gateway drug for wanting Komplete...in due time once i pay off the Maschine purchase (my buddy thought it best to hold off on Komplete so my wife doesn't murder me...tee hee hee...he's looking out for my well-being, that's what friends are for). Actually, I am a good friend to him too...because of me, he got the Maschine Studio before I got my Maschine mk2. i was SO impressed by the afore mentioned build quality and workflow fluidity and it sold me right then and there...I was like "Cry many...totally insane and worth every penny...I need one now"
    Bottom Line after my banter: GET IT NOW if you have been going back and forth about it...you will NOT regret it for a second. dude, seriously, get it now

    -Italo Forever

  • Joseph Johnson
    from Chicago, IL April 9, 2014Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    A True Beast!

    Maschine is an awesome piece of hardware. You can use it as a stand alone or use it side by side with its software. I like to start my creation in the Maschine 2.0 software and then get it together and track out my creation into logic where i complete the project. You can create from scratch, create samples the list goes on. It comes with a nice library, but you can add endless amounts of third party sounds and create and mold your own sauce in the thick of it all as well. I love Native Instruments products they really put time into the creation of their stuff. I love making music and I love working with great gear. If you have seen a video with someone working on the Maschine and have been intrigued or know someone who raves all the time about it
    all the time, there is a serious reason for this. If you have the extra money GET IT! Thanks NI and Thanks Sweetwater!

  • lb chill
    from denver usa March 20, 2014Music Background:
    pro musician ,rapper

    it s powerfull . and easy to use after u learn , just love it.....

    My dj had the first generation mpc. and i also planned on buying the mpc but when i saw the native maschine and how easy and fast it was to make beat i decided to get it . i am recording my alblum and i know my native mashine will rock it......music for life....
    sweetwater keep the good work , thanks to helping my dream to be on top

  • Ron
    from Sunny Portland, Oregon September 22, 2013Music Background:
    old geezer - done it all

    More than I expected

    Intro -
    A brief background for those of you who might be in a similar situation and looking for a better solution. Im not a drummer but I need drum tracks. The drummers I know wont go near anything digital (yeah, I know, real drums are made out of real wood). Ive tried my hand at programming drum machines and VSTi virtual drum machines, bought a MIDI pad controller - but I was never able to program patterns that were something I would call inspiring. I ended up going with loops, which are time consuming to find the right loop and the cost starts getting out of hand when you have to buy a new percussion-loops CD for every new song.

    With that history, I was apprehensive about buying Maschine. I really didnt expect to do much better than what I had accomplished in the past, but the abundance of Maschine videos on YouTube looked enticing. I considered going the cheaper route with the Mikro, but in the end, I bought Maschine and Im glad I did.

    Review -
    Maschine sounds fabulous and has loads of tweakable parameters and FX built in. Theres enough included MIDI patterns that Im able to copy \ paste \ tap some seriously tight grooves. Im beyond impressed. I didnt think I would be able to dial in the sound and decent grooves so quickly. Yes, Im finally programming (copy and tap actually) some decent grooves. Additionally, Maschine integrates with Cubase as a VSTi, complete with the Maschine sequencer. While you would normally think why would I need a sequencer within my sequencer? The Maschine VST window shows available patterns, kits and FX all in one window. It works out rather nicely.

    What I didnt know about is that the Maschine hardware also functions as a general MIDI controller for Kong, Battery, Superior Drummer, etc. meaning that the selection of kits at my disposal is simply unbelievable. Lastly, I can load samples of chords on different pads and because I think musically in terms of a piano keyboard, I end up composing chord progressions that I normally wouldnt come up with.


  • Tyler
    from Space Coast FL August 13, 2013Music Background:
    Sound designer


    Coming from a MPC this thing has been superb. The hardware is rock solid. The software is super stable. The pads feel soft and very responsive plus they all change color and for me that really helps. The new remote script for Ableton Live turns it into a perfect controller for Live. Native Instruments took everything that was good about the MPC and created the Maschine. If your thinking about getting one then DO IT!!! And thanks to My Advisor Zach for getting it to me so fast. Sweetwater is the best!!!! And it comes with Massive.

  • Christopher Hess
    from Park Forest, IL August 13, 2013Music Background:
    Producer, Musician, Designer and DJ

    Simply Amazing!

    The workflow between the controller and software are seem less. And with over 6GB of sounds the possibilities are absolutely endless. The effects are amazing as is the guitar rig. I have begun working on some projects that I can already see myself and colleague playing live. I am seriously impressed.

    Again, Sweetwater will keep getting my biz, they are consummate professionals.

  • Cody
    from Lafayette, La February 28, 2013Music Background:

    Hard to imagine how I worked without this.

    Maschine is the best investment besides a good computer a musician could ask for. Right out the box you'll be making a beat quickly and easily, When I first started using it I rarely used the on board displays. But as time when by It is possible for me not to even look at my computer monitor anymore which makes live performances near effortless. The software that comes with machine is cable of so much by itself. However, if paired up with another DAW you will become unstoppable. I use this product every day for sampling, mixing, beat production, composing. It would be difficult for me to go back to working with out it!

  • Brian
    from New York, NY December 28, 2012Music Background:
    Artist, Engineer, Producer

    Changed My Workflow for the good!

    I am late on the Maschine bandwagon but I am so glad I waited this long and got the Mk2. I wanted to use the unit for a month before I wrote the review to give it an full go.

    To be honest, getting used to the workflow took a minute, but after thorough investigation of the manual, online videos and set-up guides for both Logic and Ableton Live, I have to say it's working better than I ever imagined.

    Being a former studio engineer, I was forced to work with the MPC line for many years. This blows the MPC away as far as ease of use and getting something useful in minutes. The color pads are bright and very responsive to even the slightest touch. I don't miss having to look at my laptop constantly to see what's going on in a session. (Almost) every feature is available via the controller eliminating the computer screen. It is annoying that I have to use my laptop as a dongle now, but, Ce La Vie.

    Integration with my DAWs is seamless and painless. One word on Ableton Live on Mac - your CPU will jump up to 70-80% (a known issue). The seamless integration with all NI products is also a HUGE plus and having every parameter available on the screen is fantastic. I literally have not opened an NI GUI in weeks!

    Don't forget that this is also an amazing MIDI controller on it's own too and comes with templates for popular DAWs and Plugins. Again, great integration.

    I can literally go on for days... Get it. You won't be disappointed!

  • James
    from Ladera Ranch, CA December 5, 2012Music Background:

    Best Production Station I've Owned

    I've had a lot of equipment over the past 15 years. I started making music when I was 20(ish) and this is by far the best thing I've come across for making beats. I was in limbo beween this and the new Ableton Push that was coming out but decided to go this route because the price was good, and the software was included. It's really easy to get into your groove with this device. That's probably the most important thing for me. I hate having to stop/start, click tracks, add new track, trigger the midi controller, then trigger the software controller. This control surface does both, controls the software and the music so doing those things i mentioned above happens on the fly.

    The sounds that come with it are really good too, very punchy. You can make custom drum kits of course, but the stock kits are awesome. So far they've been more than enough. Another cool thing is you can use the program as a VST plugin. So you can go into GarageBand and load the Maschine software and do whatever you need to do in GarageBand (adding basslines or guitar riffs or whatever). I just started playing with that feature but so far it's really cool.

    I don't wanna be one of those people that write crazy long reviews but just know this device will get you into your zone, it's easy to learn (quick start guide and youtube NI tutorials). You won't be disappointed with this device.

  • Sam Patel
    from United States November 23, 2012Music Background:

    Ultimate is Rock Love it

    Machine is Machine no one come closer.I wish i purchase earlier.

  • Jon R.
    from New Orleans November 7, 2012Music Background:
    15 years


    Ive been using hardware since 1983 and have owned some killer synths, drum machines, and samplers. I have always questioned the use of softsynths due to the confusing hardware requirements, longevity of the computer and just dumping a whole bunch of money into software which will be useless once the computer breaks.

    Well, here I am at the recommendation of my Sweetwater salesman, (Greg Savino), with the Maschine MK II. The loading of the software was so easy that a dumb a_s like me loaded and was playing in approx. 10 minutes.

    The Maschine hardware is very well built and it is like using a workstation rather than software. I'm basically doing everything from choosing sounds, sampling, and sequencing write out of the box using the Maschine itself, "not the mouse".

    The sounds and drum patterns are awesome and very eassy to manipulate. The layout of the software is very easy to understand. By the way, I should tell you that I no longer use Cubase as my sequencer, I am currently using the Maschine Software as my DAW and understanding the parameters so much better than Cubase or Acid Pro 7.

    In conclusion I would like to thank Greg Savino for recommending the Maschine MKII and just go out and buy the product to see for yourself. I can not say enough good about the Maschine..

    Buy one now.

  • Customer
    from March 20, 2017


    This is a great piece of equipment for studio and live performance. I'm already blown away after a few weeks. Thumbs up!!!!!!

  • Bennie
    from Memphis TN March 4, 2015Music Background:
    recording engineer....beatmaker

    MK2 Maschine

    When I first opened the box....gear was sleek and the pads are snappy and very sensitive....which is awesome L....it took me about a hour to download the software and about two to download the updates....the Mk2 software comes with some amazing sounds but I prefer to use my sounds...there is a learning curve I will have to overcome but overall its useable but its not my main go to groove production software....propeller head reason is still the best to me

  • Mark Soencer
    from Bear, DE January 21, 2015Music Background:
    Hip Hop producer

    Very cool production tool

    My choice in the early 90's was an MPC60 2. Now just returning to the craft I wanted to try this Machine because is appeared as a futurized MPC. Well it's al lot Different than an MP. Some ways good some ways not. It can do much more. I don't like that it has to be tethered to a pc or laptop but I like all that it can do because it's tethered to a pc. The learning curve is a bit steep. If you put the time in to learn this device you will be able to make amazing music quickly. I'm still learning it. It's not intuitive in some areas so that's one of the reasons why it doesn't get a 5 star but they are listening to the people and software updates continue to make it better. The included sounds and effects are excellent and you have the ability to create your own sounds. My laptop is not the greatest so so goes my performance with Maschine when I begin tox tax it. You will need a pc with good processor and a lot of ram to truly enjoy what it can do. I would love to have this machine doing all it can do but stand alone and rock stable like the MP. That would be the future. Until then I'll be getting a more powerful computer and enjoying this one.

  • Mattsynth
    from Phila, PA July 22, 2014Music Background:
    Keyboardist, Guitarist

    Great, but does not play well with DAW

    Maschine is a very well designed drum machine controller with lots of factory drum samples. It has a nice "hands on" feel. As a stand alone drum machine and sequencer it works great, but as a DAW plugin the built in sequencer is always getting in the way. I wish I could just disconnect there built in sequencer but there is no way of doing that in this version. There are ways to work around this problem but it is a constant pain. With that all said I still think Maschine is the best drum machine controller out there. It is built solid, looks great and most important fun to play.

  • Mack
    from New Jersey May 31, 2013Music Background:
    Lifelong student (house/hip-hop/dancehall/dub...)

    No need to 2nd guess...

    Long story short: fun (especially if you've played simon before), offers a quick intuitive workflow (about 1-2hrs. of fumbling around and you're on your way), expanded possibilities via maschine kits and vst integration. As with all things tech there's bound to be an occasional glitch now and then such as the lack of multi-core capability also pending improvements with slicing and templates (we're all waiting for F1-esque remix deck control w/Traktor). Overall a worthy investment for the money spent, not to mention Sweetwater's warranty just in case. If you're a MK1 owner thinking about the upgrade keep in mind some 3rd party vendors' (Twisted Tools, etc.) templates currently are not recognized as there's no legacy compatibility from MK2 to MK1 generations.
    There's other products out there of which each has its own appeal, however if you're looking for something not to expensive (Akai) or want a bit more functionality ala sampling and vst integration (Arturia), you can't go wrong with Maschine. If cost is a factor get the Mikro you'll be just as pleased minus the extra knobs to tweak.

  • Tyler Wenning
    from Connecticut June 7, 2017

    Love it but starts to act up after a couple years

    awesome controller i love it but after a while the knobs dont work as they should. for example if you turn one of the knobs from 0 to 50 and let go of it, it will jump between 49 and 55. it won't stay on one fixed number. i sent a video to NI, they said its defective but my warranty expired so too bad for me. i know some people who have them that have 0 problems with them. i think maybe because i got the mk2 right when it came out and other people waited over a year after its release so maybe i just got unlucky and got a bad one.

  • Vlada Astral
    from Virginia August 17, 2013Music Background:
    Sound designer, composer.

    Nice tool but issues with Windows 8

    3 starts is not "really good", it is average. Hardware itself is nicely built, buttons are pretty and glowing in the dark, nice response. Serious compatibility issue with Windows 8 and Sonar when using Maschine. Windows 8 not able to boot when Maschine connected to USB port. Computer goes in to restart loop and eventually fails and attempts to auto- repair and reverse system to the best known configuration (that is get rod of Komplete and Maschine. I have try everything. Tech support was usless, not able to resolve it. The files (drivers) on DVD are old- definitely not made for Windows 8. On my other Win. 8 computer that has no Sonar or Komplete installed, it takes about 4 minutes to start Windows, while normally it takes 15 seconds. There is problem with Windows 8 that is not being addressed.

  • Chuck
    from Georgia May 31, 2017

    So far...

    Okay, let me start off by saying that I'm somewhat new to the 'mpc pad' & sampling world. I'm a performer of 35 years, a Pro Tools project studio owner, and all-around musician. I use a few other drum programs - EZ Drummer 2, Superior Drummer, Slate Drums, Battery, & I am a big Native Instruments fan, owning Komplete Ultimate 11 and as far back as Ultimate 8, and now own several Maschine libraries. This unit is good, the pads & build seem to be good quality, and the layout is fairly easy, though I'm still learning my way around.

    My problem is with the Maschine hardware unit itself, as the USB connection is apparently bad, & the lights and readout are whacky. The pads work fine. Sometimes the readouts & colors pull up fine, but most of the time they do not, which is very problematic because none of the control functions work (play, record, start, stop, etc.) Apparently I've seen online that others have had the same problem with the rear USB connector. Not sure if it's software based, or hardware based. Based on what I've researched online, it's hardware based. I don't think everyone has this problem, so maybe it's quality control related. I've ordered a new USB cable to see if the cable was the problem. If not, I'm going to check on a return. Nothing wrong with the software, just the hardware.

    Sweetwater customer service is great! Dennis Konicki is the man!

  • Roger Anthony
    from Los Angeles February 4, 2017Music Background:
    Musician, composer, engineer

    Learning Curve

    Purchased the Maschine several weeks ago and can't say I' m having the time of my life. The Maschine itself is wonderful and a good battery of sounds. When I first installed my library was incomplete and received the emails to complete installation two days later (it was a weekend). However, I know there is a learning curve but the plugins which open in my DAW (Pro Tools 10) or at least are suppose to have proven to not be as user friendly. My Kontakt Player no longer appears, Massive doesn't have a drop down screen that I can find to access the presets and I'm still trying to figure out what Reaktor 5 is suppose to do as it opens but generates nothing sound wise.
    Again, I understand there is a learning curve but as someone who has owned and used IK Multimedia, Reason and Ableton I find NI to not be as user friendly. On a positive customer support has been very good.

  • Beyoung
    from Portland, OR December 10, 2014


    This is coming from the opinion of a MPC 1000 user for over 6 years. I loved the idea of adding several different instruments via software to my gear set up and keeping the hardware feel of a sampler. This thing lacks in several qualities. Although some of the actual sounds are great. The interface is very clunky and not user friendly. The sequencer gets two thumbs down from me. I have also had a very difficult time getting any responses from customer service. Customer service is almost non existent. I purchased some extra software packs over the weekend but one of them was not the software instrument I thought it was but an effects unit. I tried to make a return but N.I. told me that I would need to get a hold of someone in Germany. They also did not respond to any of my support requests. its back to the mpc for me.

  • Jdub
    from Seattle, Wa November 28, 2012Music Background:
    Producer, musician, recording engineer

    Maschine is ok

    The hardware is very light, to light to light as a drum pad controller. Not solid like the Akai Mpc Renaissance. The software has some nice features , if you own komplete 8 which is another 600-900 bucks, this allows you to see all the instruments and presets in the browser. It does have a lot of features after 3 years of updates, took them long enough to get time stretch but its offline and very few stretching options. The Mpc Ren allows overlap chopping pitching individual slices, layering, converting to phrases, touch sensitive q-link knobs, and the Maschine has to many steps and pages to go through and terrible sequencer, its only worth using as an virtual instrument imho.

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