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Maschine (standalone/plugin) vs. Ableton with Push 2

Discussion in 'MASCHINE Area' started by themixtape, Jan 9, 2020.

  1. themixtape

    themixtape NI Product Owner

    This is a novel. Please read the whole thing.

    I've got to say... not digging the Push 2 very much.
    I was hell-bent on returning it to the online retailer I got it from, but changed my mind when I started dabbling with Ableton, more. I enjoy it a lot, but feel that Ableton ignores nearly every complaint and feature request. NI can be slow, but they added a lot of stuff we requested, over the years. And fixed a lot of complaints. More on that, a little later.

    Roadblocks I reached with Push 2 and things I hate:
    • You can't hot-swap samples in Simpler or Sampler. Unless the mouse is involved. Which defeats the purpose.
    • There is no support for Arrangement View. Zero. The notched tempo encoder could easily be a jog forward/back (by measure, or Global Quantize setting), with SHIFT or SELECT.
    • The browser never remembers where you were, whether choosing a device, or a sample loop.
    • Yeah, you can create custom presets for the devices (and default settings when inserting one), but, how the hell does one create a default preset for "Convert To Drum Pad" (from an audio clip in Session View, or in Arrangement View)? No way that I can tell.
    • It seems that a lot of useful things that could and should be done from the controller, cannot be done from the controller. Such as, changing something on an entire Drum Rack. There is a SELECT button, and yet... it only selects certain things. You'd think when you hold it down, it would say something like Maschine's screens--- "SELECT ALL", "SELECT NONE" and also give the option to hit pads to select certain ones, and not select others. Why is this feature not implemented?
    • You need the main power supply. It's just better with it. You can use it without. But why would you, in general.
    Things I hate about Ableton Live 10.1.6 (newest version):
    • Default devices are overwritten when dragging samples to the Drum Rack. Even when you have a default "Dropping Samples... On Drum Rack" preset. You drag to a pad in Drum Rack... bye. You can have an empty Simpler in there, and you have to drag the sample into the Simpler waveform window, not the pad. Why not the pad?
    • Why is sample chopping (manually, hip-hop-style) such a pain in the butt? Let's review the fastest way: You create a default Drum Rack with an empty Simpler. On this Default preset, set your chain to "Choke 1" so every time you duplicate a pad, it retains Choke 1 (useful for MPC-style chopping, and Maschine, too). Maybe you created a couple Macros out of the 8, for entire-rack Transpose (useful for chopping soul records), and another for Filter Cutoff. You save this entire Rack (Drum Rack / Simpler / Drum Rack Macros, and Simpler's Transpose and Filter mapped to the Drum Rack Macros) as a default preset, maybe called "Chopping". Great.......... now, drag a sample in. Oops, you dragged it to the pad, as you've been trained to do from countless Ableton videos and dabbling with Ableton Lite off and on for years. Now your Simpler doesn't have the default settings you love, because it's a fresh instance of it. Oh, and your Macros aren't mapped, anymore. Undo. Ok... try again. Ok, dragged to the waveform section. Good. Let's drag another sample. Oops, you dragged it to the pad again...
    • In Drum Rack, when you have Auto-Select enabled... holy crap LAGGGGGGGGGGGGG. There's just so much lag.
    Things I like:
    • Slicing. Ok. This is one area where Ableton shines, by and large. And this could be the ONLY good selling point, with Push 2. The only one. Guess what-- Maschine's been able to do this for a couple years before Push 2 came out. And wait... slicing is faster than with Ableton... it totally is faster. Speaking of...
    • Scale modes/note modes. Beautiful. Launchpad Pro's been able to do this since Push 1 (2013). and Launchpad Pro is $550 cheaper than Push, and basically comes with the same version you get with Push 2. Less tracks, but basically the same damn thing. You know what else can do this (scales/notes)? Maschine 2.5, from around the same point in time. But hey... Maschine's got diatonic Chord Mode. Ableton doesn't. Ableton has a Chord effect, which is crap, because it's not diatonic. Diatonic chords: music to my ears (get it)..?
    • Warping. Yeah, it's still good. And has been around since version 1.0. It's still good, and it's very useful (quick tip-- Reaper can easily warp any audio you drop into any track, and in my opinion, the time-stretching algorithms just sound better.)
    • Session View, and all the stuff down the left side (same stuff as Launchpad Pro). Fixed Length is also dope, but not needed as you can pre-populate your Session View with empty clips of all length (and name them that very length, too, if you wish, just to avoid confusion). And just overdub into them (which is like recording for the first time).
    • Step-sequencer, and being able to edit notes right from the Push 2 hardware (where they are, how long they are, velocity, etc.). Like Maschine's hardware editing (Events view), it's a little clunky, but it works and that's a really nice thing.
    • Real-time clip-recording view. I like the animation and graphics as it zooms out as the clip length increases. It's oddly satisfying.
    • Track colors, showing you exactly where you are. And, the moving line when in Session View, showing you which tracks are playing (without looking at the grid).
    • the 8x8 grid and Scene-launching (what Ableton was initially designed for and is STILL what is best at)... but hey, guess what... Launchpad X has 8x8 too ($199)... Launchpad Pro ($249-299 new, $180 used)... Launchpad Mini MK3 ($109)... any older Launchpad ($40-90 used usually). And you get Ableton Live Lite for free with all of them.
    But.... that's about... it?

    Things I love about Maschine (MK2, MK3, and Studio):
    • The click-encoder (main one)
    • Swing is global across all patterns, and easy as hell to get. Want master swing? Turn a knob. Done. Sounds great.
    • the 4x4 pads are the best out there, period. Best sensitivity, best EVERYTHING.
    • Color-coding of individual pads (from the hardware, too!)
    • The Browser and Maschine's entire sound library. ENTIRE sound library.
    • The color screens on MK3 and Studio.
    • The left-placed main encoder on MK3 and MK2 (i'm lefty-- strongly prefer this over Studio).
    • The Controller Editor, giving us freedom for ALL DAWS.... insane, insane freedom. Ask me about my Reaper control surface project, which heavily focuses on having Maschine MK2, MK3, and Studio control Reaper, with the utmost workflow. And bonus-- you can easily control the Maschine plugin inside Reaper WHILE controlling Reaper. Easily.
    • MK2 and MK3 on bus power--- BRIGHT and JUST the right brightness.
    • Sample-chopping (oldschool)... nothing. is. faster. Repeat. NOTHING. is. faster.
    • Sample slicing. Does exactly what it needs to do. Love how you can slice to a new group, or a pad in the current group you're in. You get the OPTION, unlike with Ableton.
    • You get the full software. You get the FULL software. And it works as a plugin.
    • You can save from the hardware (after initially saving, with the mouse/keyboard)
    • You can easily hot-swap, more or less... and it works like it should... without the mouse.
    • the built-in audio interface and MIDI ports on MK3
    • the MIDI ports on Studio, MK2, and MK3
    • It uses WAY less CPU than Ableton. One Ableton Kit, "Feat Pete Kit" uses 12 to 13% of my CPU, with no other tracks active. Thirteen percent. The computer (Windows 7, 64-bit) has 32GB ram, quad-core 2nd generation i7, with a 500GB SSD and full HD display. Really? Thirteen percent?
    • JAM integration. Ideas View with Jam.
    • Ability to set pattern length before recording one.
    • Instruments can be loaded on a Pad, in a Group. 16 Instruments per group. Sub bass, rhodes piano, strings, synth lead, dubstep wobble, bells, plucky mallet thing... or, load a single Instrument per Group, and enable Keyboard/Scale mode. Typical dope hip-hop Maschine project: Group A&B (kits), C D E F G (5 different instruments), and Group H for sample chops.
    What I dislike about Maschine:
    • Arrangement limitations.
    • No way to record mute automation (group or sound level) or perform/record an arrangement with it, like with the MPC
    • Time signature 4/4 and only that.
    • The step-sequencer is.... blehhhh, unless you pair it with Maschine JAM.

    I had to get all this out of me... why people prefer the "complete awesomeness that is Push 2" is beyond me. Complete awesomeness is an exaggeration. You still have to do a lot of mouse work. A lot, to put a track together. The videos, so many videos.. "why you need a Push 2"... "Push 2 is a game-changer..." How come so few exist of Maschine MK3? Though what I did notice-- there's a lot of great "making a song/beat with Maschine MK3" and A LOT LESS with Push 2.

    How to make a basic song/groove in Maschine

    Maschine... start it. Browse. Get a kit or two, a few instruments, and chop up samples EASILY, all within 15 minutes. Try the same with Push 2. And feel that lag when you INSERT AN EMPTY TRACK.

    People at this NI Maschine Area forum.... you and I have complained about countless things over the years. But we've also praised a lot.

    When you really look at it.... when you really look at it... objectively..... Maschine is the winner, between it and Ableton Live. People praise that Ableton has Arrangement View and Maschine doesn't. Great. A linear arrangement is what every DAW has had, even 1998-era Cakewalk Pro Audio. Maschine as a plugin (assuming your routing is how you want it)... boom. There's your linear timeline. With the plugin, not only can you record MIDI right into the DAW (without using Maschine's timeline/ruler or transport), but you can also record patterns right into Maschine... bounce them out to MIDI, bounce them out to audio... the options are endless, when it's a plugin.

    The options aren't as endless with Ableton. The only easy way to perform a set with Ableton is to stick to Session View and keep the instrument playing and finger-drumming decently simple/easy. You can go nuts with Maschine standalone, performing-wise... and pretty much do anything.

    Here's another compliment about this very forum, and mods like D-One, and others.... we ask about something. They respond. Every single time. Official NI people respond, sometimes. Things are addressed, acknowledged. Agreed upon. "Yes, we will add this functionality" or "it's on the list of things to possibly add", etc.

    Have you visited the official Ableton Forum? Even the Push discussion? Hardly anyone responds there... a lot of people are jerks, and with so many complaints... sometimes threads don't even get any replies for years. We're talking since like 2014 or 2015, 2016. Maybe one reply. Then crickets. How.... discouraging.

    Someone on Reddit responded to my "Push 2 needs updating, bigtime" post earlier tonight... saying that maybe these products are designed for people who truly don't know anything about music or workflow. When I look at the $130 I spent each month for 3 months for my Push 2 ($400 invested already), and $400 more to go over the next 3 months.... I think to myself, "is this worth it?" Because most of the time, I don't think it is.

    What I've used with Ableton since before buying Push 2 a couple months ago: Launchpad (original), Launchpad MK2, Launchpad Mini, Launchpad Pro, Launchpad X, Launchkey Mini MK3, and Launchpad Mini MK3. I had fun. A lot of fun. Then I thought.... "maybe I should pull the plug on Push 2."

    What I should have done is literally pull the plug on the idea. Not pull the plug on a purchase.

    I hang onto Push 2 because I also use Reaper a ton, and thanks to Jurgen Mossgraber's DrivenByMoss script... I get a ton of use out of Launchpad Pro (for Reaper), and the Push 2, and those beautiful track scribble strips which let me part with my Mackie Control Universal. Push 2 makes for a great scribble-strip MCU-style thing, for Reaper. Really nice. And it's got some strange Session View-type stuff... not as perfect as Ableton's, but certainly usable.

    But seriously.... $799 with Ableton Live Lite (ahem, Intro)... really?

    Please, chime in with your thoughts. I know you got 'em.

    Once again, thank you to NI, for Maschine, for the plugin, for the Controller Editor, for the work. Once we have a proper Arrangement View / Song Layer, Song-Mode-what-have-you (hopefully in the near future)............... game. f---in'. over.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2020
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  2. JesterMgee

    JesterMgee NI Product Owner

    I prefer to wait for the movie, but I am sure the critique reviews will be entertaining.
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  3. basehead617

    basehead617 NI Product Owner

    I agree with your entire post 100% both pros and cons of each.
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  4. themixtape

    themixtape NI Product Owner

    Thanks. I mean, I try to really shoot real when it comes to this stuff. Always real talk. I buy all sorts of gear... try it out, read to see if things are possible when I bump into them... then when they're not possible, it drives me crazy... especially with how quiet the company remains, when important things are brought up.

    Just makes no sense. But anyway.... Maschine is still awesome. Please NI, give us Song Layer / Song Mode / Arrangement Mode... something. Recordable mutes... just like how Session View works... pleaseeeeeeeeeeee.
  5. ShelLuser

    ShelLuser NI Product Owner

    So, for the record, I consider myself a Live diehard, for me it's the center of my home studio which brings everything else I use together. I also own, and seriously dig, Push 2. I'm also a Maschine enthusiast and for me Push 2 + Maschine Mk3 is the ideal combination.

    Can I get a signed copy somewhere? :D

    I really enjoyed reading this, you make some very interesting and on-the-spot comments. Now, I'm not looking for a discussion but because you raised an interesting question I think it's only fair to respond to that... also: sorry if I share stuff you already knew, but... I wanted to make sure.

    This can also be done from Push; both track & clips can be colored. Simply go to session mode, hold shift and click either a clip or a track, then select the color you'd like.

    When I bought Maschine 3 I quickly realized that Komplete could be used to "back up" and provide more contents. I think you can imagine how I felt when I discovered this feat for myself (it's always different than reading or watching a video). In my home studio the Maschine quickly became the "main access portal" into Komplete for me. No joking: sometimes I can get more creative with 16pads vs. 64pads.

    When I finally realized the potential and functionality of the controller editor I too was flabbergasted. Especially since I had this cheat sheet which showed me what MIDI signals I could use to control some of Reason (= other DAW I also like). I'm trying to set up a map for it ;)

    Also: Push2 can be used without a power supply as well, though I've read enough stories that it's not exactly ideal.

    And finally... a fixed recording length is also possible with Push2.

    It depends on context. Before we had Push as the official Live controller we had the APC40, and I can assure you that there's a huge difference between the two. And yes, Push is definitely the ultimate Live controller considering all the things you can do with it (edit: 'out of the box').

    It depends on workflow. I've set up quite a few full projects while using nothing more but the Push and seriously: it can be done. Trick is to make the things work for you, and not the only way around. Know the limitations and work around them or use other alternatives / approaches. It also helps to know Live inside out (for the most parts anyway).

    And once again: context is key here. For my home studio the Push honestly was a major game changer (edit: especially after having used the APC40). Of course, same can be said about the Maschine & Komplete... holy... :eek: (edit: I am honestly impressed to see how well the entirety of Komplete fits into the 'Maschine workflow'; add Absynth 5 (= personal favorite) to your Maschine project and you will be able to control most important parts from behind the Maschine controller as well, and 'out of the box'. For context: editing a so called Ableton "rack device" (= key element for Live usage!) from behind the Push? Not going to happen....).

    Quantity != quality.

    Still, my take? Because it takes time to master the Maschine. Live is somewhat straight forward, a rather simple interface which gives access to some pretty complex workflow. Push fits that workflow like a glove. When I started using Push for the first time I was already quite familiar with Live and as a result I could find all the basic functions I needed without ever bothering with a manual or having to search for these options. (edit: Live embraces the "KISS principle" which basically falls back to "Keep It Simple, Stupid" which makes things very accessible).

    Maschine was a whole different story. Because there's quite a difference between using the controller and just the software. Sometimes these changes are logical (like coloring a pad or group), but in other cases it can add up to confusion. Especially if you can find the same function within different areas (for example: in the software you need to go to the mixer section whereas on the controller you have to press 'pad mode'). That last example is very confusing for a newbie, especially since the controller also has a mixer option. (edit: and in all fairness: I can also come up with examples where Maschine (the software) lacks in comparison to regular daws... that is also a part of my "unfair comparison" opinion).

    And then there's this myth that the Maschine is a blackbox. I know fully well how that came to live, I experienced it myself while I was new, but it's simply not true. (edit: yet it still keeps popping up time and time again.... see: there's a reason for that too, and that's something to focus on IMO).

    I think you may want to double check your hardware because I never experienced anything like this. Both Maschine & Push respond in the same snappy and quick way. (edit: trust me: I've worked with some seriously big projects, my "gadget project" being the most notorious).

    I have to kindly disagree.

    No offense intended, but in my opinion all those comparisons about "Push vs. Maschine" (edit: or the other way around) are plain out dumb and utterly stupid because they fail to recognize the powercombo that's in front of them. Not to mention that it's an unfair comparison from the getgo; different tools for different jobs. There's a reason why Maschine's default is a 1bar loop whereas Live defaults to an indefinite length (but you can change that (edit: for both)).

    In my opinion one isn't better than the other. In fact, put these two together and oh my word... you'll get one heck of a power station at your fingertips :cool: I've been using this combo for a few months now and seriously, I don't want it any different anymore. (edit: to get the most out of Live outside Live you'll want Push, and to get the most out of Maschine you'll want a (full) Maschine controller...).

    See: the thing I wholeheartedly agree with in your novel ('edited') is that both environments have their pro's and cons. So guess what? Why not use one's pro to fill in for anothers con?

    Talk is cheap, so...

    Context my friend... it's not just the arrangement view. It's the option to dump material into your session view, play with that material and then record all that stuff into your arrangement, thus "automagically" creating that arrangement.


    That's also my example I hinted at above. I simply add Maschine into this workflow. The main difference is that the midi data isn't stored as clips in my session view but as patterns within the Maschine software. Who cares? If I need to then I can roll over and have full access to this material from behind the Maschine controller.

    I set up my percussion and back up (bass and such) on Maschine, I record all the things I need (even modulation) there and when that's done I hop over to Push and start working on the rest. When I then start playing and recording I'll have a full arrangement in no time. With the only difference that I need 2 points to control and work on my material.

    I'm a veteran there and yah, I agree that it's not all milk & honey. But meh... plenty of helpful people around and I can honestly say the same about this forum. It's not as if we get an official response from NI themselves here all the time either ;)

    In the end nothing is perfect and you'll see complaints and stuff everywhere. Also... as cliche as things sounds 'what works for me doesn't have to work for you', something which more people should IMO realize or at least think about.

    Anyway, here are my thoughts. And once again: thanks for posting. We definitely don't agree on some things but who cares? I enjoyed reading your post because you make a lot of sense (a lot of things are simply true) and I always enjoy the opportunity to read up on other peoples experiences and opinions. Especially when it's more in depth than the usual "it sucks" kind of comments.


    (edit: typed from bhind my laptop, I'll proof read & fix typoes when I'm back home later. (edit: done! :cool:))
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2020
  6. macchinista

    macchinista NI Product Owner

    Ableton Live has reached hype escape velocity. Everybody seems to be using it these days. I also use it from time to time, and I've had Push but sold it for some of the reasons mentioned in the OP.

    For production work, it is hardly the best tool out there imo.

    For live performace (its original purpose), I find it cumbersome as you can't have multiple sessions open so If you are performing for a long set, you need to cram all your material in one giant session with loads of clips and you hit the CPU wall quite fast. I find an MK3 paired with a Jam a more enjoyable experience in that regard.
  7. D-One

    D-One Moderator Moderator

    Well... Even though there's is a solution for a couple of your "cons/roadblocks" overall I agree, not that push is bad or overpriced or anything of that sort but it simply isn't for everyone.

    Push2 is amazing but it's indeed designed with mainly Session View (and performance too) in mind so offers little to no value in the Arranger, it's very dependent on the mouse/keyboard because it's goal is not really to replace the computer peripherals, Ableton is not trying to please the "I dont like computers / looking at screens / using mouse" old crowd, they embrace it as they should given their history. Maschine is sort of the opposite, with an "if it cant be done from the hw then you cant do it at all" philosophy which can be both a gift or a curse. There's no middle ground between the 2 options: Advanced with limited hw control VS Basic but with full hw control.

    I sold my Push2 mainly because I would use the mouse more often than the controller and I am not really a Session View kind of guy.

    What people tend not to realize is that this is the price to pay when you make a dedicated controller for an Advanced DAW, there's no way in hell the user will be able to do everything from the controller... maybe when push reaches it's 5th version or something, if ever because I am pretty sure the majority of Live users dont mind using the mouse for a lot of stuff, at least Ableton in this regard has a clear path of who they aim their sw/hw too while NI is all over the place trying to please too many people IMO.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2020
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  8. themixtape

    themixtape NI Product Owner

    Good points, all... yeah. It's just a bit annoying for me, running into limitations with everything I use... hardware, software, plugins, midi assignments, etc. It's hard for me to get back into just "finishing songs" with all these options and configs. haha. :)

    re: the lag, I experience the same lag I see in videos on YouTube. Push is decently quick, but it's not instantaneous... it's never been lightning-quick when doing anything when the screen has to redraw something.
  9. Goon

    Goon NI Product Owner

    No problems using push or lag as you put it here.
  10. JesterMgee

    JesterMgee NI Product Owner

    There will always be some limitations to everything, the trick/skill is learning how to manage these and press on.

    I've used DAWs since '95 and if you want to talk limitations, use a Tracker without any plugins or hardware whatsoever and see if you can manage to drill out a few hundred songs in a couple of years. In all honesty it was probably easier as there was literally nothing to get in the way and no gear to lust over. Actually, the mouse wasn't even used, just keyboard shortcuts and text input for everything. I don't think most kids could even get a sound out let alone produce anything in a tracker these days.

    Comparing Live and Maschine is something that is done time and time again and although they are similar in what they do at the core they have completely different workflows and goals like comparing a guitar to a violin, both have strings and make noise.... Maschine was designed directly with the hardware/software in tandem and basically, without the hardware it's not a very inspiring experience and I feel there are even some things you cannot do without the hardware, so much so that NI don't "officially" even offer Maschine as software only because it doesn't make much sense. However, Live was designed 20 years before the hardware and had countless devices to control it but was always capable of being used without any limits without hardware at all, trade off is it doesn't integrate with its own controller as seamless as some would expect.

    I can always agree that Push does have some limitations, so does Maschine and Komplete Kontrol and everything in life. This is why it is sometimes desirable to use multiple products for different tasks when one feels the need. When it comes to arrangement I have learned over time that a mouse and keyboard is just traditionally easier and faster to get things done. I have never thought either was "bad" at what it does or "better" than the other. They are different beasts and you can say it like "each has problems and limitations" or "each has benefits and features that are great". Depends how you like to view life.

    I think people want/expect too much in everything these days. They want their controller to be a groove box, sampler, DJ performance tool, instrument, sequencer, arpeggiator, drum machine, library browser, sample manager..... And easy to use with 1 hand. Things need to be instantly "fun" and cater for everything in every way and what we lose is the ability to just think for a second and work with the limitations at hand instead of using it as an excuse and seems people's creativity is so fragile nowadays that the thought of having to go from controller to mouse "just kills the flow man...". There I was 30 years ago spending my days repairing a tape recorder so I could sample an old upright piano onto cassette because I wanted a better sounding piano sample at the time and had no easy access to internet.

    It's strange there's this mantra that one must be able to produce, mix and master an entire album on a computer without touching the mouse or the expectation is that a controller should offer 100% of the functionality. No sooner will all that be possible and we will be reading the next novel on how much slower it is to do everything on a hardware platform and how much quicker a mouse and keyboard use to be.
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  11. themixtape

    themixtape NI Product Owner

    I remember trackers. Never used them. HATED them. Way, way too difficult for me to understand anything about them.

    Been there with the tape recorder stuff, too. Definitely.

    And yes, people expect every device to do everything. And nothing can.... but, you'd think these important functions would at least be considered and added, after four years of it being released, and that it was at version 2.

    Main thing is... just like you said-- it (Ableton) doesn't integrate with its own controller as seamless as some would expect.

    That's my main complaint.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2020
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  12. themixtape

    themixtape NI Product Owner

    Doesn't it feel slightly "laggy" though, like compared to Maschine hardware and changing screens? We're talking like 1/4 of a second or something... it just feels laggy to me. And my computer is way more than powerful enough to run it and everything else. I know Push 2 uses the graphics card (more so with Mac, I think)? But even then, I have a 2gb Nvidia in my laptop.

    Redrawing waveforms when editing Drum Rack samples... especially when auto-select is on.... that's where I experience the most of it. And changing tracks, when there's an instrument on each track... redrawing of whatever is needed on the screen seems to lag slightly. It's not instant and I don't know why it feels so sluggish.
  13. JesterMgee

    JesterMgee NI Product Owner

    Ha, yeah they are akin to almost programming but in all honesty, you learn a lot of the basic fundamentals of sampling and structure using trackers. Even software like FL takes a page from how the pattern system of trackers worked. Buzz Tracker was the $hit after I upgraded from FTII and the first introduction to VSTs. Still, it takes a certain skill set and persistence to master that scene but does make you appreciate what we have available now far more as well as how to manage limitations and problems instead of letting them halt your progression. A skill that is being lost with each younger generation.

    Yes, but as I stipulated, your experience isn't the same as others. For instance, I feel it is a valuable tool and does a lot of things that make it much quicker and easier to automate, program beats, develop chord structures and get ideas down, just like Maschine. Only when I switch to arranging, I record a performance and then move into edit mode. I never expected nor would expect it to be able to fully edit everything and operate with Live perfectly in every way. Just as I don't expect to be able to do complex arrangements and compositions in Maschine... I certainly wouldn't expect to put a score together in Maschine for instance.

    Just like video editing, you can get something like an MCU which offers a lot of quick edit features, scrubbing etc but you still need a mouse and keyboard to do a lot of the edits.

    Maschine you still "need a daw" (in many cases) to get half the things done and finished.

    Hey, so it's not for you, That's fine. Were all different, I for one would say I can get a lot more projects finished and polished in Live (300+) compared to Maschine (0) but i'm not going to say Live is a winner just because I have 10 years of experience with it and seldom really use Maschine for much, because Maschine gets other things done for me and offers a different approach to creating something even if it's just a more fun way of mangling some beats to get me inspired.

    Find what works for you and stress less about what doesn't.
  14. themixtape

    themixtape NI Product Owner

    Haha, never said Push 2 wasn't for me. I still really enjoy it. I just wish some things would be addressed (just like Maschine). :)

    300 completed songs in Ableton vs. zero in Maschine? That sucks... I'd say finished Ableton stuff (in the last 10 years I've used Live Lite off and on): 7... haha. Maschine? Zero. Though I love making simple beat ideas with it. Reaper: over 150 completed tracks.

    It's all so fun... all of it

    And yes, I agree with you...
    "Find what works for you and stress less about what doesn't."

    I know. But this ADD brain never stops thinking/worrying/wondering....
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  15. skinswashdc

    skinswashdc Well-Known Member

    Agreed. Are Reaper/Ableton your primary DAW's? What features do you find the most important in a DAW?
  16. themixtape

    themixtape NI Product Owner

    I would say Reaper more so... but I do like Ableton a lot.... I just wish those small things could be tweaked.

    Features most important... good question. Customizability. That's why I love Reaper. You can midi-map buttons and encoders to functions of your DAW... control surface or not, Reaper has a ton of actions that can be assigned to anything, including combinations of actions... it's nuts.

    Ableton's Session View is a huge strength of it. Reaper has Playtime plugin, but the developer has basically abandoned it, sadly. It's not as dope as Ableton but functions much of the same way. Thankfully, without Playtime, Regions (in Reaper) allow for session-like functionality. Like everything else, you can midi-map a Launchpad X or something, to trigger 64 regions ("scenes" if you will)... and they'll stay in sync by bar, or until the end of the region playback, depending on the Reaper preferences.

    So in a sense, Reaper does a LOT.... more than most DAWs.

    Ableton's Drum Rack is nice as is the slice-to-MIDI track feature... but, Maschine as a plugin can do the same thing, just as easily. And with an easier-to-read screen/display.. bigger GUI.

    So, customization/customizability... lightweight install (Reaper wins here, every time)... Track Templates (the most useful thing EVER... again, Reaper)...

    I'm not a huge fan of scripting with Reaper but it's nice that it supports it. It's just that with scripts, you need people to walk you through step by step usually, which is a pain. But certain Reaper scripts really add a lot for me.

    I wish Reaper came with a slew of "bread and butter" instruments, like Logic does. Even with the little graphics. It's just so handy, and immediate... and that's one of the reasons people love Logic.

    Ableton's stuff is nothing to look at at all (instrument-wise), but oddly, it uses a lot of CPU when you have a bunch of tracks and Drum Racks loaded. I wonder why.

    But yeah... I dunno. Reaper ticks a lot of the boxes. But writing quick clips/experimenting with loops etc. in Session View is insanely fun... and piecing it together as an Arrangement... I usually export the audio from Ableton and bring it into Reaper, so I can mix it there.

    How about you? What are your most-needed features in a DAW?
  17. themixtape

    themixtape NI Product Owner