Allow me to preface this post by stating the following; I am not on an “Anti Akai MPC” agenda at this point in life. In fact, I love using MPCs for music production! My favorite MPCs are the MPC2500 and the MPC4000. In general I love the work flow that I achieved with MPC series. After using them for years, it became second nature to use them to create my tracks. I know that people today are looking for a tool that allows us to work in a similar way as the MPC in a digital/software based environment. In my experience, Maschine does not function like an MPC in many regards, but with time you can develop a very organic and inspiring work flow.
The transition process from MPC to Maschine is even more simplified If you can allow yourself to get past how things work on the MPC. Keeping an open mind to new tools is important and can yield tremendously inspiring results. I think that the work flow that I have using Maschine is equally as fun and inspiring (as with the MPC). I like the additional benefit of being able to save all of my instrument patches, sounds and projects on my computer with instant recall. I also enjoy not having to spend a lot of time planning how things with be tracked out to my DAW. Further more, I enjoy the option of being able to process and enhance the sounds using my DAW, or by taking things outboard from my DAW in to the analog world.
I think if you give anything enough time and effort you can become proficient at working with it and eventually master it. The problem is with many people today, they don’t give things more than a few months before they close their minds. They begin to blame the device/software/tool for not having certain features that they once enjoyed on other tools. It really takes years to master our music tools, not just a few months. I don’t think anyone at this moment in time (March 11th, 2011) has had Maschine long enough to really call themselves a “Master”. There are those out there that are more proficient at using Maschine than others, but that comes with the territory of any tool. Maschine is as deep as any other music production tool, if you decide to use it at its full potential. I think I am more likely to use 70-80% of Maschine’s features/capabilities than I would while working inside of a DAW. The limitations of Maschine allow you to more easily create a work flow because options are not as open ended as they can be within a DAW.
I urge fellow producers to dig deeper into their tools and get more use out of the features that are included. It is also important that we develop individualized methods of using our tools, as this too will affect the creative process and the end results of your work. Using the MPC as the basis of how we learn Maschine can cause us to miss some of the important creative breakthroughs that come with learning new tools.
For your enjoyment, here’s a video I did in 2010 working with Maschine 1.5 in standalone: