I finally picked up Native Instruments Maschine last week and have spent all day today working on a remix so that I can learn how it works. I’m not going to review it just yet because I’m still getting my head around it all.
All I can say right now is “MY BALLS!!! THIS SHIT IS DOPPPPEEEE!”.
You always take a gamble when you buy new gear. This is particularly so when you buy complex gear like samplers and midi controller interfaces and software etc. So far, Maschine has been awesome. I’ll do a gear review of it in the future when I’ve mastered it a bit.
However, my experience with Maschine so far is bitter sweet. I’m actually legitimately saddened. The reason for my sadness is this: I can see Maschine coming to replace my MPC2000XL for the majority of my production. That is seriously heart wrenching for me.
I bought my MPC2000XL in about 2000/2001 when I got my first proper job. Since then I must have produced well in excess of 1000 beats on it. It has never faltered or caused me any issues. It has travelled thousands upon thousands of kilometres with me.
Perhaps people who aren’t producers wouldn’t understand but the truth is – you build up a relationship with your music making equipment. Sometimes these bits of circuitry and buttons are your only respite from all the bullshit that is happening in your life. If I had a bad day, I always knew that I could go into the lab, fire up the MPC and forget about all my problems for a little while at least. And you come to know ever little function, feature and quirk of the gear that you use regularly. It really does become like a friend.
It’s not mere nostalgia talking here. There is a genuine sadness.
However, the MPC2000XL does have its limitations and they are limitations that are now limiting my ability to keep up with the demands of my production cycle. Primarily, the fact that I mix in Logic (and the MPC doesn’t interface with computers like Maschine does) means that I spend far too much time bouncing individual tracks out so that I can mix my beats.
I’m about to move my MPC2000XL to the small “ideas table” in the corner of my lab. This is the place where I leave stuff to use irregularly whenever I’m looking at changing my workflow and generating some new ideas. I’m going to put Maschine here in front of my iMac as my primary production tool and sequencer.
Just know that I do it with a very heavy heart.