Posted 20 hours ago

Native Instruments Maschine Mikro Mk3 – USB MIDI Controller Drum Pad with 16 Pads and Massive, Monark and Reaktor Prism Softwares. Includes 1.6 GB Keyboard Factory Selection Samples

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Although not a thing of paper, the manual is a rare treat, its clear instructions given from two perspectives: hardware and software. Maschine runs stand-alone or under a DAW host, and to make the best use of available screen space, each of its sections can be folded neatly away.

It's pretty versatile, whether you're building complex instruments using its key and velocity zones or simply dragging in a long sample to be triggered. Banging in tunes, bass lines, rhythms and so on proved to be hugely addictive, so it's a good thing there's plenty of Pattern space: each Group can hold up to 64 of them. It encompasses a selection of world instruments and Abbey Road drums, plus strings taken from the Vienna Symphonic Library. Mikro was designed to enable making music with a laptop a simple endeavour, so you can concentrate on the quick creation of your own music.The Macro controls were quickly assigned to Predator functions of my choice via the 'learn plug-in parameter' option. Finally, the Step mode builds beats and patterns with the 16x pads in the style of a classic step sequencer. The addition of a Smart Strip provides new ways of playing with MIKRO by sliding fingers across the strip its possible to strum and bend sounds, and get creative with effects in real-time.

But the new Mikro model seems to pay homage to the spirit of Akai’s MPC by reducing clutter and eschewing unnecessary doo-dads (for the most part anyway). Nearly all of the important functions are accessible by using the buttons and encoder knob on the device. The MASCHINE software can be used standalone, or with any DAW, meaning that MIKRO fits easily into any music-making workflow – all while costing significantly less than previous generations.

Naturally, the effects can be assigned to Macro controls and automated, and if you have a hankering for external processing, up to 16 stereo outputs are provided. Native Instruments Maschine Mikro is the perfect first step for music producers already using a DAW to get hands-on with their creative process, letting them tap out beats and melodies, and quickly build up loops and track ideas.

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