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Maschine Studio vs. MK-3 (BEST for Production and Live Performances?)

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You can compromise on a handful of features when buying a product, such as its looks, overall aesthetics, and filter quality. However, an instrument’s controller is not one of these factors.

If you get an instrument, such as a piano, guitar, or drum, with a poor sound controller, you are pretty much done even before practice begins.

Models like the Maschine Studio and MK-3 are what have entirely transformed the markets. Both these units are professionals’ favorites and are always in demand.

With the Maschine Studio and MK-3 by Native Instruments, you can never go wrong, as they will give you the sound and intensity that you desire as long as you know how to set them correctly.

The Maschine Studio and MK-3 have changed the game for Native Instruments in the best way possible. Both are excellent models that will give you exactly what you are looking for.

But what is some good and genuine advice about MK3 vs. Studio and Maschine 3.0? If we are considering Maschine Studio vs. Maschine MK3, which one is the winner?

Is Maschine studio a standalone unit, or does it need more software and hardware to work with? How did Native instruments Maschine achieve so much with their products? Time to find out!

Native Instruments- the Maschine Studio and MK-3 Creators

Before we learn more about the products, let’s find out who the creators are and what they really do to understand the products better. Native Instruments came into existence over 20 years ago.

Since then, they have been at the heart of musical innovation, ensuring to launch a product, unlike others.

Their audio technology has revolutionized the music world, transforming it into a theme never seen before.

With the Native Instruments products, music producers make better music and create new horizons for professionals and amateurs alike. At Native Instruments, the belief that music has boundaries doesn’t exist.

A part of Soundwide currently, Native Instruments’ mission is to bring such music to life that is more joyful and inspiring.

They aspire for their products to make music that is a melody to the audience and help beginners and music enthusiasts find their creative flow.

Apart from Soundwide, Native Instruments is associated with iZotope, Plugin Alliance, Sound Stacks, Brainworx, and other music experts.

Their collective vision is to empower music creators to reimagine the future of music and express themselves through it.

Offering the finest music creation ecosystem and world-class audio, Native Instruments incorporates modern techniques into their software and hardware.

Native Instruments hardware is used by over 1.5 million creators every month as one of the largest and most influential music technology companies.

From first-time producers to repeatedly award-winning artists, Native Instruments has left a mark in each of their lives.

The products released by this reputable organization have carved the way for new genres and given a push start to numerous successful careers.

For a mere idea, eight out of ten songs streaming on the Billboard chart feature instruments by Native Instruments.

From dancefloor music to gaming soundtracks, from the world’s favorite Netflix shows to hit songs, Native Instruments has been an essential part of all of it.

The digital services, software, and hardware by Native Studios offer fully integrated solutions for producers, musicians, and DJs across the world for all genres and experiences.

The world’s leading production suite, KOMPLETE, is a product of Native Instruments.

Moreover, MASCHINE, which we will discuss in the following sections, is another performance instrument featuring intuitive design.

TRAKTOR is another range of classic DJ equipment that Native Instruments proudly manufactures that allows creators to mix four-deck pro-precision possible.

Each of these series is compatible with numerous performance tools and helps form a magical spectrum of music for the creators and audience.

On the horizon is the KONTAKT, a more open creative ecosystem. It is a powerful engine for playing and creating various sounds.

NKS is another integration technology that connects Native Instruments controllers to other instruments. With their products, you can experience a wide variety of effects, sounds, samples, and loops.

These platforms are currently helping several small businesses thrive and reach their full potential.

The community at Native Instruments is among the largest, made up of audiophiles and creators. They provide music makers with genuine feedback, help, motivation, and inspiration that they need to keep going.

From tutorials, workshops, and active online forums, the community at Native Instruments is there for everyone.

The Native Instruments’ Largest- Maschine Studio

The biggest in the Native Instatements’ Maschine family is the Maschine Studio. It is a large device that eliminates the need for a keyboard and mouse.

However, some users may need a mouse for practical uses, but the good news is that the interface is highly workflow-friendly.

The Maschine Studio is an all-in-one controller as with it, you have complete hold over all the software in the studio connected to it, and you can pretty much operate everything.

With its two large built-in colorful displays, you can see what default settings are on and what changes you need to make.

Mainly, the Maschine Studio has the following features:

  • 432 x 350 x 58.5 inches
  • 3.2 kgs
  • Two full colorful displays
  • 16 high-quality multi-color illuminated pads with an aftertouch and touch response
  • Two extra large high-resolution color screens
  • Foot pedal input
  • Eight endless rotary knobs
  • Eight multi-color group buttons
  • Navigational jog wheel
  • Komplete 12 select
  • 8 GB Machine Factory Library
  • The set comes with the Machine 2.0 software along with new drum synthesizers

Its new characteristics and features include the following:

  • LED meters
  • One jog wheel with an LED ring (30 steps) that allows fast browsing
  • A great number of useful buttons with various functions
  • Three midi outputs
  • 58 click buttons
  • Lower CPU usage
  • Built-in tripod
  • Improves groups, cues, and routing

Several reasons will propel you towards buying the excellent Maschine Studio. If you are a fan of its typical workflow, you will surely enjoy its 2.0 update.

However, you will have to consider your budget as it is the most expensive but advanced model of the Maschine family.

The Maschine Studio also comes with a built-in tripod that enhances the classic Maschine functions. The large LED light shaped like a ring wheel is also built-in. It can be sued to search through the software.

The built-in LED meters are another added benefit that lets you keep your eyes on all the Maschine Studio controls instead of the screen. 

Maschine Family of Products

The capabilities of the Maschine family series are quite remarkable. They are pretty much identical as all make use of the Maschine 2.0 software.

This software can be used either as a plug-in within the Digital audio workstation (DAW), such as Ableton Live or Login Pro, or as a standalone application.

In its contemporary state, the debate is that if the Maschine 2.0 can be considered a DAW itself since it still lacks a few of the editing and deeper audio recording features that you expect from a classic DAW application.

However, it ticks most of the boxes for it, including the ability to export and arrange songs, host third-party AU and VST plug-ins, and apple effective processing.

The Maschine application makes use of a variety of Kits and Patterns. The former is a collection of about 16 sounds, each of which can be a loop track or one-shot sample, a synth, or a product of a multi-sampled instrument.

On the other hand, the patterns are sequences that make use of these kits, forming either melodic progressions or step-wise rhythmic grooves.

The patterns can then be altered into longer arrangements with master effects and automation.

Pretty much all the Maschine setups can work for live performances, either by playing the controller’s pads or making sounds with finger drumming.

While the former act like a melodic instrument or sound-manipulating means, the latter makes a trigger sound.

You can definitely curate magic in the form of music if you learn to use the Maschine family products, including the Maschine Studio and MK-3, correctly.

The key difference between the controllers and their interaction with various software will then exist.

Native Instruments High-Speed Instrument- the Maschine MK-3

Native Instruments knew exactly what they were doing when they crafted the Maschine MK-3. It is high-speed hardware, a successor of the MK-1 and MK-2 models.

It is a tightly regulated device ideal for use in the studio, live, and similar settings.

According to experts, it is among the best releases by Native Instruments as it finely integrates all the data put into it and features the latest updates in the Maschine family of Native Instruments.

The MK-3 is also known as the core controller since it forms the hardware range’s center point.

The Maschine MK-1 was the first version of this series. It had a significant number of changes that several drum computers of its time did not have.

Therefore, it gained a lot of popularity and was integrated with better systems. Ultimately, the Maschine MK-3 came to life with numerous innovative and advanced systems and continues to run successfully.

The Maschine MK-3 is a diverse device with MIDI and USB controllers. This means that you have an entire production station along with a reliable audio interface.

You can produce with this time or supply its software starting from A to Z. Since you will find pretty much everything on this device, you can leave out your keyboard and mouse.

The Maschine MK-3 also has a built-in audio interface with 96 kHz frequency and 24 bits. Unlike the previous versions, its design is very striking with prominent colors.

It also features a high-resolution screen showing you what is happening within your controller.

At just first glance, you can tell Native Instruments has taken its time making the Maschine MK-3 as its designs speak for themselves.

The buttons and all the techniques behind them have also improved to a great extent. The buttons seem more tightly placed and seem to be working effectively.

Similar to the Mikro, the Maschine MK-3 also features a smart strip, which is sensitive to the touch.

You will find this highly useful for steering effects and pitch bending. The construction and connections of the Maschine MK-3 are two other improved features.

Instead of plastic, the Maschine MK-3 boasts a metal bottom, making the device a lot firmer. Furthermore, the connections include two large jacks and another direct headphone jack.

You will even find a microphone input jack. This will turn your external audio interface offside instantly!

All in all, the Maschine MK-3 is a middle point between the Maschine Studio and Mikro in terms of price as well as functionality.

The Maschine MK-3 has the following features:

  • 320 x 301 x 41 mm
  • 2.2 kg
  • 16 velocity sensitivity pads
  • Eight touch-sensitive rotaries
  • Two high-resolution screens
  • 4-directional push encoders
  • Smart strip
  • I/O: 96 kHz, USB, 24-bit audio interface with two 1/4th inch line outputs
  • Two 1/4th dynamic mic input
  • Stereo headphone output
  • 1 x MIDI in
  • 1 x MIDI out
  • 1 x footswitch
  • Maschine 2.0 application
  • 8 GB Maschine Factory Library
  • Komplete 12 select


While both the products, the Maschine Studio and MK-3, by Native Instruments, are excellent products, they have some differences that suit various musicians and audiophiles for various reasons.

The MK-3 has an audio interface and some dedicated knobs that give you direct access to some features.

In comparison, the Maschine Studio has a jog wheel and dedicated volume controls for sound, master, or group settings. It also has a wider variety of controls than the MK-3 and comes with a large inbuilt stand.

The Maschine MK-3 also has bigger pads, but they are less sensitive than the ones on the Maschine Studio, and so the former needs more force.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Maschine Studio Standalone?

The Maschine Studio can be used without any hardware connections. However, it is an integrated system requiring a combination of an instrument and compatible software.

The Maschine Studio is basically an MK-3 with recording, sampling, Wi-Fi, Ableton link, and other capabilities. It can be used as a standalone.

How do I use Maschine MK3 with FL Studio?

To do this, launch the FL Studio and add Maschine as the instrument plug-in. Then go to options, MIDI settings, and select Maschine controller in the output section.

Do the same in the input section and change the controller type to Mackie Control Universal. Next, click enable, and you are all set.

Does FL studio work with Maschine?

The FL Studio is compatible with Maschine once they are both connected.

Can you record vocals on Maschine MK-3?

The Maschine MK-3 allows the user to record anything and add it to their project. You have the option to record vocals, a tambourine, a guitar, and much more.