Maschine Vs. Push (Comparing Workflow, Pad, UI/UX, Sampling & More!)

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Did you know drums have been around forever? And by forever, we actually mean forever, since they were invented ever since mankind came into existence.

You will come across several ancient drawings with drums in them, as these instruments were perhaps the most popular among musicians back then.

Apart from making music, drums were also used to make announcements and as a sign of celebration.

However, thankfully, drums now are a lot different than how they were in the early years.

Now the diaphragm or the tom-tom is not the only thing that forms the instrument’s beat. But numerous components come together to give you the best that you desire.

One of the essential components is the drum controller. Since a drum is the most important part of a band’s rhythm section, it needs to have the best controllers, two of them being the Maschine MK-3 drum controller and the Ableton Push 2 drum controller.

So, here the question arises, Push-2 vs. Maschine Mk3, which of the two is a better option?

Choosing between the Maschine MK-3 drum controller and Ableton Push 2 drum controller is complex; however, we will ensure it is not that hard either.

With an easy guide and a product breakdown, you will be able to pick the best drum controller on time. Let’s discuss Push-2 vs. MK-3 for a fair comparison.

Maschine MK-3 Vs. Ableton Push-2

If you are planning to invest in a new drum controller and have been on the lookout for a while now, you most likely have landed on these two stellar models, the Maschine MK-3 and Ableton Push-2.

Most music professionals, including producers and band players, are often confused between these two due to their wide variety of features and functions.

Apart from hardware, it is imperative that you also compare the software, so you know exactly what you are working with. Many experts will agree that Ableton Push-2 is a fully-featured, comprehensive, and mature model.

It is also constantly improving, providing better service to its users. But there is a lot more that you need to know before making a final decision.

Let’s take a look at the most important features when deciding between Maschine MK-3 and Ableton Push-2:

  • Software
  • Hardware
  • Scale
  • Easy of use
  • Melody
  • Soft keys
  • Chords
  • Arpeggiating
  • Sound
  • Sampling
  • Projection of sound
  • Sequencing notes
  • Touch strip
  • Mixing
  • Locks
  • USB power
  • Macros
  • Mapping parameters
  • Arrangement

Now let’s dive deeper into the details of these components and compare all the features.

Hardware- Maschine MK-3 and Ableton Push-2

Both the Maschine MK-3 and Ableton Push-2 have similar desktop prints, but the latter is two inches wider, so it is understandably the bigger one.

The build quality of both models is also pretty high. But some difference exists between the designs.

The Maschine MK-3 has a sleeker, more modern look compared to the Ableton Push-2. But overall, very few details differentiate them look-wise, primarily depending on personal taste.

Both the Maschine MK-3 and Ableton Push-2 have premium-quality full-color screens but of different shapes.

The Ableton Push-2’s thin, long screen performs best when used to tweak and slice samples in the Simpler since the entire audio waveform is displayed across the sleek screen. The taller Maschine MK-3 screen is better for long, virtual mixing faders.

Pads- Maschine MK-3 and Ableton Push-2

Another feature that is almost the same in both the Maschine MK-3 and Ableton Push-2 is pads.

Both models have great-quality pads that are responsive and feel great. The pads offer customizable punch backlighting that makes them easier for the user.

The major difference between the Maschine MK-3 and Ableton Push-2 pads is their sizes. The Ableton Push-2 has smaller pads, but they are four times as many in number as the Maschine MK-3.

Therefore, the latter is a better finger drummer and more suitable for MPC-style pad jamming.

However, Ableton Push-2 is not too far behind. Its extra pads offer the user a wider variety of sound ranges to work with, especially when playing melodic music or step sequencing.

But the hip-hop fans, as well as the classic MPC workflow audience, should incline towards the Maschine MK-3. Overall, the pads on both the Maschine MK-3 and Ableton Push-2 are excellent quality and will not disappoint.

Input and Output- Maschine MK-3 and Ableton Push-2

The Maschine MK-3 and Ableton Push-2 boast the optional power supplies, meaning they can run on USB power solely; however, you will need plug-ins to the mains for maximum brightness from the pads and screens.

The drop in the brightness is more significant in the Ableton Push-2 than the Maschine MK-3 to the extent that you will want to plug in Ableton Push-2 whenever possible.

Furthermore, the Maschine MK-3 also features a built-in audio interface, basically a 2-in and 2-out affair. Thus, it is unlikely to replace your current studio interface. But it surely makes the Maschine MK-3 a lot more self-contained.

You will also find MIDI I/O on the Maschine MK-3, which is unavailable on the Ableton Push-2.

Performance- Maschine MK-3 and Ableton Push-2

Another feature that is quite similar between the Maschine MK-3 and Ableton Push-2 is performance. The Maschine MK-3 and Ableton Push-2 have exceptionally tight control over their associated software.

Sampling, beat-making, and other creative endeavors are what they do best, but features like arrangement control and mixing facilities also outperform expectations.

The main argument ultimately comes down to the software. Although the Maschine MK-3 has a deeper production environment, the Ableton Push-2 works better as it is a fully DAW-featured model with audio recording and editing; both these features do not work as excellently in the Ableton Push-2.

Value for Money- Maschine MK-3 and Ableton Push-2

The Maschine MK-3 is cheaper than the Ableton Push-2. However, it comes with the full Maschine application and Komplete Select, which includes Monark, Massive, a decent amount of Kontakt instruments, and various other solid effects.

The Ableton Push-2 is also compatible with Live Intro, but you will have to upgrade to Standard at least, if not Suite, to make it work on practical grounds.

According to users, you may need to shell out more for the whole Live Push experience or even buy a basic DAW for hosting a Maschine MK-3.

Maschine MK-3 VS. Ableton Push-2

Next, let’s talk about the pros and cons of the Maschine MK-3 and Ableton Push-2.

Maschine MK-3

Pros

  • The Maschine MK-3 comes with a click encoder, making it easy to use.
  • It also has a global swing across all patterns and gives you access to the master swing when you turn the knob.
  • The 4 x 4 pads are among the best ones as they have great sensitivity and outperform several in their category.
  • The color-coding individual pads are also an added benefit of using the Maschine MK-3.
  • The Maschine entire sound library and browser are also included in the package.
  • The color screens on the Maschine MK-3 come with it.
  • The main encoder on the left is a great feature for left-handed users.
  • The controller editor gives users freedom for all the DAW features. You can also control the Maschine plug-in and maintain your control on the Reaper alongside.
  • The Maschine MK-3 boasts just the right brightness, as told by most users.
  • The sample editing that Maschine MK-3 offers is unlike any other as it is fast and works great.
  • The sample-slicing feature on the Maschine MK-3 allows the user to slice a piece into a new group, pad, or within the current group. Unlike Ableton Push-2, Maschine MK-3 gives you this option.
  • With the Maschine MK-3, you have access to the full software.
  • Maschine MK-3 allows you to hot-swap even without a mouse easily.
  • The Maschine MK-3 comes with a built-in interface and has MIDI ports.
  • The Maschine MK-3 consumers lesser CPU power.
  • The Maschine MK-3 features JAM integration and can set pattern length before you record a sample.
  • You can load instruments on a pad within a group with 16 instruments per group. Strings, sub-bass, Rhodes piano, bells, dubstep wobble, synth lead, plucky mallet thing, all are inclusive features. It also comes with five different instruments, AB kits, C, D, E, F, G, and H for sample chops.

Cons

  • The Maschine MK-3 does not allow recording of mute automation at group or sound level or recording an arrangement with it.
  • Arrangement limits. 
  • The time signature of 4/4 only. 
  • The step sequencer is not up to the mark unless paired with the Maschine JAM.

Ableton Push-2

Pros

  • The Ableton Push-2 has better slicing as it is faster. 
  • It has better scale/ note modes. 
  • The Ableton Push-2 allows better warping. 
  • The Ableton Push-2 has a better session view.
  • It has a good step sequencer, offering the user to edit notes right from the Push hardware. 
  • Allows for real-time clip recording, especially for animation and graphics. 
  • It also allows color tracking, showing the user exactly where they are.
  • Features an 8 x 8 grid along with scene-launching.

Cons

  • The default devices seem to be overwritten, a problem that arises when dragging samples to Drum Rack. The user has to drag the sample into the Simple waveform window, skipping the pad.
  • Sample chopping can be quite a task as the user needs to constantly drag the sample to the waveform section, unlike dragging it to the usual pad section.
  • The Drum Rag is another issue, as users report it keeps lagging.
  • Requires extensive mouse work.

Conclusion

While the Maschine MK-3 is what all the modern software and tech lovers need with its I/O technology and versatility, the Ableton Push-2 is what the DAW fans would want. The latter is an excellent live controller, which gives you great depth.

However, the Maschine MK-3 has a superior workflow, better pad sensitivity, and a focused UI/UX function, which allows users to create streaming musical areas.

It also has a built-in midi along with an audio interface and can be used with USB power, unlike the Ableton Push-2, which works with a power adapter.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Ableton better than Maschine?

Many users recommend the Ableton Live and Push two over the Maschine models since they are more flexible. The Maschine software and hardware are considered more limited in comparison.

Is Maschine better than MPC?

The Maschine MK-3 is considered a better option when it comes to software inclusions as it has better control, while the MPC controller is a standalone instrument.

What is Maschine good for?

Maschine is a better option if you are looking for software inclusions and a modern look. It allows you to form program beats, melodies, and loops by tapping pads merely as the software component does the rest.

Is Native Instruments Maschine good?

The Native Maschine is a great hardware option. However, you cannot make a complete track on the Maschine SW, nor can you use it intuitively with DAW. The NI is a safe option when considering plug-ins, sound, and hardware.

Is MPC better than Maschine?

The biggest advantage to MPC is that it is more versatile than a simple drum machine and outperforms Maschine in some features. You can use MPC as a live instrument and make real-time beats. It offers a real hands-on experience, offering a studio-like feel.