When i was writing the title to this insert, I could not help but to chuckle. It’s almost like why would you compare the two? Well, although the Native Instruments Maschine MK1 is considered dated, ecspecially with the release of the colorful Maschine MK2 and now the new flagship, Maschine Studio. Alot of us NI Maschine users started off on the MK1 and decided to stick with it even once the MK2 came out. Good thing some of us did. Most MK2 users are scratching there heads right now. Probably feeling the finacial preasure this hobby or profession of ours can apply. With the Maschine Studio’s hefty price tag of almost one thousand dollars, its not an easy decision to go out and buy it right after purchasing the MK2.


Maschine Studio comes packed with new features within the hardware. The obvious size increase bullies the Maschine MK1. New buttons arranged on the hardware reduce the amount of “shift+” commands and dedicates buttons for most commonly used functions making for a swifter more streamlined work flow that we’re just unable to achieve on the MK1 or MK2. It really took a while for me to learn all the “shift+” commands on the MK1. For a while I did not know how to stop the sound that was playing (shift+mute), which is still the command to silence a sound on the Maschine Studio hardware. So needless to say there are still some “shift+” commands. A “jog-wheel” located on the right hand side of the new hardware controls alot of commonly used functions as well. It controls tempo, swing, pitch much like the control knob on the Maschine MK2 and also serves as a cursor when browsing through libraries. No more push button browsing. This rotary dial type mechanisms flies through libraries getting you to the right sound in a flash. The Maschine MK1 and MK2 utilized the knobs to sift through libraries which was ok, but the jog-wheel is more ideal dextarity wise.


Identifying different sounds on the pads couldn’t be easier with the color mapping. You can assign different colors to each individual pad making it much easier to locate a particular sound in the group. I know this can also be done on the Maschine MK2. The first Maschine you almost always had to check your computer screen to see what pad you put that bass note or snare on. With color pads we don’t have that problem anymore. You assign a color to that bass note or snare and you have no trouble finding that sound on the fly. The Maschine Studio is well illuminated. Nice and bright for live performances in dark night clubs, or late night home studio sessions. The two massive led screens help with that. Two all color Amoled display screens that help you navigate throughout the the software without having to lay eyes on your computer screen. The smaller displays on the MK1 and MK2 also served the same purpose, the MK1 just in a duller, gloomier way. It was almost more pleasent to look at your computer screen rather than squinting at the Maschine MK1 displays.


The huge size of the Maschine Studio is understandable, and will probably just be a home unit for me since the portability is just not there. And the fact that it needs to be plugged into the wall now in order to power up those lovely screens. So would I get rid of my MK1 or you, (your MK2) now that we have the Maschine Studio? NO!!! The Maschine Mk1 has just become the best portable device for me. It fits in my bag along a pair of headphones and my laptop and thats all I need with me when Im feeling inspired on the go. The MK1 still serves its purpose and gets the job done just fine. Its alot lighter than the Studio and does not need to plug into the wall. It will be a great starter beat maschine for my children and it will be a classic piece of hardware in the future. Without the MK1 to make improvements on, there would be no Maschine Studio. So it’s not a matter of which is better. Both serve the same purpose. Its just a matter of whether or not you wanna get rid of it in order to replace it with the Maschine Studio.

Well Known Tone


  1. S@nd3m0n1um says:

    Awesome introspect, this is definitely been a hot topic in the community as a whole. I think I will wait though to see if there are MK2 customizations coming to the Studio. Honestly You’d think this would have been the standard once they crossed the barrier with the MK2.

    I am also looking to see if the screen will have touch technology, as, it has already been implemented with the IMaschine for IOS. Until then…I patiently await a reckoning.

  2. Richpmusic says:

    Great blog. For me I love the Maschine software enough to upgrade it, but can’t really say the Maschine Studio unit made me want to up $1000, especially being one of those people who just got the MK2 6 months ago. The pricing for it to me is debatable, considering technically all I’m seeing is dedicated buttons vs shift functions in the MK2. I know with me glancing at the computer screen and using the mouse is not that big of a deal ( computer LCD screens way bigger lol. If Maschine is your only production tool and no other DAW, I can understand the market price. But for me I Still use Ableton a lot to finish tracks. Don’t get me wrong the Maschine Studio is a gorgeous piece of gear and you can’t deny the near flawless integration. For me it came down to price vs features, upgrading to the 2.0 software is a steal, though I waited to buy before I overhauled my system. The minor inconvenience of having to look at the computer screen and learn the functions on the MK2 with the new 2.0 software is not that much of a pain to me, considering sometimes a mouse click can be quicker than some function done from the software. Whether you have the Mk1 or Mk2( mikros included) upgrading the software is most essential. This is in no way meant to discourage people from the Studio, these are MY reasons why I haven’t upgraded from the MK2, not saying I won’t upgrade, I’m saying I won’t pay $999 lol

  3. T_Co says:

    Good Article,.

    my thoughs on this are at first I was one of those that didn’t believe the hype when the MK 1 came out, i was skeptical and somewhat hurt a little because it meant that My MPC had competition and i was gonna have to spend more money.
    i tried to fight the fact that what NI were doing here was as revolutionary as when the MPC was launched initially as in it (Maschine) changed the game.and it did.
    I haven’t looked back since i coped the MK1 and love every aspect of it – but when MK 2 came out, i thought NI kinda cheapened the hardware a little with the colour scheme – i wasn’t impressed and didn’t buy the mk2 .and i have no complaints with the software at all
    Now the studio is here, its a big step up from the first two units & its not that much different from MK 1/2 but IMHO, it just looks like a big Mikro with a new case and colour screens,which may appeal to some cats,but to me tho, maschine is a portable unit,comfortable in any situation,as long as you have a laptop your good to go.
    the price tag, the size of the unit and the power supply all led me to the decision to keep my dough in my pocket and not buy maschine studio.

  4. scorpio16 says:

    This was a good piece for those on the verge of gear lust to meditate on. I sold my MK1 to help fund the MK2 purchase, no regrets except that I lost template functionality of some TwistedTools items (which I hope the v2.0 upgrade might fix). As a friend of mine was amped to get the Studio (I told him to stop bugging me for tips and join the site), I personally just couldn’t justify the purchase at this point in time. Besides I’d rather focus on truly developing muscle memory with the MK2 as I intend to approach it the same way as learning an instrument like a sax or bass. My goal is to get as close as possible to the point where labels/tags are used at a minimum.

  5. peter kelly says:

    i just bought Maschine studio without ever having any NI expierence b4.. after 2 days im flumoxed.. i can make beats but i cant make groups or patterns… do u have any videos for beginners using maschine studio ??

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