Sound in maschine


It’s not a NI thing, it’s more like a computer audio thing.

With a single Elektron box, or even with a small hardware setup going through a single mixer, the audio routing and gain staging is really very simple and you’ll end up setting levels roughly optimal almost without having to think about it.

Analogue mixers are also forgiving; the distortion you get when you set levels a bit too high is mostly pleasant and introducing a bit of hiss from adding too much gain at the pre-amps often just adds a bit of “warmth”.

With computer audio, you quickly end up with a much more complex setup that rivals the routing in a multi-million dollar studio. Especially in a modular environment like a DAW or Maschine, you’re effectively doing gain staging at the inputs and outputs of every plugin or processing step in the signal chain.

Digital audio is also much more transparent; you don’t get nice saturation when you push levels and you don’t get hissy warmth when you add too much gain.

As mentioned above, reading up on mixing and experimenting with this stuff really does help.


I started Harware, then ITB (only software), then come back to Hardware (with Live performance wishes)

Learning Mixing ITB as really improve my Analog Mixing workflow… This techniques, focus, precision, EQing, Compression with feedback visual return and tips & tricks, headroom, searching the warmth with tape saturator emulation etc… clearly improve my skills and make my sound way better than 15 years ago.



There is absolutely nothing wrong with the sound quality of Maschine’s sounds or FX and you don’t need to apply mixing skills to confirm this.
Play a single preset from the likes of Massive, Monark, Razor or a Reactor block and compare that with playing a single preset from your A4.
Play the factory projects and you should hear that mixes also sound great in Maschine.
If Maschine doesn’t sound good it will be because there is a problem with your soundcard or the cables to/from your soundcard.
Try running the A4 through your soundcard to hear what that sound like.


Interesting thread! I wonder if there´s anything wrong with your Maschine unit´s outputs or something because the sound i get from mine is absolutely pristine. High volume, punchy, crisp and clear sounding. It sounds almost surgically clean, so a lot of effort is instead put into giving the sound from it a more “warm” feeling…
When i had my A4, in comparison i found the A4´s sound was weaker and sounded more dull and flat than Maschine actually. But hey, that´s just like, my opinion.


I used to have maschine, from 1.2 till 2.3
The new possibilities are amazing
I know maschine very will
And tomorrow i will go back to music store and I will order a Digitakt.

Why: I love instant good sound
And also: because I dont like 10,000 possibilities
And also: because I hate it If i.e. Filters, reverb and delay suck (grain delay is cool though)
And also: because Digitakt is amazing

Sorry for this strange way of thinking
And I do understand it If people love maschine

I prefer one knife that cuts perfectly
Over a knife with 25 tools on it and some of them suck

I hope in the store they will accept my bad idea to buy maschine
They were So positieve about it,
And they are cool and very honest


I honestly can’t imagine what you were listening to if you think Maschine’s reverb and delay “suck”.
I think the newer reverb (there is a legacy reverb as well) and the beat delay are more than a match for the equivalent in the A4.


Ive got a maschine mk3, it’s my first maschine. I’m actually super impressed, NI give you a lot to work with. There may be some nuance lost on me as my monitors aren’t super high end and my studio is currently untreated but I am actually super happy with it as a whole and through cans it sounds great too. I’ve got filters I prefer but it definitely beats the shit out of the MPC1000s filter. I’m deep into NI plugins so I might be a little blind sided by how much integration I’ve been missing out on but I really don’t have any complaints soundwise. Does the digitakt sound that great? I hear so much praise but in the side by sides with OT obviously YouTube compression rears it’s ugly head and it’s never the same as actually using the box.

Also is there any potential you have a faulty unit? This is really the first I’ve seen anyone complain about the sound


That is strange
I love A4 delay, fantastic filters, overdrive (Or Amp Or what is it)

Also A4 rev sounds So good…

Maybe it is taste? Or what can it be?


It’s taste. If you’re not feeling it then return it or sell it.

I don’t mind the stock effects. Actually in my sessions I just slap that solid state series compressor with a 2:1 on the master buss. I drop the threshold a little bit too, increase the attack, and leave the release alone to add punch and glue to my sketches.

The filters sound “clean” but remember you can add distortion/ overdrive before or after the filter to add character. You can even throw a compressor on a specific sound you want to filter with the vintage/ feedback setting on for a little warmth.

Reverb is a touchy subject. But for subtle reverb I think stock effects work.

What have you tried so far in your effects chain in maschine ?


That is a great reason to use the Digitakt instead of Maschine. Can’t argue with that. :slight_smile:


One thing you can do is set up your A4 MK2 as an audio interface and then play Maschine sounds through it. That way you can see if there is some problem with the signal chain or if its just that you don’t like Maschine. I think Maschine sounds good - no problems, but I do prefer hardware. I should add that I’ve recorded samples from my Eurorack into Maschine software and the samples sound fantastic esp when normalized. And of course Maschine has stereo sampling unlike DT.


There will be a reason why we still buy analog synths, otherwise we would all be crazy to spend thousands of euros for something that can be replicated with a few hundred euros (assuming people buy the software). Surely there are vst that sound great, clean and ultra detailed that for certain sounds are perfect, but if we seek that warmth, that character, that full-bodied sound, rich and harmonious, there will never be software that can replace analog synths, because it is this we are talking about, electricity flowing in the circuits against a series of 0 and 1 that can only simulate it. It 's like seeing a sunset on a rock, with the colorful sky and the reflections of the sun on the sea at that moment, live, and then see the same scene in a video. We see exactly the same thing, but which one is more exciting?


Don’t forget the A4’s FX are digital.
I am not sure that there is any particular warmth, richness or harmonics in my A4’s sounds that I can’t find in a VST.


I am not an expert
I Just make music

Yesterday I repackaged my maschine and started to make music with my A4 only
And I love this So much
So… thats why I make my decision

I dont know Why, I Just know that I hear and feel the difference

On the other hand; as mentioned
Maybe its not fair to compare a 500 € vst that does It all; with a 1400€ hardware synth that is ‘only’ a synth

I think I prefer the way locks are implemented over the way scenes are implemented on the rytm


Focus on Sound only, Feel how the sound take shape between two hands… Programming playability on the sound and experiment how the sound react to it. All of that without too much preparation, mapping, disturb…

it’s so convenient. with Focus you can be so efficient and make in one afternoon what you probably make in days on the computer for huge amount of reasons. (for all those who are distracted easily)

And when I say “Focus on Sound only”, better if you separate processes with multiple gears… You can say on Morning I will focus on Drum Design… I take the RYTM, put it on a table, 2 hours after Boom you’ve design New Drums and nothing else … it’s all about that… Efficiency and Focus.

(Sound Quality is not really the main argument to me because with skills everyone, everywhere with anything can get results and people won’t be able to say it’s software or hardware… maybe experienced musicians would be able to ! … not sure … but anyway they are not the main target of the music… so …)


The reason is emotional. It simply feels nice to use something you know has an analogue signal path than a digital model inside.

I am convinced that people won’t be able to identify what’s analogue and what’s digital at a higher-than-chance rate when you run a double-blind test between let’s say a Prophet-5 and the Repro-5 plugin, or between an SH-101 and an SH-01A.

It’s also not true that digital is inherently cheaper to develop and manufacture than analogue. Good digital models take a lot of time, effort, and money to develop.

For example, the Deepmind-12 is less expensive than a System-8.

Finally, a big reason why analogue synths are currently popular has more to do with the excellent ergonomics of a one-knob-per-parameter interface than with the way the sound is generated.




I’m not an expert either, but what I notice is that virtual synths suonds flat, cold, and uninspiring at all. and to make them sound decent there is too much work to do and this kills my creativity even further


I don’t think it’s really in that regards but the process is different… I see what you have in mind :wink:

For me :
Apart from learning. Finding the setup that suits us, making us efficient and not being fooled by new features that could improve our musician’s life is one of the most dangerous processes for the musician. The best in terms of efficiency are those who, once found their setup, stops and produce pieces like a factory would produce clothes.


Just use sampling to record A4, then sample some more A4, create drum sounds on the A4 and play it to your recorded melody. Learn to cut and EQ, you can quickly create songs with this method.