Starting off in production: Groovebox vs Keyboard?
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  1. #1
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    Default Starting off in production: Groovebox vs Keyboard?

    I plan to use Ableton Live as my main DAW, and am coming at this mainly from the DJ side of things, so will be mainly working with loop based music, and am not musically trained, but want to get back into doing re-edits, and creating my own house/techno tracks.

    I was thinking of getting the new Maschine Mk3 when it comes out, to jam with and use the pads to play in notes/chords/loops, but someone suggested to me that I would be better off starting with the Komplete Kontrol S49 Mk2, as that is better integrated with Ableton Live.


    Eventually I would like both, but I can only get one to start with.

    What do people here suggest?

  2. #2
    Tech Wizard
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    Another option could be Maschine Jam which has a really good integration with Ableton Live.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by therushisloud View Post
    Another option could be Maschine Jam which has a really good integration with Ableton Live.
    Having done some more research, I am starting to lean more towards Ableton Push 2, as integration with Live is as good as it is going to get, and using the pads to play notes/chords in as well as jam with loops seems like I could do away without a separate keyboard.

  4. #4
    Tech Wizard
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    If you aren't tied to Maschine products I would highly recommend the Push 2. I have one and love it. As you said the integration is the best amongst any controllers since it is made by Ableton. I do enjoy using the pads to play notes and chords as well as programming beats and chopping up samples. However I am finding myself wanting an actual keyboard to play alongside it. While the pads are good for getting down basic ideas for notes and chords, I am finding it's not as easy to play as a conventional keyboard.

  5. #5
    Tech Mentor Chael's Avatar
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    for easy intergration with live push 2 is the way to go (although I may be biased having never used machine and being a push 2 owner). Push 2 literally does it all and then some. If you have the cash go for it

  6. #6
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    OP -- Don't get a keyboard, this is a mistake I made back in the day. Would have been way better off with an Akai MPC versus the expensive korg triton I had at the time.

    I'm an Ableton and Maschine guy. I think your best bet is Ableton intro w/ the Maschine Mk3. You need ableton to do your edits because it's nice to work with a linear time line - where as Maschine forces you into patterns and scenes which can be annoying to work with especially if you're trying to do a remix - you need a DAW like Ableton/Logic etc to lay out the original material - then with machine you start adding your own parts. Maschine mk3 looks like a great buy for a new comer especially if you also need an interface - the Mk3 has one built in. Plus the sounds that come with it are awesome and if you want to expand into Komplete you can get a nice deal as maschine owner.

    If you have an interface then Jam is the way to go. Works quite nice w/ Ableton. Also very budget friendly

    My workflow is to do parts or most of the track in Maschine, then exprt to ableton for finsishing touches.

    You may find this helpful
    Maschine software only overview

    Here's a recent track mostly done all in maschine


    Here's exactly what I mean where I did my own bootleg to the old 90s tune EverybodyEverybody.

    I used Ableton to time stretch the "rock a pella" version up to 123 BPM, then used Maschie to make my own drum parts


    Good luck!
    Last edited by ericlouis; 09-21-2017 at 08:58 AM.

  7. #7
    Tech Mentor
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    If you're a keyboard player, maybe look into a smaller key-controller. It doesn't have to be brand new or expensive. I bought my Line 6 Mobile Keys at a swap shop for $40. I grew up playing piano and for me it's MUCH easier to test out and fiddle around with melodies and chord progressions. Additionally I like having at least 2 full octaves rather than the 1.25 you get with the standard 16 pads. Throw that together with a Maschine and your set. There are TONS of instrument sounds and VSTs such as Massive and others bundled in with Maschine. This gives you the benefits of a "groove box" as well as the ability to play your tunes and ideas into life.

  8. #8
    Tech Guru Patch's Avatar
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    Push.

    Especially if you're using loops. You'll be cutting/pasting/navigating more than anything if you're using loops.

    In fact, you could probably get away WITHOUT a midi controller. Mouse + Keyboard shortcuts is surprisingly powerful if you just take the time to learn your shortcuts.

    If you're desperate to "play" notes/hits (?) I'd grab a nice pad controller (Akai MPD or similar). Both Push & Machine are more than midi controllers (they're bother integrated interfaces for specific pieces of software), and buying either of them could actually hinder your learning of the software if you're not already familiar with it...
    DJ'ing: 2x1200MK2, DJM 850, Dicers, F1, Zomo MC-1000, Sony MDR-v700, i7 Win 10 HP Envy
    Production: Ableton Live 8 and a mouse, Sennheiser HD400, Sony VAIO

    Click HERE to D/L Free Tracks from Soundcloud!!!
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  9. #9
    Tech Guru the_bastet's Avatar
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    If you got the budget, get a Pioneer Toraiz SP16
    - Equipment - Audio Technica ATLP1240's, Allen & Heath DB4, RekordBoxDJ
    - DAW - Cubase 9 Pro, FL Studio

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