The Mikro is the last in the Maschine series to receive an update. Gone are the white buttons and bezels and instead it’s all sleek and black and understated – except for the circus of 16 colourful pads on the right.
Maschine Mikro MK3
And that’s not all. The screen has been reduced to something much simpler to give room for the new Dual-touch Smart Strip. The screen on the earlier Mikro was only ever useful as a browser so this makes sense. The Smart Strip lets you slide your fingers about to strum instruments, bend sounds and use Perform FX.
The 16 velocity sensitive pads are larger and let you input data in four ways. Firstly in regular drum pad mode, then as a melodic keyboard in Keyboard mode or program in some chords in Chord mode. Finally, there’s sequencing in Step mode. There are a number of classic groovebox style features such as swing, pad link, note repeat and MPC60/SP1200 sampling emulation.
But all the action happens in the Maschine software. Currently at version 2.7 you get the same software as comes with the bigger Maschine hardware. This gives you an on-screen browser, sampler, mixer, editor, arranger and pattern creator. It includes 25 pro-quality studio and creative effects including filter, EQ, delay, reverb and compressor. It comes with 1.6GB of Maschine library including full versions of Massive (not Massive X) Monark and Reaktor Prism. You can add in any of Native Instruments other products or library or start an upgrade journey to Komplete.
Maschine Mikro MK3 is slightly smaller, lighter, USB 2.0 powered and cheaper at £199. A very portable beat making solution that looks really good in the updated form. The Maschine software makes it a music production solution all by itself. The software seems to lag behind the hardware a little bit but I’d imagine version 3 isn’t too far off. Mikro MK3 should be available for MacOS and Windows 10 on the 18th September.