Machinedrum Mki (non uw) vs Midipal for midi sequencing

From an engineers view i would be embarrassed working for Ableton and being unable to put it right in the 9th version…… but thats just me.
I noticed the wobbly timing after i used the Cirklon for a while, playing the same patterns it simply won’t groove the same way - triggering exact the same LXR or ProCussion

More embarrassing even regarding the fact it calls itself DAW and regarding the price, too. I do not dare to state this loud, as i really hate it, but even Protools does MIDI better and sticks to the standard…

I would instantly buy it + one of these new blinkenlightcontrollerthingies if it was engineered right. Its like a Maserati with a LADA Diesel Engine.

The worklflow isn’t that bad, but when it comes to MIDI it is still lightyears beyond Logic and Cubase. And now that AVID is in the boat, things won’t get better.

My point here is not that everyone should use it or that you should go out and buy it right now. My point is that it can in fact be used to drive external MIDI gear just fine when you’re aware of the limitations that come with it.

Live probably doesn’t make sense when all of your sounds come from external gear and when you do all your mixing on an external desk. In that case it’s probably better to use something else with better support for all the nice things you can do with MIDI.

@fcd72 As a software engineer I’m well aware that you have to set priorities for what your app will and won’t do. Live initially supported audio loops only and was clearly marketed as such, so there’s no shame in not having full-on MIDI support from day one. If it feels “wobbly” to you then you obviously shouldn’t use it.

@dogma Simply put, when your external MIDI device seems to have trouble keeping up with your CC automation, try to draw something like:

instead of a line segment like:

@fcd72 Rocket science has lost to photo sharing a long time ago. :wink:

I am disappointed that Live’s MIDI implementation isn’t as full-featured as it could and should be. Then again, I’m also disappointed that most of Roland’s 80s gear I like so much uses SysEx instead of CC for parameter changes. My point is that I’ve decided to accept its limitations and use it for what it can do.

I do not agree that — in its current version — timing of outgoing MIDI events is an issue.

I have latest used 8 - hopefully they did some homework. If they manage to have it synced tightly to outboard gear i might give it a try…

Regarding Roland Gear. Yes its inconvenient but its 100% MIDI compatible :wink:

Its pretty clear from the fact at version 9 that they havent implemented these really basic requirements for a DAW - midi timing, what @thijs has just tld me I didnt know, wont handle sysex. Ive heard its because of how the base code was written and Lives origins have changed almost 180.c is that the “dont have to stop the sequencer and eleastic audio” I believe it is extremely HDD intensive. But I also heard before 9 that because they couldnt fix these things they were going to re-write what needed to be and 9 was going to be a near rebirth. Well it wasnt nearly that. Anyone interested in Bitwig?

Luckily there are lots of plugins for max4live, vst and au on the mac side at least that handle the sysex bridge. I would like to see sysex more in the app, but considering it took 9 versions to get dual monitor support I wouldnt hold my breath. Not seeing the timing complaints either, which makes me real paranoid about my innate sense of timing :smiley:

YES SIR…at least really curious about it plus it runs on linux :]

Theres a little piece inside of me thats scared i wont be able to blame live for my shitty programming! @thijs - you are totally correct about accepting it for what it is - which is what ive done thus far by comminting most things to audio but I want to be able to use the external midi device as was intended - I was trying to flatten a subphatty part to audio yesterday and it said it was waiting for the instrument to be silent and it kept going thorugh these cycles until I cancelled them and it did he conversion - this is a new live 9 bug Ive encountered. It does this whenever I flatten an anushri, shruthi, moog - it doesnt matter.

@herrprof A reasonably simple thing they could do would be to stop filtering out SysEx messages so that you can at least create max4live devices that accept and/or generate SysEx messages. I’ve emailed Ableton about this and even though they obviously won’t promise anything, they’re aware that this is a simple fix that could benefit people using max4live heavily.

My favorite way of working around this limitation involves writing little scripts using node.js since it has a very nice and well-performing wrapper for the RtMidi library, making it very easy to add virtual MIDI ports.

Guys I found a md mkii uw for $650 with psu and fully working - whatcha think?

@Dogma That sounds more like it! Is it a +Drive model?


Incidentally, I don’t think anyone actually answered the question of whether the Machinedrum would make a good sequencer for external MIDI gear. I’d have to say ‘no’, to be honest.
Much as I love my MD UW Mk.II , sequencing other instruments isn’t really what it’s good at.
The real fun with the MD comes from using parameter locks to tweak the internal sounds on a per-step basis.
Also, to send MIDI out on one channel, you have to sacrifice one of the 16 channels for internal sound playback.


No +drive unfortunately. Toneburst your the first to answer my questio thank you. P-locking external midi gear is surely a blast and Ive seen a bunch of modulars driven by the MD… Im damn impressed with the LXR though. Soundwise Im not sure which I prefer… May have to get both! But if I can nail this MD I can obviously flip it easy if it doesnt hold up

I love my MD for sequencing everything.
But it can be hard work if you want arps and that. But thats why i got a midipal too. But now im learning an Octatrack as well.

got it guys! $650 for a MKIIUW Delivered to my door with a TM-1. Its only 6 months old! Score! The exact same model is $1850 where I buy my “regular” stuff. Thanks for your help everyone. IM still going to get an LXR at somepoint - Im SO impressed by the sounds. I spoke with Julian and you can load about 500k of UW in the LXR

@Dogma you’re right, sending out MIDI CCs from the MD using
P-Locks is probably pretty cool. You can also get around the resulting loss of audio channels by packing samples onto single channels. I’m sure you will have a lot of fun with the Machinedrum, anyway.


You wont regret it. Read the manual. Watch the videos. Print off the key shortcuts as a cheat sheet and the value to pitch conversion sheet.
Dont ever look back.