Most readers know by now, that when I buy something (which quite frankly has been rare lately) I usually do a review on it. When deciding to do this one, I realized there was simply no way to separate the device from the company behind them, because of their business practices. When we get further into the review, you will see why.
I bought the Maschine Mikro through an online only store, I have used frequently to avoid paying taxes. When it comes to music equipment, those are becoming few and far between, with Musician’s friend having been bought by Guitar Center, now you get taxed. I bought it from a website called zzounds.com. I always get my items within a reasonable time, undamaged, and have never had a problem returning anything.
When the box arrived I opened it to find no instruction book, no e-voucher and only one disc. The disc did not even contain the program for using the Maschine Mikro. I had to download 4 GB of stuff before I could even install everything. Luckily, I have cable internet or that alone, would have taken a couple of days to do. Once everything was installed, I then had to activate it. I had no problem activating the Maschine 2.0 software and the library, that was on the one disc provided. However, it failed to inform the website that I activated it. This caused it to NOT activate the Komplete Selection software, that is basically the Massive, Prism, and Scarbee synths. Because their fucked up software did not operate correctly, I was forced into calling them. I tried their 1-866-556-6481 number, only to sit on hold for over an hour. I decided to give up on it and try their 323-467-2693 number, which informed me they did not even open until 11am PST. WTF? Must be nice to only have to work half a day, to support international selling products, that cost hundreds of dollars.
Beginning to see how the devices functionality is completely tied to their support?
So while I waited, I decided to at least test out the actual Maschine Mikro with the operating software that DID activate. I plugged it in. Driver installed and I loaded a drumkit. Tried playing it and no sound. Looked around the program and found audio and midi settings. I choose the asio driver I had installed and it crashed. So I reopened it and chose the other wasapi driver that was installed. It crashed again. I opened it up a 3rd time and this time checked asio driver and then checked the asio driver settings, and discovered it was the one from Behringer, and made to work with my audio to digital device. Thus I figured out this company sold me a $350.00 device and did not even provide me with a working driver. “Just how fucked up is this company?” I was thinking at this moment.
Thus I had to install asio4all, a free program onto my computer to get their device to work. There was still some crackling sounds, so I had to go find the newest version of asio4all and install it, for the machine 2.0 software to work. Funny how their website does not state I must provide my own driver in the system requirements!
After all this, I had a headache(Can’t imagine why!) and took a nap. When I got up, I called the 323 phone number and finally was able to talk to someone who manually entered my serial, so I could activate the rest of my software. I am guessing it was because he did this though, that I never received my $25.00 e-voucher. Thus I was forced into calling them once again. Only this time, I had to call the 1 866 number because the other number is strictly for registrations and tech support, and this problem was neither of those.
So I called the 1 866 number, was told by a recording that I was the 1st person in line, and someone would be with me shortly. 40 mins later… after being told probably 40 times by this recording that I was the first person in line, it now informed me there was no one there to take my call, and hung up on me. Can you imagine how pissed I was? I doubt it, but you are indeed free to try. 🙂 I ended up sending them a support ticket. However, since the first one I sent regarding my software not activating, took them over a week to reply to, I had no hopes of getting any speedy reply, to this new support ticket. Over a week after receiving my device in the mail, I have finally received everything I purchased. However, the e-voucher cannot be used on anything already on sale, thus I have to spend $25 in order to use it. Completely useless if they are going to put conditions like that on it, and furthermore it expires in 3 months. Wow! NI you sure know how to treat your customers well!(sarcasm) Luckily for them, I got the device to work correctly by myself, or this item would have most certainly been returned. Absolutely the worst customer service I have ever had to deal with, and I had to deal with Microsoft and many xbox problems. At least Microcrap answered the motherfucking phone!!!
As for the actual device, it is a shame such a great device, is in the hands of such a sorry-ass, non-customer oriented company. More people might actually get the joy of using it, if NI would just pull their heads out of their asses. I created the last song I posted, entirely within the Maschine 2.0 software. I used no manuals and had to watch no videos, in order to do it. Granted, I am well versed in using music creation software, but the software is slick and easy to use. The device itself seems sturdy, and as long as NI does not fuck up the software, it should work for many years.
My recommendation though, is that is you can find anything even remotely close to this device and with better customer service, buy it! Had I known that getting it to work and dealing with crappy and slow customer service came with it, I would have never bought it.
I do not think I have to say this, but I always do when I review something. I was not paid for this review. Honest reviews are hard to find these days, but that is always what I give here. Thanks for reading and have a great one!