Native Instruments Maschine Jam MIDI Pad Controller

88
GEARANK

88 out of 100. Incorporating 150+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$299
Native Instruments Maschine Jam

While being around the same price point as the NI Maschine Mikro MK3, the Maschine Jam is not an "upgrade".

Rather, It offers a different workflow and feature set that caters to performance, live looping and on-the-fly improvisation.

Features:

  • Pads: 64 Multicolor Pads
  • Buttons: 5 x Pad Settings, 3 x Function Buttons, 8 x Solo/ Mute / Transport buttons, 16 x Selection buttons
  • Knobs: 1 x Universal Encoder Knob
  • Other Controls: 8 x Dual Touch Smart Strip
  • Standalone Mode: No
  • Power: USB-powered
  • Connectivity: USB Slot, Kensington Lock Slot
  • Compatibility: Mac with Mac OS X 10.5, Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 or 10
  • Software Bundle: NI Massive, Monark, Reaktor Prism, MASCHINE Essentials
  • Dimensions: 12.6" x 11.6" x 1.2"
  • Weight: 5.9 lbs

Pros

For people who have never had experience with the Maschine lineup, there can be some confusion as to which device fits best to their needs. Upon research, users who favor the Maschine Jam say they prefer the controls for their live performances. One common comment is how fun and refreshing it is to make music with the Maschine Jam thanks to its intuitive layout.

Cons

Not too many complaints however users criticized the lack of velocity sensitivity on the pads.

Overall

The Maschine Jam is a great piece of kit that makes you want to use it like an instrument rather than a controller. This is a desirable quality in products of this sort as finding the right balance of intuitiveness and features usually sways in one direction or the other resulting in either something simplistic and uninspiring or complex and frustrating. The Maschine Jam manages to find that right balance between the two. If you can live without velocity sensitive pads, the Maschine Jam may be the right choice for your needs.

Although we previously featured the Maschine Jam on our recommended list, there are now more highly rated options available which you can see in our guide to The Best MIDI Pad Controllers.

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