Native Instruments Maschine Mikro MK3 MIDI Pad Controller
The MK3 edition of the Maschine Mikro caused a stir when it was announced in September 2018.
Forums lit up at the prospect of a sub-$300 Maschine controller.
The Mikro MK3 lived up to the hype at release, bringing in a plethora of features like a new smart strip to control pitch, modulation, effects and even be able to "strum" held down notes as chords like a vintage Suzuki Omnichord.
- Pads: 16 Velocity Sensitive Backlit Pads
- Buttons: 4 x Pad Mode, 4 x Smart Strip Mode, 26 x Function/Transport buttons, 5 x Navigation, Search and Favorite buttons
- Knobs: 1 x Universal Encoder Knob
- Other Controls: 1 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 6.96" x 1.77"
- Weight: 2.47 lbs
Reviewers were surprised to see that the Mikro Mk3 is positioned at a lower price point than its predecessor. This made it more accessible to those who have been wanting to enter the Maschine workflow but were put off by the high barrier to entry.
A few users disliked the smaller screen since most of them were upgrading from the Mikro MK2. The Mk2 has a much larger screen and they had to take some time getting used to looking more to their computer screens than the hardware. This also means that editing samples is not possible without looking at your computer screen. Since the Mikro MK3 only has one encoder knob, some noted that they found having to press arrow keys to get to the parameter they want to tweak a bit cumbersome.
If your primary goal is to be able to use Native Intruments' Maschine software and want an affordable matching hardware controller, The Mikro MK3 is a great entry into the workflow. Do bear in mind what gets cut out from its larger siblings. If you don't mind the features excluded, then the Mikro MK3 is your best option.
Although we previously featured this 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.