I have mainly been using NI Maschine and Battery 4 for groove making on my Windows 10 PCs so far. But this has happened with a lot of letdowns for a Cubase user:
- Machine integration as a plugin in DAWs like Cubase is possible, but it’s just utterly lame in workflow, and means resource overload, with an overproportional Maschine sequencer within my Cubase sequencer. I’ve been looking for a less annoying alternative for some time now, testing other options like Arturia Spark etc., but never found anything completely to my liking
- while in Battery 4 I do not have all the superfluous and cumbersome Maschine integratiion circus, I also can’t build, pre-listen and edit grooves within the plugin: that’s another kind of lame.
In contrast to such setups, the combination of Cubase 10 and Groove Agent 5 is just a dream IMO:
- Groove Agent 5 with Beat Agent makes it possible to have all I need to build grooves directly in Cubase:
- from a (if I want freely floating) Mediabay window, I have all my groove content (not just that of Cubase) in direct access, integrating favorite folders with my own sample content at will, being able to preview all of their sample content with a mouse click, or just by scrolling up and down in my folders with my keyboard arrows
- samples can be pushed directly onto the pads as one-shots, or layered, or as (up to 32) velocity layers (automatically even grouped or manually adjusted).
- each Beat Agent offers several pad pages to occupy (if you want to have access to various Future Bass foley pads, along with the main drum pads, for example), and you can use up to 4 different Beat Agents (eg one with melodic or bass content) if required, within one Groove Agent 5 Track
- all of this can be routed internally within the Beat Agent, with Cubase effects, to different outputs. Or you route it as usual to multiple Cubase outputs, then with any effect plug-ins you wish, for separate routing of kicks, snares, hats or whatever: maximum routing flexibility, until your drum set sounds exactly the way you like
- if you want - you can preview all drum samples, while running a midi groove: you simply swap them in the selected Beat Agent pad in the current loop by clicking on another sample in the Media bay:
- this way you are not only are able listen to different kicks within the groove, but if you notice, that your kick has punch, but a too weak attack, you just switch back from the pattern to the sample view of the pads and throw a layered pulse on the kick pad in layering mode.
- you can play in your own grooves with a controller of your choice (in my case I can still use my NI Maschine Micro MkII controller for that), including building top loops matching your song in slow midi tempo
- then you add all grooves of your choice to your own GA midi library
- last but not least, the midi-grooves can easily be exchanged forth and back between Cubase tracks and Beat Agent midis. So within Groove Agent, you will be able to gradually build a complete groove library, for your favorite music styles,
- you then just throw them into your drum track(s) at will, as you make and record your songs within Cubase, fine tuning them within song context.
- You still keep the ability to listen to loops and swap sound content at will, until all fits in the process of your groove making and song writing process to the end
- While doing so, you don#t ever have to get around translating anything from one midi format (Maschine or whatever) to another. You’re always at home in a fantastic sequencer/drum plugin tandem, which has no midi adjustment issues or routing complications.
- Along with all other Cubase 10’s workflow enhancements, this groove building and songwriting workflow is simply outstanding and a pleasure. I use it since some days meanwhile and have never seen or used something remotely as convenient for groove making and song writing, as Beat Agent 5 within Cubase 10. I have completely abandoned Maschine and Battery 4 since, and only use their content in Groove Agent 5 from now on.
So frankly, I have problems understanding some of the small minded bickering I see here. My impression is, that most who complain, perhaps haven’t even remotely understood what they got in their hands at all.