TR-8 controlling Maschine and mapped into Ableton = the best of all three
I think I may have just cracked the code for what will be my forever setup.
I love the TR-8, I love Maschine and I love Ableton, but all three have their strengths and weaknesses. With this setup I can use the TR-8 for step sequencing - my favorite way to write drums, which sends midi to all the corresponding functions in Maschine - my favorite way to browse, select and tweak samples
which is mapped into Ableton - my favorite place to arrange tracks, mix and record automation.
Its working without a hitch and was simple to setup. I now have separate tracks for each element, and any movements made on the TR-8 are recordable as automation in Ableton (something the TR-8 is desperately lacking)
Of course, the purists might say I've basically turned a TR-8 sound engine into a midi controller, and I have, but frankly with its limitations, it was not fitting with my workflow, and I'm happy to continue using my own sample library but with the best two hardware interfaces I've ever used and all the advantages of software.