Video transcript: Accessibility guide for MASCHINE MK3

What's going on everyone, Brian here from Native Instruments. Today we're going to be going over the NI Accessibility Helper, a groundbreaking program that allows visually impaired individuals to create music using Maschine. For those of you who are not familiar with Maschine, it is a powerful software and hardware combo that provides a vast array of tools and features for music production. However until now, the visually impaired have faced a barrier when it comes to using Maschine to express their musical creativity. The NI Accessibility Helper breaks down these barriers and allows the visually impaired to access all of the features and tools of Maschine. This program was specifically designed to make music production more inclusive and create new opportunities. In this video we'll break down the NI Accessibility Helper, we'll talk about the basics of creating a beat with Maschine, and we'll learn how this amazing tool is empowering the visually impaired to create music like never ever before so sit back enjoy and let's jump into it.

Let's first get the Maschine connected properly before we turn it on. Turn the Maschine so that the back of the hardware is facing you and will start by going right to left. The farthest button on the right, this is the power button which you can push in or out. When it's flush with the back of the hardware this means that the power button is in the on position. When it's raised this means that it's turned off. Directly to the left this is the connection for a power supply. However when using a Maschine MK3 or a Maschine Plus, you don't actually need the power supply in order for you to use it. Both can be powered just by using a USB cable. Connect the USB cable from your computer into the USB slot which is directly to the left of the power supply connection. While you can connect the USB cable into a USB hub we recommend using a powered USB hub, one that requires a power supply. The knob on the far left side of the hardware, this is the volume control for your headphones and the connection directly to the right is where you would connect your headphones which is a TRS connection. Rotating the knob from left to right will increase the volume of your headphones and turning it from right to left will decrease the volume. The knob directly to the right of the headphone input, this is the knob for the volume of your line out which is the main output of your Maschine. The two holes to the right are the left and right output. These connections are what you would use if you want to connect Maschine to a pair of speakers or into an audio interface. The connection directly to the right of the line out volume knob this is your right channel, the other is the left. Now that we've connected the hardware let's talk about getting the tools that you need in order to enable the accessibility helper. The program that we'll be using to install the accessibility helper, Maschine 2 software and any additional expansions, instruments, and effects is Native Access 2. In your web browser go to the web site On this page you'll be able to download Native Access 2. You can either download Native Access for Windows Macs using Intel chips or Macs using the new M1 chips. Click the download button that corresponds to your computer's specifications. Once this file is downloaded, open it and then drag the Native Access file into your applications folder. Once it's been copied over go to your applications folder, open up Native Access. Native Access will do some self-configuration but eventually the login screen will appear. If you already have a Native Instruments account or what we call a Native ID, you can log in using the email and password for your account. If you don't have a Native ID yet, select sign up now, enter your first and last name, a valid email address, password, check the box to accept end user license agreement and terms and conditions, and then click create. The next step is to register your Hardware. On the bottom left of Native Access, select the option add serial. Inside of the box there will be a card which has the hardware serial number. This number is also located on the back of your Maschine. There are a few ways that you can copy over the hardware serial. Using an app like Be My Eyes or the built-in iPhone accessibility features, copy the serial number on the back of the hardware and paste this into Native Access. Once you've done that, click the button add serial. This will register your Maschine and also add any of the software that's included with the hardware. At the top of Native access, select available and then applications. In this list you'll first want to download Maschine 2 software by clicking the install button either directly below Maschine 2 or to the far right depending on if you have Native Access in Grid view or List view. Also in the application section, you'll want to download Kontakt 7 player and Reaktor 6 player. Many of the instruments and effects from Native Instruments were created using Kontakt or ReaKtor which both need to be installed in order for you to use certain instruments. Go ahead and click download for both Kontact and Reaktor. The next thing that we'll want to install is the NI Accessibility Helper. Click the install button for this program. This is the tool that we'll be using in order to unlock all the accessibility features of Maschine. Included with Maschine are also a handful of instruments, effects, and expansions that you can use to create music. To the right of the applications filter is instruments. This is where you'll be able to download any of the instruments included like Massive or Soul Sessions. The next filter over is effects which is where you'll be able to install effects like Raum which comes with the Maschine. The next filter over to the right is your expansions. The expansions are what you'd be using if you want to load different drum kits for a Maschine and one of the main tools that we'll be using for this guide. For any of the tabs you can either pick and choose what you'd like to install or you can select the install all button to install everything in the current list that you have selected. Once everything is finished installing feel free to close out of Native Access. If this is your first time using Maschine you'll need to first open Maschine 2 software as a standalone application first if you intend to use Maschine software as a plugin inside of your DAW. This will let Maschine scan and build its database. The Maschine 2 software is located in your applications folder, Native Instruments, and Maschine 2. Maschine 2 will open a dialog box as it scans your computer for plugins and content libraries that it can use. Unfortunately this dialog box is currently inaccessible so please be patient and you will eventually hear that Maschine 2 has loaded its preference dialog box. Again this dialog box is inaccessible but you can change most of the important preferences that it contains using the controller. For now just press the Escape key on your computer's keyboard to exit the preferences dialog. You should then press ALT F4 for Windows or command Q for Mac to close Maschine. Back in the Native Instruments folder, in applications, there will also be a folder labeled NI Accessibility Helper. Go to that folder and launch the NI Accessibility Helper application. You will need to load this program before you load the main Maschine 2 software from now on. When the accessibility helper finishes loading you should hear it announce NI Accessibility Helper is ready. Go to the helper window and press h for help. This message tells you that the helper is ready for you to open Maschine 2 software and turn on your Hardware. Now open the Maschine 2 software and make sure that your Hardware is connected to your computer and powered on. You will know Maschine 2 is fully loaded because the helper will announce Maschine is connected press h for help. This means that everything is working as it should and that you're ready to start creating some music. Before we start creating music let's take a moment to understand how the accessibility helper Works in Maschine. The Accessibility Helper is a program that will run alongside Maschine 2 software. Whenever you press a button or turn a knob what you're controlling is spoken back using your computer's built-in speech output.

Additionally this tool has a separate window which shows the text of what you're controlling and the text size can be increased or decreased. To first understand the layout of the hardware and its zones, we can use the up down left and right arrows on your computer's keyboard when the accessibility program is in the foreground of your computer. Using the up and down arrows, you can cycle through the different zones and using the left and right arrows you can hear what buttons are included in each Zone. Let's first take a look at the Control Zone. With the Control Zone selected, I'll press the right arrow once and we hear “Channel On”. The channel button is the top leftmost button on Maschine. On refers to the button being currently selected. If I press the right arrow key again, this is the plug-in button which is directly to the right of the channel button. Off meaning it's currently not selected. Pressing the right arrow again, this is the arranger button which is the button located directly below the channel button. Let's take a moment to break down the different zones. First is the Control Zone which is the collection of 12 buttons on the top leftmost area of Maschine. This is where things like the browser button and sampling buttons are located. The screen button zone is the collection of eight buttons located at the top of the controller directly above the screens.

The non-interactive screen Zone refers to the screens themselves. The Screen Knob Zone refers to the eight knobs directly below the screens. The edit Zone Refers to the 4D encoder on the left side of the controller and the three buttons directly to the right of it. The Performance Zone includes the two buttons to the right of the three buttons in edit Zone like the note repeat button. This also includes the four buttons directly below the 4D encoder and the touch strip. just below them. Directly below the touch strip is the Group Button Zone which is where you'd select and create different groups inside of a Maschine. Below Groups is the Transport Zone where you'll find things like the play stop and record buttons. Directly above the main pads of Maschine is the Pad Input Mode Zone which is where you'd go to change how the pads work like having them in keyboard mode or the step sequencer mode. The Pad Mode Zone is the column of buttons in the middle of Maschine which includes buttons like pattern, mute, and solo. Lastly is the Pad Zone which refers to the 16 pads you'd use to trigger different sounds that you have loaded. Feel free to use the up and down keys on your keyboard to cycle through the different zones and then use the left and right arrow to hear which buttons are included in each Zone. Throughout this guide I'll have the accessibility helper running so as I push certain buttons and turn knobs the computer will speak back what I'm pressing. I'll also be very descriptive as to where certain buttons and pages are located.

One of the first ways to create your track is loading a kit from one of the expansions. First press the browser button. The browse button is two buttons directly below the channel button which is the top leftmost corner button on Maschine. The browse button or browser mode is where you would be loading different things like instruments, effects groups and kits from expansions. Using screen buttons 1 and 2, you can cycle through the different browsing categories of what you want to load. You can select things like projects, which are existing expansion projects, groups, sounds, instruments, effects, loops, and one shots. I'll use screen buttons one and two until I select groups.

Below the screens on Maschine are eight knobs or what will refer to as screen knobs. While in browse mode you can either use these knobs to filter through different products and kits or you can additionally use the 4D encoder which is the large knob located on the left side of the controller in the middle. The 4D encoder lets you rotate click up down left or right and push in to select. If you click the encoder to the left you can first select all products. As you rotate the encoder to the right you'll now be scrolling through the different expansions you have installed on your computer. Each expansion is a different genre of music containing a collection of kits. The expansion Lilac Glare is included with Maschine so rotate the encoder until you select Lilac Glare. If you didn't install this expansion feel free to select another expansion in this list. The expansions are organized alphabetically. With my expansion selected, I'll click the 4D encoder once to the right. The types filter lets you further refine the kits that you're looking for. As you rotate the encoder you can hear different filter types that you can select. Let's select kits. Next click the encoder to the right again. The subtypes is another level of filtering which you can cycle through by rotating the encoder. Let's select Hip Hop. Click the encoder to the right one more time. We're now selected on the results list or your presets list. As you scroll through you'll hear the names of the different kits that you can load as well as an audio preview of what that kit sounds like. Now before we load a kit there's a few shift options I want to point out. The shift button is something that you'll be using in Maschine a lot so it's good to familiarize yourself with where it's located. On the bottom left of the controller there are eight buttons, two rows of four. The shift button is the bottom right button in this collection of eight. There's a handful of menus and features that you'll be able to access when using the shift button. We're currently still in browse mode so hold down the shift button. Screen button 4 turns on and off plus patterns. With plus patterns turned on when you load a kit there'll be a collection of pre-made drum patterns that will load with this kit. You can always use these as is or modify them. Let's have plus patterns turned on for this guide so hold shift and press screen button 4 until you hear plus patterns. As you're listening to different kits or instrument presets if you like something that you hear you can add it to your favorites list by holding shift and then pressing screen button 7 or holding shift plus screen button 7 to unfavorite something. If you have an instrument or expansion selected in browse mode, you can just press screen button 7 without holding shift and you'll be able to select any of the presets or kits that you've added to your favorites list for that particular instrument. I'll scroll through my results list using screen knob 8 or the 4D encoder until I hear something I like.

This kit sounds pretty cool it's called She Traps Kit. I'll push in on the 4D encoder and now it loads that kit. Once loaded the large collection of 16 pads on the bottom right of your controller, these are the sounds that you have loaded. Hitting any of the pads you should now be able to hear the sounds in the kit.

In Maschine the pads are organized going from left to right and then from the bottom up. The bottom most left pad is pad 1 and then to the right of that is Pad 2, pad 3 and then pad 4. The next row up starting on the left side is pad five six seven and eight this organization goes all the way up to pad 16.

You'll hear that depending on how hard I hit the pad, the volume of the sample changes giving you a more expressive way to trigger the sounds. If you want to hear the sample at full volume regardless of how soft or hard you hit the pad you can press the fixed velocity button. The fixed velocity button is the thin button located directly below screen knob 3.

Now that we understand how to browse and load kits we're ready to record our first pattern. Go ahead and press the browse button again and you should hear plugin. Now that we have a kit loaded let's start recording our first pattern. A pattern in Maschine is a musical idea. You can create an unlimited amount of patterns or different ideas but they all use the 16 sounds that were loaded within the group. The bottom leftmost button is the play button. If we press it we'll hear the first pattern in this kit.

It sounds like this pattern is playing a little bit too fast so we can adjust the Project's BPM or Tempo using the dedicated Tempo button. Directly to the right of the 4D encoder we were using earlier there are three narrow buttons. The first at the top is volume, below is swing, and then at the bottom is tempo. Press the tempo button and then turn the encoder to the right and this will increase the Project's tempo.

If you hold shift and then turn the 4D encoder, you can then adjust the tempo in micro adjustments. Once you've selected the tempo you want press the tempo button again. Because I had the plus patterns option turned on when I loaded this kit, included were a handful of pre-made patterns. on Maschine there is a pattern button that lets you switch between your patterns in real time. The pattern button is two buttons down from the fixed velocity button. By default these buttons in the middle are set to hold which means that you have to hold the button in order for you to enable it and then releasing it will turn it off.

What I suggest is setting these to a toggle so if you press it once it turns on and then you press it again to turn it off. To do this hold down the pattern button and then press screen button 1. With this kit there are five patterns that were loaded. To switch between them just press either pads 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 and you'll hear the different patterns playing back. Let's press play and listen to a few. If you want to stop playback you can press the stop button which is two buttons to the right of the play button.

This pattern is pretty cool but I want to start from scratch. To erase a pattern first make sure that you have the pattern button turned on. Next hold the erase button which is one up and one to the right of the play button. While holding the erase button press any of the pads that have a pattern loaded into it and this will delete the selected pattern. Now let's create our own pattern. With pattern Mode still enabled press pad 1. There are different ways to create patterns but what I usually do first is select how long I want this pattern to be. Using screen knob 4 you can select your pattern length. I'll set mine to a length of two bars. I'll then press the pattern button again to get back into plug-in mode. I'm also going to turn on the metronome by holding shift and then pressing the tap / metronome button which is located directly above the stop button. Now if you have an idea of the tempo that you want for your project, you can also tap the tap button four times and it will change the Project's Tempo to the rate that you press the button at. Now that the pattern is set up, you’re good to record. Hold the shift button and then press the record button which is directly to the right of the play button. This will give you a one bar count in and you can start recording a pattern. Once you're done playing in your pattern, you press the stop button. Let's record a simple pattern using just a kick and a clap sound.

I want to try that again so to undo what you just recorded you can hold shift and then press pad 1. If you hold shift and then press Pad 2 this will redo what you just undid. One thing to note is that all of the pads have additional functions that you can access by holding the shift button. Let's try this again.

As you can hear I didn't play the drums right on beat so you can either hold shift and then press pad 5 to quantize the notes a hundred percent or pad 6 which will quantize only 50 percent which can be good if you want to keep some of the human feel to your drums.

I want this pattern to be a little bit longer so I'll press the pattern button and then press double which is screen button three at the top. This will double the length of my pattern and copy everything that I recorded. The way that I like to work is whenever I add a new element I duplicate my previous pattern and record the new elements onto this new pattern. Rather than creating one pattern with all of the sounds, I have many patterns that gradually build up the beat that way when it comes time to arrange I have more patterns to work with. Rather than having to duplicate and delete a bunch of sounds while in pattern mode I'll press screen button 4 which duplicates the pattern into the next available pattern slot in my case this would be pattern Slot 2 or pad 2. Another way to record in sounds is just playing your pattern, trying out some sort of an idea and then when you're ready just press the record button. When you've recorded what you want just press the record button again. If you ever want to start the pattern playback from the beginning you can press the restart button which is located directly above the play button let's add in some more elements.

For recording my hihats, I like to use the Note Repeat. The Note Repeat button is the larger square button directly to the right of the volume, swing and tempo buttons. Just like the pattern button, you can also PIN the note repeat button. Just hold down Note Repeat and then press screen button 1 which will now turn note repeat into a toggle. While Note Repeat is enabled, I can hold down a pad and the sound will repeat as a specified rate. Using screen knob 3, you adjust the note repeat rate or use screen knob 4 to adjust the unit like normal, triplets or dotted rated. You can also use the preset note repeat slots at the top using screen buttons 5,6,7, and 8. If you want to change the rate of one of the slots, press the screen button you’d like to change, I’ll press screen button 5 and then use screen knob 3 and 4 to change the value. I’ll press shift record to enable the countin and record a hihat pattern and use screen buttons 5 - 8 to change my note repeat lengths in real time.

Now that I have a bunch of patterns recorded let's play them back and switch between them I'll first make sure that I'm in pattern mode and then I'll press play while my beat is playing I can just select the pads and it will change what pattern is playing in real time.

Now that we have a bunch of drum patterns created let's record in some additional melodic elements. When we want to create another element or a sound in your track what you'll most likely need to do is create an additional group, a new collection of 16 empty pads. Just above the transport area on Maschine there's another collection of eight buttons. These are your groups. The top leftmost button is Group A which is where we loaded our drum kit. Directly to the right is Group B. When pressed this will create a new group of 16 sounds but nothing is currently loaded into the slots. In addition to being able to load drum sounds into the pads we can also load plugins into the sound slots. You could actually have a collection of 16 different plugins each on their own pad but will start small for right now and just load one instrument. I'll first press Pad 1 to make sure I'm selected on that pad. Next we'll press the browse button again. We're currently searching through groups and we want to search for instruments so use screen button 2 until you select instruments.

Just like kits, I'm able to browse through all of my instruments installed on my computer. Rather than selecting an instrument and browsing through the instrument presets, I want to filter for a type of sound across all of my installed instruments. As we learned you can use the 4D encoder to search but you can also use the screen knobs to browse and filter. Screen Knob 1 lets you filter through categories like drums and percussion or synthesizers. Screen Knob 2 lets you scroll through your different instruments and knobs 5,6, and 7 let you search via filter tabs. I'll make sure that I'm selected on all categories and all products.

I'll then use screen knob 5 for types I'll first select the bass filter. I'll then use knob 6 for subtypes and select synth and then I'll use screen knob 7 for the analog character. Using screen knob 8 I can now browse through my presets or my results list. Just like kits we'll hear audio previews. If you don't want Maschine to speak back the name of the presets as you scroll, just hold shift and then press screen button 4. Let's scroll through this list and find a cool bass sound. I like this preset called A Train. I can either push in on the 4D encoder or press screen button 8 to load it. You'll still be in browse mode so make sure you press the browse button again. When I press pad 1 which is where we loaded this preset we'll hear a sound. If you want to quickly swap out the sound you can either go back into browse mode and filter for a different type of sound or if you press screen button 8. This brings up the quick load using the 4D encoder you can scroll through the presets list. This list is the same list that we were just browsing through a moment ago that had the bass, synth and analog filters selected. Just push in on the 4D encoder if you want to load a new sound. As you can hear when I press pad 1 it's only playing one note. Unless you're making a techno track you'll probably want to play something a little bit more melodic and that's where the keyboard mode comes in.

Just above the top row of pads pads 13 through 16, I have four rectangular buttons. Starting from the left is pad mode which is the mode that you'll want to be in if you want to trigger all 16 pads, but directly to the right of it I have keyboard mode. When pressed this takes the selected sound or instrument and turns the pads into a playable keyboard. By default the pads are being played chromatically starting from pad 1 all the way up to pad 16. For a bass sound this is a little bit too high so I'll use screen button 5 to go down an octave or screen button 6 to go up an octave. Screen buttons 7 and 8 adjust the pads by a semitone. A great feature in keyboard mode is being able to have the pads play different scales. Screen Knob one selects different scale Banks like main modes jazz or world as examples. Let's keep it on main. Screen knob 2 selects the type of scale within the bank that you have selected. It's on chromatic now but let's choose something else like harmonic minor. Now when I play the pads from pad 1-16, I'm playing a harmonic minor scale. I want to customize the sound a little bit more and you can do that using screen knobs 1 - 8. You can get to the page to customize your Sound by pressing the keyboard button again or pressing the plugin button. The plug-in button is located directly to the right of the top leftmost button on Maschine. Every instrument in Maschine is pre-mapped letting you have direct control over the sound using the screen knobs. If you gently touch the top of the knob you'll hear what the parameter is and as you rotate it you'll hear the value of what you're controlling. As I start playing the pads and turning the knobs you'll hear that I'm manipulating the sound. With some instruments there are multiple pages of parameters to adjust and you can access them by using the left and right arrow. The left arrow is located directly below the browse button and the right arrow is directly to the right of the left arrow. The first page is generally the frequently more used parameters that you would want to adjust like filters or amp envelopes. Let's customize this bass sound a little bit more until we get it sounding how we want. Just like we did with the kit, let's create a new pattern. I'll press the pattern button and then press pad 1 to create a new pattern. Rather than pre-selecting a pattern length the default pattern length is set to Auto. When it's set to Auto, I can record a pattern and the length of the pattern will continually grow until I stop. Then after I can adjust the start and end point of the section that I like. This is a great way to just hit record and play around and find a groove. I'll press the pattern button again to get back into sound tweaking and keyboard mode. I'll hold shift and hit record for the one bar count, in start playing around and then press stop when I'm done and the record button again to unarm recording. Let's press the pattern button again to adjust and crop the pattern to what I want. We'll be using the screen knobs. Screen knob 1 adjusts the position of the pattern. This will keep the recorded length of the pattern the same but it will just shift the start and the end points together. Screen knob 3 adjusts the start point of your pattern and Screen knob 4 adjust the length of the pattern. If you need to adjust this rather than waiting for the pattern to play in its entirety you can press the restart button. Above the play button to restart or re-trigger the pattern from the beginning before I forget let's hold shift and press pad 5 to quantize my notes.

Now that we have a baseline let's add a chord progression to this idea. I'll press group button C which creates a new group. I'll press pad 1 and then I'll press the browse button again. I'll use screen knob 1 to select an instrument category and then screen knob 2 to select massive. I'll use screen knob5 to select synth pad. The character filter is still set to analog so I'll turn screen knob 7 to the left until I get back to all characters. Using screen knob 8 let's listen for a nice pad sound and then press screen button 8 to load it. Don't forget to press browse again and get back into plugin mode. Rather than enabling keyboard mode I'll press the chord button directly to the right of keyboard mode. This mode lets me play different chords using a single pad. Screen knob 3 selects between the different chord modes, Harmonizer or Chord Sets. Let's start with harmonizer. Screen knob 4 selects different types of chords like 135s, perfect fifths, or seven chords. These harmonizer chords are also based off of the scale that you have selected. We have harmonic minor scale selected so the 135 is based on that scale. Let's use screen knob 3 and change this to chord sets. In chord sets you can play pre-made chord progressions using single pads. There are eight major and eight minor chord sets to choose from using screen knob 4. You can play the pads in sequential order or just jump around to create a new chord progression. The scale that you have set is actually disabled. When chord set mode is enabled you can also combine chord mode with the note repeat for the arpeggiator. When in keyboard mode or chord mode when you press the note repeat button this gives you access to the arpeggiator. You have preset arpeggiator rates with screen buttons 5 through 8 and you can also adjust other arpeggiator parameters like the direction the notes are playing or how many octaves using screen knobs one through eight. There are also additional arpeggiator parameters on page two and you can access them using the right arrows to get to that page. Let's do the same steps of creating a new pattern and recording something in the only thing that I'll change is my pattern length. Since we had the arpeggiator mode enabled these notes are already locked to a grid so no need to quantize. I'll just press the note repeat button again to turn off arpeggiator mode.

Now that we have drums, a bass line, and some chords let's get a melody in there. For a Melody I want to do a vocal chop and we'll use Maschine sampler for that. I'll make a new group by pressing the group D button.

In addition to the kits that come with the expansions you can also access the individual loops and samples from the expansions if you want to build your own kit. I'm going to grab a loop from one of the expansions. I'll go back to the browser and use screen button 2 to navigate over to loops. I'll then use screen knob 5 to filter by vocals. I was working on a project earlier and I had favorited some vocal Loops so I'll press screen button 7 to view my favorites in the vocal filter. Let's listen to a few using screen knob 8. This one sounds pretty cool so I'll press screen button 8 to load this Loop. By default this loads the loop into Maschine's audio engine but I want to load this into the sampler so I can slice it. I'll push in on the 4D encoder, rotate the knob to sampler and then push in the 4D encoder to select it. Before we start slicing this there's one thing I want to change which is the sampler's polyphony settings. By default it's set to 8 so if I hit the pad 8 times really fast it's going to stack the audio eight times. I'll use screen knob 1 and set this to 1. One thing to note is if you have a very long audio sample and you need it to stop playing you can hold down shift and then press the bottom most button in the center column of buttons where the pattern is located this will stop or choke the audio. Now I'll press the sampling button located directly to the right of the browser button so I can edit this vocal loop. Screen buttons 1 through 4 let you access different sampling or audio editing modes of the sampler. By default you'll be on the record page which is set to screen button 1. This is the page where you would adjust settings if you are sampling directly into Maschine’s Hardware. Where we want to start is screen button 2, edit mode. In edit mode this is where you're going to be editing the audio Loop. By default you're currently set to truncate mode which is the mode you use if you want to adjust the start and the end point of the loop. There's a handful of other editing functions that you can do like applying fade in or Fade Out points and much more. You can select which edit function you want to use by using screen buttons 5 and 6. One of the things I want to adjust is the tuning of this Loop. I'll use screen button 5 until I select stretch mode. I'll then press screen button 7 to edit the stretch settings. The key of this sample is C minor but the key of my project is D Minor I'll use screen knob 3 to change the stretch mode to free and then use screen knob 1 to adjust the tuning or the pitch of the sample. I'll set this to 2 so it goes up by two semitones. When the stretch mode is set to free screen knob 4 increases or decreases the speed of the sample but I'm just going to leave this as is. I'll then press screen button 8 to apply the changes. Now let's get slicing. I'll press screen button 3 to get to slice mode. There are four slicing modes: manual, grid, split, and detect which can be selected using screen knob 1. By default the mode that's Auto selected when entering slice mode is manual which is what we'll use. Manual lets you pick the slice points manually as the loop plays. Press pad 1 to begin playback and then press Pad 2 when you want to create a new slice point and so on. You can re-trigger your previous pad if you want the loop to play back from that particular slice point. Let's hit the pads and create some slice points. if you want to edit the start and end points of your slices first press the right arrow button. Now select the pad of the slice that you want to adjust, I'll press pad 5 as this slice point is a little bit early. Using screen knob3 you can adjust the start point and Screen knob 4 adjust the end point. This sounds pretty good so this is the point where I want to apply the slices. First hit the apply button which is screen button 8. You can choose to apply the slices to one sound slot or you can apply the slices to a new group. By choosing a new group option, each slice will be added to its own sampler on each pad giving you the option to add Reverb or delay to just one of the slices. Doing it the other way if you were to add a Reverb it's going to apply it to all of the slices. To apply the slices to a new group you just select a new group button and then press green button 8 for ok. I'm just going to apply these slices to one pad so all I need to do is just press screen button 8 for ok.

Once you press OK you'll be back in the plugin page and keyboard mode will automatically be selected. Since this is essentially a new instance of the sampler I'll use screen knob 1 to change the polyphony back to 1.

If you're ever on different pages or different groups in Maschine I'll press Group C as an example and you need to re-access the slices just go to the group and the pad that the sample is on I'll press Group D and then pad 1 and then just press the keyboard button above pad 14.

Now Maschine is smart and if you had a particular scale selected in another group when you created a new group that scale is automatically set when in keyboard mode. If you're trying to play back your slices while a scale is set you'll want to change this back to a chromatic scale otherwise you're not going to have access to all of the slices.

By default when you apply the slices Maschine will Auto create a pattern with the midi to play back the loop. If you want to delete this Auto created pattern we'll first press the pattern button hold down erase and then select the pad that the pattern is contained in. For me this is pad 1. Since we're already in pattern mode, let's press pad 1 to create a new pattern and then adjust the length to 4 bars using screen kno 4. I'll press the keyboard button again. I'll just hold shift and hit record and then record in a melodic pattern using these vocal slices.

Now that we have a handful of musical ideas let's start customizing the sound more by adding some effects. Included in Maschine 2 software are a ton of internal effects. When adding effects in Maschine you can either add effects to an individual sound or an entire group or the entire project. If you're still in sampling mode or another page you can press the plugin button to get back to the main plugin page. While on this page screen button 1 takes you to the master level screen button 2 is the group level and screen button 3 is the sound level. Let's add a Lo-Fi effect to the entire drum group. As a reminder our group a contains our drums. First press the Group A button next since we want to add the Lo-Fi effect to all of the drum sounds. We'll press screen button 2 to get to the group level. Some of the kits that you load from expansions may already have some effects loaded in there just as a heads up. When working a Maschine you're able to create chains of effects. This kit that will be loaded on the group level. There are already two effects in this chain: first is transient master and then next is maximizer. You can either use the 4D encoder and click it twice to the right or you can use screen buttons 5 and 6 to navigate through the chain of effects. I'll click the 4D encoder to the right to select an empty slot in this chain. To access the built-in effects in Maschine with an empty slot selected push in on the 4D encoder. I'll scroll through the list of internal effects and once I get to Lo-Fi I'll push in on the 4D encoder to select it. Let's take a listen to how this sounds. Just like instruments I can customize the Lo-Fi effect using screen knobs 1 through 8 and then use the left and right arrow buttons to access additional Pages if the effect has it. Let's add another effect but this time let's do it to the sound level. I'll press screen button 3 to get to the sound level. I want to add some delay to that wood block sound so first I'll press Pad 10 where that sounds located. Rather than using the built-in effects of Maschine I want to use some additional effects that I installed on my computer like Replika. In the instrument and effects chain is just the sampler is loaded so I'll click the 4D encoder once to the right to add the effect after the sampler. Next I'll press the browser button. Using screen buttons 1 and 2 navigate to the effects category. I'll then use screen knob 1 to select the delay category. I'll then use screen knob 2 to select Replika. I can always use filtering to find different types of Replika presets like choosing between regular delays or filter delays. I'm going to use screen knob 8 and scroll through the presets and just randomly load one using screen button 8. I'll then press the plugin button so I can use the knobs to customize the effect a little bit more let's first hear how this sounds. I want to make some additional tweaks so let's just dial back the feedback of this delay a little bit. Another type of effect that you can use which are a lot of fun are performance effects. Performance effects are effects on the group level that utilize the touch strip. Touching the strip activates the effect and moving your finger across it adjusts the effects parameters. Just below the 4D encoder there's a touch strip and then four buttons above the touch strip. Going from left to right you have pitch mod perform and notes. To add a performance effect first select the group that you want the effect to be applied to I'll press Group D where our vocal is. Next to hold down shift and then press the perform button. To change which performance effect you want use screen knob 1. I'm a huge fan of the stutter effect but there are many to choose from. Once selected just move your finger across the touch strip while your track is playing and it will activate the effect. You can further customize the performance effect using the other screen knobs. For example screen knob 4 I can change the stutter effect between length and pitch. Screen knob 6 I can change the stutter length. When switching the stutter effect from length to pitch this will create a pitch down stutter effect using the touch strip again just play your project touch the strip and you'll hear the effect.

While it's fun to manipulate the effects live I want to record these adjustments to my track and for that we'll use Automation. In order to give my idea some more movement and not seem so stagnant I want to use automation. Automation lets you record instrument and effect parameter changes over time without having to do it manually. On Maschine there is a dedicated automation button. In the control Zone it is the bottom leftmost button. To record automation just hold down the button and then turn the parameter you want to control while the track is playing. Let's automate the resample rate from the Lo-Fi effect on my drums. I'll go back to Group A and then make sure that I'm selected on my Lo-Fi effect. You can also add automation to the performance effect. I'll press Group D to go to the vocal effect that had the performance effect on it. Instead of the stutter effect let's change this to the scratcher performance effect. I'll use screen knob 1 to select scratcher. Again just play the track hold Auto and then use the touch strip.

Now that we have a bunch of patterns and ideas this is the point where we want to arrange these ideas into a linear fashion to create the structure for our song. With arranging in Maschine you have two views, the ideas View and the song view. First let's start with the ideas view. Ideas view is a great way to sketch out the structure of your track without committing it to a timeline. This space is where you can mix and match patterns and figure out what works well together. To get into the ideas view, on a Maschine MK3 we'll press the arranger button which is the button directly above the browse button. On a Maschine Plus, this button is located in the same area it's just labeled as ideas. Arranging a Maschine can be a little bit different than what you may be used to with other DAWS. The screen buttons at the top these are what we call scenes. Think of scenes like an intro, verse or a chorus. Since we haven't started arranging yet we only have one scene which is located on screen button 1. Using the screen knobs below or the 4D encoder you can turn the knobs to select which patterns you want to have for scene 1. Since we've only created four groups screen knob 1 is selecting the patterns for group a screen knob 2 is selecting patterns for Group B and so on. I'll press play on Maschine and then use the knobs to mix and match different patterns to get some arrangement ideas. Since this is my intro let's start with a basic beginning. To create a new scene just press the next available scene slot. In our case this would be screen button 2 and this creates a new scene where I can add different patterns for my groups. Now let's create another scene and press screen button 3 and do the same process. I'll do this one more time so that we have four scenes: Intro, verse, chorus and then a bridge. While the track is playing I can switch between the different scenes in real time. Pressing the screen buttons at the top and everything stays in time.
Now that we have a basic idea of our track this is the point where we want to append these ideas to the timeline. To do this we're going to use the scene button. The scene button is located directly above the pattern button. Currently this button is also set to hold so to make things a little bit easier I'm going to pin the scene button. Hold down scene and then press screen button 1. So now it's a toggle. Next I'll press screen button 3 which is the append function. The scenes that you created are now on Maschines pads. The first scene will be on pad 1. scene 2 will be on Pad 2 and so on depending on how many scenes you've created. To arrange, simply tap the pad of the scene that you want and then press another pad to add it to the timeline in sequential order. So I want scene one to go first so I'll press pad 1. and then I'll press Pad 2 for my second scene pad 3 for Scene Three and then pad 4 for scene four. I want my song to then go back into my verse so I'll press Pad 2 again pad three and then pad one. So the way that my song is arranged right now is scene 1 scene two scene 3 then scene four then back to scene two Scene Three and then finally scene one to view and hear your song on the timeline hold shift and then the arrange button again. This will bring you to your linear timeline and lets you play back your track. You can press the pads to jump around to the different sections of your song or to play the project in its entirety hold down the first pad and then select the last pad in your sequence. In my project I'll hold pad 1 which is the beginning of my track and since I've arranged my track with seven scenes I'll press pad 7. Let's hit the restart button and listen from the top. I want to change the structure or the order of my sections. I want to have my seam 3 play after scene 4. First select the pad of the section you want to move, I'll select pad 3. Next using screen knob 1, this is the position knob I'll rotate this to position 4.

The track is coming together but the volume of these parts needs some adjustment. Let's move on to mixing. With the Maschine Hardware you're able to adjust the volume and panning of individual sounds within a group or just bounce the levels of entire groups. On Maschine we'll press the mixer button which is directly to the right of the arranger button. I'll start with adjusting the volume on the group level and balance the volumes of the drums, bass line, chords and Melody. To get to the group level just push up on the 4D encoder. The screen knobs are what you can use to adjust the volume per group. I have four groups so screen knob 1 is my volume for group a screen knob 2 is Group B screen knob3 is Group C and Screen knob 4 is Group D. Turn the knobs to the right to increase the volume and then turn them to the left to decrease. Holding shift while turning the knobs or the 4D encoder will let you adjust the volume in smaller increments. You can also mute or solo different groups while in mixing mode. In the column of buttons in the middle of Maschine where we have the pattern and scene buttons. The button at the very bottom this is your mute and the button just above it is solo. Hold either one of those buttons and then select which group you want to mute or solo by pressing the screen buttons at the top. Screen button 1 is group a and screen button 2 is Group B and so on. I also want to tweak the volume of some of the Sounds in my drum group. I'll first press the Group A button to select my drums. Then I'll push the 4D encoder down to get to the sound level. Just like groups the screen knobs adjust the volume and holding shift allows for finer tuning. if your group has more than 8 sounds like mine which has 16, pushing the right arrow button, the one that we use to navigate parameter pages, this will then page you over so that the knobs will control sounds 9 through 16. Additionally if you hit any of the pads, the knobs will switch over to the correct page. Pressing any of the pads one through eight the eight knobs will control those sounds. Pressing a pad in 9 through 16 the knobs will switch over letting you control those sounds. You also have the ability to adjust the pan settings on the sound level and also the group level. Just push in the 4D encoder and now when you use the screen knobs you're able to pan left or right.

Now that we have a basic Arrangement and have adjusted the levels let's move on to exporting the project. Now that we've completed our track this is the point where I want to export the full track as one audio file. I'll press the file save button which is located directly above the auto button. On the file page you can do various things. Screen button 2 creates a new project, screen button 3 saves your current Project, screen button 4 saves a copy of your project, but what we want to choose is export audio which is screen button 5. On the next page is where you can select your export settings. Screen Button 1 selects what you want to export. When set to master this exports your entire track as one audio file. Groups exports separate audio files for each group that you have. On sounds this exports the stems for every sound and every group that you have. Since we want to export the full track let's select master. You can then use screen knob 3 to change the sample rate or screen knob 4 to export the file as wave or aiff. Once you've chosen your export settings press screen button 8. Your export will be saved in the default location. This will be on your computer in your documents folder, Native instruments, Maschine, 2 and exports. Let's take a listen to the final track.

We hope this video has shed some light on the groundbreaking work being done by the NI Accessibility Helper to make music production more inclusive. Through this innovative technology, we can see how these barriers can be broken down and new opportunities can be created for everyone to express their musical creativity. We really hope you enjoyed this video and thanks for watching!

Manual Maschine Accessibility for Visually Impaired Users