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An update on the future of the Sequencer - Part 2

Discussion in 'MASCHINE Area' started by Charles @ NI, Dec 23, 2016.

  1. Charles @ NI

    Charles @ NI MASCHINE Team NI Team

    We’d like to take the opportunity to give you an update on the work we’ve been doing on Maschine’s Arranger, along with a rough direction for the coming months. You may have already seen some of the work we’ve completed in Maschine 2.5.5 which was accidentally released last week. This post is to give some context to what you might have seen, and to address the concerns that this stuff might be for Jam users only.

    To begin with, we see Song creation as a three stage process:
    • Idea Creation > Rough Arrangement > Full Arrangement
    Of course, sound design and mixing are key as well but, for the purposes of this Arranger overview, we'd like to just focus on these three stages.

    While coming up with new ideas in Maschine’s current Arranger works to some degree, we think that a separate space for experimentation and idea creation will work better—a space separated from the song timeline where you can experiment with new ideas without having them placed somewhere in your arrangement. In the current version of Maschine, in order to experiment with an idea, it must be done in the context of your current arrangement. We would like to change this in the coming months.

    We’ve been prototyping a new workflow on Jam, which is what some of you saw last week in version 2.5.5. Now, thanks to feedback from the Maschine Beta group, we’re in a position to bring this into the software and to the other controllers, too. The exact details of how it will look and feel are still being refined, but here’s a very general, zoomed-out look at the workflow:


    The key difference in the first part of this workflow is that idea creation now happens in a place that’s free of a general timeline. You simply focus on building Scenes to represent the various parts of your song. All the Patterns in a Scene will play and loop as usual. You can build as many ideas in this area as you want, and nothing you create will appear on the Timeline.

    At this point, you have a few ways to proceed and get your ideas sequenced in the Arranger. For instance, you could perform your arrangement into your DAW by just triggering your Ideas/Scenes, and this no longer comes with the overhead of an additional Arranger timeline in Maschine to work around. However, we would rather you stayed in Maschine a bit longer, therefore we’ve been working on two approaches to get your ideas in order in Maschine’s Arranger.

    The first approach, via a simple drag and drop method, will come first. With this, you can place your Ideas/Scenes onto the Timeline quickly in the sequence you wish, and then make the necessary adjustments to their position, length etc. Then, with Song Clips (which will come after that) you can make more detailed edits, variations, and transitions.

    The second approach, which will follow in the months after we finish Song Clips, is a real-time performance recording mode where Ideas are triggered and recorded as Scenes and/or Clips directly to your timeline while you play.

    Furthermore, with Song Clips, there’s actually no longer any requirement to have Scenes in your project to work in a completely linear fashion. The last image of the sequence, above, shows a scenario where all of the ideas have been added/recorded directly to the timeline as Clips with no Scenes playing underneath.

    What you saw last week is very much a work in progress and not yet meant for general consumption. Which brings me to the next point: If you would like to be part of the process in developing these features further, please apply to be part of the Beta Test Group via the link below. The sooner you get involved, the greater your impact on development will be.


    If you have already applied but have not yet been accepted into an active testing group, please respond below and I will add you to the project right away (please provide your forum user name in the application so I can properly find you). If you have any problems applying, or Centercode isn’t playing nice, please let us know here.


    Attached Files:

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  2. 33tetragammon

    33tetragammon NI Product Owner

    thanks very much for the update Charles!
    i would certainly love to test this. i already applied for that but haven't been accepted yet.

    my centercode name is 33tetragammon

    this open arroach to arranging i experienced in 2.5.5 was just what i missed in maschine so far.
    before, it felt too constricted and 'loopy' for me. this Song Layer really worked and inspired me to start and finish stuff in Maschine.
    thank you all so much for making this Maschine experience even more fun, fast and simple (the way it should always be imo).
    Maschine mk2 + Jam + Komplete Kontrol 49 is a FANTASTIC creative environment!!!!!
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016

    ALDREAD NI Product Owner

    Hi I signed up so if you could add me many thanks
  4. Supercreative

    Supercreative NI Product Owner

    Hmm... thanx for the invitation again. Though, I'm pretty sure that I haven't time for beta test. I'm sry about it.
    I'm convinced, with this approach the new version could be great.

    Personally, I would do all the production processes within Maschine - just to focus on primarily one software - to save some leisure.
    It would be nice if you are able to improve the window(s) for modulation lines. Inside of Maschine, I''m lost again and again during the mixing process because there is no overview over all the modulation lines...

    I wish you all HAPPY X-MAS!
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
  5. CakeAlexS

    CakeAlexS NI Product Owner

    Thanks for the update.

    I assume this will be released quarter of 2017? Are there plans for any other meat and potatoes features/enhancements people have been repeatively requesting (I'll pick one, better DAW integration, not talking about ableton link) And there are a number of legacy bugs I keep trying to bring attention, to... we didn't see them fixed in the last release (to be honest I haven't fully tested this round, I've just read the release notes) will they ever be fixed? If I were to assume the current development timescales would be similar to the other stuff that people have been asking for we would be well into 2018, but of course this is just an assumption (I worry I may be too accurate).

    Anyway don't want to sound too harsh, I do feel I am statating the obvious however, I appreciate you working on this feature as a priority and I appreciate the update. Thanks.
    • Like Like x 6
  6. parrismc

    parrismc NI Product Owner

    Thanks for the update Charles!
    i would certainly love to test this. i already too applied for that but haven't been accepted yet.

    my centercode name is ray ray
  7. Olihop

    Olihop NI Product Owner

    Good news for the future of maschine but also think about working on the implementation of the features you claim users, such as time-stretch real time, tools for drawing and editing modulation, chaining pattern in a scene, and company...
    • Like Like x 3
  8. kolta

    kolta NI Product Owner

    Thanks for letting us know a little of what is coming day by day Charles , it is so important for us .
    Great ideas and Tools .
    we like to see maschine power growing !
  9. Eddie Jag

    Eddie Jag NI Product Owner

    Can anyone kind of break it down for me? I didn't get to experience the "leaked" beta and am having trouble understanding the post. So this new "Idea Creation" portion he is talking about is just the normal experience we have today working within scenes that loop patterns regardless or their bar lengths correct? Also, he mentions being able to perform scene changes and recording them directly into the DAW? I would like a little expansion on that if any other information about what he is referring to is already out there. We all know, like CakeAlex constantly points out that DAW integration is a big pain in the butt and has been for years with Maschine. The amount of time taken to rewire everything, solo drag and drop, or export/import, is unreasonable and definitely a flow killer, ESPECIALLY with clients in the room (I've had this embarrassing experience before, trying to move everything from Maschine to Ableton and taking 30 minutes to do so). What I'm interested in is how will this recording scenes changes to DAW be implemented with current DAW integration shortcomings? What we need is a fast and easy way to bring in all material from Maschine into the DAW, and be able to still work in the DAW or Maschine adding to the current concept.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. skinswashdc

    skinswashdc Well-Known Member

    Thanks Charles. Maschine is going to be the one stop shop for production and completing full songs down the line. Then dump it in PT!
  11. Mr36

    Mr36 NI Product Owner

    You can already do this i.e., record Scenes as MIDI note or PC triggers into another MIDI sequencer.

    But you have no idea what size of project, how many Sounds, Groups, or Patterns, or to what extent he was transferring the MASCHINE project to Live... Even half a dozen Groups with half a dozen Patterns each could take half an hour to transfer.

    So you complete a track... Then complete it again in Pro Tools? :confused:
    You don't need Pro Tools to finish a track now, but if the proposed improvements pan out, you would certainly not need it.
  12. Eddie Jag

    Eddie Jag NI Product Owner

    I love how you go back in and edit your post. Well, I will still answer your post. I have no idea what kind of sessions you are running, but they must be quite small... Or you might not be too good at mixing, or chose to do all your mixing within Maschine. Either way, to get every single sound tracked out by itself, from every single pattern is a huge pain in the neck right now. You have to go in and manually solo the sound within a group and drag and drop multiple times, sometimes dozens of times. This can and will certainly take 30hr to an hour. I've proposed to NI that we have a button where the drag and drop will render all 16 pads individually (or even better just the pads with active sound coming out, but still individually) and then drag and drop into DAW. This would save countless time in drag and dropping.
  13. skinswashdc

    skinswashdc Well-Known Member

    For the pro tools part you do your entire sequence in maschine and bounce it and throw it in your daw of choice to mix in. Pro tools was just an example. In a professional environment its industry standard for a reason.
  14. Mr36

    Mr36 NI Product Owner

    It's getting quite off-topic now, but you don't need Pro Tools, another DAW, or even an industry standard anything to mix your tracks with. How many tracks do you listen to and think "That was mixed so well, it must have been done in Pro Tools" or "You can really hear that Pro Tools industry standard finish on that!"? It's mastering the techniques and whichever tools that matters.

    The update of the future of updates sounds positive. However, one thing that strikes me is that MASCHINE already has an area for idea creation and Patterns/Scenes are already how many users (myself included) use it, kind of like a work in progress until getting more into arrangement. I suppose I see the production process as more of a single fluid process than a series of stages.

    Yes, there are stages that can be described, as mentioned above (idea sketching and arrangement), but just like sometimes starting with a beat and sometimes with a riff, the ideas and the arrangements (or, at least, parts of) come along together, so I'm not really sure or sold on the necessity for this separate area. Of course, many things require using or at least more explanation to understand/appreciate, but still, it just kind of seems like this new area is what we already have in a different box accessed by a different button...
  15. skinswashdc

    skinswashdc Well-Known Member

    I agree best set-up. How were you using the song layer? I routed the finger to my main drum group and using the song layer came up with some interesting drum variations or used the performance effects via jam and the touch strips for interesting drum variations or transitions.
  16. skinswashdc

    skinswashdc Well-Known Member

    All good man. Just a discussion. Look forwarded to see what they do with this next update.
  17. rbrucemtl

    rbrucemtl NI Product Owner

    Hello Charles,

    I signed up on centercode but have not been accepted. I would like to join in an start testing.
  18. Syver

    Syver NI Product Owner

    Same here. Thx.
  19. Rens Troost

    Rens Troost NI Product Owner

    Thanks for this update. Very encouraging.
  20. CakeAlexS

    CakeAlexS NI Product Owner

    That's two stops and no ETA.
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