Beginner's questions

Discussion in 'MASCHINE Area' started by techno_albrecht, Dec 16, 2019.

  1. techno_albrecht

    techno_albrecht New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Hey,

    I'm new to the Machine environment, but I do have some basic experiences with music production and Ableton. So right now, I'm trying to get used to the Machine software using the Machine Mikro Mk3, but I've got a couple of questions:

    (1) How should I understand groups/scenes? I find it confusing that both make up the same "column" in the idea view of the arranger (like Scene 1 = Group A1). So let's say Scene 1/Group A1/column 1 would contain my drum patterns and Scene 2/Group B1/column 2 my bass pattern. When I put the Scenes in order to come up with the track structure (in the song view), Scene 1 (=the intro) suddenly has a pattern from Scene1/Group A1 (my drums) and Scene 2/Group B1 (my bass). So suddenly the Scene in the song view does not correspond any longer to the patterns the Scene contains in the idea view because the Scene 1 in the idea view only had drums patterns. Why is that so confusing? What do you even need Scenes in the idea view if you could simply order your patterns according to the groups? That is what puzzles me...

    (2) I do not really understand the libraries. Like for example the Middle East library. I would expect to get some great drum samples (one shot samples). But when I open 2 - percussions, all I'm getting seems to be loops. When I load "Daf - Ayoub" (or any other sound from the percussion section of Middle East), I can't play it like a drum (I mean: a drum hit) via the pads (when activiating "keyboard" on my Mikro). When I press pads, all I'm getting are different kinds of rhytmic loops/fills/rolls of this drum sound, while I was expecting to play different notes of a single drum... Aren't there any simple drum samples/drum hits in those libraries? Why do these libraries only contain loops?

    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. techno_albrecht

    techno_albrecht New Member

    Messages:
    16
    and one more question: How can I choose flat scales? Like for example B-Flat minor? When I'm in keyboard mode on my Machine Mikro Mk3 and I want to choose a root note, I only see natural notes (A, B, C, D...) and Sharp Notes (G-Sharp/G#). Or should I just go with the enharmonics, like if I want B-Flat I go with A Sharp?
     
  3. Blindeddie

    Blindeddie NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    988
    For #2, there are one shots included in the library that are mapped to different notes. This is all outlined on pages 14 & 15 of the Middle East User guide, which is available either in Kontakt or from the product page on the website. I would suggest giving the whole guide a read as the options are quite extensive and beyond the scope of a forum post.

    for your second post, yes, A# would be Bb as they are essentially the same scale.

    for #1, again the Manual will be a good starting point for understanding groups and scenes although I will admit the interface can be quite confusing in this regard. Another great resource is YouTube... there are a ton of great videos that explain the Confusing aspects of Maschine.

    peace,

    Blindeddie
     
  4. ShelLuser

    ShelLuser NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    624
    Been there, done that. Although the Mikro is a great controller in itself (I'm actually considering to get one again, even though I initially returned mine at first) the problem is that working with one is pretty restricted and even somewhat limited, in comparison to its bigger brother. That can also cause some of the confusion, because working with the controller is a lot more intuitive than the software (in my opinion of course).

    Now, I do agree with Eddie about the Maschine manual & getting started guide but heck, I'm getting in 'that' mood already :)

    Yups, at first that also caused me headaches.

    Projects, scenes, groups and patterns, what gives? First, important disclaimer, I also didn't extensively study the manual but did most of my experimentation behind the Maschine controller while sporadically looking something up. So I could make a few mistakes here and there, but I'm sure I can explain some basic concepts already.

    It's good that you mentioned Ableton because in a way the Maschine has a lot in common with Live's session view, but in a completely different way. So first.. A group is basically nothing more but a set up grid. So the 4 x 4 pads where each pad can contain a sound or instrument of some sort. If you load a group then you basically load a setup for the currently active pads. The official name for this is sound. So a group basically consists of 1 up to 16 sounds. You will also see these concepts return in the browser.

    A project can contain multiple groups which will allow you to quickly switch between them in order to play different things. That is... on the Maschine. I had to look it up but the Mikro has this option somewhat hidden away. This is a guess on my end, but I think that if you press the 'group' button (and keep it pressed) then the pads will show you the available groups. On the Maschine these are displayed by the 2x4 colored buttons in the lower left corner.

    So a group is basically a collection of sounds ('instruments' or samples) which are layed out on your pads, ready to be played. So what happens if you play something and then record it? Well, then you set up ('create') a so called pattern which will contain your midi data. As you may have assumed by now: this also means that a group can contain different patterns. So if you switch between groups you're also switching between the patterns.

    An important rule: only one pattern can be active in a group. After all... you only have one setup of physical pads to play with.

    But that leads up to the question if we are somehow able to try out different ideas (= patterns) and switch between them... and the answer is of course yes.. we can by using scenes. So a scene is basically a selection of (active) patterns, and you can switch between those using the scene button (this is the same for both controller types).

    SO... A group is a collection of (1-16) sounds, one for each pad. A group can also contain different patterns which in their turn contain the midi data (notes) itself. You can only have 1 pattern active per group, so in order to switch between those you got scenes. A scene is basically a selection of active patterns.

    Now... you mentioned Ableton.. In a way you could "translate" this to Live's session view. You can think of groups as tracks, patterns is clips and scenes are just scenes ;) Of course you need to be careful here because although it seems some aspects are similar they still behave in different ways, only use this approach to get a rough idea about these parts. Don't try to treat Maschine as if it was Live because that's not going to get pretty.

    It's not a library, it's a setup which you can load into Maschine. The library is simply the section within the software that gives you access to the files you can load, but that doesn't mean those files are libraries. This concept is the same throughout all Komplete instruments as well. Kontakt (= sample based instrument) has a library where you can load... instruments. Kontakt instruments to be precise.

    Remember me talking about groups and sounds and patterns? If you open your library you can load different things. Projects are just that: a collection of everything mentioned above. But you can also load groups, and as you hopefully remember: a group is a collection of sounds. So if I want to play an 808 and 909 I would first open the library, select the groups section (the '2x4' icon) and then load the 808. Then I create a new group and load the 909. Now I can play both by switching between groups.

    But here also comes a problem... Maschine isn't limited to only Maschine stuff, it can basically access the entirety of Komplete. So I can use Komplete instruments (FM8, Kontakt, Reaktor, etc.) and effects within Maschine as well. Which means that if you want to play some you'll have to learn how those work. But that's kind of beyond Maschine itself.

    I can't comment on loops & one-shots and all that stuff yet because I haven't used those so far.

    And there you have it. I hope this gives you some ideas :)
     
  5. SteveK

    SteveK New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Groups:
    A set of single sounds using pattern (MIDI events) to play the sounds. One group may contain up to 16 different sounds. Sounds may be WAV samples or VST instruments.
    For exaple you have one group for drums, one for FX sounds and one for synth sound. So your song would use 3 groups playing all the sounds.
    You can create pattern for each to make them 'play'. Further you can create different pattern for each group to play different styles for the same sounds. I.e. for the drum group you only play the basedrum in pattern 1 and add highhats in pattern 2 and so on. So you havve different patterns you can use. Once the groups are defined they will be used for the whole track (of course you can change them later at any time but the sounds and sound settings will be used for the whole track).

    Scenes:
    A scene is a piece of your track containing the pattern for your groups. Imagine a song could be devided in lets say 16 beat slices and you select the pattern for each slice. This is called a scene! So a song may contain about 10-20 scenes (each containing different constellations of pattern for each group). For example you could start with the basic pattern for the drums and leave the other groups empty. In 2nd scene you select pattern 2 which contains highhats. And later in Scene 3 or 4 you may select a pattern for the synthsound group or FX. So you build your song based on groups (soundkits) and different pattern used for the groups. In the picture below you see 5 groups (A1, B1, C1, D1, E1) with their respective names.

    One thing with scenes was confusing me, because there are two different views. One view shows the song with the groups (sounds) and pattern arranged like you would use it in a DAW (I recommend this view in the beginning). This view represents the order your sounds are played. As you can see, you may select any scene at any time and use scenes more than one time. So whenever scene 1 is selected it plays the same sounds and pattern - even if you select scene 1 at different positions in your song. So you are able to build songs quickly and rearrange them quickly once your scenes are created. You may even select and change scenes in realtime and create a songe for a live session just by selecting different scenes.
    2019-12-17_142333.jpg


    This way of working with scenes (songslices/loops) has advantages (simply change a pattern - even while the song plays. This is great to create ideas or loops - or jam in a live session) and disadvantages (creating a complete song and creating or changing all the scenes is complicated, also if you are not thinking in slices and like to use very long sounds, it may get very tricky). The lenght of scenes can be adapted to your needs (i.e. 4, 8 or 16 beats or whatever) and different sizes of scenes can be mixed.

    The Maschine (soft- and hardware) is a very powerfull tool and in the beginning it looks like you never get it to work. Start reading the manual and after some pages you get a clue how to start and after a while things get much clearer. Also the existing libraries will help you a lot.
     

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  6. techno_albrecht

    techno_albrecht New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Thanks for all your helpful explanations! I think they just made clearer what I already expected about how groups and scenes work.

    I think my confusing stemmed mostly from the "idea view" of the arranger (see the screenshot#1 I attached.) In the idea view, scenes and groups share the same column. So this makes it seem like a scene only contains patterns from one group. For example, in my screenshot, "Verse A" and "Drums" share the same column, which is confusing because in the song view Verse A obviously may contain patterns from different groups (e.g., Verse A could have drums, a synth, vocals etc.). So the fact that groups and scenes share columns is just really counter-intuitive in my opinion.
    Luckily, in the song view, everything makes sense: your track has different sections called scenes, which are made up of different patterns from different groups (which, in turn, contain up to 16 sounds).
    Screenshot #1:
    [​IMG]

    Anyhow, I'm definitely gonna work my way through the manual, but I feel like I already got a basic understanding of the machine software.

    The main thing I'm still struggling with are the Komplete instruments/Kontakt. I mean I get: Something like "Massive" is just a synthesizer you can open in Machine and tweak the settings of the synthesizer to your likening. But again with Kontakt, I don't understand why it's there.
    When I open Kontakt, I can edit the instrument "middle east" - for example, I can add or decrease "Groove", "Feel", "Intensity" etc. But why would I need an extra software tool just to tweak some settings?!
    Also, when I add one of the banks of "middle east" to my group in Machine and chose a pattern within the Kontakt screen, press sync and the play button (see screenshot#2), this sound plays without me entering any midi data into my pattern. So confusing :confused:

    Screenshot#2:
    [​IMG]

    Would really appreciate it if someone could shed some light on what the Kontakt software is for, so at least I have some idea what Kontakt can be used for!
     

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  7. ShelLuser

    ShelLuser NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    624
    Sampling. Kontakt is a sampler, so it basically provides access to several sample based instruments. See also its product page.
     
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  8. techno_albrecht

    techno_albrecht New Member

    Messages:
    16
    thanks for all the replies so far! I have another beginner question:

    How exactly can I add slurs (that is: tieing notes of a different pitch) in the Machine envoirement? I've read the whole manual and only once I came across "legato", as a function of the sampler plug-in....
    Shouldn't legato be a pretty common feature when you compose music?
     
  9. D-One

    D-One Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    7,882
    It is definitively an expected feature and it is there available in the sampler, as for other instruments it depends, some dont have it because it doesn't make sense like Pianos and such... What Instrument/VST are you tried to access the legato function in?
     
  10. techno_albrecht

    techno_albrecht New Member

    Messages:
    16
    hey, thanks again for your reply. ok let's say for example I wanna do an Acid bass line and I choose "Bad Acid" in the instruments. I think it totally makes sense to have legato with acid. But I don't see any function in the plug-in pages to do slurs/legato...
     
  11. D-One

    D-One Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    7,882
    Thats a Massive Synth patch, just click the pencil icon to enable edit mode and in the Voicing tab select "legato" or "legato triller" ... This applies to all synths.

    [​IMG]
     

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  12. techno_albrecht

    techno_albrecht New Member

    Messages:
    16
    I enabled legato, but it does not sound differently or legato, each hit is still triggered individually....
     
  13. D-One

    D-One Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    7,882
    Hummm... Are the notes overlapping for the legato to happen?
    There's something similar to legato where every note starts at the pitch of the previous one and glides to the currently played pitch, that already happens in that patch, however, if you activate Legato that gliding thing stops happening. Try messing with the glide knob on the OSC section.

    I am not really into techno, that sort of 303 emulation or a synth expert to advise, someone else with more advanced knowledge will have to chime in... But legato is there and works fine, not 100% sure what you're expecting out of it tho.
     
  14. techno_albrecht

    techno_albrecht New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Ok now I had an epiphany what you meant with "overlapping" notes. I thought it was enough for notes to be adjacent if you wanted to play legato. I was not aware they literally have to overlap. I mean I have never seen that anywhere and it is not in the manual as far as I know. How would you know? Like I used to have an Elektron Analog Rytm and there you have a dedicated button to enable legato for each step. I think that is way more obvious and slick solution, but who am I to judge, right? ;D
     
  15. techno_albrecht

    techno_albrecht New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Ok another question doe: Let's say I wanna use Bansuri, which is a flute that is part of the "India" instrument library. Where can I enable legato? It's just so many menus and I do not see it anywhere...

    a dedicated legato button on the Machine Mikro would be such a help....
     
  16. D-One

    D-One Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    7,882
    Again, I have no idea what you expect legato to do since on that instrument It's already enabled by default and cant be turned off.
    If you hold a note then play another one, then let go of the second one it will bounce between the 3 notes without ever stopping, hence the notes are "tied together". The behavior is already there because that's how a real flute behaves.

    If you press the "?" button you will be able to see what the key switches do, there's "bend" options there.
    [​IMG]


    A dedicated button won't ever happen because many instruments dont naturally need legato.
    Generally, the legato button/knob is already accessible, when it makes sense, like on Monark for example which is a monophonic synth.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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  17. techno_albrecht

    techno_albrecht New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Ah yeah thanks for your help once again.
    I expect legato to connect the notes so that they run smoothly without interruption. I know how it is supposed to sound with acid bass, that's why I noticed It was not working with "Bad Acid" until I started overlapping the notes (like you told me).
    Maybe I really don't know how it should sound with a flute though. So here is a test. I uploaded a .wav-file (I don't see an option on this website to upload audio?!) with a basic pattern for the Bansuri: https://gofile.io/?c=PmU8SS.
    The first four notes are in legato (that is: overlapping). The last 4 notes are normal without legato (i.e. not overlapping), as you can see here:
    Screenshot 2020-02-21 at 02.35.56.png


    I cannot really here a real difference between both versions (with and without legato), but that must be right then?
     
  18. D-One

    D-One Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    7,882
    On that example it will be very hard to tell the difference because the riffs are different but I guess with a flute it should always sound very similar because either a flute hole is covered by your finger or it's not, you can't really slide smoothly or slowly from one note to the other afaik.

    You need to understand this: Acid 303 bass has no rules so slides/glides can be as slow or fast as you want, if it's slower than it's a lot more noticeable, on a flute it should be fast because of the above (I am assuming flute players dont slowly put or take their fingers out of the holes, not a flute expert tho)

    If you put this on the piano roll:
    [​IMG]
    You will notice that the first two notes transition more smoothly and the second 2 notes dont, the last note has a transient/attack peak at the start, the difference isn't huge tho, especially if you're not familiar with how a flute is supposed to sound like.

    In the realm of instrument emulation, things get complicated, to use slides/legato/glides or other instrument articulations often requires using a specific key switch or specific note velocity, on a Guitar/Bass emulation, for example, you can't slide from certain notes to other specific ones because on a guitar you can only slide if the notes are on the same physical string.. A legato slide is basically physically sliding your finger on one string.

    Maybe there's some sort of similar physics behavior on a flute, not sure, this sort of discussion has very low engagement here on the Maschine forum. If you want a better understanding of how multi-sample instrument emulation works you're better off on the Kontakt forum or Gearslutz but note, each instrument is different. If you're a beginner I wouldn't worry about it, there are more important concepts to learn first...

    If you want a flute that behaves like a synth then you have to load a flute synth patch, then fiddle with legato/slide/glide settings, it won't sound realistic but can sound cool.
     

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    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
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  19. Toto2

    Toto2 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Salut je voudrai de l'aide pour le paramètre la sensibilité des pads en fonction de la vélocité, le contraste ect le volume, la vélocité de chaque pads commence faire quel paramètre à quoi sa sert ect et le volume