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Maschine as VST in Ableton Live (getting the best of both worlds) full tutorial!

Discussion in 'MASCHINE Area' started by themixtape, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. themixtape

    themixtape NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    353
    Hey all! This tutorial was inspired by saintjoe's "recording MIDI from Maschine into Ableton Live" video, which can be found here:

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhBBhSOWCMk"]YouTube- Maschine recording midi into Live's sequencer[/ame]

    This tutorial is designed with hip hop producers / sample choppers in mind. It is also made for those who find Maschine's built-in sequencer extremely limited (as most of us have complained about). Ableton Live users know that its Session View/Arrangement View are especially good for creating complex arrangements (especially for the automatable mutes/solos, volume, etc). Automatable mutes are especially useful in hip hop production... as the beat drops out and comes back in randomly, etc. All the hip hop producers out there know what I'm talking about.

    Here is a step-by-step guide on getting it going with Ableton Live 7 or 8. And this tutorial is just for Maschine's 8 groups matched to 8 separate Ableton Live tracks (I for instance, love 95% of Maschine's library... great sounds, great kits, great instruments).

    Furtermore, as we Maschine users have complained about... Maschine doesn't have time-stretching..... but Ableton sure does. And combining Live audio tracks with the 8 Groups in Maschine, you are able to use warped loops right alongside your Maschine sounds and extensive sampling capabilities.

    Most of the details are in saintjoe's video, but, this goes into deep detail and explains the changes you need to make when using a Maschine instrument (using Sound Midi Settings on the SOUND itself, and not the GROUP, which is Sound MIDI Batch Settings)... it will all be explained below.

    Hope you guys find this useful!


    ---------------------------------------------------

    PART ONE
    Setting up Ableton Live first


    First, create a template in Ableton (and save it in your Live Library to recall at any time). Here's how to do it (from a nearly-empty Live set, with only one MIDI track):

    [​IMG]

    1. Insert the Maschine VST

    insert all of the following tracks to the LEFT of the Maschine VST track (easier to match Maschine Groups / Live Tracks)

    2. Insert a MIDI track (or if it's already in the set, don't worry about it)

    3. Insert an External Instrument plugin track (Live Library - Instruments - External Instrument)

    4. Set your MIDI track's routing (everything to and from Maschine - Midi Channel 1 - as seen in screenshot above).

    5. Set your External Instrument plugin track as seen below:



    [​IMG]



    6. Duplicate your External Instrument track 6 times so you have a total of 7 External Instrument tracks (so, MIDI track is far left in your set, and all the External Instrument tracks are to the right of it, and then the Maschine VST plugin track is far right).

    7. IMPORTANT - set your External Instrument tracks as seen in the screenshot below... make sure each Channel and Ext Output routing goes up by one, for the remaining tracks...for example, this second External Instrument track is on Channel 3, and using Maschine Out3 (Ext Out 3). The next External Instrument track will be on Channel 4, and using Maschine Out4 (Ext Out 4), etc.

    [​IMG]

    8. Rename all your tracks to correspond with the Groups on Maschine (as seen in the first screenshot).

    9. Save your Live set!


    PART TWO
    Setting up the Maschine VST


    This can be confusing, as it utilizes the Sound Batch MIDI settings and Sound MIDI settings, which SEEM like they're GLOBAL... but they're NOT. This is a bug I think NI should address, which we will mention in the Feature Request section. Anyway, onto the remaining steps.

    1. Set your Groups as follows (it helps to match this tutorial and keep consistency in your future workflow):

    GROUP A - Maschine drumkit 1
    GROUP B - Maschine instrument 1 (I use a bass, Group "B" for "bass")
    GROUP C - Maschine instrument 2 (I use piano usually)
    GROUP D - Maschine instrument 3 (whatever else I want)
    GROUP E - leave open for Sampling / chopping samples
    GROUP F - leave open for Sampling / chopping samples
    GROUP G - leave open for Sampling / chopping samples
    GROUP H - leave open for Sampling / chopping samples

    *make sure you enable "keyboard" mode in Maschine for any Instrument tracks, so the sound is spread chromatically across all 16 pads)*

    2. Right-click on Group A in the Maschine software and select Sound MIDI Batch setup. Set it to Sounds To Midi Notes, and select channel 1. Hit Apply.


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    4. Select Group B in Maschine software (or press Group B on hardware). Right-click on the sound slot of Group B in the Maschine software. Select Sound MIDI Settings.

    [​IMG]

    5. Tick the box that says "Enable" and CHANGE THE MIDI CHANNEL to CHANNEL 2 (this is important!)

    6. Select Group C. Right-click on the sound slot of Group C in Maschine software. Select Sound MIDI Settings. Tick the box that says "Enable" and CHANGE THE MIDI CHANNEL to CHANNEL 3 (it will still say 2, making you think it's a global setting, but it's not!).

    7. Select Group D. Right-click on the sound slot of Group D in Maschine software. Select Sound MIDI Settings. Tick the box that says "Enable" and CHANGE THE MIDI CHANNEL to CHANNEL 4 (it will still say 3, from your last change, making you still think it's a global setting, but again, it's not!).

    8. Right-click on Group E, set to MIDI Channel 5...... REPEAT THE STEP for Groups F, G, and H (make sure you change the MIDI channels to 6, 7 and 8, respectively).

    12. Now go into each Group in Maschine (make sure it's set to GROUP - and NOT "Master" or "Sound" - set Group B's output to Ext Out 2. Set Group C's to Ext Out 3..... so on, so forth, until Group H is set to Ext Out 8.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    PART THREE
    Important things to keep in mind


    If you arm a track in Ableton and don't have the matching Group selected in Maschine, you will hear two tracks mixed with whatever Group you have selected... basically playing on top of each other. So for example, make sure if you arm Track 3 in Ableton, Group 3 is active on Maschine. This tip doesn't apply if you set all your Ableton track monitoring to "off" instead of "auto." When they're off, the sounds won't be mixed.

    If you have a midi keyboard in addition to Maschine, it's best to route your "midi from" track (whichever has an instrument on it, in our case, tracks 2 3 and 4--- Groups B, C and D), using "All Ins", especially on Maschine "instrument" tracks (bass guitar, piano, guitar, strings, pads). The disadvantage to this is that when "All Ins" is selected, you can't use the Maschine pads to play your sound/group. That's where Maschine as a generic midi controller comes in. But, for bass and piano parts, it's best to use a regular midi keyboard if you have one in your setup.

    If you only want to use other MIDI controllers to record MIDI (but using Maschine's soundbank/library), set the "Midi From" routing for each Ableton track to "All Ins." The cool thing with this setup is, whichever track you have armed in Ableton.... your midi controller will become that Group, and you don't have to set Maschine's active Group to hear that sound.

    If you have the APC40, it's even better, because you can record/automate your mutes and automate your soloed tracks and change Ableton Scenes on the fly... especially when recording into an Arrangement (perfect for hip hop production). And as mentioned in the above paragraph, once you arm a track on the APC40, your midi controller will become that Maschine Group (but only if you have your Ableton "midi from" set to "All Ins", otherwise you'll need to select the Group on Maschine to match your armed track in Ableton.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2010
  2. themixtape

    themixtape NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    353
    Maschine project file to match the tutorial

    Yes, I already thought about this in addition to the step-by-step tutorial.... here is the Maschine set, set up exactly as seen in my screenshots, using only Maschine's library for sounds.

    Hope this is helpful!
     

    Attached Files:

  3. saintjoe

    saintjoe NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    4,064
    good job, lol...it was fun figuring this out yo lol.
     
  4. themixtape

    themixtape NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    353
    It was indeed. Thanks for your help! I hope everyone else finds this useful!
     
  5. themixtape

    themixtape NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    353
    BUUUUUUUUUUUUMP. Hello! I think this is an awesome way to use Ableton and Maschine together.... where are you Ableton users at? haha.
     
  6. BeLLy

    BeLLy Forum Member

    Messages:
    109
    Looking forward to setting this up later once I've finished work. Is the template just for Maschine btw, or does include the Live template?

    Either way, appreciate you doing this as it something I've been after for a while ;)
     
  7. themixtape

    themixtape NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    353
    The zip file only includes the Maschine template as it's harder to build than the Live one... Live one's easy to make. :)

    Thanks for appreciating!
     
  8. nodoze123

    nodoze123 NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    47
    much oblidged
     
  9. themixtape

    themixtape NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    353
    Welcome. I really think this is pretty helpful. Thanks again to saintjoe for getting it going. :)
     
  10. july142

    july142 Forum Member

    Messages:
    343
    goods stuff.. thanks alot
     
  11. Rsonist114

    Rsonist114 Forum Member

    Messages:
    25
    Could we get an ableton project to match the tutorial cause im getting confused like hell.... i sont have an external instrument thing to add
     
  12. saintjoe

    saintjoe NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    4,064
    external instrument is under ableton devices, what version are you using?
     
  13. wickedged

    wickedged NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    225
    Hey - thanks man! This is excellent - just what I have been looking for! I love the fact that you now have a template which can make perfect use of all Ableton's effects combined with all of Maschine's possibilities. This will be keeping me occupied for weeks to come!

    Just one dumb question - what is the function of the first MIDI track that is not attached to any External Instrument? Is this so you can still record MIDI from Maschine's patterns into Ableton?

    Thanks again for this - it is excellent.:D
     
  14. themixtape

    themixtape NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    353
    All of them record MIDI into MIDI clips.... the first MIDI track is needed to route to the first channel of Maschine. Then the external Instruments just give you more routing options than a basic midi channel. I don't remember exactly why one MIDI channel is needed, but it is. haha.

    Glad the template's working for you. :)
     
  15. saintjoe

    saintjoe NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    4,064
    The way ableton routes, when you load Maschine, the audio will come out of that track. This takes up the first output so you can't use 8 external instruments to route to maschine.

    I put the first midi track to go with the first group and just use the plugin track itself for the audio output of the first group.

    All other groups can have an external instrument which holds audio/midi on the same track.

    If you notice, when setting up and external instrument, it only starts with ext out 2 and goes through 8, that's because ext 1 is taken by the plugin itself.

    so you only need a midi track to trigger the first group :D
     
  16. themixtape

    themixtape NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    353
    Word. Well-explained, saintjoe!
     
  17. wickedged

    wickedged NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    225
    I see - yes. So this way will make it even easier to resample from Ableton back into Maschine (and vise-versa of course)?
     
  18. Rsonist114

    Rsonist114 Forum Member

    Messages:
    25
    Im using lite 8.1
     
  19. saintjoe

    saintjoe NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    4,064
    lite version doesn't have the external instrument
     
  20. Rsonist114

    Rsonist114 Forum Member

    Messages:
    25
    Ahhh... SMH... i figured since i couldnt work Presonus One like i wanted AFTER paying for it... this ableton would.. guess I gotta shell out more money for this too.. cause i need VST with my production.... Or NI could get their %$#@ together and add VST support #imjustsayin