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Your First Project

Loading a Drum Kit

Maschine 2 does not have tracks in the traditional sense. Instead, Maschine 2 has eight groups, labelled A through H. Each group can contain a set of up to sixteen sounds that are assigned to the pads, together with any number of patterns that you can create yourself or load using the Browser. We will start by loading a drum kit into Group A:

Press the File Button (it is to the left of the Settings Button in the Control Zone) followed by Screen Button 2 to create a new project. Alternatively, you can press Ctrl + N (Windows) or command + N (Mac) on your computer keyboard if you have Maschine 2 in the foreground. Your screen reader will probably announce "New Project" as the window title changes. MASCHINE is now ready to start creating music.

  1. Press the Channel Button (the top-left button on the controller). The Helper should announce “Channel on”. The Screen buttons will then display options for the three areas where plug-ins may be loaded, Master (Screen Button 1), Group (Screen Button 2), and Sounds (Screen Button 3). For now, we will be working with Groups.

  2. Press the Group A button, found in the Group Buttons Zone.

Pinning Buttons on the Controller

The buttons in the Pad Mode zone as well as Note repeat / Arp and Grid are only active when you hold them down—they do not latch like the other buttons on the controller. However, this behavior can be changed if you pin the buttons you want to latch. To pin a Pad Mode Zone button:

  1. Hold down the Pad Mode Button you want to pin. For example, the Pattern button. The Helper will announce the name of the button.

  2. Press Screen Button 1 and the Helper will announce the name of the new active page, followed by “on”. In our example you should hear “Pattern on”.

Repeating this procedure will unpin a pinned button and make it act as a momentary button again. If you unpin a button, the Helper will announce any change of page that happens as the pinned page becomes inactive. In our example, you should hear “Pattern” as you press Screen Button 1, followed by the name of the newly-activated page (“Plug In”, for example) as you release the Pattern Button.

Here is a list of the buttons that can be pinned—it is probably a good idea to pin them all:

  • Scene/Section

  • Pattern

  • Events

  • Variation

  • Navigate

  • Duplicate

  • Select

  • Solo

  • Mute

  • Note repeat / Arp

  • Grid

The Browser

The BROWSER allows you to load Groups, Sounds, Instruments, and Effects from your controller. A drum kit is a group of sounds, so we will start by loading a Group. Here is how to load a Drum Kit from the Groups tab of the BROWSER:

  1. Press the BROWSER button located in the Control Zone on the top right of the controller—it's the left-hand button on the 3rd row down. This button toggles between the BROWSER and PLUG-IN modes so, if it says "Plug In" when you press it, just press it again to activate the BROWSER.

  2. Use Screen Buttons 1 and 2 to navigate through the available file types—these work just like moving through the pages of Settings, with the first and last options reporting "inactive" to indicate that you can't go any further in that direction. Use the buttons to select "Groups".

  3. Use the Screen knobs to filter the search results.

    • Screen Knob 1 filters by Category, so turn it until you hear “Drums and Perc”. Alternatively, you choose to filter by Vendor instead of Category. Switch between the Category and Vendor filter by holding shift and pressing Button 2.

    • Screen Knob 2 filters by Products, so turn it until you hear “Maschine”.

    • Screen Knob 3 filters by Banks, so turn it until you hear “Maschine 2.0 Library”.

    • Screen Knob 4 filters by Sub-Banks, so turn it until you hear “All Sub-Banks”.

    • Screen Knob 5 filters by Types, so turn it until you hear “All Types”.

    • Screen Knob 6 filters by Sub-Types. There are no sub-types available for the selections that we have made so far, so this knob will not announce anything. Of course, if you have been adventurous and chosen different selections, you may hear some sub-types as you turn this knob.

    • Screen Knob 7 filters by Character. Again, if you have made the same selections as suggested here, turning this knob will not announce anything.

    • Turning Screen Knob 8 will scroll through all of the available presets that match the other knob values. You should hear both sound previews and the name of each preset whilst scrolling through the presets list.

To toggle the playing of the preset sounds ("Pre-Hear"), just hold down SHIFT and press Screen Button 8 when in the BROWSER. The SHIFT button is the 4th button from the left on the bottom row of the Transport Zone.

Note that, instead of using the Screen Knobs, you can use the 4D Encoder to navigate the Browser—just click left/right to move between the different filters, turn the Encoder to select within a filter and, if you are on the Presets filter, you can push the Encoder to load the selected preset.

A Group preset can contain a set of up to sixteen sounds and, optionally, a set of pre-programmed patterns. You can choose to load just the sounds or the sounds + patterns by holding down Shift and pressing Screen Button 4.

  1. For now, we just want to load the sounds, so press Shift + Screen Button 4 until you hear “plus Patterns” (instead of “plus Patterns On”).

  2. Press Screen Button 8 or press the 4-D encoder to load the selected preset into the active Group. Once loading is complete, you will be able to play the drum sounds contained within the preset by tapping the pads.

Loading an Instrument

Now that you have your drums loaded, try adding a bass sound. This needs to be loaded into its own group, so here are the steps to follow:

  1. Press the Group B button. The Helper should announce “Group B 1 On”.

  2. Press the Browser button.

  3. Press Screen Button 2 until you get to “Instruments”.

  4. Use the Screen Knobs to pick a preset that you like in the same way as we picked a drum kit.

  5. Note that the “Plus Patterns” option is not available for instruments.

  6. Screen Button 3 toggles the “Plus Routing” option, which will load any audio and/or MIDI routings defined within the instrument. Turn it off for now.

  7. Press Screen Button 8 or the 4-D Encoder to load your preset.

  8. Try to play your new sound using the pads—you should notice that only the bottom-left pad (Pad 1) actually plays anything. This is because you are in Pad mode, where Maschine 2 expects you to have different sounds on each pad.

  9. Press the Keyboard Mode button (the third button from the left in the row of Input Mode buttons). The Helper will announce “Keyboard Mode” and you should now be able to play your chosen instrument using all of the pads.

  10. If you use the Helper to investigate the Screen Buttons Zone at this point, you should find that Screen Buttons 5 and 6 allow you to transpose the pads down and up an octave. Screen Buttons 7 and 8 transpose the pads down and up by semitones. These transposition functions are also available when you are in Pad Mode.

  11. Try flipping between your new sound and the drums using the Group A and Group B buttons—you should hear the pads change between Pad Mode and Keyboard mode when you do this, so your controller will be set up appropriately for playing each kind of sound.


When you are in Keyboard Mode there are several performance options that you can use:

  1. Screen Knob 1 allows you to select the scale bank from a range of pre-defined kinds of scale and Screen Knob 2 allows you to select the scale type.

  2. Screen Buttons 5 and 6 change the octave down and up, respectively.

  3. Screen Buttons 7 and 8 transpose by semitones down and up, respectively.

  4. To activate the Arpeggiator for the selected Group, hold down the Shift Button and press Note Repeat [Arp]. You can investigate the various functions of the arpeggiator by using the Helper to check out the Screen Button and Screen Knob assignments.