Sequencing Maschine Drum Tracks with Ableton Push Controller Update

Mid-summer I got my hands on Ableton Push and was floored.  So. Much. Damn. Awesome. Instrument. (obligatory overused doge meme image here).  I had been using NI Maschine for a while, which is pretty cool in it’s own right, but I never loved it’s built-in sequencer.  The workflow and sounds though . . . if only I could easily sequence them in Ableton Live somehow!

Ultimately after much trial and error, I came up with a workflow that worked.  I documented it on the Live forums, and then blend.io (great service, I’ve been slacking!) picked up on it and I guest blogged there about it.

Anyway, fast forward several months and Native Instruments released v2 of Maschine’s software.  Great update, but in doing so, they broke a few workflow things, which sent me back to the drawing board.  Annoyingly I had to wait for a few sub-updates first, but now it’s all back in action.

So, here’s the update to how to set it up with v2:

In Live:

  • Create a Midi track and name it Maschine A.
  • Put  an instance of Maschine on the Maschine A track, right click on the instrument and select Group to Drum Rack in the menu.

image

  • Set Maschine receive in drum rack to All (click on the I-O button on the bottom left of the Drum Rack to expand to see this menu).

           image

 

In Maschine:

  • Click the group A1, then click Group, then click Input.  It should look like the below (specific items highlighted in white).maschine2-1
  • In the MIDI section, turn “Active” on and set the Channel to 1 ( as seen below).

maschine2-2

You can now trigger and sequence that group using the Ableton Drum Rack and Ableton’s clips!

If you want to have multiple groups triggered independently each from their own Ableton Drum Racks on dedicated tracks, this is also possible using these additional steps:

In Live:

  • Create 7 additional Midi tracks and name them Maschine B, Maschine C, Maschine D, etc;, The letter is to reference the Maschine group.
  • Select all 8 tracks and group them (Command-G). Name the group Maschine.
  • Add an Ext Instrument to B, C, D, Etc.
  • Set each Ext Instrument MIDI To: Maschine A and then the associated Maschine output – for example doing this for Maschine B, the 2nd dropdown in the external instrument should read 2 – Maschine. Do the same for C (would be MIDI to: Maschine A and 3 – Maschine), and D, and how many other Maschine groups you plan on using.
  • Set the Audio From in the external instrument to the corresponding Maschine external output. For simplicity this should be the same number as the midi channel for that group: Maschine B’s external instrument will read Audio From – Out 2/-Maschine. Therefore Maschine B will be on Midi channel 2, AND audio from Out 2/-Maschine.

           image

  • To make each Ext Instrument function as a Drum Rack (note this is with using Push’s drum rack mode in mind), right click on each Ext Instrument and select Group to Drum Rack. Follow the same steps as in Maschine A with regards to the receive in the Drum Rack (all).

    image

In Maschine:

  • Starting with Group B, click the Group section in Maschine and then the Output button. Under Audio, set the Dest. to the associated channel. E.g. B would be Ext 1, C would be Ext 2, D would be Ext 3, etc.

maschine2-3

 

  • If you want to use a VST/synth (e.g. Massive which now comes with Maschine for free), there’s a slight change to the MIDI routing.  Instead of making MIDI under the Group active as you did above, leave that off, and under Sound make that active.  Like so:

maschine2-4

 

Now you can have potentially 8 separate Ableton drum racks, each controlling their own group in Maschine controlling everything with just the Push! 

Good luck and hopefully you’ll find this technique helpful in some way, even if it’s just a jump off point for your own setup.

I reached out to blend.io a bit ago about updating their blog, but no word back.  Will try to get an updated template up as well so you can just pull it down, save it as your own, and roll.

Happy Beatmakin’!

-TekMonki

Pingback: TekMonki » Downloadable Ableton Push and Maschine v2 Template Posted

James July 18, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Amazing tutorial man!!! I have been waiting ages to discover how this works and you perfectly answered it . Big up 🙂

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tekmonki August 11, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Glad you liked it and that I could help out!

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flolachevre August 8, 2014 at 4:46 am

Thanks for your tutorial, and your template (blend.io).

I use it with 4 keyboards, and wonder if it´s possible to load a kontakt multitimbral plugin in a group, wich I could change the sound by pressing one of the 16 pads..?

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tekmonki August 11, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Not sure I follow completely . . .

So you’d load a Kontakt plugin in Maschine, correct? If yes, give me an example one so I might play about and see if I can help (don’t use Kontakt much).

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flolachevre August 13, 2014 at 4:13 am

Thanks for reply.

This is a link for my template :
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/bzdvehyqq0zugdd/AACKoma9eKBPI2e-qDR6322ua

This your template at blend.io that I modified for my needs, and adapted for your help :
1- Group A : a drum maschine kit (CR78)
2- Group B : a Bass group where I load un sound 1 a Kontakt multitimbral instruments, sound 2 that plays sound 2 from Kontakt, etc.
3- Group C : like group B but empty
4- Group D : like group C

At the moment I can play with Maschine one selected bass if I select the corresponding pad and active keyboard mode, but I want to play with one of my MIDI keyboards (LPK25 for bass) instead of Maschine.
And then I would play group C with another MIDI keyboard (MPK Mini), and group D with another keyboard (Arturia Analog Factory).

With Maschine in stand alone mode I can’t play only one sound at time, so with Ableton and your template I wish to play drum, bass and 2 more sounds simultaneously and independently, with :
1- Maschine for drums (group A),
2- LPK25 MIDI keyboard for bass (group B),
3- PK88 MIDI keyboard for piano (group C),
4 -and Analog Factory MIDI keyboards for lead (group D).

Any help would appreciated.

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tekmonki August 14, 2014 at 8:55 pm

I loaded up the template but got an error about Kontakt. What instrument is it? I have NI Komplete Ultimate, so maybe I have it as well? Also, one thought, what if you right click the devices you want for each control surface and do “lock to LPK25” or “lock to MPK Mini”? I haven’t tried that in years myself, but may do what you need.

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flolachevre August 15, 2014 at 1:52 am

Hello,

An error ? I don’t use third librairies for bass, so I don’ t know.
But you can load your own sounds in kontakt in group C that is empty, so I think that there will be no problem..?

I don’t know the option “Lock to”, I will search. I suppose I have to put my differents MIDI keyboards in “MIDI inputs” in audio/midi preferences of Maschine and Kontakt ?

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flolachevre August 15, 2014 at 2:31 am

I didn’t find anything about the option “Lock to”, so if you can tell me where I can find it ?

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tekmonki August 15, 2014 at 11:02 am

Check out this section in the manual, and scroll down a little for pics: https://www.ableton.com/en/manual/midi-and-key-remote-control/#instant-mappings

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flolachevre August 26, 2014 at 12:42 pm

Hello,

I tried it, but it doesn’t work.
If you got another idea..?

Thanks

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tekmonki August 29, 2014 at 12:02 am

Sorry, I just saw this reply. I guess I don’t fully understand what you’re trying to do. I re-read your original post just now though, and I think maybe I had it wrong, you tell me though . . .

I thought you were trying to play Kontakt “zones” with multiple keybards (e.g. LPK25 for Bass zone, MPK Mini for synth zone, etc). That seems incorrect though. If you’re trying to play “B” with one keyboard, “C” with another keyboard, etc; I would think you should still do “lock to” for each keyboard, but then also record enable each track so you can play them at the same time, make sense?

If not, try explaining again and tell me what “doesn’t work” with lock to . . .

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flolachevre August 29, 2014 at 1:31 am

Hello,

What you said is exactly what I need : one group for one keyboard.
The goal is to have the choice, in live situation, between 16 différents sounds by keyboards, so I don’t have to stop ableton, choose an instrument in Kontakt Library with the mouse and then press play, etc.
I use Kontakt multiple outputs in order to preserve CPU.

With your set and the external instruments (one per group), the option “lock to” doesn’t appear in the “Ctrl+clic menu” (it seems to work only with native ableton instruments..). And so playing simultaneously ans independantly with all my MIDI keyboards is still impossible.

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tekmonki September 3, 2014 at 6:10 pm

There’s gotta be some way. I clearly just don’t know what way that is, sorry. If I think of something else I’ll update here though.

You try posting on Ableton’s or NI’s forums?

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Hans wurst January 7, 2015 at 7:01 am

sorry but my email …. dosent work.

my new one is …. + an dropbox 😉

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tekmonki January 8, 2015 at 8:04 pm

Updated that for you. What’s the dropbox for though?

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Davros July 28, 2015 at 8:39 am

Hi there, thanks for these instructions, however whenever I hit a pad on Push it triggers all 8 groups at once. I re-read your instructions and have setup exactly as you described. What am I doing wrong?

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tekmonki July 30, 2015 at 11:09 pm

What version of Ableton and Maschine are you using?

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Davros August 2, 2015 at 10:09 pm

Ableton 9.2 and Maschine 2.2.4

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Davros August 12, 2015 at 12:30 am

Hi Tekmonki, any advice here?

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tekmonki August 13, 2015 at 3:14 pm

Sorry man, been a bit busy with work and such – will try to get you an answer/advice in the next few days.

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Davros October 8, 2015 at 9:01 pm

Bump on this question, any assistance to troubleshoot?

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JAZB October 5, 2015 at 1:00 pm

Hey thanks for this! Best of the both world.

Anyways who ever are having problem setting up the above mentioned method of sequencing maschine inside ableton live.

TekMonki has also uploaded a live 9 / mashinc template.
SUPER COOL! Working for live 9.2.2 & Maschine 2.3!

https://blend.io/tekmonki/pushmaschine2-template-project

Thanks agiain!

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tekmonki October 5, 2015 at 3:39 pm

Great, glad you like it man!

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Chacho October 6, 2015 at 10:16 pm

Thank you! This is so usefull and saved me a lot of time!

Two questions:

1) I guess it’s impossible to trigger a same group from an ableton clip with notes in pad made and outside pad mode at the same time, right?

2) Is it possible to record into the same ableton track from maschine and from push at the same time? The best option i’ve found to record midi from maschine into ableton (while having the option to record midi from push too) with this setup is to create a new midi track, midi output from each sound of the group destinated to “host”, and in the midi track select the midi input from maschine. The problem is that i can’t pick a midi chanell input from ableton, so if there are more than one group playing then all the midi information goes to that midi track. Any clue?

🙂

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NOAH January 23, 2016 at 12:40 pm

Hey … Thanks for this.

The setup is great for sequencing drums.

How do you manage separating out the parts for mixing?

How do you manage KEYBOARD / CHORD Mode for the pads?

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tekmonki January 26, 2016 at 12:20 am

Hey Noah, sorry for the delay – work, blizzard, life, etc – been a while since I’ve messed with it so I don’t have a ready answer, but will try to get you one. If you end up sorting it out on your own, feel free to post it up here or wherever if it can help someone else (including me at times, heh) too.

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NOAH January 26, 2016 at 7:01 am

Hey great thx for coming back to me on this! Look forward to any ideas and or further replies and certainly i will post any solutions i come up with! Cheers!

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Larix November 20, 2015 at 10:45 am

Nice!
Where can i get the template?
Thanks in advance 🙂

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Larix December 12, 2015 at 7:00 am

Daamn! Thank you so much!! but how do you handle your automation? if you do it in ableton you have all your automations of all 8 groups on one midi track (maschine A) 😮 is there a workaround to spread the automation on the different midi tracks (A,B,C,…)?
would great if you could help me 🙂

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Ethan January 11, 2016 at 10:16 pm

This saved me so much time. Thank you for sharing.

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tekmonki January 11, 2016 at 10:28 pm

Cool, glad to hear it. Plan on getting a Push 2 soon (purty colorrrrs!) and at some point will update template if needed and maybe write up some differences and such. Later for that though!

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Ethan January 21, 2016 at 2:00 pm

After messing around with this method for a while, I still can’t figure out how to get the velocity in Maschine to be 127 for all pads?

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Andrew January 25, 2016 at 11:27 pm

Some people might find the Audiomodder packs usefull here since it lets you quickly swap out any Maschine kit and the routing is already still configured to use in a template like you show Tekmonki.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3h6HVuD7As&feature=youtu.be

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tekmonki January 26, 2016 at 12:18 am

Couldn’t agree more. TekMonki = 100% happy Audiomodder user, people! 🙂

Haven’t tried out the latest and greatest since I’m in the middle of “reinstall/set up/fine tune everything” fun on a different machine AND waiting on the Push 2 to be bundled at my post-blizzard doorstep, but definitely check out Audiomodder if I’m taking too long to respond (sorry), you’re stuck, or just ‘cos it’s good stuff!

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Jake February 8, 2016 at 7:00 pm

I got every thing working but theres a huge latency on the pads. Any idea what may be causing this?

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Jake February 8, 2016 at 7:04 pm

Never mind I figured it out. Thanks so much for this, very helpful!

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tekmonki February 9, 2016 at 12:23 am

Great, glad to hear you got it working!

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Kirk July 1, 2016 at 3:55 pm

Hi, I love this, and haven’t been able to walk through the full thing yet… However, I have gotten where I can trigger sounds from maschine in those drum racks… Quick question, can you drag midi from maschine over to this as entire group? Second, in regards to a maschine drum kit, can I put a live 9 eq on the individual kick, snare, hit, etc in the drum rack… Because yesterday that’s the part I wasn’t able to get through on..

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tekmonki July 2, 2016 at 12:39 am

It’s been a little bit since I’ve messed with Maschine, particularly since upgrading to the latest and greatest with Live, Push, and Maschine (software only w/ Maschine). As I recall though, and may have changed with the update, needed to save/export the MIDI to get it into Ableton – kinda annoying.

And yeah, you should be able to just drag/drop an EQ on each pad easy breezy like.

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