> make music now / 250 daw power tips
01Maschine 2.7 introduced Bass Synth, a quick and easy built-in monosynth with a beefy, squelchy 303-esque sound. Like its stablemates Drum Synth and Sampler, Bass Synth has been designed with hands-on tweakability in mind, the main page offering control over oscillator waveform (morphing from sine to square via saw and triangle), filter (including envelope modulation) and distortion, and Glide on/off slipping into page 2. It also comes with a decent list of presets (in the browser’s Sounds section), complete with effects chains. The tip here, then, is: don’t overlook Bass Synth! It may not be a particularly flexible or versatile instrument, but when you need a cone-rattling b-line in a hurry, it’s a fantastic option. And if you’re sequencing Bass Synth with Maschine Jam, you can use the top row of buttons in the step sequencer to turn Glide on and off for each step, aciiiid-style!
02Also new in Maschine 2.7, the Isomorphic keyboard mode for Maschine Jam takes inspiration from Ableton Push’s In Key mode, mapping only the notes of the chosen scale to the grid buttons, making it impossible to play out of key and easy to construct chords and riffs. In 3rds mode, for example, triads are laid out across sets of adjacent buttons, horizontally or vertically.
03You’re probably already aware of the Export Options dialog ( File » Export
» Options), with which you can normalise your arrangement renders, choose WAV or AIFF file format, and set the sample rate and bit depth. But did you know that these settings are also applied to patterns exported via drag and drop? You can set them once, safe in the knowledge that all your audio exports – no matter how they’re made – will come correct.
06The Maschine Mk3 and Studio controllers make accessing their glorious onscreen mixer easy thanks to the big, obvious Mixer buttons. If you’re using Maschine Mk1, Mk2 or Mikro, you do have similar functionality (albeit minus the flashy graphics), but how to get to it isn’t at all obvious: press the Shift and Sampling buttons. Even less obvious is the button combo required to switch the top section of the Maschine software from the Arranger/Ideas view to the Mixer View: Shift and Navigate. This is actually quicker than on Mk3/Studio, where you have to enter Software Navigation mode. This mode also lets you hide and reveal the Browser and Control Lane section, switch between Arranger and Ideas views, and zoom and scroll the Arranger timeline and Pattern Editor.
07Given the seemingly simple on/off nature of your Maschine controller’s Record button, you could be forgiven for missing the option to set the Pattern Length prior to recording by holding it down and turning Knob 4 or pressing Buttons 5-8. And here’s another top recording tip: rather than constantly hold down the Auto button to record parameter modulation into the Control Lane, press Shift and Auto instead to toggle modulation recording on until Auto is pressed again to turn it off.
08As well as presenting a very different way of interacting with the Maschine software to that of the 4x4 controllers, Maschine Jam also makes a fantastic partner for any of them. Obviously, the 8x8 button grid works brilliantly in conjunction with the 4x4 pads, bringing live performance and step sequencing together; but the ability to operate two sets of mixing and/or sound shaping parameters at once – the Mixer Level faders with Maschine Mk3’s knobs, say, at the same time as the Aux sends or plugin controls with Maschine Jam’s touchstrips – is equally empowering.
When recording, you can quantise your notes on the way in, helping you keep the flow
Maschine Jam is a welcome extension to the Maschine system, rather than an alternative or replacement