MAS­CHINE

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Computer Music - - Make Music Now -

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

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