Note: This feature requires the latest version of MASCHINE 2 and MASCHINE 2 FACTORY LIBRARY. If using a version of MASCHINE between 2.6.0 and 2.8.7 (with FACTORY LIBRARY version 1.3.0 - 1.3.2), use the zip file attached at the end of this article in conjunction with this guide. Versions of MASCHINE older than 2.6.0 do not include this feature.
MASCHINE 2 includes MIDI CC features to enable you to control your MIDI hardware instruments (e.g. synthesizer, drum machine) as if they were plug-ins.
This article explains how to access and use the library of MIDI presets for popular devices in MASCHINE.
Additionally, this article explains how to route the external device's audio output back to a Sound slot in MASCHINE. This further allows the use of MASCHINE effects and manipulation of the recorded audio within the MASCHINE sampler.
Accessing the MIDI Presets from the MASCHINE Browser
If running the latest versions of the MASCHINE 2 software and MASCHINE 2 FACTORY LIBRARY, the MIDI Presets are found directly in the MASCHINE 2 Browser.
- Select All Groups in the File Type selector and click MIDI Ext.
This shows a list of presets to control a hardware drum machine with the MASCHINE Group's pads. You can also select a manufacturer (e.g. Elektron, Roland, etc.) to only show those related presets:
- Select All Sounds in the File Type selector and click MIDI Ext.
This shows a list of presets to control a hardware synthesizer, hardware effects unit, or one particular sound of a drum machine.
The list can be sorted by selecting the tabs labelled; Drums Ext., FX Ext. or Instruments Ext. This opens another category of TYPES from which allows sorting by manufacturer. In our example we sorted the list to show all synthesizers:
- Load a MIDI preset by double-clicking the corresponding entry.
Sending MIDI Out from MASCHINE to your Hardware Device
- Double-click the MIDI preset corresponding to your hardware synthesizer or drum machine. In our example we load the Preset for the Roland JU-06 synthesizer into a sound slot.
Note: If you want to control a hardware synthesizer or only a particular sound of a hardware drum machine, you must use a sound slot.
- In the Control area, click the Channel icon and navigate to Sound > Output > MIDI:
- Click on the field above Dest. and select the MIDI port that you want to use to send MIDI data to your external gear. The available outputs correspond with the settings defined in the MASCHINE Preferences > MIDI > Output. In our example, we choose Maschine MK2 Out:
- In case your external synthesizer or drum machine is receiving MIDI on a different MIDI channel other than Channel 1, you can change the setting by clicking into the field above Channel.
- While in the Control area, click the Macro icon to access the available synth parameters (i.e knob-pages to the right of Control Area).
MASCHINE is now set up to play and control the external synthesizer. You can also tweak the synths's parameters with the knobs of your MASCHINE controller.
Routing Audio from the External Device Back to MASCHINE
- Select a dedicated Sound slot to route the external device's audio back to.
Note: If you are using a Group preset, it may be required to choose a Sound slot from a different Group (e.g. when all 16 Sound slots are already used in the Group).
Click the Channel icon and go to Sound > Input > Audio.
- Click on the field above Source and select the input of the audio interface where your hardware synthesizer's output is connected. The available inputs correspond with the settings defined in the MASCHINE Preferences > Audio > Routings > Input settings. In our example, we select In 1 L+R.
While playing the connected hardware instrument, its audio is routed through the dedicated MASCHINE Sound slot.
Saving the Group's Settings
To avoid repeating the above steps every time you want to use your hardware synthesizer with MASCHINE, the Group can be saved as follows:
- In the Group List, right-click the Group and choose Save As... from the context menu.
- Rename the Group to your liking and save the Group preset (.mxgrp) file to the MASCHINE Standard User Directory.
- Mac OS: Macintosh HD > Users > USER NAME > Documents > Native Instruments > Maschine 2
- Windows: C: > Users > USER NAME > Documents > Native Instruments > Maschine 2
- To load the preset again, select All Groups (or All Sounds) in the MASCHINE File Type selector. Make sure that User Content ("Person Icon") is selected. Double-click the preset's entry to load the Group (or Sound). In our example the preset's name is My_JU-06_Preset.