Is there a way to get around the 8 Group limit with Maschine?

Tom Auger
Tom Auger Member Posts: 23 Member
edited March 2023 in Maschine

Hi there, Maschine MK3 noob here, and just getting through some tutorials and the manual, but an early question has me stumped.

The sequencing workflow within a group is lovely, but all your sounds within the group are sequenced all together when you record, unlike Ableton Live, where each sound has its own "track". This makes sense when each sound is a different drum sample in a drum kit, but given that Sounds can also be NKS instruments, you might want to record different parts / patterns per sound, not per group.

So, imagining that you're doing an electronic track with lots of different sounds, the only way (at my current level of understanding) that you can maintain track independence is to do one sound per group and sequence things that way. If that's true, then because there are only groups A-H, there are only 8 independent tracks.

Am I getting this wrong? I have to admit I'm coming in with an Ableton Live mental model where you build up all these "clips" (patterns) for your different tracks / instruments and then you can build up a song (arrangement) that way. I don't like the idea that I might be limited to 8 separate tracks – that would be akin to using the free version Ableton Live!

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Best Answers

  • ini4
    ini4 Member Posts: 22 Helper
    Answer ✓

    @Tom Auger I get the point you are trying to make. There are 8 groups to a bank, but there can be multiple banks of groups. If you hold shift you'll notice the groups change color. Holding shift and clicking a new group letter (A-H) will load a new bank of groups, but only when the previous bank is full.

    Try loading the "Like Water" project in the Maschine Library. When you press shift, you'll notice Groups A, B, and C light up. These are separate banks of groups that you can select.

    I hope this helps.

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,740 mod
    edited March 2023 Answer ✓

    I'll state what I want to do again, just so it's really clear:

    Load a sound (like an NKS instrument) into Pad 1.

    Load a second sound into Pad 2.

    Record a clip / pattern just for Pad 1.

    Keep that clip playing / looping but then record a second clip / pattern just for Pad 2


    In this way, I have independent patterns for each sound. Then I should be able to use the Arrangement view to control which patterns (ie: which sounds) are playing at any given time.

    @Tom Auger No, That's not how it works at all, here, take a look:

    For each active Group, you can only have 1 Pattern per Scene/Section - There's no such thing as independent Patterns per Sound/Pad, a Pattern doesn't apply to just a Pad, it's for the whole Group.

    In other words, on a Group, the MIDI data that triggers a Pad-1 is in the same container as the other 15 Pads; for this reason it's often better to separate Instruments per Group. The whole 4x4 Pad layout logic was originally designed for sampler's, one-shots, etc... Floppy disk era, where 20 instruments in a beat was a dream. So, for things like Drum's it works great, for Instruments not so much (in this context).

    What you're asking is for something like this:

    In my mind it's just wasteful to have 1 group per track when each group can theoretically hold 16 different instruments.

    It can be wasteful but in most scenarios it's really not. I use instruments per Group simply because it's more practical to play around with Mutes and stuff + makes arranging simpler to do and visualize. If I need to go over 8 groups I start putting Instruments that are in the same 'category' together so I don't over that limit, almost like a Stem approach... Try to think about the most important things you need to turn on/off and give them their own Group, everything else can be bundled together.

    If all Instruments are bundled in the same Group then you have to go inside each Group to mute/solo stuff, meaning you can't do or even see it all at the same time due to having to navigate around, kind of hard to explain in text tho..


    clearly states that Groups are like Tracks in your DAW (e.g. Ableton) and he uses them that way.

    This is sort of subjective, statements like that are made to simply the explanation, it's not literal.

    I don't know the context but they're really not, A Group in Maschine is either the equivalent of an Ableton Group with several tracks or a Drum Rack with only 16 slots since drum racks can have instruments and individual channels too.

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Answers

  • Peter Harris
    Peter Harris Member Posts: 470 Pro

    No, If I understand your question then you have 16 tracks per group (one for each sound) and then you can have multiple banks of groups.

  • ini4
    ini4 Member Posts: 22 Helper
    Answer ✓

    @Tom Auger I get the point you are trying to make. There are 8 groups to a bank, but there can be multiple banks of groups. If you hold shift you'll notice the groups change color. Holding shift and clicking a new group letter (A-H) will load a new bank of groups, but only when the previous bank is full.

    Try loading the "Like Water" project in the Maschine Library. When you press shift, you'll notice Groups A, B, and C light up. These are separate banks of groups that you can select.

    I hope this helps.

  • Tom Auger
    Tom Auger Member Posts: 23 Member

    @Peter Harris I get that there are 16 sounds per group, but can each one of them have its own sequence which plays at the same time as the other 15 sequences? I don't think that's how Maschine works but I could be wrong.

  • Tom Auger
    Tom Auger Member Posts: 23 Member

    Ah! Multiple banks of groups - that's very promising! A tiny bit cumbersome but workable. Thank you.

  • aafanatic
    aafanatic Member Posts: 35 Helper

    @Tom Auger I like to load different projects from expansions/genres that I like and see how they are organized.

    Doing this has gotten me to group sounds by how they need to be processed. ie, subs on one group, snares on another, perc and hats…, synthes, vocal chops,

    There’s more than one way to organize in Maschine, so explore and enjoy 😇

  • Peter Harris
    Peter Harris Member Posts: 470 Pro
    edited March 2023

    Yep. Eventually you'll hit a memory limit with your computer but that's the only limit I know of.

    Can you give me a specific example of something you're concerned you couldn't do?

  • aafanatic
    aafanatic Member Posts: 35 Helper

    All 16 pads can have 16 different virtual instruments all playing at once with effects per track and group.

    16 pads X 8 groups = 128 tracks per bank.

    My guess is X 4 banks = 512 tracks total!

    I’ve never needed more than 12 groups for any of my songs.

  • Tom Auger
    Tom Auger Member Posts: 23 Member

    Hi Peter, I have not been able to read in the manual how this is possible.


    I'll state what I want to do again, just so it's really clear:

    1. Load a sound (like an NKS instrument) into Pad 1.
    2. Load a second sound into Pad 2.
    3. Record a clip / pattern just for Pad 1.
    4. Keep that clip playing / looping but then record a second clip / pattern just for Pad 2

    In this way, I have independent patterns for each sound. Then I should be able to use the Arrangement view to control which patterns (ie: which sounds) are playing at any given time.

    Does that make sense? So far, when I switch pads while recording a sequence, the MIDI data just gets added to the already playing sequence (that has notes from other Pads / Sounds in it), rather than starting its own sequence just to record MIDI data from the new Pad only.

    Thanks for your help, and sorry if this question seems so basic!

    Tom

  • Tom Auger
    Tom Auger Member Posts: 23 Member


    Sure 16 pads playing at once, but are they playing independent sequences / clips or are they all being triggered by the same sequence? What if I want to have Sound 1 play a 4-bar loop twice, and then continue to play while Sound 2 now adds a different 4-bar loop at the same time over top, and so on, each new sound layering on top - your "standard" way of building up an EDM song for example.

    If you still think I can do what I'm asking about, please walk me through the process because up to this point I only figured out how to add the MIDI notes from a pad to the same sequence for the whole group.

  • Peter Harris
    Peter Harris Member Posts: 470 Pro
    edited March 2023

    Yes you can absolutely do what you're describing with Patterns in Ideas mode, toggling them on and off at will. As you said, it's kinda the basis of EDM and many other genres that you can produce in Maschine.

    But sorry, you need to spend more time educating yourself by reading the very thorough documentation, watching Boris's three "How to do everything in Maschine" tutorials and watching Jef Gibbons channel on YT. It is unfortunately far too involved and cumbersome to answer all these questions in this sort of forum.

    And most importantly just dive in and try it all out. You'll be making great music in no time as long as you remember there is always a learning curve that's a bit steep at the outset. But it's worth it... 👍

  • Tom Auger
    Tom Auger Member Posts: 23 Member

    @Peter Harris Thanks for that! I'm definitely taking your advice and walking through Boris' videos. They are excellent.

    However, so far it's making me question whether you did in fact fully understand my question (no offense, just wanting to make sure) because he quite clearly states that Groups are like Tracks in your DAW (e.g. Ableton) and he uses them that way. This is in opposition to what I was asking about - using individual Sounds as tracks.

    Do you mind terribly just re-reading my description of what I was looking to do and just confirm that, yes, it is possible, even though the default approach is using 1 group per instrument ("track"). In my mind it's just wasteful to have 1 group per track when each group can theoretically hold 16 different instruments. But if there's no way to record a separate sequence against each pad, (which is what I was asking about in my OP), then this idea is kind of shot.

    Thanks for the continued support and opportunities to learn more about this awesome tool!

  • awol9000
    awol9000 Member Posts: 69 Advisor
    edited March 2023

    All of this confusion can be solved by opening the software and clicking around. Groups have sounds that have individual tracks.


  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,740 mod
    edited March 2023 Answer ✓

    I'll state what I want to do again, just so it's really clear:

    Load a sound (like an NKS instrument) into Pad 1.

    Load a second sound into Pad 2.

    Record a clip / pattern just for Pad 1.

    Keep that clip playing / looping but then record a second clip / pattern just for Pad 2


    In this way, I have independent patterns for each sound. Then I should be able to use the Arrangement view to control which patterns (ie: which sounds) are playing at any given time.

    @Tom Auger No, That's not how it works at all, here, take a look:

    For each active Group, you can only have 1 Pattern per Scene/Section - There's no such thing as independent Patterns per Sound/Pad, a Pattern doesn't apply to just a Pad, it's for the whole Group.

    In other words, on a Group, the MIDI data that triggers a Pad-1 is in the same container as the other 15 Pads; for this reason it's often better to separate Instruments per Group. The whole 4x4 Pad layout logic was originally designed for sampler's, one-shots, etc... Floppy disk era, where 20 instruments in a beat was a dream. So, for things like Drum's it works great, for Instruments not so much (in this context).

    What you're asking is for something like this:

    In my mind it's just wasteful to have 1 group per track when each group can theoretically hold 16 different instruments.

    It can be wasteful but in most scenarios it's really not. I use instruments per Group simply because it's more practical to play around with Mutes and stuff + makes arranging simpler to do and visualize. If I need to go over 8 groups I start putting Instruments that are in the same 'category' together so I don't over that limit, almost like a Stem approach... Try to think about the most important things you need to turn on/off and give them their own Group, everything else can be bundled together.

    If all Instruments are bundled in the same Group then you have to go inside each Group to mute/solo stuff, meaning you can't do or even see it all at the same time due to having to navigate around, kind of hard to explain in text tho..


    clearly states that Groups are like Tracks in your DAW (e.g. Ableton) and he uses them that way.

    This is sort of subjective, statements like that are made to simply the explanation, it's not literal.

    I don't know the context but they're really not, A Group in Maschine is either the equivalent of an Ableton Group with several tracks or a Drum Rack with only 16 slots since drum racks can have instruments and individual channels too.

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,761 Expert

    @Tom Auger

    Group is something like a bus, bunch of tracks put together. Each sound in Group may have its own MIDI. You may record them one by one and while those recorded before are played. The only "restriction" for Sounds is, they all share the same length (within given Group and given Pattern/Clip).

    You may use effects on Sound, but also on Group and on Master.

    IMHO you may do what you desire uder the condition all sounds in group are of the same length. Sounds in another group may share different lenght, if needed.

  • aafanatic
    aafanatic Member Posts: 35 Helper

    let’s see if we can make this more simple, if I have two sound in one group and I want one sound to play for the first four bars and the second sound to play for eight bars and then loop and play the same eight bars again, but the first sound I still want only for the first four bars, then I make a 16 bar pattern with the first four bars of my first sound and the eight bars of my second sound, copied and pasted to the last eight bars, so it will play for the full 16 bars.

    then for pattern two I want sound one to play for two bars, and then silent for two bars. I can copy and paste my two bar section on bar five, on seven, and have my second sound playing the same eight bar pattern copied from pattern one. I want this to play for 16 bars, though, but the pattern will loop its self.

    rtfm🎉

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