Importing MIDI Tracks into Maschine

Foldyman
Foldyman Member Posts: 39 Member
edited March 2022 in Maschine

Hi,

Wanted to see if anyone has a quick way of doing the following...

Love how you can just drag MIDI files into the software.

I've got a load of MIDI drum grooves that are "general MIDIish" in terms of what hits are mapped to what MIDI notes.

Now when you import a MIDI file into Maschine, it's kind of ingnorant of that and just maps MIDI notes numerically accross the pads (so, for exmaple, I'll generally end up with hi-hats where the snare should be, etc. etc.)

Now given that Maschine kits tend to have consistent sounds on certain pads (at least to an extent), is there an easy way to say, for exmaple, "everything on MIDI note 46, map to pad 4" etc?

The other way around would be ok too, i.e. to batch process a bunch of MIDI files to say that everything on MIDI note 46 should change to 39 - athough that would be sort of the bringing the mounatin to Muhammad.

Really love this box overall and am really enjoying it, but again it's another of those things where you think if this is a mature product, then why on earth, if it's possbile to drag MIDI files into something that's at it's heart a tool for creating drum patterns, does it not respect the MIDI notes certain hits would typically be mapped to?

Best Answers

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,755 mod
    edited March 2022 Answer βœ“

    That basically happens in most software, what note triggers what changes so much in between SW's and plugs that you always have to adjust and move stuff around manually... Some DAW's support the MIDI GM standard to some degree, Logic comes to mind but you still have to do a lot of manual work afaik. Cubase has an advanced logical editor for MIDI that can potentially solve these problems with one click after a lot of configuration.

    I've got a load of MIDI drum grooves that are "general MIDIish" in terms of what hits are mapped to what MIDI notes.


    Now when you import a MIDI file into Maschine, it's kind of ingnorant of that and just maps MIDI notes numerically accross the pads (so, for exmaple, I'll generally end up with hi-hats where the snare should be, etc. etc.)

    It's not numeric per se... If there's a C2 in the MIDI file it's still a C2 when you import it, MIDI has no info about what note trigger what drum piece, it's just a bunch of notes and channels... In that sense all SW is ignorant to is mapped to what. The only thing you can really do is change the input octave in case it's way off in Maschine Group -> Key Mode - Manual -> Start Note; this can make the MIDI show up in the right octave but it will still be scrambled. 😒

    Now given that Maschine kits tend to have consistent sounds on certain pads (at least to an extent), is there an easy way to say, for exmaple, "everything on MIDI note 46, map to pad 4" etc?

    No, that's not possible afaik, would be very cool as well as a batch tool, I guess searching for the latter would be the most practical solution but still far from ideal. There are some MIDI plugs out there that are able to basically remap notes around but Maschine does not support MIDI FX, even if it did it wouldn't help much in PAD Mode anyway.

    The ability to change patterns to similar ones or different ones without having all the hits scrambled was one of the reasons I bought XLN Audio's XO.

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,755 mod
    edited March 2022 Answer βœ“

    @Kubrak said:

    Maybe there is typical general MIDI drum note numbers and NI could remap it to "typical" NI layout....

    There is, "MIDI GM" drum map, it uses Channel 10 and specific notes for 47 different percussive hits, it's a standardization attempt from 1991... looks like this:

    It's what makes MIDI players and toy'ish keyboards play the right sounds.

    As far as I understand some dedicated Drum Instruments partially use the GM standard to some degree, products like EzDrummer, Superior Drummer, Perfect Drums, Addictive Drums, etc... But it's never perfect so some do offer conversion methods or built-in mappings, NI's drum Instruments have it too:

    It makes more sense to have those in realistic-sounding drum instruments than for Maschine "Kits" where the sample positions arent really super consistent, but hey... don't get me wrong I'd love to be able to use random Drum MIDI files too. I'd say if this would ever happen it would be long ago when this was actually a hot topic.


    ... saying that, I don't actually know how it works if you want to import a MIDI file for, say, a keyboard part... must look into that!

    You just open/enable Keyboard Mode (switches to Piano Roll) and drop the MIDI In.

Answers

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,755 mod
    edited March 2022 Answer βœ“

    That basically happens in most software, what note triggers what changes so much in between SW's and plugs that you always have to adjust and move stuff around manually... Some DAW's support the MIDI GM standard to some degree, Logic comes to mind but you still have to do a lot of manual work afaik. Cubase has an advanced logical editor for MIDI that can potentially solve these problems with one click after a lot of configuration.

    I've got a load of MIDI drum grooves that are "general MIDIish" in terms of what hits are mapped to what MIDI notes.


    Now when you import a MIDI file into Maschine, it's kind of ingnorant of that and just maps MIDI notes numerically accross the pads (so, for exmaple, I'll generally end up with hi-hats where the snare should be, etc. etc.)

    It's not numeric per se... If there's a C2 in the MIDI file it's still a C2 when you import it, MIDI has no info about what note trigger what drum piece, it's just a bunch of notes and channels... In that sense all SW is ignorant to is mapped to what. The only thing you can really do is change the input octave in case it's way off in Maschine Group -> Key Mode - Manual -> Start Note; this can make the MIDI show up in the right octave but it will still be scrambled. 😒

    Now given that Maschine kits tend to have consistent sounds on certain pads (at least to an extent), is there an easy way to say, for exmaple, "everything on MIDI note 46, map to pad 4" etc?

    No, that's not possible afaik, would be very cool as well as a batch tool, I guess searching for the latter would be the most practical solution but still far from ideal. There are some MIDI plugs out there that are able to basically remap notes around but Maschine does not support MIDI FX, even if it did it wouldn't help much in PAD Mode anyway.

    The ability to change patterns to similar ones or different ones without having all the hits scrambled was one of the reasons I bought XLN Audio's XO.

  • Foldyman
    Foldyman Member Posts: 39 Member

    Thanks @D-One, I think what I'm saying it's ignorant of is typical general MIDI drum note numbers, and that nstead it just maps them sequentially up the pads, rather than to the pad that Maschine normally has for a particular hit.

    Seems like it should've been an easy step to get to a "possibly right" pad assignment from the current "definitely wrong" one without the manual work in your MIDI file first.

    You've confirmed that I thought though, thanks. Looks like I need a separate tool to do it.

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,763 Expert

    Maybe there is typical general MIDI drum note numbers and NI could remap it to "typical" NI layout.... But what if someone wants to use imported MIDI as is, not converted? And what if not all NI drumkit layouts are "typical"? And what if importet MIDI is not typical?

    I can imagine user's complaints, that conversion does not work well and NI should fix it and so, on....

    It might be good, if MIDI import has user definable conversions. And possibly one preprepared by NI, which might work in many cases....

  • Foldyman
    Foldyman Member Posts: 39 Member

    Thanks @Kubrak

    Maybe there is typical general MIDI drum note numbers and NI could remap it to "typical" NI layout.... But what if someone wants to use imported MIDI as is, not converted? And what if not all NI drumkit layouts are "typical"? And what if importet MIDI is not typical?

    I guess it wouldn't be converting the MIDI, still using it "as is" but just triggered by different pads. Agree things aren't always typical, but there is at least an agreed typical that could be used as a default. I think my point is it could easily go to working well(ish) for 95% of use cases, from not working at all for 95% of use cases.

    It might be good, if MIDI import has user definable conversions. And possibly one preprepared by NI, which might work in many cases....

    Yes, exactly that, or just a general MIDI import option (which to me should be the default) that maps the actual GM drumkit note assignements to the typical NI pad assignments.

    The only case I can think of for anyone wanting it to not work like that would be if you're importing MIDI for an instrument rather than a drumkit, and being that the Maschine focus is arguably around kits, it seems to make sense that GM would be the default.

    ... saying that, I don't actually know how it works if you want to import a MIDI file for, say, a keyboard part... must look into that!

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,755 mod
    edited March 2022 Answer βœ“

    @Kubrak said:

    Maybe there is typical general MIDI drum note numbers and NI could remap it to "typical" NI layout....

    There is, "MIDI GM" drum map, it uses Channel 10 and specific notes for 47 different percussive hits, it's a standardization attempt from 1991... looks like this:

    It's what makes MIDI players and toy'ish keyboards play the right sounds.

    As far as I understand some dedicated Drum Instruments partially use the GM standard to some degree, products like EzDrummer, Superior Drummer, Perfect Drums, Addictive Drums, etc... But it's never perfect so some do offer conversion methods or built-in mappings, NI's drum Instruments have it too:

    It makes more sense to have those in realistic-sounding drum instruments than for Maschine "Kits" where the sample positions arent really super consistent, but hey... don't get me wrong I'd love to be able to use random Drum MIDI files too. I'd say if this would ever happen it would be long ago when this was actually a hot topic.


    ... saying that, I don't actually know how it works if you want to import a MIDI file for, say, a keyboard part... must look into that!

    You just open/enable Keyboard Mode (switches to Piano Roll) and drop the MIDI In.

  • Foldyman
    Foldyman Member Posts: 39 Member

    That's exactly it @D-One.

    It's certainly an old standard for MIDI drums, but afaik it's the only thing resembling a standard that there's ever been or continues to be. Those dedicated drum instruments can use different MIDI notes for more out there percussion things, but it's fair to say you'll always find kick/snare/hats/toms on the same channels on all of them (and indeed pretty much anything that's a named GM hit), and that's directly becuase of GM Drums. So in that sense although it may be an attempt from 1991, it remains a very sucessful attempt. Maschine is kind of the odd one out in this respect, and it should be as hot a topic as it always will have been.

    Kick/snare/hats/toms are always on the same pads on the more conventional Maschine kits (and even something resembling it on the less conventional ones), so why not at least give your MIDI file the best chance of sounding like it should when you drop it in, instead of making you do the work? Especially when (and I know this is massively underselling it) it is essentially a drum machine? A rhetorical question of course, and I know I'm going round in circles. I think only NI could really answer!

    I don't want to come accross as a knitpicker, it's only becuase the way Maschine works is so smooth that things like this stick out like absolute clangers. Generally I'm super impressed.

  • Pette
    Pette Member Posts: 2 Newcomer

    So we can say NI Maschine 2 editor still does not follow and does not intend to follow General MIDI Level 2. That means it's just the toy.

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,755 mod
    edited April 2023

    Well... You can say that about any other missing feature that is super important for your own personal workflow.

    At least in the case of GM you can configure things once, save a preset, and it's fixed... But it depends on exactly what you need to do, if it's an Instrument, Pad-Mode stuff, etc...

  • Pette
    Pette Member Posts: 2 Newcomer

    GM2 remains the future standard. Ableton Live works with that without a problem now. It eats General MIDI 2 files like a breeze as so do really professional groove machines and workstations too.

  • tetsuneko
    tetsuneko Member Posts: 564 Guru
    edited April 2023

    Maschine groups have 16 sounds. You can not fit the entire GM drum spec into 16 sounds. Any attempt to support it would be limited at best ("hey cool, now my kick/snare/hats play OK, but my percussion grooves sound like garbage?" and so on)

    The situation is not that much different on other systems. Take Ableton for example.

    It is generally assumed that you use VST's that support GM drum spec to output GM drum spec based MIDI data. This was even the case back when all we had were hardware instruments.

    My recommendation is for you to use a GM drum spec compatible instrument inside Maschine for auditioning your generic GM MIDI drum sequences. Once you find one you want to take further, you can probably feel arsed enough to do the manual work required for transposing each kick/snare/etc to the 16 sound slot format of most Maschine drum based groups

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