Maschine Ableton workflow

DjObed Member Posts: 19 Newcomer

Hello amazing people,

For a few years I've been using Maschine mk3 with the maschine software to create songs, this without another DAW. Recently I've bought the Kontrol s88 mk3, I LOVE that piece of hardware! And now I like to create songs from my studio but also in a live setup and use Ableton as the DAW and the Maschine soft and hardware as a plugin. I have a m1 pro MacBook.

I'm here to ask questions about the Maschine - Ableton integration. I've tried a lot of (maybe to much) things read some of the manual and watched various video's but keep can't get a nice workflow going. Its driving me nuts 🤪 (not that I'm entirely sane lol). Reason enough to reach out to this community and start asking questions.

My question is what the best workflow is when using Maschine for the drum loops. With the s88 it was a breeze but for some reason with Maschine (for me) rocket science.

I'll keep a close eye as I think there will come options as questions but thank all of you in advance 🤩

Best Answer


  • 6xes
    6xes Member Posts: 436 Pro

    as im not entirely familiar with the extensive capabilities of Ableton i can only provide some idea's which maybe translated across by how i use Reaper & Maschine in the context you are referring to...

    im of the opinion setting up a good working base template with a good rhythmic FX plugin such as shaperbox2 will assist in doing electronic drum fills... and allowing you to work with already existing drum loops... shaperbox2 is excellent for creating variations of drumloops... (which can be seen in the video)

    if your template is built correctly with the maschine Ext-sends in place within Ableton you can also layer multiple drumloops over one another(unsure how its done in ableton).... add on top shaperbox2 manipulation and midi assigned parameter jumps on a button, or a double press.. you can do some create as i say... some neat little drum fills..

    shaperbox2 is also great rhythmic aspects... as i try to demonstrate in this video...

    again this is working inside Reaper as opposed to ableton... and the idea of template, allows me to add another maschine project while continuing on with the session(harmonically speaking you need to know what projects work with other projects). Im entirely sure this could be done in Ableton

    what is not seen in this video.... and entirely possible to do with reaper is record everything onto separate tracks in a single take fashion... which at that point you can chop up and edit

    there is alot that i dont show in this video with what tools i use to make this template gel together... but thats another video *winks

    This video is entirely working with Maschine expansion songs and the odd sample added here, but youll see the aspects of drumfills & layering sprinked in the video

  • DjObed
    DjObed Member Posts: 19 Newcomer

    thank you 6xes for the reply.

    I also found out that Ive been trying to make things work with AU files and according to this post... I'm gonna try to enable vst3 and try again, if that doesn't work i'll be here to seek more information.

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,058 mod
    Answer ✓

    AU is not gonna work with that, AU (V2) does not have MIDI Out from plugins, so yeah.... use VST3.

    AU is for Logic, there's not advantage at all in using it in Ableton.

  • DjObed
    DjObed Member Posts: 19 Newcomer

    Almost there, I've got thing working but there are a few flaws I don't understand how to fix;

    -I did disable the thru but still I hear the sound double

    -All sounds are pitched, I try to put it on c2 instead of c3 etc but no luck so far

    -and if I use the .ALS file and load a new maschine 2 on the drum rack (as it's a vst2) it doesn't work.

    I'd love if it would go as smooth as my lovely new s88 mk3

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,058 mod
    edited November 12

    @DjObed I suggest you go read my Cubase thread, even tho it's for a different DAW it outlines the main differences between Instruments and Group-Kits from the Maschine side.

    -I did disable the thru but still I hear the sound double

    Sorry, I don't know what you mean by that.

    -All sounds are pitched, I try to put it on c2 instead of c3 etc but no luck so far

    Maschine doesn't know if you want to control 1 Pad chromatically (pitched) or if you just want to use notes to trigger different Pads. If you want the latter then you gotta right-click the Group and select "Group MIDI Batch Setup" -> "Sounds to MIDI Notes".

    By default, each MIDI Channel triggers a Pad pitched.

    -and if I use the .ALS file and load a new maschine 2 on the drum rack (as it's a vst2) it doesn't work.

    Just using someone else's template without learning how it works is not a very good idea IMO.

    If you're stuck feel free to send me a zipped project and I can check for routing errors.

  • 6xes
    6xes Member Posts: 436 Pro

    what i tend to do... with the maschine plugin... is avoid using the instruments level...if i wish to be using the instruments with the pads... i will be in the maschine plugin itself, and using the pads directly making patterns via the controller

    as it makes no sense to me using a vst like shaperbox... to manipulate just a hihat... or just a basskick or a single snare, and if i do choose to manipulate a single instrument with reverb/delay i will also do it inside maschine. i often considered going through the labourious task of routing midi-signals out of maschine, but when it comes down to it.... making a template for capturing midi to then transform the instruments inside ableton has one fiddling around too much with note-pitch etc etc which would be a right PITA

    better off just doing it inside maschine *shrugs 

    I strictly deal with the group level, as it is the groupings of groups im manipulating with shaperbox2 as seen in the video..

    as an example: for each song

    1 group all the drums elements, and send them to ext1

    2 group all the melodic elements send out ext2

    3 group all the rhythmic elements send out ext3

    4 group the basslines/vocals elements send out ext4

    i will also mute out any elements i dont want

    that way everything is encompassed and require only 4 vol faders to control levels on an external midi controller

    this process of sending out the groups to ext1,2,3,4 etc etc is easily done on the maschine controllers, but can also be done in the maschine plugin with the mouse as well

    add the last element of using midi change and you can easily jump between the patterns, and do all this with a controller in midi mode... like how i was using maschine jams in the video.. all in midi-mode

  • DjObed
    DjObed Member Posts: 19 Newcomer

    Hi D-One, I really am grateful for your time and patience!

    It took me some time to write a reply, busy life and testing now and then. But yesterday I had a breakthrough and now use this; Maschine X Ableton Integration (Midi Routing) from LLCool sk8z

    I think with all testing I begin to understand more and more what what does with these kind of setups. For one person it's easier, and for me meh 😅 Ill keep testing improving my knowledge

    With thru I mean the sound, midi, input switch (maybe you understand what I mean now :))

    I do have one more question. Why can I use the transport keys of my s88 mk3 out of the box, but cannot use the transport keys of my Maschine? I mean the start, stop record etc buttons

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,058 mod
    edited November 28

    That YouTube video only covers Audio routing, it's fine if you record into Maschine and don't want the MIDI in the DAW.

    @DjObed asked:

    Why can I use the transport keys of my s88 mk3 out of the box, but cannot use the transport keys of my Maschine? I mean the start, stop record etc buttons

    Because KK-S keyboards are meant to control either Komplete Kontrol or Kontakt, none of those have transport, while Maschine software does. So for devices like a MAS-MK3 you have a choice - if you want those buttons to control the DAW or Maschine-Plugin.

    In Controller Editor, and enable Host Transport Control - This makes the buttons no longer control Maschine and just send out MIDI, also select either a "Mackie Contro"l or "MCU Transport" from the template list so the device knows what MIDI info to send.

    In Ableton's Preferences under Control Surfaces select Mackie Control from the list and assign your MK3's virtual Ports to the In/Out, now Ableton knows what to do with the MIDI the MK3 will be sending from transport.

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