Pls help! What is an instrument?

RichBass Member Posts: 26 Member

Hi, I googled high and low trying to figure this out, and I'm looking at the manual, but maybe I'm not using proper search terms, as I'm still not understanding it.

Seems like a basic question... how is an instrument defined in Maschine software? In the browser, I see Groups, Sounds, Instruments, and I'm trying to conceptualize how they differ, so I can understand their limitations and how this software works with them.

The manual seems to indicate that an instrument is a 'plug in'? The online manual says

"Each Sound, each Group, and the Master can hold any number of Plug-ins. Plug-ins can be instruments or effects, and they can be internal (included with MASCHINE), from other Native Instruments products (instruments or effects), or external (third-party VST/AU plug-ins). Instrument and Effect Plug-ins can be loaded in the first Plug-in slot of Sounds."

But this is confusing... what does it mean for an instrument to be a plugin? I'm playing a plugin then? I'm able to load an instrument into one of the 16 slots of a group, too, but this is not mentioned as far as I can find. Or is it just that I am loading the instrument plugin into the plugin for that one sound that also happens to load it into the sound's slot in a group?

The user manual defines Sound as "Sounds are the building blocks of all sound content in MASCHINE. A Sound is made up of any number of Plug-ins. Each Sound of the selected Group is mapped to one of the 16 pads on the hardware controller, so you can play the Sounds by pressing the pads."

So this could make sense that an instrument is a plugin, since a sound is made up of plugins.

But then I look at the "Working with Plugins" link to get more info about "Instrument Plugins", and it says "Instruments: These Plug-ins generate sound. Instrument Plug-ins can only be loaded in the first Plug-in slot of Sounds. Following Plug-ins are available:"

I don't get it. I just double clicked a drumkit from Vintage Drummer in the browser and it went into the 2nd slot of Group A. And a different kit into a different slot in the same Group. Or is it that double clicking it loads the intrument plugin into the selected slot of the Group, and also loads that specific instrument plugin into the first plugin slot of the gui section that's above the piano roll?

I am so confused...

This all came about because what I am trying to do is to program the Bongo (from Cuba expansion) using a drum grid where I can see which note maps to which bongo stroke. Instead, I just see a piano roll so I have to fish for sounds, making it very tedious.

I'm really trying my best to figure this out with not much luck, so any help is greatly appreciated!


  • ozon
    ozon Member Posts: 900 Guru
    edited April 2022
    1. Project has Groups
    2. Group has Sounds
    3. Sounds consist of Instrument and/or Effect plugins.

    You load an Instrument into the first slot of a Sound.

    That should get you started.

  • ozon
    ozon Member Posts: 900 Guru

    @RichBass wrote:

    Or is it that double clicking it loads the intrument plugin into the selected slot of the Group, and also loads that specific instrument plugin into the first plugin slot of the gui section that's above the piano roll?

    That GUI section shows the currently selected Sound. So yes, it shows what you loaded by double clicking in the Browser.

    By using the Cuba Kontakt instrument, you are making it more complicated because, as you mentioned, this instrument offers different percussion samples on each note, which is more suited to be used from a keyboard than from a pad controller.

    If it is just about a single Bongo sound, the you could probably find one in the Maschine Factory Library.

    If you want to use several sounds from Cuba, you better switch Maschine to Keyboard mode for that Sound slot.

  • RichBass
    RichBass Member Posts: 26 Member

    Ah, ok, it's starting to make more sense, thanks for the help!

    So if I could find each of the various bongo strokes (open tone, fingertip, closed tone, slap, etc) as a separate sound, then I could create my own bongo 'group', and then play it on pads, otherwise, I'll need to play it on keyboard.

    I think what makes it confusing is that I see YT videos of folks playing 'groups' built from drum sounds on pads (like their kick, snare, clap, etc), and those sounds are available as 'sounds', but the kits I'm using are instead 'instruments', which will need to be played on keyboards.

  • RichBass
    RichBass Member Posts: 26 Member

    Even better! I looked in Groups and found a Bongo kit (and Conga, and Timbales), so I guess I CAN play them on pads... now I'm not sure why I bought the Cuba expansion and why I hadn't seen those Groups before.

    Thanks again!

  • ozon
    ozon Member Posts: 900 Guru

    Glad you found a solution!

    About Cuba: I think this instrument has more to offer than plain percussion samples. Maybe you find an application after learning more about it.

  • Triggi
    Triggi Member Posts: 9 Member

    Hey RichBass,

    so you load up the Cuba(kontakt)instrument to a pad of a group. Than you can select the pad and lock the keyboardmode for that pad and tadda, there you can play all the different tones( call them how you wan!) with the pads. Each tone correspond to a note in the pianoroll.

    And of cause, this is a bit confusing the first days😁

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