melodic step sequencing of a keyboard instrument in maschine+

Parquin
Parquin Member Posts: 7 Sine
edited February 1 in Maschine

How is this done? It seems that step sequencing is exclusively for drum sounds mapped to pads.

My goal is to load a melodic instrument that would normally be played in keyboard or chord mode and sequence a melody from, for example, a complex piece of piano sheet music.

Another way to ask the same question is: how would one sequence only a piano backing track?

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Best Answers

  • D-One
    D-One PortugalModerator Posts: 415 mod
    edited January 31 Answer ✓

    It's not exclusive to drums/one-shots, you can sequence melodic content, but only monophonically since the Pads represent Steps and not notes. In Step Mode with Keyboard On knob 3 changes the Pitch. It can work for melodies and such.

    For Chords or polyphonic content generally, there's no way to input Steps afaik, people have requested this a lot tho.

  • Dan McHugh
    Dan McHugh Member Posts: 3 Sine
    Answer ✓

    Its a little long winded but this is how I manage chords / melodics in pad mode:

    1) In Pad Mode select the desired instrument

    2) Press "keyboard" immedfiately followed by "Pad Mode". you will now be in pad mode with the piano roll display for your currently selected instrument.

    3) Tap a pad to put a note on ther piano roll.

    4) Use knobs 1 to 4 to adjust positon / pitch etc of the note. (also nudge the 4D encoder to move the note about)

    5) Use copy (shift + pad 11) and paste (shift+pad12) to place a new note.

    6) use 4d encoder or knobs 1-4 to move note to create melody or chord.

    7) repeat to construct the tune.

    I notice that plating chords on a controller keyboard highlights the notes played on the piano roll in pad mode. Shame I can't figure a way to auto capture a single chord in step mode.


    hope this helps!

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Answers

  • D-One
    D-One PortugalModerator Posts: 415 mod
    edited January 31 Answer ✓

    It's not exclusive to drums/one-shots, you can sequence melodic content, but only monophonically since the Pads represent Steps and not notes. In Step Mode with Keyboard On knob 3 changes the Pitch. It can work for melodies and such.

    For Chords or polyphonic content generally, there's no way to input Steps afaik, people have requested this a lot tho.

  • Parquin
    Parquin Member Posts: 7 Sine

    Thanks. I'll give that a try, but there are likely many easier ways to do this more directly without using maschine at all.

  • olafmol
    olafmol Member Posts: 48 Tri

    As @D-One mentions, it has been requested for ages. And i've even specced it out completely and submitted it through the beta program.

    The answer: crickets...tumbleweed...... nothing....

    It seems that the feature-developers are living in a different universe and are not willing and/or capable to add new features that users are requesting. Automation editing, stop/rewind behaviour, melodic step input etc.... it's just not happening it seems, even though these things have been requested for 10 years already.

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 678 Saw

    1) It is possible sequence polyphonicly. I do not know, if using M+, or Mk3, but using Maschine Jam it is no problem. Maschine Jam is great addition to M+/Mk3. It is not produced any more, but one may get them secondhand.

    2) Maybe you do not need step sequencer. What about press record and play in real time? Either on pads or using keyboard attached to M+?

  • Parquin
    Parquin Member Posts: 7 Sine

    I am not a keyboard player. The reason I bought this device is to create backing tracks without sitting at a computer screen. Obviously, my mistake. I'm certainly not buying another NI thing (particularly an obsolete thing), adding to that mistake.

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 678 Saw

    OK, many people like combination of M+/Mk3 and Maschine Jam. It would give you probably exactly what you want. It is no problem to enter many bars of polyphonic melodies in sequecer.

    Look at piano roll of Jam. It is what you want. No need for computer. Jam works with M+ standalone.

    How To Use Maschine Jam - The Piano Roll - YouTube

    Maschine Jam FastTrack 101: Jam Essentials - 4. Piano Roll Sequencing Inst Control - YouTube

    Maschine Jam Workflow #02 Piano Roll 🎹 - YouTube


    And this is also pretty interesting way of making sounds...

    MASCHINE JAM workflow: Playing notes with Smart Strips | Native Instruments - YouTube

  • D-One
    D-One PortugalModerator Posts: 415 mod
    edited February 1

    To be clear, the requests to add a poly step to Maschine are usually tied to inputting them by pressing the Keys on a MIDI Keyboard - I don't see a whole lot of point to that personally, not that different from pressing record just playing the chord, I don't see where the advantage is.

    Devices that prioritize Poly Step Sequencing use bigger Pad grids, like this:

    Where rows are Steps and columns are Notes, even if rigidly locked to scale you only get 1 octave visible at a time, it's very limited if the goal is to input Chords. This approach would be 10x worst on 16 Pads only for obvious reasons, so not even an option.


    @Parquin said:

    I am not a keyboard player. The reason I bought this device is to create backing tracks without sitting at a computer screen. Obviously, my mistake. 

    You can certainly 100% do that without Poly Step and without a MIDI Keyboard, enable Chord Mode, and press pads while recording, no Keyboard Player skills are required, just a little bit of timing and some minimal music theory knowledge.

    Maybe the mistake was not looking into how Step Sequencers work and their history, it's something created to quickly input note sequences, if it's on a groove-box or synth doesn't really matter, historically it's a monophonic thing; the two main usages were always either melodies/arps or drums. This has only been changing in recent times and new approaches are way more common in software than in hardware.

    Not just your mistake, NI also shares some blame, as IMHO they try to market Maschine nowadays to a too big of an audience that might not even know what a groovebox is historically good at, creating unrealistic expectations which only leads to disappointment.

  • Parquin
    Parquin Member Posts: 7 Sine

    "Maybe the mistake was not looking into how Step Sequencers work and their history, it's something created to quickly input note sequences, if it's on a groove-box or synth doesn't really matter, historically it's a monophonic thing; the two main usages were always either melodies/arps or drums. This has only been changing in recent times and new approaches are way more common in software than in hardware."


    FWIW, even my Moog Matriarch will do polyphonic step sequencing (and it is mainly a mono-synth). Heck, even primitive Yamaha QY hardware boxes are better at sequencing than Maschine+ (and that is going back decades).

    As an aside, where did 'poly' come from in this discussion anyway? The request was just: how to build a melodic pattern in a step mode?

  • Parquin
    Parquin Member Posts: 7 Sine

    To all those who answered the question... Thanks for your time, it is appreciated.

    The answer seems to be 'no, the box does not do that' or, at least not in any way that is remotely usable.

  • D-One
    D-One PortugalModerator Posts: 415 mod

    Don't those also require using the keys to input MIDI tho?

    @Parquin

    As an aside, where did 'poly' come from in this discussion anyway? The request was just: how to build a melodic pattern in a step mode?

    Because you mentioned Chord Mode in the OP.

    Maybe there's another box out there that does what you want, I don't personally know any but good luck! Depending on where you bought your unit you might have 30 days to return it, might be worth investigating.

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 678 Saw

    Well, if you are satisfied with mono melody..... It is possible on M+. Either in step sequencer mode, or just record it while playing on pads in keyboard mode.

  • ozon
    ozon SwitzerlandMember Posts: 357 Saw
    edited February 2

    @D-One wrote:

    To be clear, the requests to add a poly step to Maschine are usually tied to inputting them by pressing the Keys on a MIDI Keyboard - I don't see a whole lot of point to that personally, not that different from pressing record just playing the chord, I don't see where the advantage is.

    Then your timing clearly doesn’t suck as much as mine.

    However, Step mode can be used to enter melodies, but it’s quite inconvenient. Something that is easily done on the Jam. Which is a bit of a bummer because it shows that the limitation is not within the software, but more a hardware capability support decision.

    @Parquin I’m not a keyboard player either, but I found to actually enjoy playing melodies on the M+ Pads after a bit of practising. It’s a musical instrument after all, and it pays off learning it.

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 678 Saw

    I made all my first songs on Maschine and without keyboard.

    M+/Mk3 accompanied with Jam makes life much easier. It becomes something close to that controller D-One has mentioned.

    I cannot believe NI has stopped production of Jam without apropriate replacement... M+ and Jam make wonderful pair. It may be used standalone and Jam adds a lot possibilities to live performances....

  • Dan McHugh
    Dan McHugh Member Posts: 3 Sine
    Answer ✓

    Its a little long winded but this is how I manage chords / melodics in pad mode:

    1) In Pad Mode select the desired instrument

    2) Press "keyboard" immedfiately followed by "Pad Mode". you will now be in pad mode with the piano roll display for your currently selected instrument.

    3) Tap a pad to put a note on ther piano roll.

    4) Use knobs 1 to 4 to adjust positon / pitch etc of the note. (also nudge the 4D encoder to move the note about)

    5) Use copy (shift + pad 11) and paste (shift+pad12) to place a new note.

    6) use 4d encoder or knobs 1-4 to move note to create melody or chord.

    7) repeat to construct the tune.

    I notice that plating chords on a controller keyboard highlights the notes played on the piano roll in pad mode. Shame I can't figure a way to auto capture a single chord in step mode.


    hope this helps!

  • TheLoudest
    TheLoudest Member Posts: 68 Tri
    edited February 6

    oh my... I would like Maschine to offer this possibility...

    I had multiple experiences on different sequencers over the years and I believe the best implementation for this is:

    - press and hold a pad

    - play a note (or a chord) on the external midi keyboard

    and voilà!

    -> the note (or the chord) is recorded on that step 😎


    with this method you can enter very complex midi sequences in a flash


    edit: you can see an example of this implementation on the Engine sequencer in the first seconds of the video:

    https://youtu.be/1z41PCH06xc

    besides this video is very telling because it illustrates several methods of input and we can see that the fastest and most effective is the first one...

    and if (in addition) this feature is associated with a transpose functionality .. you can have an overpowering arpeggiator able to generate some killer riffs (mix of chords and notes for example)

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