Guitar Player Needing Some Advice about Expansion Packs
I'm new to Maschine, and I'm as green as they get. My main instrument is guitar play and will use Maschine+ to compose, to practice, play live etc. therefore looking for basic drum patterns to play blues, rock and jazz. I know I can make my own but I'm thinking that there's probably something out there that covers this. What expansion packs should I be looking at?
That's one for @Peter Harris, he knows all there is to know about Expansions 🤓0
@DaGuy007 take a look at packs from The Loop Loft0
That's very nice of you to say @Matt_NI. 😁 Unfortunately my expertise is mainly in 'having no self-control when it comes to impulse purchases' as well as 'investing in music companies via expansion purchases'.
But I'll try to offer some suggestions:
If you could only afford two I'd grab Soul Magic and Satin Looks, first because they're generally fabulous but especially because they are stylistic surveys of super-influential genres with well-labelled kits from the 50s/60s/70s/80s/90s/00s. Great value, super educational/informative and just plain fun too.
Matnetik on Soul Magic: https://youtube.com/clip/UgkxgN2rx1c0_95jh5NiXkS8txxVxHauZ7RB
Beau Tyler on Satin Looks https://youtu.be/ZDxPqqjIH3M
But for your purpose, this one is a must-have too: Decoded Forms. It's like a drumbreak byconstruction kit and it's incredible. One of the most underappreciated expansions of all IMHO.
That should definitely get you started with expansions. But one more must-have for what you're looking for is MIDI Drum Pattern 1&2. Check out their video and it may be exactly what you're looking for and it's crazy affordable!
"Maschine MDP 2" https://www.boyss-sound-e-scapes.com/maschine-mdp-2.html
Their video sounds exactly like your use-case!
If you want more suggestions I'm happy to throw out some more ideas too. Good luck. You're going to love playing your Maschine+.2
Awesome, thanks Peter! Really appreciate the details. I'm mentally prepared for some impulse buys. Great to have a clue. Thanks again.1
Very happy to help. 🙂
If you have time let us know what you pick and how you liked it/them.1
When I saw this link I was eager to check out their products, especially considering I'd run out of expansions to collect 😉, I thought it would be interesting to see how other companies handled Maschine add-ons. So I was about to buy the whole Maschine mega pack with all their kits because I'm a total expansions junkie and excited to find a different source for Maschine content. But at the last minute I decided to just buy one to make sure they worked well before buying all of the rest and I was VERY disappointed.
First, I could not get the group MXGRP to open in Maschine at all, getting an invalid file message. And even more disappointing is that they aren't incorporated in any kind of project file or with any patterns or anything else to show how well they work together. Not even an audio sample loop or midi file demoing the use of the samples. So basically I paid $9 for 16 tiny one-shots in a zip file. And that's it. Honestly even at ony $9 that seems like a huge rip off.
As I wrote to their support address, "I know that it's not a full expansion level product, but given how much value you get from Native Instruments when you buy their expansions I expected at least a small fraction of that from your products and clearly that is not what users get. Plus most of the demo videos and links that would have helped prevent me from having made that very bad purchase don't even work so there was nothing to stop me from making that mistake in the first place. Overall one gets the impression that this is just some old legacy product that you forgot to take the website down for but you're still dishonest enough to charge people who are stupid enough to try buying it. Very poor experience overall!"1
Did you notice (from your receipt) that the site is part of Native Instruments?
I bought the Maschine kit bundle, and although it was a manual installation process, all the kits I've tried so far work just fine on my M+. I'm not concerned about having patterns included, because IMO pro users are more likely to program their own rather than use presets.
Some packs have more content than others, but I'm not complaining about the price - even individually it's a fraction of NI prices. In bundles, the per pack price is tiny.1
Update. I bought two expansion packs and one Loop Loft experiment: Soul Magic, Satin Looks and Blues package from the LoopLoft.
I haven’t checked out the LoopLoft one yet. That’s on my to-do for tonight. I must say I was very impressed with the NI expansions. Easy to spend quite a bit on those 😀!
Just by listening to the groups, I was most impressed with the Satin Looks. Soul Magic has lot good stuff there as well.
You guys have been super helpful. Very appreciated.1
Yes, I did see that which I suppose is why I was expecting more. I figured NI would have made them maintain their site better so that their products weren't diluting the brand. Especially because none of those demo links work anymore, it just seems VERY sloppy and lazy, and I wasn't anticipating that their products would be any better than their lousy product page.
But if you think that the bundle package is still a good value and there is some way to at least get the mxgrp's to work, I may give them another chance.1
I'm so glad it helped!
And you might want to reconsider the Maschine MDP bundle too. From your description of what you were looking for initially, it might be really perfect. The product page doesn't look very flashy (it's just a tiny independent developer) and it's not as robust as what you get in an expansion pack but it's super-affordable and VERY useful. (Plus there's a free version to try that may be all you really need.) Basically it's like a specialized modular MIDI pack that lets you quickly drag and drop simple MIDI patterns onto each drum sample of our own custom drum kit; you can then attach your favorite samples from any expansion/ into your custom group, set a new tempo, save it as a new custom user project and you've got quick backing tracks for your own live sets or practice sessions.1
Comparing the Loop Loft stuff to the Maschine Expansions, it seems pretty obvious that there's a big difference in who the products are aimed at...
Over at the Loop Loft you've got styles such as jazz, blues, rock, funk, world music - played live by professional working musicians. Not just drums, but sax, percussion, keyboards, bass and so on.
Here it's mainly hip hop, techno, house etc. and it's all programmed.
IMO it's nice to have a choice. I can put up with the packs not downloading through Native Access or over wifi onto my Maschine+ if they're offering something that we can't get here.0
Well, that sounds like pretty high praise. And I may have judged them prematurely. So how do you use their products? The one I bought was a zip file with one .MXGRP file and a subdirectory with 16 small samples. No performance info at all, no loops, no tutorials or demos. So I don't know how I would have judged the performances of those artists who I would admittedly love to have access to. Does that stuff only come with the complete $60 Maschine all-kits bundle?0
The Maschine specific packs are (from my experience so far) just one shots rather than loops. The general packs aimed at DAW users (so no Maschine group files) are the ones with the live played loops.
I'll probably go back for more at some point, as the bundles seem good value. I don't mind setting up my own groups and projects.0
- Tried the Blues Drums from Loop Loft and as mentioned above there's not much to work with in terms of a Maschine 3 project. There's no obvious way to load the .MXGRP file in Maschine 3. That format seems to be a first generation file that's no longer supported. If there's a way to load it then please let me know.
- Surprised that there's no expansion pack for Maschine+ with just straight rock, blues and jazz patterns. I however found a workaround. I own Toontracks Superior Drummer and I just export the patterns as MIDI and then re-map then to the correct sounds in to an acoustic drum kit like Abbey Road . A bit of lengthy workflow but at least I end up with what I need. Will try to stream line this as much as I can, we'll see...
- Also just switching the kits in the expansion packs to acoustic drums (like Abbey Road) has been a turning point for the better since now I can really borrow from the more modern sounding expansion packs.
- Will check out the MDP bundle. Thanks!
Overall, there's a learning curve, last sequencer that I toyed with was Yamaha QY10! (just dated myself) anyway, quite happy with my Maschine+ purchase and entry into the NI universe. It's a heck of a fun rabbit hole 😀!
Thanks for all the tips and comments.
1-Glad to know it wasn't just me unable to load that MXGRP. I tried contacting their support for advice or for a refund but there has been zero response. But who knows what happens when NI acquires a company like that. Maybe everyone is let go or absorbed, and the web site is just a orphaned but not taken down. But it seems like a bad idea to still let people still buy products that are in effect defective due to subsequent platform updates. Maybe @Jeremy_NI might know or be able to figure that out?
2&3-Very cool idea for a workaround. I wonder if I could do that with Modern Drummer or Butch Vig or other NI products. I think they do MIDI exports at some level but I don't know if it's in a form that would be reconfigurable/remappable like your technique. Probably not by me because I still can't even figure out how to get toggle instrument patterns on and off Cuba or export them as editable patterns to Maschine given my lousy Kontakt understanding/skills. 😕
Finally love your referenced to the QY10! I remember that one fondly! I had the Sampler version of that one though I can't remember the name. I even had a Roland PMA-5 that was like a little mini music workstation that I really liked that had a stylus and looked like a big fat Kindle.0
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