Maschine+ mixing

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Hubbabub
Hubbabub Member Posts: 9 Newcomer

Hi!

I have my synths connected to my Maschine+ via an audio interface and the maschine acts as a central hub (sequencing, drum maschine/sampler and mixer). I guess you would call it a dawless setup and I absolutely love the maschine+ for this but I am having trouble with getting clean mixes due to two things:


1) The compressor. Release time is 40ms at lowest which means I can’t get a proper pumping/ducking effect even at the low 120bpm I usually create in. It’s simply too slow. This is especially irritating for ducking the bass from the kick. In general I don’t think the compressor sounds very good either.


2) The EQ. I have a hard time cutting the bass in a good way, I suspect the slope may be 6db which is not steep enough if you want to clean up deep bass from tracks without removing too much low mids.

Does anyone have sollutions for this? I have tried with the filter and multiple EQ’s that cut a little each but I can’t really get the clean cut that i.e. an 24db or more low cut would give. And haven’t been able to workaround the compressor limitations. I guess I could use a short click as side chain signal instead of the kick to trigger the release quicker but I would rather not deal with that as it slows down the workflow when making edits.

Does NI have any plans on updating or releasing new EQ/Compressor plugins for the +? I don’t have high hopes as they seem to want to only sell expansions. Basing this on that there are no seperate synths/fx or other plugins to purchase for the +.

Best Answer

  • tetsuneko
    tetsuneko Member Posts: 620 Guru
    edited April 2023 Answer ✓
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    I forgot I had my old 2015 mac still in the cupboard, and luckily I had installed Reaktor 6.4.3 on it!

    What is beyond frustrating is that Reaktor ensembles created with a newer version refuse to open in an older version of Reaktor in any capacity.. I had to rebuild the ens from scratch, and messed it up a bunch of times due to sloppiness out of sheer frustration..

    Anyways, here is version 0.1 / I'll add the "Side signal cut only" switch later, requires further sussing (seems I've forgotten how to perform basic MS encoding/decoding..)

    Parameter layout optimized for M+ as usual

    I'll try to tackle the compressor thing next

    @Hubbabub copy that to your SD card, it should get imported under browser/effects/reaktor/user on the internal M+ browser.. Let me know what you think?

    The signal to the effect runs from left to right, so it goes through the hipass filter section before hitting the lo shelf eq.. Default settings should be flat and at unity gain

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Answers

  • LostInFoundation
    LostInFoundation Member Posts: 4,311 Expert
    edited April 2023
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    Funny how 120 Bpm is considered low these days 😂

    I would hold my hopes for NI “porting” more of their plugins effects to Maschine+ (at the moment we have Raum and Phasis, but I hope they fulfill their promise to add more). I don’t see them adding better “internal” effects. Those are the same from ages also in Maschine Software

  • Flexi
    Flexi Member Posts: 366 Pro
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    New effects from NI are unlikely, different company, different goals.

    1) Is probably going to involve you going to the Reaktor user library on their website, then porting whatever compressor you like the most yourself.

    2) Again take a look at the Reaktor user library.

    At this point, the best thing that NI could do for M+ users, is make some kind of Reaktor ensemble converter, so we can at least get some new effect etc without having to port them to work.

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,948 mod
    edited April 2023
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    For #2 I'd use the filter module with HP, I don't know that the slope is but pretty sure it's higher than 6db.

    For #1 I think what others suggested here is your only choice, i also dislike the built-in compressor and I seriously doubt those those 40ms are really 40, it feels like about 200ms to me... I tested it once and measured the wav and it was indeed longer, dont remember the exact number but never used it since then... It's too focused on a natural/classic sound IMO which is not desirable in many styles, especially modern ones.

    @Flexi said:

    At this point, the best thing that NI could do for M+ users, is make some kind of Reaktor ensemble converter, so we can at least get some new effect etc without having to port them to work.

    Thats a pretty good ideia.

  • tetsuneko
    tetsuneko Member Posts: 620 Guru
    edited April 2023
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    Oh, I can try porting simple low cut eq/filters and simple comps from the RUL if they help? Just post links to the ensembles and I'll take a peep. Nothing too crazy tho please! Only caveat is that my mac at home is M1 based, but I can just start the work in R6.5 and import the ensembles in 6.4.3 on my project studio mac later for wrapping up the M+ ports.. right? Are reaktor ens files backwards compatible?

    I'm assuming you'd want to be able to sidechain the compressor from a secondary signal?

    Actually, I think I could whip up some sort of lowend cutting tool all 100% DIY.. I'll start from that tonight, assuming I can get R6.5 update installed and working..

    Always happy to help anyone struggling with mixing!

  • tetsuneko
    tetsuneko Member Posts: 620 Guru
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    ach, last night was a mess. I'll try again today..

  • tetsuneko
    tetsuneko Member Posts: 620 Guru
    edited April 2023
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    Sad news - Reaktor 6.5 is not compatible with current Maschine+ standalone software version! (I suspected as such..)

    I managed to make a lowcut device in R6.5, and it was working pretty much as intended on Maschine desktop running 2.17, but when I try to open the same ens in M+ standalone I get "Reaktor could not be opened" error. So I'd need to resave the ens in my project studio mac which has a 100% software version parity with M+.. and I wont be going into my project studio until later in the week

    If someone with Reaktor 6.4.3 wants to try resaving the ens on my behalf, I can send the ens via PM? If not, I'll come back to this later..

    Also had a peek at some of the compressors in the RUL. Some candidates for porting were found, but I haven't tested any of em yet, so dont know how they sound or how CPU intensive they might be.. which as we all know is a big deal in M+ standalone use..

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,948 mod
    edited April 2023
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    Theres a filter already built-in in all Maschine's tetsuneko

  • tetsuneko
    tetsuneko Member Posts: 620 Guru
    edited April 2023
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    I know, but it's just a generic multimode filter isn't it? My ens is only focused on attenuating low freqs. It has two sections:

    1 Hipass filter utilizing R6 core butterworth filters with selectable slope (OFF/2-POLE/3-POLE/4-POLE) and a linear control range of 300Hz to 1Hz

    2 A shelving EQ with negative gain only (from unity gain to -24dB)

    Idea was to have a tool with pre set optimum operating ranges for low freq attenuation (all still WIP). I could also add an option so the low attn would only be applied to the Side signal (as in Mid/Side), this would enable using the tool for progressively monoing the low end

    IMO such a tool would be handier for low end attn duties than the Mas internal filter fx in HPF mode. All in all, I consider Maschine's internal mixing tools a bit barebones, they could be significantly improved, especially in the M/S department.. I don't think we have sample delays either, those are a godsend for layering.. or much in the way of phase control, or even basic polarity inversion..

    Biggest challenge in tackling these things, for me, is finding enough motivation.. People seem to be more interested in complaining than collaborating towards making this sort of things happen

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,948 mod
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    Yes. Ohhhh ok, thats pretty fancy!

    Not sure about the version thing, ill have a look when i get in front of my M+

  • tetsuneko
    tetsuneko Member Posts: 620 Guru
    edited April 2023 Answer ✓
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    I forgot I had my old 2015 mac still in the cupboard, and luckily I had installed Reaktor 6.4.3 on it!

    What is beyond frustrating is that Reaktor ensembles created with a newer version refuse to open in an older version of Reaktor in any capacity.. I had to rebuild the ens from scratch, and messed it up a bunch of times due to sloppiness out of sheer frustration..

    Anyways, here is version 0.1 / I'll add the "Side signal cut only" switch later, requires further sussing (seems I've forgotten how to perform basic MS encoding/decoding..)

    Parameter layout optimized for M+ as usual

    I'll try to tackle the compressor thing next

    @Hubbabub copy that to your SD card, it should get imported under browser/effects/reaktor/user on the internal M+ browser.. Let me know what you think?

    The signal to the effect runs from left to right, so it goes through the hipass filter section before hitting the lo shelf eq.. Default settings should be flat and at unity gain

  • LostInFoundation
    LostInFoundation Member Posts: 4,311 Expert
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    What is even more frustrating is that now that we need older versions of Reaktor to build things compatible with Maschine+, there is no way to install those older version…

  • Hubbabub
    Hubbabub Member Posts: 9 Newcomer
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    WOW, Thank you so much @tetsuneko! 🤩 I just installed your LowKut ensemble and it fixes the problem I was talking about 100%. I'm so happy, it was a big problem for me. The difference between using LowKut and the internal plugins (Filter or EQ) are super obvious both audibly and visually (I have a Clarity M Stereo connected to my audio interface). Having M/S processing would be a nice extra touch for sure. I will be put this ensemble on every channel from now on 👏

  • Hubbabub
    Hubbabub Member Posts: 9 Newcomer
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    Regarding the compressor, I started thinking about it again and 40ms should theoretically be fast enough for an in sync pumping effect in 120bpm as 40ms is slightly faster than 1/32 at that tempo. Still it seems to react kind of slow. I got better results when I enabled the side chain filter in the compressor and setting the frequency high so the side chain only reacts to the high frequencies of the kick (so basically triggering it with the click of the kick). Still excited if @tetsuneko had something in mind for a compressor or LFO-tooly thing. I think any compressor other than the internal one would be an improvement 😄

    I understand that it is alot to ask but maybe sometime in the future you could make a simple phase inverter ensemble? Would love to have that for those situations where switching the phase of bass to match the kick really brings out the low.

    I was about to buy Reaktor to start doing these things myself (would have been so much fun!) but read about all the mess with versions etc. and it seems I wouldn’t be able to make ensembles for the plus since I wouldn’t have the older version 😔

  • tetsuneko
    tetsuneko Member Posts: 620 Guru
    edited April 2023
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    Ok so you are finding it useful, nice! On my M+ the tool takes quite a bit of CPU though (almost 4% 😳 but only on first instance I think?) which is a bit high for this kind of tool, I want to try to optimize it a lil more, and I want to add that M/S side option as well.

    Polarity inversion is super easy to do in Reaktor6, I'll do that next then.

    Right now Reaktor authoring on M+ is in an awkward state, but things should ease up again as soon as Maschine+ gets its own version of R6.5. Same applies to Kontakt, Kontakt desktop is on version 7 already and M+ version of Kontakt is still v6. NI has stated they are trying to update both on M+ this year, I hope they can pull it off.

  • tetsuneko
    tetsuneko Member Posts: 620 Guru
    edited April 2023
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    Here's the polarity inverter. Took me a while only because I was initially overthinking this one a lot hehehe! Turns out there's a Reaktor Primary module named "invert" which does the pol reversal with the least amt of hassle.. like, easiest Reaktor patch ever, literally slapping two modules between the DSP ins and outs ;)

    The ens has no controls, just loading it in will result in polarity reversal of any mono or stereo signal (use BYPASS function of Maschine to disable pol reversal)

    I tested the ens in Ableton, running Reaktor fx as a VST, and assuming delay compensation is active, I was able to digitally null my test signal. I knew it would work, but had to make sure there wasn't any unintended latency issues or something like that.. Interestingly, when instantiated in M+, you have to stop and restart playback once after loading the ensemble into your sound slot, or stuff might not completely null (tested with two identical audio loops), this means there are some interesting things happening inside the hood in Maschine scheduling wise..

    Regarding the LowKut ens, I'm not convinced anymore that I can optimize it much.. Seems that just inserting a Reaktor fx plugin on a track results in 2% CPU load on the M+.. Luckily, the CPU load does not add up linearly, the consecutive Reaktor instances do not double the CPU load..

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