Using Maschine with External Hardware via MIDI Sync
Maschine controllers and the Maschine Studio hardware feature physical MIDI ports for syncing with external hardware. This tutorial shows how to use MIDI sync to connect your Maschine to hardware drum machines, sequencers, and samplers.
Setting up MIDI sync with Maschine requires a MIDI cable and one quick setting in the software. To sync external hardware to Maschine’s clock, select “Send MIDI Clock” from the File menu, and connect the MIDI cable to a MIDI Out port on the Maschine hardware and the MIDI In port on the other external hardware. To sync Maschine’s clock to the MIDI clock of an external piece of hardware, select “Sync to External MIDI Clock” from the File menu and connect the MIDI cable in reverse – to a MIDI In port on the Maschine hardware and the MIDI Out port on the other external hardware. Some hardware will require setting its MIDI clock mode to Slave or Master mode, to receive or send a MIDI clock signal respectively.
MIDI sync is a great way to seamlessly connect drum machines, synths, or samplers to Maschine for studio or live use. MIDI sync can be especially helpful when playing with others. Using the MIDI Thru feature of some external hardware (and/or the three separate MIDI Out ports on the new Maschine Studio hardware), it’s possible to use MIDI sync to keep a whole studio in time.
Using Maschine’s MIDI Sync capability is a fantastic way to breathe life into your existing gear – even some vintage pieces – but can also be a great way to expand your workflow in your studio with analog hardware. In this demonstration, I use a Tempest, a high-end drum machine from Dave Smith Instruments and Roger Linn Design, but there are also less expensive options, like the x0xb0x, an DIY kit and clone of the classic TR-303 bass synthesizer, or new Korg Volca series. The Maschine Studio hardware’s three MIDI Out ports would provide perfect control the Volca Beats, Volca Keys, and Volca Bass.