Composing with Maschine: Tutorials from Mr. Invisible's Justin Aswell Part 1 of 3
Keep in mind as you watch this, that it was produced prior to the recent release of the new Maschine MKII and the Maschine 1.8 software update. Most of the Maschine tutorials we will feature here will be Massive-centric, but this special short series is all about learning more about how Maschine works in a workflow and as an instrument. Specifically, this first video outlines some of the techniques you can use when writing tracks. Composing with Maschine becomes more and more intuitive the more you work with it. One more thing to consider while following along with this series, is that just about everything you need to do in the Maschine software can be accomplished through hardware controls. This allows you to keep mind, and hands, in the flow and NOT clicking around your computer.
Big props to both Justin Aswell and Dubspot for producing this great series! It kicks off with selecting a break to base the project off of. Then the sample is chopped up, or sliced as we say in the sample editing world, and trimmed wherever needed to ensure smooth and flawless playback. Countless insights can be gleaned from this tutorial, from the basics like zooming in on a waveform for more accurate editing to using Maschine’s pads as a MIDI keyboard to quickly record melodies (You’ll be using this feature a lot with Massive!). He also shows how to record a beat using the break that was sliced and assigned to the pads, as well as how to adjust the length of the loop.
Layering drums, sound FX and other elements to enhance your beats or instruments does require some extra considerations, and this is also covered. Make sure that if you layer your kick drums, for instance, that you are aware of potential phasing issues. Justin shares a few great tips at this part of the tutorial that you should definitely put to good use. Adjusting the attack of the second kick drum in a layer can help avoid phasing. Adding a small slice of a cowbell hit (or snap, clap, etc) can give your snare drum that crack that you might be looking for.
When recording your basslines, melodic pads, or main synth parts you can choose how you get it done. You cam go the traditional route of inputing through a MIDI keyboard, do it on the fly with Maschine’s pads or even program the sequence by hand in the software’s piano roll. No matter how you do it, the results are the same.
Adding an effect to a sound is just as simple as adding an effect to a group, or even the entire project! Like many other workflow events, you can do this either through the hardware or software interface. One of the best tips that he shares in this video is how to set up choke groups. Make sure you watch this part as many times as it takes to understand how you can use this in your performances.
A truly great lesson in how composing with Maschine can up your game and help you change the way you interact with your music. And this was just part 1. We still have two more installments to go!
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