Maschine Finger Drumming Techniques: Tutorials from Mr. Invisible's Justin Aswell Part 2 of 3
If you have recently acquired a Maschine and want to learn more about using it, both on its own and with Massive synth, then you are in the right place! Get ready to master a whole new set of skills. Learning how to finger drum can be just as intricate as learning how to play a drum set, sort of. The very first point Justin makes is that you need to stay relaxed. Tensing up is the quickest way to making mistakes. Discussion on positioning of sample assignments and how best to train yourself to interact with the pads is a good chunk of the beginning of this lesson on Maschine finger drumming techniques. And with good reason! If you have ever tried to fumble your way through a performance, of any kind, on a device like the Maschine you probably already understand the importance of proper training. It’s the same mastering any instrument, really. Until you begin to hold it and use it as it was intended, you will not be able to unlock your hidden potential with the instrument or device, as the case may be.
The idea of using the same sample on more than one pad has been put to great use for many years on several different devices. It began with hardware that simply was not able to react quick enough, so user’s started using two hi-hats, snares, or kick drums to give them the ability to create faster and more complex beats. Fast forward to today, and apply this to Maschine, and you get the added benefits of ergonomics, which can greatly improve your Maschine finger drumming performances. It can also get your mind working on ways that you can build more than one kit into a group, for extra selection.
One more thing touched upon in the lesson is loading up two sounds and assigning them to the same pad. For instance, it is common practice for us drummers to land a cymbal crash at the same time as a kick drum hit. The impact of the kick mixed with the highlight of the crash work so well together, and have become so standard, that a crash on its own can sound a bit off. With both sounds assigned to the same pad, you save yourself the effort of hitting two pads at once. Maschine finger drumming is about becoming as efficient as possible so you can let your inner funky freak out for your adorning fans, after all. Whether you are new to drumming or not (and by drumming I mean traditional kits OR using controllers like the Maschine) I would highly recommend finding some basic drumming technique lessons and practice the rudiments. Perfecting the first principles of drumming is the first step, transitioning them into the world of Maschine finger drumming will mean translating certain maneuvers so they make sense in their new setting. Perhaps instead of using two hands for certain tasks, you will only need to use two fingers. Be creative and do not let old habits stand in the way of you accomplishing something you feel will be truly great one you can do it.
One more thing you should bring from the world of traditional drumming into the world of Maschine finger drumming is the human element. I don’t mean sloppiness, or bad timing. I mean variation in velocity and even some swing to make sure that your beats do not come across as robotic or too perfect for the rest of your mix. This is so incredibly important, it cannot be understated.
Maschine offers you several ways to keep things sounding real, through different velocity input options, the ability to record with your fingers in control of the velocity and even both automatic and manual quantization options. Swing can be applied to a sound, a group or an entire performance with the twist of a knob.
Make sure to check out Part 1 of this great series, if you have not already. And stay tuned for Part 3. Don’t forget to shoot us a message with your tutorial requests, general feedback or just a quick hello before you depart from the site today. Thanks for stopping by!