Getting Started with Native Instruments Maschine
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Getting Started with Native Instruments Maschine

Learn the basics of Native Instruments Maschine and how to integrate it into your productions and live performances.
3.7 (18 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
193 students enrolled
Created by Peter Morgan
Last updated 7/2013
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Current price: $10 Original price: $20 Discount: 50% off
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • You will learn how the Maschine software and hardware work together
  • You will gain a basic understanding of the Maschine software and hardware controller
View Curriculum
  • Native Instruments Maschine
  • Mac or Windows computer capable of running Maschine
  • An interest in music production software and techniques

This course is an introduction to Maschine, the groove production studio from Native Instruments. Maschine comes in three flavors - Maschine MK2, Maschine Mikro MK2, and iMaschine - and is a combination of hardware and software. When used together, the hardware gives you unparallelled control over the software. You can use Maschine whether you're a DJ or producer, in the studio or the club, with the software or as a MIDI controller.

This course is a great opportunity to learn how Maschine works even if you never tried producing music before as all of the video lectures were created with beginners in mind. It starts with the very basics of the software and hardware and gradually moves on to more advanced techniques like macro controls and applying effects to external audio sources.

Please note that the course materials were created using the Maschine 1.8 and earlier software with a Maschine MK1 controller. Users of the Maschine 2.0 and later software will find that many aspects of the software are different. You can watch the free sample videos to see the some of the interface differences before purchasing this course.

Who is the target audience?
  • Potential Future Maschine Users
  • New Maschine Users
  • Music Producers
  • DJs
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Curriculum For This Course
46 Lectures
1 Lecture 01:09
Welcome to this course on getting started with Native Instruments Maschine!
Preview 01:09
The Basics
4 Lectures 13:10
This video lecture is an introduction to the Maschine hardware and software. In it we cover the basics of the user interface and how to load preset kits and projects.
Preview 04:45

Watch this video lecture to learn how to to set up your soundcard.
How to Set Up Your Soundcard

Watch this video lecture to learn how to create and save custom drum kits.
Preview 03:30

Watch this video lecture to learn how to save your Maschine projects with samples and edit the project's metadata.
How to Save Your Projects
Using the Maschine Hardware Controller
7 Lectures 23:26
When you're in the middle of a production or live performance, you don't want to take your hands off the controller to navigate around Maschine's user interface. Watch this video lecture to learn how to use the navigate button on the hardware controller to navigate the user interface and hide interface panels.
Navigate Mode

This video lecture focuses on Control Mode, one of the 2 primary modes on the hardware controller. Learn how to record a pattern in real time and adjust the volume of a sound in control mode.
Hardware Control Mode

Watch this video lecture to learn about step mode on the Maschine hardware controller, adding beats to a pattern, manipulating the velocity of each step in your sequence, and increasing the length of your pattern.
Hardware Step Sequencer Mode

Watch this video lecture to learn how to use the step sequencer mode and control mode together to create more interesting patterns and when to use one mode instead of the other.
Step Mode vs Control Mode

You don't need a MIDI keyboard to add synthesizers and instruments to your Maschine projects. Watch this video lecture to learn how to add synthesizers using Pad Mode on the Maschine hardware controller.
Pad Mode and Synthesizers

Maschine does not quantize beats by default. Watch this video lecture to learn how to quantize your patterns after you record them and enable automatic quantization when you play or record.
How to Quantize Beats

In this video lecture we will be going over the audio export options.
How to Export Audio
Tweaking Your Sounds and Composing Beats
6 Lectures 15:48
Watch this video lecture to learn about how you can use the 8 groups in Maschine.
Introduction to Groups

Watch this video lecture to learn how to duplicate, move, and delete scenes in your Maschine projects. It also covers how to play scenes one after another which can be used to create songs.
How to Use Scenes

Watch this video lecture to learn how to add effects and save presets in your Maschine projects.
How to Add Effects

This video lecture covers how to adjust a pattern's length and navigate Maschine's step sequencer.
How to Adjust Pattern Length

Learn how to record automation using the Auto-Write button on the Maschine hardware controller.
How to Record Automation

A pattern in Maschine is an arrangement of beats in a group. Watch this video leacture to learn how to select, double, duplicate, and remove patterns.
Working with Patterns
Advanced Techniques
9 Lectures 27:32
Watch this video lecture and learn how to route groups to their own audio outputs.
Advanced Audio Routing

Macro controls allow you to adjust multiple sound parameters in one centralized interface. Watch this video lecture to learn how to assign, remove, and adjust Macro Controls in Maschine.
Macro Controls

Learn how to use send effects using Maschine's internal audio routing capabilities.
How to Create Send FX

Choke groups allow you to mute a sound by playing another sound. Watch this video lecture to learn how to assign sounds to choke groups and listen to the effect that choke groups have on a sound.
Choke Groups

Maschine's Pad Link function allows you to trigger multiple sounds by hitting just one pad. Watch this video lecture to learn how to assign sounds to a pad link group, set sounds to master and slave, and remove sounds from pad link groups.
How to Use Pad Link to Trigger Multiple Sounds

Maschine's wide array of sample editing features allows you to spend more time creating and less time staring at render bars. Press the Sampling button in the top left corner of the controller to enter sample editing mode. Once in sample editing mode, you can make changes to the sample in the selected sound slot. Watch this video lecture to learn how to use Maschine basic sample editing and more advanced audio editing features.

For more information on Maschine's sample editing features visit
Sample Editing

In this video lecture we'll be looking at Multi-FX. Multi-FX are presets that contain multiple effect. If you're have used Ableton Live before, they are similar to effect racks.
How to use Multi-FX

In this video lecture we'll be looking at Maschine's timestretching capabilities. Timstretching was added in the 1.8 update and allows you to change the BPM of a sample.
How to Timestretch Samples

When using Maschine in a live performance, you may want to change how Maschine jumps between scenes. In this video lecture I'll show you how to use the Scene SYNC setting to adjust the amount of time Maschine waits before switching to a new scene.
Jump Between Scenes with Scene Sync
Tips and Tricks
9 Lectures 16:08
Want to create old school hip hop beats with the feel of an Akai MPC60 or E-mu SP1200? With Maschine's vintage sampler engine settings, you can. Watch this video lecture to learn how to change Maschine's sampler engine and hear how the different modes change the sound of your samples.
Classic Drum Machine Emulation

When collaborating on a project with others, it is important that every sound in a project is shared. Maschine makes this process really simple. This video lecture covers how to save your projects and kits with the samples that you're using.
How to Share Projects & Kits

This lecture is all about finding the right sample for your kits. One of Maschine's best features is the library browser. It's so easy to hone in on the the perfect sample. Watch this video lecture to learn how to audition samples using Maschine's prehear function and replace samples without losing your patterns.
How to Prehear and Replace Samples

In previous lectures we've looked at the many ways that Maschine makes it easy to find the right sounds for your projects. In this video lecture we're going to make it even easier by using the quick browse function. The quick browse function allows you to recall the search that lead you to the particular sound, module, or group that you have loaded in your project.
Preview 00:49

Recording count in, an option found in more traditional audio editing applications, gives you a countdown before recording starts. Hold Shift and then press Rec on the Maschine hardware controller to use the recording count in function. The countdown will last for 1 bar and will turn on the metronome. Watch this video lecture to learn more about Maschine's recording count in function.
Recording Count In

In this video lecture we will be adjusting the grid size of a pattern.
How to Adjust the Step Sequencer Grid Size

With the introduction of the Maschine MK2 and Maschine Mikro MK2, Maschine become a lot more colorful. Watch this video lecture to learn how to color code your Maschine projects.
How to Change Group, Scene & Sample Colors

Did you know that each group in Maschine can hold up to 64 patterns? In this video lecture I'll show you how to use Maschine's patterns banks to access patterns 17-64.
How to Access 64 Patterns Using Pattern Banks

The note repeat function on the Maschine hardware controller repeats sounds at set intervals. This allows you to create interesting sounds when you switch between rates and can save you time while creating drum arrangement.
Using the Note Repeat Function
Incorporating Additional Software, Hardware, and Effects
9 Lectures 32:20
Learn how to set up and map MIDI controller knobs to Maschine's Macro Controls.
Assign MIDI Controls to Macro Controls

The ability to use VST plugins means that you can do even more complex sequencing in the standalone application without relying on an additional DAW. Watch this video lecture to learn how to load and incorporate VST plugins into your projects.

Working with VST Plugins

The compressor that comes with Maschine doesn't allow you to use sidechain compression. However, you can use a DAW like Ableton Live and some simple audio routing to achieve the same effect. Watch this video lecture to learn how to route audio from Maschine to Ableton Live and set up sidechain compression using Maschine as a VST plugin
Preview 04:22

This video lecture will show you how Maschine's effects can be applied to an external audio source. This is particularly useful for live performance environments where you have additional audio sources connected to your computer's soundcard. The example shown in this lecture is applying effects to the incoming audio from a microphone. You can use more complicated input routing and effect chains to twist and sculpt the audio coming into Maschine.
Applying FX to an External Instrument

Maschine isn't just a tool for production. It is also equally capable of being used in a live setting to add performance elements to your DJ mixes. In this video  lecture we will be looking at ways to add Maschine to your DJ setup.
How to add Maschine to Your DJ Setup

You can use the Maschine hardware in MIDI mode as a controller for midi-compatible programs like Traktor. Watch this video lecture to learn how to configure the Maschine hardware controller with Ableton Live using the built in MIDI template.
How to Control Ableton Live with the Maschine Hardware Controller

By default, the Maschine hardware controller is programmed to send HID commands that only work with the Maschine software running standalone or as a VST inside your preferred DAW. If you want to use Maschine with a program like Traktor Pro 2, you need to put it into MIDI mode so that a MIDI-compatible program can send and receive messages that it understands. Using the Controller Editor application, you can customize what MIDI commands are assigned to each button and knob on the controller. You can also rename some of the controls that appear on the controller’s LCD screens.

With the Controller Editor open, create a new template by clicking the Edit button and selecting New. The left portion of the interface shows you the buttons and their labels. To change one of the controls, click on it and then go to the Assign tab to the right.

On the Assign tab you can rename the control by clicking on the box next to name for the control that you’d find on the controller. If you rename one of the knobs or buttons above and below the LCD screens, you’ll see the name appear on the LCD screens on the controller. All of the other control names are just to help you remember what they are supposed to be used for.

The Type menu allows you to change the specifics of the control starting with the type of control that you want to use. Some of the controls include Note, Pitchbend, and Poly Pressure. For a control type like Control Change, you can set the MIDI channel #, the CC number, the interaction mode of the button, and the MIDI value. When editing the Type settings, you want to make sure that each control is set to it’s own unique channel and number in the case of the Control Change type. This will prevent multiple buttons and knobs from sending the same MIDI messages.

When working with the Controller Editor, it is important to understand how pages work. For the pads, there are 8 pages. You can switch between pages by pressing on the one of the group buttons or using the Pad Page menu. There are also pages for the knobs and buttons above and below the LCD screens. You can switch pages there by pressing the left and right buttons to the left of the LCD screens, or by pressing on the Page menu. You can access the page controls from the Pages tab. You can have any number of pages for the buttons and knobs above and below the LCD screens. You can create a new page by going to the Edit menu and selecting New. Just remember that the new pages will share the same MIDI messages as the first page, so you need to change them to different MIDI commands. If you would rather limit the pads to a single MIDI controller, you can press the power button to the right of the Pad Pages section of the Pages tab. This will turn the group buttons into MIDI-mappable buttons.

The last setting I want to highlight is the Pad velocity Curve. You can access this setting by going back to the Templates tab. By clicking on the menu next to Pad Velocity Curve, you can adjust how the Maschine controller reacts to the force used when you hit a pad. I’d suggest that you try all of them out and see which one you like best.
How to Customize Your Maschine Controller

When using Maschine as a VST in a DAW like Ableton Live, the transport controls on the Maschine controller become inactive. To remedy this problem, Native Instruments implemented the host transport controls feature. By using this feature, the Maschine controller will send MIDI to your DAW when you use the transport controls while all of the other buttons and knobs will continue to affect the Maschine VST. Watch this video lecture to learn how to enable host transport controls and set up your controller with your DAW.
How to Enable Host Transport Controls

iMaschine for iPhone and iPod Touch is a stripped down version of the Maschine software that allows you to sequence beats and patterns on a device that fits in your pocket. The app is similar in design by focusing groups of sounds or instruments. Along the bottom of the app you can choose between groups A, B, C, and D. Each group can be set to pads, keys, or recorder and you can use any combination that you like. To start creating patterns simply press the record button at the top. If you want to be precise with your timing when recording, you can use the note-repeat function. Press the note button and select what note length you want to use. Then press and hold a pad or key to play it at that note interval.

To choose a different kit or sample, press the magnifying glass icon to browse the stock sample library. The samples that are used are from the desktop version of Maschine, so the projects that you create on iMaschine can be transferred to your computer for advanced editing and sequencing. You can also import your own audio files. Once selected you can edit some of the sample’s parameters by pressing on the waveform icon. To preview the changes that you made to the sample, press the play button on the sample waveform. You can also record your own samples by changing over to the record tab.

When you’re ready to mix the patterns that you created, press the mixer button in the top right. The mixer allows you to adjust the volume of each group and send the group to one of the 2 effect units. You can also mute the group by pressing on the corresponding button at the button. There are 2 effect modules that offer 7 effects to choose from: Chorus, Lofi, Delay, Flanger, Low Pass Filter, Band Pass Filter, and High Pass Filter.

When you’ve finalized your sequence press the Maschine icon in the top left and choose Export. This gives you the option of saving it as a maschine project or exporting it as an audio file straight to your Soundcloud account.

You can buy iMaschine on the App Store for 4.99. You can also buy additional sound pack expansions for 99 cents from within the app itself.
iMaschine Overview
1 Lecture 00:23
I hope you enjoyed this course on Native Instruments Maschine. If you'd like to take my other Udemy course, click here to learn How to DJ With Traktor Pro 2. It's free!
Course Conclusion
About the Instructor
Peter Morgan
3.7 Average rating
99 Reviews
4,997 Students
2 Courses
Producer at The DJ Podcast

In 2005 I decided that I wanted to be a DJ. Vinyl was on the way out and evolving digital technologies took its place. A lot has changed since then. Today, DJs are using all sorts of different technologies in the DJ booth: laptops, tablets, CD players, and MIDI controllers.

I created The DJ Podcast in 2009. What originally started as a class project has turned into a video series that explains techniques and features in various DJ software applications and devices.

I hope that you enjoy the courses that I have created for Udemy and look forward to your feedback.