I’m glad that a lot of people have been enjoying my new Maschine Studio live set:
Even more surprising how few people are using Maschine like this to perform, and how many people have thought about it. I’ve had a few more questions about some of the specific of the set, so I figured I’d talk some more about it.
All of the sounds came from the Maschine Library, except for an atmospheric texture in each track. These were live recordings I made at various forest preserves here in Luxembourg, using my iPhone and the Rode iXY-L mic I recently purchased. It does great stereo recordings, doesn’t seem overly sensitive to handling noise from the phone, and the Rode app is something I’ve been using for a long time since it’s based on Audiofile’s old FiRe iOS recorder.
So in this set typically I would layer one of these recordings over everything else, side-chain it to the kick, pile on some effects and play with the pitch to make it sit well with the other sounds. It was a hair-brained idea one day I thought, but it actually worked out better than I expected. Nice evolving sounds, and it’s got something that’s a more personal connection to my memories of making the set since I was the one who recorded all the samples. I’ll probably do some more of this in the future, turned out to be a neat technique.
As I mentioned in my last blog post, each Group in Maschine was what I would consider a separate song. That gave me up to 16 different sounds per song, though I didn’t ever use that many. Typically each song had 9-10 tracks.
To switch from one song to another, I would in turn mute all the sounds from one group, while un-muting sounds from the next group. This of course meant before I played the set, I had to go and manually mute each sound in Maschine ahead of time, then save this as my performance template. Sometimes I would first turn the volume down on a sound, then un-mute it. This would allow me to fade in some sounds, and not have everything sound too much like it’s just being muted and unmuted.
I also had 8 macros assigned to the master channel, and I would use these during song transitions too. I had a high pass and low pass filter, some dynamics shaping tools, and a stereo delay assigned to the macros, allowing me to filter, chop, and delay the audio from the entire set in one go when I needed to.
I was originally going to create macros for each Group too, but I realized that most of the controls I would likely want to map were already on the front page of each synth. Easy enough to get to those, so most of the hands on tweaking was done on the synths and effects directly. This worked out better than I figured it would, so not too sure how much macro making I’ll be doing in the future. Fine with me, that’s one of the few things you can only do on the laptop and not the controller 🙂
Video recording. People are curious about this more than I expected. In this video, I’m just using an iPhone6 attached to a mic boom arm with a Joby Gorilla-pod for the above shots. The side-angle shots were done with an iPad Air2 set on top of my speaker. I used Airdrop to transfer the videos to my laptop. Easy.
The set audio was recorded by hosting Maschine in Ableton Live, and routing the host track to the input of an audio track. That’s why you can see me closing and opening the laptop lid at the start and end of the set, I needed to start Live to get the Maschine plug-in to start playing. Monitoring was via my Lynx Hilo and Tyler D2x’s, no headphones needed for this set.
To combine the audio with the two camera angles I just used iMovie. It’s a little fiddly at times, but usually pretty simple to use and exporting the final movie is fast on my MacBook Pro.
Anyway, that’s the rest of the story. Next up most likely will be recording an electribe live set similar to this one. At least, that’s the plan.
Until next time, peace and beats.