MEGAMaschine – A workflow-oriented Maschine template for Ableton Live

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NOTE: This template has been superceded by a newer version. Click here to go to the MEGAmaschine++ page.

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MEGAMaschine is my Maschine template for Ableton Live. It has been designed to give you hands on control for the functions that will facilitate a good workflow while you’re jamming out your tunes. It leaves out many of the functions of other templates so that you  focus only on what matters most while you’re composing.
Note: There have been some minor changes to the button layout since I made this video.

Features

  • All features are on just 2 pages, no endless menu-diving
  • 8 Macro knobs to control any Ableton Live rack, automatically mapped using Live’s IMap feature
  • Buttons to navigate devices/racks to assign Macro knobs
  • Buttons to control the parameters of the currently selected track, e.g. Arm, Mute, Solo, Volume, Pan
  • 8 buttons permanently mapped to locators in the Live project for easy navigation
  • Easily change the currently selected track with the ‘VOLUME’ knob
  • Navigate Scenes with the ‘TEMPO’ knob
  • A Sends page for 6 knobs to control Sends A – F
  • Transport controls including Play/Pause, Play/Restart, Record, Overdub
  • Handy buttons for Undo & Redo, to switch between Sequencer and Arrangement views, and to bring up the Maschine plugin window
  • Buttons to navigate and fire/stop the currently selected Scene or Pattern, allowing on the fly mouse-free recording
  • All pads are reserved for MIDI notes, and group buttons for changing octaves, no confusing hidden features on pads

Installation

1. Download and install Selected Track Control for Ableton Live following the instructions on their website. Please consider donating to STC if you use MEGAmaschine, because all the brains for this template are thanks to them.

2. Download MEGAmaschine here: http://goo.gl/L1lW2

3. Unzip the file and install the Maschine template by dopening it in the Controller Editor (File > Open Template…)

4. Install the IMap script by copying the ‘Maschine-IMap’ folder to the appropriate User Remote Scripts folder for your OS. In Windows 7 Ableton’s User Remote Scripts folder is at ‘C:Users[USER NAME]AppDataRoamingAbletonLive [VERSION]PreferencesUser Remote Scripts’. On a Mac it is something like ‘Macintosh HD>Users>[USER NAME]>Library>Preferences>Ableton>[VERSION]>User Remote Scripts’. (NB: This folder may be hidden, do a google search to find out how to show hidden folders in your operating system)

5. Open the MEGAmaschine template project in Live. Go to Options > Preferences > MIDI/Sync and set it up like this:

6. You’re done! Test that your IMap macro knobs are controlling the racks in Live, and that all the other track control buttons are working. If you find MEGAmaschine useful, please head over and throw in a few bucks for my latest release ‘Remixes 1′ featuring my competition winning Icebird remix and Australian MCs remixed with my future styles. Or if you are low on coin, enter $0 and still get the tunes for free.

***ATTENTION PEOPLE HAVING TROUBLE WITH THE IMAP MACRO CONTROLS ***

Download this alternate Maschine template:  http://goo.gl/a8C3D
This template does not need the IMAP script so step 4 above is unnecessary and you do not need to set ‘Maschine-IMAP’ as a control surface. The downside is the knobs will not automatically snap to the correct value, instead it will ‘pick-up’ like a standard midi controller (depends on your settings).

Usage

  • Use the ‘VOLUME’ knob to select a Track
  • Use the ‘TEMPO’ knob to select a Scene
  • Use ‘SAMPLING’ button to bring up the Device Detail area
  • Use ‘SNAP’ and ‘AUTOWRITE’ buttons to navigate devices left/right
  • Use the 8 knobs (knob page 1) to control the currently selected device/rack
  • Use the 2 knobs left knobs for Volume and Pan, and the other 6 (knob page 2) to control the 6 sends of the currently selected track
  • Use the ‘CONTROL’ button to select the Maschine track
  • Use the ‘STEP’ button to trigger the metronome, and the ‘SWING’ knob to select the clip quantisation
  • Use ‘BROWSE’ to open the currently selected track’s Automation lane
  • Use the 8 buttons across the top to jump to the 8 Locators in the Live template project
  • Use the ‘SCENE’ button to fire the currently selected Scene, and ‘PATTERN’ to fire the currently selected Clip, and ‘PAD MODE’ to stop the currently selected clip
  • Use ‘PAD MODE’ for Next Clip, and ‘NAVIGATE’ to stop the currently playing clip on the selected track
  • Use ‘DUPLICATE’ to un-arm every Track, ‘SELECT’ to arm the current Track, and ‘SOLO’ and ‘MUTE’ for the currently selected track
  • Use ‘GRID’ for Sequencer/Arrangement view
  • Use the left ‘<’ and right ‘>’ for undo and redo
  • ‘RESTART’ for Play/Restart, ‘PLAY’ for Play/Pause, ‘REC’ for Record, ‘ERASE’ for Overdub
  • ‘NOTE REPEAT’ to go back to the arrangement
  • Watch my Workflow Tips video  to learn how to use MEGAmaschine effectively (syncing Maschine and Live, Locators, etc.)

  • Refer to the controller editor:

This is what the Ableton Live Project looks like:


Change Log:

Version 2.1

  • Changed ‘BROWSE’ to bring up the device detail, and ‘SAMPLING’ to select device
  • Changed ‘STEP’ to fold/unfold tracks in arrangement view

Version 2

  • Changed Scene select to ‘TEMPO’ knob (having Track/Scene select on knobs next to each other makes sense – thanks to Citizen for the suggestion)
  • Added clip quantisation to ‘SWING’ knob-LP/HP filters in the EQ8 Rack now only activate when the knob is turned (thanks to Zarkov for the suggestion)
  • Added dummy bars to maschine vst, Group H (can be used to easily keep Maschine in sync with Live, using Loop Scene, without the need to adjust the lengths of
    the patterns you are working with)
  • Added utility rack for volume automation (I find it best to use the Utility Gain to make volume automation, leaving the Volume control for trim)
  • Removed master track selection (unnecessary, just use ‘VOLUME’ knob to a select track)
  • Changed Sequencer/Arrangment view to ‘GRID’ button-Removed Scrub Left/Right ‘<’ and ‘>’ buttons and replaced them with Undo/Redo (I found scrub was uselss, it makes sense having Undo/Redo with transport controls)
  • Changed Clip fire/stop buttons – ‘PAD MODE’ fires the next clip, ‘NAVIGATE’ stops clips on selected track
  • Added un-arm all to ‘DUPLICATE’ button (useful to un-arm tracks before recording automation)
  • Added keyboard shortcuts for locators, number 1-8 (handy for navigating Live when in Maschine mode)
  • Added metronome on/off to ‘STEP’ button
  • Changed Sends page to also include Volume and Pan controls for currently selected track, now only sends A-F (to free up other knobs)
  • Added Location buttons to Sends page, as well as Macro page  (so that they are always handy)
  • Changed ‘NOTE REPEAT’ button to ‘back to arrangemnt mode’
  • Removed Device Select button (unecessary, can just use Device Left/Right buttons ‘SNAP’/’AUTO WRITE’)
  • Changed ‘BROWSE’ button to ‘expand automation lane’ (useful for recording automation into arrangement view)
  • Changed ‘SAMPLING’ to Device Detail button


81 Responses to MEGAMaschine – A workflow-oriented Maschine template for Ableton Live

  1. great video but with the workflow you just said that you dont use scene change messages anymore then never actually explained what you did set up instead that made it better. Do u still use the change message but loop maschine. Ive been going through your video allot to try and see what you did but i really cant get it. your help would be great on how you actually set up the scenes and then synced them. Thanks allot

    • I tried to explain this in the video. Basically instead of using them, I loop the scenes in Maschine, and make sure the total number of bars in Maschine matches up with my arrangement in live, so that they stay in sync. I then use Locators to navigate the project in Live.

  2. look on his youtube page for the maschine workflow video. he’s mapping to labels in the arrangement view; not for jamming

  3. Man, thanks so much for the template. It is truly helping my workflow so much. However, I can’t for the life of me get the racks in live to auto map to the macro knobs/controls on maschine. I’ve double checked the Imap Maschine settings…folder is in the proper place – User Remote Scripts on my mac. Could someone point me in the right direction to get this hooked up properly. I have a feeling that the moment I see that I can control plugins as well from my maschine in the DAW, I might smile for a week straight :) but I need help if anyone’s out there. Thanks again for the help already. Template rules.

  4. Finally got it working. Thanks

  5. Thanks this is really a perfetc template.
    everything is working for me except the macro knobs. i can’t figure it out.
    any idea?

    • Thanks man glad you’re finding it useful.

      The macro knobs not working will be due to the Maschine-IMap script not being installed properly (see step 4 in the installation instructions). Is “Maschine-IMap” showing up as a control surface?

  6. Thanks so much man this template is awesome! Really appreciate the installation/user guide too. Great stuff

  7. i have checked and Maschine-imap is showing up in the control surface area in Live everything is installed perfect.  Running the latest version of Live on Mac but still not Macro maps.  Everything else works great though.  Any help on getting the macros to work?

  8. same here… everthing is working but the macro controls. please help!

  9. heya, i found an solution! as “selected track control” now offers device control as well, i changed with the controller editor the macros midi channel and cc to the following and it works!

    macro1 submits now on Channel 1 and CC 41…
    macro 2 submits now on Channel 1 and CC 42 …
    and so on!

    GREAT!

  10. This deserves more attention! Been using this for a few weeks now, and I’m enjoying it very much. I’ve used other templates but this really gives me control of things that I want with ease. Just wanted to show my gratitude — thanks for sharing. Cheers.

  11. Help! Looks awesome but when I click on the project file to open in control editor it goes straight to my ableton live template that came with maschine. I don’t know how to get the template into my maschine hardware, though everything in ableton worked perfectly. Good job, though. This will help me out a lot once I fix this.

  12. Got it working with Felix’s suggestion. Good looking out! thanks

  13. Thank you very much! best workflow template out there! 

  14. Just wanted to say cheers for your hard work on this, just been having a play around and this looks really useful.

  15. Thanks a lot for this! 

  16. Pingback: MEGAmaschine Version 2 Release

  17. Thanks – this is the best template I’ve found so far! Would be happy to pay good money for this one…. will be making a donation to your good self and STC.

    Cheers

  18. THAnks for the template it still trying to get it to work, cant get the macros to work or the scenes.

  19. Dude…

    This is unbelievable.  Thank you so much. Just a couple of things:

    - Can’t get the IMap showing in Control Surfaces (I’m on OS X) – any advice greatly appreciated
    - Would really appreciate a couple of links on how to set all this stuff up (like the relevant CC message list for Ableton).

    Many thanks, will definitely send a donation.

  20. Hi again, please ignore last question about IMap – Felix’s suggestion works great.  Only thing now is how to get the first device automatically selected?  Sampling button only brings up Device Detail for me, and Device Left/Right buttons ‘SNAP’/’AUTO WRITE’ only start working when I click on a device with the mouse.

  21. Hi Ricky, glad you like it and many thanks for the donation! I’m glad you got the Macro knobs working too.

    I’ve just updated the template to v2.1, and added a feature back in so that you can select the device with the ‘SAMPLING’ button. ‘BROWSE’ now brings up device detail.

  22. hi megatroid,

    i’m not sure if CONTROL and STEP button works in my MEGAmaschine 2.1. I can, however, open the midi settings to map STEP to metronome on/off, though that means I’ll have to do it for every new project.

    Is there any way to debug it? To see if the messages from the template are being received correctly by my Live installation

    • Hey lolski,

      In the latest versions, CONTROL should select the Maschine track, and step will fold/un-fold tracks in the arrangement view (I changed it from the metronome cause I thought it would be more useful. But if you want to map it to the metronome, just map it once then save that project as the default template, no need to do it every time.

  23. Thanks for the heads up lolski. Been a bit busy lately, but I’ll look into it this week. Cheers.

  24. By the way, it works on my end but I may have fucked something up when I made the zip file, because I use a slightly modified (personalised) Live template to the one in the zip.

  25. For some reason when I change selected tracks the macro knobs values jump to the same position as the previously selected track. Is there a simple fix to this where the knob values will not be reset once a different track/rack is selected??

    • Hi jay,

      If the macro knobs are working correctly (using the IMAP script), the values of the macro knobs should change to reflect the currently selected device. I can’t quite tell from your message if this is what is happening and you don’t like it that way, or if it’s not working correctly. When you say “Is there a simple fix to this where the knob values will not be reset once a different track/rack is selected” what do you mean by ‘reset’? The macro knobs should be ‘set’ to whatever device you have selected.

  26. any help would be great!

  27. Great template! I want to modify how the play/pause works to make it more like using the space bar (Where hitting play once will play from where the cursor is, and hitting it again will stop playing and return the playhead to where the cursor is)

    Any idea of how to do that?

    • Nevermind. Restart does that. But I guess I can’t restart to the beginning of the entire arrangement. But you probably have that too….

  28. I guess what he means is that if you have done some editing with the macro knobs on a device and then head over to another track and starts editing another device there, the the knob positions on maschine isnt reflecting the values from the currently selected device, but has the values from the last edited device. I’m not sure if it is possible to fix this.

    Anyways, your template is totally awesome, I use it all the time now :)

  29. Is there a way to make the MEGAMaschine controller template the default template? I saved the Live set as a template, but when it starts up, i have to start the controller editor for it to recall your controller template.

    Other than that though, I’m really enjoying what you’ve done here. Thanks!

    • Hey man, glad you’re liking it. Once you open the template in the controller it should show up in the templates box on the right, you can then drag it up/down the list. Then all you need to do is SHIFT + < or > to change the currently selected template when maschine is in controller mode. You don’t need the controller editor open for this. Make it #1 in the list and it should be the default template when you switch to controller mode. Hope that helps.

  30. Hi i just downloaded this and it looks amazing! I installed everything like you said and when i load the template in Ableton Live 8 i push shift control to bring the template up on Maschine but the buttons do not respond like in your video? I tried to watch the video and have Ableton open but i still can’t get it to work, any ideas?

    Thanks

    • Just to be clear, you’ve definitely check that the MEGAmaschine template is loaded in the Maschine controller editor, and it is the currently selected template when you are in controller mode? If yes, which buttons aren’t working correctly?

  31. Hey, really lovin the template. Great work. Any chance you could add more MACRO pages…just to give more flexibility when mapping some of the more complex synths in ableton.

    • Hey rafik, I don’t think that’s possible. Live seems to only allow 8 IMAP controls, to correspond with the 8 mappable knobs when you create a group. What I do is put everything I use into a group and map the 8 most important controls, which covers most things, I’d be surprised if anyone is automating more than 8 parameters on a single track. For everything else, it’s back to the mouse.

  32. I love this, thanks for your hard work!

    Two questions (for now :)
    * it seems I must restart my Mac every time I quit Ableton for the script to initialize and for MegaMaschine to work…is there a way without restarting (ie restarting Ableton, unplugging Maschine, etc doesn’t cut it.)
    * is there a “stop all clips” button? I suppose I could map my own

    • Hey Mark,
      1) Sorry, not sure, don’t have a mac. Do you know if it’s the Selected Track Control script or the IMAP script that isn’t working, or both? Might help you debug. Does it happen with other control surfaces?
      2) No, that’s one thing I overlooked cause I don’t use it very much myself. You can map your own by mapping a button to Note 49 (C#2) on Channel 1 in the controller editor. Check the STC MIDI Implementation here http://stc.wiffbi.com/midi-implementation-chart/

  33. Me again: I see that control does take me to the maschine track but doesn’t launch the plugin, even tho I’ve got those 3 plugin settings in prefs set to “on”

    • It won’t launch the plugin the first time in every session, you’ll have to click on it. After that it should pop up automatically when you select the track, or if you have 2 monitors leave it open on your 2nd. I know it’s annoying but I don’t know any way around it unfortunately.

  34. Hello! thanks so much for the template, I have maschine installed, but when I open the template, it can’t locate the plugin, any suggestions on how to locate it? I am using a mac and it shows up in my plugin folder in ableton in the native instruments folder. Thanks!

  35. Having a slight problem with this. When I try to select a track using the volume knob…it seems to randomly jump across different channels rather than left or right. Worked fine at first. Thoughts?

  36. Hello mega,
    i just found your well worked template. Really great that you spread tyour effort to the whole community. Thanks. I would love to get this thing running but have an strage issue just at the beginning. I´m on Mac 10.7.4 i have problems to place the iMap Maschine Folder right. I cant find the bespoken folder User Remote Scripts in the directory. Library Prefernces and so on. Instead i have a User Remote Scripts Folder in the folder Controller Editor Ableton Live User Remote Scripts. In this folder i have copyed your iMap Script but it doesnt show up in the Live preferences MIDI/Syny Tab, so that i cant choose it. What am i doing wrong can someone please help me on this? Thanks. Greetings

  37. Never mind, figured it out. Solution: In Mac Lion the Library Folder in the User directiry is hidden by default. Simply Go to the finder an then in the menu bar “Go TO” Now hit the alt key. The Library Folder Shows up in the List. Simply klick it and it pops up Here are all missing folders which i have mentioned. Sorry. Have a big day.

  38. I’ve been messing with this for days, and still can’t get it to work a lick. The mapping is loaded up in controller editor, STC and the mapping file are loaded up, and the MIDI/sync tab looks exactly like the one pictured above, yet live doesn’t appear to be receiving any MIDI from the maschine controller. The MIDI-in box in the upper right does not light up. Anyone have any thoughts on what I could be doing wrong?

  39. yo awesome template but can you help me out because i cant get the control surfaces to read any midi remote scripts that i place in the user remote scripts folder unfortunately…
    any feedback would be greatly appreciated

    thanks

    ryan

    • Sorry man, I can’t really think of any. If Selected Track Control isn’t even showing up in control surfaces the only thing I could think of is you are installing it in the wrong path.

  40. Hey Megatroid!

    Great work, thx ever so much.
    I’ve been testing your template, which imho is far superior to NI’s!
    The only problem I’m having is that

    the volume parameters are not updating.

    Therefor, as soon as I change tracks and twiddle the knob, it will jump to the last tracks position.
    Please kindly advise, as the macros, on the other hand, are updating just as they should.
    What can I do to resolve this?

  41. Hi ! Very great work for Maschine !!!
    I have bought Maschine MKII so I ask you: do you think to create a MKII version?
    Pleeeeaaaseeeee :D :D

    Bye ;)

  42. Hi, do you plan on releasing this mapping for the new Mk2 maschine, that’s some dope stuff I would love to try !

  43. I am having trouble with mac os 10.8… copied the user script folder, but imap is not showing up as a control surface. Selected Track is showing up. Am I missing something… perhaps adding imap to midi scripts as well?

  44. should I replace the current user script with yours as opposed to placing the folder in user scripts?

  45. Update… I have got ableton to recognize megamaschine imap… however the controls are all messed up. the 16 bank pads control transport and metronome. none of the other bottons seem to do anything. I have tried both replacing the original user config, and just copying and pasting the imap folder into user scripts. completely waisted 2 1/2 hours of my life on this. I would appreciate some help.

  46. How can I make MegaMaschine work in conjunction to the new 1.8 Ableton template?
    Have you already tried the two at the same time? They interfere quite heavily and make the new template unusable alongside MegaMaschine.

  47. Hi, is this compatible with Maschine MK2 and CE 1.5.1? The .ncm file appears greyed out when i try to open it in CE… am i going for the right file? Cheers!

  48. I did anything but “machine Imap didn’t appears in the Midi Settings of Ableton. What am i doing wrong. can someone please help. i did anything like in the tutorial

  49. anything looks fine now let`s test

  50. Hi megatroid! wanted to try your mapping, but can’t get it working. you wrote to intall the iMap folder into abletons Midi Remote Scripts folder and I also followed the other instructions, but It don’t work.
    When I checked the IMap folder again, I saw that this contains only a “.txt” file. Then I checked the midi Remote script folder and saw that there are all “.pyc” files inside…where can I get this required “pyc” file?
    Help would be great ;)

    Best wishes Philipp

  51. Hey,

    thank you very much!

    but i can’t get the selected track control to work.

    did everything as explained…

    could it be caused by a 64bit live beta?

    everything else is working fine.

  52. im on megamaschine++ btw…

  53. never mind i think it needs some rework for live 9 most things wont work anymore

  54. can’t get it work full on Live 9, only a few controlls working. But still many thanks for a great template. Hope u make an update someday :)

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