Last year I tried to integrate my good old Roland SP 808 sampler with my LiSa setup. I used the sounds of the SP 808, at the same time controlling LiSa with the SP 808 as hardware controller, sending the output of LiSa also through the effects of the SP 808. It was great, but it had some flaws. I configured the SP 808 as a controller using JunXion, but everytime I start up Junxion the midi connections I programmed were not recognized so I had to manually drag and drop all the connections again. I did like the interface with the pads and sliders as interface, so after thinking about it long and hard I decided to buy NI’s Maschine.

Maschine is a kind of Groove / dance work station with pads and sliders and buttons, a bit like the Roland samplers or the Akai MPC’s. It is not cheap, but it is a great toy. The pads are great and feel sturdy. It is not really a hardware sampler, basically it isĀ  a controller that comes with software, there is no zip disk or memory card. The software works standalone but also as plugin with any DAW. It is meant for beat-oriented music but can also be used for other kinds of music. The software that comes with it is very good, I really like the software / hardware integration, but sofar I did not have time to work with it much. It also comes with a lot of drumsounds.

Maschine can also be use as a stand alone midi controller and comes with a very good midi editor. I have made a setup for LiSa. The pads send out PKP, and I have played around with it using that for volume, sample position, sample lenght and filter parameters. Great. I also have a few disappointments / wishes:

– Maschine can only be used with its software OR as midi controller. I cannot control both LiSa and the sounds of the Maschine software, which would be great for a live setup. My biggest disappointment (I should have investigated this more I suppose).

– No Beamer ctrl like the SP 808 has (or similar Roland samplers)

– No Faders!!! I wish they made some space for that.

– No time stretch in the NI software

Hopefully I will be able to post some related ideas / video’s / sounds soon.

My idea for my new live setup:

– Macbook pro using LiSa and KORG legacy / software version of the MS20. The output of both is routed through the RAX virtual mixer, which allows me to use VST plugins (yes in Live this is much easier I am sure, but I just happen to like LiSa better)

– Maschine: controls LiSa

– Wii nintendo: controls LiSa and MS20 synth (JunXion converts Wii data into midi)

– Kaoss pad: controls LiSa, and VST plugins in the RAX virtual mixer

– Logitech Dual Action: controls MS20 (through Junxion)

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