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Ableton & Maschine Quick Tip 1: Sample Literally Everything

Quick Tip 1: Running Ableton & Maschine Together to Sample Literally Everything

Working with Ableton Live + Maschine (by Native Instruments) as a combination over the past couple of years has been a skill that’s increased my workflow tenfold. One of the first skills I found to be immensely useful within using them together is using Ableton’s features to get a sample at a perfect time, then throwing it into Maschine and being able to cut it up on the pads however I like. There are many ways to use Ableton’s tools in Maschine but for the sake of keeping this quick, we’ll focus on using Ableton’s WARP feature while combining Maschine’s SAMPLING technology to chop any music sample however you like.

So first thing’s first is we’re going to have to give Maschine its own track inside of Ableton Live, this is pretty simple. In the installation of Maschine, unless you chose a custom install option instead, you should have VST functionality to combine these products together. Open the Plug-Ins window and double click Maschine, it should load inside of Ableton, if this is your first time doing this just give it some time as it may have to register any other synths or sounds you’ll be using inside of Maschine through the MODULES as well.

Ableton Live Sample Tutorial
A quick look at Maschine running in Ableton

Something you’ll want to keep in mind as well since Maschine is running in slave mode, You’ll have to control the tempo through Ableton Live instead of using the tap tempo function. The workaround for this requires putting Maschine into MIDI mode, but that can be saved for another time.

From here, you can load in whatever sample you like, and using Ableton’s WARP feature, you can move the transients of your song on time with whatever tempo you like, but to keep it on time with the 16 pads on your Maschine, you’re gonna want to keep it 4/4 at the moment.

Ableton Live Warp Tutorial
A quick look at a song using the WARP [Yellow Mark] feature to get our song in time with the tempo.
Now from here, if you want to go into Re-Pitch mode and slow down or speed up, or even keep it at the same pitch but change the tempo in Complex-Pro mode, it’s completely up to your discretion here. These quick tips are meant more to expose you to various elements of these products so you can try them for yourself and develop a style of your own! From here though, after we’ve found our tempo & warped our sample, we’re going to want to Cut a 1,2,4, or 8 bar portion & Consolidate (ctrl[pc]/cmd[mac]+j) our track to make sure that the tempo & pitch remains the same once it’s imported into Maschine.

Ableton Tutorial
Here is our sample chopped into 1, 2, 4, & 8 bar segments inside of Ableton once it’s already been warped & consolidated.

From here now, since we’ve also used the Consolidate option to save each segment of this song as its own audio file, it can be easily imported to Maschine since Ableton only uses AIF or WAV for exporting & consolidating, depending on your settings, both can be drag & dropped directly from Ableton into Maschine.

Ableton into Maschine

Using the Drag + Drop feature here, if the sound isn’t highlighted then you’re not importing a consolidated file, or a WAV/AIF file, these are the only ones compatible with Maschine.

From here it’s completely up to your discretion once again! You can go ahead and use the SAMPLING feature on your Maschine to chop the sound you’ve imported however you like, through a grid or manually. We’ll go deeper into these methods in other Quick Tips but for now, go ahead and open up your DAW if you haven’t and get to it!

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