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Old 08-15-2012, 11:18 AM   #1
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Default Maschine as VST in Reaper - FULL TUTORIAL plus Controller mode config

October 2019 updated the files / KeyMaps / etc so you don't have to configure anything

(but I would highly recommend you import the KeyMaps into a PORTABLE installation of Reaper-- I don't want my KeyMaps conflicting with yours, and I don't want to screw up your Reaper)...

see this post:

Hey guys... last weekend I worked hard on getting Maschine to work great as a VST inside Reaper (multi-timbrally), without going into Controller Mode. I've since found that it's actually VERY advantageous to go into Controller Mode with Maschine, once everything is set up properly with Reaper.

This configuration is great if you prefer to use Reaper's sequencer and do a lot of MPC-style sample chopping and whatnot.. and BONUS--- you get Reaper's Media Explorer, and time-stretched looping. This is the #1 reason I prefer using Maschine as a VST... for sample-chopping (quickly and easily), and tapping these chops out to pre-made loops just to get a song idea going, and fast.

important note: I don't understand how to use Reaper's Instruments (pianos, guitars, synth leads, etc) in this way, as Maschine handles Instruments in a whole different way. This is just for the drum kit people, or the people who like the MPC-style workflow (chopping samples mainly... oldschool-style). If you need a VST instrument such as a synth bass, pads, or whatever, just create a new Reaper track and put your favorite VST instrument on it (there are hundreds of awesome free VSTs out there). But this way is great for chopping samples and playing any group you want (and having it select the track automatically- thus, ready to record when needed)... just by hitting the button that corresponds to that assigned track in Reaper. It's fast as hell.

Here's a video demonstrating how I use it... and if you download these three files below, you don't have to do any of the steps except setting up Reaper's actions (the last section).

(includes 1. Maschine project with included samples, 2. Controller Mode config file for Reaper, and 3. Reaper ProjectTemplate)

Here's how I did it if you want to know the full details (even if you download the pre-configured files):


1. Create 9 tracks in Reaper.

*Make all of their inputs be MIDI: ALL INPUTS, and set each track's record mode to "Automatic Record-Arm When Track Selected" (right-click the record arm icon).

*Set each of these tracks to "RECORD: OVERDUB" by right-clicking the record arm icon (this is important especially when you're looping a section and building a pattern).

OPTIONAL - right-click the record-arm button, and select midi input quantize if you want. I usually do, set to 1/16, at 50% swing.

2. Insert Maschine as a VSTi on track 9.

3. Name track 1 "GROUP A" or "A" or whatever you like.
Name track 2 "GROUP B" or "B" or whatever you like. Repeat for all other tracks and groups.

4. Set track 1's MIDI input (in Reaper) to "Map Input To Channel" and then select Channel 1.
Do the same for all the other tracks-- track 2 will be mapped to Channel 2, track 3 will be mapped to channel 3, etc. (this is an important step).

5. Set Maschine to route each Group to a certain MIDI channel. This is easily done by first dropping a sample (any wav file) onto a single pad in each Group (so the group is active/highlighted). Once this is done, right-click the Group name directly to the left of your Scene view, and choose "Sound MIDI Batch Setup." Select "Sounds To Midi Notes".

For Group A (Channel 1), choose Channel 1.
For Group B (Channel 2), choose Channel 2... so on, so forth.

*Maschine looks like it's doing a global thing with the channels (showing the last channel number you selected, even though you're on a different group). This is NOT a global setting. It IS changing the midi channel for each group.

Reaper is now set. Now we have to do a lot of crap in Maschine's "Controller Editor" software.


STEPS for Maschine's "Controller Editor" software

First, set the controller sensitivity to Maximum in Maschine's File menu.

1. Open up the Controller Editor software, and pick a template to use. Rename it to "Maschine in Reaper" or whatever you want.

1a. Set the Pad Velocity Curve to Soft 3 in the Template section of the Control Editor software (Soft 3 is the closest sensitivity to "Maschine Mode" (it's REALLY close... like, almost exact). This is important!!!

2. Set the midi notes for Group A. You may have to go to the "Pad Pages" section of the Control Editor software, and enable Group A. This is the only group you will use, as you will use other buttons on the Maschine hardware to select your groups (magically, with Reaper!)

3. Set the following pads chromatically in Group A to the following MIDI notes:
pad 1: note C3
pad 2: note C#3 ........ etc.
pad 15: note D4
pad 16: note D#4


STEPS for setting Reaper ACTIONS

1. Now, see the column of buttons that go from "SCENE" down to "MUTE", directly to the left of the pads? We're going to use these 8 buttons to select tracks in Reaper, via MIDI, that match Maschine's groups. Those buttons have CC assignments... the default assignment shows SCENE is CC 112 (usually). The button below it is PATTERN and that CC assignment should be CC 113... so on, so forth, to the last button in the column (MUTE) which is CC 119.

Go into Reaper's Actions.... and search for "Track: Select track" - you'll come across a set of actions for selecting tracks 01 through 08. All you have to do here is ADD a shortcut for each action... for example, Track select 01 would be CC 112 (the SCENE button). Track 02 Select would be CC 113 (the PATTERN button), etc. So, effectively, that column of buttons on Maschine's hardware will select tracks 01 through 08, thus automatically selecting GROUPS A through H, to play/record (see Step 1 in the first section).

2. Stay in the Reaper Actions window, and find "Transport Play" - ADD a shortcut, using the PLAY button on Maschine (CC 108).

3. Stay in the Reaper Actions window, and find "Transport Record" - ADD a shortcut, using the RECORD button on Maschine (CC 109).\

4. Stay in the Reaper Actions window, and find "UNDO" - ADD a shortcut, using the ERASE button on Maschine (CC 108).

5. Stay in the Reaper Actions window, and find "Repeat" (the function to enable looping on/off in Reaper) - ADD a shortcut, using the GRID button on Maschine (CC 107).

6. Stay in the Reaper Actions window, and find "Transport Rewind" - ADD a shortcut, using the RESTART button on Maschine (CC 104).

Right now, you've just set Maschine's transport buttons to control Reaper, which everyone always wants to do! Yay Reaper.

7. Stay in the Reaper Actions window, and find "Go back one measure" - ADD a shortcut, using the < button on Maschine (CC 105).

8. Stay in the Reaper Actions window, and find "Go forward one measure" - ADD a shortcut, using the > button on Maschine (CC 106).

You can also set the 8 macro knobs on Maschine's hardware to control the volumes of tracks 1-8.

9. In Reaper Actions window, find "track volume" and make sure you're on "Set Track Volume for 01" (02, 03, 04, etc). ADD a shortcut, spin the knob you want... and voila, CC 14 (the default CC assignment for Maschine's 1st marco knob in Maschine's Control Editor software) becomes the volume knob for track 01 in Reaper (which matches Group A).

Repeat for all other tracks... track 02 would be macro knob 2, etc. etc. etc. The macro knob CCs should be as follows:
knob 1 - CC 14
knob 2 - CC 15....
knob 8 - CC 21


Now, just build your sounds for each group (using "Maschine Mode" (not Controller Mode)...... what I like to do is load a kit on Group A, and then chop a bunch of stuff for the other groups (B, C, D, E, F, G and H)... oftentimes I don't even need groups E F G or H.

Now go back into Controller Mode (shift + CONTROL)... and, make sure you're on Group A (the only Group you assigned)... and to play each of your Maschine groups, you just SELECT THE REAPER TRACK using the following column of buttons:

SCENE (Reaper track 01 / Group A)
PATTERN (Reaper track 02 / Group B)
PAD MODE (REaper track 03 / Group C)
MUTE (Reaper track 08 / Group H)

It's easy, and fast. It's basically better than using Maschine mode. You're just using the column of buttons as your Group selection (and in Reaper, track selection) instead of your Group buttons. And you can use the macro knobs for your volume (if you don't have a Mackie Control or Nanokontrol or whatever).

I don't have much more time to go into detail (with screenshots or a video)... but I WILL do that, time-permitting. It's been a very busy week. Just wanted to get you guys started. Also, I will upload a Reaper ProjectTemplate, and I'll also upload a Maschine Project to reflect all of this. But it's good to know the steps, as you will know what to do always.

This is the best way to use Maschine as a VST in Reaper and using Reaper's sequencer to record your MIDI. To make loops and patterns, just highlight the timeline in Reaper, and enable Repeat (looping on/off).

Please let me know if you guys have any questions and I'd be happy to help!

Hope this works for you!

Last edited by themixtape; 10-23-2019 at 11:18 AM.
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