How to Sync Traktor & Maschine – Dubspot Native Instruments Tutorial w/ DJ Endo

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Dubspot Instructor and DJ product specialist for Native Instruments Mike Henderson aka DJ Endo explains and demonstrates how to synchronize NI’s Traktor and Maschine in this new video tutorial, and the detailed accompanying article which you can read in its entire below. Artist currently using Endo’s Traktor & Maschine setup/mapping includes Carl Cox, Nic Fancuilli, and David Morales. While other major artists and performers such as Richie Hawtin, Dubfire, and Chris Liebing also incorporate Maschine and Traktor in their live setup as a plugin. Endo shows you an easily setup Maschine and Traktor and have both programs run in perfect sync on one computer using one audio interface! _________________________________________________________________________________________

Native Instruments Maschine is revolutionizing the way we make and perform music. With its super intuitive Hardware & Software, lightening fast workflow and 8GB sound library, you can literally make a whole idea for a track in minutes!

While it was originally made with the Studio in mind, Maschine has become a staple piece of gear for a lot of live acts and now for DJs! With a recent Traktor update, Traktor introduced Virtual MIDI (for Mac only), which allows you to Syncronize Traktor to anything that receives MIDI clock (such as Maschine, Ableton Live, Roland 303 etc) without using any MIDI Cables. If you’re a PC user you can download MIDI Yoke, which essentially does the same thing as Traktor’s Virtual MIDI. This will allow you to create beats and trigger samples over whatever tracks you’re spinning in perfect sync using a single soundcard for both programs!

In my previous Maschine videos I showed how to use Maschine as a MIDI controller for Traktor Pro and gave out my 4 deck MIDI mapping which you can download by going to DJEndo.com/traktor_setting.

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Every DJ who I have set up with this mapping has never turned back. Carl Cox and Nic Fanciulli have been using my Maschine Mapping for a couple years now. Nic is even known to sometimes use two Maschine controllers on stage [Video]

Both Carl Cox and Nic Fanciulli love Maschine so much that they each got theirs customized!

David Morales just started using my Maschine Mapping a few months ago and claims that he doesn’t ever want to go back to the old way of mixing ever again. This is coming from someone who would literally ban me from his house if I ever mentioned the sync button, so that was a shock to me!

Carl Cox had something happen to his settings (I think it was a drunk girl who hit a knob while the “learn” button was on), so he took a break from Maschine for a while and used the X1’s. After I fixed his Maschine settings at his officina at Space Ibiza, Carl looked at me and said “I’M BACK!!” and then destroyed the room!

Here is a video of Carl Cox using Maschine at Monster Massive LA.

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Dubfire is another DJ that I set up with Traktor and Maschine, except he is using Maschine as a plug in inside of Ableton (for separate volume control and FX over each drum bank). Also Richie Hawtin and Chris Liebing are all currently using Maschine and Traktor on two computers, both using Ableton as a host for Maschine on their slave computers. Both use the Allen & Heath Xone 92 Mixer for the extra channels, and for Send and Return FX.

Here is a video I took of Richie Hawtin tag teaming with Dubfire at Womb adventure in Japan. Dubfire was using 2 computers. One computer was running Traktor (4 decks) with 2 Kontrol X1’s and a Roland Foot Pedal, and the other computer was running Ableton Live with Maschine as a plug in. Richie was using 2 computers as well. One was running Traktor (4 decks) controlled by 2 Xone 2D’s, and the other computer was running Ableton Live and Maschine. Both setups were plugged into an Ethernet Hub which was where all the MIDI was sent from Richie Hawtins computer to Dubfire’s computer.

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Here is a video of Chris Liebing using Traktor and Maschine at Nature One Festival in Germany. You can see he is using the step sequencer to sequence drum rolls, and the swing knob to stir things up.

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While this is amazing what these artists are doing, not everyone has the money for two computers, or two Maschine Controllers, and doesn’t have the space in their suitcases for all of that gear. I have figured out a way to use both Traktor and Maschine on the same computer, and same soundcard without having to even use a MIDI cable.

Syncing Traktor and Maschine might take you a few minutes of setting it up and adjusting the metronome offset (click to click!), but once you have the two programs sync’d to one another, those settings will be saved for each time you load Maschine and Traktor.

Here is how it is done:

Open Traktor first

In Traktor open your preferences (the Gear Icon in the upper right hand side of the screen)

Go to the MIDI Clock section of the Preferences and turn on the option for “Send MIDI Clock.” I always keep the MIDI Clock sending offset at zero ms.

Make sure your soundcard is set to “Audio 8 DJ” or whatever soundcard you’re using.

Make sure your “Output Routing” is set correctly in the Traktor Preferences. If your using a DJ Mixer (not the internal Traktor Mixer), choose External. I typically have Traktor routed through the Audio 8 DJ to channels 1&2 (Deck A), 3&4 (Deck B), 5&6 (Deck C), and 7&8 (Deck D). I will also use outputs 7&8 as the outputs in Maschine and share Maschine with Deck D’s channel.

Next thing your going to want to do is go to the Layout Manager tab and make sure your Global section is showing, so you can see the Master Clock and Effects at the top.

Now we’re going to make a new MIDI device in the controller editor so that Traktor can send MIDI clock to Maschine.

1) Go to Preferences / Controller Manager

2) Under the “Device” dropdown menu click on “Add” and then select “Generic MIDI”. This will add a new MIDI device, which in this case is simply a port to send MIDI clock.

3) Rename this device by clicking on “Edit” under the Device dropdown menu, and name this device “CLOCK”

4) Next to the device called “CLOCK” you are going to set the “Out-Port” to “Traktor Virtual MIDI” by clicking on the drop down menu under “Out-Port” and selecting “Traktor Virtual MIDI.” Also set the In-Port to “None” to prevent any MIDI loops.

5) Now you are going to make sure no other device is sending MIDI clock through this port. You will do this by selecting each device in the “Device” menu and setting the Out Port to whatever the controller’s port is (example – Allen & Heath Xone 2D). You want to make sure that *no* Out Port is set to “All Ports”

6) For the clock device, make sure the Device Target is set to Focus.

The next thing we’re going to do is set Maschine to receive MIDI clock from Traktor. We can do this by doing the following:

1) Open Maschine and go to the Preferences window, and click on “File” – Audio MIDI Settings.

2) Click on the “MIDI” Tab

3) Where it says “Traktor Virtual Output” change the status to “On”

5) Now choose your soundcard in Maschine by going to the Audio Tab (above) and choosing “Audio 8 DJ” or whatever Audio Interface your using.

6) Select your Audio Routing for Maschine by going to the Routing Tab and choosing what Outputs you want to send Maschine out of. I like to pick output 7&8 (Deck D) on my Audio 8 DJ, so I can use the 4th channel on my DJ Mixer either for Deck D in Traktor or Maschine, or BOTH!

Now that we’ve created a virtual device to send MIDI clock in Traktor, and set up Maschine as a Slave to Traktor, now we’re going to start sending MIDI Clock from Traktor into Maschine. Here’s how to do it.

1) At the top of the Traktor screen click on the Metronome Icon next to the effects panel. This will show the Master Clock panel of Traktor.

2) Click on the Play | Pause button in the Master Clock Panel. This will send MIDI clock out of Traktor. I like to have the Master Clock Mode be in “Auto” Mode (which means whatever deck has been playing the longest is the Master Deck), but if you are just using controllers you might want to use “Internal” Master Clock Mode.

3) Press the Sync button in Traktor’s MIDI Clock panel. This will tell Maschine where the ‘one’ is in the track (the first beat in a measure) and will start playback in Maschine. If you switch Maschine to Step Sequencer mode, you should see the pads start flash to the beat across the 16 pads and the play button should be lit up.

Now that we have MIDI clock sending from Traktor to Maschine, now we have to make sure the two programs are in SYNC with each other by adjusting Maschine’s Sync Offset Delay, and using the metronome from both programs to Match each other. Here is how we do this:

1) In Traktor’s Master Clock panel, turn on the Tick button. Also turn on the Cue button for Deck A. This will make it so you can hear a metronome (click) sound representing Traktor’s master clock.

2) With the Play button enabled in Traktor’s Master Clock panel, Click on the SYNC button in Traktor’s Master Clock to make sure its sending MIDI clock.

3) On the Maschine Hardware, turn on the Metronome by holding the Shift Button and pushing play. Now you should have an Audible Metronome (Tick) playing in both programs.

4) The next thing you are going to do is adjust the “Sync Offset Slave” in Maschine, so that the metronomes in both programs are playing perfectly in Sync. To do this, go to the Maschine Preferences – General Tab. Where says “Sync Offset Slave” in the General Tab, click on the up and down for Sync Offset Slave and now here comes the tricky part (or simple if you know how to beatmatch).

5) To match the Metronome’s, Drag the Sync Offset Slave meter up and down until the Metronome’s are playing in time. Take your time and make sure they are perfectly together. You might even want to experiment with using a kick from Maschine with a track in Traktor to make sure you have the clocks tuned up nice and tight. I had to adjust my Sync Offset Slave to about -32 ms, but that value is probably different on different computers.

Once Traktor and Maschine are in Sync, we’re ready to rock!

On the Maschine Hardware switch to Step Mode by clicking on Step.

Now play a track in Traktor.  As soon as the song gets to the “1” (the first beat in a measure)(ex 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3,4) Hit the sync button on Traktor’s Master clock. You should see the step seqeuncer playing, starting at the bottom pads and working its way up.

Now the 2 programs are in sync and its time to start loading up those drums and drumming to the rhythm of your DJ set!

Now we can create and edit Grooves and Performances Live that we can even save for later use, or even delete and start fresh the next night.

One thing a lot of people might not know about the Maschine hardware is that you can actually toggle between using Maschine in MIDI mode (using it as a controller for Traktor), and using it to control the Maschine software (for making beats) at the same time, and go back and forth all night long.

*You can toggle back and forth between controlling Traktor and Maschine by pressing “Shift – Control”” on  the Maschine controller.

Time to take it to the next level!

Comments

33
  • Michael Walsh
  • 7/21/2011

Great piece, Mike!
PS I want some wood panels for my Maschine!

  • Amar Kay
  • 7/21/2011

OK, I’m definitely getting Maschine now !
I knew there had to be a way for this to work, great piece !!

  • DJ Girish
  • 7/21/2011

I tried this, but tempo drifts after a while.

  • iron
  • 7/21/2011

Nice work!

Can you tell me if its also possible to do it with a midi cable & audio8?
I use a PC and LoopBe1 was not accurate.

I also have chance to use a second frie wire soundcard.
A Sapphire. What do you think? Share channels on Audio8 or
use Sapphire for Maschine? What settings for Midi Cable?
CLOCK output: Audio 8 DJ Out?
MIDI Input: Audio 8 DJ In.?
instead of LoopBe1???

thx. iron

  • nobo
  • 7/21/2011

amazing!
how do i set up traktor running on pc #1 and maschine running on pc #2 that all is in sync. i´m using a&h´s xone 42 and also two 8 dj´s. does anybody know how it works?
thanks for the help
nobo

  • Endo
  • 7/21/2011

@Iron – yes you can do it with a MIDI Cable & Audio 8. Plug the MIDI out of the Audio 8 DJ into the MIDI In and follow the steps above. Its basically tricking the computer into thinking its reading MIDI from something else but its really reading the MIDI of itself :-)

@Nobo – I am doing a video on how to sync 2 Traktor systems soon, and will show 4 different ways to do this. Stay tuned!

  • Hands on: Allen & Heath Xone DB4 mixer with DJ Endo | Dubspot Blog
  • 7/21/2011

[...] more info on how to Sync Ableton and Maschine on the same computer, check out my tutorial here. For more info on how to Sync Ableton Live and Traktor on the same computer, check out my tutorial [...]

  • Sase
  • 7/21/2011

Hi,

your tutorials are great, but where can I find the “how to Sync Ableton and Maschine on the same computer” tutorial? Thanks, Sase

  • DJ Girish
  • 7/21/2011

Endo,

I have a question.

If I route my Maschine through my PreSonus Firebox output and re-route to Kontrol S4 on Deck 3, do you think it will fix the drift problem? I havent tried this yet.

Thanks

  • DJ Girish
  • 7/21/2011

BTW Presonus Firebox is an audio interface – very minimum/zero latency.

  • Mark D.
  • 7/21/2011

hi Endo…a question,
i see this post in other website:
“Actually you dont connect the Maschine to the S4. You connect The S4 to your external soundcard (in my case Audio 8). You then make sure that Maschine uses the external soundcard. There is only one connection from Maschine and that is the USB to the computer. The rest of the connection is software configuration. Follow the steps abow an voila you are playing Maschine through channel C on the S4. I have trouble with getting perfect sync myself but the set up is fairly easy”.
It’s correct Endo?I think to buy NI Audio 4 for live set with a Mac,Kontrol S4 and Maschine…
Many thank’s!! :-)

  • Kieran
  • 7/21/2011

Any idea what instruments Hawtin uses while using Maschine. I’m assuming he is using the standard Maschine ones, as only the most recent version of Maschine can run VST’s (from my knowledge) ? But any idea what ones?

  • rod guillen
  • 7/21/2011

hey mike H one question bro i really need help on this please

so here i go

i see alot set ups u do ovbiously most of them from native instruments if u cant make ableton on public im sure u know how do it

non of the setups are with audio 10 dj i use traktor pro 2 ableton suite 8
maschine 1.6 xone 92 xone 1d , bout the change it for control 2 control x1 i wana use maschine as a vst for ableton can u please tell us how to do it because i have traktor sync to ableton if i touch maschine traktor or ableton im gonna mess up the setup sync and maybe i wont even hear the sound coming out from audio 10 dj i have
abcd on 4 chanels of xone 92 but i wana use one for ableton or maschine
really i dont know what comes out from where is it ableton that is supost to send sound to one chanel or is it maschine that has to send thru a chanel or audio 10 dj and where ableton sends signal to my main out traktor send 4 decks abcd where does maschine send ?? i want to sync it im not sure if i have to sync it with ableton or traktor or either both i wana i like richie leibing dubfire setup they use that instance step botton on maschine i wana do the same it gives a perffect nice beats help !!!

  • Hiphop Production tutorials
  • 7/21/2011

How many of you are using Reason with Maschine?

  • Lowkey
  • 7/21/2011

so, love the .tsi file, everything works great. now. I want to route volume, and pitch controls to my akai mpd24, working at the same time as maschine, is this possible? or do ihave to create a new generic midi map using both?

  • djxgroove
  • 7/21/2011

exelente videos.

  • STEVE C
  • 7/21/2011

Set up works but when I click sync to external MIDI clock. Tempo will sync but the play button the Maschine does not work, and when I turn it off play button will work.

Also I have my Maschine routed through audio 8, to channel 4. I the maschine with the MIDI Fighter mapping. Using TSP2. When I switch over to MIDI and use the effects I have a weird noise bleed through channel 4, almost like feedback.

Any ideas how to fix this??

  • MoMo
  • 7/21/2011

The clock adjustment is easier when the two programs are being run internally, but I never felt like I got it right, just close enough to not notice major drift. I also tried to set-up two laptops with two additional soundcards with the Xone DB4 to gain the CPU/RAM independence and screen realestate but it’s not easy. Awaiting that video on doing such. I’m interested in seeing how you would go about using the DB4, two soundcards, Maschine/Abelton and Traktor Pro on separate laptops in the way Dubfire was using them at Timewarp. If it’s a midi cable between the systems how do you approach fixing the awful drift and non-functioning play “start/stop” + “and one” controls that aren’t being sent accross the cable? Much talk about this in the NI Forum topic for Xone DB4 (under Traktor Area, Traktor Pro, DJ Controllers)

  • Mick Benjamins
  • 7/21/2011

I wonder if this works with my DB4′s built-in soundcard. Will receive my Maschine tomorrow, so I will try it out then :)

  • GabiM
  • 7/21/2011

We’d really like hear more on the “Drifting Issue” – I’m experiencing as well.

I’ve got the S4 and the maschine and I use an audio 2 dj (soundcard) mainly for the Maschine, but I needed it to have higher volume and take some pressure of my laptop (macbook pro, 2011) as I had crackles and long waiting when loaded in new kits etc.

  • Michael Marsh
  • 7/21/2011

great vid and thanks… but still caught up on something. Followed the information to a T or at least I thought I did. My question is can i run audio from TSPro2 into Maschine so I can utilize VST plugins. Wouldn’t you want both programs to be on the same output if Maschine plugins are effect plugins?

  • DJ AuGustus
  • 7/21/2011

Hello.. Great Video..very straight forward seeming.. so I must be missing something, because I cant get it to work totally after following thru it three times..

I have Maschine and S4 running together on the same cpu (both totally updated) – without the audio 8 connected.
I can get the Midi clock running to maschine and the two metronomes in sync… I can also get maschine to play thru the S4, but with the S4 is no longer controlling traktor (just acting as a sound card..)

What I would like, is to sync Maschine to Traktor, using the S4 to control Traktor and have Maschine play through its deck C or D..

Can you please help? Thank you!!

  • Nuxper
  • 7/21/2011

@Endo – what happened to this video???

@Nobo – I am doing a video on how to sync 2 Traktor systems soon, and will show 4 different ways to do this. Stay tuned!

  • lu
  • 7/21/2011

yo yo

i cant see the voice traktor virtual machine output and

even the voice maschine virtual input

i follow and the step but nothing

my traktor version is

traktor pro2.1.1

masc hine 1.7.1

  • Jeff
  • 7/21/2011

How would you map maschine mikro with traktor pro 2?

  • Alberto Sheinfeld
  • 7/21/2011

Hey man, GREAT tutorial, thanks for this, i am having a blast with the maschine and traktor s4. I have one quick question though. Is it possible to sync AND send the audio output of the maschine to 1 channel in the traktor s4? So i can control bass, mids, FX etc???

Thanks!

  • Pieter
  • 7/21/2011

Thanks for this great tutorial! I’ve followed the steps as mentioned, but just like DJ Girish, my Maschine also goes out of sync after a few seconds. I’ve also seen that the BPM within Traktor is constant (128 BPM in my case), but the BPM within Maschine shifts (for example between 127 and 130 BPM). I’ve tried different settings regarding temposynced and beatsynced, but the results are the same.

What am I doing wrong? All my settings are as in your tutorial. I’m currently using Traktor Scratch Pro 2, Audio 4 DJ, Maschine 1.7 and the timecode CD’s on 2 Pioneer CDJ-1000.

  • Endo
  • 7/21/2011

3:57 =

@DJ Girish – if the Tempo drifts, you can push the SYNC button in Traktors Master clock to re-sync Maschine. There is a known bug in the latest update of Traktor where the master clock sent from Traktor’s virtual MIDI is unstable. This will be fixed in the next update of Traktor due out hopefully next week.

@Mark D – this isn’t really correct. The way to do it is use an Audio 2 for Maschine, and plug the Audio 2 into the input of the S4, then set a deck in Traktor to be a Live Input and route the audio from Maschine into the deck in Traktor via the Audio 2. Then you can add Traktor effects over Maschine

@rod guile – Maschine acts as a VST plugin for Ableton so open Maschine in Ableton and follow my “Syncing Traktor & Ableton Video” except rather than syncing Ableton using the ABLETON metronome, turn the MASCHINE metronome on and sync it that way. Thats the workaround I did when I sync’d up Dubfire’s Ableton/Traktor/Maschine rig. Then In Ableton you can select your outputs either in each individual channel or in the master output.

@Lowkey – you would create a new Generic MIDI device for the MPD and then map out the controls within the MPD Mapping window.

@Steve C – Right, that is how its supposed to work. When you turn “Sync to External MIDI clock” on, the play button in Maschine is disabled. The way to start playback of Maschine is to turn on the Play button in Traktor’s master clock, and then Push the “Sync” button in Traktor’s Master clock (as I explained above and in the video)

@MoMo – Dubfire now uses only 1 computer for everything (Traktor, Ableton, Maschine). Its much easier that way, and more stable. The MIDI drifting will be fixed in the next update of Traktor.

@Mick Benjamins – yes it will work great with the DB4. Just share the soundcard with both programs :-)

@Michael Marsh – I suppose you COULD route the audio from Traktor into Maschine via JackOSX but I definitely wouldn’t recommend it. Too many things can go wrong. I would suggest an alternative – run Traktor through Ableton, and maybe for effects you could set up a send effect via a Xone 92 mixer so one channel is just effects that you can control the dry wet of, and if it gets annoying , you just turn the aux down and you will have a clean signal.

@DJ AuGustus – the way to do that is to use a separate soundcard for Maschine and S4. Plug the Maschine soundcard into an input of the S4 and then set one of your decks to be a live input in Traktor

@lu – are you on windows? There is no Traktor virtual output for Windows

@Jeff – its on my list of things to do (Mapping Maschine Mikro to Traktor)

@Alberto – yes, it is possible to send the audio of Maschine into Traktor S4. See my comments above

  • Lee jones
  • 7/21/2011

Hey love your tutorial but this is into an external mixer how would you do this with s4. I tried this and it will only play out of the master how can I get it to only come out of channel d or c on s4. Would be a big help guys

  • Mr. Miller
  • 7/21/2011

hi endo
i liked the tutorial, very informativ, but ive got also a question.

is it possible to route the 4 traktor channels in maschine, manipulate them and throw them out to the mixer, and still havin at least 4 groups on maschine to play in my own stuff with the following setup:

-2 mac pro laptops, one running traktor, the other runnning maschine

-one audio dj 8

-one a&h db4

-several midi-controller

im tryin to bring this toghether for quit a while, and didnt find a solution.
maybe i need another soundcard?

would be very thankfull if you could help somehow.

  • Mr. MIller
  • 7/21/2011

solved……

takin db4 as soundcard in maschine and routin traktor with audio8 analog in db4.

  • Murtho
  • 7/21/2011

Endo!! Wow thats such a well described and inspiring tutorial..Thanks x