Guide: Using Maschine 2 to control Groove Agent 5 SE

Hey everyone,

I wanted to provide a brief guide on how to setup Maschine 2 to control Groove Agent 5 SE for use with Maschine hardware (in my case the Maschine Mk3). There are a number of tutorials available online, but I didn’t see one for this specifically so I thought I would write it up. My main motivation for using this configuration was to take advantage of a combination of Groove Agent’s features/sounds and those in the Maschine hardware/software (note repeat, fixed velocity, swing, etc…).

Maschine Configuration

  1. Start by loading up a new instance of Maschine 2 as a virtual instrument.

  2. Open the Maschine 2 VST and start on Group A or create a new one, in this case one named Groove Agent.
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  3. Right click the group and select Sounds to MIDI Notes under the Group Batch MIDI Setup menu.

  4. Select the group and click on the settings icon, then go to the group settings

  5. In the group settings select Input and then MIDI.

    1. Set the Key Mode to Manual
    2. Set the Channel to a MIDI channel number that we’ll use throughout for the rest of the guide, 2 for my example.
    3. Set the Start Note to C3.
      • Note: This is an important step that most of other guides touch on but don’t explain. The Sounds to MIDI Notes option expects that the start note for all sounds in the group is C3. If you’ve ever tried this setup for MIDI routing Maschine sounds to Cubase and had trouble with multiple pads triggering, there’s a good chance that this is the culprit as not all groups that ship in Maschine expansions are configured that way.
  6. Go to the Sound settings menu next to group and select Input, then MIDI.

  7. Select all of the sounds in the group (1-16) by selecting one and then using ctrl+a or cmd+a. They should all be a light grey color when selected.
    image.

  8. Set the input Source to Host and the input Channel to your selected MIDI channel from earlier. Disable MIDI Thru.

  9. Select the Output menu in the Sound settings and set the Source for all sounds to Host and the Channel to your selected MIDI channel number.

At this point we’re ready to configure Groove Agent, but we’re not done with setting up Maschine. It will just be useful to have Groove Agent up for the next steps.

Groove Agent Configuration

  1. Create a new Groove Agent instrument track.

  2. In the Inspector for the track, change the MIDI Input source for your Groove Agent Track to your Maschine MIDI Out, in my case 01. Maschine 2 - MIDI Out. Set the Channel in the Inspector to your MIDI channel number that you selected (I’m not sure that this matters).

That should be everything that we need for Groove Agent. Open the instrument window since it will be useful for the next part.

Maschine Sound Transposition

With the initial setup of Maschine complete and the Groove Agent track created, we can configure the pads to send notes to Groove Agent. With the Groove Agent track selected or with monitor on, go back to the Maschine 2 window.

Now comes the mildly tedious part. At this point, Groove Agent would work if you set your Maschine controller to keyboard mode, but then you can’t use note repeat (it’s traded for the arpeggiator). To use note repeat we need to configure the sounds for the group.

  1. Deselect all sounds by clicking on one of them and using ctrl+a or cmd+a again. You should see that they are all dark grey now except for the one sound selected.
  2. Rename the sound however you’d like, I just used the note names since the pad names in Groove can change depending on the kit selected.
  3. For this example, we’ll configure each sound for Groove Agent’s 3rd Group. In the MIDI Output settings for the Sound, move the Transpose knob until the corresponding pad in Groove Agent is triggered. The transposition for sound 1 (C1) should be -24 with each sound that follows in the group needing to be transposed one less than the sound before. So sound 2 (C#1) will be -23, and sound 3 (D1) will be -22 and so on…It can be helpful to listen/watch in Groove Agent to see when you’re on the correct pad.
  4. Configure the transposition for all sounds in the group.

The great thing about this is that it could also apply to other groups in Groove Agent. Just configure another kit and set the transposition values accordingly. For instance, you can do things like triggering the patterns for the kit by transposing down to the note values associated with them

The Maschine hardware and the Maschine software should now be ready to route to Groove Agent :slight_smile: .

In case you’re wondering why we need to bother with transpose. When in pad mode and using Sound to MIDI Notes, Maschine expects that all sounds will have a starting note of C3. If you click on the grid for the group, you’ll see that every sound as a Key of C3, which is why we need to configure the transpose value to get the correct notes to send to Groove Agent.
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I hope that someone else can find this useful. I’m still a beginner when it comes to the ins and outs of MIDI routing and only recently got a Maschine, so it was nice to get this figured out.

TL;DR: Make sure you have Groove Agent’s MIDI input set as discussed in the guide and import my Maschine Group template: https://1drv.ms/u/s!Anot4Zof_k-FgaZnJxfoni0zdX3s5Q?e=mzuzoW. When you import, be sure to have the +Routing option selected in Maschine 2.