Maschine For Logic Users

Native Instruments has created an awesome bit of kit for musicians in Maschine! It can be used standalone or as a plug-in within your DAW effortlessly. But, it can do so much more if you know how...  

OK, so most of us who have used Maschine know it’s a great piece of kit for producing grooves and, since recent updates, is capable of running all your plug-ins from inside its interface. Sometimes though, you just have to turn to your DAW and when you do, it’s good to know what else Maschine can do for you.

In this quick tutorial we’ll look at what Maschine can do once we are inside Logic Pro 9’s production environment and the different ways in which we can harness its raw power...

Step 1 - The Plug-in Route

Most Maschine users will have used the standalone mode: this essentially allows users to run Maschine as a dedicated, standalone application. When you move to your DAW you can essentially take Maschine with you and load it up as either an Audio Unit (AU) or VST plug-in.

Within Logic, Maschine works as a plug-in instrument and is capable of syncing perfectly with your existing project. You can also drag and drop MIDI and audio parts between the two interfaces.

This is a great feature but not exactly an unknown quantity for most Maschine users. So, what else can we do? Well, let’s take a look...

Maschine in Plug-in Mode

Maschine in Plug-in Mode.

Step 2 - MIDI Controller Mode

When I tell people about Maschine, it’s quite surprising how many users aren’t aware that the hardware can actually be used as a very powerful MIDI controller. In fact, it has several very well implemented templates that are ready to use out of the box.

To access the controller mode in Maschine simply hit Shift and Control when the unit powers up (or at any time during normal use). This will instantly transform Maschine in a MIDI controller and allow you to load templates that come with the unit. Scroll through them by hitting Shift and using the arrows to the left of the main display.

Maschine is ready to be transformed into a MIDI controller

Maschine is ready to be transformed into a MIDI controller.

There are a few choices here with templates for Ableton Live and NI Massive amongst them. But, the one that should really interest Logic users is the Mackie Control template. This is going to be great for most Logic users. Let’s see how it works.

The Mackie Control template

The Mackie Control template.

Step 3 - Virtual Mackie Control

To use Maschine in Mackie control mode you’ll first need to load up the Mackie control template. Then, in Logic, navigate to the control surfaces set up area. You will now have to manually add a Mackie Control and set the inputs and outputs to MIDI 0. This should start communication between Logic and the unit.

The Maschine is added as a controller in Logic

Maschine is added as a controller in Logic.

You should now see your current project's parameters appear on Maschine’s displays. The various tabs will give you access to functions such as level, pan, plug-ins and sends. This all works in a very similar way to the actual Mackie control and gives you a really excellent level of control over just mouse and keyboard.

The Mackie Control template is active

The Mackie Control template is active.

Knowing that you can switch back to controlling Maschine at any time (using Shift and Control on the unit), you really have two devices in one and ultimately, you can get hands-on control for any device in your project.

There's much more to Maschine! Check out these 3 tutorials by Native Instruments' Product Specialist, Matt Cellitti:

Native Instruments 207 - Maschine Quick Start

Native Instruments 208 - Maschine's Sampler Explored

Native Instruments 209 - Maschine Masterclass

Mo has been a professional in the music industry for around 15 years. He has released material with the world's leading record labels and also produces music for TV and Film. Mo is also a prolific writer and is a regular contributor to magazines such as Music Tech, Future Music and EQ magazine. There isn't a piece of music software tha... Read More


Good article, Mo. Thanks! I couldn't help but notice that you also had an iPad set up as a control surface as well as Maschine. Do you find Maschine gives you faster, easier, or better access to Logic's parameters than an iPad would running, let's say TouchOSC, which I use? And, is it easy to create custom templates for Logic in Maschine?

Also, I'm assuming by the above mentioned screenshot that it's possible to run an iPad and Maschine as control surfaces simultaneously.....yes?

Many thanks.
Mo Volans
Hey Adam...

well spotted, I do use both the iPad and Maschine as controllers.

To be honest they are very different beasts, I love the the fact I can do more or less anything I like in apps like TouchOSC on the iPad but I do miss the tactile controls of hardware. Maschine is great if you need the feedback of a knob or button.

I tend to rely on Maschine for controlling synths and the iPad for mix based controls. And yes... you can use them at the same time with no issues.

Hope this helps.

where can i find a detailed explanation of the functions of machine mackie control in logic? the machine masterclass tutorial doesn't even scratch the surface.

i can't tell which button does what from simply staring at the machine controller haha
Mo Volans
Hi Ben,

I couldn't tell you where to find a detailed description of how to set the Maschine up as a Mackie control maybe Rounik could point us in the right direction? Or maybe I should write a full length tutorial on it ;)

I can tell you that hitting shift control will get you into controller mode though! And from there selecting the Mackie control template should get you most of the way.


I have followed the tutorial. It's all set up, I can see the name of my track from Logic in the display of Maschine. So far so good...The issue is if I try to turn a knob on Mashine or press a button, nothing happens !
What I'm missing here ?
Any help is welcome.
Fred Foursho
Hi Mo,

I have followed every step of your tutorial, and also the one from the Maschine Masterclass, and I still have no response from the Maschine in Logic Pro (9.1.6).

I believe that I am not the only one with this problem... Is there any steps or configurations missing?

Thanks for your feedback.
Mo Volans
Hi Guys... this is in response to all of you having problems. I just tried to control Logic Pro 9.1.6 here with my Maschine (original hardware) and it works just fine. Here's how it works.

1. Get Maschine into MIDI control mode. (shift and control)
2. Ensure Maschine is using the Mackie Control template (hold down shift and use the arrow buttons to select it)
3. Install a new Mackie Controller in the setup controller area in Logic Pro 9
4. Set it to MIDI output / Input port 0
5. Twiddle away and try switching modes. Should control your mixer, pans, plug-ins etc etc

If this doesn't work it may be something system specific at your end. But this works fine on both my Laptop and Mac Pro, have also set it up in other studios with no hiccups.

Hope this helps? ;) Happy New Year!

Fred Foursho
Hi Mo,

you were right it works just fine, for some reason I just had to restart my computer... Thank you for your time and Happy New Year.

What would have been really usefull would be some information af the actual mackie/control/logic workflow. You say it can control plugins, but when i press the plugin button it opens the track eq and nothing more. The other plugins in the strip I cannot control etc. So what would have been usefull in the great maschine tutorials would have been an in depth workflow chapter about using it within logic. How do you scroll through plugs? Can you bypass plugins and engage them again? Can you customize it in mackiencontrol mode? etc.. You have given us the keys and some gas, but what would have been helpfull would have been an extra driving lesson. Right now I google and google and fiddle and I have alot of needs an unanswered questions about real life operation within logic..:):)

All the best

Ps. All the maschine tutorials where great!!! Did you show a tip about how to undo a whole recoding pass instead of undoing individual notes???

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