How To Use Maschine In Ableton Live? (Explained)

Maschine is just one of those pieces of hardware that make music production fun and engaging. When coupled with a DAW such as Ableton Live, you get all the rich sounds and versatility that the two provide.

Native Instruments Maschine controller is a powerful piece of hardware that integrates into any digital audio workstation. The feel of the pads and knobs makes making music and incorporating ideas simple.

A lot of producers and music makers are intimidated when it comes to integrating hardware with Ableton. However, it shouldn’t be a hard task to accomplish.

With that said, in this article, we’re going to explain how to use Maschine in Ableton Live.

Can I Use Maschine With Ableton Live?

Yes, Maschine integrates well with Ableton Live 11 and earlier versions of the DAW. The setup process is fairly simple and can be done by beginners.

Use Maschine in ABleton Live

There are various models of the Maschine hardware but they all essentially do much the same thing. A newer model will have more features and more presets to play around with but is still the same hardware.

Maschine Controllers in order:


Native Instruments Maschine Mk3 Drum Controller (Amazon link) is the latest upgraded controller. It integrates with any DAW and has ample power for all music production projects.

The hardware unit itself will have to be connected to a midi console for Ableton Live. This is so that the computer, Ableton Live, and Maschine can all communicate midi data.

How To Use Maschine In Ableton Live?

There are multiple ways to add Maschine into Ableton Live and they are all effective. You can either use the Maschine software itself or add it as a VST plugin within Ableton Live.

Most beginners opt to install the Maschine software as a VST and control it from inside the DAW itself. This is a quick and easy method and the Maschine VST will show up in Ableton’s plugin folder.

Maschine can also be used as a midi controller to send and receive notes from the computer.
This would entail just plugging in the USB data cable into the computer and it should be recognized as a midi instrument.

Can You Use Maschine As a VST?

Yes, Maschine has a standalone application and a VST plug-in that can be used within any DAW. You simply install the Maschine software and rescan your DAW’s plugin folder to reveal the Maschine VST file.

From there, the different samples and audio loops can be triggered from the Maschine pads on the hardware. The samples can also be dragged and dropped back and forth between the hardware and the DAW.

The Maschine VST looks a lot like the hardware in terms of interface design with all the pads and knobs. This makes it easier to see where the sounds are laced and control the VST and hardware.

If using Ableton Live, you just head over to the preferences menu to rescan the plugins list after installing Maschine VST. The plugin should appear in the list of VST and can then be loaded onto a new midi track.

The standalone version of the VST is a great way to quickly get a groove going and then transfer the files to your DAW. You can then start Ableton and just drag and drop the samples into the instance of Maschine inside the DAW.

Can I Use Maschine Sounds In Ableton Live 11?

Yes, Maschine sounds can be transferred into Ableton Live for more processing and adding effects. Sounds from Live can also be transferred into the Maschine hardware.

The ability to use Maschine sounds in Ableton means they can be manipulated and enhanced using Live’s effects and processors.

Maschine sounds are easy to find either in the Maschine VST or within the hardware itself. In the Machine interface, look for “Pattern 1” in order to add the different sounds.

One of the easiest ways to use Maschine with Ableton is to create the different tracks inside the Maschine first. You can then audio export the sounds straight into different Ableton tracks and process from there.

How to Install Maschine Templates for Ableton Live?

Maschine templates can be downloaded and then installed into the computer by finding the template folder on your computer. The template will be in a format that can be read only by the Maschine VST.

This means that the templates and presets will only be accessible through the Maschine VST. They cannot be opened using another VST that is not Maschine.

Use Maschine in ABleton Live

You can download various templates from the Native Instrument website or other websites that deal with Maschine.

A lot of beginners struggle to find the plugin templates for Maschine VST. It is important to note where on your computer the hardware is installed.

You can then simply drag and drop the templates you downloaded into Maschine’s template folder. From inside the VST, you’ll have access to the new templates and can change them accordingly.

Is Maschine Better Than Ableton Push 2?

Both these pieces of hardware are versatile and have plenty of features to play around with. However, Maschine MK3 has a lot more to offer and is actually more beginner friendly than Maschine.

Ableton Push 2 makes working with Ableton Live DAW much easier and is designed with the Ableton Live interface in mind.

However, Maschine is used a lot more by professionals than beginners. It offers a lot more support for various DAWs and has a lot more presets and templates to play with.

For producers and music makers just starting out, they also have the option to get a Maschine Mikro instead. This is a smaller version of the Maschine Mk3 but has all the necessary capabilities to create rich and warm sounds.

Is Maschine a DAW?

No, Maschine is not a full DAW and is typically used together with a DAW. it supports all major DAWS and is typically used as a VST.

You can do a lot inside the Maschine VST, but you’ll find that it is limited in terms of features. For example, arranging the tracks into a final product will prove more difficult without a DAW.

Check out the latest Native Instruments Maschine Mk3 Drum Controller to get a feel for the new features and hardware upgrades to this great controller.

Can I Run Maschine On A Macbook Air?

Yes, Maschine will run well on a Macbook Air because it meets all the minimum requirements. The Macbook Air will run Maschine VST as a standalone application or inside a sequencer as an audio unit.

Coupled with a powerful DAW such as Ableton Live, Cubase, Logic, or FL Studio, Maschine works flawlessly on a Macbook Air. Owners just have to make sure they don’t load too many VSTs and patches at the same time.

Who Owns Maschine?

Native Instruments is the company that owns and designs Maschine and all its offerings. The company also owns and designs other music hardware and software for various music genres and producers.

Native Instruments also owns Kontakt, a sample-based VST with a wide array of sample packs for many sounds. Kontakt is a close competitor to Omnisphere VST and Steinberg’s Halion.

Can You Use Maschine 2 Without Hardware?

Yes, Maschine can be used without hardware as a synth plugin or VST. It comes with computer software that can be installed and it will show up as a VST in the plugin folder of your chosen DAW.

Use Maschine in ABleton Live

The VST itself will work on most big-name DAWs such as Logic Pro, FL Studio, Cubase, Studio One Pro, and Reaper.

Which Is Better MPC Or Maschine?

MPC is one of the oldest midi controllers around and has fantastic music-making capabilities. However, Maschine offers better integration and features for modern music production systems.

Can You Dj With A Maschine Mk3?

Yes, you can DJ live with a Maschine Mk3 by using the different knobs and pads on the Maschine. The problem will likely be the beat synchronization which is not a native Maschine feature.

To work around this, Maschine can be used as a MIDI controller for Traktor software. Syncing the two together will allow you to mix in Traktor while Maschine is used as a mixer.

Is Maschine CPU-intensive?

Maschine can be a CPU hog if not configured correctly and users find that the audio crackles or cuts out completely on their DAWs. This typically happens when the software has been loaded with too many VSTs and patches.

A good start to solving this would be to check your computer settings and make sure that the Maschine is not being bottlenecked.

Another quick solution is to check if there are updates for the hardware and software and update accordingly. Most owners also solved the problem by resetting Maschine hardware and formatting the SD card.