Maschine triggering VSTs in Ableton Live


Yall know I’ve been working out different ways to use Maschine to the fullest and still have proper integration with my plugin collection.

I’ve finally found it!

Using Maschine standalone, and using Ableton Live as a rack…but what I also found out, is that you can sync live to Maschine’s clock!

Using midi drag and drop when I’m done sequencing, I can get everything I do in Maschine into Live’s session view very quickly.

Then I just arrange my patterns that way, it’s a very quick, efficient, and unlimited workflow….I really feel like I have no limits right now.

I can’t wait until I can drag and drop audio from Live back into Maschine πŸ˜‰ Then I can use some of that warping and other goodness from live.

Anyway, this is my current workflow, and out of all the different ways I’ve messed with Maschine and plugins, this feels the most productive and the most natural.

peep the vid and let me know what you think.


  1. Man, you sure just helped to relieve a big headache! I picked up my Maschine close to a month ago. Although I like the software, I spent so much time learning Ableton that I find myself using it mainly. I can control my tracks with the Machine in Live, I was having problems pulling it all together. Thanks for this video! Can’t wait to get home tonight to try it out.

  2. Maschine triggering VSTs in Ableton Live Is Dope. I always wondered what live could do as a rack , I use 8.1.1 of live and the sound engine to me is a very high quality. I am falling in love with maschine too lol. Great vid ,very informative and Im feeling the work flow. Perhaps in the future you will be able to drag and drop audio from Live back into Maschine. :)I use the warping In live on samples and it is pretty incredable to say the least i feel as if I have no limit when im on live. So the two together has got to be a beast!!!!

    • @Dro Fontaine Of, yeah bro! that’s like the one thing I still want, to be able to use warping and such in Live and drag back into Maschine, then I’ll be set! Right now I’m pretty much set and I feel there is nothing I can’t do, but that would just be an addition to this workflow.

      I finally feel like I’ve found the system/flow I want that leaves me with no limits yet it’s still smooth and not clunky.

  3. Just wanted to say great video. I’ve been messin’ with Maschine for about 6 months or so and the 1.5 update has made it integral for my setup. Love what you do here Saint Joe, keep it up!

  4. THANKS Saintjoe you keep it real nice video!! I just bought the NI Maschine this month May 5th still learning this piece. I Have been on Ableton Live 8 since January 2010. I like the drumracks and simpler together but now I have more power unlimited all Software now for me
    this is the New Age Thanks again God Bless you peace.

  5. yo bro basically it like a rewire scenario , just wanted to know with this set up , when doing the mix down would it have to be done twice ie one in live and maschine as well ? . hit me back bro

  6. Thank you for posting fam gonna have to try this been waiting to use ableton but was looking confusing for a while tried maschine as vst but don’t like it being a slave to ableton or fruity loops for that matter. Can you do a vid on the same topic but with fl. Maschine is the truth can’t wait for time stretching even though I chop samples like you. Peace and love and continue being a beast when it comes to music

    • @Bigjohn610pa, I feel ya man, it just depends on what I’m doing, I like it this way, but if you don’t really mind the no transport thing then using as a plugin is cool too. I’ll have to download an fl demo to try it out.

  7. Hi SaintJoe,

    Firstly, I just want to say a massive thank you for this solution, it’s a superb way to integrate maschine and ableton.

    One quick question, i’ve noticed that if I try to record the midi patterns in real time to live they quickly fall out of sync. Drag & drop works like a charm, but real time midi recording is a mess (even recording just one channel).

    Have you got any thoughts on why this might be?



  8. Hi, I love your videos, but I dont understand how you do this. Got my Maschine today and instantly felt the need to get my patterns and scenes from Machine over to ableton for the construction of the songs after making different patterns with the hardware. The thing is that I work on a mac and LoopBe is unknown for me. Would it be possible for you to explain to me in detail how I get this done on a mac without LoopBe? Its probably a stupid question but I`ll take the harrasment if there is any chance that you can help me on this. Drag and drop to lives arrangement view is a must for me!!

    Best regards Fredrik

    • @Fredrik, you have it a little easier on the mac πŸ™‚ You should see a “virtual midi out” in your Maschine output settings you can use that. Us pc users don’t have that luxury lol.

      then it would work the same way, just route the midi out of maschine to whatever channel you want in Live. Drag and drop works the same way.

  9. @SaintJoe, I am afraid that I need you to be a bit more detailed. I have an option called Maschine Virtual Output on the drop down menu, and I think I understand the part about channels, but I need a step by step instruction from a blank Live Set to the point where I can start dragging and dropping. Is it any way you can accomodate me here? Thanx for all the help!

    • @Fredrik, i’m not sure exactly what you are trying to do, everything you need to know how to do this is in the video. Set your midi output in Maschine (virtual maschine out) set that as an input in Live, then setup your vsts to respond to that midi input.

      On each channel you want to use, set it to respond to a different midi channel in Live, in Maschine you change the sound src to midi out, and choose which midi channel you want it to be on.

      Then after you are done, you need to choose “midi” for the pattern drag option, drag your midi into Live and it will play your synths, then you can build your track. If you want to drag audio from Maschine you can do that as well.

      There isn’t really any more step by step I can get than what’s in this video, I don’t use a mac, but the concepts are the same, it’s all about routing the midi properly.

      • @saintjoe, I agree a step by step tutorial on how to set this up would be great. I watched the video and set it up with the info provided, and had no success. When I muted the sounds in Maschine I got no sound in Ableton. Some how I’m not pointing the midi from Ableton back to Maschine..Your help on this would be greatly appreciated…

        • @Reese6771, this is step by step how I did it, if you mute sounds in maschine then you need to have drug the midi into ableton already, if you don’t have the midi data in ableton, muting maschine stops midi from triggering anything.

  10. I think I got it now, but where do I change sound src in Maschine? And can I record clips live in Live from my jabbing at the Maschine pads?:) Appreciate it Joe!

    • @Fredrik, you need to be on the sound tab, then hit the src tab, or you can just do it from software.

      if you have midi setup properly yes you can record midi into live directly if you wish

  11. Hi, I have sent you some E-mails with screens of my problems and routing pref. When I choose SRC = Midi Out i loose the name of all my sounds:)

    • @Fredrik, just use the contact form at the top πŸ™‚

      where did you get the anointedtracks email? I want to make sure it’s not being sent out by the site, as I don’t check that one very often, it’s an old one lol.

    • @Mikey30856 No there is no laptop stand, However the NS6 is very thin, uklnie the NS7, meaning one probably does not need a laptop stand. Any stand-alone laptop stand would work fin however. I currently use a laptop stand from an office supply store that cost only $15.

  12. Hi Saintjoe,
    for me it does not really sync well with this configuration.
    If i playback a pattern in maschine that triggers a VSTI in Ableton, it is off the beat (around 1/32). No latency when i play directly any VSTi with the maschine pads….
    You do not have this problem?


  13. hmm, just started my system, and no it is in sync.. But cannot explain whay, because i haven’t changed any settings.
    And i have tried to get my stuff synced for serveral days..
    maybe just the reboot of my laptop …

  14. Finally i found my favourite workaround… really happy now!
    btw. if you are interested in offering your music for commercial licensing, have a look at my website… we have mire thean 250 composers worldwide… allways looking for fresh music.

  15. @saintjoe Thx for the video very helpful man…I followed your video

    step by step but I hit a wall when trying to find the activate the

    send MIDI clock in Maschine file menu. Could you pls fill me in on

    how to get this send MIDI clock working?

  16. I have hooked up my set up just like in the video but mine is for a different reason. I want to record the program sounds right out of my keyboard into and audio track and still be in sync with maschine. I want to record these into ableton. All is well until I hit the shift + rec and then ableton always jumps to bar 1024. i know this thread is 2 years old but if anybody is still out there. I need help. This is key and would be perfect for me. unless anyone else has integrated a good way to track audio tracks alongside maschine. I know I can do all of this in a DAW afterwards. (yes I know this) but i would rather do everything real time with my maschine running the whole show. Any suggestions?


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