Mad Zach Gets Hands-On With Maschine Jam

Last September, Native Instruments introduced the Maschine Jam, a complementary step sequencing, mixing, and arranging controller to the Maschine software. We asked Mad Zach to take a deep review and exploration of the new control surface and share his findings. Watch the full video inside today’s article.

Mad Zach Hands-On With The Maschine Jam

Instead of a simple review, in the video above Mad Zach takes time to do a proper in-studio hands-on workflow overview of the Maschine Jam controller. Watch closely as he sets up basic step sequencing, adds in samples from a drum machine, vinyl record, and synth.

He moves on to showing off snapshots and snapshot morphing – something that wasn’t quite ready at the launch of the Jam when we released our initial feature overview last year. Snapshot morphing is pretty awesome, and a natural continuation of the Lock feature. It allows producers to save parameter settings and then transition between them (morphing). Here’s NI’s official video showing off the feature:

Less Focus On Screens

An interesting element of the Jam is the lack of screens. This feels incredibly intentional, NI instead opting to have the LEDs and control layout communicate the software’s state. Notice how in his studio, Zach’s Maschine MK2/Maschine Jam setup  is on the other side of the room from his computer screens. It’s a good indication of how well the dual setup works to be a complete production environment.

Layering By Adding An Additional MIDI Controller

Normally you can only trigger one group at a time with the Maschine hardware – but using an extra MIDI controller Zach is able to trigger multiple groups at the same time. Watch the video to see how he does it!

A few other notes and insights from the video:

  • touch strips are powerful, but they also can easily cause a sudden unexpected change if you brush against them. Be careful!
  • yes, Maschine is really pronounced “mash-ee-nuh” – particularly if you’re in Berlin. Mad Zach lives in Berlin.
  • We don’t recommend stacking your MIDI controllers. That’s why Mad Zach made a stand for his Midi Fighter 3D out of chop sticks and electrical tape to put it on top of the Maschine:

Keep watching: more great articles and videos from Mad Zach

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Comments (14)
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  • Janusz

    Could you just put maschine mk2 into midi mode to trigger this layered snapshots?

  • killmedj

    Love ya work man!

  • Mo

    I think the Jam is a great adition to the regular Maschine but i really really dislike the touch strips. Simple faders would be a lot better in my opinion. I would think about buying one with faders but not with the touch strips.

    • SweetGwendoline

      I would also always prefer physical faders. But many functions that the Jam touchstrips provide couldn’t be done with regular faders. e.g. the whole brushing notes and switching values when the focus of the faders are switched or lock is enabled.

      They didn’t just put on touchstrips to replace faders, they really implemented them in a very thought through way.

    • Roy Bear

      Those strips are the best hardware feature on this controller.
      you cant do all the crazy stuff with regular fader.

  • Kevin Basher

    Impressive and inspiring!

  • zendoo

    I mostly use the maschine for finger drumming and to bring in background loops. I like the Jam! I just wish it were $100 less.

    • Unreallystic

      paying for that software you most likely already have…

      • Roy Bear

        … and not be able to resell this.
        Why NI, why?

  • Scott Frost

    Good video. You said sampling in Ableton was a pain, but have you tried it in Push2 ? Might be worth a comparison and see which one you like better.