I recently discovered a new feature in the Maschine 2.0 software, a wonderful addition called “Drumsynths”. Like the rest of you, I would scour my sample collection, as well as all across the internet to find some drum sounds to use on my latest production. But now with the new Drumsynths feature in Maschine, I’m able to craft my own drums right from there. Here’s how.
What Are Drumsynths?
First of all, the way the Drumsynths work is that they’re not actually drum samples. Instead, they’re monophonic synthesizers that you can tweak until you come up with something dope. What Native Instruments has done is they’ve set the synths up in a way so that they’re like drum templates, one for each drum sound:
The Drumsynths are actually Maschine plug-ins, which means that they also support all the plug-in actions that you would normally use on other plug-ins.
Even though you start off with a drum template for each drum sound, it doesn’t mean that you’re limited to one style of drum. Let’s take the kick drum as an example. The kick actually has eight separate engines, so you can create acoustic drums, all the way to electronic drums.
Instead of loading up drum sounds that you lifted from a vinyl record, using the Drumsynths is a much easier solution since it’s coming from a clean source. With vinyl, or any other type of sample that you grab, the sound can be degraded, but also it doesn’t leave you with many options. Have you ever tried tweaking a sampled kick drum? Not too much fun. When you EQ the kick, you can obtain a much thicker kick, for example, but at a cost. Most likely the kick will end up too thick and be somewhat muddy.
With the Drumsynths kick, you open yourself up to a wide range of options because it’s all starting from a synthesizer, not a mixed down sample.
There are eight engines for the kick drum:
The default kick is the Sub, which is based on a classic analog drum machine. Most Hip Hop producers will want to start with the Sub, this way they can get something that is bottom-heavy, and maybe even lead them into a Trap-style of beat.
How To Load Sounds
From your controller, press an empty pad then press Shift and Browse at the same time. This will bring up the internal instruments tab, which then breaks down to the various drum sounds. If you want to load a kick drum, then just select “kick”. That’s it!
Once it’s loaded, then it will show you the different options you have for morphing the sound. For example, if you choose the “Sub” engine, then it will bring up various elements:
All engines are different, so for the Sub Kick, there is no advanced page, only the Main and Modulation (which contains Velocity). I’m assuming that later on Native Instruments may add other parameters to the Modulation section, but maybe there’s no need.
The best part about the Drumsynths engines is that it’s just fun. By using the hardware controller to control most of the parameters of the Maschine software, it has taken away the need to stare at a computer screen and use a mouse to point and click. With the Drumsynths, it’s even better because now you can load up drum synth sounds and then just use the controller’s knobs to raise or lower the values of all the different parameters of a particular engine. The possibilities can be endless, and it gives you more of a challenge by trying to come up with a nice combination of values.
I could explain the different parameters and tell which ones are the best, but there is no “best” – that’s up to you. The whole point is to tweak it to YOUR liking and this is what makes it challenging and fun at the same time. So if you’re rocking Maschine and you’re tired of digging for sounds, give the Drumsynths a try. Good luck!