Maschine Mikro with a Kontrol S2 on one Mac using a Live Input Deck

So recently a friend of mine, DJ__MtP (Swing Kids) decided to give me a new early birthday present. (I’m still expecting a late one, MtP) Basically he is getting the bigger better version of Maschine so he gave me his first generation Maschine Mikro.

First thing I wanted to do was to take the output of the Maschine Software and re-route it back into one of my decks via live input in Traktor. With this method I can control Maschine’s output via Deck C. I’m able to control it’s E.Q., volume and add Traktor effects to the deck. You can also record your Maschine patterns using the loop recorder. Be sure to change the source to CUE  and turn on the Monitor Cue on to be able to single out just the Maschine.

I searched high and low.. some places talked about using the Full sized Maschine, or Kontrol S4.. both of which have the ability to plug-in a midi cable. I saw this great interview with Chris Liebing, talking about how he uses 2 computers to run his Maschine. I can’t afford another laptop right now… So with my limitations it seemed that everywhere I turned, I didn’t have just the right answer.

My equipment list:

  • 1 Macbook with 4 gigs of ram
  • Traktor Kontrol S2 (no inputs on the sound card)
  • Maschine Mikro (no midi cable connections)


Software used:

  • Mac OS X 10.8.2 (Lion)
  • Traktor 2.5.1
  • Maschine 1.8
  • Soundflower 1.6.6b
  • Audio MIDI Setup (Applications/Utilities/)
Since the Kontrol S2 sound card has no available inputs, we need to trick the computer into thinking it is using a sound card with all the available ins and outs we are going to need.
  1. Plug your Kontrol S2 into your computer.
  2. Download and install Soundflower. Restart computer.
  3. Open up Audio MIDI Setup located in your Applications/Utilities/ folder. While in Audio MIDI Setup,  click on ‘Window‘ and ‘Show Audio Window‘.
  4. In the ‘Audio Device’ window, click on the + and Create Aggregate Device. This allows you to create a virtual sound card with all the ins and outs you need. You can change the name by double clicking on Aggregate Device next to the big blue and white plus sign on the left. I named mine Bumblebee.
  5. Check the boxes for the Traktor Kontrol S2 and Soundflower (2ch)
  6. Click on Drift Correction for both the Traktor Kontrol S2 and Soundflower (2ch)
  7. I used Traktor Kontrol S2 as the clock source and set the sample rate to 44100 Hz (I used this setting instead because I am using MP3s).
  8. Double click on the IAC Driver icon to bring up the properties dialog. You need to create the virtual driver to be able to send the midi clock to the Maschine software. Traktor Virtual Output loses sync way to often.
  9. In the properties dialog, click the “Device is online” checkbox to make the driver active. Click on ‘More Information’. By default a port called “IAC Bus 1” already exists. If this port is already in use by other applications on your computer, you can create an additional port by clicking the + button. The default name for a second port is “IAC bus 2”. If you want, you can change port names after double-clicking on the name. I used the default IAC Bus 1 name. Close the Audio MIDI Setup app.
  10. Open Traktor. Open preferences in Traktor and click Audio Setup on the left. Choose your new ‘sound card‘ you just created, in my case i chose ‘Bumblebee‘. I set my sample rate to 44100 Hz and Latency for my computer worked well at 512.
  11. Now click on Output Routing on the left. Mixing mode is set to internal.
  12. Output Monitor L = Bumblebee Out 2 / Output Monitor R = Bumblebee Out 3. Output Master L = Bumblebee Out 0 & Output Master R = Bumblebee Out 1.
    Output Record is not connected.
  13. Click on Input Routing on the left. Bumblebee L and R is set to Input Deck A. I disconnected Deck A and connected Bumblebee A & B to Deck C. This is the deck where the Maschine Mikro will play through.
  14. Click on MIDI Clock Settings on the left. Turn on Send MIDI clock. Keep at 0 ms.
  15. Click on Controller Manger on the left. Under where it says device, click on Add… and Generic Midi. The output port should be set to IAC Driver. This will send the midi signal to the Maschine software so it stays in sync (or tries to).
  16. Close the preference window and click on the deck letter you would like to choose. In my case again we are using Deck C (this was also setup in the Input Routing in step 10). So I clicked on C and then clicked on Live Input.  I have re-mapped my Kontrol S2 with the ability to easily control Deck C’s E.Q., FX Toggles, Filter and Volume.
  17. Open the Maschine Software. Click ‘maschine’ in the menu bar and then preferences. Under General/Midi/Sync Offset Slave to -52ms. Adjust accordingly. Click Ok.
  18. Click File in the menu bar. Make sure you have ‘Sync to External MIDI Clock‘ ticked.
  19. Click File in the menu bar again and this time click on Audio and MIDI Settings. Driver should be set to CoreAudio. Set the Device to the aggregated device called ‘Bumblebee’ in my case. The sample rate I set again to 44100, and the Latency at 512 Samples.
  20. Under the routing window the only channels in use should be the last 2 channels in the list: Maschine 1 Out L = 5. Bumblebee Out 4 / Maschine 1 Out R = 6. Bumblebee Out 5. I have nothing connected under the inputs.
  21. Under the Midi section, click on Inputs and you should turn everything off except IAC Driver. Under the outputs I just set everything to Off. Only the IAC Driver is on at this point.
  22. The maschine should start working. I have the MIDI clock on/off mapped to my controller’s left shift & left loop active button. Once you send the midi clock from within Traktor (Under metronome/master clock settings top left instead of FX Units), you will be in sync. I like to turn on Step Mode on the Maschine and monitor cue on… to record into the loop recorder. Once I set the source to cue.

To help keep the Maschine in sync, I noticed that you need to keep an eye on your BPM speeds. Traktor reads 128.3 bpm very well but it seems it doesn’t adjust well to speeds like 128.34 or 128.38. I have notice that sometimes the sync will stray from time to time. Sometimes it works flawlessly. Other times, its way off. The only solution I have noticed so far was to either restart Traktor, which if you are playing live that may not be the best choice or mess with both of the MIDI Clock offsets in Maschine or Traktor’s preference windows.

Using the IAC Driver is much more reliable, I can go for a while without having to re-sync everything. 

Please leave a comment if you have a flawless way of making it all work… So far this has worked for me on numerous occasions playing live. It was real fun to bring a live element into DJing.  I hope this long winded tutorial helps people out. I know I was going CRAZY!

Like my fan page on Facebook where i say even dumber things: Rob Cifre aka Bamboo
If you are into good music like my crew’s page: The Swing Kids

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