Travel Rig Reflections from Vegas

Here in Vegas, it’s apparently the Year of the Dog.

Venetian dog:

Another dog (Bellagio?), quite different:

My Backpack (Deconstructed) Rig
And my “Backpack Rig"... my real rig does travel in a serious trap case, but this is my deconstructed rig that fit in a normal backpack (because it’s just the MK3 + iPad + Computer: I’ll put links for the Backpack and Decksaver at end end):

Random Reflection: SSD Speed
I had been using a different USB 3.0 external SSD, but the one I link to below is about 4 times faster. It also happens to be about as fast (in BlackMagic benchmarks, see below) as my 2013 MBP’s internal SSD, so that’s:
  • Amazing
  • Good enough to not worry about trying to cram everything on the computer itself.
Worth noting is that on this external Samsung SSD I keep:
  1. All NI LIbrary stuff
  2. All non-NI Library stuff
  3. The Ableton Project so that it records there

Random Travel Reflection: the MK3 as an Audio Interface
For realtime monitoring of external inputs and to get more inputs, I generally use the Scarlett Clarett 4Pre (with is the newer 18i8), which is thunderbolt (though USB-C on this Mac) and amazing.

Aside from realtime monitoring and more inputs, when compared to the built-in audio interface in the MK3, the Thunderbolt Interface:
  • Might be lower latency
  • Might sound better
  • Might free up the MK3 for other processing

However, I can’t prove any of these, and more importantly the MK3’s audio interface seems to work fine. It’s also got two fully-adressable stereo outputs. I don’t use Maschine’s built-in cueing nor metronome, and with Ableton... the MK3’s audio interface works nicely.

I should note that I change the settings on the interface to send the main mix out to the cue mix as well so that I don’t have to change my Ableton routing.

Random Rig Reflections: Still Using musicIO MIDI
I switched back to using musicIO for MIDI (link below) from using the built-in stuff with iOS 11 and High Sierra. It’s just more convenient, more sensible, and in my previous tests, it’s also lower latency.

Also, I designed and programmed the UI in collaboration with two other music devs who are awesome ( so there may be some pride in there.

Why I Need the Jam
I normally use the Maschine Jam to the right of my MK3, so here is the full set of controllers:
  • Maschine MK3 on Left
  • Maschine Jam on Right
  • iPad Pro 10.5 with MIDI Designer Pro 2 somewhere else
  • The computer screen open, but I don’t actually look at it

I got to play without the Jam last night. Here are some things that are missing without the Jam:
  1. See patterns in kits ("groups") without diving into each one
  2. Duplicate a pattern from one kit to another. This is huge and awesome, especially if you nudge, transpose, and/or shorten the pattern afterwards
  3. Play more than one Performance Effect at once
  4. Access more than one Tune Parameter at once (useful with Lock states, too)
  5. If you have Note Repeat mode "pinned" on the MK3, you can still access the mixer on the Jam

That’s about everything in my regular workflow that I need the Jam for. Unfortunately I no longer use the Master nor Cue section on the right of the Jam, so that’s a waste. There are probably dozens of other features that might be very useful too, which I’ll discover moving forward...

But for now... when possible, I’ll always have my “full rig" with me, with the exception of my Focusrite Clarett 4Pre, using the MK3 instead.