Maschine JAM has many cool features but one that’s perhaps not immediately apparent is its ability not only to store different setups but also to morph between them on the fly. It’s a bit like automating a mixer, but more powerful. With the Lock button you are able to store snapshots of any project at any time, and this includes parameters like solo and mute of sounds, fader levels and so on. These aren’t project backups but literal snapshots stored within your main project.
After saving your main project which enables snapshots to be stored, you can use the 64-pad grid to create up to 64 different snapshots of any project. In each one, many settings can be altered and a typical example might be to mute certain sounds and also to change the volume levels of different sounds. By entering Lock view, the grid shows your available Lock states as dimmed white lights, and the active snapshot as a stronger white light. In this mode, pressing any snapshot pad will cause the settings to snap directly to that pad. So for example you could zap from having only certain sounds playing in a clip to having all the sounds playing.
This functionality makes it easy for example to perform more flexibly with the hardware, punching in different mixer settings rather than having to change them all manually. But JAM takes things further with the morphing feature. In Lock view, your software displays an overlay that lets you turn on morphing and then select a mode for the morph. It can either happen immediately or wait for the next bar based on the project’s grid and tempo.
When morphing is enabled, the parameters that can change over time like fader levels will automatically transition based on the settings you have made. So a typical example might be to morph over a period of one bar length. When you activate this by choosing a new Lock state to morph into, you will see the faders change over the chosen period of time to update to the target Lock state. In effect what this does is gradually brings your faders to the new position, fading specific sounds up or down.
As you can imagine, this kind of replicates having a real, automated mixer at your fingertips and means that rather than being merely a controller, JAM can help you perform in ways that are much more natural and organic. Since you are able to modify and even clear lock states on the fly, you don’t have to stop playback or go into any special menus or even back to your computer to modify this stuff as you go. With a little practice, you will find that as well as composing and sequencing on the go, you can also be even more like a DJ by moving seamlessly between different Lock states for a truly seamless performance.
Learn more about Maschine JAM in the AskAudio Academy here.
Read our review of Mashcine JAM here.
Web: Native Instruments Maschine JAM.