Maschine JAM, the new controller ideal for sequencing in Maschine is available to buy from today. A day back I got hold of a very early BETA version of the Mackie Control script for Logic Pro X from the team at Native Instruments.
After a few minutes of playing around I decided to shoot a quick video to showcase some of the simple functionality this controller script gives you. Basically, it turns your Maschine JAM into a dedicated control surface for Logic Pro X. And you could use a version of this for any DAW that supports the Mackie Control (MCU) protocol.
There's buttons not assigned to anything as yet. I also came across a couple of glitches which is to be expected at this BETA stage of course. What I did do was play around with Native's Controller Editor. I hadn't realised how powerful it is for building your own controller scripts.
Briefly, I was able to easily map the touch sliders to control levels and pan (once Flip mode was triggered). Transport controls are simple. It's a doddle to mute and solo and select tracks. There's Bank Left and Bank Right buttons so that the 8 sliders on JAM are related to the bank of 8 tracks selected on the screen in Logic. Navigating the timeline is possible with the rotary encoder.
I was able to zoom in and out but hit a tiny bug so didn't show that in the video. Record enabling tracks is also possible. Opening an EQ on a track also possible. Enabling Loop mode (cycling an area and skip cycle) can be toggled and using the rotary encoder you can set the start and end points too. Oh, and automation modes can be mapped to buttons of your choice too so I quickly used the touch sliders to control level and pan automation in latch mode.
What I'd love to do in the future is use Maschine JAM's touch sliders like you would in Maschine Note mode in Maschine 2.x to play notes. It's fun and allows you to come up with some interesting and unusual sounds. Perhaps some Logic Pro X Environment hacks will make this possible.
While this isn't a review of Maschine JAM controlling Logic X, without a screen on the hardware itself you'll naturally spend time looking at Logic on your Mac to see what you're controlling. That's fine and for most tasks: simple mixing, muting, soloing, automation and recording, you might not need to refer to the screen much anyway.
I'm really curious to see what the finished MCU script for Logic Pro X will be like. Sure, it won't compare to the functionality that Apple's Logic Remote app for iPad gives you, but there's certainly something more tactile with JAM that, for me, makes it a more satisfying experience. JAM is a very capable controller for Ableton Live (again, not to compared to the Push 2 which is twice the price) and along side the Maschine Studio the best controller for Maschine users available. It's great to see NI thinking about how their Maschine hardware can be used to control other DAWs and software too.
Stay tuned to AskAudio for a full review of Maschine JAM coming soon...