INSTRUMENTS / GENERATORS

Groove Machine

Groove Machine is a multichannel (drum)sampler, multitimbral hybrid synthesizer, sequencer and last but not least a 'Groove Box', inspired by hardware of this genre. Special attention is paid to live performance via MIDI controllers. A related plugin is Groove Machine Synth. Groove Machine Videos here

DEMO ONLY: Groove Machine is downloadable as a demo version in FL Studio and needs to be purchased separately so you can save projects containing Groove Machine channels.


Overview

Groove Machine consists of a step sequencer, with integrated Note Editor driving 8 sampler tracks, 5 synth tracks and 10 effects for every track. The main parts of the plugin are the:

One of the most powerful features is PER step automation. Right-click any interface control to access the automation graphs for that control.

Linking & MIDI

Groove Machine can make PER-Channel MIDI control links OR generic links to ALL similar targets across Channels (Channels refer to the 8 x Samplers and 5 x Synths). Each time you select a new sampler or Synthesizer Channel a unique set of synthesis & effects controls are exposed for editing. To provide a quick setup Groove Machine has its own internal linking system:

NOTES:

External Controller Links (PER Channel PER Target)

When a GUI target is linked using this technique the link will be to the specific target on the specific (Sampler/Synth) Channel selected at the time of linking. To create a link of this type:

  1. Select the LINK switch. It will turn orange.
  2. Tweak a soft knob (CTRL 1 to 5).
  3. Tweak the GUI target on the desired Drum/Synth Channel.
  4. Link the soft knob to the external controller (MIDI controller or automation clip e.t.c) according to your DAW softwares usual procedures. In FL Studio, tweak the soft knob and select TOOLS > Last tweaked > Link to controller and then tweak the controller knob again.

NOTE: Steps 2 and 3 are reversible.

Quick Link & Keyboard System (ALL Channels PER Target)

When a target is linked using this technique the link will become active for ALL similar targets on the Sampler or Synth Channels when they are selected. To make a link of this type:

To link Groove Machine GUI targets to external MIDI keys/controllers:

  1. This step is for FL Studio users only: Open the 'Options (F10) > MIDI settings' in FL Studio and select 'Controller type: (generic)'. This enables a custom Groove Machine MIDI mapping to assist Groove Machine links with your controller.
  2. Tweak the Groove Machine control or click the button to be linked. Linking momentary switches to MIDI keys is a great way of mixing up your performances.
  3. Tweak the knob, slider or press the MIDI key/pad on your controller.
  4. Click the Link symbol as shown above.

To deactivate a link select the GUI target and click the link symbol to deactivate it.

NOTES: Steps 1 & 2 are reversible. Try linking MIDI keyboard keys & drum pads to any switch on Groove Machine. Another important capability of this system is to link Keyboard keys (or Pads) to Patterns and other momentary controls such as the stutter effects.

External Controller Links ALL Channels

Follow your DAW's normal procedure for linking MIDI controllers or software controllers (e.g. Automation clips) to GUI targets. NOTE: These links will work across all Sampler and Synth Channels when they are focussed. Not all GUI controls will work with this method, if not see the 'Quick link & keyboard system' below.

In FL Studio:

  1. Tweak the GUI target. If you open the 'Browser > Current Project > Generators > Groove Machine' folder all targets are available and will focus when tweaked. You can Right-click these and select Link to controller also.
  2. Select Tools > Last tweaked > Link to controller
  3. Tweak the controller knob/control OR select the controller from the Remote control setting pop-up and the link is made.

Options & Controls

Click the MIDI/EQ button (showing SYNTH below) in the lower left of the screen to toggle between SYNTH and MIDI/EQ panels.

Sampler Panel

Groove Machine has 8 independent Sampler Channels. While they are pre-named as BD (Bass Drum), SD1 (Snare Drum 1) etc., this is simply for organizational & standards purposes, you can load any sample/s you want in any Sampler Channel. However, Sampler Channels are pre-mapped to the MIDI percussion standard, so stick with the categories and your Groove Machine sampler patches will play from any MIDI percussion file correctly.

TIP: Try layering between Drum Channels. To make a bigger/new kick sounds for example, load two kicks on two Sampler Channels, then use the high (HPF) and Low (LPF) filters to select the high end of one kick and with the low end of the other. Change the start point of one slightly to optimize the combined phases. BOOM!

Synth Panel

The synthesizer section in Groove Machine is a hybrid additive, FM & RM design.

Articulation

Effects

Groove Machine has 10 performance oriented effects per Channel. This allows for completely independent operation. NOTE Groove Machine is also a multi-output plugin. You can route each sampler and Synthesizer Channel to a unique mixer track for even more in-depth processing.

Sequencing

Groove Machine provides three main methods of sequencing performances. Loop Recording, Step entry. Sequencer entry and . Use these methods to enter data for up to each of the 8 PATTERNS by 8 BARS x 8 (drum) SAMPLER Channels and 5 SYNTHESIZER Channels. Hold the (Ctrl) Key and click a PATTERN and BAR to edit them. Right-click the Stepsequencer to open the Note Editor for the selected Channel OR any interface control for step-by step automation.

NOTE: If a button is flashing while Groove Machine is not playing, (Ctrl) and click to select, that button is armed for editing.

Transport & Edit Controls

When used in FL Studio Groove Machine will slave to the Master Transport Controls. Pressing play in Grove Machine will start FL Studio also.

Drum Part Mapping

For your convenience the 8 Sampler Channels are pre mapped to the following MIDI keys (playing notes outside this range will play the selected Sampler Channel unpitched). This also means when you are recording live you can access & record on all sampler channels at once from any selected sampler channel by playing the right keys.

Channel NameNote/Key
BD (Bass Drum) C5
SD1 (Side Drum 1) D5
SD2 (Side Drum 2) D#5
FX1 (Effects 1) F5
HHC (High Hat Closed) F#5
FX2 (Effects 2) G5
HHO (High Hat Open) G#5
FX3 (Effects 3) B5

NOTE: Replace octave 5 above with 4 on some DAW software. Anarchists can, of course, load any sample/loop on any Sampler Channel.

Loop Recording

Groove Machine will loop up to and including the number of bars with note data in them provided you press Play THEN Record. If you press Record then Play, Groove Machine will loop the entire 8 bars of the Pattern.

  1. Select Bar 1 of the Pattern (1 to 8) you want to record into.
  2. Select the Sampler or Synth Channel you want to use.
  3. Press Record and Play to start recording up to the number of bars you want to loop OR manually edit in a basic percussion track for the number of bars you want to loop, this is useful as the metronome won't be audible in loop-record mode.
  4. Stop playback
  5. IMPORTANT Press Play to start playback THEN Record
  6. Groove Machine will now loop to the total of bars with note data. You can switch between Channels and FX while looping and all movements and notes will be recorded.
  7. When you are done, Stop playback and record mode will be cancelled also.

NOTE: See the Sequencer entry section for more details of the options available.

Step Entry/Sequencing

To use the step entry method for Sampler Channels:

  1. Select a Sampler/Drum Channel
  2. Select a Pattern (1 to 8)
  3. Hold the Ctrl key - on your keyboard to enter EDIT mode.
  4. Select a Bar(1 to 8) - When Ctrl is held (in EDIT mode) the last 8 notes of the Step Sequencer select bars.
  5. Click on steps - to activate them.
  6. Double-click active steps - to deactivate them.
  7. Release the Ctrl key

To use the step entry method for Synth Channels:

  1. Select a Synth Channel
  2. Select a Pattern (1 to 8)
  3. Hold the Ctrl key - on your keyboard to enter EDIT mode.
  4. Select a Bar(1 to 8) - When Ctrl is held (in EDIT mode) the last 8 notes of the Step Sequencer select bars.
  5. Click on a step - to select one for editing (it will start flashing).
  6. Click on notes - to set the pitch. You can activate any number of notes to create chords.
  7. Click active notes - to deactivate them.
  8. Release the Ctrl key
NOTES & TIPS:

Drum / Synth Part Sequencing

To edit a Synth Channel in the Note Editor:

  1. Select the Synth Channel to be edited (1 to 5)
  2. Right-click a step OR right-click any control target to pre-select it for step-by-step automation editing in the upper area.
  3. Click on the Piano roll area to add or delete notes, add chords
  4. Change note-length by hovering over a note or making selections and rolling your mouse wheel or using the front panel note-length slider.

Plugin Credits:


Code: Maxx Claster

Presets: Toby Emerson, Arlo G (nucleon).