For some time, Maschine has topped the list of “things we wish had Ableton Link support.” Well, wish granted.

And now that means easy jamming with DJ tools and production tools, on desktop or on iPad.

Maschine now adds Ableton Link for seamlessly sync and live jamming over wires and wireless with a whole bunch of stuff. That includes Ableton Live, of course, but also Serato DJ, Max/MSP, Pure Data, and a whole mess of iOS apps. Instead of having to bother with MIDI sync, you just switch on Link and everything syncs – with any tool or any user able to change tempo. It’s great for jams with multiple people, and it’s great for making things more reliable and easier to set up even if you’re just one person.


Link support also answers the question of how you can easily integrate Maschine and Traktor. Now, the DJ tool and the drum machine / instrument / host connect seamlessly with one another. That in turn may answer the question “why are you DJing with a laptop.” Consider this scenario: you can now play a hybrid set with Maschine alongside Traktor (or Serato, if you wish). And in case your laptop tries to die in the middle of a set, you could also sync up an iPad as a backup.

NI have a video of the Maschine + Traktor integration, though this being Link, you could easily substitute other tools.

I think that makes a compelling alternative to the Pioneer ecosystem for creative DJing. It’s an interesting parallel, in fact, to the set I saw Sunday morning with Barker & Baumecker (Ostgut Ton). They went with CDJs and the Pioneer Toraiz SP-16 drum machine. But you could now do the same with a laptop and Maschine, in roughly the same amount of booth space, and for a lot less money. (Of course, that does require moving the CDJs out of the way. And there’s the reliability question – but again, I could see keeping an iPad for redundancy. And it’s great for B2B sets, for sure.)

We’ll have to do some testing on this one. I might put my money where my mouth is and play my next set this way.

The latest on NI and interoperability:

Maschine Jam recently added templates for integration with FL Studio, Bitwig, Ableton Live, and so on.

Traktor 2.11 added Ableton Link

Maschine 2.5.5 adds Ableton Link support. The update is available now on Native Access. (There are other ways of updating, but this is the best way – see our previous advice. Also fun to hit “update all” instead of mucking around with downloading installers separately.)

More on Link apps:

  • Dubby Labby

    This with the Remix Decks (and step sequencer in them now too) and Stems it’s what should had been The Bridge. You can remix, produce and even scratch… just bring somekind of ttm recorder into the equation and you have also mixtape feature… it’s clear the future of sound and maybe they update the iOS app and make everyone happy. 🙂

  • Alien Blip Machines

    Wonder when NI is going to update their 2 apps: Traktor DJ & iMaschine 🙂

    • Yeah, I agree – I want to see iOS updates. Traktor on iPad with STEMS and Link would be brilliant. Or how about running the Maschine hardware with the app on iPad (think Jam and iPad, for instance)?

      • Dubby Labby

        Also F1 mk2 or almost enabling class compliance on mk1…

      • Alien Blip Machines

        Now that NI has implemented Link on its flagship dj software and beat machine, i guess it’s a question of time before they pop up on the iPad. The only question is “when” 🙂 As for STEMS on iPad, that perspective is sweet Peter.

        BTW: I dh’d twice last week with just an iPad Air 2 running Traktor DJ and a Z1. Not only went it well musically, but i experienced zero problem on the technical front. Next time, i’ll add Maschine with a Mac Mini. With Link it’s been pretty much x-mas for a year now 🙂

    • vaikl

      Link in iMaschine is working since 2.1.0, i think that was in April this year;-)

      • Alien Blip Machines

        Thx for the update. I know what i’ll do this weekend then. lol

  • LackofRAM

    Apparently you can run Tricky Traps Max For Live sequencers on Maschine Jam now too:

    • Yep, this and a lot more covered in our story on the new templates, etc.

  • pinta_vodki

    Now it’s time for Apple to add Link to MainStage and my dream setup would be complete. Here’s to hoping it happens with the early 2017 Logic update we were promised earlier.

  • Ruben

    As Ableton Link only works via wifi, I was wondering how you could ensure a fully reliable wireless connection on any stage you perform?

  • SyntheticJuice

    Maschine update 2.5.6 is already out.. It “removes beta features”..

    BTW, at least on Windows 10, Link works between apps (Maschine and Live) running on the same computer, even if your network adapter has been disabled. Was a little nervous to try it after reading Link works over the network.