Having only just announced Komplete 13, Native Instruments have jumped back in the ring with a knockout; a new standalone (no computer required) version of Maschine, dubbed Maschine+. This marks a milestone for Native Instruments, their first ever standalone product in the company’s 24-year history. Could this be signalling a change in direction for NI? There’s been plenty chatter over the years about whether or not Native Instruments would ever produce a standalone Maschine, but NI have never really alluded to entertaining the idea. (Surprise!)
Maschine+ mirrors the Maschine MK3 layout, but with a more premium feel, utilizing anodised aluminium on its faceplate and rotary encoders, plus an expanded range of connectivity options. Maschine+ ships pre-installed with a new streamlined version of Komplete called Maschine+ Selection that includes familiar titles like FM8, Massive, Monark and Prism — plus the usual enormous factory sample library. It may be streamlined, but make no mistake, these are the full versions of the software instruments, ordinarily reserved for computers. This makes Maschine+ the first on the market to achieve the (until now) unattainable dream of completely integrating much-loved software titles with the tactile joy of hardware in a fully realised machine — without having to siphon processing power from your computer. It’s quite an achievement, I’m no software engineer but I’d have to imagine the task to be fairly complex!
So is it time to ditch the laptop completely? Maybe, Maybe not. Maschine+ can also be used as a regular Maschine hooked up to a computer, which means you get the best of both worlds. Jamming on the couch and come up with something good? Go plug it in to your computer and flesh it out into a full track! This approach is similar to some AKAI gear, but with Maschine already having a fully established software platform – as well the power of their premium Komplete 13 software titles — they’ve got a red hot advantage.
Maschine MK1 revolutionised groovebox style beat making when it was released back in 2009, now in 2020 they look to be setting a new benchmark entirely. So, for producers and musicians looking to break away from their computer will this be the welcome news they’ve have hoped for? With powerful processing, the ability to run popular plug-ins and the iconic Maschine workflow and a whole lot more, it’s certainly a very good start.
Stay tuned for more Maschine+ workflow videos from Noisegate very soon.
From NI’s press release:
‘MASCHINE+ brings new freedom to the same fast, fun, and flexible approach to making music inherent to the rest of the MASCHINE line. Musicians can plug in, power up, and sketch beats in seconds, as well as develop fledgling ideas into performance-ready pieces with arranging and mixing tools – both with or without a computer. As a studio centrepiece, it provides the same powerful sequencing, sampling, and synthesis Native Instruments users have come to know and love, with endless options for integrating outboard gear across a broad spectrum of setups and styles’
- Immersive standalone workflow for creating beats and melodies, sampling, arranging music, and performing on stage or in the studio
- Includes MASCHINE+ Selection with industry-leading instruments, sounds, and effects, plus renowned Maschine drum and bass synth plug-ins
- Quad-core CPU and 4 GB RAM for fast, seamless creation when it counts
- Pro-grade, 44 kHz/24-bit audio interface with 2 x ¼” TRS line outputs, 2 x ¼” TRS line inputs, ¼” dynamic mic input, stereo headphone output, 1 x MIDI In, 1 x MIDI out; 1 x Footswitch, 2 x USB ports for MIDI controllers/external HDDs
- Robust, anodized aluminium design for years on the road and in the studio
- Iconic Maschine features and workflow including 16 velocity-sensitive pads, Maschine effects and plugins, swing, pad link, note repeat, step sequencer, and vintage sampler emulation
- Use standalone or with a computer – integrate with your studio workflow, and unplug for DAW-less setups or live performances
- WiFi and Link-enabled for wirelessly installing and updating products, collaborating with others, and syncing with other gear
- Quad-core processor
- 4GB dual-channel DDR3L RAM
- 32 GB internal eMMC flash storage (for OS and factory content)
- 2x colour displays (480 x 272)
- 64GB SD card included
Stay tuned for more MASCHINE+ workflow videos from Noisegate very soon.
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