Native Instruments Intros Standalone Maschine+ Music Production System

Native Instruments today introduced Maschine+, a standalone music production system that combines synthesizer, sequencer, groovebox, sampler and more.

The $1,400 device is targeted to producers and performers who want a standalone system based on the Maschine workflow.

Features:

  • Standalone workflow for creating beats and melodies, sampling, arranging music, and performing on stage or in the studio
  • Includes Maschine+ Selection with instruments, sounds, and effects, plus drum and bass synth plugins and effects
  • Quad-core CPU and 4 GB RAM for fast, seamless creation when it counts
  • Pro-grade, 44.1 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 aluminum design
  • MASCHINE features and workflow, including 16 velocity-sensitive pads, 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

Here’s what’s under the hood:

  • Quad-core processor
  • 4 GB dual channel DDR3L RAM
  • 32 GB internal eMMC flash storage (for OS and factory content)
  • 2 x color displays (480 x 272)
  • 64 GB SD card included (supports up to 1 TB)
  • (Also expandable via USB for larger libraries)

Walkthrough Video:

Pricing and Availability

Maschine+ is expected to be available Oct 1, priced at 1,299 EUR / $1,399 USD / £1,099 GBP, It’s available to pre-order now.

51 thoughts on “Native Instruments Intros Standalone Maschine+ Music Production System

  1. Wait and see for me. Kinda got a bad taste from NI. Ended up using the Maschine MK2 as a superb midi performance controller for Logic/Live towards the end before giving it away to a friend. Would been fantastic as an iOS controller but I recall it couldn’t do that trick. Will this be an unsupported POS too soon down the road?

    Got my MPC One a few weeks ago and I am LOVING it (minus a half baked boot sequence to get the Ethernet midi to be utilized/seen…fix it please).

    Wait and see for me…it is sexy.

  2. So I opened up Maschine 2.0 again after a year. Forgot how horrible it is. Even just importing my samples which are all in folder and neatly organized. Now im rifling through an endless stream of unorganized imported samples. If you just want to use the maschine presets and plugins, your golden ponyboy. If you want to make your own synth presets and import your own samples, possible but not as simple as it should be. Would rather have an initilized synth and decide to use presets than to have the presets smacking me in the face at every turn.
    Its the ultimate preset/patch studio/software with some work to be original or at least get the meat out of the tools. I’d assume this box will be much of the same. The Apple products of music gear and software.

    1. I haven’t used Maschine but Komplete strikes me as too focused on preset browsing for my taste. I use allot of NI plugins and I like the idea of having them in a box to play live so I’m tempted to replace my hardware sequencer and drum machine with this but it looks like it only allows “curated” Kontakt and Reaktor instruments. Not being able to load my own patches makes it less attractive and if it’s as difficult to just import basic samples as you say then that makes me more skeptical.

      1. Its not difficult, just used to seeing my folders. For some reason it doesnt. I had the software link to my ROOT sample folder, inside there are about 20 folders full of my samples and even more folders inside of those. Not a problem for FL studio, Logic, Ableton and Reason. MAschine, just finds all my samples and just dumps them into the user tab. It did find one folder, but it just made it a tag and within that tag was all the samples just scattered in a list. That folder has tons of folders in there but I only get the samples. So if all of your kicks dont start with kick_, you’re screwed.
        Possibly I missed something but if I did how? And why would it be done any other way than a folder structure.

      2. I don’t think the above warning about samples makes much sense given that it applies to a computer above, and this standalone device would *have* to manage files onboard in a completely different way. afaik, it should be possible to share presets from desktop to the Maschine+ – at least that’s what’s been suggested elsewhere, and it would make sense.
        I think the hardware does ultimately lend itself to preset browsing and macro/preset tweaking, and this makes sense for the nature of Maschine, but i agree, the preset focus of a lot of NI’s recent streamlining and integration efforts is both a boon and a total drag if you enjoy digging deeper.

        what do you mean with “curated?”

        1. “Curated” is a word NI used in some of the promotion to describe what would be available for Kontakt and Reaktor. I think this means the basic factory content available for the player versions of each. I hope they add the ability to import user Reaktor patches in an update.

          Considering the quality of NI sounds would blow most other groove boxes away I think this is a great value for the money and understand most of the compromises made to get it into a standalone box. My concerns are particular to specific needs iI have for a live set up and weighing if I could replace other gear with it.

          I use a Pyramid and Rytm which allow for midi effects like randomized velocity and note probability. I might be wrong but I don’t think Maschine has those capabilities so I was thinking perhaps I could get around that by processing midi through a Reaktor patch.

        2. These warnings are pretty crucial. NI has (at the very least) a long history of making version migration difficult. They have good factory content. If you like fast creation with preset browsing, their software works great for that. I would never again invest time with any of their products to say, create a custom sample instrument. But why would they make that easy? They have strong financial incentives to nudge people towards their own content expansions. Any one who buys this should be well aware that in all likelyhood, installing paid NI content will come with a large side of astro-glide not available anywhere else.

  3. If the RAM is truly expandable to 16 or 32 gigabytes, this will be a breakaway product. Being able to use my entire NKS Compatible library without a laptop or desktop will do wonders.

  4. Please stop the entitlement and your knowledge show off, If i could I would entitle all of you synth guru’s!

    Even if you top engineer, Frustration is minimum 50% because of you “subjective you” , so consider this on your next mumble

    1. Gadi, what the heck are you getting at? The posts here thus far are pretty constructive and light-hearted. Ease up and tell us what you think about Maschine stand-alone…would it be in your future, why or why not? Believe it or not, we’d all like to hear what folks have to say, welcome aboard.

      1. Thank you for your positive reaction,
        The first two people talked about bad experience with the maschine2. it’s not constructive, It’s at best unrelated.

  5. Funniest thing I’ve read in a while. Sorry I hurt your feelings man, I’ll do better next time. I’ll keep my opinions to myself and act like I know nothing about anything and haven’t rightfully earned the right to have an opinion because I purchased the NI hardware/software. Maschine could be a lot better, the synths are amazing, even the sample packs are well curated but I for sure shouldn’t say anything about it at all.
    Next time I’ll get it right. No knowledge or entitlement from me kind sir!

      1. wouldn’t be all to surprised if that comes in a future update. this device is already running reaktor proper, so it’s not unfathomable that blocks can come in at some point down the line (though i think a lot of the appeal of the modular workflow will be simply impossible to translate effectively to this kind of box, but that’s a different story). there may be software reasons for why this doesn’t work, but it seems plausible.

    1. all true but the actual computer hardware on this seems much better spec’ed. people forget the mpc is really just a windows based tablet with pretty crappy specs (1.8ghz i think).

      i enjoy my mpc one, but i have 0 misconceptions that it will even turn on in 10 years. whereas a digitakt will probably still be running strong in 30 years. that’s just my opinion based on my experience with both.

      also, it’s really easy to split midi with a thru box, which should be standard kit for anyone with more than a couple pieces of gear.

      1. Not sure what you mean by windows-based. I thought the mpc was based on linux. (But maybe meant that it is similar hardware to a cheap windows tablet.)

    2. It seems to be more focus on what you get inside, not what you can controll. ITB is what NI do best. And let’s see what the 2 usb host can do.

    3. There are also additional USB ports for external connectivity, though admittedly this is likely mostly for additional controllers like keyboards. In any case, whining about the price with this bit of gear is asinine and misses the point. just look at how much ground it covers with the highly complex software devices it runs, how it handles extremely processor hungry “plugins” on-board. If you can’t appreciate the significance of that, then of course you’re grumpy about the price but wildly missing the power and point of this thing.

  6. I didn’t feel like watching the whole walk through. I wonder if it has multi-velocity layers for samples.

    Otherwise the form-factor and feature set seems pretty good. Lots to keep the kids happy. Are they generally built pretty well?

    1. I took a Maschine MK2 apart, not mine though. Let’s see here: rolled over it with a car & took a sledgehammer to it. VERY hard to demolish. The car rollover did’nt do squat as I recall. The sledgehammer took many, many whacks to see any progress. I was blown away by the resilience of it. Once apart in the most inelegant fashion, the standout feature to me was how thick those pads are. Close to an inch thick. Delicious cubes that just beg to have your teeth sink into!
      Bottom line: a shit-ton of abuse and it still held it together…zero joke there.
      I actually wonder how they’ll fit the additional components inside there to make it a standalone box because the destroyed was packed together like a brick.

      Hope that gives some kinda impression Stub.
      Cheers

  7. I did / do use Maschine and MPC. I find the workflow on the MPC way too clumsy, it takes longer to get equal results. The Sequence / Track / Program-concept on the MPC is too hierarchical and for me seems less flexible.
    The Synth plug ins on the MPC are crap compared to what NI provides here. The drum synth on Maschine is excellent, there is nothing like that on the MPC.
    And I wouldnt miss the touch screen, I often find it tedious to work with it.

    MPC provides more connectivity though, but I will sell the MPC once Maschine+ arrives – it will be my stand alone device in the future.

  8. Two audio outs is ridiculous in this price bracket .8 would put it in the serious sampler category .All that power and two outs.No way.

    1. I disagree. Everyone think the next thing will always kill the last like AKai hasn’t been crushing the game since the late 80’s. The NI GUI and UX is not the best and thats where the fall off happens. For those who never had a taste of another structure or are new to music, for sure, you slot right in, but once you have had a handle on another DAW or hardware functionality, you’re quick to realize that Maschine is built on presets, which are dam good but the moment you go experimental or off the grid (so to speak) it gets really daunting to work with the software. Now that software is standalone so Its hard to overlook the fact that it’ll be much of the same structure. To those who want to randomly pick a preset, say “thats awesome” and make a beat, do it up. But theres a reason people are screaming for changes because most have hit that NI wall. I spent a night making drum kits, getting busy with all of my own samples then the next day had to go for the manual to find out how to access them and why my samples were no longer linked when nothing changed. Gotta get the simple stuff right first or folks go elsewhere.

    1. really tired of this dumb Kore meme at this point. it’s even less relevant for the topic of standalone gear. just knock it off with this tired kore nonsense.

  9. I personally don’t really get the whole “free yourself from the computer!” thing, in general. Especially when the thing replacing the computer is a computer–one that is more of a closed ecosystem than a computer/DAW/controller setup. To each her own, I suppose. It’s compact… you have to give it that. I guess there’s a market for this. It’s just not me. I’m not interested in a less powerful, less flexible, more proprietary walled-off system. But someone who doesn’t want to figure out how to make a bunch of pieces work together might like this, even if they have to sacrifice a lot of power and flexibility and they’re locked-in forever to whatever NI thinks they should have access to… similar to apple hardware. Clearly that’s what NI wants to be: the apple of music-tech. Holds no appeal for me.

  10. Well, looks like NI have finally made the jump to Linux, I wonder if they are using native linux VST versions under the hood. Whilst Machine+ is of no interest to me, I am really keen to know if this could be the beginning of NI finally embracing Linux after a decade of snubbing it…

  11. This looks really promising but I have a few sticking points that make me favour the MPC especially for live work:

    1) 44.1 sampling rate? A Triton samples at 48 and that’s like 20 years old. Seems a strange choice though not the end of the world if it sounds good (which I’m sure it will).
    2) Only a pair of analog outs prohibits me from using it to run tracks on a gig because I can’t send a click to a drummer and send a stereo signal to FOH.
    3) No battery. If the Live gets unplugged on stage, just plug it back in and keep going.

    I winder if it would be better to have a Live as your sequencer and maybe just get Maschine and Komplete on your laptop for the sound library access.

  12. NI have lost my support after making it impossible to re-install the large amount of software I have purchased from them over the years. The boxes for Reaktor, and a half dozen other products sit in my storage room as testement to my good faith. Now they come up with a “stand alone” Maschine and release it with some cringy video that could double as an advert for the new Mazda. No specifications or system requirements listed. Well what do I care? I will stick with my MPC. Thanks for the laugh NI, you suck.

  13. So glad to see Native Instruments Mange to build their own computer after all these years and make it truly native to their hardware! This is just the beginning im guessing of the future of music hardware from them and the ability and accessibility for manufacturers to build their own processors powerful enough to run their own software! Just hope they make it as efficient as possible and open up to flexibility and modularity and include cutting edge tech that can be upgraded with features through firmware updates! I just dont like the throw away culture for hardware! Please make one beastly upgradeable unit that lasts a good portion of the century and packs in foward thinking tech! It will be a true legacy left behind! Just like how the best music is made by having some good artists in one room hope, they need a way to get the brightest minds in tech in one room to make an amazing new era of music hardware! The tech is there! Come on native!

  14. Didn’t NI just change hands after tanking horribly? I would definitely consider this before plunging 1500 on a potential brick if the new owners don’t pan out and they wind up going under. Buyer beware.

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