Native Instruments Maschine + is official: this is the latest attempt to "escape" from the PC limits of the digital instrument sector. DAW software and VST plugins have their convenience, but it is also true that dedicated hardware works even when the computer is off – a detail that is increasingly appreciated and requested by today's producers and musicians. We can say that Maschine + is a controller that is also able to run parts of software independently, thus allowing the creation of music even when the computer is off.
While the Maschine + is aesthetically almost identical to previous generations of groove boxes, with a series of 16 large pads in the foreground, eight encoders for varying effect parameters, two color displays and various other controls, the internal specifications represent a true leap forward: quad-core Intel Atom processor, 32 GB of internal eMMC storage and 4 GB of RAM are the standout specs, to which is added a very useful microSD slot (including a 64 GB, but you can go as far as to 1 TB) which allows you to expand the internal audio libraries. This allows Maschine + to be, as we said, independent from the computer, at least in certain circumstances: it can always work as a controller, but it also has internal computing power to run a certain number of plugins directly locally, thanks to the Linux-based operating system. . Maschine Plus supports:
- The virtual synths Massive, FM8, Monark and Prism
- 35 integrated effects, including the Raum reverb management plugin
- 8 GB of preloaded sounds (plus expansions)
- A sampler
Native Instruments became famous for allowing users to create music through a computer, without the need for expensive and bulky dedicated equipment. Guitar Rig, for example, was a pioneer of the amp modeling phenomenon: it is an emulator of heads, amps, microphones and effects for guitar or bass, in which you just need to connect your instrument to a computer to get all the possible sounds and imaginable. Traktor popularized the idea of DJing with a simple laptop, or iPad. Interestingly, NI is also making more efforts to provide stand-alone devices that don't require a PC to operate.
Maschine + will arrive on October 1st and … well, it will be quite expensive. There is talk of € 1,299. It is interesting to note that around the same time, the new version of Guitar Rig, 6, and of the Komplete DAW software, 13, will also arrive.