(very) serious question about NI "transparency"

TheLoudest Member Posts: 110 Advisor

A year ago, NI assured us that relationships with its customers would change and improve. In particular on the issue of communication and transparency on current developments.

Matt_NI said (february 2022): Providing more transparency on what we plan is one of our main goals

A year later, where are we?

Matt_NI, Kaiwan_NI, Jeremy_NI,... I'm sure you do your best to convey ideas, requests, concerns (...) that you can read on this forum

but, honestly, what are the effects?

I mean, concretely.

Can we still hope to see an additional effort made on Maschine+ in order to keep the initial promise of a complete standalone product, which can be the center of a setup and can compete (or even surpass) competing products.



  • Mutis
    Mutis Member Posts: 472 Pro

    Idk if this is related but worth a look anyways…

  • basehead617
    basehead617 Member Posts: 126 Advisor
    edited February 2023

    I think the problem is they have a lot of tech debt related to apple silicon, new OS versions, etc. and not enough engineering firepower to deal with that stuff and develop the products more simultaneously..

    Plus I think it's clear Maschine's core is considered roughly 'complete' and I wouldn't expect a ton of changes from now on...

    A mkII of the Maschine+ with more power could always be in the cards though - once you have an embedded machine like this, it can't grow with the times like the software installed on a new computer can.

  • Impermanence
    Impermanence Member Posts: 121 Advisor

    I think it is fair to call out NI in this trashparency matter.

    Has the promise of trashparency been kept?

  • Flexi
    Flexi Member Posts: 366 Pro

    NI rarely keep promises made on the forum, this has been the case for many many years, Soundwide are shrinking workforce regularly and will be interesting to see if they can last much longer in this economy before they have to start selling off brands.

    Assume that Maschine is feature complete at this point and just use and enjoy it.

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,731 mod
    edited February 2023

    I think it depends on how you interpret things and what your expectations are.

    The recent Q&A's that allowed users to ask any questions about the products to developers and whatnot is a tangible improvement IMO. Is it enough to really say "wow NI has amazing communication now?" Probably not, and... as they say "these things take time", not sure a year is enough. The Traktor team shared info on what's to come and where their development priorities lie, has sort of an open beta, etc... This is probably the product line with the best coms right now, wish it was like this for KK/Maschine too.

    A big layoff, a "One Native" new internal philosophy, dealing with apple silicon, dealing with the Izotope merger, etc... it seems like there's always something huge happening that takes their attention and is higher priority than the smaller things.

    I don't like being a pessimist but I agree that if your main concern is the M+ then take it as it is, don't expect much.

  • TheLoudest
    TheLoudest Member Posts: 110 Advisor
    edited February 2023

    yes, actually, that's it, I feel like it's specific to Maschine and even more specifically to Maschine+

    I was not aware of these recent Q&As but it's a good thing, indeed (it was also about Maschine?)

    The other NI products all seem good and well placed on the market (and the software market is also very competitive..)

    But when I read that Maschine+ is a "complete" product (as a standalone sequencer/groovebox)

    no, sorry. Maschine mk3 maybe

    but Maschine+, no.

    as for the excuses on the difficult transition to Apple silicon, VST3 etc.

    it's even worse...

    I mean...NI aren't the only ones having to deal with this (it doesn't seem to bother the other companies that much)

    but that said I haven't seen NI teams say that (yet..and thankfully) it’s just speculations of those trying to find reasons for this status quo (because there are indeed reasons to ask questions...)

  • Mutis
    Mutis Member Posts: 472 Pro
    edited February 2023

    Well some of us tried to warn about all of this (and try to help also) from the very moment NI released M+ and Apple released Apple Silicon… but regular PR and corporativism kept neglecting it until is a clear reality in front of everyone.

    Every single post about linux, x86 dependency technical debt, users asking for iPad support or lost apps like iMaschine and Traktor dj 1&2… and how Mk3+AS macbook was cheaper and powerful than M+ etcetera…

    It’s the end of the world? No it isn’t. It could be worst so (insert meh emoticon here)

    Was NI unaware of all of this? Probably or maybe someone just decided to “drop M+ into the wild” and be worried in the future…

    Burning brand trust for some budget as a strategy… let’s hope some of that budget is reinvested in the brand somehow but if you ask my gut it will tell a different history.

    I hope been so wrong and NI surprising us with amazing news soon. I (still) want to believe (but as time goes the less I expect it)


  • TheLoudest
    TheLoudest Member Posts: 110 Advisor
    edited February 2023

    Yeah... but it's not even so much the issue of underpowered hardware

    They certainly could have done better, but it is as it is now.

    And like many people here, I don't want to hear that I have to use another device. I chose Maschine+ for a reason.

    By the way, I had an MPC Live before, and the ironic thing is that I specifically chose Maschine for its hardware! So when I hear about a possible evolution at the hardware level I think « no, it is clearly not in this area that they should work… »

    They must first work on the operating system. Otherwise, what's the point of releasing shiny new devices if the firmware is only half finished?

    We often talk about the impossibility to send/program/edit Program Changes which is essential (since the invention of the MIDI standard..) to work with other devices in a setup

    but we could also mention the absence of aftertouch (!)

    it's 2023 and at a time when some companies are talking about « MPE+», Maschine users are still waiting for aftertouch to be recognized/transmitted…

    Again, I'm not even talking about redoing the hardware, and having pads with aftertouch. No, the device is like that.

    But a little development effort on the operating system in order to recognize the aftertouch of other devices is the least they could do.

    For example, a keyboard (with AT) or a synth module hook up to Maschine+ are instantly deprived of this feature. It's crazy.

  • Matt_NI
    Matt_NI Administrator Posts: 1,082 admin

    @TheLoudest Definitely a bit harsh to say we haven't improved transparency when we're doing so much here to bring more information in front of everyone. We kicked off our Dev Talks series again, we hosted several Q&A's, we introduced roadmap and ideation for Traktor ... and more. These are ongoing efforts and we're planning more and more activities here (including for Maschine users).

    More specifically about Maschine, it is true that we haven't been able to do much on that front and unfortunately, we didn't have much to share since the work was primarily focused on Silicon and VST3 for a while.

    More specifically about Maschine +, it seems like your question is fundamentally about future updates? is there a specific question you'd want answer to?

  • TheLoudest
    TheLoudest Member Posts: 110 Advisor

    Sorry Matt

    as I said above, I have not seen these Q&A... there were any about Maschine+? (to be honest I only look at this part of the forum...)

    Because that's all I'm saying. I'm only talking about Maschine (and even more specifically Maschine+ and its promises... A standalone device, which can be integrated into the heart of a midi setup)

    I even said above (and I sincerely mean it) that in all other categories, NI has a head start on its competitors.

    And that is precisely what is even more frustrating! 😅 When we look what happens with Maschine+...😓

    PS: as for the specific questions/requests... I'm not going to repeat that, not here (even if I mention another 1 or 2 above...) but I had even discussed with the technical assistance , on different occasions, and each time my interlocutor understood how essential these points were.

    But it's mostly the acts that never followed thereafter (and time has passed since) But hey, I'm taking your answer into account, and so it's because of the focus on Silicon and VST3...

  • Murat Kayi
    Murat Kayi Member Posts: 428 Pro

    I would like to point out the recent Maschine questionnaire as a serious effort to pinpoint the crucial feature requests and narrow down what people want from the platform

  • Matt_NI
    Matt_NI Administrator Posts: 1,082 admin

    We didn't do any activities linked to Maschine yet and it's probably because it wasn't a big focus lately as opposed to other area like Native Access or Kontakt. Like @Murat Kayi mentioned, we did have the survey and in the background our team also scanned the old forum to include more requested features for the team to review with the results of the survey.

    For the question, I wasn't necessarily talking about a specific feature but since we talk about transparency, I was wondering if there was anything high level that was essential for you to know.

  • TheLoudest
    TheLoudest Member Posts: 110 Advisor

    yes, that is exactly it. I think it's not even the time for feature requests anymore...

    In fact, you know them (and that for a long time now)

    I haven't been a Maschine user for so long (since it's only the standalone aspect that interests me and it's precisely this new product, Maschine+ , who made me come to you, and I'm not the only one so it's also important to tell you that it brings you another clientele..)

    but from what I understand there are requests (not crazy ones) that have been requested for a very long time now.

    So about transparency...yeah

    WHEN? :-)

    I'm kidding but.. is NI even able to guarantee that this will be done one day? (on this very hardware version)

    I mean, there will be an extra effort to take into account these "old" requests?

    Often small ones by the way.. (but which make a huge difference in terms of workflow)

    so I understand that it's less sexy for a brand since it seems there is less possibility of communicating on it

    (unlike a new on-board virtual instrument for example)

    but for the community of users (and on a daily basis in the use that the musician has of it)

    it is essential.

    (not to mention trust... I work in UX research so I know how important all of this is, and it's even what in the near future will make one brand stand out from another)

  • Matt_NI
    Matt_NI Administrator Posts: 1,082 admin

    is NI even able to guarantee that this will be done one day? (on this very hardware version)

    What is? implementing new requests?

    There is an effort to take into account old requests since we scrapped the old community for suggestions already a short while back and obviously new ones since we did the survey. It might be a bit too early to know what is the general direction but we can certainly try to see if there is already something we can share. Let's see if someone on the Maschine side can join this discussion.

  • TheLoudest
    TheLoudest Member Posts: 110 Advisor

    What is? implementing new requests?

    Let's start with the old ones :-)

    it would already be fine

    anyway they are more or less the same, I checked, and many come back again and again... but you already know that

    and that's normal, because even if we all have different ways of working, there are still functions which seem common

    I mentioned program change and aftertouch but there are some others like that

    I give a quick example (which I have already mentioned elsewhere):

    as Maschine+ couldn't allow me to do certain things, I thought of add other sequencers into my setup (or at least using the onboard sequencer in other devices)

    that being said, Maschine+ still needs to be able to sync properly with the rest...

    BUT we don't have a STOP button 

    since the current stop button actually sends a "pause" midi message (which is a duplicate of the play/pause button btw)

    nothing that can send a real "stop" message as far as I know...

    And it's problematic because when you press on stop the other devices actually go into "pause" and when you restart, the whole thing is no longer synchronized obviously

    see..small things... 🙂

    (I'm sure it won't take long for a developer to send a stop message instead of a pause midi message...)

    Let's see if someone on the Maschine side can join this discussion.

    it would be really great, indeed.

    but to make everything clear to him, it would be nice to think of a way to efficiently centralize requests

    (there will be duplicates and the format of the threads is not ideal for synthesizing ideas...)

    By the way, it makes me think that a year ago we also discussed with you the possibility of having new ways of exchanging and collecting these ideas.

    via vote/ranking... or something like that. Where are we on this?

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