[Poll] Best all-around product? You be the judge.



  • holonology
    holonology Member Posts: 51 Member
    edited August 21

    I work in branding/marketing so take my opinion with a pinch of salt as I look at things in a skewed way, but I think about this sort of thing a lot.

    Personally, my experience of working with brands is they have a product focus (as they should.) The challenge is that customers do not think like this at all. Bridging this divide is the difference between success and failure. The majority of companies struggle with this split because we all want to believe we work for a company that sells equally good products across the board that appeal to a huge range of customers (aka: PROFIT!), but that's rarely true. Trying to appeal to everyone is inviting in theory but almost impossible in practice. Making choices about what you will and won't do is incredibly important to building the perception that you do something differently or better than the competition.

    @Kaiwan_NI - I can see how middle ground positioning may be appealing within NI, but like everything in life - there's a trade-off. Typically, a middle ground positioning comes with a cost either to image or the ability to charge a premium. Take a sector like cars. If you want to occupy the middle of the road space, then you should focus on simplicity and practicality over innovation. If someone wants a middle of the road, sensible purchase, then they may even be put off, skeptical or simply ignore claims of innovative features - as that's not what they're looking for.

    And middle of the road also affects pricing. Premium, exclusive or even luxury products carry a certain ability to charge more for a similar product to the competition. Take the humble superstore. Most of these brands are also middle of the road and everyday. Because this is a popular sector to occupy, they all sortof blend together and there's no reason to choose one over the other. Thus a price war commences and you either have to fight on price, or try and position yourself as premium or different. The problem with premium is nobody believes this if you have taken the superstore "everything under one roof for a low price" approach. By the way, you communicate this strategy even if you don't say it with words - it's communicated in pricing, releases, customer support and features too. So trying to be different becomes your main route to profitability.

    Ultimitley, what appeals to one customer may not appeal to another. Diving into that and understanding where you are strong & weak in the minds of your customer base is really important. For example, if I say "analog synths" to you - there's a good chance that V Collection is somewhere in your thought process. Think of effects and you might think Soundtoys. Think mixing and you might think of iZotope or even FabFilter (and boy can they charge a premium). That's because these are all well positioned, clear offers with little cruft around the edges). I'd suggest for a lot of people the strenght in NI (and what keeps it in their workflow) is built around Kontakt and sample libraries. Indeed, the second word of the brand name - Instruments - backs this up. Sadly (and this is never popular) the compromise in getting good brand and product positoning is that some products and offers often need be cut in favour of clarity. This typically frustrates both developers, product makers and customers - but it secures the health of the brand. The most famous example of this was when Steve Jobs returned to Apple and cut half of what they were doing. Turned out he was right; but he had to break some eggs to get there. This is the exact challenge facing NI today, and I would play that video to all employees as part of revitalising the brand.


    Personally (and I should say I don't use Maschine here, so I may be unfairly excluding it) I think Komplete Kontrol is the best all round product within NI, (although I believe it's in need of an update.) The reason I think this, is because Arturia have somewhat copied it with their own Analog Lab. Simple access and categorisation for presets, but in the case of NI the ability to blend non NI synths and sound libraries with NI products. This is genius. For the beginner, you don't need to look beyond those 8 macros at the top for immediate control of the plugin. And if you want, you have the full plugin there to do more detailed edits. I would love the ability to have features like layering and suggested presets like Analog Lab does. Resizing too. The biggest challenge with KK is what we talked about above - it's a great idea but now needs some TLC. Overall, I think with an update KK could match and even beat Analog Lab for a centrepiece product that has broad appeal.

  • nightjar
    nightjar Member Posts: 1,077 Guru

    From @holonology :

    For the beginner, you don't need to look beyond those 8 macros at the top for immediate control of the plugin. And if you want, you have the full plugin there to do more detailed edits. I would love the ability to have features like layering and suggested presets like Analog Lab does. Resizing too. The biggest challenge with KK is what we talked about above - it's a great idea but now needs some TLC. 

    100% agree... but Komplete Kontrol's need for TLC is HUGE.

    And I think some foundational issues are gonna make it hard to change.

  • Jo Willems
    Jo Willems Member Posts: 3 Newcomer

    Maschine+ and komplete S49 in stand alone modus is the most perfect gear I ever had.. I am 74 years old and still going strong with those things!

  • holonology
    holonology Member Posts: 51 Member

    Yeah I wouldn't disagree with that. (Although I don't know what is or isn't possible with the SW...)

  • EP.
    EP. Member Posts: 39 Newcomer

    kontact because u can sample an factory selection is good and u can also get piano book intrument vsts if u have ut:)

  • Syncopator
    Syncopator Member Posts: 19 Member
    edited August 21

    This survey is flawed because it doesn't establish (or in fact even ask) which, or how many, of the mentioned products are actually used by those participating in the survey.

    I, for example, only use two of the products, despite owning all of them. So, my vote would bias the survey results—as would, I suspect, the vast majority of votes. The only "valid" votes would be those received from users who use every product on the list. Otherwise, one simply isn't qualified to answer the question.

    So, instead of getting an accurate answer to "best all-around product," this survey effectively asks (and determines) something closer to, "Which product is the most popular?" or "Which product is being used the most?"

    As such, this survey in no way determines what it purports to.

  • nightjar
    nightjar Member Posts: 1,077 Guru

    Not really designed as a scientific survey, more just for fun and to stimulate thought about the challenge of updating an existing product in a way that satisfies the concerns of existing users and entices new ones.

    With the likelihood of new gear arriving this fall, this is a good warm-up to what might be an "interesting conversation" ahead.

  • Wouter De Muynck
    Wouter De Muynck Member Posts: 208 Pro

    Sort of 😊 I'm using Maschine to create templates which contain Guitar Rig 6 for my bass presets & Guitar Rig 5 for the looper in 1 group, Percussion in another group, Synths in a third... an so on. The advantage of having this all in Maschine is that it is all tempo-synced and you can save all these instruments and corresponding settings in just 1 file. I also added an Airstep MIDI foot controller which I use to control GR6 macro's, the looper in GR5, but I can also use the Airstep to send Program Changes to switch between scenes in Maschine. It can also send midi note on commands with a predefined velocity so I can initiate drone sound in f.e. Straylight and control the X/Y pad with the expression pedals also linked to the Airstep. I'm still finding my way and I needed a new laptop to process this all, but it's moving in the right direction.

  • GOT
    GOT Member Posts: 1 Newcomer

    As a relatively new user to the Komplete S series keyboard and Komplete Standard, I voted Komplete since it is somewhat simple to use and gives me access to instruments/effects either from mouse or keyboard. I am looking forward to getting a Maschine later this fall and upgrading to ultimate. The only downside to Komplete is the interface is not scalable and that is rather frustrating but the only big downside for me so far. One other thing that kind of bugs me is that Native seems to cater a lot to EDM (not that I do not like it) type stuff in its lower priced offerings and would like to see more orchestral offerings in the lower tiers. This is just my opinion as it seems like the orchestral side of things has taken a back seat when it seems geared to that. I make and enjoy EDM type music but love the orchestral side of things as well. Especially when integrating them together.

  • Tom Auger
    Tom Auger Member Posts: 23 Member

    I replied to the OP about the many issues that Komplete Kontrol has, that frankly I think impacts the brand and brings down the value of the incredible hardware and software that this company has.

    I voted for Guitar Rig because I think it best embodies the questions of this poll: what is beginner-friendly, pro-friendly, and executes its chosen task the best. GR has actually gotten a little worse in the beginner friendly in the last, let's say 10 years. GR2-3 were amazing from that perspective because it immediately drew you into the hardware world of pedal FX that many guitarists could relate to. I'm actually not a guitarist, but the interface was intuitive.

    The latest incarnations have gotten a bit more abstract in that respect, but still make it super easy to dial in a sound you're looking for. Then, the skeuomorphic aspects of the UI make it fairly intuitive to play with some knobs and dials and get an interesting sound. Mission accomplished.

    Maybe needs a bit of attention on basic quality-of-life features like full Undo (as mentioned previously in this thread) but overall, I think represents a North Star that other product teams should look to in terms of usability and accessibility.

  • Kaiwan_NI
    Kaiwan_NI Administrator Posts: 2,437 admin

    I do like Massive X a lot too, for the same reason as yours- it's less daunting than Reaktor :)

  • Senseixon
    Senseixon Member Posts: 14 Newcomer

    Maschin is, for me, who represents the best of both worlds

  • elMorseman
    elMorseman Member Posts: 2 Newcomer

    It’s gotta be reaktor for me, absolutely stellar!

  • KenLuco
    KenLuco Member Posts: 1 Newcomer

    Without a doubt Kontakt 7

  • tribepop
    tribepop Member Posts: 152 Advisor

    Maschine is prolly gonna be the top voted choice but still will only get one or two minor updates a year if we’re lucky 🙁

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