Maschine Plus Hardware Upgrade

bigmanstan
bigmanstan Member Posts: 2 Newcomer
edited January 6 in Native Access

Hi.

I love using my plus, and made the choice to buy native instead of akai. I think I made the right choice and I hope a lot of people will agree with me.

1 thing I'm asking is that you make an upgrade motherboard for my plus. I'm not asking for something up to date, asking for a motherboard with an old i5/i7 6th gen processor and a ram upgrade to 16 gig atleast, with option to swap out and replace the ram ourself. if not, a standard motherboard with options for an upgrade in parts and ram when ever we can.

I just want a TRUE standalone experience (take my plus in my campervan for a weekend, fridge full of food a few beers and have a proper session without having to keep worrying about exporting sounds due to having the processor is maxing out)

I think you can take the machine to another level allowing this and allowing us to run ALL NATIVE INSTRUMENTS plugins with a serial code to be installed and run on the machine and now offer machine as a true standalone machine, made by Native Instruments running all Native Instrument plugins, also have a full native access installed on there.

I would be happy throwing my pc in the bin if this machine can actually replace my pc, or the NEED of a pc to run some of your own plugins.

Please consider this as I think it won't only just give the machine a bigger name, but your company will be known as making a TRUE standalone WITHOUT the need of a pc to run the plugins.

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Comments

  • Vic Angelo
    Vic Angelo Member Posts: 104 Advisor

    Im with on this, but You're asking for a whole new device. I doubt NI would want to go with upgradeable hardware route.

    But that being said, you have practice producing complete with those limitation. Embrace the CPU limitations, Ever try making music on Old groove boxes? M+ is lightyears ahead of that.

    I have found many many workarounds for M+ to make it feels more like a DAW and to brought many "desktop only" NI instruments into M+ instandalone.

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,753 mod
    edited January 5

    The M+ has passive cooling, it would not be able to cool any decent i5/i7, especially not old ones, it would have to be somewhat modern I think. These tiny embedded compute units don't usually have socketed ram, I don't think one with it would even fit as it's already a super tight fit inside because the heat spreader aminum block touches the aluminum backplate for further heat dissipation.

    They could offer an upgrade from their current conga-qa5 to a conga-qa7 I think, the size seems the same, not sure it would make that much difference TBH.

    So I guess what you're really asking is for an M+ MK2.

  • bigmanstan
    bigmanstan Member Posts: 2 Newcomer

    Hi.

    Thanks for the replies.

    I have a server smaller than the machine plus. I have a server running an i5 6th gen quadcore, runs at less than 65watt, have 32 gig ram ddr4, 180 watt power supply with 2 4tb drives. This only takes minimal power and to put this spec together is only a few hundred pound. If thats the case, why dont we start respecting customers time and effort and give us an option to have a total power house of a standalone instead of giving us a machine that they advertise as standalone but not really have the power to be a proper fully functional standalone that we dont need to find every short cut going to stop the memory and processor for topping out. I would be happy packing my WINDOWS 11 powered heap of junk up as still till this day, there isnt proper support for linux. Now you understand why i would be happy to place my pc in the bin qnd have a small pc kind of hardware in this to make it a proper standalone. Support for a proper os like linux would be brilliant because the days of it only being Windows and Apple is well and truely over now.

    I produce electronic music, by the time ive loaded a few synths with a few effects, im now having to slow my session down to save things the reimport them in maschine again, kind of takes the fun out of it. Once i link it to my pc and have full access to what i have paid for, you forget the limitations of this thing but i would like to have the same feeling when i unplug it and use it standalone. This maschine plus really confused the hell out of me before because i was left thinking to myself, can buy all these plugins, be out in the forest with friends in my campervan and get a proper jam going, to have access to all native instrument plugins that i have brought from them. To be able to use their plugins i paid a lot of money for, on their machine that i paid nearly 1600 pound for would be a brilliant end goal. At the moment i have a standalone machine, that dont support the plugins that are supplied from the same company unless you plug it in to another machine that runs windowd or mac?

    Just a quick idea, stop the rubbish about windows and linux beef and get everything running PROPERLY on linux like machine plus runs on already.

    All im saying is the hardware i have already can be brough for 3-400 pound from my server and i can multitask, have vms on it running all sorts of os's with native instruments, propellerhead and whole bag or plugins running and i have no issues, pay 1600 pound on something that makes music in standalone but has LOTS of restrictions.

    Cut a very long story short, for 1600 pound, a lot more thought could of gone into this instead of it being a game of how much money can be taken from our customers and not giving them something that makes much sense.

  • PoorFellow
    PoorFellow Moderator Posts: 1,706 mod

    You are not alone with respect to critique. At some point I thought, I wish I had the money to buy a Maschine+ but having read your posts and watching videos like this then it makes me care a lot less about that ! 🤔

  • reffahcs
    reffahcs Member Posts: 800 Pro
    edited January 6

    Do you know if that's the exact SBC that's used in the Maschine+? I have taken apart my S61 MK3, but not my Maschine+. If you could find one of those boards with more RAM it would be worth taking a shot at. I think the biggest issues would just be drivers if there were any major differences in graphics, sounds, networking etc...

  • reffahcs
    reffahcs Member Posts: 800 Pro

    Only around $500 or so on Mouser for the QA7s. I'm gonna have to find some teardown pics or just take mine apart so I can try to upgrade it.

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,753 mod
    edited January 6

    Yes, I do, that's the one.

    You can find the SBC's easily but installing the bootloader, OS and SW is another story... They won't come from the factory with the M+ menu that allows us to press Shift+Scan to find the files on the SD to install so you have to know what you're doing...

    Also, RAM doesn't seem to be the main issue with these SBC's to begin with.


    I don't advise that, because of what I said above but if you have experience by all means pls try.

    Unless you have the 3 .nut files to install everything you would be wasting your time and money. You don't need pics, if you take off the backplate you will immediately see the SBC exposed connected to the board via PCIe.

    Even if you succeed you would probably need a better heatsink, maybe active cooling, a fan, and a bigger case to fit it all 🤷‍♂️

    If you're crazy enough to try then maybe you're also crazy enough to try to solder a m.2 connector to put an internal m2 SSD in there 😁


  • reffahcs
    reffahcs Member Posts: 800 Pro

    I was wondering about that too. Usually the boot section of the eMMC is not readable from the OS even if you did somehow manage to gain root access. I was hoping not to have to chipoff the eMMC, but I have access to a Dataman flash reader at work, so it would be possible to recover the 2 boot sections along with the other partitions.

    It's tempting for sure. I'll have to look into it more. I believe we only have a few eMMC sockets for our Dataman, so that would be another expense if we didn't have the correct size. I've looked into the cheap eMMC readers on Amazon and most of those aren't able to access the boot partitions either.

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,753 mod
    edited January 6

    @reffahcs said:

    but I have access to a Dataman flash reader at work, so it would be possible to recover the 2 boot sections along with the other partitions.

    Oh... wow. There's some cheaper models on ebay for like 80 bucks, would be safer to try on one of those 1st, no?

    I'd donate 10$ for this cause, start a GoFundMe! :)

  • reffahcs
    reffahcs Member Posts: 800 Pro

    Well we already have the Dataman at work, so that's not an issue. The real concern when doing chipoffs is damaging the chip during desoldering, it can be more challenging if the PCB has many ground layers as they're essentially flat copper heat sinks.

    First thing I need to do is determine the specific model of the SBC that's in the Maschine+ so I can find the appropriate upgrade part. I saw there were Pentium and Atom versions, what I don't want to do is try to upgrade from an Atom to a Pentium as I think that would cause a lot of issues. But once the specific board is identified, then the specific eMMC chip can be determined and I can go about seeing if we have the appropriate Dataman socket for it and ordering an upgrade board.

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,753 mod
    edited January 6

    Oh, chipoffs means removing it and then reballing? Holy cr4ap that is scary stuff.

    Humm, I'll tell you anything I can that I've discovered on my own via DM (that didn't require any privileged info cause I don't want to break any NDA's) So we don't derail this thread too much.

  • reffahcs
    reffahcs Member Posts: 800 Pro
    edited January 6

    Yes and no, it depends on what you're trying to do. Some sockets for flash readers require there to be solder balls on the memory when you read it. So yes in that case, you'll need a stencil, hot air, a bottle of whiskey etc... Most flash chips when you buy them new already come with solder balls, so I would definitely opt for a new one on the upgrade board. What would be an even better solution would be to buy a carrier board from Congatec that would allow you to program the eMMC in place. Usually that kind of inplace programming requires the image to be formatted in a certain way though... hmmm on know on my ARM iMX6 devboard you can program the eMMC from the SDcard, maybe the same for the Conga too.

    Yeah def don't break any NDA's and that's cheating too! LOL Most of fun is figuring out the puzzle. Kinda takes all the fun out of it if someone gives you the answers.

  • Alexios
    Alexios Member Posts: 92 Advisor

    There was a time of research marking the SATA contacts to see if everything was soldered on the board for M2.


  • Alexios
    Alexios Member Posts: 92 Advisor
    edited January 7

    Oh, I wish I could bring out USB 3.0!


  • reffahcs
    reffahcs Member Posts: 800 Pro

    It's still a weak processor though. I'm looking at the QA7's but my concern is that the current processor is only rated for 6.5 watts. I'm not sure if the power rail on the carrier board could handle an upgraded QA7 at 9 or 12 watts. The M+ uses less than 40 watts currently (pun intended).

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