Has NI Lost It's Way?

lead73 Member Posts: 1 Member
edited January 29 in Maschine

As a dedicated MPC enthusiast, with a collection that included the MPC 60, MPC 60II, and the MPC 3000 with a chip upgrade, I found myself increasingly disenchanted with the slow evolution of their operating systems. This restlessness led me to discover the NI Maschine in a music store, newly released at the time. It was a revelation — a game changer that I immediately had to own. Bringing it home, I quickly realized that Maschine was not just a match for the MPC but also offered much more. It became a pivotal tool in my studio for years, aiding in the production of some fantastic music.

However, fast forward to today, and my enthusiasm for Maschine is waning. My sentiment towards NI is evolving into a blend of fatigue and frustration. I sense a loss of the original passion that NI once radiated. The fact that MPC introduced the STEMs feature before NI — a company traditionally known for being a step ahead — is astonishing. NI, once a leader, now appears to be lagging, possibly becoming complacent, perhaps even veering towards greed and, dare I say, laziness.

NI's strength has always been its innovative software, yet now they seem sluggish in launching new features. This lethargy opens the door for MPC to reclaim the customers it once lost. Having observed the market for a long time, I've seen formidable companies like Blockbuster, Echard Drug, and Emu lose their edge due to comfort and complacency. NI Maschine, it's critical to return to your roots, to reignite the spirit of innovation that defined you. Your customers' needs and desires seem to be falling on deaf ears, a critical error in any business. It's high time for a rejuvenation, a recommitment to innovation, and a reconnection with your user base.



  • Warempel
    Warempel Member Posts: 14 Member
    edited January 31

    I share your concern. I don’t think NI have lost their way. Instead, they have simply decided to focus less on Maschine and more on their keyboards and virtual instruments. After all, they dropped Maschine support from their S series keyboards. That, and the fact that there haven’t been substantial updates to Maschine for a few years now, is an indication that Maschine is no longer a priority.

    The S series upgrade was an opportunity to solidify those keyboards as a central single workhorse in a studio, including for songwriting and arrangement (features available via Maschine on the previous generation keyboard) . Instead of strengthening that unique position of the keyboards by improving the Maschine DAW, they basically abandoned that route.

    This to me indicates that the long term future of Maschine is uncertain. The pattern/ideas/song arrangement workflow is what distinguishes it most from the MPC platform, and in my view the main reason to choose it above the latter. Now that NI seems to have stopped investing in the Maschine SW, that selling point is weakened. AKAI becomes increasingly attractive. MPC and Force are dynamic platforms with regular updates and new features. Maschine seems end-of-life.

    I really - really - hope I am wrong, but am currently no longer spending any money on NI and not starting any new work on Maschine.

  • Milos
    Milos Member Posts: 1,836 Pro

    As a Kontakt and GR user, I can understand, since these 2 products exploded in reputation, money and popularity, they decided to focus on these products a lot, to the point when they started losing the concentration on Maschine.

    I mean, EA did the same thing with the Ultimate Team on their EA SPORTS games.

    Once the Ultimate team got them serious cash, they ignored their free to play audience.

  • ozon
    ozon Member Posts: 1,230 Expert

    It will be interesting to see how Akai manages to provide frequent feature updates for an existing user base for free once their hardware market niche is saturated.

    No more sales. No more income. No more development.

    Which is pretty much the situation of NI. And cross funding product lines is not something financiers want to do.

  • basehead617
    basehead617 Member Posts: 126 Advisor

    Guitar Rig exploded? I didn't know it was that commonly used..

  • raphaël_
    raphaël_ Member Posts: 15 Member

    i think most of us are sharing your concern – with a good reason. on the one side, you'll see the mpc platform progressing in a steady pace, and on the other side, the maschine soft and hardware section is left out dry, with no noteworthy development since 2 years.

    could be they decided to stop investing/developing the platform because they are focused on other stuff.

    i still like using the maschine+ and think it's a great device to produce music, but i also do think it's at the end-of-life with nothing coming in the near or not so near future.

    if akai is keep pushing their platform at this pace, there won't be a lot of new maschine users anyway. some years ago, we saw the opposite, when akai dropped the ball with the mpc 5000 and the mpc renaissance.

  • Milos
    Milos Member Posts: 1,836 Pro

    Well...you got a great point there...

  • nightjar
    nightjar Member Posts: 1,235 Guru

    NI is much, much more than Maschine. I think for a while NI did think that Maschine was what they should focus on... but thank goodness they came to their senses.

    Maschine can and will live on.. but it should not be NI's defining product by any means.

    It is a limited, niche tool.. not nearly as musically universal as NI needs to be.

  • Jiglo
    Jiglo Member Posts: 152 Advisor

    I agree with some of what you say (op), but you say greed and I say value for money. You can easily spend a lot more for less, put it that way.

    Have Akai introduced Stems now? I thought it was scheduled for sometime in February in controller mode and coming to standalone sometime in the future, which is pretty vague at best and therefore might even be beaten by NI and others in that regard and might even come back to haunt Akai if they don't bring it to market as soon as their customers expect it. They've had their customers in uproar for a couple of years once before, so it's always a gamble talking about future features that aren't ready.

    I suspect NI didn't anticipate the groovebox market rapid growth quickly enough, then the projected sales of the M+ didn't materialize because they rushed it to market before the software was ready, it seemed overpriced and it initially fell short, got bad reviews and NI have perhaps lost momentum due to a sales shortfall, while others were cooking on full steam.

    The core Maschine workflow is very slick and hard to beat though and that's something that will probably always be an Achilles heal for the MPC line up imo. MPC's seem to have the bells and whistles, but it comes at a cost of needing to put the time in to get to there, both to understand the workflow, then to follow the workflow, while Maschine feels fast a fluid.

    Just my feelings based on how I see things, which may or not have much merit.

  • PK The DJ
    PK The DJ Member Posts: 814 Guru

    NI introducing standalone stems before Akai? Haha, I'd like to see that, I really would!


  • Jiglo
    Jiglo Member Posts: 152 Advisor

    We're on the same page then as we all want to see that. I'd like all my devices that can make use of stems to have stems. The gauntlet has been thrown.

  • LostInFoundation
    LostInFoundation Member Posts: 3,978 Expert
    edited January 31

    A very correct analysis. My only problem is…I don’t even trust the “fresh blood” thing… As you said, KK-S MK3 release is proving something…and it’s the fact that even the new “fresh blood” isn’t understanding what users want…and they have the same “we know what we are doing” type of approach…

    In the case of NI, this is even aggravated by the ton of feedback and requests they had in all these years and they ignored… Everything they needed to succeed it’s there…and they once again decided they knew better what to do, instead of…simply listening.

    It’s a little bit like your girlfriend telling you what gives her pleasure…and you deciding “I’ll start from the nipples anyway” because your ego “knows what to do” 😂😂😂

    If you’re lucky your girlfriend likes it starting from there…but wouldn’t it be better to listen to her instead of counting on luck? 😏

  • ozon
    ozon Member Posts: 1,230 Expert
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