My Maschine+ Wishlist
It's probably what everyone does after spending some time with a new device. I have asked a few question and received a few insightful answers so far, and I pondered the idea of getting rid of my M+ again because it simply doesn’t do a few things I cannot understand. Before I do that (or keep it around until I sell it off because I haven’t been using it in months) I would like to take the time and formulate a list of features that I would like to see in Maschine+ to make it into a device that can become a central piece of equipment in my workflow. Most of these things concern sample handling and processing as that’s my main area, but there are a few things related to playing stuff as well.
Generally, sampling on the Maschine platform is heavily underdeveloped. This was probably ok when Maschine was released in 2009 to compete with the 1000/2500 line of MPCs but it isn’t ok anymore today when almost every new sampler instrument has a better suite of sample manipulation tools on board.
Without further ado, here’s my wishlist (for standalone):
- Sampling: I really need Maschine+ to let me convert samples to mono, both as a sum and individual channels. The workaround of recording just left or right to mono does not work when I want to mono drumbreaks that are spread across the stereo spectrum. And even when I want to isolate left or right but want to use parts from both channels, having to record the sample twice is a clunky approach. Why not make a tiny mono/stereo plugin that lets users sum stereo signals and play individual channels as mono center sounds. Ableton has it and it takes barely any effort to make (for a company that made the other stuff that’s in Maschine).
- Sampling/handling: I really need access to my recorded samples from different projects in order to be able to reuse stuff I previously sampled in other projects, i.e. I need access to the Recordings folder, and I want to be able to rename samples and tag them right on the hardware. Maschine+ is not a computer where I can just go into the file system, copy a file and store it somewhere for further use. I think you really need to account for that (and other workarounds people have been using for years on the controller/software combo of Maschine).
- Related: I need to be able to duplicate a sample file (not just the sampler playing it) in the sample edit view in order to be able to manipulate and chop out bits and stretch them while retaining an unstretched version in the same project.
- Sampler instrument (perhaps an alternative to 3): It needs a realtime time stretch/warp feature baked in. The audio instrument doesn't do it because it lacks most of the playback features of the sampler instrument. Extra points for vintage emulation. Look at Koala sampler for how this can be done.
- Kontakt: Why on earth wouldn't you let us load patches that we have collected over the years, even if the lacks some of the bells and whistles? I have a collection of old rompler modules and I really like some of the bass sounds in them. They are not CPU heavy at all and I want to use them on another NI product that supposedly has a version of Kontakt in it. Strip away what M+ does not support and give a warning. But please let us decide if we want to live with the tradeoffs of playing patches on a light version of Kontakt. These files load in Ableton Sampler, but they don’t load on Native’s own Maschine+. Please do something about that. (And I get that you don’t want to overburden the hardware, so just add a RAM meter next to the CPU meter and put it in users’ hands.)
- Chord mode: It's a great feature but why on earth wouldn't you make it possible for users to make their own chord sets and load them into the Maschine? It's not even something that you're selling, so there's really no reason to add the ability to let users add their own chords.
That's it for the moment. Like I said, I love the hardware, and power wise it suits me fine. With that being said: I think it's also wise from a business perspective to strengthen Maschine’s sampling and sample manipulation capabilities as that is generally an area that is not as CPU heavy as playing a lot of synths. Look at what Roland has done with the SP 404 MK2 that is running on a toaster CPU. I bet Maschine could match that if they wanted to.
Generally, and I have said that elsewhere already, the Maschine+ feels a bit like an iPad would feel if Apple only let us consume their own services and apps. No Netflix and MS Word, but you can bring your own movies through the Video app, but only play them back in 480p, and you can also do word processing, but only in Pages and it doesn't support files made with iWork '09 or earlier (also you have to convert them on the computer beforehand). Approaches like these are perhaps ok in the inception of new gadgets, but they are a sign of incompetence in devices that are supposed to be mature devices that can be used for more than just fiddling around. You can make as many artist videos as you like, but you won't currently convince me that the M+ falls in the former category.
Ok, that's it for today. Back to my 404 to chop up some stuff...
Why not make a tiny mono/stereo plugin that lets users sum stereo signals and play individual channels as mono center sounds.
You’re welcome to try this:3
Sampling/handling: I really need access to my recorded samples from different projects
To me, Maschine has always been more of a tool to compose, arrange and perform music than one to create or manage an exhaustive sample library. A task for which I’d always prefer to use a computer. But I’m not much of a sampling person.
However, I share your frustration regarding the limitations of Chords and Arpeggiator.1
Thanks so much! This at least sort of ticks one box on my wishlist (although I wish this was native since loading user Reaktor Ensembles from the plugin view doesn't work and going through the browser is a bit more tedious).
About your other post: I think Maschine started out as both with a heavy focus on getting people from their MPC/rompler combos onto the computer. Sampling was part of that focus, but they haven't really done anything with it. Considering that sampling is experiencing a huge revival on Youtube (to be sure, it was never gone, but didn't quite have the platform it has today), I hope that NI start to focus on improving the experience. It starts with the file management and ends with a more modern Sampler instrument. File management is key in my opinion as they still have to come up with workflows for that on an untethered machine that operates like it’s still connected to a computer where file management never is an issue. We need a way to replace the drag and drop/load something from HDD feature set. And we also need to be able to save to that location from projects. Fwiw, I'd be fine with a folder called CRATE on the SD card where I can drop stuff in, get stuff out and use and projects and add to the library with tags. Batch tagging will always work better on the computer and that's fine. But for those single snippets that have been lifted from songs in the process and beg to be used again, an alternative that works with in the box is necessary.0
Yeah I really wish there was an internal “utility” plug-in we could use that let you set the incoming signal to mono or set it to mono below a certain frequency ( I use gMonoBass plug-in for setting all of my low end to be mono to avoid phasing issues).
It would be nice if the sampler and audio devices were just combined as I see no reason why the audio device couldn’t take advantage of the extra features built into the sampler like the compressor, distortion, filter, etc. It would be nice for them to at least do an overhaul of the time stretching option in the sampler. You can totally time stretch and adjust the pitch if needed but it’s kind of in a weird spot and you have to remember to manually adjust the starting BPM. It’d be nice to just select an option on the sampler that time stretched automatically based on your current BPM.2
Thank you for your input so far!
I really hope someone from NI would chime in as it seems these things keep cropping up again and again. Probably wishful thinking…0
Bumping this as I think it's so weird that stereo to mono still isn't a feature natively on the Maschine, and +100 as a feature request.1
Over four months since 1.4 and still no news about future updates 😔0
Lets not start all this again, otherwise we will end up with "We will be more transparent" which just means nothing posted because nothing is actually happening, or "Join the beta" that nobody I know personally can get access to.
Right now, no news is good news, it would be very easy for "Maschine dropped like Absynth" to be the actual news, nobody has any idea what Soundwide is going to do, but M+ being made legacy as soon as stocks are sold is very likely in my mind.0
I actually came up with a new one:
Sync between computer and standalone library. I know this is a bit tricky but I am seriously bummed out by the fact that my favourites in my Maschine software are not favourites on my standalone unit.
of course I would use it in standalone more often if it wasn’t so clunky with user samples in the first place…1
Long story short - I am selling my Plus Retro and will just stick to Ableton.1
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