Hardware direction question

cal
cal Member Posts: 5 Sine

Does anyone else start to get the feeling that NI's priorities are starting to shift toward software and audio expansions?

We haven't had an update to Maschine SW for quite a while, Jam was discontinued and users had to push to get M+ support, Maschine Mikro has gone the way of he Dodo and looking round the forum in general it seems that Maschine + users are starting to get the feeling they might have been left holding the bag with a direct from Gen 1 to legacy product?

This is pure speculation on my part of course and it doesn't help with NI's notoriously uncommunicative corporate strategy ( Im still sad that the user feature requests still languishes gathering dust on the old forum) but its just a nagging doubt Im starting to have. The speed of their expansion packs and Komplete package are as healthy as ever and yes, I know its different teams that work on the audio versus the HW stuff but that in itself is telling, it seems there is far more support and resources being allocated to the audio/SW side than anywhere else.

I'm sure it makes sense fiscally as Im sure thats the area with the widest profit margin and Im sure the new owners are the driver for the corporate direction their taking but it does make me sad that the innovation that NI were known for seems to have been superseded by their transformation into yet another glorified sample pack provider.

I would love,love,love to be proven wrong, Im hoping in a few months something happens, a massive feature update for M+ or an announcement of a JAM reboot or a huge overhaul of SW and we get Maschine 3.0 with the literal decade worth of feature requests built in and everyone can wave this post in my face yelling 'HA YOU WERE WRONG!" cause I'll happily yell back "HA I WAS COMPLETELY WRONG!" along with everyone. I just don't think I am though, anyone want to tell me Im wrong and why and cheer me up? I genuinely would love to hear why Im wrong.Im absolutely serious.

Comments

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 1,327 Pulse

    Hard to say. I think Maschine 3 comes when Maschine Plus will be replaced by Mk2, or any other time, if MK2 will not come.

    People from NI have communicated that Jam MK2 is not planned. It might change in future.

    I expect new line of HW for Maschine and Traktor might come soon.

    NI is in transition under new owner. Before that two years of COVID. And before that transition under a new owner. And transition to Apple Silicon.... So, last several years were pretty challenging for NI...

    Just guesses.

  • D-One
    D-One PortugalModerator Posts: 796 mod
    edited October 28

    NI started and established itself as a SW company, HW came later as a complementary strat to build up an ecosystem that in turn sells more SW; here's how the former CEO Daniel Haver says this in a more PR-friendly manner:

    source = CDM

    “We’ve been driving innovation in music creation since the 1990s. First through software instruments, then by expanding to an integrated ecosystem with complementing hardware and now by creating a unified platform experience for the modern music producer."

    The above source link was about the big layoff that happened in 2019 when allegedly 150 employees got laid off, many of whom were from HW departments... If there was any shift to HW prioritization it was promptly canceled and shifted back to what's profitable (or what the company is best at, arguable tho). Of course, others might view this differently, this is just my interpretation.

    I would say SW is much more profitable, with Kontakt licensing, semi-disposable instruments like the Play Series, Expansions, etc... It's a constant stream of revenue VS HW which requires manufacturing, shipping, stocking parts, repairs, tons of R&D, QC, etc...


    @cal said:

    Im still sad that the user feature requests still languishes gathering dust on the old forum)

    Indeed. Every couple of years new NI employee cames around and contacts me about the old user requests top list, it happened about 4 or 5 times, and one of them was quite recent... They all had good intentions but all failed, pray that this one will be different but I doubt it very much.


    @cal said:

    The speed of their expansion packs and Komplete package are as healthy as ever and yes, I know its different teams that work on the audio versus the HW stuff but that in itself is telling, it seems there is far more support and resources being allocated to the audio/SW side than anywhere else.

    I'm confused, are you associating Maschine requests with HW? That's SW, by the 'they prioritize SW' logic it should have a lot of resources and be way faster even for the M+, once released the HW part is done and all improvements are SW. 😢


    @cal said:

    I would love,love,love to be proven wrong

    Same here, been waiting for a while tho

  • Flexi
    Flexi Member Posts: 219 Saw

    To be fair, M+ Gen1 to legacy is close to a forgone conclusion since the Soundwide set up, but M+ is standalone and will carry on working, no 3rd party OS reliance or such, so isn't really part of the conversation.

    And who knows, if somebody at NI is actually using the M+, it may get a few more parity updates along the way, which would be grand.

    Beyond that, if you speak to a few people "inside" NI, not much is known right now even by staff, content will continue to be provided while it is profitable, but new hardware is not so likel.

    Traktor is still being touted for sale to other developers after A&H lost interest, because it hasn't been so popular in a long time because of falling behind the competition.

    I have heard one consolidation rumour (but it is nothing more than that) which went along the lines of, all Maschine content ported to Battery, Maschine discontinued, and a simple Kontrol released with pads for battery (again unsubstantiated rumour, that you should take with many pinches of salt)

  • cal
    cal Member Posts: 5 Sine
    edited October 28

    You always seem to be on top of isht D so I was hoping you would weigh in as you always seem to have some feel on the vibe so its worrying that you as pessimistic as the rest of us. Its still a damn disgrace that the work you personally did went to waste after compiling those requests only for them to languish ignored somewhere.Most companies would love to have such a committed user base yet NI are both ungrateful and seem lost as to how best to utilize that resource. Also you right, I guess I consider maschine SW too but it seems that things like maschine SW linked with HW is just not a priority, the attitude seems to be 'they've bought it now, money in the bank' and new iterations of software to support HW are just afterthoughts. What I've never understood is NI releasing new version of things like Maschine HW with the exact same SW for year after year. Thats nuts, each HW iteration should have a commensurate boost in the software side of things too yet all we get is the same thing but with tiny incremental improvements dribbled out over a literal decade.

    Another example is how slow NI have been bringing even their existing products up to date with VST3 and Mac silicon, most of that still isn't done years after release. Even the SW they do seem to focus on like Native Access 2 is riddled with bugs and causes all kinds of user issues. It simply isn't a priority for them. Yet they still pump out expansions at good speed, there has been zero hiccups with that.

    That production line never sleeps, it's a clock that just keeps ticking. Another day, another fancy youtube video with some quasi famous producer using a loop off the latest expansion and showing us how to use maschine note repeat for triplet hat rolls. Great.

    It's all about that paper chase and, at the end of the day, I guess we shouldn't be surprised I suppose.

    I think we kind of answered our own question, NI are going to be a slightly hybrid version of Splice selling audio packs and their own in house instruments and komplete. I just feel bad for Maschine Plus users as Im sure they wouldn't have expected what I think is coming down the line. This was supposed to be a huge flagship and to be that way for years....its had what? 2 or 3 updates and it's already sinking. Compare what NI did with M+ versus what Akai did with Force. Why don't we get commitment like that?

    Whats sad is I expect the entire maschine line to go the same way through simple progressive obsolescence and lack of updates. Very first maschine was just left behind trapped behind an old OS and that seems like thats the future for all of it.

  • cal
    cal Member Posts: 5 Sine
    edited October 28

    Good god that final consolidation rumor is brutal. The horrible corporate efficiency of it, the disregard for the legacy rings horribly true. Just cram it in a few kits and keep selling it as a bundle. Even taken with a pinch of salt, that sounds like something that would be appealing to whichever bean counters are making the decisions. That may well be the future for NI to 'maximize their revenue streams by exploiting and streamlining existing legacy products via consolidation, repackaging and reusing it as bundled content aimed at entry level users' It would then let them pimp it all out as part of a subscription service as they move toward a 'software as service' model that I also think is coming down the pipe. Wouldn't be far off the mark I think, if you look at the backgrounds of the folks running NI now. It's kind of their ethos. They going to try and be the audio version of Adobe.

    I hate it.

    What Im sure will continue though, is NI keeping us in the dark and being utterly unresponsive to any and all requests or offers to collaborate with its user base to improve the overall experience across any of its product lines.

  • Flexi
    Flexi Member Posts: 219 Saw

    I'm not sure I would call Battery entry level, its sample engine is vastly superior to Maschine.

  • cal
    cal Member Posts: 5 Sine
    edited October 28

    It wouldn't be the full Battery as we know it, they would just shove the truncated version of the kits in a cut down 'player' version of battery in order to be 'immediately accessible' to new users and tempt them to upgrade to the full thing (now available when you subscribe to our Komplete Now platinum package for a low monthly subscription price!) Think how iMaschine went on iOS, thats what we would be looking at.

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