Is KK Software less important than Maschine to NI?

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  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,982 mod
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    @vague faction said:

    As @JesterMgee and @D-One says, if basic QoL or functionality improvements aren't coming soon, then perhaps the end of the road is in sight.

    I don't see it as in it's near the end, neither products are about to die, of that I am sure but it's just a lot of compatibility stuff to work on with software that relies on old code + a ton of products to manage and update.

    I'm not particularly keen on speculating on business stuff I know nothing about but since the big mass layoff of 2019 NI has been going thru changes... sounds.com, partnering with iZotope, subscriptions with K-Now, now the SoundWide thing, so it seems like there's some sort of big plan in motion, perhaps until all that realizes itself SW development is slowed down worst than before.

    I have the same impression since Kontakt is the only true industry-standard / leader in it's class that NI has at the moment. Instruments and their licensing mean big bucks.

  • nightjar
    nightjar Member Posts: 1,307 Guru
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    Going forward KK should really be NI's MOST important product... The gateway to interacting with all of NI products... to browse and find the content you want and interact with it using the a new generation of "dumb" NI controllers optimized for motor skill input.

  • Vagus
    Vagus Member Posts: 424 Guru
    edited April 2022
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    @D-One I'm with you on Kontakt - NI seems to be making around six instruments per year (now 3rd party development is as important as 1st party, it seems), with another 6-8 Maschine packs per year.

    For that model, there's only so long you can go on doing yearly upgrades to Komplete when you're also doing K-Now.

    @nightjar I'd agree, if it's given away with every K-Start, but then maybe being the central plugin-container might have been the way forward for NKS adoption a few years back, maybe it isn't right now.

    I'd love NI to invite us to give our opinion from time-to-time. I've had discussions with someone who's worked with NI before about how Native Access could be redesigned to be so much more, and I might just write out how NI could corner the market with NKS as the single standard, irrespective of hardware, but trying to avoid that Jerry MacGuire moment, and givng NI all the direction they need without being paid for consultancy.

    Honestly, if there are different teams for different products, that's a good thing, but if I'm being candid, perhaps they should concentrate on the next-gen product with a new codebase and let us know, so we know it's coming.

    I'm being semi-cautious when I estimate it would take 6-9 months to rewrite the KK app from the ground up with a team of three working full-time - with a lot more features. I'm considering PC only here, as I don't have any experience with Mac development.

  • nightjar
    nightjar Member Posts: 1,307 Guru
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    And this rewrite of KK should zero in on JUCE for cross platform readiness... Soundwide is tipping this hand already.

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,836 Expert
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    There are more important things than improving KK, I guess.

    1) Making all plugins but Reaktor Apple Silicon native.

    2) Making Reaktor Apple Silicon native.

    Improving KK is 50+th in the row IMHO....

  • Jon Watte
    Jon Watte Member Posts: 77 Advisor
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    it seems like there's some sort of big plan in motion

    One thing that happens to businesses as they mature, is something like:

    1. The original owners feel like they need to turn their business into personal cash
    2. They significantly reduce costs, so that the profit numbers can show what the current products are really worth, when not investing in other things
    3. They look for a buyer, who typically is someone that can do a "roll-up" of several related companies to build a market powerhouse
    4. The original owners sell to that buyer, and have made their profits so they can retire or build another company
    5. The buyer, who is frequently a company specializing in these things (from the genre of "private equity") will do what they can to market the power of the roll-up
    6. The buyer is generally good at marketing and profit maximizing, but not good at new product development

    Anyone who is a customer of a business that is on this trajectory, would expect to see significant marketing effort around the existing products, and around existing processes to produce easily marketed new content, but would not expect to see significant investment in net new technology, nor significant investment in support of products that have already been sold (and thus the revenue already counted.)

  • Vocalpoint
    Vocalpoint Member Posts: 1,203 Guru
    edited April 2022
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    I cannot believe that this thing KK (2.7.0) still insists on still scanning every one of my plugins every time (and wasting 2-4 minutes doing it) every time I fire it up.

    Can't this scanner take a first time snapshot analysis and compare for differences. OR - better yet - simply know which plugins are NKS compatible and which are not and ignore as needed. I really sigh heavily as this scanner tool rolls thru my 250 Universal Audio Stereo AND mono plugins just to arrive at the same conclusion after each longass scan.

    I do not understand why this is so painful after all these iterations.

    Cheers

    VP

  • JesterMgee
    JesterMgee Member Posts: 2,681 Expert
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    Yeah I have hoped for just an FX module for a while so it could be used more effectively.

    There isn't a great deal out there that offers the same ability to browse VST presets and load them with mapped control ready to go. Akai Advance is the only one I know of that is similar and while it does layering and things KK doesn't, it's clunky and limited and in my usage case it was way more heavy on resources.

    What KK does in reality is pretty rock solid and worth the investment, I'm still happy on that front after a good 6 year run, however it's more how NI operate (or lack there of) that I'm more disappointed with. It's part the reason I've slowed way down myself with jumping in on the forums these days to help users, something I actually enjoyed doing but since the move to this new forum and the fact it's unlikely most of the issues we have raised will actually bother being addressed any time soon i'm just not as enthusiastic as I use to be. Still will help a user out here and there but certainly no interest to be on the leader board.

    For sure, if the basic needs of what you want are not met by KK as it is, don't bet on anything happening in the future.

  • nightjar
    nightjar Member Posts: 1,307 Guru
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    Hopefully, when NI does come out with a new line of keyboard controllers for a whole new Soundwide ecosystem (based on a new "dumb" controller approach having only minimal "brains" and display)... NI will have a backwards compatibility for current S & A series keyboards to function as fully capable "dumb" controllers in a new Soundwide ecosystem.

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,836 Expert
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    @nightjar

    Enjoy dumb controllers, I will enjoy smart ones.

  • nightjar
    nightjar Member Posts: 1,307 Guru
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    Trying to put too much “brains” and display capabilities is HUGE factor in the slow development of these devices. There is a better way.

  • Kymeia
    Kymeia NKS User Library Mod Posts: 3,967 mod
    edited April 2022
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    Yes that's how I see it, it's a way of unifying their entire range and linking it to their hardware keyboards, as well as a gateway drug for getting people into the NI ecosystem through third party NKS support. NI really should prioritise it more and focus on implementing the necessary changes to bring it up to date:

    FX version with recordable automation

    Modern GUI

    VST3 hosting

    Saveable FX chains

    Better NKS editing tools to enable creation of banks and reordering of controller pages

    MPE support would be a bonus

  • nightjar
    nightjar Member Posts: 1,307 Guru
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    And going forward... How about merging KK and Maschine as one product?

    Browse the universe of NI products... interact via an attached controller... record and edit a performance... program a performance...

    Everything but audio as you'd find in a DAW.

    And multi-outs & sync and "play into" your DAW of choice.

  • Kymeia
    Kymeia NKS User Library Mod Posts: 3,967 mod
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    As long as that doesn't mean KK inheriting Maschine's limitations with regard to instruments such as lack of aftertouch

  • Tony Jones
    Tony Jones Member Posts: 261 Pro
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    Though not everyone has Maschine so this would blur the purpose of KK for non-Maschine users

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