Today, Berlin-based Native Instruments took the wraps off of Maschine MK3, the third iteration of its software/hardware hybrid production system. We’d already covered rumours circulating on the NI forum that this was in the works. Now, here it is, the first major product upgrade since 2012’s Maschine MK2, and a lot has changed since then. Here’s the breakdown!
- A pair of high-resolution color displays in place of the boring monochrome ones
- Changes to the controls layout with new shortcuts added
- Much bigger buttons
- New “4-dimensional” jog control for quicker browsing and navigating
- New touch strip for slide-control over notes and effects
- Built-in 24-bit/96kHz audio interface with stereo & microphone inputs and line & headphone outputs
New dedicated buttons include Variation (doubling as Navigate), Events, Keyboard, Chords, Step, Pitch, Mod, Perform, Notes, File, Settings, Fixed Velocity, and Macro. NI added them following user requests and feedback. We believe current Maschine users won’t have much trouble adjusting, especially once the proper software updates are in place and documentation is available.
The colour displays appear to be exactly the same as on the Maschine Studio controller. With the amount of graphical information they show and the myriad of additional controls, producing without paying much, if any at all attention to the computer screen becomes a very realistic possibility.
The touch strip should be familiar to those aware of the Komplete Kontrol keyboards and Maschine Jam controller. It’s a modern alternative to a pitch wheel that works great for what it is.
Overall, the Maschine MK3 controller seems to tie together the most meaningful innovations that happened to the Maschine hardware between the MK2 models, the Maschine Studio, and the Maschine Jam. It’s a compelling upgrade that’s going to make producing with the mid-range controller more fun and engaging than it’s ever been.
Price & release date
Look for the Maschine MK3 starting 05 October this year, with a price of 599 USD/EUR – same as the Maschine MK2 controller.