Last October, Native Instruments dropped its long-awaited standalone Maschine+ groovebox. I haven’t tried one myself, but the prevailing impressions are that Maschine+ is a convincing standalone Maschine experience – if you’re willing to trade raw computing power for untethered portability. Maybe one day NI and AKAI will be able to run an M1-like ARM SoC inside the chassis. If the software catches up, that’s going to be a total game changer for standalone grooveboxes.
Maschine+ price reduced
No one outside of NI knows for sure what’s going on, but the late hours of July 1 saw the Maschine+ retail price slashed by around 20%. The groovebox that launched at around EUR 1300 is now selling for EUR 1039, and it doesn’t look like a limited-time promotion. You can buy it right now from Thomann using the affiliate links below:
Maschine 2.14 and nativeOS 1.3 updates
The buying opportunity is made even sweeter by the Maschine 2.14 and nativeOS 1.3 update that dropped yesterday. They introduced Poly Synth, a full-fledged virtual analog synthesizer which picks up after the cult Pro-53 plug-in from 2002.
The Pro-53 is the third revision of the original Pro-Five VSTi that helped put the NI company name on the map. At the time, it was considered a fantastic emulation of the Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 analog synthesizer with the addition of unlimited polyphony and patch memory. The new Poly Synth honors the NI legacy but it’s a brand-new synth engine built specifically for Maschine (hence the bare-essentials GUI). It offers 16 voices, dual oscillators, a multi-mode filter, dual envelope generators, an LFO, a modulation system, and 250 presets. Maschine users can now tap into virtual analog synth sounds from within the software (or standalone groovebox), which beats loading Monark. Paired with the excellent drum synth that’s been there since forever, the new Poly Synth will surely rumble.
Maschine+ gets special love from the update. It makes it possible to update plugins on the Maschine+ over Wi-Fi. Both Maschine+ and Mk3 now let users send Scene, Section, and Parameter Lock changes via external MIDI. You can also use Maschine+ instrument and FX presets in the Maschine desktop software. The complete list of changes is available here.