Hardware and software powerhouse Native Instruments has released a new version of their Groove Box called Maschine+. With it, many a Machine user’s long-standing dream of a standalone groovebox has come true! Maschine+ is completely self-sufficient and can be used stand-alone, providing a tactile escapade from the computer. Internal processors, large displays, integrated memory and an SD card slot – yes, this is a standalone music production computer. Quite an announcement to follow Komplete 13 with!
Maschine+: standalone music production machine
It has been a while since Native Instruments has released a hardware instrument, or any hardware for the matter. But the familiar Maschine controller, which used to be tightly linked to a computer and proprietary software via USB, is now also a stand-alone device.
It was about time Maschine fans got to use their favorite audio workstation on the move, or fully untethered. While Akai had some problems converting its standalone MPCs to a “Windows” environment, Maschine + is hopefully ready to go out of the box. Note that the hardware does not contain a battery, a touch display, or an integrated loudspeaker.
Otherwise, things look promising. The housing is made of aluminum and contains the familiar trigger pads and controls. It weighs 2.5kg, so there’s a fair bit of heft to this thing. On the connectivity side, you will find pretty much everything you expect from a modern music making machine. Machine+ will ship with an 8 GB library containing many Maschine expansions, as well as FM8, Massive, Monark, Prism, Reactor Factory Selection, Kontakt Factory Selection, Retro Machines, Space and Phasis. Also coming to the Machine software are clips for easier arrangements of songs with audio tracks.
So what do you think about the news? While Native Instruments certainly took their time with this product, I don’t think it’s late to the market. There are plenty of Machine users who will be interested in it, and the hype within producer circles (it’s new and shiny!) will help turn Maschine+ into the competition Akai, and perhaps Roland, need.
Price and availability
Machine+ is up for pre-order, priced a reasonably sane EUR 1259 or GBP 1179. Considering the older Maschine Studio used to cost EUR 999 and it was just a controller, I think NI is giving producers good value and a competitive offering.
- Quad-core processor
- 4 GB dual channel DDR3L RAM
- Internal 32 GB eMMC flash memory (for OS and factory content)
- 2x color display (480 x 272)
- 64 GB SD card (included in the package)
- 44.1 kHz / 32 bit audio interface with two TRS line inputs and outputs, mini jack microphone input, headphone connection, MIDI in / out
- Foot switch jack
- 2x USB ports to connect MIDI controllers and external storage