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An update on the future of the Sequencer

Discussion in 'MASCHINE Area' started by Florian G @ NI, Aug 11, 2016.

  1. HammyHavoc

    HammyHavoc NI Product Owner

    They already can. People create whole songs and whole records using just Maschine, start to finish. You only have to look at the forum's sharing area, and Reddit. I use Maschine as a VSTi (no export to the DAW necessary via my pre-routed template) within Reaper, but I've seen plenty of people arrange and mix solely in Maschine, then use Ozone's NKS integration to master within Maschine's standalone application. Nothing wrong with the results.

    IMO, NI have made it quite clear that beginners looking to get their feet wet can use Maschine standalone, and the seasoned pros (and enthusiasts) can use Maschine within their existing DAW, no major changes to workflow required. The solutions are here today, and have been for years. Use Maschine how we were using the MPC in the 00s with Pro Tools (route Maschine's VSTi into your DAW as needed in a template), be happy and make some music. Make the best of the tools you have at your disposal. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? Probably nothing major any time soon because integrating it into an existing workflow makes far more sense.

    The creative process is a messy, imperfect one, especially where workflow is concerned with using products from different manufacturers and developers. It's a wonder that things work as well as they do. I came up on trackers and MPCs, we have it good these days! Comparatively cheap too!

    Really, if Maschine combined with a DAW is good enough for 40 to work on material for Drake, and good enough for Harry Gregson-Williams to use on scores, it's probably good enough and/or the right choice for whatever you want to use it for.

    My DAW is a sequencer and sampler, Maschine is a sequencer and sampler, sequencers on hardware synths, I even have a sequencer and sampler in my Eurorack, and a sequencer on a Game Boy, and all of them see plenty of action for different scenarios. Treat it like outboard gear within your DAW if you need more features than what Maschine currently offers. The reason to use Maschine is the fast, hardware-based workflow, and deliver features that a linear DAW simply doesn't, and likewise balance out the shortcomings of a linear DAW with Maschine.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2020
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  2. toneyrome

    toneyrome NI Product Owner

    Every program attempts to expand until it can read mail. Those programs which cannot so expand are replaced by ones which can.
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  3. HammyHavoc

    HammyHavoc NI Product Owner

    Whilst an amusing quote, it's also misleading. The Dreamcast, which failed as a console, featured email facilities and a browser, and whilst most consoles have featured browsers for a long time, not one does email these days.

    The takeaway: sometimes it's better to do a handful of things extremely well than to add half-baked features and not do anything all that well. Maschine has a lot of half-baked features from the Jam era that haven't been expanded upon since being added. Eurorack is a great example of cherry-picking tools to suit your needs with none of the fluff. An SDK or APIs for Maschine would be awesome. Cycling 74's Max seems to work well with Live and Push. Would love to see something similar for Maschine.
  4. basehead617

    basehead617 NI Product Owner

    I agree with you that software should do a handful of things extremely well and not add half baked features. but I actually think an SDK/API goes against that idea. Making there be lots of 3rd party stuff of varying quality control available is way more hassle than it would ever be worth - then the few engineering resources have to deal with all the interfacing with 3rd party support/questions/bugfixes, not to mention documenting and upkeep on the SDK/API. They already have to do that with NKS/kontakt instruments to a lesser degree. I don't want Jim Bob, Inc releasing Maschine addons to do features a handful of people wanted. For one thing that means NI can no longer really control what Maschine even is. Then you're guaranteed to get support requests for people using the addons that you didn't make, and the overhead that implies.

    Their mistake was as you said, the Jam-oriented features and 'Song' layer that disappeared.

    If they had never teased that stuff I wouldn't think they needed to add all that much more to be pretty complete. Just add PDC and some more flexibility with patterns, etc.

    Making it a full fledged DAW with linear editing of audio etc should not even be on their radar IMO and I hope it isn't. Same goes for opening it up to outside developers.
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  5. Wilmar Boer

    Wilmar Boer NI Product Owner

    I don't need a full record producing DAW. I my case I'm using Maschine as a tool to provide backing tracks and beats in a live situation with a guitarist and a vocalist and me as a synth and bass player. Having some tracks (even 4 is enough) than are not restricted to pattern length but go full length on song level would be an amazing addition. Now I go to Ableton to record full length audio tracks, chop them up en put them back to Maschine again for live use. I Iike the controller in a live onstage setting. Not having to do the Ableton roundtrip would spare me much time and a less cluttered workflow. And if I want to record a full band, well I hope Maschine doesn't go that far, that's Logic/Protools territory.

    So I'm not wining that Maschine should become a package that does everything except making coffee. I think that the niche Maschine is good at is the perfect hardware/software integration and a quick workflow for small productions so people can use it in places a full fledged DAW is n't needed. The workflow of having 3 levels (Song, Scene, Pattern) would round the product up. And else AKAI Force is an alternative but I like the Maschine workflow so much that I want to stay in here.
  6. tempsperdu

    tempsperdu NI Product Owner

    My hope is that they start to concentrate on what Maschine is good at and make it even better ridding itself of the current almost inexplicable bottlenecks
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  7. DynaMaltee

    DynaMaltee NI Product Owner

    Wow good to read! Thanks for the update on Maschine Software progression… :thumbsup::)
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  8. D-One

    D-One Moderator Moderator

    This thread is from 2016.
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  9. CH7

    CH7 NI Product Owner


    Actually, that's not a bad thought. Given the way you use Maschine in a live situation, Imagine NI expanded on that use to produce a playback unit with limited real time manipulation.

    You'd create your tracks on the machine, using the various plugins and samples, and then once done, download your sequences into this standalone device for playback. That way you wouldn't need a computer at a gig. This unit would be self contain, with maybe a remote for key functions. You would just plug it into your PA and dial up the track and hit play.

    The remote function might include a selective mute function, and maybe tempo change mode. I don't think i've heard of anything like this on the market, and yet there's obviously a case to be made for something like this which was more than a backing track, but not subject to curruption like a daw. Now what would i call it? Octa....
  10. CakeAlexS

    CakeAlexS NI Product Owner

  11. HammyHavoc

    HammyHavoc NI Product Owner

    Obviously you've never used a standalone device like an MPC for any considerable amount of time. I had plenty of file issues in the 00s with any MPC that saw regular usage, as well as wearing out components on them (knobs, buttons, pads, screens).

    5 seconds on Google to support my anecdotal experiences with that of other people:
    It's still a computer, it's still prone to corruption because files need to be read and written to a storage medium, it isn't somehow immune to issues. If you're having that many issues with corruption on a DAW then you must be buying cheap drives or have something amiss in your rig. I've not had a corruption in years at this point. I've had plenty of sudden HDD and SSD failures (backup! everything will die eventually, frequently without warning), but sporadic corruptions, not these days.

    I would sooner trust an SSD than a CF card. I find it laughable that Elektron is using CF in this day and age.

    In fact, if we're talking general reliability, I've had more standalone hardware failures in the last 15 years than I have had PC and Mac failures, and I've had logic board failures, swelling batteries, failed GPUs, dead PSUs, the works. Most standalone hardware isn't built to survive heavy use, let alone the abuse of the road. Sourcing replacement components for standalone audio gear at short notice is nigh-impossible.

    At least with PCs and Macs, you can easily rectify your issue or replace it at short notice. Sourcing a second, obscure standalone music making device hours before a performance and setting it up to be ready? Good luck. Extreme temperatures, knocks and bumps, general wear-and-tear, you're going to hit problems on the road sooner or later with most gear, even computers.

    Putting all your eggs in one basket is never smart if you're relying on something. :- )
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
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  12. Person147

    Person147 New Member

    For the record, I bought Jam in 2016 and I still want a proper song mode. The Squarp Pyramid, on paper, seems to have the patters in a scene type thing right. Similar flexibility in Maschine is what I'd love, which, considering it is software not hardware, should be possible.

    Also to play my song by triggering the various patterns on my Jam and it recording that performance (as triggers, not audio). Maschine 3? Been waiting 4 years, hoping I don't have to wait another 4.
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