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Current state of NI - interesting thread on reddit

Discussion in 'MASCHINE Area' started by muitosabao, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. nightjar

    nightjar NI Product Owner

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    64
    Again.. YES. This needs to be re-learned by NI. As I tried to make this point a few days ago... LOTS of friction against this observation.
     
  2. Stormchild

    Stormchild NI Product Owner

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    227
    Might be interesting to someone, but I’ll pass on all of that. That’s not just a completely different product, it’s exactly the opposite of what I use Maschine for. I already have Logic if I want to work in the context of an overall arrangement. I’ve been building tracks that way for almost 30 years. It’s fine, but I wanted to break out of that and have a way to quickly build some basic blocks and try out different combinations without having to do a bunch of manual work within a timeline (just not a good fit for experimentation, even with features like alternate takes). The whole reason I bought Maschine was to get away from the burden of thinking about the arrangement from the start, and just throw down ideas on the fly. When I want to take something I started in Maschine and turn it into a full arrangement, I move to Logic or Ableton Live, load Maschine as a plugin, route my groups to separate channels in the host mixer, and go from there.

    Maybe what you’re suggesting is not just turning Maschine into a standard DAW (which would be pointless for so many reasons), but a standard DAW that can be fully controlled by a dedicated hardware controller? I still think that’s a completely separate product (not a replacement for Maschine), but I have serious doubts that a hardware controller is a good fit for the job. Even Ableton Live (which has a pretty decent arrangement mode) and Push 2 (probably the most comprehensive controller that’s purpose-built for any audio software) make no attempt to include arrangement functionality in the controller. Once you get into moving things around in a timeline and adjusting automation curves, a computer with a big display and a mouse is the best tool for the job.

    If I’m missing the point of your idea, give me some more details.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
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  3. HammyHavoc

    HammyHavoc NI Product Owner

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    879
    Wholly agreed with this. The keyboard and mouse are the best tools for this task. Controllers like Maschine should be augmenting these existing HIDs rather than aiming to replace them outright, otherwise it becomes an exercise in reinventing the wheel.
     
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  4. lwj|localspace

    lwj|localspace NI Product Owner

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    367
    Yep (having moved from Maschine to Push 2), it's clearly not designed to make arrangements with.. the visual layout and direct editing of the actual arrangement are really the most ergonomic option. The way to make arrangements with it is to use capture and record to make your clips on the session view. Get some scenes together. Then you go into arrangement record mode and record your performance, which gets neatly laid out for you in the arrangement view. From there you can either work on it with keyboard and mouse or continue to make overdubs and add new tracks with the device.. which is fast becoming my preferred way of working because it's organic, imprecise and messy. That way it always give you best of both worlds, but the software isn't limited by the capabilities of the hardware.

    It's a kind of workflow that Maschine suggests, but doesn't come close to delivering.
     
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  5. dreddiknight

    dreddiknight NI Product Owner

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    1,264
    Exactly!
     
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  6. D-One

    D-One Moderator Moderator

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    6,850
    I agree with both of you guys to an extent, but at the same time not really because this sort of "doing X with Y is better" puts a cap on disruptive and innovative thinking and pushes things to particular tastes and workflows.

    Before I explain in more detail take a look at this and tell me if it's that crazy of an idea to have this in Maschine: (in the context of automation/modulation but applies to many other areas)
    [​IMG]
    (Sorry for the crappy animation)
    (PS, Of course, we would need curve/point based modulation for the above to be possible)

    Is it that different from the Events Menu we have now? I dont think so.
    [​IMG]

    What Stormchild said makes sense, however, theres a lot in Maschine that people love that also fall in that same reasoning of "A big screen and mouse are better/more practical"; the Events Menu, for example, it's very cumbersome to select individual notes or clusters of notes and edit them (Position, Pitch, Lenght, Velocity, Etc), it takes me 10 times more time than with a mouse yet some people appreciate its there and dont mind the extra work because they feel more immersed in the music than working a mouse. The same goes for many other stuff including core functions like slicing a sample: Using the slice mouse pointer can be "the best tool" for the job but I enjoy doing it from the hardware even though the mouse is faster, I could go on and on about Maschine functions that are more practical with a mouse.

    So, even though I dont want maschine to be a DAW or for it to be completely reimagined I do think some things we are used to doing with a mouse can be added in and adapted to the higher end Controllers regardless of them being more cumbersome because that's already a defining factor for a groove box, just like I select a Note in the Events menu and change its Position and Properties I could select an Automation/Modulation point and do the same if it were to be based on Points and curves, (obviously this would require Maschine to smoothen/reduce the number of points when recording modulation manually)

    This subject is a lot deeper than it looks at first, I see a "Song Mode" similar to that automation animation: It's a feature we are used to in DAW's but it doesn't mean it can't be adapted to Maschine without breaking the way it currently works... Just some food for thought.
     

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    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
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  7. tempsperdu

    tempsperdu NI Product Owner

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    1,641
    We can dream can't we........................? ;)
     
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  8. D-One

    D-One Moderator Moderator

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    6,850
    We can and I do, I am not counting on that happening anytime in the next, hum... at least 12months and I also consider it never happening quite a strong possibility, so... realistic dreaming perhaps? Idk but the point of the post was just to share a different perspective and point out things aren't always black or white, there is some grey in the middle; I like the middle. :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019
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  9. HammyHavoc

    HammyHavoc NI Product Owner

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    879
    This would be next-level awesome if it happened.
     
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  10. tempsperdu

    tempsperdu NI Product Owner

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    1,641
    It would but you do have to kinda ask why it hasn't already....................it's not earth shattering tech is it?...................
     
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  11. Stormchild

    Stormchild NI Product Owner

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    227
    (Sorry, this turned into a full page essay again.)

    Well, first of all, I don't think what people post on a forum has any effect on innovative thinking. People are going to have ideas regardless of what anyone says, and if someone has a really good idea, it will surface somewhere. The GUI was laughed at as a toy for kids compared to the serious command line interface everyone knew was the only way to do real work on a computer. Didn't stop people from coming up with better ideas and eventually turning those into products that changed the whole industry. If you have time (it's about 100 minutes long), I think you'll really enjoy Doug Engelbart's "Mother of all demos" from 1968 (!) where he presents the GUI, mouse, video chat, hypertext, word processing, and a bunch of other revolutionary ideas, decades before they were available or even known to most of the world.

    Anyway, to be clear, I'm not saying this stuff can never be done in Maschine. The arrangement mode they're currently working on will presumably have some of these features and be usable with the controller. Features like this that augment the way Maschine already works are of course welcome, assuming they can be developed without taking all the attention away from fixing bugs and improving the existing core functionality. For those willing to do everything on the controller, it would be nice if it's at least possible (though I don't think it will ever be as good). I like the fact that you're thinking about this stuff though.

    My main point was that it doesn't make any sense to reboot Maschine into a completely different product. If they can add to it without losing what's great about it, I'm on board with that.

    So far I haven't seen a hardware controller for any DAW that lets you do anything with the main arrangement (maybe the MPC X does; I don't know much about it). I don't think it's because it's impossible to do — as you showed, it's easy to imagine controlling this stuff with the screens, buttons, and encoders on the mk3. Of course it can be done, but is it a good experience?

    When I think about what's involved in working on an arrangement — seeing as much of the overall picture as possible; selecting regions, moving, resizing, slicing and joining, switching between alternate takes; region vs. track-based automation; performing fades on audio clips — these are all operations that benefit greatly from having a precise pointing device. There are now several pretty decent DAWs for iPad that can do a lot of these things (even dragging to select multiple regions), but it's still noticeably more clumsy and much slower to do this with your finger than a mouse; your finger blocks the display; and the smaller screen is a problem too. The truth is, the mouse is an amazing tool that has never been matched or beaten by anything else for precisely selecting and manipulating things in a graphical UI. By comparison, using our fingers is like poking at the screen with a hot dog.

    I'm willing to deal with the clumsiness of the Events mode for quick edits like selecting a few events and moving them, changing their velocity, etc. I can't imagine sitting there fiddling with knobs for a long period of time to work on the whole arrangement when the job can be done 10x faster with a mouse and a large display. As much as I like the way Maschine gets me away from looking at my monitor or using a mouse, I don't think it makes sense to avoid using a mouse, keyboard, and monitor for the things they're better at. My guess is Ableton came to the same conclusion when they decided Push 2 should be focused exclusively on session mode.

    Maybe there's some brilliant way to do precise editing with some other tool that's equally efficient and comfortable to use as a mouse, but the world has yet to see it. The closest thing we have is a trackpad, which is really just a different kind of mouse (you're still moving a pointer around with relative movements of an independent device). A stylus is a decent alternative — obviously better for drawing, but definitely worse at being a mouse (I can go into the reasons if anyone's interested, but this is already way too long).
     
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  12. Stormchild

    Stormchild NI Product Owner

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    227
    I agree with all of this. There are tasks where a mouse might be a better tool, but context switching has to be factored into the cost of using it. Leaving aside all the other problems of working on a computer (notifications about new email, messages, and software updates; the temptation to play a game or watch YouTube; looking at forums…;)), the mere act of switching focus between the controller and your computer can take you out of the zone.

    I'm perfectly happy to do fiddly things on the controller like selecting and editing events if it means I don't have to look at the computer and pick up my mouse. Sometimes I even turn off my monitor and focus exclusively on the controller. The fact that I can do that and not get stuck is what's great about Maschine.
     
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  13. Et_Voila

    Et_Voila NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    57
    Before I explain in more detail take a look at this and tell me if it's that crazy of an idea to have this in Maschine: (in the context of automation/modulation but applies to many other areas)
    >>>
    Seems good to me...
     
  14. tslays

    tslays NI Product Owner

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    196
    Looks super impressive. Can they please turn on the copy machines? :D

    Basically, the only thing holding me back doing everything in Maschine is the missing Song Layer/Arranger and the automation.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 17, 2019
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  15. von Klamke

    von Klamke NI Product Owner

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    79
    ... and proper multi-core CPU handling
     
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  16. tempsperdu

    tempsperdu NI Product Owner

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    1,641
    Kinda ridiculous that doesn't exist isn't it......good job it's the Future Of Sound or we might be in The Dark Ages :D
     
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  17. scheffkoch

    scheffkoch NI Product Owner

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    568
    ...i'd also use reaktor instruments/fx more often but this thing is still running on a single core...:eek:
     
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  18. lwj|localspace

    lwj|localspace NI Product Owner

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    367
    I still use them regardless, but yeah :eek::eek:
     
  19. D-One

    D-One Moderator Moderator

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    6,850
    Reading a full page essay is no prob for me when you're articulate and make sense, so I enjoyed reading all your opinions.

    I think nowadays NI feels the pressure to deliver some things for Maschine that folks have been asking for a while, prior to this year my opinion was the opposite: they either didn't care or were not allowed to work on those due to their own business-oriented priorities... I guess if those requests (including a Song Mode, "Better Modulation", etc) are innovative or not is be subjective but user feedback does have an influence.
    That 1968 demo is interesting btw.
    I'll try not to quote you too much and write an essay back at you. :D
    Yeah, no one in their right mind will disagree with that. The notion that a software/hardware should reboot into something different after 10 years of evolution is non-sense to me regardless of how we might perceive that evolution as slow.

    I can't imagine that either but just like you can deal with tweaking knobs for simple edits of Events I can imagine myself tweaking knobs for simpler modulation curves or simple arrangements where Patterns can just be placed around freely or span across sections, that's the gist of what I personally need from a song mode. It doesn't have to be complicated to the point of being unusable, actually, I think the words "complicated" and "Maschine" dont go together, at all.

    Let's say I want to edit a Piano Pattern with a Chords, Melody and lots of harmonic content, there's no way in hell I'll use the controller unfortunatly, because like you said the mouse is 10x faster, so I just use the mouse, especially for selectively selecting notes and then depending on what I want to do with that selection I decide if i'll use the keyboard or the controller to apply the edit, I see a potential future better-modulation/song-mode the same way, an alternative, things can be done from the controller if you want but also with your mouse if you prefer, or maybe even both, why not?

    Perhaps I have this opinion because I am a major Standalone Maschine user and I also have a Mikro where it's impossible to "do it all" from the controller so a combo of mouse+controller is required, I dont think users of smaller devices should be disregarded.

    Me neither. (I had a Push2 and sold it)
    I dont think so, the MPC-X song mode looks like Maschine's Section Arranger to me with the advantage of a simple "performance record feature" (sequentially set the section order by pressing pads) but I am also not sure if it evolved since the last time I checked but I am curious.
    I think it can be a good experience with an implementation that aims for simplicity and is developed with the specific dedicated hardware in mind, that responsibility falls into the hands of the UX designers but just like any other job they can fail too.

    Heres the thing tho, in the last 10 years not much changed for groove-box like controllers/hybrids while DAW's evolved tremendously, theres a huge gap in terms of how fast these two things evolve so at some point devices like Maschine/MPC-X etc will need to catch up and implement features creatively to remain competitive or the niche will become smaller and smaller, and what doesn't sell either gets cancelled or stagnates completely.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
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  20. HammyHavoc

    HammyHavoc NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    879
    Yes please, the absence of multi-core support is becoming increasingly frustrating for me these days.
     
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