Open Letter: Dear N.I.

Discussion in 'MASCHINE Area' started by xXx_Dugan_Fire_xXx, Feb 22, 2019.

  1. xXx_Dugan_Fire_xXx

    xXx_Dugan_Fire_xXx NI Product Owner

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    30
    Two things:

    1. Fire the person/people who came up with the sounds.com integration . . .

    And . . .

    2. Fix the broke ****.


    Love,

    Everybody

    P.S. - Except for the Kore community. They still hate you. Along with the Non-MCU having people and midi - editorless keyboard folks and the 3rd party no kontakt having library dudes and can't forget the bait and switch massive x folks in the back and the nks fellas that are nks but not really nks, so some rando ( shout out Drachenkatze, no shade, just exaggerating for prose) ends up developing a better way than you did to implement nks presets . . . I think I got everybody covered.

    *Almost forgot the song layer/ arranger gang but their used to being hungout to dry by now.

    Did I miss anyone?

    *edited for inclusion list
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
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  2. HammyHavoc

    HammyHavoc NI Product Owner

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    Shout out for remembering the non-MCU-having folk. ;- ) You forgot the Jam folk though!
     
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  3. affinia

    affinia NI Product Owner

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    47
    Let me see...

    People waiting/hoping for
    * the promised "stay as long as possible in Maschine bla bla bla" approach (probably the song layer and some other needed adjustments)
    * overhaul of automation (e.g. the scaling of y-axis for a selected modulator is broken since the 90s)
    * a fix for the JAM LED issue (its hardly to see which Scene and Group is selected; they did it for the pattern matrix but left this out?!?!)
    * the clearing of inconsistency in the UI (e.g. access side chain input selection while in mixer view)

    Normally I dont tend to participate in online criticism but its making me almost sad to see how a hidden champion is becoming more and more one of these soul- and heartless economy playball companies
     
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  4. HammyHavoc

    HammyHavoc NI Product Owner

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    907
    Like I've said in the past: we're here because we're passionate. We want to see the products improve, we want to see the company do well. What's good for NI is good for the users. Very little of what's on these forums is said out of hate, almost all of it is valid, genuine criticism from customers who invested a significant amount of money into their ecosystem based on promises that are simply not delivered, time and time again.
     
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  5. affinia

    affinia NI Product Owner

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    47
    Maybe it’s the mysterious over 500 employee and all founders gone syndrome?

    German companies seem to struggle when they reach a certain size and time line...
     
  6. Lab Rat

    Lab Rat NI Product Owner

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    292
    Need more MCU.
     
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  7. Drachenkatze

    Drachenkatze NI Product Owner

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    348
    I have a few comments on NKS. Now being pretty much familar with how the NKS file format works (*.nksf and *.nksfx), and just learning about how NKS is actually licensed, I'm more than disappointed how NI handles things here.

    First, it seems that quite some VST developers simply decide against NKS because of the licensing terms. For example, as stated here, it's a legal requirement that NI needs to validate the plugins about to be released with a veto right.

    Second, the NKS ecosystem is a mess. It is a combination of a preset management/plugin metadata system (*.nksf, *.nksfx), several different additional metadata files (dist_database and PAResources), some custom VST callbacks and probably way more stuff. And I still don't get why you decided to use pre-rendered PNGs in various sizes instead of using SVGs.

    Third, it seems that at least in once instance, NI has tried to silence people creating interoperability software like happened to unnks (where nks refers to nks archives, which, as far as I understand, are related to Kontakt and not to NKS as in Native Kontrol Standard). I'm still waiting for the day NI sends me a cease and desist letter, however, I already did legal research prior writing a single line of code for PresetMagician.

    It's all about vendor lock-in. And I still can't grasp why companies use such methods instead of making money by actually developing good software. Imagine your new BMW car could only use BMW fuel, and you learned about that fact only after you bought it. You would make that mistake only once, then never buy a BMW car again.

    What should matter to you, as a company, is that your products provide a benefit to the users using your product. If you fail to do so, then users might not only reject to buy subsequent products, but completely switch to a new ecosystem. For example, users don't buy Komplete Kontrol hardware or Maschine just because plugin XY supports NKS. They buy KK or Maschine because it provides a benefit, an advantage, a tool for them to work with. However, also a key part for these users is interoperability. Imagine KK or Maschine couldn't load or be loaded as VST or communicate via MIDI. You wouldn't even sell 1/10th of the products.

    I understand that a company's prime goal is to generate revenue. But if you need vendor lock-in to make a sustainable business, your business model is wrong, because it frustrates your partners and your users (remember: these are the people who actually fill your bank account).

    My advice? Make NKS an open standard, not a proprietary one. Make it public. Make it available at no cost. Refine your standard, take feedback from users and developers alike. Communicate openly about what it is, how it is defined, without any marketing blabla. If you are worried about the quality of products implementing NKS, implement an optional certification program (which, in reality, nobody cares about). All about users care is what works and what doesn't.

    Many users, for example, are complaining about the lack of NKS support for Omnisphere. Spectrasonics won't implement NKS, as they see no benefit in doing so (probably related to the licensing terms). Now you, as a company, have 2 problems: Unsatisfied customers and lack of 3rd party support. What do you think your users will do? (And yes, this question is intentionally left unanswered)

    Things would probably be very different if NKS was an open standard. Make developers WANT to implement NKS, and after that, ensure developers CAN implement NKS. If you're afraid about revenue - rethink your business model. But no matter what you do, please do one thing: Start listening to your users.
     
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  8. Lab Rat

    Lab Rat NI Product Owner

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    292
    Drachenkatze, tell us how you really feel. I actually bought a couple of libraries because they were supported by PresetMagician. Keep up the great work.
     
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  9. HammyHavoc

    HammyHavoc NI Product Owner

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    907
    Seconding everything here. Not using SVG in 2019 is utterly bizarre. Even logos on websites are increasingly SVGs these days. There's an absolute minefield of resolutions out there in terms of displays, makes sense to ease the issue. With that said, a lot of phone OS still need sodding PNGs rendering instead of SVGs. Really time consuming considering all the different resolutions and aspect ratios out there.

    I get the impression that whoever is in charge of making these decisions is using a somewhat dated base of knowledge, and they would be wise to hire third-party consultants or hire some fresh blood. Feels very 2009 with the standards attempted to adhere to (VST2 still despite getting axed, non-scalable UI, no MCU in KKMK2 despite it being a standard since the 90s etc), and that's being generous.

    NKS should absolutely be an open standard, without a shadow of a doubt. I'm sure they would see a far greater support for NKS if it was.
     
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  10. Drachenkatze

    Drachenkatze NI Product Owner

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    348
    I feel like that I need to clean up the NKS mess. Yes, it might be a business model for me, but on the other hand, I'd also love to make music again at some point ;)
     
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  11. loachm

    loachm NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    2,021
    ...all valid points, you've listed, but I can imagine, why they didn't do this one. Since all of their own artwork most definitely contains elements, that isn't vectorised, i.e. only exists as pixels, it's not easily possible/worth the effort to (re)create this as SVGs.

    And at a certain point for a company it's all about creating content quickly, so it's a lot of batch processing and, in this particular case, creating a huge pile of really stupid data (the whole tagging system, the preview files, sounds.com etc. is a mess imo).
     
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  12. HammyHavoc

    HammyHavoc NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    907
    It'd be sensible to support both PNG and SVG so that legacy artwork isn't left behind, but flat-out not supporting SVG is very short-sighted.
     
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  13. Drachenkatze

    Drachenkatze NI Product Owner

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    348
    You could technically embed pixel data into SVGs as well. However, it shouldn't be a debate about PNGs vs SVGs. It should be a debate about if it's wise to do a hack'n'slash approach when implementing things vs a clean, sustainable and long-term implementation,
     
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  14. mas chine gun

    mas chine gun NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    36
    Hasn’t anyone noticed yet that there’s a strong probability that will have 100 drum kits expansion before we have features that were promised years ago because I noticed and made an executive decision to jump to bigwig
    my new music Haven give me all the control I’m missing in machine
    Everybody go find what you’re looking for outside of native instruments ecosystem
    And please stop supporting native instruments bait and switch program they will promise you something you will purchase it and it will not be there for up to a year
    The last time I fell for that was machine studio have not bought anything from native instruments without allowing six months to a year to go by
    just update what you already own and move on to something else I don’t care what brand it is and if something major come out of native instruments then just head back and pick it up but for the love of God stop waiting for something to happen
    And it was mentioned Previously massive X The newest in a long line of bait and switch
    Release products when they’re done
    It’s so straightforward
    I can only imagine what anybody’s feeling who owns an MK3
    The hardware is version 3.0 the software is version 2.0
    MK3 has been out for over a year if you plan on releasing something new why not have the hardware and software align with one another bait and switch everyone
    LOL
    Horrible business strategy
     
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  15. loachm

    loachm NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    2,021
    It is correct, that implementing SVG format would be an idea worth considering. And DK is correct, that it is technically possible to embed pixel data, although it surely won't have the desired outcome. Thus legacy artwork (in pixel format, with a much smaller resolution) won't benefit automatically from an SVG format.

    It is understandable, that with the high-resolution screen people are complaining and rightfully request a solution, but vector-graphics aren't a magic wand and there seem to be some misconceptions about that in the forums.

    It is the same old resolution problem - for instance, an old video recording with a resolution of 720x576 won't look great on an 8k (at least not without some algorithms or some treatment - and even then, still sh*t), as well as you can't blow up a digital scan of a photo to whatever size and resolution, that you desire. And saving pixel-based data in a vector format alone doesn't solve anything. I just wanted to mention this, as aesthetics are important to a lot of people here. But adding this issue to the list of the numerous things, that bother us about Maschine and KK, isn't probably justified.

    And it is correct, it shouldn't be about PNGs vs. SVGs, as there are much more gaping holes, but since it has been brought up, I thought; I'd add a few remarks, so that there's hopefully a little less fuel in the fire.

    But about the hack'n'slash approach when implementing things vs a clean, sustainable and long-term implementation - I'm very sceptical about this. After the discontinuation of Kore and the changes/simplifications in their categorisation/tagging system it was f*cked up (however the Kore system probably was too elaborate and academic). The Maschine library is full of illogical tags, inconsistencies. etc. There doesn't seem to be any QA in place in that regard and it appears to be, that both third-party providers and even NI employees themselves are using the system differently and thus creating a huge amount of data with little practical use.

    Then they added the library previews at some point, which are useful to a degree. But there you can also see some hack'n'slash approach due to batch exports - previews at a wrong tempo (slower/faster), missing patterns (actual groups having more & different patterns than their previews) and previews for drum kits without any snare in it - just to name a few examples.

    That tagging on sounds.com is sloppy at best and with some third-party providers I have seen, it'll become even worse, if they don't implement guidelines and quality standards.

    Btw. NI's own instrument mappings in Maschine and KK - not so great either. Quite often incomplete and with questionable page layouts.

    Still, NI's software and hardware is great, but I wouldn't expect them to meet professional needs in every regard (the consumer market seems to be a much bigger target), let alone meeting everyone's personal demands. :D
     
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  16. gingerman

    gingerman NI Product Owner

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    177
    You forget to add the Traktor users ;)
     
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  17. Karoshi

    Karoshi New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Honestly, I bought a Mikro Mk3 a month or so ago, first NI product, came here to see how to do some basic stuff and realized that this thing flat out can't do it.
    Read reviews on the unit, looked mostly favorable, absolutely kicking myself now for not coming here and reading these forums first. Definitely wouldn't have been a purchase from me.
    The worst thing is, is that it has so much potential, and I have had loads of fun with it doing what it can do... I think that's why I am a bit bitter about buying it, because of the wasted potential and finding 10 year old threads asking for the absolute basics to be changed/implemented, and 10 years later there is still a massive list outstanding.
    And now this sounds.com integration... ( I am not mad about sounds.com itself, but it's not for me). It's just proof that they have resources to update the software, but only find the value in doing so if it brings in more money from existing products.
     
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  18. HammyHavoc

    HammyHavoc NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    907
    I hope more people come forward and say their piece like you have. This is largely how I feel at this point with a MK3 and KKMK2.

    Maschine 3.0 is likely to be a massive disappointment if this is all 2.8 is.
     
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  19. mas chine gun

    mas chine gun NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    36
    The small things missing in maschine are basically industry standards for everyone else
    they bring us more drum kits more hardware
    And features that they wish they could accomplish but somehow they never do
    In the music industry a new act band etc..comes up all the time
    For whatever reason native instruments believes there will never be a new act to usurpe them BKA A better company focused on information and accomplishing what they say they’re going to do
    bad business guaranteed failing strategy
    studied this in college
    There’s another company in Germany only been around for a few years and native instruments can’t touch anything they’ve done so far the company’s name is bitwig
    They have like an eight track free sample program give it a try if you’re fed up with native instruments or try any other company stop being frustrated stop waiting #RageAgainstTheMashine
     
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  20. HammyHavoc

    HammyHavoc NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    907
    Bitwig doesn't have dedicated hardware though, does it? Just another DAW. It's from some of Ableton Live's developers. Maschine is a hardware-based production workflow, and I say this as a Reaper user. Maschine's strength is in the hardware interface for the software.