Open Letter to the Maschine Community

Discussion in 'MASCHINE Area' started by Jonas @ NI, May 23, 2016.

  1. District Onagi

    District Onagi NI Product Owner

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    Thank you for this. I look forward to hearing your plans as well.
     
  2. 30rhythms

    30rhythms Member

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    Now i just can say that i will be glad to be a complete asshole and all your words are true! )

    P.S.: This is not a sarcasm.
     
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  3. D-J-K

    D-J-K NI Product Owner

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    I'm still trying to take in everything that has occurred in this thread in the past 24 hours. Amazing how one letter riles up the pack of hungry wolves. :D. But seriously, I'm impressed with NI's demeanor so far . I mean there will always be the naysayers around here, those individuals who no matter what they are told, will only believe factual existence. Those individuals are actually an important part of the community because they aren't afraid to speak out. In any relationship, you shouldn't make promises that you can't keep, and the two-way communication is always important. Lack of these ingredients only builds resentment that will erode and eventually destroy the relationship. That's sort of what's going on here with NI and the maschine community over the past 2-3 years. The community feels resented, and now that NI has communicated, some still feel more resented because nothing has been delivered. Be it what it may, NI deciding to open communication about their plans with maschine is a breakthrough in my book that I am personally grateful for. I'm also impressed with how the moderators and NI (and not just one NI employee) have handled this thread so far, trying to respond to everyone and not sugar coat anything more than it should be. And the fact that the sequencer/arranger is part of the plans and to be included in the forthcoming update(s) gives me more peace of mind. (Florian, thank you !) :)

    The only uncertainties I will continue to hold are : Will this level of communication continue after there have been maschine deliverables ? And: Will the goods (deliverables) meet the expectations that have been set forth here? I really hope we can answer yes to both of these, but only time will tell. So while its still a murky future, I do think there are some rays of light starting to break through.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2016
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  4. puzzlefactory

    puzzlefactory NI Product Owner

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    I'll be interested to see how they improve plugin integration (without the help of the daw developers).
     
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  5. flux302

    flux302 NI Product Owner

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    As a long time member of the Maschine community, someone who has seen both the outside looking in and inside looking out perspectives of Maschine, I will say this.
    There is plenty of rightful animosity toward the NI product development schedule. I have been the forever optimist for years while at the same time yelling in ears of those who will listen that much needs to change. I feel the MASCHINE team has changed considerably over the years and with that, the focus of what Maschine should be, what features should be in updates... And the "road map" as a whole feels like it was thrown out he window in lieu of "keep is simple and make it easier to advertise" ... Which would almost be ok but they didn't make that aspect so easily either.
    First off 1.8 still has many features that 2.0 is missing. The browser implemented in 2.0 (which I was against from the gate) made it even more difficult for 3rd party developers to create Maschine expansion packs (I know this first hand very well). And the separation of all things NI from our own libraries made searching for that one perfect snare sample , twice as long.

    Fact is Maschine had a road map at one point that included lots of features those of us who switched from our hardware MPC and mv8000 and asr's etc had been waiting for... That road map was tossed aside without any communication from NI to the user base.
    There are still features that 20 year old sampling drum machines can do that Maschine can not.. That's disgusting and there isn't any way to sugar coat it.
    I held my tongue on a few releases thinking "ok this is the set up for them to really drop a great feature set in the next update" only to find myself wringing my hands when the next update comes and it's more minor updates with a focus on product integration strictly for sales and not usability (seriously tell me why arp won't work from any their party controller...)

    If NI wants to communicate again , well that's great. But come in here at least twice a month. Participate in a few threads that aren't just spouting potential plans. But actually sit and converse with those that use the products. And I don't just mean those of us who are industry insiders...
    I can pull my threads from this board that are 5 years old that STILL have valid feature requests... This should not be the case with such a flagship product...

    unfortunately I still love Maschine more than any of my other drum machines... So I'm stuck beating my head against a wall. Just when I feel like my message is getting through, something changes... I hope this time things work out.
     
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  6. slyte

    slyte NI Product Owner

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    @Florian G @ NI thank you for give us some information of what is going on in Berlin.
    I am very , very confident for the future of maschine.
     
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  7. skinswashdc

    skinswashdc Well-Known Member

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    Good points. Apparently akai is dropping the legacy as their flagship and it's touchscreen.
     
  8. Tooshka

    Tooshka NI Product Owner

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    May i suggest that your first port of call, is to the feature request forum, where you completely delete it, unless this communication is two way, it is not communication, it is statement, while i have never personally made any feature requests (Yes i have mocked up what a lot of people want in the arranger, but lets be honest, you haven't seen that) there are a lot of people making requests on a daily basis, that just by the very nature of a 'Request' forum, suggest it is being read by the developers, it gives false hope and long term creates animosity (Not just here, all feature request forums do this, unless the developers are online and active with the community, believe it or not a "this wouldn't really fit with the workflow" or "This wont work because of xxxxx" goes a long long long long way in terms of customer relationship/trust/communication) yet continual ignorance of a feature request forum makes an even bigger impact on potential customers.
    Then may i suggest you crush the bugs that where reported to NI support on day 1 of v2 release (I had quite a few, so did many others) this would also go a long way to rebuilding some trust, reporting issues that are "logged with the developer" or whatever else it is the support types in the reply, then to find that they have simply been ignored/overlooked/deemed unimportant in all subsequent releases with not even a murmur of a reason/fix, is disheartening at best.
    Finally may i suggest you expo future features, you are unwilling to public beta, fine, if that is how you wish to proceed, that is your choice obviously, however, you will lose customers if every release you do is unrelated to any feature set that your user base wants/needs/likes, constantly pushing updates that are one step from "Here you get what you are given" is not going to do you any favours at all, expo the feature, allow users to say "Hey, that's good, but what about if it did it this way" is pretty much the only way to fuse with your userbase nowadays, please do not be so flippant to think that the developers and testers you have know what your userbase wants, only your userbase knows that, and a strong connection to that user base allows the last little tweaks to ideas and features that currently once released to the public, are near enough set in stone.

    (And now let the 'he hates the messiah' commence ;) )
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2016
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  9. puzzlefactory

    puzzlefactory NI Product Owner

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    If NI want to connect with the user base they need to use another social media form.

    Forums are a dying medium and this one in particular only has a dozen or two regular posters, which is hardly representative of the overall Maschine user base.
     
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  10. macchinista

    macchinista NI Product Owner

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    307
    Thanks to both Florian(s) for opening up the line of communication with users again after such a long time. From one side, I am delighted that an update is imminent and improvements to the software are being made. From the other, I can't hide the disappointment when I realize that the update I was really hoping for, it's nowhere close. For some reason, I had started to believe that this long silence was just the build up to a surely to come "mind blowing" update which would silence the naysayers. But that's obviously not the case and I was only daydreaming....

    Now, with that out of the way, I would like to add my voice to those of many others on this forum (and elsewhere), in stressing the urgency of working on the sequencer/arranger. I am sure there are bugs and it's important to squash them, but so far I am actually pleased with the stability and performance of the software in its latest version. If there are bugs, I haven't seen them during my use. What truly bugs me, on the other hand, is the convoluted sequencer. Maschine excels at pattern creation, but when it comes to arranging those patterns into a song via scenes, it all becomes convoluted and messy very fast. There HAS to be a better way, and I find it difficult to believe that with all the talented people at NI, you guys could not come up with a solution already. You say you are looking to hear our feedback on some of the upcoming changes to the sequencer to further drive development. Really? If you look around this forum, you'll find that plenty of people have been proposing solutions for years at this point. There is post after post on this subject. Have you ever read them? The sequencer should have been already addressed around 2.0 time, or shortly after. Now 3 years later, we are still talking about baby steps to sequencer improvements. This is very disappointing to hear. Also, as Flux mentioned, there used to be a roadmap which in some ways was the result of ample interaction and suggestions from the user base. Whatever happened to that? Are we starting all over again?

    In closing, I would like to say that in spite of the issues, I still love Maschine although I find some of the competing products more and more attractive everyday and frankly this should have never happened because you guys had a significant lead. However I have faith that you clever NI people will make up for lost time so that we users can be proud owners again of the best and most fun hybrid groovebox on the market.
     
  11. District Onagi

    District Onagi NI Product Owner

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    I was hoping you would be on here to give your opinion on this matter.

    Flux, I have the utmost respect for you and St. Joe (Sounds and Gear), watching you guys make music on Maschine and show how it's done were the reason I bought Maschine, so much more so than any flashy quick edit video NI put out to market Maschine. I swear NI should give you two royalties for showing what Maschine can do.

    You being the OG on this board and in the community, please, I implore you to be on here in June when the Q&A happens to tell NI what is wrong with Maschine and what needs to be fixed. The community needs a knowledgeable, sensible, informed, and opinionated voice to tell NI what is what.
     
  12. muleskinner

    muleskinner Forum Member

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    Well I appreciate the input. Of course 'the proof's in the pudding' as we say here in the UK but any form of communication and just to know that work is still continuing is a great first step.
     
  13. CakeAlexS

    CakeAlexS NI Product Owner

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    Disagree, it's the perfect medium. Social media sucks for this sort of thing. Reason why this forum is dying is lack of two way communication, people will read but not post. When we see two way communication you will see many more people here over time.
     
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  14. puzzlefactory

    puzzlefactory NI Product Owner

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    There are thousands, probably tens of thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands of Maschine users.

    It's not very advisable for a company to change a product that will affect that many people based on the opinions of 30 or so forums members.

    Questionnaires are the way to go in my opinion, as they can be sent to all registered users and can be properly analysed using statistical mathematics.
     
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  15. District Onagi

    District Onagi NI Product Owner

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    This is a falsehood, and not fair. Native Instruments has on it's main page the Word "community" next to it's logo. It's not as if NI has hidden these boards.

    Native Instruments has a Instagram Page, a Facebook Page, Twitter, and this Message Board. There exists many ways to let NI know how you feel.

    The burden for Maschine and NI customers to voice their opinions falls on us, not NI. The platforms to communicate with NI exists in multiple formats. If people are unhappy with the product, they should let their voices be heard. There are no excuses.
     
  16. District Onagi

    District Onagi NI Product Owner

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    NI never promised that NI would do what we said following this question and answer session. They have promised nothing. Just because we here are going to voice their opinions does not in any way, shape or form mean that NI will heed our requests. NI has their own visions about where they want this product to go.
     
  17. puzzlefactory

    puzzlefactory NI Product Owner

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    I wasn't just talking about the question and answer session. I meant in general.

    There have been people on here saying that NI have ignored their repeated feature requests. I'm saying that NI shouldn't change features based on a few vocal people repeating themselves in a forum echo chamber.

    They should you use other more scientific methods (such as questionnaires) to get a feel for the desires of the entire user base, not just those that frequent this forum.
     
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  18. kultschar

    kultschar Forum Member

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    Well we are slowly making progress. The second letter is more reassuring.

    Since this is now the thread grabbing NI's attention etc maybe we should start listing feature requests here so there is no excuses......
     
  19. District Onagi

    District Onagi NI Product Owner

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    I agree with you, that there should be broader outreach... but doing research in social sciences, I have a pretty good idea why they don't do this... It would open a can of worms in regards to issues with Maschine. It would bring a brighter spotlight to these issues. Also, the main userbase might not even know, or care about some of the issues many of us complain about, and the majority would drown out reasonable requests the minority are pushing for. This will happen either way I suppose to SOMEBODY, but I don't want some kid who uses Maschine once every blue moon to determine whether or not we get a feature serious producers ask for.

    I will say though, that I think NI should be paying attention to what we say in here and on these message boards, because we are obviously more passionate and informed that the average consumer (maybe you guys disagree). We are paying attention to what is happening in the industry with other products and technology, and are serious enough about these products to notice where it can be improved. I'm not saying NI should only do what we here on the message boards are asking for, but I think even people who I disagree with on these boards have valid and relevant points that add to the discussion. These products need to be advanced, not only because of the competition, but because of knowledgeable and informed user input.
     
  20. skinswashdc

    skinswashdc Well-Known Member

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    You are right!