I agree with this- especially automation. To further this discussion, Akai has a nice hybrid-compromise between their self-contained MPC’s and their desktop MPC software. At any point, a song can be imported into the MPC desktop software where 3rd party VSTs can then be added. Naturally, the desktop software will now need to be used to finish the track with the hardware acting as a controller only. It seems to work fine and looks to be a good compromise. For whatever reason, NI has not given users’ this same option to de-couple the hardware from software to gain a more robust production platform in the later stages of a track. At some point, we are done tweaking knobs and banging on pads and don’t need the controller/software parity. The patterns are built, the scenes are done, the performance is over. At this point, all that is needed is a track view.