The Native Instruments Maschine+ Workstation
September is already here and while it spells the end of Summer, there's still reason to celebrate since Native Instruments have been up to something again. Earlier this month, they already spoilt us with the arrival of the Komplete 13, with multiple versions and tasty updates and upgrades, and now they spoil us again with the release of the Maschine+!
The Maschine+: Controller and Workstation in One
The Maschine Series is already pretty familiar and was a revolution when it first offered accurate physical control over comprehensive software. With the Maschine+, we get all of that but with a touch of elegant nuance. This is definitely a controller, but what makes this controller particularly special is the fact that it's also a fully independent workstation. The Maschine+ comes with its own on-board audio interface complete with audio outputs. In essence, this is a classic MPC-style bit of kit able to create music according to that well-known pattern. And, since we've recently seen a very similar chunk of hardware come from another developer, maybe this marks the start of a new controller-based trend.
A Humble Workstation with Massive of Potential
The computers of today offer the kind of boundless power that was previously only imaginable, so it only makes sense that the controllers of recent years have had to hook up to a laptop to be of any use. It also means that, if you're developing a standalone workstation, then it's going to need to offer the same kind of power. If you're heading on stage without a laptop, you need to be assured that you're not going to miss it, and thankfully, that's exactly what the Maschine+ is able to assure you of. With 32 GB of memory, 4 GB of RAM, two USB stick slots and an SD card reader, you can't say that NI have skimped on potential. Another pretty welcome bonus is that the Maschine+ also operates as an audio interface, making it fully studio-ready. A special edition of Komplete Select has been thrown in as well, which can be expanded and upgraded as needed, much like the Komplete Series.
In short, this is an incredibly capable all-in-one instrument in a compact box that's actually fairly similar to the old MK3 housing - but so, so, oh so much nicer to work with. This is definitely one for the very early (and very optimistic) Christmas list.