The new flagship in NI’s Maschine controller line-up is a monster. With its extra Edit section, complete with multifunctional, LED-ringed jogwheel, Maschine Studio gives you instant one-finger access to many functions that require the Shift key on Maschines Mk II and Mikro.
And as for those two displays, to see them is to want them: browsing, pattern editing, Scene arranging, sampling and sample editing, mixing… Studio gives you much more visual feedback than its siblings, in full colour and (relatively) high resolution. With some practice, you could conceivably put together a complete project now without looking at your monitor at all, including sample slicing and note manipulation. Incredible.
There’s also a handy Master section, with switchable Input/Output/Cue monitoring and levelling.
The elephant in the room, though, is that real-time plugin GUIs aren’t shown on the displays (no, not even Maschine’s internal ones). We assume NI is working on that.
With its rock-solid construction, additional controls and expanded layout (not to mention its three MIDI outputs and built-in stand), Maschine Studio feels truly luxurious and plays beautifully. It’s yours for £829 - including Maschine 2.0, of course - and while it’s by no means an essential upgrade for owners of ‘lesser’ Maschines, it’s does massively outclass them in every way bar portability and the fact that it’s mains-powered only.