Native Instruments has unveiled updates to its Maschine and Komplete Kontrol hardware, with both products sporting new “industrial” designs and offering enhanced feature sets. The focus is on enabling more intuitive workflows, so users can spend less time starting at their computer screens and more on NI’s hardware.
Speaking of screens, Maschine Mk3, as the updated model is known, now has two high-resolution colour ones, similar to those found on the larger Maschine Studio hardware. These can be used for sound browsing, editing, sample slicing and more, while a greater number of dedicated function buttons should mean less menu diving as you work. On a performance level, Maschine’s pads have been improved, being larger and more responsive than before.
Notably, Maschine mk3 also contains a 24-bit/96kHz audio interface, to go along with the MIDI ports that were present on the previous version. This is great news for those who want to use Maschine on the road, or anyone who likes the idea of a more self-contained music-making setup.
Other enhancements include a horizontal touchstrip for strums, pitchbends and FX performance, and touch-sensitive knobs.
Komplete Kontrol Mk2
Moving on to NI’s new MIDI controller keyboard, the Komplete Kontrol Mk2 also adds two high-resolution colour screens, along with 17 additional function buttons. There’s tighter DAW and Maschine integration, too, making it possible to mix, navigate and edit projects from the hardware. As before, there’s a Fatar keybed and Light Guide, and we welcome the arrival of proper pitch and mod wheels rather than touchstrips. That said, a single horizontal touchstrip is supplied and can be used for additional expression.
Explaining the design ethos behind the two new products, and their symbiotic relationship, NI’s Maschine Product Owner Chris La Pietra said: “We’ve learned from artists and our users that the biggest challenge in creative work isn’t one of getting started, but of keeping going. We developed these new products in tandem to address this problem: Beyond sparking inspiration, they fuel the whole creative process - they help users get in the zone and stay there. They feel great, they integrate with existing setups, and they make music production as fun, intuitive, and hands-on as possible.”
The good news is that the new versions of Maschine and Komplete Kontrol will cost the same as their predecessors, which means that you can expect to pay £479 for Maschine Mk3, and £479 and £559 for the 49-note and 61-note versions of the Komplete Kontrol Mk2 controllers. Pre-orders are being taken now, and the new hardware will be released on 5 October.