When asked about the best MIDI ‘beatpad’ machines on the market, a select few names come to mind instantly. Sure, there are plenty of great boxes that manufacturers have been cranking out in the past few years alone. But as a whole, only a select few have the truly advanced features to operate as a fully beneficial unit that producers need. For decades, Akai Professional dominated part of that market with the MPC line. Slowly, more and more companies tried to put out other products to meet that need. Now, Native Instruments, popular for its ‘Maschine’ controller, has unveiled Maschine+ — a move that brings Maschine into a computer-less, standalone world.
Native Instruments Maschine+ borrows a lot of its looks from the previous Maschine MkIII. A full 16-pad layout with colored lights at the bottom, bank pads to the left, and eight assignable rotary knobs across the top. However similar it looks though, the Maschine+ packs a much stronger punch under the hood. With the inclusion of an all new Intel Atom quad-core processor, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of internal memory, Maschine+ can now operate in true independence of any computer-based software, using an internal Linus OS. With this move, NI has brought the beloved Maschine into the ranks that Akai has dominated for years.
On the back end of Maschine+ holds all of the audio inputs and outputs one will need for connectivity. Included here are stereo 1/4″ line out jacks, and an adjustable volume knob, a headphone jack, three more 1/4″ inputs for a microphone or stereo line in, gain, MIDI I/O, external pedal input, and USB connectivity. Out of the box, users will be able to access an 8GB library of built-in sounds and plugins. This provides the ideal starting point for producers to work from.
Of course, since Maschine+ does include all of these extra internal features, its price is listed significanly higher than that of previous Maschine models. Native Instruments Maschine+ is available for preorder now at $1,399 from the Native Instruments website. To learn more before you take the plunge for yourself, you can head to its dedicated info page as well.