What if you could get Maschine and its live performance and sound capabilities – without the computer? One inquisitive user on the Native Instruments forum has found some compelling evidence that that could be what’s next.
Maschine 2.8.3 dropped this week. A post by user moderator D-One points to materials in the scripts folder that seem to suggest standalone Maschine hardware – a device that could switch between a controller for your computer and hardware that works on its own.
This wouldn’t be the first time Native Instruments inadvertently revealed hardware before it was announced. The Maschine MK3 was also located by a user snooping around in the Lua scripts that connect the hardware and software.
The forum thread has been up since Thursday evening Berlin time, though I don’t know if eventually it will get deleted.
It’s fun reading the whole thread, but here’s the gist:
- Maschine hardware, apparently designated MH (MH1071)
- Shutdown, reboot, and recovery routines, suggesting it works on its own
- Mention of an SD card, USB mode
- Apparent references to controller and standalone modes
(1071 is a strange number to use as designation, so it seems likely that part is intended as a codename, unless there’s something we don’t know. 1071 buttons. No idea.)
The appeal of this is pretty clear. AKAI have already staked out hardware that doubles as standalone (without computer) and controller. But despite the storied “MPC” moniker being associated with that company, the overwhelming feedback I’ve seen from readers of this site is that many of you have moved on to workflows in either Maschine or Ableton Live. While the Akai Force was an interesting preview, I think we’re also waiting on a standalone device that has robust sync performance and handles complex sound production without choking its CPU. That is, these things need to be better than a computer when running on their own. So if Native Instruments are working on this, I’ll be keen to check it out.
You should take this with a grain of salt. Part of the reason manufacturers don’t announce gear ahead of time is not so much to keep secrets from competitors – many of whom know what they’re working on – as to manage our expectations. Hardware doesn’t always ship as planned, or when scheduled. So there’s no way to know for sure whether these Lua scripts mean anything about new Maschine hardware coming soon.
But… that is still very possibly what they mean. And that would be awfully nice. Stay tuned.
Because you know, what this all ultimately comes down to is getting to play these wonderful gadgets like instruments without having to worry about OS updates or drivers onstage. Ever again. Heck, it’s summer – grab a roving PA or mobile speaker and let’s head out for a techno picnic.
One reader also points us to this – it looks like the name of the product could be Maschine Plus. (You’ll see that buried in the symbols in the code.)
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