Well of course it's 2018! That's how time works!
The good news about time moving forward is it means the NAMM show is just around the corner, and that means lots of new things aka stuff!
The Roland Boutique TR-08 and the D-05, Elektron hitting us with new toys in the form of the Analog 4 MKII, The Analog Rtym MKII, NI dropping the new Maschine MK3 and the new S49 and S61 MKII, and Genelec dropping the most sublime monitors ever with the "Ones" the 8331, and 8341's, and let's not forget the amazing new studio desk, the Platform by Output! A real curveball in a very "tech" heavy 2017. It really was an embarrassment of riches and definitely a hard act to follow.
Let's speculate though, what do you think 2018 will bring? Obviously, companies have to release something new, I mean that's how it all works right? But what will be released that really makes us go WOW!
I mean what exactly goes on in between each NAMM show? What are all the music tech geniuses up to? Napping in specially designed pods, segwaying from open plan space, to open plan space, pontificating about cryptocurrency?
Or is it panic stations, with designers and marketers frantically trying to appease the bratty child that is the music technology marketplace? I would very much err to the latter.
We want it all!
More hardware, more software, more, More, MORE!!!
And that frankly, is how we like it.
Ok so what's my first prediction?
Well I guess it's a no-brainer really, but I wouldn't be surprised if Native Instruments brought the rest of their Maschine range into line with the Maschine MK3, and here's why:
The Maschine MK3 wasn't just a feature upgrade, it was style upgrade.
Very much like the jump that Ableton did between Push 1 and Push 2.
I mean the Maschine Mk3 just feels money ( yes, I just quoted "Swingers" *eye roll). The matt black finish, the gorgeous screens, the sturdy knobs, and buttons that just feel so good to the touch. I mean it's a thing of beauty! So much so that it kinda makes the Maschine Studio and the Maschine Jam look a bit cheap.Oh yeah and also the Maschine Mikro (forgot about that guy).
At the very least the Maschine Jam needs the new multi-function knob that the MK3 introduced, that single button alone was pretty groundbreaking!
Another thing that has bugged me since the release of the Maschine Mk3, is it sits slightly higher than the Maschine Jam when placed side by side - it's almost like they aren't supposed to be together!
Like there's a new sexy Maschine Jam waiting to fit perfectly with the Maschine Mk3. How dreamy!
Then there's the Maschine Studio.
This is an amazing bit of kit, and if we lived in a world where function trumped fashion, the Maschine Studio could stay unchanged for years, but, unfortunately, compared to the MK3 it too looks cheap, the Studio really needs a facelift, and I sure hope it gets it.
The current Maschine Studio needs that "MK3" touch!
Ok, well so far I haven't exactly blown your minds with my first prediction. All pretty obvious stuff I guess.
How about this then?
A stand-alone Maschine!! C'mon, you know you want it!
AKAI did it with the MPC LIVE , surely the gauntlet has been thrown down?
NI must be watching closely?.
The AKAI MPC LIVE is an amazing technical achievement.
The ability to roam computerless and powerless is still an incredible feat!
NI need to follow suit. Even if it is only to fulfill my selfish desires.
Ok, that's enough Maschine speculation.
What do you think? More analog? more modular? Or Behringer emulating everything ever made!
There have been a few new products released in advance (which I will be writing about on another page), and they're awesome, but I have my fingers crossed that one of the big players has something REALLY BIG up its sleeve!
Something worth an ooooo and an aahhhh from the muso tech heads out there. Something that will keep us in bleeps and boops until next year's NAMM!!
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