The new Maschine is the first in the line-up that requires no computer to operate
Native Instruments has announced a new addition to its Maschine family of MIDI controllers. Maschine+ goes on sale from 1 October, priced £1,099, and is the first Maschine that does not need to be hooked up to a Mac or PC.
The basic form and layout of the Maschine+ will be very familiar to anyone who's used the existing Maschine Mk III: there are the same 16 backlit, velocity-sensitive performance pads, the same dual screens and the same eight buttons and eight knobs above and below them. The big difference is that, instead of using all those knobs, buttons and pads to control instuments and FX stored on your computer, you're now using them to control instrument and FX stored on the Maschine+ itself, effectively making the new unit not so much a MIDI controller as a performance and production workstation in its own right.
The unit ships with nine instruments, 35 FX and thousands of sounds preloaded, but you can always add more via Maschine expansion packs, seven of which also come bundled with the hardware (five standard ones and two of your choosing). That means you're going to need plenty of storage: luckily, there are 32GB of storage onboard, as well as an SD card slot, with a 64GB card included in the deal and support for cards up to 1TB.
In terms of I/O there are two line-ins for importing audio and two line-outs (all on 6.3mm jacks), MIDI in/out, two USB ports, Mic In, a 6.3mm headphone port and a footswitch input. While the Maschine+ does not need a computer for you to use it, it can still be linked up to one if you wish; this will require you to install the Maschine software on your Mac/PC.
The unit measures 322x301x55mm, and weighs 2.5kg. For more information, see the video below, or hit up Native Instruments' own website.