Sad state of Native Instruments

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When I started making music, Native Instruments was at the forefront of making innovative music software. In the past few years, it has become clear that is no longer the case. They sold out to some big business, fired a huge number of people, and stopped doing what once made them so great.

Massive X release was delayed, the released product was still unfinished, updates have been slow and unimpressive.

Guitar Rig 6 was released with the promise of incredible ICM components that would be released frequently based on people’s wishes. It’s been years and apart from the three they launched with they’ve released zero, latest news was there aren’t plans for any.

Komplete 14 was released with pretty much no new NI software, they just added a new browser to Kontakt and bundled a mishmash of third party products. They keep promoting synths by U-he and Arturia instead of making their own.

Absynth was killed off.

Super 8, a Reaktor based synth, was turned into a VST with no new features. They are now discontinuing the VST version and going back to Reaktor only, so all that did was make things convoluted for people who used the VST.

Reaktor, a dev said on the forum that NI “is not in a position to invest major resources in this product, which has not been news for some time.” Blocks started out strong, but NI stopped making them and so did the community after the messy front panel patching update making old blocks incompatible, and Reaktor in general being convoluted.

Now they just release sample packs as new products, and take painfully long to update their remaining products to current spec standards. I hope they can bounce back from this but am not holding my breath.

Feel free to add to my rant, disagree or just mourn NI’s demise.
Last edited by Dalle on Sat Jan 14, 2023 3:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Feels like that to me, too. I noticed that Kontakt 7 also has a new factory library which seems to be nice (I don't have it though), but when you look into it was actually taken out from another companies products:

> Completely overhauled in KONTAKT 7 by Orchestral Tools, the comprehensive, integrated collection of sampled string, woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments in the Orchestral collection are all taken from OT’s flagship product range, The Berlin Series.

To me that is a very telltale sign where NI stands today. They seem to be at a state where they're mostly selling their brand and relying on existing customer bonds. But don't worry, the good people are not gone for good, many (I assume) of them just now work for different companies and create cool and innovative stuff there. To me it is amazing what good music software comes out of Berlin alone.
Last edited by Fannon on Fri Jan 13, 2023 11:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Find my (music) related software projects here: github.com/Fannon

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It was kinda eye opening for me when this past week I wanted to reach out to NI for support and…

No phone number? Fine I’ll open a ticket.

Tickets… where to open a ticket… wtf…??

Googles “Native Instruments support”

Okay no one else can easily find how to reach NI support… misery loves company I guess.

I found a forum post that mentioned some “support wizard” for Kontakt, but the links they posed pictures of (surprise) have been removed from the page they use to be on.

Ended up just Googling “Native Instruments support wizard” and found one for their Native Access app.

You have to go through the wizard and basically keep saying “no, this did not resolve my issue” enough times, to then get the option to open a support ticket.

Finally I was able to open a ticket and ask my question about Traktor Pro. Given all of the above it hopefully shouldn't be a surprise I was asking a question about selling my license lol.

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Couldn't agree more.

It does feel like they have a massive bottleneck in the dev department. Hopefully the situation will improve.

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Super 8, a Reaktor based synth, was turned into a VST with no new features. They are now discontinuing the VST version and going back to Reaktor only, so all that did was make things convoluted for people who used the VST.
It did not went back? Where you came up with this?

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Lbdunequest wrote: Fri Jan 13, 2023 11:17 pm
Super 8, a Reaktor based synth, was turned into a VST with no new features. They are now discontinuing the VST version and going back to Reaktor only, so all that did was make things convoluted for people who used the VST.
It did not went back? Where you came up with this?
Mentioned here... but no official announcement or details as far as I know.

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Thanks!

Well i hope then Reaktor update will be scaled like Kobtakt 7.

Its a pitty tho, i much prefer to have Reaktor synths as standalone synths :(

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Lbdunequest wrote: Fri Jan 13, 2023 11:36 pm Well i hope then Reaktor update will be scaled like Kobtakt 7.
It’ll be just VST3 and Apple Silicon support.

“Our team is aware that the lack of more features will lead to frustration. But at this stage, we as a team will not be able to change this situation.”

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The OP describes exactly my analysis of NI. They were for 20 years the epitome of plugin developer for me. They would have been the last bunch of products to go without. I have an absurd amount Kontakt libraries from 3rd party devs (well yes, these impulse buys...). I bought two Komplete Kontrol Keys, a Maschine and a Kore hardware during these years. They earnt a lot of money with me as client. I was completely loyal.

Sorry to say that these days are over.

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Dalle wrote: Fri Jan 13, 2023 11:44 pm
Lbdunequest wrote: Fri Jan 13, 2023 11:36 pm Well i hope then Reaktor update will be scaled like Kobtakt 7.
It’ll be just VST3 and Apple Silicon support.

“Our team is aware that the lack of more features will lead to frustration. But at this stage, we as a team will not be able to change this situation.”
It seems Native Instruments future products wount be supported as well as they were due to stakeholders demands of company profiting as a whole.

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Ni Komplete was one of my first bigger plugin purchases. I am glad I found someone who bought it some years ago.
I only upgraded once, but every upgrade of the last 5 years became less attractive to me, NI's innovative and creative years seem to be gone.
But there are some other good devs, so there's a life without NI without having to shed a tear. Btw I never liked their fx plugins and Guitar Rig, but they made lots of cool stuff, of course.

Let's be honest, IK Multimedia is just a little better, Sampletank and Syntronik, well they won't make me start dancing, AmpliTube is not bad, though, unfortunately cpu gets higher with every update and some nice TRacks effects imo

Then there's Arturia, they have nothing for guitarists, though, well NI, too imo (guitar rig is simply too bad imo).
Either you like Arturia's products or you don't, I don't, only their freebies I like using sometimes.

What else? Steven Slate has a plugin bundle afaik, can't tell anything, Steven Slate products never attracted me.

UVI - well, I like some effects, have some synths and 3rd party for UVI workstation, but rarely use it, can't tell why. UVI also nothing for guitarists afaik.

I think regarding popularity of plugin suites or bundles (instruments and effects)
1.Arturia
2. UVI
3. IK Multimedia
4. Slate Digital
5. NI
But I might be wrong?!

I forgot plugin alliance, they have a big offer, but most plugins are inferior to the quality of most other devs imo
Average price of a plugin is 30 or less,. they have sales all the time, well, you get what you pay.

Waves, well, it's always good to have some Waves plugins imo and even some of their instruments are great, too.
How could I forget Waves! haha
Comparing Waves to NI, both of them old companies, I'd say Waves' business is more stable with better releases, but they offer less VSTi, though!
So if I added the last two devs, I wouldn't know what the ranking could look like?!

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1. TAL Audio
2. Arturia
3. Softube
4. U-He
5. Korg

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Their latest product (another sampleset with a pretty picture) doesn’t even have the correct amount of black keys on its keyboard :P Image

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Dalle wrote: Sat Jan 14, 2023 1:06 am Their latest product (another sampleset with a pretty picture) doesn’t even have the correct amount of black keys on its keyboard :P Image
This is when you know that the marketing department is running the show. It's a very pretty picture though, no?

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I also like the good stuff of NI, but admit they don't go that "synthmaker" direction I'd like.
Nowadays several examples can be seen what happens, when a good plugin is not abandoned, rather improved.
Slowly GForce grows its own collection, KORG collection is keeps getting bigger and better, Arturia VCollection and Rob Papen's Explorer bundle keeps improving , even Spectrasonics keeps updating its oldest plugin(stylus rmx) , and the u-he stuff is still improving etc...
NI could easily sell a slightly renovated FM8, Absynth, etc.. but they have other priorities.
From their synths currently Massive X is the flagship synth, but to be sincere, if we look at the competition (avenger, pigments, hive, vital, rapid, phase plant, etc) , Massive X is just one synth in the great sea of new generation synths.
From the Native instruments komplete package, Kontakt is the only, that are not "behind the competition".
For example many user can open XO or Atlas, and program the samples of komplete there. they don't bother with battery, or other plugins.
Even ReFX has made a surprising change in their Nexus, made the "impossible possible".
if NI can' t do that, slowly, but surely users will go away.

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