Native Instruments UK boss talks plans for London and beyond
Posted on: Wednesday 25th of April 2018
Four years ago Native Instruments opened its new UK offices in the heart of London’s achingly fashionable Shoreditch. Since that time the audio production and DJ software and hardware manufacturer has sought to strengthen its support and services to the UK market, and with considerable success – as evinced by the decision earlier this year to add more office space and staff at its existing London premises.
Overseeing this pleasing trajectory has been NI’s UK GM, Stephen Parker, who remarks that the time was right for expansion for several primary reasons. “A few years ago it would have been prohibitively expensive to hire developers in London, but with the pound now being weaker compared to the euro the actual cost is currently not that high,” he says. “There is also the fact that the amount of programming talent available in Berlin [where NI HQ is located] is finite, and so we really wanted to make greater use of the pool of developers in London.”
Underpinning this development – as with all of NI’s growth in recent years – has been the impressive adoption of Native Kontrol Standard. Essentially an extended plug-in format, NKS makes it possible to connect software instruments and effects seamlessly to NI’s KOMPLETE KONTROL keyboards and MASCHINE hardware. To date more than 75 developers have enabled support for NKS, with Waves announcing in mid-April that it had adapted 63 more effect plug-ins to NKS – adding to the Waves virtual instruments that were made NKS-ready in 2017.
“NKS is growing all the time, to the extent that I would say we now have about 95% of the main software developers onboard,” says Parker, adding that Eventide has also recently announced NKS support for its Blackhole plug-in.
Back at the newly enhanced London base, Parker confirms that the Shoreditch facility has lately taken on new staff as part of ongoing global expansion that is set to yield a further 150 total hires before 2018 is over. Among other benefits, this will afford further capacity to grow Sounds.com, the NI-powered library of studio-grade loops and samples that was announced in January. Parker also anticipates further opportunities for UK-based training.
“We built a training space in the office with six Macs and we now hold training sessions every other Wednesday,” he says. “These may be relevant to retailers, partners, artists and educators, and focus on specific products or areas – for example, the latest session was about MASCHINE Mk3 training. Over the last few years I would say that we have had about 500 people through for training in the London office, so it’s working out really well and I believe it is an area we could develop more in the future.”
[ Report by David Davies ]