Native Instruments have announced some major updates for their Komplete Kontrol S keyboard range, which we reviewed in January. Komplete Kontrol users will soon be able to control third-party virtual instruments and effects with the same level of integration as NI’s own products, righting one of early criticisms of the platform. Version 1.1 of Komplete Kontrol, available now, allows routing and recording of MIDI sequences created with Komplete Kontrol's Smart Play functions freely within a DAW environment, sending of MIDI to outboard gear, an improved present system and greater Touch Kontrol functionality.
All new and existing users of Komplete Kontrol (and Maschine) will also be able to download a curated bundle of NI products, known as Komplete Select.
Tighter integration with third-party products was clearly NI’s intention from the start, and with competition from the likes of Akai Pro with their Advance keyboards, this area of the market has just got rather more interesting.
"Integration for us ultimately means to make a technical setup act and feel like a true musical instrument," says Mate Galic, CTO of Native Instruments, "and we have put a lot of thought into Native Kontrol Standard to enable this crucial quality for the widest possible range of software instruments on the market."
Building on the success of the Komplete Kontrol S platform, the company is now expanding their technology. The addition of VST support this summer will open up the Komplete Kontrol software to third-party plug-ins. At the same time, Native Instruments will introduce the brand-new Native Kontrol Standard. Going beyond the limitations of current formats, NKS allows plug-in developers to integrate their products at the same deep level as Komplete Instruments. This will include full parameter mapping, Komplete Browser support, access to exclusive Komplete Kontrol technology such as the Light Guide, and more. A comprehensive development kit, provided by NI, will open up the NKS framework to third- party developers. NI is already working with major software instrument manufacturers, as well as the wider development community, to ensure that the leading software instruments use NKS to provide the deepest integration possible with the Komplete Kontrol system.
With the release of Komplete Select in May, all Komplete Kontrol S- Series keyboards will include a premium Selection of Komplete 10 Instruments and Effects. All registered owners of Komplete Kontrol S- Series keyboards will also receive the Komplete Select package. Among the included instruments are NI's best-selling Massive synth, the new sampled piano instrument The Gentleman, Minimoog emulation Monark, and the acoustic/electric drum laboratory DrumLab, providing a production-ready system out of the box. With the inclusion of the Komplete Kontrol software in Komplete Select, all single Komplete Instruments can now be controlled from an S- Series keyboard. Owners now also qualify for special upgrade pricing to NI's award-winning Komplete 10 and Komplete 10 Ultimate instrument and effect suites.
The Komplete Kontrol software also delivers its first update. Komplete Kontrol 1.1 will expand the software with a host of powerful features upon its release in May. Numerous improvements include the ability to route and record MIDI sequences created with Komplete Kontrol's Smart Play functions freely within a DAW environment, as well as sending MIDI to outboard gear. An improved preset management system allows quick saving and recall of user presets from within the Komplete Kontrol software. New Touch Kontrol functionality allows users to control more of the software directly from the keyboard, providing a more immersive hardware experience without having to look at a computer screen. Furthermore, 2015 will also see an addition to the S-Series keyboard portfolio, proving Native Instruments' ongoing commitment to developing the system.
Pricing and availability
Komplete Select includes Massive, Prism, Scarbee Mark I, Solid Bus Comp, DrumLab, The Gentleman, Vintage Organs, Monark, Retro Machines, and West Africa.
Komplete Select is included in all Komplete Kontrol S-Series keyboards, and is also available free to all registered Komplete Kontrol owners. Owners will receive a download link and serial number via e-mail upon software registration. Similarly, registered Maschine users will also receive Komplete Select as a free download, opening their Mashcine-based productions to a vast range of new sounds.
The Komplete Kontrol 1.1 software update is available as a free download from Service Center.