First Look: Native Instruments KOMPLETE KONTROL S Series

Keyboard Controllers Integrate With KOMPLETE 10 Production Wuites
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Native Instruments' new Komplete Kontrol S-Series keyboards offer a new level of hardware/software integration for the Komplete Instrument line. The keyboards, available in a choice of 25, 49, or 61 keys, deliver tag-based access to all Komplete Instrument presets from one plug-in interface.

Komplete Kontrol streamlines sound selection: Instead of browsing by instrument, users can now search by sound; Native Map™ technology automatically maps key parameters for each Komplete Instrument to the touch-sensitive controller knobs on the keyboards’ Clear View™ display. In an effort to avoid the need for complicated mapping and to keep producers in the creative flow, each instrument was mapped by NI sound designers to offer the most relevant parameters on pages laid out on the keyboard’s display.

Komplete Kontrol’s innovate Light Guide™ function displays key switches, zones, and other parameters on multicolor LEDs positioned above each key. Here, key switches for Kontakt Instruments such as Action Strikes can be illuminated in one color, while keys used for performance are lit with another—putting the instrument’s layout on the keyboard at a glance without having to dig into the software. These lights also provide performance feedback as scales, chords, and arpeggios light up across the keyboard as they are played.

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Komplete Konrol S-Series’ Smart Play™ arpeggiation function offers a variety of features to speed up workflow and stimulate ideas: Chord mode lets you play complex chords with single keys; Chord Set mode provides ready-to-play progressions that can inspire and augment original compositions or add new flavor to remixes. Integrated scale mapping gives you even more options: Many widely-used scales can be mapped to the white keys, and “wrong” notes can be automatically remapped so melodies are always “in tune.” (All notes light up on the Light Guide.) Eight controller knobs let you manage parameters such as direction, rate, rhythm, patterns, and variations.

The keyboards’ two touch-sensitive Touch Kontrols™ offer advanced software control ranging from recreating the behavior of pitch and mod wheels, to mimicking physical objects like springs and bouncing balls for interesting modulation curves. Keyboard functionality such as key splits and Touch Kontrol behavior also function when using the keyboards as a standard MIDI controller.

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Komplete Kontrol S-Series keyboards were designed to integrate seamlessly with the 10th generation of NI’s Komplete instruments and effects suites, which is also slated for release on October 1st. Komplete 10 and Komplete 10 Ultimate come with six brand-new instruments: Rounds, Kontour, Polyplex, and The Definitive Piano Collection, featuring three high-definition sampled pianos. Komplete 10 now includes 39 instruments and effects. Komplete 10 Ultimate includes 75 Komplete Instruments and Effects and more than 440 GB of content. For details about Komplete 10 and Komplete Ultimate 10, click HERE.

We're testing out Komplete Kontrol right now and will bring you a full review shortly! In the meantime, take a quick video tour of the Komplete Kontrol S-Series HERE. Keyboards will be available on October 1: Komplete Kontrol S25 is $499, Komplete Kontrol S49 is $599, and Komplete Kontrol S61 is $699. For more information, visit