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Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S49 Keyboard
|Price:||$579.00 & FREE Shipping|
- Unparalleled integration with KOMPLETE 10 and KOMPLETE 10 ULTIMATE.The included KOMPLETE KONTROL software provides unparalleled integration with KOMPLETE Instruments.
- Supreme-quality Fatar key bed gives superior feel over competing keyboards and high quality encoders offer total control of all key software parameters
- Light Guide key illumination and Clear View display deliver a unique visual perspective on the creative process
- Expressive, highly flexible touch strip controls with advanced physics.Requires USB connection
- Clear View display shows all the most important details at a glance
- Manual is located in the software of the units that are tied to these keyboard
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From the manufacturer
- Mac OS X 10.8, 10.9 or 10.10 (latest update), Intel Core 2 Duo
- Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10, Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon 64 X2
- 4 GB RAM (6 GB recommended for large KONTAKT Instruments) USB 2.0 or higher (cable included)
- Requires power connection (adapter included)
Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S49
Keyboard Controller, 49-Key
The Komplete Kontrol S49 from Native Instruments allows you to unlock the full potential of Komplete with an outstanding Fatar keybed and highly flexible touch strip controls! With this controller, main parameters of every Komplete Instrument are pre-mapped to touch-sensitive controller knobs via Native Map
- Offer available from November 5th - December 31st, 2015.
Native Kontrol Standard (NKS) is an extended plug-in format. Established by Native Instruments, this groundbreaking development offers an entirely new quality of software/hardware integration. Third-party developers can now configure their software instruments to access the unique hardware features of the KOMPLETE KONTROL system directly. Leading instrument builders such as Arturia, U-He, and Output Audio are already on board, and the list of NKS partners is growing rapidly. The result? True integration.
Multi-Purpose Touch Strips
Deliver dynamic performances with two ultra-sensitive touch strips. They can mimic the behavior of pitch and mod wheels, and physical objects like springs and bouncing balls for interesting modulation curves. Or create instant shifts with different stepped settings.
KOMPLETE KONTROL’s arpeggiator turns one note into a full musical performance. The eight controller knobs manage parameters such as direction, rate, rhythm, patterns, and variations. Best of all, the output of the arpeggiator can be recorded as individual MIDI notes for post-performance editing.
The integrated scale mapping features give you instant access to a world of melody. See notes of the currently selected scale lit on the Light Guide, and set virtually any musical scale to the white keys. It will even re-map ‘wrong’ notes so you’re always in tune.
Activate chord mode and create a rich harmonic performance by playing single keys. Map chords simply by selecting mode and inversion, or by loading up a chord set – ready-to-play progressions to inspire and augment your own compositions.
Third-party instruments are tagged by the manufacturers themselves, ensuring that these tags are relevant and useful. NKS instruments show up alongside your KOMPLETE Instruments in the Native Browser – total browsing unification.
Native Map is also extended to third-party instruments. This means that plug-in manufacturers can design mappings that suit the instrument specifically. And that you get useful, musically-relevant parameters mapped to the eight control knobs automatically when you load an NKS instrument.
Light Guide revolutionized playability when it appeared on the KOMPLETE KONTROL S-Series keyboards. Now, third-party instruments can use this industry-first technology to easily display key switches, sample mappings, and keyboard splits.
Every NKS plug-in is set up to make use of the creatively-empowering Smart Play features in the KOMPLETE KONTROL software – including the touch strips, scale mapping, Chord Sets, and the powerful arpeggiator.
KOMPLETE KONTROL S-SERIES opens up the full potential of KOMPLETE. Feel the world's most advanced software instruments come to life under your fingertips - more intuitive, expressive and inspirational than ever before.
Top customer reviews
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So why only 3 stars? Two reasons:
1) Native Instruments support bites. They don't respond to direct email, and their forums are not nearly sufficient to work through basic issues.
2) The software installation process is horrible, and NI makes things so much more confusing than they need to be. It took me two days to work out the kinks. The documentation and web site don't match. You're supposed to use a horrid piece of garbage called Komplete Select Downloader, which should come with some kind of trigger warning and coupons for free vodka shots. It doesn't do parallel downloads, has no pause functionality, and throws up random errors for which solutions are not readily discoverable. Serial numbers that Native Instruments generates for you once you register your new keyboard may show up (falsely) as invalid when you try to enter them into this tool. For accessing software you supposedly own, this is unacceptable. They have a tool called Native Access, which you can find on their web site and which I recommend over the former downloading tool. You need to make sure to install the Kontakt player as well as the Reactor player in order to get all of the free instruments to work -- this is far from obvious to those new to the platform, and you can find yourself with weird "unable to load plugin" messages just because they don't take care to manage interdependencies.
In summary: if NI bothered to make the software installation process humane, and actually staffed their support team, this product would be an easy five stars.
This is a very well made keyboard, better than other controllers I have used. The knobs have a great feel to them, and they have haptic functionality, which means that when you lightly touch a knob, it shows the current settings. The OLED displays under each knob, though small, are bright and useful. The buttons also have a nice quality feel to them. As for the much touted Fatar keybed, it is good, but not great. It makes a bit of noise when you are playing the keys hard, and is not that far superior to keyboard controllers costing a whole lot less. The keys are full sized, and definitely superior to low end controllers. The semi-weighted playability is on the soft side.
As promised, the unit does control the Komplete Kontrol Software. But it doesn't control it that well. The software, though quite limited in its v1 edition, is free if you own K9 or K10. Browsing from the keyboard functions as promised, but it takes a lot of various pushes of buttons and rotating of switches. I think that using a mouse on the computer is actually more efficient, though I am always looking for an alternative. Unlike Maschine, where you can almost fully rely on the hardware, you have to be looking at the computer screen to see where you are navigating. The KK does not have a dedicated screen that shows the instrument selected, the presets, and so on. Again, this means that you are going to have to interact with a computer.
The software is very limited. Billed as a means to inspire creativity, it does very little in this arena. For one thing, if you find a patch you really like, there is no way to add it to favorites or otherwise save it. In order to save it, you have to go back to the computer and create a user patch. Otherwise, when you change patches, anything you did with the knobs on the keyboard are lost.
In Logic, the KK software was buggy. It refused to load itself onto channel one, but would do so on subsequent channels. From time to time, the keyboard would simply freeze, and none of the navigation controls were available. It didn't do this with the stand alone software, but for most users, the plug-in is what is going to be more important.
Another big problem is that the keyboard only controls certain parameters of the selected instrument. For example, when I selected one of NI's pianos, there were only a handful of pre-mapped settings available. More troublesome is the fact that NI didn't even bother allowing control of patches within the given instrument. If you choose the Berlin Grand, for example, you cannot control the various patches within the instrument. In order to change the mic setup or the reverb, you have to back to the computer. Not very intuitive.
The other big problem with the pre-mapping is that the keyboard doesn't show you where you are when you change from one page or pre-maps to another. Take a complex instrument like Absynth. Sure, there are 17 pages of pre-mapped parameters available, which seems like a great deal. But when you switch between pages on the keyboard, the software doesn't take you to the respective page within the software. So, you might be trying to change an oscillator setting, but can't see it on the screen, because you are not on the right screen within the instrument. It certainly would have been nice if by changing the parameters on the keyboard, the software would take you to the page within the instrument so you could see what you were doing.
The arpeggiator is one of those hyped advertising gimmicks that in reality is 50% useless. The arp function, one of the main reasons I purchased the board, does have a sophisticated arpeggiator, though hardly more so than any mainstream DAW. The big problem is that when you begin recording the arpeggiator into a DAW, in my case, LPX, the board does not send the arp information to the DAW. So, you might perform a wonderful, varied arp pattern, but it will only record the base notes, without any arp data. When you play back the arp, the keyboard only arpeggiates based on the last settings, so all the various nuances and changes that you can perform with the knobs are useless in a recording setting. How does this help creativity if you can't record what you created?
The lighted keys are a pain. In a performance setting where the user doesn't know how to play very well, they may be of some use, but I would imagine that most performing keyboardists know how to play in the first place. Also, you can't turn them off via a dedicated button on the keyboard, you have to go into the computer to do so.
If you own any NI instruments that you purchased separately, forget it. You can only use this keyboard with its pre-mapping on K9 or K10. The included controller editor app for the board is small and nearly useless. Yes, you can program the board to control third party instruments, but unless the third party instrument has a learn function, you have to manually input cc controls and commands for each and every function. Clearly, NI wants you to only use their own software. Too bad even implementation with their own software is as limited as it is.
All in all, the Komplete Kontrol S is a nice keyboard, but given its limited functionality, definitely overpriced. NI will likely add in some new features via software and firmware but as it stand now, I don't think it is worth the stiff premium NI wants. There is no software included, not even Komplete Kontrol. You have to own either v9 or v10 to get it. With the KK software, I can control Komplete sufficiently well from an inexpensive controller, and because the control on the keyboard is relatively limited, it is not really that much more tedious to use the mouse to tweak settings.
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