Native Introduces Komplete Kontrol S-Series Control Keyboards


Native Instruments has announced the Komplete Kontrol S-Series control keyboards – a new line of controllers designed to provide tight integration with Komplete 10.

The Kontrol S-Series keyboards are available with 25, 49 or 61 keys, featuring Fatar keybeds.

Here’s the official intro video:

Key Features:

  • The Komplete Browser unifies the instruments in Komplete, delivering tag-based access to all Instrument presets from one plug-in interface. Instead of browsing by instrument, users can now search by sound.
  • Native Map technology automatically maps all key parameters for each Instrument to the touch-sensitive controller knobs – all clearly visible on the keyboards’ Clear View display. Each instrument was carefully mapped by NI sound designers to arrange the most relevant parameters on pages laid out on the keyboard’s display.
  • The Light Guide shows key switches, zones, and more on multi-color LEDs positioned just above the keys. For example, key switches for Kontakt Instruments such as Action Strikes are illuminated in one color, while keys used for performance are lit with another. This puts the instrument’s layout on the keyboard at a glance without having to look at the software. The lights also provide performance feedback – scales, chords, and arpeggios light up across the keyboard as they are played.
  • The keyboards also offer Smart Play features, designed to accelerate workflow and stimulate new ideas. Chord mode lets producers 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. The integrated scale mapping features deliver fast access to new melodic possibilities – notes of the currently selected scale light up on the Light Guide. Many widely-used musical scales can also be mapped to the white keys. ‘Wrong’ notes can be automatically re-mapped so melodies are always in tune. The arpeggiator works seamlessly with every Komplete Instrument. And the eight controller knobs manage parameters such as direction, rate, rhythm, patterns, and variations.
  • Two touch-sensitive Touch Kontrols can mimic the behavior of pitch and mod wheels, or 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, opening these control innovations to instruments outside the Komplete universe.


Pricing and Availability

Komplete Kontrol S-Series keyboards are available online and in retailers October 1, 2014. Preorder is also available.

  • Komplete Kontrol S25 is available for $499 USD/499 EUR.
  • Komplete Kontrol S49 is available for $599 USD/599 EUR.
  • Komplete Kontrol S61 is available for $699 USD/699 EUR.

See the NI site for details.

45 thoughts on “Native Introduces Komplete Kontrol S-Series Control Keyboards

      1. It’s also the “Clear View display”, all those multicolored LEDs, etc. Silly to compare the price of this to an Axiom or even Novation…

  1. ah yes, I remember NI putting out a midi controller intended to control their softwarre….what was it called? Oh right, Kore, and the stopped 2 months after putting out new paid expansions.

  2. ”Built for Komplete 10.” I won’t be surprsed if this doesn’t work so well with Komplete 9, 8 etc. And if they will stop support and updates in a while it will be pretty useless in a couple of years. (If you want to keep up of course). Nah, I will stick with my Novation SL mk2, does the job pretty good for all these years. With plugins from every company.

    1. I don’t know why it would only work with K10. From what I can tell K10 is just K9 with a handful of new instruments and effects.

  3. Looks like nice hardware. But that unifying software feels like it’s solving a problem that nobody had. That’s one more layer of crap to load in your daw during a session, just to help you find a sound from EVERY instrument all at once, and color up a few lights. And when (not if) that software layer stops working, so does everything else special about this keyboard. Seems pretty shaky to me.

    1. Well , I don’t think there’s any way to browse EVERY instrument all at once from the keyboard since all these plug-ins or instruments run under a DAW.If it’s Machine sure , but I think it’ll be linked only on a single plug-in that is in focus.The LEDs seem to be used mainly by Kontakt.
      For me , the LED thing could be very very useful.I use Kontakt a lot and usually my templates use at least 20 instances.On all libraries you can find some useful key switches.I often zoom and try to match the on-screen keys to my controller because I can’t remember al these patches.Programing key switches is soo tedious , and I end up having to play the same part over and over again just to make it sound right instead of playing it.
      However , the key bed doesn’t look like much.I would have preferred a 88 key with hammer action.The controls seem useless too.They can’t fit ALL the controls from all patches in Kontakt.
      I guess it could work for the new stuff tho , if somebody cares.

      1. >Well , I don’t think there’s any way to
        >browse EVERY instrument all at once

        Sure there is. You create a new piece of software as a front end for a database. Fill it dynamically with presets from all the instruments. When a patch is selected, load the instrument needed to play it. Lots of companies already do this.

        1. Sure , like Machine does it.But I meant right now for the Komplete series using their plugs in a DAW. For this release it doesn’t seem to have that feature implemented.I’m sure Native Instruments would have used this in their marketing campaign like it was the greatest thing ever.Lots of other companies are more innovative than NI.

  4. I’d say I’ll wait til they bundle it with Komplete, but… I agree with those above who worry about longevity. Better to have a more generic controller.

  5. I just saw a lengthy demo of this. The colored lights are downright silly and at that price, the keyboard sure doesn’t sound like a better-level Fatar when played. There’s no reason to consider this unless you are majorly committed to NI and even then, a Novation or other controller won’t suddenly become obsolete when Maschine’s OS gets upended to match yet another custom box. I like the assignable knobs up top and the control strips aren’t a bad design at all, but its just too proprietary for broader real-world use.

  6. Saw the demo on this KB. WOW! This looks to be a quality bit of kit. The colored lights could be useful for practicing scales, or learning how to play lead lines from Bladerunner. (One could script this in Kontakt)
    This is a MUST Buy for 2014.

  7. maschine like intergration,pads ,audio sampling inputs ect,missed opportunity i suspect,an all in one solution would have been great:/

    1. I suspect that an all in one solution would have canibalized their other products. They have 3 distinct product lines (Komplete, Maschine and Traktor) and each of them are complementary. It’s pure logic (well not logic the DAW…well you know what I mean!)

  8. They’re too proprietary to match their Komplete product.
    If you’ve got the $$ to buy Komplete then the world’s your oyster!

    Sure yes – NI make some great software and VSTi’s, as well as some nice hardware interfaces but the rest of 99% of us without want a practical keyboard controller… Quality keybed + aftertouch/pressure + joysticj/touchpad, knobs/sliders, ribbon strip, D-beam/3D hand controller… You get my drift ^_^

  9. They should have tried perfecting Roland’s idea of the “plug out”. I like their software, but who wants to listen to a playback track? I know you can go way farther with software… But some of y’all need to start playing your instrument.

  10. so komplete software is updated with 3 reaktorish syths, and three pianos.
    oh i bet people miss pianos in komplete.
    this komplete thing is a ponzi scheme and i bought into it.

  11. While is is really a dedicated overpriced brain fart – I do hope I see copies of that animated touch modulation control – great innovation but hardly worth $499 on a 25 note keyboard controlled.

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