Native Instrument Announces Komplete Kontrol 1.5, NKS Plugin Format & S88 Keyboard


Native Instruments today announced several updates to its Komplete Kontrol line:

  • Native Kontrol Standard, a new plug-in format allowing third-party instruments to achieve the same deep integration previously only reserved for Komplete Instruments;
  • VST support lets Komplete Kontrol owners load and play their entire software instrument collection; and
  • Komplete Kontrol S88 is a new keyboard controller with 88 fully weighted, hammer-action keys.

Here’s the official intro video:

Native Kontrol Standard (NKS) is a new plug-in format that lets VST and Kontakt instrument developers integrate their plug-ins with Komplete Kontrol and Maschine at the same deep level as Komplete Instruments.

Instrument developers can use Native Map to create parameter mappings for the eight controller knobs on the S-Series keyboards or Maschine. NKS instruments can also access the Light Guide, so that third-party instruments can display key switches and sample assignments, for example.

NKS also allows plug-ins to access the Smart Play features in the Komplete Kontrol software – including the touch strips, scale mapping, Chord Sets, and the arpeggiator.

These partners have committed to releasing NKS versions of their instruments as a free update to current owners:

  • Arturi
  • U-He
  • Output Audio
  • Soundiron
  • Heavyocity
  • Spitfire
  • ProjectSAM
  • Softube
  • XILS Lab
  • Waldorf
  • e-Instruments
  • Sonokinetic
  • Evolution Series

Komplete Kontrol 1.5 also introduces VST compatibility, letting you play and control VST instruments on an S-Series keyboard. Komplete Kontrol 1.5 also provides a new ‘Control Panel’ – a dedicated interface for customizing instrument parameter mappings to the eight control knobs on the hardware.


Komplete Kontrol S88 rounds-off the Komplete Kontrol S-Series range of keyboards with an 88-key version.

The keyboard provides a ‘piano-like’ playing experience, with an 88-key Fatar keybed, featuring fully-weighted, hammer-action keys and aftertouch.

The keyboard also provides the same set of controls and features as the other S-Series keyboards, notably Smart Play (a set of melodic features controlling chords) and Light Guide (colored LEDs that indicate key switches, sound types, and more).

Komplete Kontrol 1.5 and Komplete Kontrol S88 will be available on October 27, 2015. The S88 is priced at US $999. See the NI site for details.

16 thoughts on “Native Instrument Announces Komplete Kontrol 1.5, NKS Plugin Format & S88 Keyboard

  1. Love my S49, probably the best keys I have ever used, especially with Komplete Ultimate 10. Can’t wait for this upgrade.
    Btw; First partner on the list is Arturia not Arturi… 😉

  2. It is a good idea, but I have no more space for another 88keys keyboard.
    Why they don’t make only a LED STATUS BAR for all keyboard 36/49/61/88 to add on ours synth?

    This is my suggestion for the future…

  3. Honestly, NI should stop dicking around and just make a synth. Something that could load reaktor patches like a Nord G2 would be my pref, but really, anything modestly multi-timbral would make them all of the monies.

    1. Who needs another digital synth? But…a mini PC inside Komplete Kontrol could’ve been awesome, especially with non-NI plugin support. But then I’d want multiple outputs, etc. Might as well get an audio interface.

      1. That was my million dollar idea in the 90’s. Combine an Atari computer with a Fatar key bed.
        The ” Fatari”.
        Seriously though if these had built in audio interfaces and a stand to hold a Surface tablet it would be one heck of a stage performer.

      2. That’s kinda my point. They make audio interfaces, have a huge stock of really good DSP algorithms, and now keyboards. I’m not saying they need to put out “Komplete in a Box” (Origin is going to be a cautionary tale for years to come), but there are many ways they could use their IP’s to do a quality, original instrument. Looking at how well Arturia has done with the x-brutes, and Roland doing good VA gear, I’d be surprised If there isn’t a vocal minority within NI looking into this.

        NI’s VSTs sound really good, but there’s a huge number of people that know anything that has to hook into a computer to work has a built-in shelf life of 5-10 years, max (see below).

  4. remember .ksd..?

    july 2008 Native Instruments’ Kore promises to unify your library of software instruments and effects,
    a integrated software and hardware system that acts as a universal ‘front end’ to VST/Audio Units instruments and effects installed on your computer.

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