Native Instruments Intros Kontrol S-Series MK3 Keyboard MIDI Controllers With Polyphonic Aftertouch

Native Instruments today announced new Kontrol S-Series MK3 MIDI controller keyboards, including the S49, S61, and S88.

The entire line has been updated to feature Fatar keyboards with polyphonic aftertouch. This lets you take performances further, letting you control cutoff, pitch, vibrato, and more for each individual note, without reaching for an encoder or dial.

Native says that they the new S-Series keyboard controllers are best in class, with new features and control capabilities; an intuitive connection to instruments, effects, and DAWs; all with deep navigation on a high-res screen. They are available in three size options: 49 semi-weighted keys, 61 semi-weighted keys, or 88 fully weighted hammer-action keys.

All three models feature a large glass screen, touch-sensitive anodized aluminum encoders and mod wheels, and redesigned tactile buttons.


  • Full-color glass display
  • Fatar keyboard with polyphonic aftertouch as standard
  • Metal-touch pitch and modulation wheels with central illumination
  • Hardware/software integration with direct connection to Kontakt helps you find, adjust, and play sounds quickly and easily
  • Integration with all major DAWs lets you control transport and mixing commands directly from the keyboard: record, stop, rewind, mix, edit, and see project channels on the display
  • Precision tweaking for all your sounds, pre-mapped to key instrument and effect parameters
  • Redesigned Light Guide pinpoints notes with a light above each key
  • USB, MIDI, and bus-powered USB-C connectivity plus inputs for four pedals: one sustain, one expression, and two assignable pedals

The Kontrol S-Series controllers come with a wide range of software, including:

  • Komplete 14 Select is the essential production suite, including powerful synths, drums, percussion, studio-grade effects, and a wide range of customizable sounds.
  • Komplete Kontrol software unites and organizes instruments, effects, loops, and samples, mapping everything to the keyboard controller.
  • Plus: Stradivari Cello, Hypha, Guitar Rig LE, iZotope Elements Suite, and Ableton Live Lite

Pricing and Availability:

The Kontrol S-Series MK3 is available now to pre-order and shipping in October, with the following pricing:

  • Kontrol S49 MK3 pricing:
    € 749,00 / $ 749,00 / JPY 107.400,00 / £ 649,00 / AUD 1.099,00 / CAD 969,00 / CHF 749,00 / CNY ¥ 5.899,00
  • Kontrol S61 MK3 pricing:
    € 849,00 / $ 849,00 / JPY 121.700,00 / £ 749,00 / AUD 1.299,00 / CAD 1.099,00 / CHF 849,00 / CNY ¥ 6.699,00
  • Kontrol S88 MK3 pricing:
    € 1.299,00 / $ 1.299,00 / JPY 186.200,00 / £ 1129,00 / AUD 1.949,00 / CAD 1.679,00 / CHF 1299,00 / CNY ¥ 9.999,00

12 thoughts on “Native Instruments Intros Kontrol S-Series MK3 Keyboard MIDI Controllers With Polyphonic Aftertouch

  1. Well, that’s a disappointment 🙁
    Was hoping for Standalone mode aka MASCHINE+
    Will stick to my current S49 MK1 for while longer I guess…

  2. If you don’t already have a Poly AT keybed and ant one, nice option- Personally the MK2 with Maschine control seems better value and more useful. Given NI’s recent launches if you do want one I would wait 6 months for the bugs to be sorted!

  3. The 49 & 61 key versions have those rounded black key tops which I really don’t like. It makes it so much easier for my finger to slip off the key if I don’t hit it exactly right. But it is better for gliss fx.

    I’ve been waiting for a polyAT keyboard in this price range for a long time, so I’m tempted.

  4. I guess the other important question is how inter-operable is it with non-NI kinds of VI’s and synths– particularly with being able to send MIDI CC messages from various hardware controls on the unit.

  5. The MIDI template for use in standalone mode ( via MIDI din) is NOT edit-able. Not editable.

    NI also says you have to buy THEIR NI branded charger to use this mode.

    Ooph. I wanted to like this but ugh.

  6. A poor man’s controller surface at a quite a high price.
    – no touchscreen
    – no sliders
    – no pads
    – and a very limited amount of knobs and buttons

    Bad for keyboarders who want and need flexible hands on controls for different purposes.
    Good for NI with higher prices despite reduced costs.
    Good for NI caging users into NKS and Komplete Kontrol functionality dependance more than ever.

    From my view, hoping for a better successor for my S88 Mk2, a komplete failure.

      1. The Hydrasynth and UB-Xa (if it ever ships) are the only other comparable polyphonic aftertouch keyboards I know of in this price range. The Iridium keyboard also has a Fatar polyphonic aftertouch keybed but is more expensive.

  7. Great news – looks like we’re finally seeing more of the Fatar polyphonic aftertouch keybed that was used in the Iridium keyboard!

    Key lights are a nice bonus. Surprised the screen isn’t a touchscreen though for multitouch mixing and plug-in control (not to mention more knobs/sliders/pads in general) but there is space to set an iPad, Maschine controller, etc. on top of it.

  8. The rollout of the MK3 keyboards is a mess and owning some MK1 and MK2 keyboards myself, I wonder what is wrong at NI these days? Maybe they are too busy implementing Gender Language on their German website, resulting in weird, incomplete words, wrong grammar and non-understandable sentences? (of course against the will of their German users)

    Not only did Kontakt 7 cause screen flickers on Macs, with NI trying to put the blame on everyone else, leaving customers with endless hours of testing, buying new monitor cables and more, just to solve the problem with weeks later with an update – now the MK3 has a tendency to brick when applying the mandatory firmware update.

    I did not believe the stories online, but having received my unit yesterday, the firmware update procedure broke with an Error -2, resulting in a completely white screen and a dread device.

    Many folks around the world have similar issues, some even with their replacement keyboards. Wow. Not.

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