Native Instruments today releases a teaser video which it says is “A glimpse of the future” of Komplete, the production suite that includes Reaktor, Kontakt, and various synths and the like.

That video clearly shows some kind of hardware. Now, the degree to which I can speculate about an unreleased product is inversely proportional to the amount I know about such a product.

So, with that in mind, let me objectively describe what you see in the video in ways that are truly obviously discernible, for those of you who can’t be bothered to squint at the video yourself. I’d say we see:

Colored lights. (Red! Blue! White! Assuming I’m not color blind… or that the Polizei haven’t shown up. Sorry about running that red light on my bike Monday.)
White things in a row. (from several angles, those things in a row … teeth?)
A knob/encoder.
Scale / Arp buttons.
A browser interface (Browse, Instance, Back, directional keys, Preset increment-decrement buttons, and Enter, plus an encoder).
Knobs/encoders with displays with amounts (Reverb, Reso, Drive, Glitch).
Two tall things with a big, tall LED strip in between and two things on top.
Loud noises.
Native Instruments: The Future of Sound (logo).

So – it’s obviously a Eurorack module. Or an analog monosynth. Joke.

Rest assured, we will bring you more solid information when we can, seeing as I practically trip over Native Instruments headquarters when I try to get out of bed in the morning. (Tricky, that. But I work for you. I’m keeping them as close as I can with that in mind.)

  • NiKoreIsDead

    Its the Kontrol S (25/49/61) keyboard as seen here a long time ago πŸ˜€


    Greetz from BΓ€rloin πŸ˜€

    • Peter Kirn

      Yes, well…

      Dealer leaks, funny, too…

      Is KoreIsDead going to be your permanent avatar? πŸ˜‰

    • NiKoreIsDead

      Pardon, please feel free to delete me if it was not allowed to tell.
      ItΒ΄s friday, tuff week + i stoped smoking (both)

    • Peter Kirn

      HA! No, I did hear about that dealer ad reveal… nothing CDM (or you) can do about that. I can neither confirm nor deny whether that image is accurate. πŸ˜‰

    • Freeks

      This was old news as everybody have seen the leaked images and details of Kontrollers. Those look very overpriced controllers. 499€ for 49key controller with only 8 knobs is really expensive.

    • Peter Kirn

      You can judge products by dodgy thumbnails posted to forums?

      Whew. Okay, then shove this review – I’m going to the beach! Cya!

    • NiKoreIsDead

      Thx πŸ˜‰ as i like the idea of a NI keyboard controller (or Kore successor) … chance is high….BUT “say my name” πŸ˜‰ (yo)

  • dylan digits

    “Maschine Studio – Maschine = Komplete” is what I got out of that. If you took away the Maschine software and the 4×4 pads, what would you have? A hardware solution to control all of Komplete’s instruments and effects without using the mouse. Perfect for those of us who don’t have an MPC-style pad workflow but use NI plug-ins.

    Or it could be an updated NI-styled version of the Casio SK-1. What do I know?

    • dylan digits

      Oh, whoops: keys. Yeah. What NiKoreIsDead said. Which is cool, but I have a 61-key and 25-key pair of axioms sitting around that I should really get rid of; I need another controller like a hole in the head.

    • Peter Kirn

      Or teeth. You don’t know they aren’t teeth. We’ll do a review around the full moon.

    • dylan digits

      On full moons, KONTROL S will turn whatever projects on which you are working into Shy FX’s “Wolf”.

    • Aaron

      that’s so awful… and not even in an ironically entertainingly awful kind of way.

  • Giorgio Martini

    I thinki saw keys… if they do add keys i would prefer they added a grid ala push to add in key modes or an hexagonic keyboard ala
    Axis 64 Midi Controller…

    anyways we’ll wait and zee….

  • TJ

    The return of KORE! =P

    • Derek Morton

      That was my first thought! : )

    • TJ

      To be honest I never really understood what Kore was for! Maybe NI is going to release some keyboard with Maschine pads like everyone else is doing?

    • Nagasaki Nightrider

      What’s to understand? Hardware front end (ie MIDI controller) for NI plugin host. NI premapped relevant parameters to the knobs and buttons. Just like Maschine. Offered some interesting programming options for patches and whatnot. I even used to make tracks with nothing but Kore in standalone mode using the crappy internal step sequencer, MIDI file player, arp and other midi tools. Very fun way to tap Komplete without using a DAW. In fact, I’m going to go do that now!

  • SpaceTravelMadeEasy

    I’ve said for years that NI were missing a trick with Maschine because it only has the 8 hands-on knobs for control. I’m putting money on this being a controller full of knobs and sliders to put more hands-on control for live performance and for easy studio tweaking.

  • Dave O Mahony

    No N.I. just no, never again. Not after been out money and more importantly time and working methods with the Kore debacle. Never again shalt thou have my money!

    • heinrichz

      This is not another Kore simply because there is no unified file system for all the instruments like we had with .ksd and NI just recently moved to a new file system so i doubt they would recreate something like that again.

  • Henry

    Well, there is (was?) some trend lately focusing on controllers (with or without keys, knobs, pads and whatever) that were tailor-made for a specific DAW, plug-in or other piece of software. So, why should there not be a new, dedicated controller for Komplete? That makes perfectly sense, since you can only do so much with Maschine (or Maschine Studio), considering that they haven’t got keys on them.

    It would certainly be nice if there came a controller without the keys, as well as one with, since so many already have a keyboard and might not want to have another one on their desks.

    But I could very well imagine adding an NI dedicated keyboard next to my Maschine.

    • heinrichz

      it’s all about improving the workflow

    • Henry

      I know. And I appreciate that. My post was – if I understood it correctly – not *against* such concepts…

  • Florian Krause

    What a weird video. It’s totally unclear to me what the product is. I can see nothing. Just a couple of buttons. Amazing that this works. Marketing something without telling what it is. What a weird new world…Well, Fanboyism is a big thing these days I guess…

    • The Last Mohegan

      Looks like a midi keyboard to me

    • Graham Metcalfe

      It’s called a whisper campaign

    • foljs

      “””Amazing that this works. Marketing something without telling what it is. “””

      It’s called a “teaser”.

      Its purpose is to attract interest (“hmm, what is that?”)!

    • Peter Kirn

      Actually, for what it’s worth, I’m surprised they revealed as much in the tear as they did; I didn’t expect that.

    • Florian Krause


  • The Last Mohegan

    Found this doing a google search for Kontrol Keyboard S images. Apparently it was on NI’s website but taken down.

    • Guest

      Hm, the color coded keys (for keyswitches, ranges in Kontakt etc.) and the encoders with program sensitive names for parameters look very neat, in my opinion. Aftertouch also, I suppose. So no wonder it is a bit more pricey than other boards…. Want one!!

    • Erhythmic SoulChild

      Complete 10 Ultimate, Let eh games and production marvel’s begin. I can’t red music nut I will play the shit out if this.

  • mothergarage

    so if this is kore-ish – will there be a crossgrade option for kore owners?

  • heinrichz

    It’s a keyboard controller with midi effects that is designed to browse the Komplete libraries hands on, comparable to Maschine. In addition to that, macros will probably be pre mapped and ready to be auto written in Maschine etc.

  • Justin Price

    I’d really expect a larger focus on hands on control if they were going to bother making a keyboard at this point.

  • Andy Cartridge

    a midi keyboard?
    well it will be useful for djs who are getting into production..

    i was hoping for a Reaktor 6 controller! oh well :)

    • Peter Kirn

      What would you want in a Reaktor controller? And why couldn’t a keyb– um, “thing” be that controller?

      I should also add, Reaktor is unique in its (now) excellent support for OSC, which means any number of things can be custom controllers, including iPads.

    • Andy Cartridge

      I’ve always struggled to get touchOSC etc working well with Reaktor..

      To be honest, between my Impulse 25, Faderfox Dj2, Launchpad, Novation 49SL Mk 2 and Korg MicroKontrol i’ve had enough of controllers..

      I just use my Impulse and Touchable these days, my interest has shifted to actual sound generating boxes.. i’m having great fun with my Pittsburgh Modular System 10 semi modular, and my Meeblip Anode :)

      I would really like to see NI make a hardware box, that actually generates sound! I’ve just totally lost interest in controllers, even cool ones like the Maschine Studio ..
      Maybe they could make an effects unit.. analogue overdrive, spring reverb,filters and vca… with dsp in it also .. some of that molekular ya can do glitch and dj fx too… stick it in eurorack format.. and have a box so djs can add it to their traktor setup…

      I just noticed since using hardware again, that special something from sounds coming out of the box into ya DAW – whether it be from an analogue or digital source…

      So yah, i’m just being abit cynical really, controllers dont do anything for me, though i am sure the new ones from NI will be useful for people who dont own such things :)

  • Guest

    Well, even the german mag BEAT has the news already….!!! πŸ˜‰

    • Peter Kirn

      Funny. Okay, then someone at BEAT didn’t properly communicate their print schedule to NI. This is definitely still very much under embargo.

      Anyway, I don’t think it’s the news that’s so important as the experience of using the thing, so that’s what I’m focused on writing about (even in advance of a proper review, which requires final, not pre-release software).

  • Tobi

    Well, even the german mag BEAT has the news already…!!! πŸ˜‰

  • vaikl

    Here’s a german article with more pics:
    Same pics can be found at Gearsluts and MusicArt…