Guessing that 'new' flag will not be a feature. This image has been making the rounds.

Guessing that ‘new’ flag will not be a feature. This image has been making the rounds.

Keeping new musical instrument announcements under wraps prior to embargo dates is proving, again, to be more or less impossible. Native Instruments’ Komplete updates, teased in a video on Friday, have now been prematurely revealed via one print magazine hitting newsstands (Beat, in Germany), and multiple leaks by dealers (some even crawled by Google, according to a CDM reader). Forum members at GearSlutz have been dutifully reproducing everything, leaving few secrets. From there, the cat’s out of the bag; I’m seeing this spreading through German-language outlets and expect others will pick this up soon. Oddly, forum members and commenters have also proceeded to review the announcement in some detail, apparently on the merits of a serious of text bullet points and screen shots alone.

I think that’s a little ridiculous. You need to hear instruments to judge them; you need to actually use hardware and software to judge its quality. Implementation is everything.

This isn’t the whole story – not yet. The leaks don’t yet reveal any details of how that works, only the basic physical form of the keyboards, as well as what instruments have been added in Komplete 10’s software.

So, I’m posting it here in the hopes that more inquisitive CDM readers will ask us some questions. What would you want to see tested; what would you want to know? Let’s see some questions rather than premature reviews, and we can find some answers. (My experience is, readers here ask terrific questions.)

But for starters, here’s the information shared on GearSlutz and in a story on (German-language site) The big story, as the teaser video suggested, is keyboards designed for controlling instruments in Komplete. Many of the hardware features you’ve already seen in the “teaser” video (which actually showed quite a lot):

Komplete Kontrol keyboards:
25-, 49-, and 61-key models
8 encoders with displays
Touch strips
Scale and Arpeggiator controls
USB, MIDI in/out, pedal inputs
Pricing starting at 499€ (as reported in Beats’ print article, now on newsstands here in Germany)

Komplete 10 update – 12,000 sounds, 130GB of content:
Three new pianos: The Grandeur, The Maverick, The Gentleman
Three new synth/instruments: Kontour, Rounds, and Polyplex
Drumlab, Session Horn, and Supercharger Driver now included
Komplete Kontrol keyboard ready



Do stay tuned for official information from Native Instruments and CDM’s own take. (For instance, I would hope you’re wondering a little bit about what’s behind these leaked screenshots.)

That said, I think it’s hilarious that one forum poster has already prepared a parody image. The team at NI is pretty thick-skinned; I think they’ll have a chuckle at this and assume the serious reviews will occur once people actually try what they’ve built.

And – yes, forums are amazing, weird places. I don’t have enough time to do things like this image, and this is actually my day job. Kudos. I think.

Someone should create a Reaktor ensemble for The Disappointment that actually makes sound. I’d use it in a set. Where’s Tim Exile?

Lolz all around. Someone named "jokerone" on GearSlutz has a lot of time on his/her hands.

Lolz all around. Someone named “jokerone” on GearSlutz has a lot of time on his/her hands. Actually, I’d very much like an impulse response of a dumpster. Let’s get on that.

See you soon with all the solid details. Have a good weekend, and make sure your Photoshopping leaves some time for making music.

  • Peter Dines

    The keyboard could be pretty sweet. NI does solid hardware, and good integration with their software. It never feels like it was bolted on as an afterthought. Hoping the keyboard will have aftertouch.

    • Peter Kirn

      I hope CDM will again be a venue for some coverage of the news from the perspective of Reaktor users like yourself. 😉

    • Peter Dines

      I’d be happy to provide my hot take on this as soon as I get my hot little hands on one!

    • the truth

      fuck this, they should have updated maschine to fix all of those damn bugs, put back all those damn features they took out , and put in all those damn features they didn’t put in it that they should have 5 fuckin years ago!

  • SyntheticJuice

    Rounds looks interesting. A FM, synth, with hopefully new interesting waveforms? Maybe interesting filters? Hopefully the UI works well without a mouse?

  • H. Wood

    Dumpster IR in here, a ways down the page.

    • Peter Kirn

      Brilliant. Let’s do this.

  • Russ Hughes

    The reality is better than the gossip… really

  • geoff

    Why more pianos ? Komplete already has a ton of them

    • Paul Abruzzo

      But none of them are really high quality. They’re all kind of thin and phasey, the worst being Alicia’s keys. The giant is a step in the right direction. Hopefully the three new ones continue to move in a better direction as well.

  • Clif Marsiglio

    Yay. Another new Komplete update. When I just bought it two months ago for nearly a grand. And found out that it wasn’t as ‘Komplete’ as I was led to believe.

    But, it comes on an awesome USB drive that only takes 12 hours to install because they found the absolute slowest drive in existence.

    • Peter Kirn

      Cliff, what were you missing in Komplete?

      I’d love to see Komplete come with sound content on a fast external drive, so I think I’m with you on that point. Plug-ins still have to be installed locally, but I’d love a drive that required no *soundware* installation that I could just plug in.

      I will of course inquire on what the grace period is on upgrades.

    • Clif Marsiglio

      There was a LOT of content that wasn’t there. For instance, I was really interested in the Cuban drums. Nope. Not there. Session Horns Pro. Nope. The practically useless version of Session Horns is there, but not the Pro. Rise / Kinetic Metal…a few others that I had hoped were in there. But…they do give a $30 voucher!

      My biggest complaint about the name is the idea that you are getting EVERYTHING when you aren’t. Recently they upgraded the site to state: “Includes all software-only KOMPLETE Instruments and Effects that are available on March 27, 2013. Releases after this date are not included.”

      I probably would have bought it anyways if I had known, but damn…stop naming things ‘Komplete’ when you have a half dozen definitions of what everything is when the lowest version is pretty much ‘the Komplete Free Stuff That Comes With Kontakt Anyways, So Not Really Complete By Even The Loosest Meaning Of The Word”.

    • some guy

      dude, it clearly lists what’s in the bundle on their website.

    • Clif Marsiglio

      dude, it clearly goes out of its way to say it is the ‘komplete’ set of NI’s products. I’m sorry I didn’t get out the graph paper and chart what wasn’t there vs. what was. Come to think about it, it might have been easier for NI to state DOESN’T COME WITH XYZ…

      But sure, some guy.

    • some guy
    • Clif Marsiglio

      Hey Thanks Someguy! I wish I would have read this instead of talking to a NI representative at NAMM that told me “Yeah, Get The Ultimate as it has every single thing we sell except the hardware”.

      And when I asked again a few months later, I was told the same thing and told the website wasn’t always up to date. Again, the new website now makes it clear: “Includes all software-only KOMPLETE Instruments and Effects that are
      available on March 27, 2013. Releases after this date are not included.” This was never anywhere on the site when bought the product.

      But yeah, thanks! This will help someone else who looks at the website now!

    • Peter Kirn

      Okay, I was just unsure what you meant, specifically. Yes, this does all suggest to me that Komplete might some day go to a subscription model a la Adobe. But I didn’t know if you meant this, or Maschine etc.

    • Clif Marsiglio

      Yeah, I was sorta told that this was how it was. Then again, I use to be in the same business you are in and was told a lot of info so that it might get posted on my website! I started Sonikmatter back in the day — started off as a mailing list in the early ’90s, and then a website, and we ended up being the first site that really focused on softsynths (I still have my burned prerelease of Generator, which was pre-Reaktor). Hell, NI stole the co-founder of my site to start their first US office because we were close enough.

      Either way, I was pretty much told that this is how things were these days — you by the complete set and anything that wasn’t there would be added later. I didn’t realize that ‘later’ meant $399 later when they update the package! Then again, after all the free software over the last decade from NI, this isn’t a big problem, but still ticks me off that it says ‘Komplete’ and isn’t ‘Komplete’ :-)

    • synapticflow

      He was missing Komplete 10 obviously.

  • Jaybeeg

    €499 for a 25 key controller sounds a bit much, don’t you think?

    • Freeks

      Oh really?
      Korg Triton Taktile 309€ but it has sounds on board.
      Novation Remote 25SL MKII 279€ and it has 16knobs, 8 faders and pads and buttons + SCREEN.

      My 49K controller just broke down and have been looking for a new one. I thought that Korg Taktile 49 (287€) and Nektar panorama P4 (379€) were a bit too expensive, but little i knew.

      I love how machine integrates with Komplete so i would love to have Kontroller, but unless it comes (it won’t) with Komplete (or even a free update) i just can’t justify the cost. Also have to remember that these are mk1 and mk2 version will follow later.

  • genjutsushi

    anyone think its a shame that they have added a bunch of new pianos… but omitted an 88 key weighted controller from the range?!

    • Peter Kirn

      Right, but if you’re primarily playing the pianos, you don’t need a piano with knobs and sound browsing. 😉 At least, not for those instruments. That’s why I think things like the Doepfer make a lot of sense – for a piano, an 88-key hammer action doesn’t really need additional controls.

    • lala

      No additional controls? 88 keys and no 2 or 3 pedals?
      Thats a strange piano 😉

    • Peter Kirn

      To replicate a piano, all you need is an 88-key hammer keybed and pedal inputs. You don’t need displays, sound browsing controls, pitch and mod wheels, and encoders. 😉 Seems fairly self-evident to me.

    • lala

      the inputs wont play themself, thats what I would call additional controls. Im sure you agree.

    • Sin Sentido Comun

      The point would eb offering a controller for composers, wich deep integration with complete, 88 for many is a must. Arturia, Akai and Roland have 88 controllers with mod wheels, two of them also offer controls. So I don’t see why Ni skipped it. It would have been the only model I would be interested.

    • Peter Kirn

      An 88-key model makes sense at some point. I would see why they wouldn’t launch with it. Playing a piano, you tend to dial up one setting you like and stick with it. The integration need isn’t the same as someone playing synths or ethnic percussion or something, and most of the Komplete library doesn’t really match hammer action input. So I expect they’d do it at some point, but I don’t see why it’s essential. Komplete will work perfectly well with any number of existing hammer-action keyboards.

    • Freeks

      Since everybody who plays piano samples already have 88 key weighted controller. But nobody have 25-61 key controllers so that’s where the money is 😛

  • misho

    Hey, that Polyplex looks to have been done by Twisted Tools! (LOVE their stuff..)

    I find it interesting that NI is now pretty much relying on external developers for their new products. Errorsmith for Razor, this Twisted Tools thing, the Tim Exile stuff, the list goes on… Although I appreciate that they work with forward thinking developers and artists making cool stuff, it seems a problem when your “innovation” begins to depend on external resources.

    As far as the controllers – so they slapped a Kore inside a keyboard? They discontinue a product just to introduce it again a few years later in a different package? And how long until they drop support for these controllers too? Sorry, but I hope the Kore debacle comes back to haunt them with this product. Rant over!

    • Gesslr Gesslr

      As pissed as I still am with the KORE debacle, if they did drop KORE into a new controller and it meant an extension in the life of the software somehow, I’d probably buy it.

  • genjutsushi

    Colour coded keys = colour coded cells in Battery. Also showing ‘splits’ in multi / performance mode in Kontakt.
    Fail on having touchstrips for the mod / pitch – that is going to be really irritating for a lot of people.
    I would really love these to have proper integration with a range of DAWs aswell. They have been good at supporting Ableton for instance through the Maschine control profile.

  • Sin Sentido Comun

    About the controllers, this is been discused at GS:

    Why only 8 encoders? Some think this would be best for live performance and seem happy. But many others were waiting the ultimate controller for synths.

    NI showed the world you could bring HW workflow and feel to the ITB world with Maschine. I expected them would know better that the market lacks a controller wich does the same thing Maschine did for grooveboxes for soft synths.

    It’s a missed oportunity, specially since NI Maschine Studio and Ableton Push have showed people is willing to pay for deep integration.

    A controller with 4 groups (sound source, filter, envelopes and modulation) of 8 encoders each one, with screen as this one would have been fantastic. Hope the mk2 brings best stuff.

    So far this new NI controller is not a big step up from Novation SL range which also has screen and can recall parameter values and names via Automap.

  • Freeks

    Now it’s official The Most Expensive upgrade+midi controller ever:
    K10 update + 49Key Kontroller 800€ !!!!

  • Lemoutan

    “Lolz all around. Someone named “jokerone” on GearSlutz has a lot of time on his/her hands. Actually, I’d very much like an impulse response of a dumpster. Let’s get on that.”

    Sampled sighs, groans, tut-tuts and tsks. Many based on vocalizations emitted by teenagers and the elderly alike. Absolutely no reason on earth that this instrument should not exist.

  • Soundwrecker

    KU10 update for $400 is unreasonable, considering I plopped down big bucks just 6 months ago for a KU9 upgrade; and that was a costly update from K8. Plus, the update price is the same for KU2-9? C’mon NI, for what will likely be an upgrade that only has a few new things that really grab me this seems like a particularly poor value for one of your presently devoted and loyal customers. More pianos? I’d like a $199 pricetag to update from KU9. I don’t even care if I skip the cheap USB HDD and have to spend a few days downloading it, if that chips a cool $200 off of the asking price. I typically like to keep all of the software that I use on a regular basis updated, but I’m feeling taken for granted / advantage-of in this instance, which really hurts based on my NI proselytizing and fan boui behavior over the last few years. I have “Komplete” stickers on my car and laptop for fuck’s sake. As someone who has dumped several $K USD into NI (including Maschine MKI, Traktor S2, K8, KU9 + many expansions) I don’t feel good about this attempt to anally rape me for an update to a product I essentially just recently purchased. Has it even been a year since K9 was first released? Staying updated on this one audio suite feels comparable in expense to my annual mobile phone plan.