Native Instruments S-シリーズキーボード KOMPLETE KONTROL S25
KOMPLETE KONTROL S-SERIESがKOMPLETEの無限の可能性をフルに引き出します。直感的で、表現力豊かに、そしてインスピレーションに溢れた世界最先端のソフトウェア・インストゥルメントを、あなたの指先で実感してください。
「Native Instruments」は1996年、ドイツのベルリンにて立ち上げられた会社です。会社の設立当時から音響の合成を手がけており、パソコン用のソフトウェアシンセや専用コントローラー、PCDJにオーディオインターフェースなど多く発売している点が特徴です。ソフトウェアシンセ、PCDJ、オーディオインターフェースが主力の三本柱となっています。なお、日本法人の「Native Instruments Japan」があり「Native Instruments」製品の販売、サポートなどを行っているので、日本国内からでも支障なく利用することが可能です。
「Native Instruments」のKOMPLETEシリーズは、音楽制作用のソフトウェアとなっています。インストゥルメントやエフェクトが多く収録されており、優れたオーディオエンジンを搭載していることもあって、サウンドデザインを行う際に役立つソフトウェアです。「KOMPLETE KONTROL S25」は「KOMPLETE 10」と同時に発売された、KOMPLETEシリーズ専用のMIDIキーボードとなっています。「KOMPLETE KONTROL S25」の鍵盤の数は、全部で25です。
「KOMPLETE KONTROL S25」の鍵盤はイタリア製
KOMPLETEシリーズがインストールされているパソコンと接続する事で、「KOMPLETE KONTROL S25」は最大限の力を発揮します。ヨーロッパのメーカーのシンセサイザーに多く使われている、イタリアのFatar社製の鍵盤が特徴です。この「KOMPLETE KONTROL S25」の最大の特徴は、鍵盤の付け根に当たる箇所が光るという点となっています。これは「Light Guide」と呼ばれる機能であり、スプリットが分かりやすく色で表示されるので、音源の制作を楽にしてくれることでしょう。
So why only 3 stars? Two reasons:
1) Native Instruments support bites. They don't respond to direct email, and their forums are not nearly sufficient to work through basic issues.
2) The software installation process is horrible, and NI makes things so much more confusing than they need to be. It took me two days to work out the kinks. The documentation and web site don't match. You're supposed to use a horrid piece of garbage called Komplete Select Downloader, which should come with some kind of trigger warning and coupons for free vodka shots. It doesn't do parallel downloads, has no pause functionality, and throws up random errors for which solutions are not readily discoverable. Serial numbers that Native Instruments generates for you once you register your new keyboard may show up (falsely) as invalid when you try to enter them into this tool. For accessing software you supposedly own, this is unacceptable. They have a tool called Native Access, which you can find on their web site and which I recommend over the former downloading tool. You need to make sure to install the Kontakt player as well as the Reactor player in order to get all of the free instruments to work -- this is far from obvious to those new to the platform, and you can find yourself with weird "unable to load plugin" messages just because they don't take care to manage interdependencies.
In summary: if NI bothered to make the software installation process humane, and actually staffed their support team, this product would be an easy five stars.
That's not the case with this product.
I bought this keyboard a week ago from writing this review. As of this morning, I am waiting on a ticket to help me understand why this keyboard is not sending any midi. The Transport controls, knobs, and Navigate buttons work perfectly. But no midi. Yes I've checked to make sure that MIDI PORT 1 is enabled in Controller Editor. Yes I've tried switching to Traditional MIDI by connecting the MIDI ports to my audio interface. Yes I've updated the drivers and firmware. Still no MIDI. It's infuriating, especially since this is the 3-4 problem I've had with this keyboard this week (A nightmare I went through updating a previous ultimate version of Komplete to 11 to work with these keyboard).
Now, let's say you are fortunate and get the device running perfectly. Well, here's how your first encounters will go:
1. If you do not use Cubase, Ableton Live, or Logic Pro X, you CANNOT load more than one Komplete Kontrol plugin per project. "What?" You might be thinking. "That can't be true." Well, the whole point of this keyboard (for me) was so I could rapidly speed up my workflow and quickly select a preset, edit it, record a riff, and then add another track. Well, it's more complicated than that. You can load more than one Instance of Komplete Kontrol, but if you want to quickly switch between them, you MUST click the Instance button or the keyboard will break "focus" and lose all of it's transport/scale/arp/knob/etc functionality. Yep, that's right. Your $1000 keyboard can *POOF* into a plain MIDI controller just by clicking on another instrument track with the mouse!
"Oh, I don't need to worry about that." You say to yourself. "I use one of the DAWs above he mentioned." Sure me too. And I'm STILL having issues. I switched from FL Studio to Ableton Live and this problem is still occurring occasionally and I'm even sure what I am doing to make Komplete Kontrol lose focus because I work so fast. When it does lose focus, I restart the keyboard. Every time.
2. The Scale & Arp features do not send MIDI inherently. I love the amazing concept of the arp and scale buttons. I thought that it meant that I could play with the Arp enabled, and it record the arpeggiated notes as individual midi notes into my project. (For example, I'm holding down the C, E, and G keys while the arp is enabled, so that it will loop through those notes continuously in-sequence. But that is not the case. When you attempt to do this, It will only register than you're holding down three notes. In order to get the Scale or Arp MIDI, you MUST load Komplete Kontrol into a track, create a separate MIDI track, tell that MIDI track to receive MIDI from the Komplete Kontrol track, and send it to the MIDI track (by playing live or MIDI on the existing track. When you hit record, there is the MIDI you were looking for.
You can load another instrument into this separate MIDI track, but why would you want to? Remember, isn't the whole point of this keyboard to make that completely unnecessary? Wait a second. This keyboard isn't make any work easier. It's giving me MORE WORK! It forces me to record TWO MIDI takes instead of one (1 take is what I'm playing with my hands, the second is that midi being sent to another track in the form of the arp notes!).
This product has so much potential. I want to keep it and hope that Native Instruments are able to fix everything I outlined above. I don't even think they are that far away. If they are able to, this product will be the ultimate MIDI controller to end all other midi controllers. As of today, it's an overpriced concept that skews its marketing so well that you do not realize what you are actually paying for.
I highly do not recommend, and it crushes me to say so. Seriously Native Instruments, I want to know how many developers screamed at the execs and telling them that this product was not ready and they went with it anyway.
Remember! The Komplete Kontrol software is available WITHOUT THIS KEYBOARD! For a fraction of the cost, you can buy yourself any other midi controller and just route the knobs yourself and get all of the amazing functionality this keyboard "offers."