Native Instruments' Komplete has long stood as the best deal in music software, bundling every synth, sampler and effect they make into a single blockbuster package.
As ever, Komplete 11 Ultimate (500GB) includes everything released over the year since the last version (Reaktor 6, Una Corda, Strummed Acoustic, Discover Series: India, Replika XT, Emotive Strings and Flesh), plus the all-new Symphony Essentials and Form synth. That's 87 plugins in total, or "over 18,000 sounds".
The cheaper Komplete 11 (155GB) drops this to 45 plugins ("over 13,000 sounds"). We don't have space to get into specifics here, so check out the NI website for the full listings.
The new Symphony Essentials series, included with Komplete 11 Ultimate, consists of cut-down versions of NI's Symphony Series of orchestral ROMplers (Woodwind Solo and Ensemble, Brass Solo and Ensemble and String Ensemble), powered by the same scripted Kontakt engines but packing in far fewer articulations, and losing True Legato, timestretching and the Mixer page.
Obviously, it feels like a lot is missing in comparison to their pricey full-on parents, but for adding a bit of symphonic pomp to your latest garage number, they've got plenty going for them and sound magnificent.
This year sees the addition of a whole new tier to the Komplete range, too. Sitting below Komplete 11 and Komplete 11 Ultimate, the new Komplete 11 Select is an even cheaper option for those new to music production, bringing together the Monark, Massive and Reaktor Prism synths, a handful of Kontakt Player libraries, Drumlab, and the Replika and Solid Bus Comp effects.
We can't recommend NI's gargantuan sonic powerhouse highly enough. Priced at over 80% less than the total of its constituent parts bought individually, the Ultimate edition represents a truly insane bargain that anyone serious about their music production has to give serious consideration to.
The regular edition is less of a must-have, but still qualifies as excellent value; and although the new Komplete 11 Select makes for a peculiar combination on paper, for newbies, it's a solid introduction to the Native Instruments line-up.