Native Instruments has introduced new MK3 Kontrol S MIDI keyboards, updating the company’s flagship range of 49-, 61- and 88-note controllers.
NI has resisted the temptation to follow the lead set by Maschine+ and make the Kontrol S ‘boards work standalone, but they are designed to integrate tightly with your DAW, instruments and effects.
Perhaps the biggest news is that all three Kontrol S MK3 keyboards offer polyphonic aftertouch, enabling you to adjust parameters using pressure on a per-note basis. The keybeds were created in collaboration with leading Italian manufacturer Fatar - the S49 and S61 have semi-weighted keys, while the S88’s offer a fully weighted hammer action.
On the software side, the Kontrol S MK3 keyboards ship with Komplete 14 Select, a slimmed-down version of NI’s all-encompassing instrument and effect suite. As you’d expect, all controls are pre-mapped on the hardware so you can start getting hands-on right away. Everything is organised in the Komplete Kontrol software, and a full-colour glass display on the keyboard can be used for mouse-free browsing and parameter tweaking.
You can expect seamless integration with all major DAWs - transport controls and mixing features are accessible on the keyboard - and there’s full support for the Native Kontrol Standard (NKS), which should enable compatibility with plenty of third-party plugins, too.
NI has refined the design of the Kontrol S series, giving it a more industrial look and feel. There are touch-sensitive anodised aluminium encoders and mod wheels, redesigned buttons and a redesigned Light Guide that pinpoints notes with a light above each key. You’ll find USB, MIDI, and bus-powered USB-C connectivity, plus inputs for four pedals (one sustain, one expression and two assignable).
The new Kontrol S MK3 series is available for pre-order from today priced as follows:
- Kontrol S49 MK3: $749/£649/€749
- Kontrol S61 MK3: $849/£749/€849
- Kontrol S49 MK3: $1,299/£1,129/€1,299
Find out more on the Native Instruments website.