NI goes large with Komplete Kontrol 1.5 update and 88-note keyboard

Following their announcements back in April, Native Instruments has released some welcome new features for its Komplete Kontrol platform in version 1.5 of the software. There's also new hardware on the agenda: an 88-keyboard known as the Komplete Kontrol S88.

As promised, Komplete Kontrol 1.5 incorporates the Native Kontrol Standard (NKS), a new "extended plugin format" that enables developers of third-party plugins to give their software the same level of 'deep integration' with Komplete Kontrol (and, indeed, Maschine) as NI's own Komplete instruments.

NI says that a number of companies have already committed to supporting the format, including Arturia, u-he, XILS-Lab, Softube and Waldorf - which, it must be said, is a pretty good initial list of partners.

What's more, standard VST instruments are now supported: parameter mappings for the eight hardware knobs can be customised using Komplete Kontrol 1.5's new 'Control Panel' (Kontrol Panel surely..?) and the process is said to be simple and intuitive.

Last, but not least - in terms of either significance or physical size - comes the Komplete Kontrol S88, a big beast of a controller that features an 88-note, fully-weighted, hammer-action keyboard from Fatar. This offers the same control options as the Komplete Kontrol 61-, 49- and 25-note models in the range, but is likely to appeal more to pianists and pro producers/performers.

Komplete Kontrol 1.5 and Komplete Kontrol S88 will both be released on 27 October 2015. The software update is free, while the new keyboard will cost £729/$999/€999. Find out more on the Native Instruments website.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.