Confused about how Komplete Kontrol and Maschine 2 handle plugins

ProfessorChaos
ProfessorChaos Member Posts: 129 Advisor

I only have been using KK and M2 for a few days, so this is probably a newbie question, but I'm a bit confused about the handling of plugins. Let's start with Maschine 2.

If I click on the All Instruments title and it shows me all the instruments, and I either double click or I press that little corner thing, it gives me this error. Easy to understand, it doesn't work with M1 chips, although the actual CS-80 V4 instrument does just fine.

But, this tells me that Maschine 2 needs to load it in a different way that uses a VST 2 plugin, so it doesn't work under M1 Macs.

However, if instead of trying to load it from that left pane, I click the + button below Sound 1, which gives me a choice of either AU or VST3, I can load it fine under either type:

And, I can even load Analog Lab V from the same company, even though it wasn't even showing in the left pane:

The situation is the same in Komplete Kontrol, except that it doesn't seem to use AU at all, only VST3:

And I can also load Analog Lab V:

And while Analog Lab V is not NKS, it still does have some integration with the S88 MK2:

It's far from perfect, certainly not what you would get with an Arturia keyboard, but it has some integration.

Same thing with Reaktor 5 and 6, and 5 is not installed, so I can maybe understand that, but 6 is, and I get this when I double click many of the projects that come with Maschine 2:

But then, I load it as an AU and it loads and plays fine:

So why is it that if I try to load any instrument, or preset from that instrument, from the left pane I get errors, but then I can load them just fine the other way?

Did I miss a setting somewhere? Could it be because I had Komplete 9 installed before I installed Komplete 14 CE?

Best Answer

  • Kymeia
    Kymeia Member Posts: 3,488 Expert
    Answer ✓

    “Well, but it seems to me that Arturia has the updated NKS version for VST 3, but Komplete Kontrol doesn't see it when you try to load it from the left pane, but it does when you load it from the menu.”

    Nope they are still working on NKS that load the VST3 - should be out soon though. You can their plugins fine from the plugin menu as their plugins are compatible but the NKS patches currently don’t allow migration from VST2 to VST3

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Answers

  • JesterMgee
    JesterMgee Member Posts: 2,473 Expert

    The issue is that Arturia need to update their NKS files to load the VST3 version of the plugins.

    NKS only works with VST (since AU is Apple only, makes no sense to support it when VST is for all systems) so only loads the VST plugin. Because the NKS files were created for the VST2 version of the plugin, and Arturia failed to design their plugins with "migration" in mind that allows VST3 plugins to be called in place of VST2, the files need to be updated to work which will require them to both update the plugin ID and als all the control templates since none of the control IDs will match either, a job that will likely take them months to do.

    So until that is done, the NKS will not load the VST3 version.

    Analog Lab is not officially NKS but there is an NKS library available, that has also been updated to work with VST3 already


  • ProfessorChaos
    ProfessorChaos Member Posts: 129 Advisor
    edited February 2023

    Well, but it seems to me that Arturia has the updated NKS version for VST 3, but Komplete Kontrol doesn't see it when you try to load it from the left pane, but it does when you load it from the menu.

    This is what happens when I use the left pane to select Arturia's CS-80 V4 and then double click on "Aftertouch Surprise":

    However, if I load it from the menu, it loads fine, and it has integration with the S88 MK2:

    In fact, from the menu I can also load Analog Lab V, which doesn't show in the left pane under Arturia:

    Now, what loading it this way doesn't give you is the browser where you can use the shuttle knob in the S88 MK2 that allows you to go sound by sound and preview it. But that doesn't change a thing for me, because I never use the preset browser in KK, because it sucks. I'd rather use the browser in the instrument itself with my mouse.

    Regardless, I don't really understand why the panel on the left tries to load VST2 versions of plugins that are available in VST 3 already installed.

  • Kymeia
    Kymeia Member Posts: 3,488 Expert
    Answer ✓

    “Well, but it seems to me that Arturia has the updated NKS version for VST 3, but Komplete Kontrol doesn't see it when you try to load it from the left pane, but it does when you load it from the menu.”

    Nope they are still working on NKS that load the VST3 - should be out soon though. You can their plugins fine from the plugin menu as their plugins are compatible but the NKS patches currently don’t allow migration from VST2 to VST3

  • JesterMgee
    JesterMgee Member Posts: 2,473 Expert

    Well, but it seems to me that Arturia has the updated NKS version for VST 3, but Komplete Kontrol doesn't see it when you try to load it from the left pane, but it does when you load it from the menu.

    Nope, the NKS presets still call the VST2 version of the plugin. Some devs were smart enough to design their plugins to "migrate" from VST2 to VST3 as Kymeia mentioned, that is the VST3 plugin will load automatically if the VST2 version is not available. However Arturia plugins are not like this and require a specific call of the VST3 version, ans also a whole new control map. This is why when you launch a NKS preset it says it cannot load.

    However, if I load it from the menu, it loads fine, and it has integration with the S88 MK2:

    No, it does not have "migration". What you see is the same as loading ANY plugin manually from the plugin menu, the available parameters of the plugin are simply auto-mapped when loaded but you will note these are not correctly ordered or labels and the pages have no page titles or proper groupings, the parameters just appear in the order they were programmed in the plugin.

    So the answer is for things wto work with VST3 you need to wait for Arturia to make NKS updated for VST3.

  • ProfessorChaos
    ProfessorChaos Member Posts: 129 Advisor

    OK, that makes it more clear. It's still rather confusing that you can load an instrument from the menu but not from the left pane (whether it's by preset or loading the instrument itself).

    I mean, I understand the reason you explained, but it's still confusing. Any program that loads plugins either loads them fine or doesn't, depending on some factors like it might too old.

    But it's very confusing when it loads plugins if you load them from the menu but not from the pane on the left where you have a more graphical view of them, even if it's a tiny thumbnail.

  • JesterMgee
    JesterMgee Member Posts: 2,473 Expert

    Yes but what you need to understand is loading from the menu you are actually loading the plugin itself which even NKS enabled plugins, when you load from the menu you see the controls mapped on the keyboard look totally different because it is simply loading the plugin then listing the first 128 controls in its list.

    Loading from the "left side" (or NKS browser" you are loading a NKS file which has a pointer to which plugin to load, the tagging info of the preset, the control mapping for that preset and the preset info itself.

    Think of having a DAW project where you created your project using a VST2 version of a plugin. Now you have a nice funky new M1 computer, boot up your DAW in native M1 mode only to discover the VST2 list is gone (because DAWs now no longer load VST2 plugins in AS native mode). So you decide to load your project anyway and discover most of your tracks have missing plugins on them because they were VST2.... You can easily load the VST3 version on the track from the menu, but the project has the VST2 details stored in it. It is the same problem.

    So hopefully not confusing, the files have to be updated to point to the VST3 version of the plugin.

  • ProfessorChaos
    ProfessorChaos Member Posts: 129 Advisor

    Not confusing at all, you've done a great job explaining the difference, so thanks for that.

    So, let me ask you, are those NKS presets the files with the .nksf extension? It would appear to me that they are:

    If they actually are, and I understood what you explained to me, it seems that those are the files that the vendor should edit to point to the VST3 plugin instead of the VST one, correct?

    If that's the case, what's the editing program for those files? Is it an API that NI gives only to developers of those companies, or something that the public can access?

    I mean, is there any way that we can edit those presets, maybe as a batch job, to point them to the right place?

  • JesterMgee
    JesterMgee Member Posts: 2,473 Expert

    NKSF files are the files that show up in KK and these hold all the tagging, control mapping, preset data and the plugin ID to call when launched.

    These are not simple text files, they are binary files and there is no official editing tool for these other than KK or Maschine.

    I have tools I have my own tools I had to develop to edit NKS files and it is possible to change the PluginID to call the VST3 BUT there is also a lot of additional validation checks done for VST3 compatible NKS files which has to be added into the file otherwise it is not scanned in so it is far from simple to just edit this data.

    The next issue is the control ID numbers used to map instrument parameters into KK are totally different in most cases for VST3 over VST2 so even if the preset can be made to load, the control template also needs to be updated. It is a lot of work and the reason it would take Arturia a long time to get around to it.

    I developed NKS support for Analog Lab and had to update that to VST3 and needless to say even after I did all the above, the preset data just did not load so basically I had to re-save the whole collection again and carry over tagging from the original files I did. That took a month of constant work on 2 machines and it would be the same work for a developer, plus they would place NKS as a very low priority to update since especially for Arturia, they have their own system they would probably prefer to support first.

    So it would not be worth ones time to try and update it themselves, just easier to use the VST2 version for now or just forget it. I seldom use any of the Arturia plugins anyway since most of the sounds are nicely bundled into Analog Lab and I have that working with VST3 now just fine

  • ProfessorChaos
    ProfessorChaos Member Posts: 129 Advisor

    Cool, so basically the one you sell here: https://freelancesoundlabs.com/index.php/downloads/komplete-kontrol-vst-packs/item/366-arturia-analog-lab-5-nks-library-for-komplete-kontrol-maschine works fine with the current KK for Analog Lab V on Apple Silicon?

  • JesterMgee
    JesterMgee Member Posts: 2,473 Expert

    If apple silicon supports the latest VST3 of Analog Lab then yep, it loads the vst3 version. Download the test to be 100% sure tho but feedback suggests it works just fine.

  • ProfessorChaos
    ProfessorChaos Member Posts: 129 Advisor

    Hi Jester, I just downloaded the demo and followed all the steps in the PDF, but it's still not showing in KK:

    I went back through the steps, but maybe I missed something?

  • RedwardMc
    RedwardMc Member Posts: 84 Advisor

    Note that, even though the presets won’t show up in the browser until the NKS is updated, you can still load the instrument directly, and then save the NKS presets yourself.

  • JesterMgee
    JesterMgee Member Posts: 2,473 Expert

    Yeah you missed something :)

    You need to switch to USER library mode or follow the steps in this guide to setup a custom factory library folder to place NKS in that can be added into the factory library.

  • Kymeia
    Kymeia Member Posts: 3,488 Expert
    edited March 2023

    The SDK for enabling presets and automation saved in a project with a VST2 to automatically open in the equivalent VST3 is in the plugin SDK itself, and is something devs need to implement. That is the ideal solution and many devs have already implemented this (see my thread on where were are on this https://community.native-instruments.com/discussion/7554/plugins-that-support-vst2-vst3-migration-a-list#latest). That would mean you can use VST2 and VST3 plugins and NKS patches made in the VST2 will open in the VST3 with settings and automation intact.

    The other approach is to remake from scratch the NKS files to use the VST3 instead of the VST2 - the downside of that is you sacrifice backwards compatibility with VST2. Jester has also come up with some ways to edit the NKS files to do the same but it appears there is no one size fits all approach to that as how each plugin/dev handles presets is very variable. That way also doesn't allow backwards compatibility with VST2 so migration is the preferred option and more and more devs are implementing that.

    I am aware that Arturia have been working on fixing their NKS plugins for a while now so a fix shouldn't be far off.

  • Kymeia
    Kymeia Member Posts: 3,488 Expert
    edited March 2023

    It's best to think of the NKS files in the browser as a list of projects rather than plugins. The plugin loader is the top menu - that loads the plugin without param mappings or presets. NKS files are basically mini projects - each one contains a snapshot of the settings used by the preset the plugin had loaded when it was saved as a NKS, as well as param mappings for automation and control purposes.

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