Ask me anything: Kontrol S-Series MK3

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  • Matthew_NI
    Matthew_NI Product Team Posts: 680 mod

    I outlined this in an earlier post, but this won't be happening.

    It's really not a possibility, even for those of us in the service of making people happy (more frequently than making them sad, at any rate).

    There are also some more details here: https://support.native-instruments.com/hc/en-us/articles/13530175798045-Kontrol-S-MK3-What-is-Direct-Connection-

  • Matthew_NI
    Matthew_NI Product Team Posts: 680 mod

    Correct - something we plan to change later this year, or early next.

  • Matthew_NI
    Matthew_NI Product Team Posts: 680 mod

    Well, sure. We continue to do so. But this is a Kontrol S MK3 AMA :-)

  • Matthew_NI
    Matthew_NI Product Team Posts: 680 mod

    There are multiple ways of answering this question.

    Broadly speaking, yes it's on the radar.

    But do we invest in expanding Komplete Kontrol's FX hosting abilities, or do we invest in bringing Direct Connection to more products, including those?

    I'm curious, what you'd rather.

  • Matthew_NI
    Matthew_NI Product Team Posts: 680 mod

    Light guide, yes.

    Play Assist (e.g. scale, chord, arp) no. We plan to change that though, and work on implementing Play Assist on device, agnostic of the host, in Q4.

  • Kymeia
    Kymeia Member Posts: 3,453 Expert
    edited September 2023

    Great! That’s something I was hoping the on board processing would make possible. Would this work with any plug-in then, even if not loaded in Komplete Kontrol?

  • Matthew_NI
    Matthew_NI Product Team Posts: 680 mod

    These are all great questions!

    Support for Maschine

    I touched on this in some other replies, but wanted to respond here, as you make a good point about product lines working together well. Most of the time, this makes sense, and the desire is universally shared. What was difficult here, is that we saw very little return for a very high invest - it took a lot to build and maintain something ultimately very few people used. Despite having a huge number of passionate Maschine and Kontrol users, the cross over is a few percentage points, and the subset of users who actually use the integration is lower still.

    All decisions are final... until they're not. But this is unlikely to change.

    Touching knobs to see parameter values

    Certainly, we may add improvements to display parameter values where relevant. We sort of have, already, in some cases (e.g. if the parameter is a waveform, we show the waveform). It's also a design aesthetic, being able to see what the parameter is, without overly cluttering the screen with additional information (a sort of either/or approach).

    Internal computer

    It opens up a lot. Kontrol S MK3 is a deeply expressive instrument controller. We plan to build on this platform with all manner of Play Assistance, MIDI generative features, and Direct Connection type features. Increasing visualizations are a possibility too.

    Proprietary tech

    I don't quite understand the question so forgive me and please re-ask if this isn't the answer you're after. Kontrol S MK3 is a MIDI controller as you know, and will connect to and control anything, regardless. However, if that content is NKS compatible, then you get an enriched experience, with artwork and parameter mappings etc. Native Kontrol Standard is not open source, but it is open and free for partners to use. We've got hundreds of partners and thousands of products on NKS.

  • Matthew_NI
    Matthew_NI Product Team Posts: 680 mod

    Exactly.

    Kontrol S MK3 would be a generative MIDI device.

  • Jim Homme
    Jim Homme Member Posts: 12 Member

    What accessibility improvements will we see regarding integration with Komplete Kontrol standalone, Kontakt, and other instruments?

  • Matthew_NI
    Matthew_NI Product Team Posts: 680 mod

    1) The new screens are 1280 x 480, significantly larger, brighter (adjustable), and better in every way.

    2) Sort of. This is more of a preparation for the future. Very few devices are MIDI 2 compatible, as (sadly) very few operating systems, digital audio workstations and content are themselves MIDI 2 compatible, so people tend not to bother. This is changing. Apple and Microsoft are making worthwhile investments, support is increasing with time. So we're already have a MIDI 2 mode, although recommend you use MIDI 1 for the time being. What it will unlock is all manner of things (see URL).

    The features I'm most excited for products to adopt, that we can then make use of are not just the higher resolution (knobs can send much finer detailed parameter adjustment information, for instance, than say 128 or 16384 steps) but things like Capability Discovery. If implemented, our keyboard can query a MIDI device, and immediately ascertain information on the device, such as the controls and control types it has available, to automap.

  • Kymeia
    Kymeia Member Posts: 3,453 Expert

    I think the ‘proprietary tech’ question was similar to one I was thinking about - can you see a future for NKS2 where those 100’s of NKS partners could directly access the screen, lightguide and on board processing rather than needing the intermediary of Komplete Kontrol or Maschine? Is that potential part of the new tech stack?

  • Kymeia
    Kymeia Member Posts: 3,453 Expert

    This is all very exciting I must say

  • Matthew_NI
    Matthew_NI Product Team Posts: 680 mod

    This illustrates the quandary of product development. One has to have a point of view on what to, and not to do, and why, informed by qualitative and quantitative findings and a healthy dose of domain expertise. I say the last bit in part to dispel some untruths seen of late on the internet that we're somehow not members of the music making community because we didn't do a thing someone wanted 😀

    There are a LOT of users who don't want a touch screen for this workflow, who don't use and don't want faders, particularly non-motorized faders that are always out of sync, who use faders but don't want to pay for high quality motorized ones, who don't want an integrated audio interface because they're attached to the excellent interface they already own, who don't want pads because it feels unnatural to non finger drummers, so on and so forth. There are users who appreciate the clean and focussed nature of the Kontrol series products.

    Then there are of course users who feel exactly the opposite to one or more of the above needs. If faders and pads are critical to them, our partners and competitors have excellent products, different products, which offer such functions.

    In neither case is one right and the other wrong. Rather, it's a celebration of what makes the music making community special: we're all unique, with different needs and wants. That doesn't mean that every product caters to every need and want. I appreciate you don't want those features, and also why others do, but we chose to focus the Kontrol S MK3 on being the most expressive instrument controller it could be, a focus we'll lean further into with firmware updates.

    Saying no is hard. Disappointing people is hard. Even if you make a lot of other people happy (and these are the ones who tend to be quieter). But it's all part of the journey. The only thing I'd ever want to avoid, is the "Homer designs a car" approach of saying yes to every last feature. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31yYeKms2xA

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