Komplete Kontrol S series MK1 keyboards End Of Life

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  • AbbateEntertainment
    AbbateEntertainment Member Posts: 19 Member

    While this would be a good option if all we had was one mk1, the impact to other NI hardware in the same setup(s) (that we train youth on), and utilize simultaneously, would become extremely muddy. Especially as additional KK updates and hardware firmware are released with new functionality, compatibility, etc.

  • Vocalpoint
    Vocalpoint Member Posts: 668 Pro
    edited October 2023


    While I do not understand your curriculum or how your machines are set up - it appears you do want to move forward (talking about updates with new functionality etc).

    If your goal IS to move forward and (presumably) have your students move forward - why would you be training a student on a MK1 device in the first place?

    Which then makes me ask: Is your training intent on having your students actually learn the NI ecosystem or is it simply a case of teaching them to play a keyboard?

    I am assuming this is more of a concern about ringing every last bit of value from your hardware than anything else - but it would be helpful to understand the angles here.

    VP

  • laserbeak
    laserbeak Member Posts: 76 Member

    There are bound to be problems with unmaintained software. Just a matter of time.

  • Matthew_NI
    Matthew_NI Product Team Posts: 682 mod

    Of course! As I said elsewhere, one has to stand behind and own one's decisions. Nothing is without cost, although pragmatic platitudes do nothing to help lessen real world frustration when decisions do unduly impact others.

    I'd imagine it's a little easier if you have discrete workstations (e.g. each desk has a computer, and a specific keyboard controller), and a little harder if you regularly move controllers between workstations (e.g. each desk has a computer, but the keyboard controllers are interchangeably switched between MK1 and MK2 for the same computer). Regardless, I hear you: you want to have every workstation installed with the same versions of everything.

    Unfortunately, in this case, the decision will be: stick with KK 2.9.4 until you're ready to (if you're ready to) upgrade to KK 3.0, which could be coupled with replacing the MK1 keyboards with used MK2 or new MK3 keyboards. For now, the bulk of the new features KK 3.0 contains are specific to MK3, but not all. There is basic resizing support, a new browser, bug fixes etc etc, that apply to all.

  • Matthew_NI
    Matthew_NI Product Team Posts: 682 mod

    Indeed. It could be years and years though. Major transitions (e.g. Apple Silicon, or a breaking change DAW update) happen very infrequently, and we've just passed through several such transitions.

    Each user will have their own comfort level with the idea that MK1 and KK 2.9.4 will receive no further updates, and until they decide to upgrade or experience a newly introduced issue, will continue to enjoy the existing functionality.

  • Matthew_NI
    Matthew_NI Product Team Posts: 682 mod

    FWIW - just to reiterate what I know many of you already understand:

    Kontrol MK1 EOL means:

    • No new features
    • No further support
    • No compatibility with KK 3

    Kontrol MK1 will continue to work with KK 2.9.4, which is made available in this thread, and continue to function as it does today, indefinitely, until something unforeseen (e.g. a major breaking OS or DAW update).

  • LostInFoundation
    LostInFoundation Member Posts: 3,993 Expert

    Thank you @Matthew_NI for all your answers. No need to contact you in private since you are already doing a good job answering here, where it is more useful since everybody can see it.

    Some of your explanations makes things a little clearer (even if some others are clearly what a company must say…admitting things and saying the whole truth is not part of an economic business, I do understand that).

    That said…since you say this is all your decision… do I agree with you? Hell NO! But I don’t even pretend that what you decide in order to sell your new products must coincide with what I think should be done to make things fair. And to give your users something back (the famous “we care about users”), at least by assuring that the ones burned by your decision will be at least provided with something that (even if frozen in time) is perfectly functioning.

    Useless to tell you that your decisions will have consequences: you made quite clear in your answers what I already thought with this whole Company rebranding and the news from last months: NI is pointing at making itself a new name and, more precisely, new users, leaving the ones that are with the company from a long time (and therefore know what it means to deal with NI, specially hoping to be listened) behind.

    That’s your move. Hope for you it will go well. Surely I would not have abandoned the legacy a good company like NI has (if the people that came before you succeeded in becoming one of the main names in the industry there’s a reason. Let’s see if your policy of upsetting existing users will have the same success).

    Just don’t expect that the burned users will just shut up. The internet is already full of people making bad advertising of NI (probably one of the names that get criticized the most…and probably for a reason). Your decisions won’t change this thing. Au contraire: what you are doing is putting new woods on a burning fire.

    And the first thing new possible users do nowadays is go in the internet to take informations.

    THIS is where I would have put my efforts. But, clearly, we are different

  • AbbateEntertainment
    AbbateEntertainment Member Posts: 19 Member

    We start new students on S49 mk1s and S88 mk2s (student on one, instructor on other) along with Maschine mk3s all on the same mac. The initial course work contains integrations between keys and Maschine all in Logic. It is extremely NI focused for sure. Classes each have 10 students and 10 instructors working 1:1. Then it grows from there. In most cases we move intermediate students to the S88 mk2s and a slew of other studio hardware, also highly NI focused but not exclusive.

    Cost is certainly the driving factor for my team's concern. Replacing 10 S49 mk1s will be too cost prohibitive in the near term. I'm just trying to work out the best solution for now and will worry about the cap-ex next year.

    Sounds like we will stick with 2.9.4 for now.

  • LostInFoundation
    LostInFoundation Member Posts: 3,993 Expert

    Oh…I forgot…about announcing it just three days before to avoid people updating… It’s not forbidden to announce it with more advance and then repeat the announcement when KK 3.0 comes out.

    But this of course would lead to MK1 users maybe not buying new libraries during these months… thing I’m sure you didn’t take in consideration, since you say no “money-grab” is involved in the decisions (quite strange: which company doesn’t work to earn the money they desearve for their work?)

    Also the statement “nor was it designed to get MK1 users to upgrade” is quite strange.

    Of course you should be trying to make MK1 users upgrade!

    One good way to do it is offering new products so valid that users DO WANT to upgrade. I’m sure that people will agree to pay for new products (or even updates) if they see the good work that has been put into it.

    The bad way is…well…we know which is the bad way…

    Designing things without the intention to seriously improve them and in this way enticing users to want them doesn’t sound like a healthy policy imo…nor a long lasting one

  • Matthew_NI
    Matthew_NI Product Team Posts: 682 mod

    We may have to agree to disagree on these points.

    MK1 can continue to buy new libraries should they wish. Those libraries will continue work, and continue to sound great, and until a breaking OS or DAW change specific to their setup, also work directly in KK 2.9.4, although they of course work outside of KK 2.9.4 and sound just as good.

    But this is besides the point. We've very few MK1 users in comparison to our other keyboard controllers, and far less in content sales from these users these days, so whether you accept the answer or not, I can again affirm the decision had nothing to do with making more, or less money, but rather legacy technology it was no longer prudent nor effective to support.

    We've not taken anything away - we're just not giving anything more. That is quite different from designing things without the intention to improve them. Kontrol S MK1 has seen continued active support and new feature development since launch in 2014, and through the launch of the MK2 in 2016 until the present day.

    I'm not here to necessarily make you happy with the decision, but rather to explain it fairly, and remind all users what EOL does, and does not mean.

  • Vocalpoint
    Vocalpoint Member Posts: 668 Pro
    edited October 2023

    Thank you for the explanation.

    Best solution I could see (if you really NEED new functionality) would be the best of both worlds.

    Allocate a bank of machines to handle all MK1 duties exclusively to ensure you can get the most mileage from the MK1 investment and another bank to MKII (and up).

    There is no point fighting city hall on this one and the sooner you separate KK 2.9.4 from KK 3.x.x - the better off you will be.

    If it were me (and my cap-ex budget) I would reconfigure ASAP to ensure best value out of what I already had and worry less about what I do not (KK 3.x and future hardware) but - at least be ready if/when it does matter.

    Or - as Matthew has noted - do not worry about anything and keep the classrooms on 2.9.4

    And regarding Komplete Kontrol 3 - I seriously doubt there will be a mass-exodus to KK 3.x.x just cause it's there. There may be some small improvements worth considering - but it's already been clearly stated in the AMA Thread from last month that unless you are moving right up to the K-Series MKIII - don't get too excited.

    Even us MKII users do not get new firmware or any of the MKIII features. Only whatever incremental fixes and (maybe) small enhancements that come along with the new KK3 software.

    VP

  • Matthew_NI
    Matthew_NI Product Team Posts: 682 mod

    Well, quite. That's why I'm here on the community forum :-) To whit – perhaps there's a misunderstanding. There is no "what a company must say" juxtaposed with an alternative "what I'd say with no filter". I'm here to explain why the decision was made, starting with the FAQ I helped author, and the subsequent responses that again, I'm employed to help direct and determine as part of this team.

    Any user is entitled to like or dislike any given decision, so long as it is explained that they may understand it. I think it's perfectly understandable why you'd take umbrage at such a decision, but that doesn't make my responses disingenuous nor untruthful.

    Again - I stand by my assertion that nothing has been taken from the user, except the promise of additional features and development in future. The product you loved yesterday continues to work tomorrow. We took great pains to resolve all major known issues prior to KK3, as well as make major technological transitions such as Apple Silicon and VST3, which took the best part of last year. I do apologize if you feel burned by this, but I'd hope you continue to enjoy the product you have, working indefinitely as it does today.

    I think if we expected anyone, happy, sad, angry or frustrated, to "shut up" we wouldn't have a community forum, nor would we remain in business. Certainly the idea that we'd abandon existing users purely to chase new users is also inaccurate - we'd be out of business very, very quickly. Managing through technology transitions, and doing our best to ensure EOL is well explained and thoughtfully implemented, even when small numbers of users are duly affected, is part of the job.

  • LostInFoundation
    LostInFoundation Member Posts: 3,993 Expert
    edited October 2023

    Thank you again.

    I can agree with many of your points.

    As I already said before, I’m not here to say NI doesn’t have the right to discontinue whatever they want (being users burned or not, agreeing or not). I can perfectly accept to be frozen on a determined version, but as I said I just hope that version is near to perfection (at least stability wise and bug free speaking).

    I’m a guy who would have preferred to pay for significant updates to the device I already have. Not a big fan of wasting working devices, as everybody should be, apart fans of big electric-devices dumps in Africa (but hey…at least those African kids have a place where to go to remove metals and earn money…😶)

    The only problem is (and here is where I think some of your answers are not 100% sincere) that what you are “promising” about being able to continue using MK1 as it is without problems can’t be kept.

    The problem is not in the keyboard itself. Soon libraries will be updated with new specs requirements (well…in facts it is already happening, see the case of the libraries now requiring kontakt 7, which, between, have been released to then say to users on k6 they must revert back to a previous version) and we will not be able to update those too. And not all the novelties require features that are only available in k7. Simply NI is moving forward and doesn’t want to look back.

    And I’m sure you perfectly know that not keeping a product maintenance, specially in the technological world, means sending it to the grave. And in a short time. It’s not possible to think that new OSes, other programs putting out new versions, and all the novelties coming very quickly will not break things.

    It is more than clear also by the terms you use in that world.

    EOL. End of LIFE. Words mean something. It’s not called End of development or End of support. What happens after LIFE? The answer is easy: DEATH

    As I said, that’s completely in the rights of NI to do so. But for sure all these decisions have a weight on my choice to stay with NI or not, even after 20 years of road together

  • Scottkid
    Scottkid Member Posts: 20 Member

    @Matthew_NI

    The bug fix for Logic note dropout is apparently fixed in the new KK according to @Jeremy_NI. Unfortunately, I also have a S25.

    What are the odds on that happening ?

    So close, yet so far 🤣

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