KK 2.9.6 application re-installation now really broken?

B.Minor Member Posts: 156 Advisor

First of all, Merry Christmas Holidays to the NI Community!

As I have been adviced by other members, I was also going to shift down a gear and to chill a little bit over the X-mas holidays; I decided to take things easier and to continue working on some new musical ideas which I had in mind. Believe me, I really didn't want to bother so soon again here in the forums, but it seems that I'm facing a serious problem to maintain proper KK 2.9.6 functionality. Before complaining any furher, I'd like to ask other Windows users - or even NI employees reading this thread - if these problems are known and verified already, or if there is even a solution available.

To make the story short, it seems that from now on a fresh re-installation of KK 2.9.6 will introduce several issues which I have never been experiencing before. These issues started being present after having tried the latest KK 3.1.0 application once. Here's the description of the symptoms I have discovered so far and how the problems started:

Recently I dared to check out the new KK 3.1.0 version in order to see how the new "KK screen resizing" feature looks and works like. Well, I think it's a nice improvement so far, but it's still not a real game changer to make me stay on that particular KK version. After all, none of the KK2 features that were abandoned three months ago have returned yet. In fact, I uninstalled that full KK 3.1.0 package in order to launch the official KK 2.9.6 installer again which should bring me back to my fully working and supported MK2 keyboard environment. So much for the theory.

What I have really experienced from that moment on was very strange to me. Firstly, directly after launching KK 2.9.6 again, I noticed that the blue startup screen wasn't fully visible anymore; a piece of the popup window on the right side was simply cut and not readable.

"Well, that's not the end of the world", I was thinking to myself, "maybe the new KK 3.1.0 unstallation hasn't been completely performed and has just kept some left-overs in general NI screen settings (or registry entries etc.) which cannot be explicitly influenced by users if not known where to look for those".

However, re-scanning and skipping through some of my previously installed KK presets gave me the next bad surprise. As it seems, from now on, some VST3 instruments won't load anymore into the right-most portion of the KK 2.9.6 preset/plugin window; their VST's will now simply open up as seperated (but not movable) floating windows which might even be overlapping with some parts of the KK 2.9.6 GUI.

As far as I can tell by now from my particular perspective, this second issue only occurs when trying to open AAS plugins within KK 2.9.6 (after having installed KK 3.1.0 before); however, I didn't have the nerves and time to check out all other brands which might also be affected within KK 2.9.6 by that new strange behavior.

My personal conclusion after having fully un- and re-installed all kinds of KK versions several times (from 2.94 to 3.1.0 - including MK2 hardware drivers as well which didn't make any difference):

There's no way for me personally to bring back the well-known behavior of KK 2.9.6. It seems that one of the very recent NI installation updates (either for Kontakt 7 or KK 3 etc.) has altered common NI screen/window settings in such a way that these now seem to apply to all NI applications, including the good-old KK 2.9.6 (which should have been kept unaffected in all terms).

Therefore, I'd kindly like to ask other users - especially after having checked out KK 3.1.0 recently on a Windows system and having reverted back to KK 2.9.6 - if you have also experienced such strange screen-related side-effects which were not present before and which cannot be fixed manually. I'm very sure that the described issues still weren't present a few weeks ago, so they MUST have something to do with any general NI application environment changes which might have been introduced during the last few weeks, e.g. after applying very specific NI updates (which need to be clearly identified).

Any help or general information on a potential solution is highly appreciated. Thanks.


  • B.Minor
    B.Minor Member Posts: 156 Advisor
    edited December 2023

    I think I can already solve the puzzle. It's a well-known issue related to the same topic which I already reported in conjunction with KK 3.0.0 (after it was released first). However, while that problem was obviously acknowledged and even solved already by @Martin_NI for any recent KK 3.X releases (thanks for that - refer to https://community.native-instruments.com/discussion/comment/103550/#Comment_103550), it still persists for any KK 2.9.x version.

    In other words, the problem is KK's improper treatment (or false interpretation) of the "HiDPI scaling" setting inside the Windows OS!

    After having loaded many KK presets after another into KK 2.9.6 today, some of the VSTs were displayed correctly inside the KK GUI, some were displayed completely outside of the KK 2.9.6 GUI, some where displayed multiple times scattered inside the same GUI window, and a few were not fully displayed inside the GUI and cut off at some point. That brought me back to the assumption that KK 2.9.X might have the problem not being able to treat different screen resolutions and their Windows HiDPI scalings properly.

    The reason why this problem suddenly appeared in my case was the fact that I had to test a different 4k monitor recently which I had set up in my studio for a while. Nothing special was detected during that testing phase. However, after having switched back two weeks ago to my "original" monitor setup, everything - like the 4k screen resolution itself - obviously was still on its previous setting, except for the "Windows DPI scaling factor" which was automatically reset back by Windows OS to "100%", even though my previously setup was always set to "150%".

    But you know what? Here comes the clue! Exactly that "automatic switch-back" to that "standard 100% Windows DPI setting" was the reason why some VSTs (like Yamaha's YC-3B etc.) weren't displayed anymore inside the KK 2.9.6 GUI, but outside instead! After using other DPI scaling factors like 110%, 120% or 125%, these VST were displayed fine again, but other VST's started to behave improperly instead by either showing up outside the KK GUI completely (like plugins from AAS), or being displayed multiple times inside the same window (e.g. UVI) or cut off inside the GUI (e.g. Angelic Vibes). This proves to me that KK 2.9.6 simply cannot work with some particular DPI settings, not even if the "standard setting" 100% is applied!

    In my case I found out that all my personal plugins only work properly inside KK 2.9.6 using one of two possible DPI scaling settings only: either 130% or 150% (which was my previous manual setting for a few months).

    Sorry, @Matthew_NI & @Martin_NI, but this situation is really not acceptable, not even for "legacy MK1/MK2 customers" which have been told to continue working with KK2.9.X for the next time. After all, KK 2.9.x should adapt to the actual Windows DPI scaling settings correctly, and not vice versa, making a Windows user to figure out which particular DPI scaling factor might finally work with all his installed plugins (but might not fit at all to other "non-NI" applications)!

    I hope you can comprehend what I'm trying to say here: Please provide us with a working KK 2.9.x version (e.g. KK 2.9.7), where all windows-related bugs have been finally fixed and that described "Windows DPI scaling issue inside KK 2.9.X" has finally been solved. This is really the least you can do for your current "non-MK3" customers! Thanks!

  • Matthew_NI
    Matthew_NI Product Team Posts: 687 mod

    @B.Minor thanks for this write up - the team and I will take a look

  • MyStudioOne
    MyStudioOne Member Posts: 249 Pro

    The immediate thought I also had when I read your post, @B.Minor, was that it sounded like a scaling issue. Since you are asking for Windows user feedback I can say that I have jumped back and forth between 2.9.6 and various 3.x version many times and have had no such issues.

    Perhaps it is worth noting that I do not uninstall 3.x prior to installing 2.9.6 and so I get a message during 2.9.6 install like, "There is a newer version installed, are you sure you want to downgrade?" I doubt that makes a difference, but thought I would throw it out there anyhow.

  • B.Minor
    B.Minor Member Posts: 156 Advisor
    edited January 2

    Thanks for your feedback. I have uninstalled each version carefully before installing an alternative KK version.

    If you will, anyone could claim that it was "mea culpa" not to realize immediately that the Windows scaling factor has changed after temporarily testing another monitor and then putting back my original monitor to the setup. As I had to figure out, in my case every VST was displayed correctly again within KK 2.9.x only after applying the "130%" or "150%" HiDPI setting. The fact that this scaling factor even has impact on how different plugins appear in the KK window (or even outside) indicated to me that there is still an issue with KK2.9.X (which I personally didn't realize before).

    Therefore, my question to NI is still valid. Howcome KK2.9.X has never been fixed in terms of these issues before freezing it for "legacy NI hardware use". After all, in KK3.1.0 those issues seem to be fixed already, but in KK2.9.X for some reason many plugins won't even be displayed correctly in case the standard (100%) is applied. Again, from my point of view the correct interpretation of that Windows OS scaling factor within KK2.9 is something essential but seems to have never been working correctly before. That's why it is worth to be fixed in general now at least.

  • MyStudioOne
    MyStudioOne Member Posts: 249 Pro
    edited January 2

    Just for the record, I am using a 4K main monitor and a 1080P secondary monitor and display scaling at 100% currently but often at 125%.

    No display scaling issues to speak of. I use an AMD Radeon 6700 XT video card.

  • B.Minor
    B.Minor Member Posts: 156 Advisor
    edited January 2

    Then it seems you can consider yourself lucky 😉.

    For example, in my case the Yamaha YC-3B is displayed outside the KK2.9X window even if 100% is set in the OS (Windows 11). And I even have two seperate graphics cards in my PC to test this issue; an internal Intel GPU (inside my 12K9 CPU) and a dedicated Intel ARC graphics card (A750). It doesn't matter which setup and connection (DP/HDMI/TB4) I'm using for my monitor connection. It always brings the same KK result, except the DPI setting is changed as mentioned before. Again, that issue does not occur (anymore) in KK3.1, so it must be still something that hasn't been fixed at KK2.9. Maybe @Martin_NI can comment what could be the problem.

  • B.Minor
    B.Minor Member Posts: 156 Advisor

    Oh sorry. I didn't notice that you already responded before. Thanks!

  • BIF
    BIF Member Posts: 441 Pro

    Nice writeup. I'm sure eventually this thread will help me. Thanks!

  • Martin_NI
    Martin_NI Product Team Posts: 24 mod

    Hey  @B.Minor ,

    Thanks for reporting this, and sorry for the inconvenience. Sadly, this is not a bug like the logic issues we backported to Komplete Kontrol 2. Correctly working with DPI changes in Windows was a feature that did not exist for Komplete Kontrol 2 that we added in Komplete Kontrol 3. Changing this for Komplete Kontrol 2 would require rewriting a large amount of the application with a high risk of regressions. 

    Getting this to work for Komplete Kontrol 3 involved fundamentally rewriting the code for how we draw the UI for the Komplete Kontrol app. This was part of the feature for supporting HiDPI on Windows.

    Hopefully, many users will be able to switch to Komplete Kontrol 3 as we continue to improve the app with the feedback we are getting, and the users who can't make the change can keep using their existing setups long into the future as they have been. It's not perfect, but we are trying to ensure as many users as possible are happy with the keyboards they have while continuing to improve our applications, hardware, and tech stack.

  • B.Minor
    B.Minor Member Posts: 156 Advisor

    Hi @Martin_NI,

    thanks for your quick and honest answer. I understand that NI's focus is now exclusively set on KK3 and that rewriting of any KK2 code is depreciated from an economic point of view. According to your reply, I guess I'll have to accept that KK3 will be the only supported option in the future.

    Nevertheless, as you have mentioned above, it is now up to NI to make the KK3 application attractive to the community as much as possible. That also implies that not only the new MK3 target group will profit from any KK improvements, but also all those users out there still working with NI's MK2 keyboard. Everyone who has ever experienced to have all those benefits at hand that KK2 offered but which were no longer available since KK3 was introduced, will not give up claiming to get those features back as long as they are still missing in the KK3 application (and at the same time KK2 is really not maintained anymore).

    Thanks NI for listening to the community! Cheers!

  • BIF
    BIF Member Posts: 441 Pro

    Nevertheless, as you have mentioned above, it is now up to NI to make the KK3 application attractive to the community as much as possible.

    Yep. When people were saying they were going back and forth (then between 3.0.x and 2.9.6), I wondered if that was eventually going to come with some issues.

    So yeah, the sooner NI can get 3.1.x (and above) working right, the sooner it will become more and more appealing to get on 3.1 and stay there.

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