S88Mk1 - driving Ableton Live, and hybrid midi/DAW setup - Go Mk2 or Mk3

slojotaa Member Posts: 19 Member

Hi - With all the talk about the Mk3, vs. Mk2, and my currently owned and in awesome condition S88Mk1, I am somewhat confused. Let me explain:

  1. - The S88 has not worked appropriately with Ableton Live 11 on Mac, and been at this for a while. I keep at it, but 'no luck'. I assumed drivers, then stumbled upon NI notice of October 23, no longer supporting updates for the Mk1 (total bummer and poor decision, tech company or not)!
  2. - I thought that if I upgraded the keyboard to Mk2 or Mk3 that will help me solve my problems with Mac Sanoma, Ableton Live11 and Hybrid Studio integration (synths/DAW connected through MOTU Midi Express), and Apollo Twin interface. Not sure which leads to my next question.
  3. - I fear NI will say at some point randomly, MK2 is no longer supported when Mk4, 5, come along. Frankly, my confidence in them as a company supporting customers from customer service line non existant, to this tech decision has crashed!!! Not happy with them despite the awesome tech that they produce. Wake up NI team!
  4. If I go for the MK2, should I get the 66 and give up on the weighted action, which I don't necessarily care about (have a baby grand in the room along with Yamaha Montage). Is the technological disadvantages of the MK2, tech obsolescence, I don't use Mashine, etc. , nor care about aftertouch. Weighted piano action is nice for me as I am a classically trained pianist.
  5. Finally, Am I doing something stupid in the S88 Mk1 I own whereby it isn't driving anything in Ableton at all. I had set the preferences Midi to the wrong version Komplete, realized the MK1 vs. MK2 (duhhhh), and tried to unravel that with the download of latest firmware, only to find out the non support effective October 23 (TOTAL BUMMER).

Help please, as this is a major decision, and "ALL I WANT TO DO IS MAKE AND PLAY MUSIC" and the technology deamons have gobbled me up to date. Appreciate your incites.


  • Triggi
    Triggi Member Posts: 48 Helper

    Hi slojotaa,

    it's just a carefull try but consider to change to win pc. All these issues with new mac systems and compatiblety..

    Build a workhouse pc, keep it for years not updating the os. Then u can often use legacy software and products for a long long time.

    Just my 2c..

    Respectful greetings!

  • slojotaa
    slojotaa Member Posts: 19 Member

    Hi Triggi, thank you so much for a very sound option here. You just spurred a thought for me to have a dedicated computer solely for using these keyboards, driving Ableton, and not seeking additional bells and whistles...., that I don't really need. Great thinking and greetings right back at you! Make it a great weekend.

  • Triggi
    Triggi Member Posts: 48 Helper

    Love to hear that! I know i've some unconventional thoughts. But i think it's needed today by beeing forced to upgrade, update, up* **** every two weeks. We all just want to play music!

  • slojotaa
    slojotaa Member Posts: 19 Member

    Amen! without a doubt, spot on! Irony is I just typed this 2 minutes before I read your message. I just want to play music now and not wait for tomorrow, next week, or the next lifetime :-)!

  • 6xes
    6xes Member Posts: 565 Pro

    surprising the s88 mk1 doesn't work for Ableton...

    I have a m1 Mac mini... & I honestly haven't tried the Ableton lite software to test if the issues you are faced with work or not ...

    I know for a fact Reaper works well with s88 mk1, but will need to retest things to make sure I'm not confusing myself with using it in windows... I will also test to see if I can get the s88 mk1 to be recognised in Ableton live lite... I honestly cannot see this as being an issue...

    once I get around to connecting up all my gear properly I will investigate,,,,

    I've done a big change around of gear on my desk and have usb-cords everywhere LOL

    the joys of too much gear :-s

  • 6xes
    6xes Member Posts: 565 Pro

    I've been considering getting a s61 mk2

    as the single benefit for me... is having it powered via USB...I hate the idea of powering midi controllers directly via powercord, as this becomes constricting, requiring one to be close to a power socket, not to mention the wired mess plugs introduce!!

    So this for me makes the value of s61 mk2 a valuable option... when one understands the benefit of USB powered devices... portable battery powered solutions make for semi mobile setups a likely possibility, with energy efficient devices such the m1 Mac mini with Usb-hub's

    something I have been veering toward given the advancement of Xreal glasses

  • nobadmojo
    nobadmojo Member Posts: 100 Helper

    I think your mk1 should work with Ableton. Are you using the latest version of Komplete Kontrol? If so that may be your problem. You should revert back to KK vs 2.9 and give that a go

    I play the s61mk1 and have no plans to 'upgrade'. It's a fine machine. My plan is to not change until Midi 2 is better implemented and/or my mk1 breaks. and then I will buy a new keyboard (It wont be an NI one. I dont want to ever buy anything from NI again)

    I'm with the poster recommending a dedicated Windows machine if you cant get your rig working with Apple stuff. I know almost nothing about Apple stuff though

    I bought a HP Windows 10 Workstation used about 4 years ago and it still is working great. It was cheap. Sometimes I turn it off, but most of the time not. I have the mk1 and a Launchpad x plugged in and am using Bitwig and the Moss script. This rig does more than what the mk3 can do. It didnt give me problems until I 'upgraded' to Komplete Kontrol 3.x and Kontakt 7 and that triggered all kinds of problems that took me a long time to resolve. Now I just dont install or upgrade anything from NI.

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