MK3 - Decided to Return

FilmCompos3r
FilmCompos3r Member Posts: 10 Member

Alas, I am admitting defeat and returning my MK3 keyboard. I'll be sticking with KK2.9.6 and my KK MK1 for the foreseeable future, and possibly leaving the Komplete Kontrol ecosystem entirely behind, for the following reasons:

1.) The inability to dependently recall old projects with KK3 is just not acceptable. If NI knew that VST 2 wouldn't open in VST 3, they absolutely should have found a way to allow KK2 to live alongside KK3. It smacks of a profound lack of consideration for the existing userbase, especially professionals like myself.

2.) When things do go wrong, the lack of error messages is egregious enough for me to seriously consider leaving this software. Entire sessions open up with blank instances of Komplete Kontrol and absolutely no information offered as to what went wrong. Kontakt will at least give SOME clues, but not even a hint with KK about how to troubleshoot.

3.) I am simply underwhelmed with the Komplete Kontrol's MK3 iteration on the whole. The masssively increased complexity and instability that comes along with KK3 / MK3 yields almost no productivity enhancements over my MK1. It's astonishing how much of that big beautiful screen is wasted on colorful yet functionless graphics rather than more data and features. Maybe they're coming, but they're not here yet and I just don't understand why I should pay for this, ESPECIALLY with the software bugs.

I really love the hardware/software integration concept, but can't overstate how difficult upgrading to KK3 was for me. I lost days of work. I had to rebuild my system from scratch, twice, only to end up back where I started.

I'll check back in on the KK3 ecosystem in 6-12 months.

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Comments

  • Ojustaboo
    Ojustaboo Member Posts: 138 Helper
    edited February 13

    My S88 mk3 hardware is superb in my opinion (apart from the position of the on off switch). I do think it should have come with a power supply as most S88 mk3 users need one.

    But I’m a home user playing for my own pleasure.

    I had problems updating the firmware and got there in the end.

    I used to have a PX870 Casio piano in our spare room, and for music, S61 mk1 and Maschine mk3 in my main room by my PC etc.

    I decided to sell my piano and get an 88 note NI mk2, but then the mk3 was released so I got that instead. I also got the Arturia Keylab mk2 61 note as I wanted both a 88 note weighted piano style keyboard and a synth/organ keyboard.

    All this happened in January, I think having a new Keylab took my mind off of some of the S88 problems like not being able to use it for a day as needed to order a power supply from Amazon. Had it been my only keyboard I wouldn’t have been as laid back and patient as I have been.

    But, if I had a studio and was using the studio full time (or hrs each day after work) , I agree with the op that the problems would have taken me away from my music creation for quite a while (a few days or so) and this would have been totally unacceptable.

    They released it too early, seen companies do this so many times, it never goes well and often takes months, if not years to regain customer confidence.

    In my situation I can wait for the improvements without it affecting me very much and providing they do end up giving us what they’ve said, I will happily keep my S88 and am hopeful that within another 6 months, it will start to turn into what it should have been at launch.

    The two dangers I could see possibly happening but hopefully won’t, are the bods/bean counters running NI, look at all the bad reviews and simply decide enough is enough, forget the hardware keyboards, let’s just concentrate on software and expansions, or, look at the customer complaints and decide it’s not worth the money having a software team this big (however big that is, haven’t a clue) and decide to lay half of the team off or move them to other projects. This then has the knock on effect of what’s been promised taking longer and longer to materialise if at all, so the complaints get worse and round in circles we go.

    But I’m hopeful that this time next year people will be saying how good their mk3 keyboards ended up being.

  • Smokinjoe45
    Smokinjoe45 Member Posts: 3 Member
    I bought the S61 MK3 about a month after they came out. It's my 4th controller keyboard and I can confidently say it's by far the best. The action is perfect, the screen is great but I would love to have Maschine support. Soon come I hope....
  • FilmCompos3r
    FilmCompos3r Member Posts: 10 Member

    I definitely believe that for a sub set of users, maybe most users, the MK3 is fantastic. My first impression of the MK3 hardware was "WOW. What a beautiful piece of gear."

    I suspect the software issues will eventually be ironed out. I hope they are because I really love the ecosystem. Perhaps when I'm a year out and past the immediate need to access projects built with KK2 I can jump back in with fresh sessions that have no KK2 to KK3 translation issues. But even if new projects work moving forward, the fact that old projects may be inaccessible to me is a really hard pill to swallow, and I blame NI for not sorting that out better.

  • Vic Angelo
    Vic Angelo Member Posts: 103 Advisor
  • Mark Oxley
    Mark Oxley Member Posts: 90 Helper

    If NI ever intended the mk3 keyboards to be maschine compatible they would have designed it with physical controls to do just that. There was clearly a decision made that took that option away from us maschine users. I doubt there's much that can be done via firmware updates that could turn this around should NI even decide to do so.

    The screen might look impressive but where's it's functionality? The mk2 screen has more functionality, especially in maschine. Software and hardware bugs aside I'm very disappointed in the mk3. I tried 1 in my local music store and found it's playability equal to my MK2 in terms of the keybeds feel. Polyphonic after touch has been around for a long time and never really took off as a performance feature so the addition of that in the mk3 I suspect is not really going to sway musicians to buy it on that alone.

    Promising basic and new features and potential compatibility with existing NI software some time in the future doesn't cut it with me. Everything should have been working properly out of the box.

  • Maciej Repetowski
    Maciej Repetowski Member Posts: 369 Pro

    That much is certain. No matter how Matthew from NI tries to justify it, the Mk3 series has been released in an unfinished state. There’s no way around it, really.

    However, I had a go at it in my local music store and the keyboard itself (the hardware) is amazing. The keys action, the screen, everything oozes quality.

    Now, if the firmware would be of equal quality , that would be fab. I still want to buy one, once MIDI template editing and Play Assist is added to the firmware.

  • Mark Oxley
    Mark Oxley Member Posts: 90 Helper
    edited February 13

    There's no denying that the mk3 keyboards are solid and well made units. The screen looks amazing and the keys feel great to play on. But at the price point they could and should of offered a lot more. So much wasted space that could have had some faders or maybe even some pads. The screen is really wasting so much space too, most of it dedicated to a picture of the currently loaded instrument.

    As a comparison I own a Beringer Deepmind 12 synth. It's screen is similar in size to that of 1 screen on a mk2 keyboard. Sure, It looks like it escaped off a synth from the 90's using an old fashioned LCD dot matrix display, but, it shows just about every parameter you would ever need in terms of user feedback. I would rather have a basic looking display with excellent functionality over a lovely looking display that has very limited functionality any day.

  • Ojustaboo
    Ojustaboo Member Posts: 138 Helper
    edited February 13

    As someone who has bad eyesight (convinced if I had an eye test 7 days in a row, each day I would be given a different lens prescription), the one thing I really don’t like on my new Keylab mk2 is the LCD display and would love it if they had a big screen like the S series mk2 or mk 3.

    They could display some more useful info on the initial instrument page on the mk3 (or make this an option in the mk3 settings), but for me, with my eyesight, I’m happy with the amount of info on some of the further screens, for example the CS80 from Arturia (screen capture from NI YouTube vid)

    I appreciate others might prefer different things or far more info at a smaller size (in a perfect world we could have a choice of what/how information is displayed)

  • Vocalpoint
    Vocalpoint Member Posts: 668 Pro

    Cannot see how any MKIII can ever offer Maschine support (assuming the Maschine 2 software?) since the actual physical controls (Like I have on my S61 MKII) were removed

    (Well documented in that Mark III hardware intro thread back in Oct 2023)

    Or am I missing something here?

    VP

  • Vic Angelo
    Vic Angelo Member Posts: 103 Advisor
    edited February 13

    Maschine support goes way deeper then the 5 "Maschine buttons" they removed.

    Even With the current button setup on the Kontrol MK3 you should have the ability to do Library/Browser Control, Mixer Control, Plug-in control, Note Editing via Piano Roll, Sample Editing, Playback, Recording, Looping, and Play Assist, just like the Kontrol MK2 is able to do in Masch SW.

    Then, as you mentioned there were the 5 Removed "Maschine Buttons" that added even more functionality on top of what I stated above. Currently Kontrol MK3 is more useful to 3rd party DAWs then to NI's own music making software. K-MK3 has Zero integration other than Generic MIDI similar to any other MIDI keyboard. Sad...

    I've heard their reasoning hundreds of times, but the amount of backlash from their user base tells me, there logic is flawed.

  • Vocalpoint
    Vocalpoint Member Posts: 668 Pro

    "Maschine support goes way deeper then the 5 "Maschine buttons" they removed."

    Kinda figured it did.

    While I am not a Maschine user - I do try to scratch the surface with the software now and then. the MKII does allow me to work it in a positive way.

    VP

  • reffahcs
    reffahcs Member Posts: 713 Pro

    Glad you decided to return to the community. I'm looking forward to seeing what NI has to offer in 2024.

  • reffahcs
    reffahcs Member Posts: 713 Pro

    Def agree, hopefully Arturia will get their act together and start making some more useful display since NI has developed the NKS 2.0 framework for it.

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