S88 MK3 - On 2023 Mac - Can't update firmware.

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Bossynth
Bossynth Member Posts: 8 Newcomer
I think the new S88 MK3 are half baked. Tech support is slow to answer.

I have tried everything I have found here online to get the firmware to update with my 2023 Mac. Nothing works. Hours of wasted time.

Anyone have any ideas when using a Mac to get the firmware to load up on the keybaord?

I have already started the process of a return.... I do not have high hopes here. It should not be this difficult.
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  • PoorFellow
    PoorFellow Moderator Posts: 3,553 mod
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    Some people , also with Mac computer , had luck either using another port , another better cable and/or a self powered USB-C hub capable of USB-C PD. There are so many forum posts about S series MK3 problems that it would be hard for me to locate any specifically about Mac Please notice with respect to the use of adapters the quality of the adapter is crucial many e.g. USB-C to A (or other way) adapters simply do not work in at least some cases so be sure to use a quality adapter if trying to use that ! (I myself had to buy an expensive adapter of the same brand as my phone to get a connection to work ! , But again still could be port related , I can not say for sure !)

    Quote 1 (thread includes discussion with official NI response claiming that the issue is with the ports though the cable switching might help) :

    My issue upon receiving an S88 MK3 yesterday was that the cable provided (round end) would not bring ANY power or MIDI from my Mac Mini M1. Both ports in back are Thunderbolt 3/USB 4 USB-C ports.

    Sweetwater contacting NI about a replacement cable.

    Was able to use my new iPad USB-C to USB-C cable and adapter to charge and USB-C to USB-A for MIDI.

    Quote 2 (in connection with a serious firmware update problem resolved at least) :

    I have connected the keyboard to the USB Charger of my Macbook Pro.

    For the data connection, I have used a USB-C to USB-A adapter and plugged the USB-A cable directly into the USB-A port on the back of my Mac Studio.

    Quote 3 (same place as above , another user) :

    On my Mac Mini M2 Pro, which has one USB A connector on the back, after trying many attempts using USB-C to USB-C direct from my Kontrol S88 Mk3 to the Mini's own USB C connectors and also via various USB hubs without success, I used a USB-C to USB-A cable plugged into the Mini's own USB A connector


    Also ref. Discussion here : https://community.native-instruments.com/discussion/16760/kontrol-s88-mk3-midi-controller-hardware-connection

  • Bossynth
    Bossynth Member Posts: 8 Newcomer
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    So if I get the $69 apple Thunderbolt cable this may work?

    I think I have one but I can not seem to locate it. But before I get one, you believe this may be the issue?
  • Bossynth
    Bossynth Member Posts: 8 Newcomer
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    I was able to update with a generic USB C to USB A cable. There was not enough power to complete update so I plugged in an apple power usb c cable with apple wall power. Finally it was able to do the update. I am now using the original NI cable but I am experiencing crashes in LOGIC. Maybe the cable is bad or not sheilded well (I bet that is likely).
  • PoorFellow
    PoorFellow Moderator Posts: 3,553 mod
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    Thank you for the feedback , then we can conclude that once again the USB-C to A were the solution for a firmware update problem using Mac !

  • Simchris
    Simchris Member Posts: 280 Pro
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    heh...i bought new usbc 20gb rated data cable, and 25w power adapter with rated power cable for both my s88 mk3 and s61mk3.

  • PoorFellow
    PoorFellow Moderator Posts: 3,553 mod
    edited February 18
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    And ? (Your remark would be more informative if you told if your cable and 'power adapter' purchase made things work for you or not and what was your exact model of computer)

  • Simchris
    Simchris Member Posts: 280 Pro
    edited February 21
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    doh...took approach of skipping oem cable and making sure good cable and enough power and not relying on charge capable ports on computers to be safe

    apparently my reply would have made more sense if i had properly quoted prior post about usb cables, which i though was self evident if posts read in order, but apparently not

    mac m1 ultra, m1 max, intel nuc i5

  • reffahcs
    reffahcs Member Posts: 848 Guru
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    The OEM cable works fine, the issue is the implementation of USB-C by certain vendors. Additionally, the S88 MK3 requires an external power supply.

  • PoorFellow
    PoorFellow Moderator Posts: 3,553 mod
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    Thank you for taking time to confirm what you thought obvious and I suspected. My asking for confirmation were to clarify and increase the value of your 'report'. I didn't mean to annoy you 🙂

  • Simchris
    Simchris Member Posts: 280 Pro
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    Heh. Sometimes typing stuff on my ipad while suffering through boring part of a streamer (looking at you REACHER season 2), I am not as coherent as when on my main work PC daily driver with proper keyboard and fresh coffee :) Also added my signature which realized was missing. Have not really been lurking on here much as generally don't have any issues, but have been popping in as redoing studio and wanted to ensure no 'gotchas' with the S61mk3, S88mk3, and keeping the S49mk2 in place on my Windows NUC "stand up synth station." Oh, the rewiring of dooooom.


  • Simchris
    Simchris Member Posts: 280 Pro
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    Yep, hence my mentioning getting fresh cables and external power supply to be safe since rewiring studio anyway. I always used external power supplies on my MK2 versions as well. I got external PSUs as I have a ton of USB devices connected to my main Mac Ultra and power delivery is spread across all connected devices. So, having a dedicated external power unit for each Mk3 keyboard kinda no brainer. Works for me, so my cunning plan worked in any case. :)

  • PoorFellow
    PoorFellow Moderator Posts: 3,553 mod
    edited February 21
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    Thank you for sharing ! Really nice setup. I wish that my living conditions allowed me to setup something as organized as yours ! 🙂

  • BIF
    BIF Member Posts: 673 Pro
    edited February 21
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    Dammit, Chris; now you're gonna shame me into vacuuming up the dead cockroaches and clearing my desk of all the cruft preventing me from putting down my own controllers! Darn you!

    Okay, but a serious comment and then a question.

    Props on your prior music journalism work.

    And what the heck are all of those controllers in your picture? I think we need to number them and list them, starting with that mixer thing and its sidecar(s), continuing with that little white controller just northwest of your MK3, and ending with that gorgeous flat panel doohickey on the right with all the knobs sticking up from it! I don't know what that last one is or what it does, but I want one! 😁

  • Simchris
    Simchris Member Posts: 280 Pro
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    wellll.... far far left is the CXM1978 reverb, patched as send/receive into the Apollo and into Logic. On the S88MK3, is the Mongram USB "click together" controllers (were spread out sideways on Mk2; but right now deciding if I need them with arrival of the SSL control surfaces); then there is the hand built 3-fader NUANCES controller for using with stuff like Spitfire, Kontakt, etc. (riding the symphonic stuff); far right is the mk2 MP MIDI Controller touchscreen which allows me to control any UA or NI products like FX or instruments with both touch and pre-rolled knobs (on screen around edges there is realtime indicator of knob setting). Rewiring all this stuff now. Wheeee ..... hence not the "beauty shot" with all the lights on at night :) But soon....

  • BIF
    BIF Member Posts: 673 Pro
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    The MP MIDI A2 controller appears super interesting, especially since I would LOVE to have a specialized touch screen with knobs for controlling any VST. I'd put it right next to my keyboard controller like you've done. And you don't really need the Komplete Kontrol MK3 so much unless you're in it for the light guide.

    And the price isn't too outrageous, either. I would just prefer to find a way to purchase it in the US...since I don't know anything about that vendor. But nobody carries it on this side of the pond.

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