Using S49 MK2 with 5-Pin MIDI connections

Alex-S49 Member Posts: 9 Newcomer
edited June 2022 in Komplete Kontrol

I've seen previous threads from 2017 on the old forum about this but thought things might have changed.

I read that if you want to use the S49 MK2 in standalone mode, you need to use the external power supply and unplug the USB cable. Then the 5-pin MIDI DIN connectors are activated.

Having just tested this, it seems this is severely limited as there are only 2 options:

  1. Either use USB to power the keyboard (whether plugged into a computer with/without Komplete Kontrol running, or else a USB cable in a main plug, it makes no difference). In this case you can select from the various MIDI templates you have created with custom controls, channels, splits etc BUT only the USB port works, not the DIN ports.
  2. Or use the 15v power supply with the USB unplugged. In this case the 5-pin DIN ports work but the keyboard is limited to a "Default" template that you cannot change and is stuck on channel 1 output only.

Seeing as you can power a USB cable in a mains adapter and the first scenario works fine without needing KK running, this strikes me as very odd that they didn't design this well. It is the power source that is selecting the function of the keyboard and nothing to do with it being connected to a computer or not.

Surely it would be a simple but great firmware improvement to allow the MIDI ports to be selected in software configuration or allow both and also allow the saved templates to be used, as these also seem to be independent of KK running?



  • JesterMgee
    JesterMgee Member Posts: 2,281 Expert

    I think when you see the templates when powering from a USB power source, possibly this is just the names of the templates and basic LG info, not a functional template. It probably has a stored memory of these template names or something and is only called when power on USB is attached because AFAIK when you select a template it accesses the stored template file on the PC.

    Yeah even tho you can get (less than basic) functionality from these keyboards in standalone, they kind of need an attached PC so you can setup MIDI routing to use the MIDI port with more flexibility. I'd almost go as far to say these keyboards don't offer anything more than the absolute of basic MIDI controls and for standalone, almost ANY other option is probably better. Would be simple enough to have some on-board customisation of controls and functions, be able to set the MIDI Out port as enabled or not along with USB... Things that one would expect as the basics, but alas I don't think that is on the cards for the future.

  • Alex-S49
    Alex-S49 Member Posts: 9 Newcomer
    edited June 2022

    Hi and thanks for your reply.

    When powered from a USB power source, the templates appear fully functional from the keyboard end. The coloured strip lights all do their thing and splits are shown, knobs and buttons are labelled. However there's no way to actually prove the template can send MIDI because you'd have to be plugged in to the computer or else have the DIN ports active.

    As for the template selecting the file on the PC, I tested with no KK running and templates can still be selected and MIDI data is received from USB into MIDI-OX. So unless there's another driver running in the background that is sharing out the template files (which I'm fairly sure there isn't), the keyboard does have the templates in its local memory. The firmware just chooses not to make them available when the 12v power supply is used.

    I agree with you. It should be possible and quite easy to include that standalone functionality. My guess is thay have knobbled this deliberately for commercial rather than technical reasons.

    My workaround solution - Use USB, open MIDI-OX, go to port routings, link the "Komplete Kontrol-1" input port to my rtpMIDI virtual output port. I can now select templates for various external MIDI kit without KK intercepting and interfering with the data.

  • OldFartGP
    OldFartGP Member Posts: 2 Newcomer

    Interesting discussion. To clarify, then - there's no simple way from within a DAW to simply change the MIDI channel to control an external hardware synth via the 5-pin MIDI output?

  • Alex-S49
    Alex-S49 Member Posts: 9 Newcomer


    I think you're right. If you've got the NI keyboard connected via USB, the MIDI ports are disabled (except for a scenario I'll explain below).If you're using MIDI DINs on the keyboard in standalone mode you're limited to channel 1 anyway.

    Here is a workaround suggestion. You could use the MIDI-OX utility to re-map the input from the keyboard to another MIDI output interface visible from the computer. That could be another external MIDI device, such as on a Focusrite interface or a network hub like the mio10 or indeed the NI keyboard's MIDI OUT DIN, which can be seen as "Komplete Kontrol EXT - 1". But you still need a computer to achieve this. It is severely limited in standalone mode.

    I'm assuming here that you want to drive that external synth from the keyboard. But if you want to drive MIDI from the DAW, then that "Komplete Kontrol EXT - 1" should also be visible from there. I just checked that by Cubase 12 sees it. I haven't yet tried plugging a device into the 5-pin ports but it seems the NI keyboard can act as an external MIDI interface.

    PS. I just noticed there's a "Komplete Kontrol EXT - 1" MIDI input showing up in Cubase too. I'll experiment later.

  • OldFartGP
    OldFartGP Member Posts: 2 Newcomer

    Thx for the explanation. As I use a Mac, MIDI-OX isn't an option, unfortunately. I'll figure out a way to use my old M-Audio Axiom Pro49 to drive my hardware synths (I have a Kenton Thru-5 MIDI box) - it's a workaround, but somewhat frustrating, given the price of these NI keyboards here in Australia.

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