Inquiry about S61 and S88 Keyboards, presale

Milkman
Milkman Member Posts: 200 Advisor
edited January 2023 in Komplete Kontrol

I am about to replace my Akai A49 controller with a KK S61 or 88(or another brand if there is something that wont work for me), and Ive read plenty of documentation but wanted to ask current S61/88 owners about their experience. Im leaving the Akai A49 keyboard because of chronic controller drift, and Akai refusing to repair it.

  1. is it channel AT, or per key(poly) AT? I cant find that info anywhere on this site, or sweetwater. My MK3 is poly aftertouch, but of course has that issue... where you can only use it for note repeat...
  2. Im very good at routing hardware inside cubase and maschine, including my mk3.(Thanks @D-One !) Do you think the experience of using the S61/88 OUTSIDE maschine will be smooth for me, in MIDI mode? Are there any annoying issues with routing, creating templates with controller editor, or anything that makes the experience of using 3rd party synths OUTSIDE KK difficult?

My experience with my Akai A49, OTHER THAN the controller drift defect, has been very good, with the controller easily connecting and routing to any instruments inside or outside of the NI ecosystem. Its a breeze to connect to my non-NI VSTs.

Will my S61/88 also be a breeze in connecting to non-NI VST, today? Will it be similar to my MK3 -- switch into MIDI mode, create or load template, and/or manually MIDI learn inside my VST? I already know about the key action of the S series and people say very good things about the bed, and I am already very happy with my MK3, but my main concern is always integration. Thanks!

Tagged:
«1

Comments

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,689 mod
    edited January 2023

    Hi. 😀

    1 - Pretty sure is channel After-touch, not poly but wait for others to confirm, I sold my KKS-Mk2 so can't verify.

    2 - I mostly only used my KK keyboards with Komplete Kontrol, I don't see the point in paying 2x or 3x the price of an equivalent 3rd party Keyboard if you don't plan to use the dedicated features it has that are tied to software / KK...

    With that said I am not sure what could be difficult or an issue in MIDI Mode since it will just behave as a generic normal keyboard like any other; there's no "integration" with generic MIDI. Learning knobs shouldn't be an issue, your DAW/Plugins are in charge of that.

    Mapping is done thru KK tho, not Controller editor.

    Just like MAS-MK3 your templates are software-based so they won't work if say, you want to connect the Keyboard directly to a real Synth or something, in that case only the default template shows - This won't matter for most people but thought it was worth mentioning.

  • Milkman
    Milkman Member Posts: 200 Advisor
    edited January 2023

    Thanks for your feedback @D-One! (this is Jeremy S from the old forum)

    I am quite invested in the NI ecosystem, so I dont think being mostly inside that ecosystem will be an issue. I only have 1 hardware synth and I dont plan to connect that to the KK. I use a few non-NI VST synths and just want to hear if anyone had any issues with basic MIDI routing or "surprise" hidden limitations using stuff that isnt NI.

    I have definitely considered other more general purpose controller/keyboards, and was actually just browsing around today. I saw a couple Yamaha devices that looked good, but I only have experience with NI, Korg, Akai, and Im not going back to Akai anytime soon. I feel like I would be taking more of a chance, I think.

    Did you find it was easy to resell your KK when you wanted to?

    EDIT: Im leaning toward that novation 61SL MK3 right now. I see what you are saying about the extra cost just for the ability to easily control maschine2 and NI stuff, and Ive spent like 2 days obsessing over all the features of like 20 different controllers. I feel like.. I can get a couple $$ worth of extra KEYBOARD features for the $749, rather than just the KK/maschine2 software interface. I think I got this figured out - thanks!

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,689 mod
    edited January 2023

    You should be fine, peoples complaints are mostly about SW, the HW itself is fine.

    There are some annoyances like Chord Mode, Scales, Arps, etc not sending the MIDI directly to the DAW, since it's SW based it has to go thru KK first, then another DAW track has to receive MIDI from the Plugin.. meaning 2 tracks per instrument if you plan on using the Smart Play features and have the MIDI printed.

    To reiterate: Say you use Chord mode and a single note triggers that Chord, when you record you just get the single note in the DAW track, not the full Chord. To me this was a major annoyance, might not matter to you tho.

    Did you find it was easy to resell your KK when you wanted to?

    Yes, I had the ad up for maybe a week until someone bought it, was selling for half of what I paid tho, around 300$ maybe 350$ (don't remember exactly).

  • Milkman
    Milkman Member Posts: 200 Advisor
    Answer ✓

    Thank you very much for your specific feedback here. That is exactly what I wanted to hear, and something I somewhat expected regarding the passing of certain midi data to the DAW.

    Since I already have a MK3 that works well for me, I think the need to quickly and easily manage NI ecosystem content through that device is already fulfilled for me. I don't need a keyboard that ALSO behaves this way and also takes 2 steps to capture some midi data, and if NI made a S61 or S88 *without* that added integration, I would buy it. If NI made a 61 key KK "standalone" with that good key bed and good controls, I would grab it in a heartbeat. FYI NI!! 😉

    I went ahead with the Novation 61SL MkIII, and I'm looking forward to the dual sequencer / arp it has onboard. People seem to like it.

    My dream of poly aftertouch is still on hold, however. That Expressive E Osmose is my dream, I think, but $1800 was too steep for today.

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,689 mod

    That Expressive E Osmose is my dream, I think, but $1800 was too steep for today.

    I'm also eyeing it, it has amazing features... I'm praying this sort of tech became more accessible in a few years.

  • Milkman
    Milkman Member Posts: 200 Advisor


    Somebody will hopefully come up with some sort of tech to drop the price a little, such as optical switches like those new optical PC keyboards with the optical/analog switches. Ive got one(razer huntsman analog), and you can program keys to be like an analog joystick!!! KB cost $179, so it isnt cheap, but I wonder if those optical switches could be one possible tech.

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,689 mod
    edited January 2023

    Well... I'm into mechanical keyboards aswell.

    Yeah, the thing is the tech itself is nothing new, in the mech keyboard world slow evolution is tied to it's culture just like music, old people + old standards run the game, users want the famous "cherry" keyswitches as they're associated with "quality" even tho they were created in 1988, reminds me of MIDI 1.0 which is from 1983 and still around... Both things don't make any sense today as tech has made a massive leap in 30 years.

    Nowadays theres analog switches, low profile, silent, opticals with lasers/IR, Hall Effect with magnets, etc... This tech is not new, we used IR for tv remotes since for ever.

    An off the shelf pre-built plastic mech keyboard @ 170$ is a bit expensive but really nothing compared to custom mechs, group buys get crazy, the GMMK Pro kind of changed the game making custom mechs accessible with a barebones model under 200$ and a fully pre built at 350$, in this world that's cheap and readily available, with group buys you pay now and get the product 1 year later... prices reach 500-800$ and still use old tech. 😬 People value full aluminum body, brass keyswich plates, etc... rather than the tech itself.

    We need to get past old standards and demand companies to keep up with current tech, easier said than done tho since doing the same over and over is way more comfortable.

  • Milkman
    Milkman Member Posts: 200 Advisor

    Wooting!! : )

    Yeah I started on the mech keyboards thing, and then I quickly quit that. Too much money for ****** that people used in the 80s and 90s, yeah hahah! My wife and I both got some keycap and switch sets (cherry mx compatible or something) and did not like how they fit, learned some more about that whole market, and went back to razer and logitech keyboards. CLACK CLICK CLACK CLICK 😂

    This Huntsman isnt too bad, and so far it is probably my favorite keyboard. I stripped out all the razer driver / studio stuff to make it slimmer and it remembers 8 profiles onboard, so I dont need any drivers or anything. The analog keys dont work in many applications tho... as some games just dont understand the mapping. Its very pretty, it types very well, the writs wrest is good and has LEDs (haha), and the overall LEDs and backlights are good.

    Yeah - old standards. Many companies across many industries like to stick with what they know works (is profitable), and so we suffer endless 1980s and 1990s clothing and style cycles. Im from the 80s and 90s!! I dont want to live it again!!! 🤣

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,744 Expert

    Well, I still use a keyboard from early 2000, or maybe even late nineties. It is PS/2 one. Works fine, just would deserve desperately to be cleaned. The soap has not touch it, ever....

    Just great keyboard, it has overlived few others...

    You are from 80/90s, but those who are from 60/70s decide. And they like to return to the time of their twenties. ;-)

    Osmose is nice controller.

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,689 mod
    edited January 2023

    Similar situation here. I got a semi-custom / modded one but nothing too fancy, around 200$, I mainly wanted a mech with silent key switches and stabilizers because I record vocals often and don't have a separate booth, my mouse is also silent so that while someone is recording I can get some work done on the track without having key presses and clicks being audible in the recording.

    I got into mechanical keyboards to the point of assembling a DIY CNC machine during the pandemic, lol.. that was kind of a mistake and is a project on hold indefinitely. The prices are too crazy and I eventually got turned off by the snobbiness of the mech world tho.

    It's nice to talk about other things here. I hope you are happy with your MIDI keyb choice, best of luck my friend.

    Well... It's not like you're missing much since not a lot has changed, unless it's a membrane keyboard... if that's the case then... EWWWWW! 😀😅

    On a more serious note tho, for people who type a lot or use keyboards for many hours a day a decent keyboard is one of those things that makes a huge difference but we will never know unless we try.

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,744 Expert

    It is mechanical keyboard. It would not survive 20+ years of daily 8-10 hours of more or less continuous clicking, otherwise. I am computer programmer.... The plastic of keys is worn down from my nails, there are visible donts on them, but mechanical switches work like a charm. They will overlive me, I guess.

  • Milkman
    Milkman Member Posts: 200 Advisor

    Yeah - @D-One having a little chat here is nice, and since the board has been reset Ive not had many of these threads. I had many more on the old forum, but the reset sort of disconnected me from a few people.

    In my old, old life, I preferred a simple PS/2 microsoft ball mouse and a packard bell PS/2 keyboard, which came with my packard bell PC in the mid 1990s. I rejected the optical mouse until maybe 2003, and then found the microsoft intellimouse and used it for 7-8 years.

    I worked as a desktop support technician, net/sysadmin, network engineer, IT mgr, but it is debatable whether or not I put more use on my KB/mouse at work, or at home with my gaming, tinkering, & a little educational coughhackingcough of large campus networks. If anyone recalls the VST scene around 1999, you know what I mean.

    @Kubrak I have supported many developers over the years, such as building and supporting their dev machines and IDEs, github branch management, helping analyze logs and collaborating with QA, etc. I can speed up your build times!! ; ) This is my preferred job position - net/sysadmin or IT manager. I leave the code writing to those who have the brains for it, and I certainly do not.

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,744 Expert

    @Milkman thanks for offer. As you can see from number of my posts, I do not work very much. And trully said, I do not need and do not want to work more, than one day a week. I have spent about 70 000 hours clicking the keyboard, and now mostly only support users of my SW. Programs work flawlessly, and longterm users do not need much support. The oldest program will be three decades old soon... It will be used at least 10 years more...

  • Milkman
    Milkman Member Posts: 200 Advisor


    That is a very good career you've had so far! Years ago my old mentors tried to get me to study more programming languages, but my adhd/spectrum brain drove me somewhere else and that is where I am today. It must feel good to have published software that is now in the field, and to have users and customers to support!

    How are your wrists, arms, shoulders? Ive been doing net/sysadmin work for about 30 years now (1995, so 28 years), and gaming for.... 41 years. Sometimes I have very bad nerve pain in my shoulder that is so bad I can barely use any PC, device, or.. even a fork or spoon sometimes, lol. I ask you this out of curiosity, to see if you were able to avoid pain.

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,744 Expert
    edited January 2023

    My hands and wirsts are OK, so far. I have always focused on ergonomy.

    The back is so, so. But no need to visit doctor or so. I practice regullary stretching and also yoga. And regular dancing has helped me a lot. I dance 4-6 hour a week. Very good for spine flexibility.

    Also, I have good chair and regullary switch it to gym-ball and/or "kneeling chair".

    Simply, one has to compensate the sitting by other activities, chage sitting possition and care about ergonomy of workspace (as much as possible right angles of body parts, big desk space and correct position of monitor).

    I have spent close to 40 years of intensive work on computer... It is doable, body may survive it, but it needs care.

    Also, if I felt that something is wrong in my wirst (slight pain), I stopped using keyboard and mouse for few days, week, so that problem does not develop in something more serious. So, it is also about listening to body and not pushing over the limits.

Back To Top