Ask me anything: Kontrol S-Series MK3



  • Kymeia
    Kymeia Member Posts: 2,690 Expert

    Yes I would agree with that, with hosting you get access to all the fx, and can create chains of them (which hopefully can be saved). Direst interfacing is always going to be more limited with fx and you will only get those who sign up

  • Matthew_NI
    Matthew_NI Product Team Posts: 385 mod

    Firstly - no need to apologize! You have valid concerns, you're asking fair questions, and they relate to the AMA.

    It's possible we bring back a basic integration at some point, software only. But we have no plans to as of now, so I don't want to give false hope. MIDI mode only for now, with the transport functions coming from Maschine hardware itself, so we thought better not to replicate them.

    The question of competition is an interesting one. Maschine does have competitors. One of them even makes a keyboard that's apparently putting us out of business (it isn't). But we don't see our DAW partners as competition - we see them as collaborators. Indeed, Maschine is often used within or in proximity to a DAW. The aim isn't to grow the Maschine business and put all DAWs out of business. If anything, I think we need to improve the way Maschine interfaces with DAWs.

    And besides, in the context of the Kontrol S MK3, the number of users using our keyboards in the DAW is an order of magnitude higher than the number of users using them in Maschine. So that's why.

    As other commenters have noted - this may not always be easy but transparency can be helpful or refreshing. I'll try and sort out one of these for Maschine later this year, once the keyboard is out the door, and we have some Maschine updates to talk about.

  • Matthew_NI
    Matthew_NI Product Team Posts: 385 mod

    There is no answer to this yet, although I'd hope to relax the constraint. It makes sense.

    You may want to wait until the MIDI template management has been shipped (probably not until early next year) before considering your purchase.

  • Matthew_NI
    Matthew_NI Product Team Posts: 385 mod

    Yes and no.

    Massive X

    NKS2 is extremely dynamic. Not just all the parameter types, but the fluid navigation. Even for semi modular stuff like MX, where parameters come and go, NKS2 and Komplete Kontrol support the VST3 dynamic callbacks feature, so we could update parameter lists on the keyboard as they're shown / hidden.

    However, I think the next update to MX will be small, and get NKS2 to at least the macro workflow, rather than a larger overhaul. That would not be conducive to from scratch on the keyboard, but rather preset modification. That team just came off Guitar Rig 7, and is busy with a lot of upcoming stuff I can't talk about yet. Would be nice to see MPE, Poly AT or both.

    Old Kontakt Libraries

    We're updating some, but not all. Prioritizing the libraries with the most active usage.


    I don't think there are more sample packs planned right now. Or are you asking to visualize those samples on the keyboard or something?

  • holonology
    holonology Member Posts: 51 Member

    Hi @Matthew_NI - some interesing discussion and hoping to add something with some thoughts here...

    KK is not only the wrapper (or middleware) but also to some extent the carrot that allows new users, (myself included) to get into the NI ecosystem. I'll be honest I was wary of it at first, and I am looking forward to the new design which looks significantly improved. But with such a disperate collection of sounds, you kinda need something like this accessible to even those without an NI hardware product to allow discovery of the range?

    Modern DAWs have a lot of great features, but typically preset sorting and browsing is not one of them, especially across manufacturers. Even your friends at Arturia have somewhat gone down (and continue down) this route too with Analog Lab. But theirs is not free and in fact if you only have an 8 encoder keyboard, using KK to browse the Arturia presets can actually be easier.

    So I guess there is still merit in the concept of a 3rd party manager for presets when a software bundle comes with so many presets and instruments. The other approach could be to effectively turn all your instruments into one big instrument. Therefore preset access happens within one VST, thus eliminating the need for the wrapper, but that would (I imagine) have the effect of eliminating NKS and the possibility of hosting those partners together in one place.

    That's a long way of saying I'm looking forward to KK3, but I'd be interested in any takes on where KK will go in the future and where you at NI want to take it?

  • Matthew_NI
    Matthew_NI Product Team Posts: 385 mod

    We weren't the first, nor the last, nor should it be seen as a race to adopt new operating systems or chipsets. It has to be done right, and well. Oftentimes, issues with a new OS or chipset persist up to and far beyond their launches. Oh the stories I'd tell about some of the hurdles we've faced if I wasn't bound by strict confidentiality to such manufacturers.

    Nor can one compare apples to oranges, every product is different. Maschine and Komplete Kontrol are standalone applications, plug-ins, and hosts of plug-ins. They're also related to one another under the hood. When updating to newer environments, the number of variables increase exponentially when you consider them as hosts of plug-ins. For Komplete Kontrol, a user could host literally any one of thousands upon thousands of VST plug-ins. Each one of those plug-ins could be on a different version of the VST SDK, or contain any number of incompatible frameworks, or other issues in relation to the host environment. So such tech transitions for us are as much about identifying issues and working with hundreds of partners on a 1-1 basis to resolve those issues, as they are about us updating ourselves. Add to this the fact that we're human, and our implementation efforts took a serious hit week after week for months on end as Covid made the rounds.

    All to say - I'm sorry it was incredibly belated in your estimation. I'm proud it was done to a high degree of quality at the time it was done, inclusive of helping hundreds of other companies through the transition to avoid passing issues on to users. I don't expect anyone to see the complexity as an excuse, it is simply the case that such continued investment is both important and literally what we do in the service of maintaining and supporting our products. Adding support for major formats, operating systems and bug fixing isn't development? 


    You also deserve to hear this: I completely understand why you're frustrated. You want more out of us. You and the community has asked for more, and heard very little back. We're not trying to be offensive, we're a team trying our best to prioritize, in the service of making better products for you, the user. As I've said, we'll get a Maschine event of some kind scheduled, hopefully later this year when we have some stuff to talk about.

  • Matthew_NI
    Matthew_NI Product Team Posts: 385 mod

    We tried to make the ground rules as clear as possible:

    "Feel free to post your questions in the comment section below. Matt and Christopher will start answering some of your questions directly in this thread from September 18 until September 29, 2023."


    There's a ton of questions still to be answered, including more of yours - which I'm very appreciative of and grateful for. Was just trying to have a bit of fun along the way.

  • Stevan
    Stevan Member Posts: 1,266 Expert

    Congrats for the release. I would love to see the new M32 Mk2 with nice display.

    Also with 16 Encoders to be able to control volume and parameterts without switching modes.

  • Matthew_NI
    Matthew_NI Product Team Posts: 385 mod

    I'd be interested in any takes on where KK will go in the future and where you at NI want to take it?

    I've heard some people ask if Direct Connection to Kontakt means we'll add VST support to Kontakt and retire KK. Certainly, that could work, but there are downsides too (Kontakt has a lot else, so it's less efficient than KK for "basic" channelstrip stuff.

    Speaking of channelstrips, I've heard others ask if we'd extend KK to be audio only, and become an instrument or audio channel strip in that way. Certainly, I've made a few assistive channel strips in my time at iZotope.

    And then there's ideas around extending Direct Connection to a critical masse of products without losing the essence of having a librarian, even in the absence of KK. There are ways...

    These are three things I'm bouncing around - very much at the research stage. I'm not even sure if they'd make sense. Above all, whatever we do (including continuing to iterate on KK, as we just have with v3), has to ensure continued access to a library of 1st and 3rd party NKS content.

    Since you're asking me what I think we should do... for now, I think we should invest time in continuing the KK instrument experience, and getting as many products on NKS2 as possible.

  • Matthew_NI
    Matthew_NI Product Team Posts: 385 mod

    Stay tuned. If we do, it won't be this year. But it's definitely an idea that's on the radar.

  • Chris_NI
    Chris_NI Product Team Posts: 47 mod

    We are working on a solution to bring FL Studio to the same level of integration other DAWs like Ableton Live and Logic Pro. We are planning for this to be available for the official release.

  • Lenron
    Lenron Member Posts: 6 Newcomer

    I love not having to leave KK when I want to change instruments so I hope this doesn't go away anytime soon.

  • nightjar
    nightjar Member Posts: 1,065 Guru
    edited September 19

    My thoughts on KK's future is to focus on preset discovery, curation and personalization by means of preset editing via NKS2 mapped parameters.

    Bring more & more direct connection from different NKS2 enabled products with presets that embed an enhanced metadata standard used by KK - in the manner that a photoshop document can reveal so much an image.

    This future KK would embrace AI-assisted spectral and dynamic analysis of NKS2 audio previews to aid in discovery & curation to eventually make manual tagging redundant.

    And a user could create groupings of presets to have a ready-to-go "band" of a particular genre or music style.

  • Tulio Guilherme Grunwald
    Tulio Guilherme Grunwald Member Posts: 14 Member

    How the browser on keyboard will behave if I have Kontakt inside Komplete Kontrol software? (to stack Kontakt instruments with FX for example).

    I wonder if the Browser will show only Kontakt instruments when browsing or will show all my NKS instruments and synths available in KK software?

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