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Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S49 Reviews

4.0 stars based on 22 customer reviews
Questions about the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S49?

Questions about the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S49?

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  • Al Green
    from NYC December 6, 2016Music Background:

    Komplete Kontrol C49

    I really wasn't sure if I wanted this thing. I have a Fantom G8 which serves as my controller so I really didn't think I needed this. But as a Kontakt user this tool is invaluable.

    The ability to scroll through patches superfast makes it worth its weight in gold.
    Finding patches I never knew existed and finding them fast.

    The colored keys makes it easy to identify kick. snares and hi hats. I'm not a fan of NI customer service but this product is great. however I am a fan of sweetwater customer service.. my guy Ben is tops.

  • Terry
    from Casper, Wyoming April 28, 2016Music Background:
    Home recording, used to perform live

    So cool

    I have Komplete Kontrol 49 and Komplete 10 Ultimate. All I can say is, "Wow!" This is a great system. There is so much it can do. It controls hundreds of sounds easily. You can sit for hours just going through and tweeking with the sounds. Totally worth the money. It makes a very complex program manageable.

  • Randall Strachan
    from Antelope Valley, CA April 8, 2016

    NKS+S49+Komplete 10 Ultimate=THE Ultimate!

    I've been using Komplete 10 Ultimate along with the NI S49 keyboard for over 6 months and it all works together nearly seamlessly. he amount of work in coding the NKS system, must have been daunting, giant kudos to Native Instruments.

    When using Komplete Kontrol, you rarely have to touch the mouse or the QWERTY keyboard. 95% of the application parameters are available at your fingertips by using the twist-knobs on the keyboard. The Fatar keyboard is THE BEST feeling keyboard I've EVER laid my fingers on. Not only that, you also get the added ease of use to control your DAW from the S series keyboard too!

    I'm BLOWN AWAY with this system of applications and the NKS integration!

    Special thanks to my Sales Engineer Nathan Parker for finding the answers to all my questions which is the reason I decided to purchase everything!

  • Mario
    from Santa Barbara January 13, 2016

    Komplete kobtrol s49

    Amazing product, integration with 3rd party vsts makes it a must for producers looking for a better workflow.

  • Vocalking
    from December 2, 2015

    This is the best controller so far

    I originally had a novation impulse 49. It was ok,yet limited compared to the new controllers out there. So when looking for a new one i was torn between the Akai Advanced with vip and the Komplete Kontrol. At the time i already had all Komplete ultimate and all the plug inns that were offered with Komplete Kontrol and at that time the komplete kontrol only worked with native instrument plug inns. So i chose the akai advanced because i own lots of different plug inns. It was a good build and solid and the screen was nice.Yet when i tried to use it with Kontakt and massive it was limited.You can only use 4 pages of parameter settings and assign them yourself. On the Komplete you have 16 pages full of parameters already mapped out.WOW!! What a difference. So after having the akai advance for a couple of weeks native instruments announced there new software would work with other plug inns ..So with sweetwater it was no problem returning it and getting the komplete Kontrol. I was Blown away how much more intuitive and responsive this keyboard was compared to the akai advanced. You will not be sorry for this purchase especially if you like to design and shape your sounds while playing. It also works great with arturia v collection 4. Sweetwater is the way to go. don't waste your time at the gtr center. You can call and talk to a Representative that is a knowledgeable musician as well and can answer any question you have. Brandon was a great help.

  • LeatherSax Music
    from San Francisco June 24, 2015

    Perfection can be achieved

    I'm still very much in the learning curve with this controller because it does so much.
    I have the Komplete package and the control over the vast range of options is a total high.

  • Film-Less Media Tracks
    from Maryland June 8, 2015Music Background:
    purchased my Minimoog at 13, so Forty Two Years

    N.I. Quality and Sweetwater quality Service,

    A great instrument that is made great and once you get it, you will see it's really easy to learn to use! I read a lot of reviews and I haven't read one that doesn't say how wonderful this keyboard controller is! Only comment is it would be even better with an USB/Audio interface. Besides that, it will take hours to load depending on what other N.I. products you have on your computer! Well worth the wait, however, because it gives you back instantaneous "Kontakt" with every Program contained in Kontakt, Machine Studio and Absynth, FM8, Reaktor,, Battery and the rest of Native Instruments products! Of course I would like it to read all of my VST and AU instruments, but this is an enormous colloection of over 17.000 presets. In my case close to 100,000. My miinimoog didn't have just one. We "old schoolers" remember instruments with 256 -512,presets and cost thousands of dollars, so we shouldn't be complaining. My OBXA stored 128 presets on a cassette tape and cost $4,200, so I look at it that way and really feel pretty blessed to have an instrument like this! The lights are no gimmick, they are beautiful, but more importantly very functional!! If you own a Machine Studio, the two work together like magic!

  • Paul Schmitz
    from New York February 18, 2015Music Background:
    Musician, Pro Studio Owner

    Komplete Kontrol S49

    I am new to Komplete in general, Not a Keyboard player and after some download issues with NI I have everything up and running. It is truly amazing where tecknology has gone, the future is here and this is it. I highly recommend this gear and also Sweetwater Service is unmatched in the industry. Lot of people selling gear but these guys really care about their clients.

  • Dan Griffith
    from Phoenix, AZ December 28, 2014Music Background:
    Singer Songwriter, Composer, Pro Musician

    Highest Quality & tightly integrated with Kontakt

    I am extremely happy with the S49. The touch of the keys, the feel of the pots and buttons, as well as the case are all of the highest quality. Yes, there are less expensive midi keyboards but I doubt you will find one better made.

    Since keyboard is not my primary instrument, I was looking for something to help me leverage the huge set of NI Kontakt Komplete instruments. This helps me find the sound I am looking much more quickly than I ever could do using the mouse. It encourages me to dig deeper into and leverage all that Kontakt Komplete has to offer. This is exactly what I was hopping for. For me, that alone justifies the price.

    As one would hope, It also works flawlessly with my non-NI software instruments.

  • Mike
    from NYC USA November 20, 2014Music Background:

    Excellent Product. A must own

    This is a really excellent product. NI gets an A+ from me!

  • Arnell
    from April 20, 2017Music Background:
    Super Producer

    Native Komplete Kontrol S49

    After just a few months of experimenting with the Komplete Kontrol S49, the best feature is basically how integrated the piano is with the VST's and control so much from the midi keyboard. I work out of Logic Pro X and from the moment I load Komplete Kontrol I literally don't have to touch my MacBook again to get the sound I wanna get. Also it does load some VST's Third Party although I don't have a huge collection yet of VST's the VST's I do have most of them have loaded in Komplete and can use the same features as if it was a native instrument VST.

  • Todd P.
    from Cleveland TN April 4, 2017Music Background:
    Home Studio Owner

    A Must Have For Some!

    When the package first arrived I couldn't believe how heavy it was! This thing is made from quality material! The packaging was very clean and the product is beautiful to look at! The LED lights perform a small dance for you as you turn it on and it makes me smile every time!

    The setup was fairly simple and I was making music in no time! I still have a lot to learn as far as the functionality of the keyboard goes but over all I'm super impressed with everything this joker can do!!!

    If you use Komplete I recommend this product!

  • Bob King
    from SC dezert December 3, 2015

    Bigger is better!

    Nice keyboard...worked as advertised. Should have got the 61!

  • J.E. Knubis
    from California May 24, 2016

    Komplete Kontrol s49

    Nice instrument all around. Software installation did not go smoothly on a new Mac Pro but is now operating well after a few attempts. Integrates beautifully with Kontact. The keyboard lights are a little hokey but otherwise it's an excellent device for my needs

  • Joseph Buckner / 88Kezz
    from June 5, 2015Music Background:
    Music Producer/ Sound designer

    Komplete Kontrol s49

    I purchased this keyboard about three weeks ago and I'm loving It one of my best investments this year the weighted keys are great, good action exactly what I was looking for and in conjunction with the Komplete Kontrol software this item is a beast I'm glad I made this purchase

  • Customer
    from May 26, 2016

    nice hardware

    For starters the build on the keyboard is very good, it feels nice and solid. Having only bought this 3-4 weeks ago I'm already bored with the software. I'm in the IT field and work a lot with software, NI has a great idea but completely missed the opportunity to capitalize on this idea. First off there is no software included, so you need to start by downloading everything. Which isn't horrible but it turned out to be task on in its own. Connection to the server kept dropping and I have pretty good internet speeds and connections. After a few days of restarting the downloads I ended up take the laptop to work to get it all bandwidth possible and to babysit the download.

    The GUI is where NI missing the mark, its a great idea but browsing sucks even though they sell you on the fact that you can break down your searches. Again great idea but it could be a hundred times better but I'm not going to get into what would make it better. They can hire me to consult if they want to know... ha ha.

    The sounds are just okay and are workable but most of them don't fit my style of music, for others they maybe perfect. I'm not getting any inspiration from them though.

    Final thoughts, I will probably hang onto the keyboard because it's of good quality, luckily for NI software can be updated and they can make the changes that need to be made. I will just hope more sounds and samples are made for Rock / Metal type music. (that's a hint NI)

  • Customer
    from TX April 22, 2015Music Background:

    Komplete Kontrol S49

    Outstanding build, great functionality when paired with Komplete 10 Ultimate. Shows a lot of promise. I have no issue looking at the computer screen, but would love to see more integration to other VSTs and DAWs, though I primarily use Maschine as my DAW. Kontrol should be versatile enough to cover all VSTs and enable mapping. You should be able to map it, layer it for live performances. I think NI just realized that when they figured out Akai was coming out with their Advance keyboard that does just that, short of the lights on the keys that Kontrol has.
    So NI, you want to market a superior product? Integrate Maschine and Kontrol into single one unit, enable external VST and DAW mapping/ customization. Give the new keyboard a color touchscreen to carry out 80% of the activities from the keyboard, and you will stay ahead of the game. For now, the announced Kontrol update is just you playing a reactive game before your customer base gets irritated with your lack of proactive efficiency. Aside from that, you are on the right track, but by now you definitely should know better... So catch up and make us proud.

  • J C
    from New York November 8, 2014Music Background:

    NI Komplete Kontrol 49

    I had just purchased Komplete 9 ultimate some 4 months ago. When I bought the Keyboard Kontrol s49 I upgraded to Komplete 10 ultimate. The keyboard is really good quality. Id like to see more functionality using protools 11 as my daw. I like the whole idea of using a keyboard as a primary controller for the interface on my pc. even tho I use a few external sound generators I like this direction as well. although I think they have a bit to go. overall I like the setup

  • Sidd Sund
    from SoCal October 25, 2014Music Background:

    Nice Quality, Limited Functionality, Overpriced

    I recently purchased this board, and thought I would post a review of it, since there aren't many around just now. I own Komplete 9 which is what I used to test the keyboard. I run Logic Pro X and I used this DAW as my software for plug-in functionality.

    The Good:

    This is a very well made keyboard, better than other controllers I have used. The knobs have a great feel to them, and they have haptic functionality, which means that when you lightly touch a knob, it shows the current settings. The OLED displays under each knob, though small, are bright and useful. The buttons also have a nice quality feel to them. As for the much touted Fatar keybed, it is good, but not great. It makes a bit of noise when you are playing the keys hard, and is not that far superior to keyboard controllers costing a whole lot less. The keys are full sized, and definitely superior to low end controllers. The semi-weighted playability is on the soft side.

    The Not-So-Good

    As promised, the unit does control the Komplete Kontrol Software. But it doesn't control it that well. The software, though quite limited in its v1 edition, is free if you own K9 or K10. Browsing from the keyboard functions as promised, but it takes a lot of various pushes of buttons and rotating of switches. I think that using a mouse on the computer is actually more efficient, though I am always looking for an alternative. Unlike Maschine, where you can almost fully rely on the hardware, you have to be looking at the computer screen to see where you are navigating. The KK does not have a dedicated screen that shows the instrument selected, the presets, and so on. Again, this means that you are going to have to interact with a computer.

    The software is very limited. Billed as a means to inspire creativity, it does very little in this arena. For one thing, if you find a patch you really like, there is no way to add it to favorites or otherwise save it. In order to save it, you have to go back to the computer and create a user patch. Otherwise, when you change patches, anything you did with the knobs on the keyboard are lost.

    In Logic, the KK software was buggy. It refused to load itself onto channel one, but would do so on subsequent channels. From time to time, the keyboard would simply freeze, and none of the navigation controls were available. It didn't do this with the stand alone software, but for most users, the plug-in is what is going to be more important.

    Another big problem is that the keyboard only controls certain parameters of the selected instrument. For example, when I selected one of NI's pianos, there were only a handful of pre-mapped settings available. More troublesome is the fact that NI didn't even bother allowing control of patches within the given instrument. If you choose the Berlin Grand, for example, you cannot control the various patches within the instrument. In order to change the mic setup or the reverb, you have to back to the computer. Not very intuitive.

    The other big problem with the pre-mapping is that the keyboard doesn't show you where you are when you change from one page or pre-maps to another. Take a complex instrument like Absynth. Sure, there are 17 pages of pre-mapped parameters available, which seems like a great deal. But when you switch between pages on the keyboard, the software doesn't take you to the respective page within the software. So, you might be trying to change an oscillator setting, but can't see it on the screen, because you are not on the right screen within the instrument. It certainly would have been nice if by changing the parameters on the keyboard, the software would take you to the page within the instrument so you could see what you were doing.

    The Bad

    The arpeggiator is one of those hyped advertising gimmicks that in reality is 50% useless. The arp function, one of the main reasons I purchased the board, does have a sophisticated arpeggiator, though hardly more so than any mainstream DAW. The big problem is that when you begin recording the arpeggiator into a DAW, in my case, LPX, the board does not send the arp information to the DAW. So, you might perform a wonderful, varied arp pattern, but it will only record the base notes, without any arp data. When you play back the arp, the keyboard only arpeggiates based on the last settings, so all the various nuances and changes that you can perform with the knobs are useless in a recording setting. How does this help creativity if you can't record what you created?

    The lighted keys are a pain. In a performance setting where the user doesn't know how to play very well, they may be of some use, but I would imagine that most performing keyboardists know how to play in the first place. Also, you can't turn them off via a dedicated button on the keyboard, you have to go into the computer to do so.

    If you own any NI instruments that you purchased separately, forget it. You can only use this keyboard with its pre-mapping on K9 or K10. The included controller editor app for the board is small and nearly useless. Yes, you can program the board to control third party instruments, but unless the third party instrument has a learn function, you have to manually input cc controls and commands for each and every function. Clearly, NI wants you to only use their own software. Too bad even implementation with their own software is as limited as it is.

    All in all, the Komplete Kontrol S is a nice keyboard, but given its limited functionality, definitely overpriced. NI will likely add in some new features via software and firmware but as it stands now, I don't think it is worth the stiff premium NI wants. There is no software included, not even Komplete Kontrol. You have to own either v9 or v10 to get it. With the KK software, I can control Komplete sufficiently well from an inexpensive controller, and because the control on the keyboard is relatively limited, it is not really that much more tedious to use the mouse to tweak settings.

  • DK
    from San Diego January 28, 2017

    Buyer's remorse

    Nice quality keyboard. Half functioning midi controller. No support. I still cannot get it working correctly with Logic X. I knew going in that it would only work with Native Instrument products but you can't even use the onboard arpeggiator with non NI synths. Also you cannot use it as a controller without a computer.
    I also find that the presets load quite a bit slower using the keyboard browser.
    I fell for all the bells, whistles, and flashing lights...(it does look cool). Wish I had invested in a decent controller and more sounds instead.

  • Customer
    from March 16, 2015


    love this board in Maschine BUT the MIDI out port does not work in stand alone mode.
    you have to have it connected to a computer and ported through a host to do this.


    absolutely ridiculous

  • Steven Woolgar
    from Portland April 17, 2016


    This only works with VST plugins. Nowhere is that mentioned. Now I have a boat anchor and I am very upset with NI. Considering never buying NI again. Kore1, Kore2 and now this.


  • Mitch Gallagher

    Imagine how tough it is for the developers at Native Instruments. You've got this package called "Komplete" that comes loaded with basically everything you can think of including software instruments, sound libraries, effects plug-ins...a full selection. Not bad...until you realize that you have to top yourself! Somehow, NI keeps coming up with new instruments, new effects, and more of everything!

    Which brings us to Komplete 10 and Komplete 10 Ultimate. Komplete 10 includes 39 virtual instruments, processors, and effects. Its libraries total more than 12,000 sounds. Ten new titles have been added to Komplete 10, including new synths such as Rounds, Kontour, Polyplex, and Drumlab; instruments such as Session Horns and The Grandeur, The Maverick, and The Gentleman pianos; and effects such as Driver and Supercharger. Adding these 10 to the existing list of Komplete mainstays -- Absynth, FM8, Battery, Reaktor, Kontakt, Massive, and more -- gives you an array of sounds at your fingertips that is truly mind-blowing.
    Komplete 10 Ultimate offers a whopping 75 virtual instruments and effects, with over 17,000 sounds! Everything in Komplete 10 is included, plus Session Horns Pro, Molekular, Rise & Hit, and loads more libraries. It's so big that it comes on a hard drive for easy install.

    Komplete Kontrol
    Big news from NI: keyboards! There are three members in the new Komplete Kontrol S Series family: 25-key, 49-key, and 61-key versions. The Komplete Kontrol S keyboards connect to your computer via USB, but there are also MIDI ports. Komplete Kontrol S comes with an app/plug-in called Komplete Kontrol for browsing Komplete. You can search through the various Komplete instruments, load sounds, and navigate, all from the dedicated buttons and data knob on the keyboard.

    The keyboard's eight knobs automatically map to each Komplete instrument. The Scale button changes the scale that the keyboard is playing -- you can even assign any scale to just the white keys. The Chord function allows playing a complete chord using one key. A powerful arpeggiator can perform in a variety of modes, and transport controls are below it. On the left are two touch-strip controllers that serve as pitch bend and mod wheel controllers, or they can be assigned to other parameters or put into unique modes.

    A deceptively powerful feature of the Komplete Kontrol S keyboards is the innovative Light Guide -- a series of color-changing LEDs, one above each key. These serve a variety of purposes. In Scale Mode, they indicate the keys in the scale. Or, they can show the range of various samples on the keyboard, for example, the drum assigned to each key in Battery. Light Guide can also be used to indicate which keys perform key switching on certain patches and more.

    In Use
    Using a Komplete Kontrol S Series controller keyboard with Komplete brings an entirely new perspective to the experience. The Komplete Kontrol S integration with Komplete allows you to keep your attention on the keyboard and on what your ears are hearing, without shifting thought and attention toward what is happening on the computer's display. The software, computer, and keyboard become one instrument that you can play and use to create.

    Komplete itself is amazing. It's not hyperbole to say that any sound or any effect is in there -- even some you've never thought of or imagined. You can, of course, use Komplete 10 without a Komplete Kontrol S keyboard. But combine it with a Komplete Kontrol S Series keyboard, and you have an incomparable studio and live instrument, with thousands of sounds and effects. Unbelievably powerful!

Questions about the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S49?

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