Looking suspiciously like the original Komplete Kontrol keyboards the new A-Series controllers aim to bring NKS instrument mapping to a keener budget.
Komplete Kontrol A-Series
Native Instruments have cut back on some of the gizmos and glamour of their S-Series controllers to give you 3 sizes of “affordable” control. Most notably gone is the light-guide illuminated keyboard. How are you possibly going to know where the Scale or Arpeggiated notes are? Oh right, the same as you do on any other keyboard. There are no dual screens, but you do get a single OLED which will show data for the currently grasped knob.
The 8 touch-sensitive control knobs do look a little lonely but they will map themselves automatically to any NKS compatible instrument or effect loaded in the Komplete Kontrol software. And that’s the point really. The A-Series brings the ease of the Komplete Kontrol system to a wider audience. It is rather good. Being able to browse and load virtual instruments that you can instantly tweak and mess with is a fabulous thing. You won’t quite have the full hardware experience of the S-Series and will have to keep your computer screen in view but then that’s very likely to be the norm.
These are decent bits of hardware – semi-weighted keys in either 25, 49 or 61 keyed versions, pitch and mod wheels, controller knobs, data encoder, Scale, Chord and Arpeggiator modes, integration with Maschine, DAW control and USB 2.0 powered. You get a decent selection of instruments including The Gentleman, Monark and Scarbee Mark 1 and it can be used as a regular MIDI controller.
The all-important prices:
Komplete Kontrol A25 – £119
Komplete Kontrol A49 – £159
Komplete Kontrol A61 – £199
That’s not bad at all. We’ve had no word on an S25 MK2 so maybe it will simply become the A25.