The laborous birth of Maschine+ must have proven a worthwhile effort as Native Instruments is priming its second major entry in standalone music hardware. The Berlin manufacturer is forever known as a synth & DJ powerhouse, and that’s a given. But NI Komplete Kontor being a cutting-edge hybrid synthesizer is really the sole predictable thing about it. Judging by the leaked marketing render – itself a piece of hardcore synth porn – this thing is loaded! Let’s discuss the evidence…
Go big or go home!
When it comes to its products, especially hardware, Native Instruments likes it B.I.G! I vividly remember the flagship variants of its Maschine and Traktor controllers, both impressively huge and resembling Star Destroyer control desks. NI gear tugs on our primal “ooh, lights, knobs, screens, I wanna touch it!” urges with the best of them, and the Komplete Kontor synth is where I feel they scaled the summit.
Flaunting a 5-octave keyboard with RGB lights and dual mod wheels (screw touch strips), Kontor has a primary giant color OLED screen and a secondary not-so-giant, not-so-color screen to ensure sensory overload is delivered top-to-bottom. The synth’s middle control layout is mostly borrowed from Maschine and Komplete Kontrol. Users of these will be instantly familiar with their surroundings. I think having seemingly all the sequencing and arrangement functionality of Maschine+ contained in a standalone hardware synth is pretty rad!
The top section, however, is more of an uncharted territory. It’s where NI pays homage to the greats of analog and digital synth design. There are per-function knobs, buttons for menu diving and parameter adjustments (facilitated by the secondary screen), and what seems to be a full-blown hardware step sequencer keeping company to the one from Maschine.
NI Komplete Kontor – Our Expectations
The possibilities are just wild with this thing! Then again, everything is possible when it’s April Fools and you are an Adobe Photoshop master like the Gearnews design crew. Komplete Kontor will be out never, priced nothing. That’s okay, I’m pretty sure NI has something even better in the works! Thanks for sticking around and let’s hope we get some good laughs today! I think we all need them.