NI Komplete Kontrol S49
Whereas a lot of controllers feel like they’ve been built down to a price, NI’s Komplete Kontrol S has always seemed like a premium option. You would be forgiven for assuming that the name means it’s targeted at users of the company’s flagship Komplete software package – and you’d be right that the two products work very well together – but the Kontrol can be used with any DAW or virtual instruments.
We went behind the scenes at Native Instruments for an insight into the design and development of the Komplete Kontrol, and you can see just how extensive the thought process was behind the keyboard. Integration with NI’s own software is flawless as expected, but it’s impressive just how well the NKS control standard also works with other developers’ software.
All of this would be missing the point if the keyboard itself wasn’t up to scratch, but it’s a real winner: exceptional build quality, typically understated looks and some beautifully thought-out touches such as the light guide above the keys or the delightfully expressive (and surprisingly versatile) modulation ribbons. Yes, it’s expensive, but you get what you pay for in this case.