Native Instruments Komplete is a fantastic collection of music production programs from Berlin-based company Native Instruments (also known as NI). They've gathered together their best products into one package, and the variety is so wide that you really don't need anything else to create professional-quality music in your home studio.
NI's reputation for creating superb-sounding products has led many of the world's top electronic artists to use and recommend them. These include Underworld, Carl Craig, Booka Shade, Richie Hawtin, and Rodney Jerkins. They've now become one of the biggest music developers in the world and have offices in Berlin, Los Angeles, and Tokyo.
Most of my favorite studio tools over the years have been made by NI and I don't see that changing any time soon.
NI first started creating music production software when they formed in 1996. Since then, they've branched out to include hardware devices and audio sample packs. The main device categories they cover are:
It goes without saying that the most important feature of any studio tool is the sound it can create. To give you a glimpse, here's a little introductory video from Native Instruments:
The latest version of the bundle is Native Instruments Komplete 9. There are two versions of the bundle - Komplete 9 and Komplete 9 Ultimate. In a nutshell, here's what's included with each:
120 GB of audio samples
Komplete 9 Ultimate
370 GB of audio samples
The package is updated quite often, usually once every 12-24 months, but you only need to pay the full price once - each upgrade is then available for a relatively low price.
The Komplete package is the easiest and most affordable way to start producing with NI's products, so I've broken down the contents for you to see the range it offers:
Native Instruments also specialize in DJ and hardware equipment. NI's Traktor software is now the go-to software program for today's breed of laptop DJs, and NI have also created a line of Traktor controllers called, funnily enough, Traktor Kontrol. There are four different models, ranging from the simple X1 all the way to the 4-deck controller, the S4.
Probably the most well-known of all the devices is the Native Instruments Maschine, and it's smaller brother, the Maschine Mikro. Known as a 'Groove Production Studio', it can be used both in the studio and during live performance. It combines several functions in one design:
It's often used as a live instrument for electronic music acts, where the multicolored pads are used to play drums and samples. Maschine also works perfectly with NI's software programs.
For me, the Native Instruments Komplete (the link takes you to the official site) package is by far the best collection of studio devices you can get, especially for the price you pay. You could spend years exploring all of its production possibilities without ever needing to look elsewhere. If you're serious about your studio production work and about creating your own unique style, then I highly recommend it.