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.
In the Studio
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:
- sound design
- drum machines
- orchestral sample packs
- guitar amp emulation
Komplete in Action
It goes without saying that the most important feature of any studio tool is the sound it can create.
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:
Komplete 9 Ultimate
120 GB of audio samples
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.
What Do You Get with Native Instruments Komplete?
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:
- Monark – Monophonic analog emulation, based on the Minimoog
- FM8 – FM synthesis
- Retro Machines – Vintage synths from the ’70s and ’80s
- Massive – Wavetable synthesis
- Prism – Modal synthesis
- Spark – Subtractive synthesis
- Reaktor – Modular synthesis, build your own synths from scratch, access to online library
- Absynth – Semi-modular synthesis
- Kontakt – Comes with over 43 GB of samples
- Battery – 143 kits, fully editable, create your own kits from audio samples, suited for electronic music
- Abbey Road 60s Drummer – 2 kits from this famous studio, recorded in the 1960s
- Studio Drummer – Acoustic drum sampling
- West Africa – Rhythmic and melodic instruments and ensembles
- Guitar Rig – 17 different amps and cabinets, 54 effects devices for guitar and bass
- Rammfire – Based on the setup of Rammstein’s guitarist
- Scarbee MM-Bass – Emulation of the famous Scarbee Black Bass, based on the ’70s sound of disco and funk
- The Giant – The world’s largest upright piano
- Upright Piano – A standard piano
- Berlin/New York/Vienna Concert Grand– Three grand pianos
- Scarbee A-200/Mark I – Two electric pianos
- Scarbee Clavinet/Pianet – Two classic Hohner keyboard instruments
- Vintage Organs – All the classics: Farfisa Compact, Vox Continental II, Hammond B-3/C-3/M-3
- Session Strings – Samples of various string instruments and ensembles
NI DJ and Hardware Tools
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:
- effects unit
- plugin controller
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.