Just because there’s a nice marketing angle doesn’t mean that it has to be the story for you. And that’s been true of NI’s big, splashy product launches. Sure, there’s the epic-looking Traktor Kontrol S8 hardware launched this week – but you tell us you might be just as pleased with a compact controller or an update to the iPad app. And Maschine Studio does wonderful things with its big screens – but the MK2 still has great pads, costs less, and fits in a backpack.

And then there’s Komplete 10. Yes, NI is keen to talk about its light-up series of keyboards, which integrate with the software. But whether you want them or not, what you shouldn’t miss is the superb new Reaktor instruments that come with the bundle.

Rounds is one of the best synths I’ve used recently, full stop. It takes the new analog modeling techniques NI honed elsewhere and launches into new digital domains of effects, modulation, and FM sound generation. Polyplex is simple but good fun as a drum machine (even if it makes me long even more for a better sample loading facility in Reaktor). Kontour is yet another deep synth, capable of rich, mutating timbres and eminently playable. No surprise: it comes from Stephan Schmitt, the NI founder who also gave us Reaktor itself.

Matt Cellitti walks through the trio of new Reaktor instruments in a series of tutorial videos, so it’s a great way to get started. Let’s watch.

  • slight correction

    Rounds is not by Schmitt (Kontour is). Rounds was built by Max Zagler.

  • slight correction

    Rounds is not by Schmitt (Kontour is). Rounds was built by Max Zagler.

  • slight correction

    Rounds is not by Schmitt (Kontour is). Rounds was built by Max Zagler.

  • Will

    I really didn’t get the funny lights on the new keyboards until I watched the PolyPlex video and saw how the lights indicated what part of the software you were controlling. Now I’m sold – it’s a very very cool idea.

    Can’t imagine myself spending a grand on one of the keyboards + Komplete 10 but suddenly doesn’t seem at all over priced.

    In case anyone else is Kompletely clueless like me, all of these feature instruments are available for stand alone purchase. For instance Polyplex is $69USD. http://www.native-instruments.com/en/products/komplete/drums/polyplex/

    I know it’s built with Reaktor so it will likely never happen but man oh manaschevitz would I love to see Polyplex on the iPad.

    • Popo Bawa

      “man oh manaschevitz would I love to see Polyplex on the iPad.”

      What would be different about using it on an iPad?

      • Will

        Not so much that it would be a better experience on an iPad—without a UI rethink, some stuff might be better via touch, some worse. Though most of it is slider based so I reckon on the average it would be pleasant to use on a touch screen. Also, the aspect ratio seems iPad friendly.

        Mainly, I’d love to see it because I use my iPad quite a bit for music and this would make for a swimming addition to it as there’s not much out there in the ballpark.

      • celebutante

        I don’t know but by me, this is kosher. 😛

  • Will

    I really didn’t get the funny lights on the new keyboards until I watched the PolyPlex video and saw how the lights indicated what part of the software you were controlling. Now I’m sold – it’s a very very cool idea.

    Can’t imagine myself spending a grand on one of the keyboards + Komplete 10 but suddenly doesn’t seem at all over priced.

    In case anyone else is Kompletely clueless like me, all of these feature instruments are available for stand alone purchase. For instance Polyplex is $69USD. http://www.native-instruments.com/en/products/komplete/drums/polyplex/

    I know it’s built with Reaktor so it will likely never happen but man oh manaschevitz would I love to see Polyplex on the iPad.

    • Popo Bawa

      “man oh manaschevitz would I love to see Polyplex on the iPad.”

      What would be different about using it on an iPad?

      • Will

        Not so much that it would be a better experience on an iPad—without a UI rethink, some stuff might be better via touch, some worse. Though most of it is slider based so I reckon on the average it would be pleasant to use on a touch screen. Also, the aspect ratio seems iPad friendly.

        Mainly, I’d love to see it because I use my iPad quite a bit for music and this would make for a swimming addition to it as there’s not much out there in the ballpark.

      • celebutante

        I don’t know but by me, this is kosher. 😛

  • Will

    I really didn’t get the funny lights on the new keyboards until I watched the PolyPlex video and saw how the lights indicated what part of the software you were controlling. Now I’m sold – it’s a very very cool idea.

    Can’t imagine myself spending a grand on one of the keyboards + Komplete 10 but suddenly doesn’t seem at all over priced.

    In case anyone else is Kompletely clueless like me, all of these feature instruments are available for stand alone purchase. For instance Polyplex is $69USD. http://www.native-instruments.com/en/products/komplete/drums/polyplex/

    I know it’s built with Reaktor so it will likely never happen but man oh manaschevitz would I love to see Polyplex on the iPad.

    • Popo Bawa

      “man oh manaschevitz would I love to see Polyplex on the iPad.”

      What would be different about using it on an iPad?

      • Will

        Not so much that it would be a better experience on an iPad—without a UI rethink, some stuff might be better via touch, some worse. Though most of it is slider based so I reckon on the average it would be pleasant to use on a touch screen. Also, the aspect ratio seems iPad friendly.

        Mainly, I’d love to see it because I use my iPad quite a bit for music and this would make for a swimming addition to it as there’s not much out there in the ballpark.

      • celebutante

        I don’t know but by me, this is kosher. 😛

  • Will

    Also, the Sax solo at 3:15 in the Kontour video is surely the single best thing available on the Internet today. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHmEKnOCP3g#t=189

  • Will

    Also, the Sax solo at 3:15 in the Kontour video is surely the single best thing available on the Internet today. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHmEKnOCP3g#t=186

  • Will

    Also, the Sax solo at 3:15 in the Kontour video is surely the single best thing available on the Internet today. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHmEKnOCP3g#t=186

  • mercury

    Rounds is amazing, but couldn’t we do a lot of this in Live if they created a preset parameter lock option in Push, for example? It is basically a parameter lock sequencer (in addition to an amazing synth).

  • mercury

    Rounds is amazing, but couldn’t we do a lot of this in Live if they created a preset parameter lock option in Push, for example? It is basically a parameter lock sequencer (in addition to an amazing synth).

  • mercury

    Rounds is amazing, but couldn’t we do a lot of this in Live if they created a preset parameter lock option in Push, for example? It is basically a parameter lock sequencer (in addition to an amazing synth).

  • Popo Bawa

    Neat! I bet Reaktor 6 will be here any time now!

  • Popo Bawa

    Neat! I bet Reaktor 6 will be here any time now!

  • Popo Bawa

    Neat! I bet Reaktor 6 will be here any time now!

  • dyscode

    BTW: Polyplex was developed by the amazing Twisted Tools guys. Just saying.

  • dyscode

    BTW: Polyplex was developed by the amazing Twisted Tools guys. Just saying.

  • dyscode

    BTW: Polyplex was developed by the amazing Twisted Tools guys. Just saying.

  • Matt Cellitti

    Thanks for the repost, Peter. I think Rounds is not getting the respect it deserves. It sounds great, is actually not that hard to program, and is totally unique for sequenced material. Best – Matt

  • Matt Cellitti

    Thanks for the repost, Peter. I think Rounds is not getting the respect it deserves. It sounds great, is actually not that hard to program, and is totally unique for sequenced material. Best – Matt

  • Matt Cellitti

    Thanks for the repost, Peter. I think Rounds is not getting the respect it deserves. It sounds great, is actually not that hard to program, and is totally unique for sequenced material. Best – Matt

  • Freeks

    K10 Upgrade price is too salty for me, but maybe the holiday sale will sort it out.
    (And no, we don’t need new synths and drum samplers. What we need is more time to make more new music)

  • Freeks

    K10 Upgrade price is too salty for me, but maybe the holiday sale will sort it out.
    (And no, we don’t need new synths and drum samplers. What we need is more time to make more new music)

  • Freeks

    K10 Upgrade price is too salty for me, but maybe the holiday sale will sort it out.
    (And no, we don’t need new synths and drum samplers. What we need is more time to make more new music)