You’d be forgiven for thinking that the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol M32 is a 32 mini-key version of the Komplete Kontrol A-series keyboards because that’s exactly what it is. With its identical features, this controller mirrors all aspects of the Komplete Kontrol A-series, minus the full-size keys and the Pitch bend and Mod wheels.
Traditional keys players prefer the full-size key bed of the Komplete Kontrol A-series, however many musicians and producers will enjoy the compact playability of the M32’s mini key-bed with its smooth control. The M32 is certainly heavy in the features department and comes bundled with a powerful software package.
- The four-directional push encoder gives you one-handed control over Komplete Kontrol software, allowing you to browse through your sounds and samples in the Komplete software suite. Plus if you’re using it with your DAW you can use it to navigate tracks, scrub through the timeline, and even select clips and scenes in Ableton.
- The Track button lets you toggle between using M32 as a controller for your DAW and for the Komplete Kontrol software, and the browse button allows to your browse and audition instruments and presets.
- Every KK M32 keyboard comes with 8 touch-capacitive encoders that are all pre-mapped to the most important parameters on each instrument, so when you touch an encoder, it shows what parameter you are controlling on the display. Also, if you have 3rd party plugins that are compatible with the NKS format, these encoders will easily map to those as well.
- The Smart Play feature enables you to play chord progressions and arpeggios with single keys and also stay in key with over 100 scales and modes that are available, or even map any scale to white keys only.
- Moving down we have the Transport section, dedicated to controlling MASCHINE or your DAW of choice, allowing you to play/pause, record, set tempo, quantize notes, adjust loop braces and undo/redo.
- There are also two touch strips which operate as pitch bend and modulation,
- On the back, there is the USB port which also powers the keyboard, a foot pedal switch and a Kensington lock.
The M32 comes bundled with a huge software package, and in our opinion, this is what really makes this keyboard tick. The M32 includes over six thousand sounds, a massive 10GB of content and features everything you would really need to get started in music production. Right out of the box you get Ableton Live Lite, Maschine Essentials, Komplete Kontrol Software, Monark, Reaktor Prism and the Scarbee Mark 1 Piano. You also get a two months subscription to Sounds.com, an e-vouch worth $39 on the NI Webshop, PLUS you get Komplete Start.
KOMPLETE START is a bundle of streamlined instruments, sounds, samples and effects from NI’s Komplete Library. It features 6 synthesisers, 9 sampled instruments including the amazing play series collection, 2 effects plus 1500 loops and samples from the most popular NI expansion packs.
In summary – the mini-key format of the Komplete Kontrol keyboard line makes a lot of sense and rounds out the line of NI controllers in all key sizes and we feel will be very attractive to music producers at all levels. If you are after full-size keys and pitch and modulation wheels, you might want to take a look at Native Instruments A Series & S Series of controller Keyboards.