Native Instruments has updated two of their most popular products, Maschine MK3 and Komplete Kontrol S Mk2, and as you’ll see below, both are impressive upgrades from their previous iterations.
First up, Maschine. So what’s new in the MK3 version?
First and most obvious are the high resolution colour displays which were first seen on the Maschine Studio, allowing you to focus even more on creating music on the hardware without having to shift your focus toward the computer or the software.
Second is the inclusion of a built-in 24Bit/96Khz audio interface. With 2 x 1/4″ TRS line inputs and outputs, a 1/4″ dynamic mic input, headphone output, and MIDI In/Out, the Maschine MK3 is now more portable than ever. What’s really impressive is that even with the new hi-res screens and the built-in soundcard, the Maschine MK3 is still able to be powered from your computer’s USB port. Impressive stuff.
The MK3’s design has also been refined where NI have strived to give functions dedicated buttons where possible to reduce menu diving to a minimum.
The drum pads have also been improved, now with better sensitivity and larger size for more accurate triggering and nuanced performance.
A 4-Directional Push Encoder has been included which allows you to browse sounds and navigate through notes with one hand whilst you play pads with the other – an excellent workflow improvement.
Maschine MK3 now has a dual-touch Smart Strip, which adds a new dimension and way of playing and performing with Maschine. You can strum notes, pitchbend sounds, or use the Smart Strip to engage Perform FX – just like on the Maschine Jam.
Next up, the updated Komplete Kontrol S49/S61 keyboards share the same design language as the Maschine MK3, and indicates the future look and ergonomics of Native Instruments hardware.
So what’s new with the Komplete Kontrol keyboards?
Like the Maschine MK3, the Komplete Kontrol S49/S61 inherit the high resolution screens from the Maschine Studio, allowing for a better browsing experience, tweaking of parameters, or sketching of ideas.
The new Komplete Kontrol S49/S61 also features dedicated Maschine controls – giving you direct access to Scenes, Patterns, more in Maschine so you don’t have to move over to your Maschine controller for any quick adjustments you need to make to your arrangement, therefore streamlining and speeding up your workflow.
In order to aid tactile control, a 4-Direction Push Encoder to browse sounds and projects quickly and easily, as well as dedicated Pitch and Knob wheels and a freely assignable touch-sensitive Smart Strip.
The Komplete Kontrol S49/S61 still features the Light guide which allows you to see sounds, key zones, switches, scales, and more at a glance, with RGB lights above each key. In addition, the industry-leading Fatar keybeds are semi-weighted and feature aftertouch for expressiveness.