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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > Apr 2019 > NATIVE INSTRUMENTS Komplete 12


Some things are so vast that we struggle to get our tiny minds around them, like the Universe and NI’s Komplete collection. Adam Crute kompletes the task

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You have to admire Native Instruments. Starting out as a small developer of software instruments, its drive to innovate, its commitment to quality and its deep understanding of what music producers desire has seen the company become one of the major players on the musictechnology scene. While Native has now branched out into hardware – and awfully nice it is, too – at heart, it remains a software developer, with a list of plug-ins that reads like a modern music-producer’s ultimate wishlist: Kontakt, Massive, Reaktor, Battery, Guitar Rig and more… all innovative and brilliant at what they do.

It was some time back that NI decided to start selling its various plug-ins as a bundle, and the excellent value this offered to users when compared to buying the products individually ensured it was an immediate success. Now onto its 12th iteration, Komplete comes in four different versions to suit different budgets and requirements. Select is the baby of the family, with 14 instruments and effects, and more than 7,000 sounds in a 45GB library. This edition comes free with Komplete Kontrol S-Series keyboards and some Maschine controllers, or it can be purchased for just £159. While it’s a good route in to NI software, it does lack some of the heavyweight grunt of its stablemates; if you’re thinking of buying Select, then be sure to check with NI’s website that it includes the components that interest you.

To get the full set of core tools and functionality you need at least the Standard edition, called simply Komplete 12. This has 52 instruments and effects and a 220GB library stuffed with over 25,000 sounds and samples. If you want the full bells and whistles, then it’s the Ultimate edition for you, crammed with nearly twice the content of Standard: 101 instruments and effects, and over 45,000 sounds shoehorned into a 600GB library. But if you’re really greedy for instruments, effects and sounds, there’s the Ultimate Collector’s Edition. This behemoth of a bundle contains everything from the Ultimate edition along with a further 30 expansion sets, bringing its library up to a whopping 900GB comprised of over 90,000 sounds, patches and samples. It’s basically every instrument, effect and expansion library that NI was selling when Komplete 12 launched – so it’s no wonder the boxed version comes on a hard disk.

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About MusicTech

Aside from the art of writing a melody, crafting the perfect lyric and finding the most suitable chords for your music, beatmaking (or sculpting the rhythmic elements of your track) is perhaps the most important stage to get right, particularly if you work in the EDM arena. It’s often, however, something that can start to feel quite ‘samey’ and characterless for some, as those musical elements tend to take priority. In our cover feature this month, Martin Delaney explores a variety of routes to making your own distinctive beats in unique ways. Follow his do-it-yourself guide and before long, your tracks will have extra oomph and rise above the din to sound unlike anybody else. Also this issue, we speak to the fascinating Cleaning Women, a Finnish band who adopt a similar DIY approach to beat and music-making. They have built their own instruments out of former household appliances and have performed with them for over 20 years. Elsewhere, we catch up with Alexander Archer, a young producer who is currently working with some of the industry's hottest names as he engineers recordings for Vevo UK. On the review front this month, we dive deep into Native Instruments’ veritable ocean of delights, Komplete 12, as well as Ableton's latest hefty point update to Live.