Submitted February 10, 2018 by Ben H in Kernersville, NC
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If the overall integration of the features this keyboard has to offer were fully utilized, this would be an amazing product. Keysplits are supposed to be one of the coolest things it offers, with the lightguide showing the zones, however that functionality is yet to be available. Since I don't own a Maschine there is a whole row of buttons that are completely useless...not entirely sure why they bothered putting them on this keyboard instead of just having them on the Maschine.
Well, as a MIDI controller, the product itself has no sound...But the included software, Komplete Select, feels like it has potential but a bit weak for my tastes. Not entirely unexpected since it's an entry level product.
The scale and arp functions, when they work, are very nice. I wouldn't mind a little more customization on the arp section, but no complaints. For someone who , like me, is still learning their way around a piano, the scale function is a big help in keeping you where you need to be, although it gets a bit awkward when you're wanting to add in that one chromatic passing tone :).
The light guide was a big selling point for me. The midi notes being played show up across the guide, which can be a big help when trying to learn a song as well. Transport and navigation controls work decent with ableton, but reaper integration is nonexistant at this point. There's supposed to be a keysplit feature as well, to play multiple instruments from the keyboard at one time.. for some reason they disabled that functionality on this version tho for some reason. Hoping that gets added in the future.
Ease of Use
Setup is a bit of a chore...I let the massive downloads (25GB) take place while I was at work but I imagine that took several hours. You'll need to do a bit of file management to get all the scripts set up to work properly as well. No driver installs were necessary, and the firmware was up to date right out of the box. From that point, There was a bit of a learning curve on how to make things work like they are supposed to...spent a while messing with the 'controller editor' software only to find out that it's incompatible. That functionality is handled by the 'komplete kontrol' software, but at this time that software doesn't offer full editing capabilities. The supplied NI products work quite well, especially the built in browser functions, but non-nks 3rd party plugins are a bit of a chore to use.
The build quality seems pretty solid. The keys feel very responsive, the mod and pitch wheels are very comfortable to use, and all of the controls and knobs work as expected. I've found the placement of the touch strip a bit awkward as i keep accidentally moving it when using the wheels, although most of the time that touch strip doesn't seem to be routed to anything anyway (I'm really not sure what the point of it is supposed to be).
Seems like they did build it to handle some rough handling, everything I've seen suggests it will hold up pretty well.
In comparison I feel this is a bit overpriced, especially when all of it's available features aren't yet implemented. But as the only option that included the light guide, which was a major selling point, and none of the competing products offered anything similar, it was the best value for what I was looking for.
I personally haven't needed to contact the manufacturer at this point, as most of the questions I've had were answered in the forums. From what I gathered though, those who have contacted them with issues were largely unsatisfied with the outcome. It feels like this is a beta test of sorts, with some features planning to be fully implemented at a later date
The Wow Factor
If all the features were fully functional as advertised, this would in my opinion be one of the best products of it's kind. I'm sure these issues will be resolved at a later date, but most of them feel like things that should have been addressed before being released. Its a very capable keyboard, with plenty of potential for future improvements.
Play guitar, bass, drums, and keys, for 25 years. 2 projects currently, one EDM/techno and one hard rock.
Hard rock, EDM, Industrial, Metal, Alternative
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