Advice please: Komplete Kontrol vs Nektar

robcs

New Member
Hi folks. I'm looking for a 61-key keyboard and I've got the opportunity to buy a used NI S61 Mk 1 (NOT the Mk 2, unfortunately) for about $350, or a brand new Nektar LX61+ for under $200.

I'm torn because I love how many controls Nektar puts "on the dash" literally at your fingertips rather than having to keep going to the DAW, but at the same time I'm aware the S61 is probably a much better keybed, and I have a bunch of libraries where the light guides would be really useful (especially Sonokinetics).

Anyone got experience of both?
 

BenG

Senior Member
I tried the 88 version of each, so it is a bit hard to compare but I will say that I thought the Nektar was decent value and everything worked well with my DAW. The NI is likely better quality but may not be worth it for semi-weighted keys. Also, the light-guide is not really usable unless you are using the Komplete Kontrol software in your sequencer instead of Kontakt...

Can you not try and return the Nektar from Amazon or your local retailer?
 
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robcs

New Member
I'd love to, but Amazon and our local music stores all have the Nektar on backorder, and thanks to the current "situation", no-one will commit to a delivery date (the local stores just say they'll order it and email me when they hear from the wholesaler, and Amazon just says it'll deliver some time between June and November!).

Interesting point about the light guide - I assumed Kontakt would use it too. That puts a very different "light" on things (sorry, couldn't resist!)
 

Virtuoso

Socially Distant Member
Interesting point about the light guide - I assumed Kontakt would use it too. That puts a very different "light" on things (sorry, couldn't resist!)
No - you have to load your instruments via Komplete Kontrol Krap to gain the extra functionality. Baffling that they didn't just build it into Kontakt 6.

Note that the Mk1 has touch controllers not wheels for mod and pitch, which you may be fine with, or may hate. I sold my S88 Mk2 last week because I was so sick of KK with its shitty UI randomly losing my pedal settings every couple of weeks. Add to that the design genius (on the Mk2) of putting the touch controller right under the pitch and mod wheels where your heel rests... :confused:
 

method1

New Member
The nektar system is way better if you're actually planning to use all the controls, since there's no layer between the controller and the software a-la Komplete kontrol.
I'm not a fan of that NI plugin inside a plugin thing, or being locked into that ecosystem.

The S61 wins in the keyed department though, nektar keys are just ok which is why I sold mine and replaced it with a nektar P1 for control duties, and an Arturia KeyLab mk2 - which I think is one of the nicest 61 key controllers around these days.
 

Macrawn

New Member
No - you have to load your instruments via Komplete Kontrol Krap to gain the extra functionality. Baffling that they didn't just build it into Kontakt 6.

Note that the Mk1 has touch controllers not wheels for mod and pitch, which you may be fine with, or may hate. I sold my S88 Mk2 last week because I was so sick of KK with its shitty UI randomly losing my pedal settings every couple of weeks. Add to that the design genius (on the Mk2) of putting the touch controller right under the pitch and mod wheels where your heel rests... :confused:
I like my MK2 but putting that stupid touch strip under the mod wheel was one of the worst design decisions I've seen on any device.
 

Wolfie2112

Senior Member
I actually own and use both an LX88+ and an S88 MKI.....love then both, but are completely different. My gripe with the Nektar is the archaic display, it looks like it came straight out of a Space 1999 episode. My gripe with the S88 is the touch sliders; I often touch the pitch bend slide when using the MOD slider. I love the fatar keybed on the S88, but reach for the LX when I need faster action.
 

TigerTheFrog

Reid Rosefelt
MK1.

You will love the light guides. And one advantage of the MKI vs MKII is that it is much easier to make your own templates (when you want to set up the light guides and knobs for any VI). Unfortunately you'll have to do them over if you ever upgrade to an MKII.

Also, the light guides and/or pre-mapping of knobs work out of the box on a lot of instruments that aren't NKS, including ones that aren't Kontakt.

I find that being able to audition presets without loading them is very useful.

I never minded the touch strips, and there are lots of ways to automate them that I found fun to explore. With the right VI the results could be exciting and musical. I realize that most people hated them, but I appreciated that NI was trying to do something new.
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
MK1.

You will love the light guides. And one advantage of the MKI vs MKII is that it is much easier to make your own templates (when you want to set up the light guides and knobs for any VI). Unfortunately you'll have to do them over if you ever upgrade to an MKII.

Also, the light guides and/or pre-mapping of knobs work out of the box on a lot of instruments that aren't NKS, including ones that aren't Kontakt.

I find that being able to audition presets without loading them is very useful.

I never minded the touch strips, and there are lots of ways to automate them that I found fun to explore. With the right VI the results could be exciting and musical. I realize that most people hated them, but I appreciated that NI was trying to do something new.
I find making my own templates very easy for mk2. The things I don't like about it is that (1) I have to do it in the Komplete Kontrol Standalone and so every time I open it I have to wait for it to process new plugins and update its database and (2) every once in a while (about once a month) something happens to the preference file that holds the templates and I have to restore it from a backup.
 
I recently bought a Nektar LX25+ used. I have a full size weighted keyboard, but it doesn’t have any controls.

One thing I really like on the Nektar is that you can configure all the controls directly from the unit: assigning the pads to notes, assigning midi cc to the knobs, velocity ranges, etc.
You can also store and recall different templates from the unit. I found this very cool. I previously had an Arturia one that required software to change parameters.

Overall, I like it. The Keybed felt a bit springy to me at first, but I’ve gotten used to it.

I like being able to assign key switches to the pads very easily. You put the pad in “learn mode” and then simply press the key for the note you want to assign to it.

Also, the transport controls come in handy and even work in Pro Tools.
 

BenG

Senior Member
I'd love to, but Amazon and our local music stores all have the Nektar on backorder, and thanks to the current "situation", no-one will commit to a delivery date (the local stores just say they'll order it and email me when they hear from the wholesaler, and Amazon just says it'll deliver some time between June and November!).

Interesting point about the light guide - I assumed Kontakt would use it too. That puts a very different "light" on things (sorry, couldn't resist!)
Ah, that is too bad given then situation and yes the lack of a Kontakt light guide is baffling to me as well!
I think it comes down to functionality (Nektar) vs. playability (NI), depending on your workflow!
 

bill5

Active Member
Hi folks. I'm looking for a 61-key keyboard and I've got the opportunity to buy a used NI S61 Mk 1 (NOT the Mk 2, unfortunately) for about $350, or a brand new Nektar LX61+ for under $200.
I have experience on neither, so this post probably equates to a kickstand on a tank for value. But new for half the price of used and not a clear-cut advantage of one over the other (so subjective), I would easily take my chances with the Nektar. Granted I think NI blows in general too so that bias may factor in.
 
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robcs

New Member
How are the Arturia keys? I’m a “recovering” ;) piano player so I tend to like at least some weight to the keys. At the same time, I get that a fully weighted keyboard isn’t going to come cheap and in any case it’s not particularly helpful for laying down other instruments.

I recently bought a Nektar LX25+ used. I have a full size weighted keyboard, but it doesn’t have any controls.

One thing I really like on the Nektar is that you can configure all the controls directly from the unit: assigning the pads to notes, assigning midi cc to the knobs, velocity ranges, etc.
You can also store and recall different templates from the unit. I found this very cool. I previously had an Arturia one that required software to change parameters.

Overall, I like it. The Keybed felt a bit springy to me at first, but I’ve gotten used to it.

I like being able to assign key switches to the pads very easily. You put the pad in “learn mode” and then simply press the key for the note you want to assign to it.

Also, the transport controls come in handy and even work in Pro Tools.
 
How are the Arturia keys? I’m a “recovering” ;) piano player so I tend to like at least some weight to the keys. At the same time, I get that a fully weighted keyboard isn’t going to come cheap and in any case it’s not particularly helpful for laying down other instruments.
I had the small 25 key Arturia Keylab— so they weren’t weighted. Even for unweighted though, they were pretty bad. Very cheap feeling. But you know, they were packing a lot into a small package.

mine thing that surprised me about the Nektar is that, even at 25 keys, it was a much bigger footprint than I was used to. Coming from an M Audio Oxygen 8, the Nektar has become more of a centerpiece on the desk. But again, I really like it.

I do think it retrospect, I would e liked to get a 49 key model, but this one will be handy for travel. You know... if that ever happens again 😂😐