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Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S88 MK2 - the latest edition better?

Rob Elliott

Senior Member
I had the original S88 and had to sell it after only 9 months use - the keys were so loud, clanky and generally cheap feeling. Does anyone own this newer iteration? Thoughts?

 

TigerTheFrog

Proud Amateur
I just got one. I don't find the keys to be loud. :)

Seriously, I just moved up from first gen S49 to the S88 mkII. I love the improvements between version one and version two, but I actually prefer the non-weighted synth-type keys on the S49.
 

mickeyl

Dr. Mickey Lauer
How do you like the keybed for non-piano instruments, say, strings, brass, woodwinds, and drums? I have the S61 (mk1) and been pondering for a while whether to upgrade to the mk2 or go large with the S88 mk2. I have read a lot of negative reports with regards to the keybed though. Unfortunately none of the stores in my vicinity have it available to test.

(I'd love if they would offer a non-weighted 88 or 76 variant, but apparently that's too much of a niche market)
 

TigerTheFrog

Proud Amateur
How do you like the keybed for non-piano instruments, say, strings, brass, woodwinds, and drums?
My opinion: for people who play a variety of virtual instruments, the S88 mkII keyboards is a complete fail over a 1st gen S49 keyboard. For that purpose, I'm personally looking for a balance between a piano and an organ, with as much velocity sensitivity as possible. My S49 found that balance for me pretty well.

I don't know if there is any difference between the action of the keys in the S88 and the S88 mkII, but I don't find the keys noisy or cheap. I just don't like the action. It bears no resemblance to any piano or any quality weighted keyboard controller I have ever played. It just provides more resistance, a dull pushback. When I unpacked mine and started to play, my heart sank.

But I'm glad I bought it. I'm a real fan of the new gen of Komplete Kontrol and the increased integration with Cubase. My enjoyment of using NKS instruments has increased greatly. For me, the positives easily outweigh the negatives.

As for the keyboard, I'm getting used to it. It doesn't bother me. It's just that I actually liked the old one.

If you are unwilling to do velocity editing, then this is probably not for you. For very subtle velocity playing (like drums) I use my little ROLI.

(I'd love if they would offer a non-weighted 88 or 76 variant, but apparently, that's too much of a niche market)
If they offered that option, I don't think they'd sell many of the weighted ones, and eventually, they'd drop the weighted option.

Frankly I don't understand what NI's strategy is. I can't imagine there is even one serious piano player in the world who would pick this as the most realistic piano-like keyboard controller.
 

TigerTheFrog

Proud Amateur
FYI, while this was not listed on the Musician's Friend website as being eligible for their sales, I got a sizable discount when I phoned in and asked. And on top of that I got the usual 8% in points.

I'm not associated with Musician's Friend, so please don't call me a shill. But if you are seriously considering buying this thing, that is a store you should check out.
 

Pietro

Senior Member
I'm also considering the S88 mk2 mostly for its Komplete features but I'd really prefer the non-hammer action keyboard. And I think it's form could be improved. It's super deep now. Like there's litterally 4cm of nothing above the keys.

The hammer action was a weird decision. They make 88 keys more like for pianists now, but they also sort of understand, the point of 88 keys for keyswitches for non-pianists?

I wish I could find it in a local store nearby, but none that I know of have them either.

- Piotr
 
OP
Rob Elliott

Rob Elliott

Senior Member
Yea - I'll look out for a local store to try out the S88 mk2. I wish I could put this Yamaha S90es' keybed that I have had for 20 years into the S88 as I am with Piotr - the integration of the S88 would be helpful... ;)
 

TigerTheFrog

Proud Amateur
The hammer action was a weird decision. They make 88 keys more like for pianists now, but they also sort of understand, the point of 88 keys for keyswitches for non-pianists?

- Piotr
And what is so sacred about 88 keys? We want to see ALL the available key switches, and for that, 88 keys is rarely enough. Even with my S88, I'm regularly clicking the up and down buttons to search for key switches.

It's nice to have the lights to help you find them, but a 100 or 112 key keyboard would be even nicer. Even if the keys weren't full sized.

The hardware should be created that would bring out the best results from the software. Developers should keep themselves wide open to new ideas. If NI doesn't think there would be a mass market demand for a product like that, perhaps they could license their tech to a smaller company.
 
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Wolfie2112

Senior Member
Hhhmmmm....maybe the first generation S88 had noisy keys. My S88 is very quiet, and I've tried the MKII which is the same to me.
 
OP
Rob Elliott

Rob Elliott

Senior Member
Hhhmmmm....maybe the first generation S88 had noisy keys. My S88 is very quiet, and I've tried the MKII which is the same to me.

Really good to hear this. I REALLY missed the integration (Daw/Kontakt libraries) when I sold it!!!!
 
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