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Tried the new NI S88 Mark 2. Keyboard still doesn't feel good.

OP
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Headlands

Active Member
I have not experienced glitches with VE Pro on the local host, but it doesn't work with slaves. Then again, neither does any other controller in that sense. I would love to see that functionality added, but I am not sure how likely it is to happen.
Ah, OK. I use mine all local at this point (my computer handles the huge templates great), so hopefully it won't be an issue. I'm really surprised that NI and VI haven't worked the issue out for remote servers though, because VE Pro is kinda used by most composers.
 

Iostream

Member
Ah, OK. I use mine all local at this point (my computer handles the huge templates great), so hopefully it won't be an issue. I'm really surprised that NI and VI haven't worked the issue out for remote servers though, because VE Pro is kinda used by most composers.
Even in the local host thing, they don't have the track focus issue worked out, and hosting kontakt multis doesn't work as it could. There are a lot of implementation details to work out. I never said it worked optimally, but it isn't glitchy, it is consistent.
 
OP
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Headlands

Active Member
Even in the local host thing, they don't have the track focus issue worked out, and hosting kontakt multis doesn't work as it could. There are a lot of implementation details to work out. I never said it worked optimally, but it isn't glitchy, it is consistent.
Gotcha. The main thing for me at this point is that the light mapping works decently. By track focus do you mean that it doesn't always display the proper light mapping when changing to different instruments when using VE Pro through, say, Cubase?
 

C-Wave

Senior Member
Gotcha. The main thing for me at this point is that the light mapping works decently. By track focus do you mean that it doesn't always display the proper light mapping when changing to different instruments when using VE Pro through, say, Cubase?
So here how this works, changing to another track on Cubase (or any other DAW) does NOT update the light guide, you hve to go to the VE Pro track of that instrument and click on the little keybord icon on the top row of kompletel kontrol, i.e. where the instrument is loaded in ***komplete kontrol*** (not Kontakt) which is loaded in VE Pro.
 

Wolfie2112

Senior Member
I dunno, I'm probably a minority here, but I totally dig the S88 keybed (haven't tried the MKII). I even like it better than my Korg Triton. To me, it's not mushy at all. Heck, any weighted controller is going to be somewhat sluggish for certain programming (drums, synths, spic strings, etc), but that's why I have keep a couple of others wired into my setup (Nektar Impact LX88+, M-Audio Keystation).
 
OP
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Headlands

Active Member
So here how this works, changing to another track on Cubase (or any other DAW) does NOT update the light guide, you hve to go to the VE Pro track of that instrument and click on the little keybord icon on the top row of kompletel kontrol, i.e. where the instrument is loaded in ***komplete kontrol*** (not Kontakt) which is loaded in VE Pro.
Ahhhh. Well, that sucks. Too much clicking and going to different windows to get a simple thing done when in the middle of composing with tight deadlines. :) I work at a super fast pace, so this non-intuitive and click/navigation-heavy method won't work for my flow/speed when I'm using VE Pro.

Oh well, I'll just use it in song production sessions where I have everything in Cubase. Damn, what a major drag -- one of the main reasons I bought it was for the light guides of instruments for key switches, etc. Hopefully the two companies will get together and make it happen through the host with VE Pro.

The keyboard is actually fine, it's better than the one I tried at Guitar Center, so there's that at least. It works fine for drum programming too. And the added touch strip for expression will be nice, too.
 
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OP
H

Headlands

Active Member
I dunno, I'm probably a minority here, but I totally dig the S88 keybed (haven't tried the MKII). I even like it better than my Korg Triton. To me, it's not mushy at all. Heck, any weighted controller is going to be somewhat sluggish for certain programming (drums, synths, spic strings, etc), but that's why I have keep a couple of others wired into my setup (Nektar Impact LX88+, M-Audio Keystation).
It's way better feeling than the one I tried at GC...weird! I don't mind it at all.
 

C-Wave

Senior Member
It's way better feeling than the one I tried at GC...weird! I don't mind it at all.
I have a MK I (not II) and I don't mind it too. Can you compare what you have in your studio now with MK I? Maybe another visit to that store ? :)
 
OP
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Headlands

Active Member
I have a MK I (not II) and I don't mind it too. Can you compare what you have in your studio now with MK I? Maybe another visit to that store ? :)
I try to avoid Guitar Center as much as humanly possible, but if I happen to be in that area I can stop by. :)
 
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OP
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Headlands

Active Member
If VSL added this functionality to VEPro I think you’d see these Kontrollers fly of the shelf (regardless of what the keybed feels like).
Agreed. It's a useless feature for composers if you use VE Pro and don't enjoy clicking and navigating to VE Pro just to enable the lighting every time you switch to another instrument. I didn't know about that, should have done more research.

I'll see if the rest of what the S88 offers is worth it in order to keep it -- I have 30 days to decide. :-D I'm not so sure it will end up being worth it without this feature working with VE Pro through the host, though -- it's just a plain controller at that point, and there are better-feeling ones out there. The browser is cool but doesn't improve my workflow, personally.
 
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whiskers

Perpetual student
It's way better feeling than the one I tried at GC...weird! I don't mind it at all.
Can you expand more on the feel? I'm really debating about trying to sell my MPK88 and pick one of these up. the DAW and Komplete integration seem worth it. MPK88 feels very...thuddy...
 

Brian2112

Active Member
So here how this works, changing to another track on Cubase (or any other DAW) does NOT update the light guide, you hve to go to the VE Pro track of that instrument and click on the little keybord icon on the top row of kompletel kontrol, i.e. where the instrument is loaded in ***komplete kontrol*** (not Kontakt) which is loaded in VE Pro.
Ah. I wondered what that little keyboard icon was for. It’s weird, I had tracks in VE pro that worked with browser/ light guide etc. just fine when I brought them up. Others didn’t. I’ll just click the keyboard icon and see what happens. THanks for that.
 
OP
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Headlands

Active Member
Also, for those considering buying: The screens are not touch screens, and the rotary knobs under the screens aren't push buttons...so when you scroll to what you want to load, you can't just push the rotary, you need to push the large dial on the right. It's little things like this that add up when you like to work super fast and are working with very tight deadlines. NI and Steinberg are both quite bad with so many of their software designs in this way, and it seems in some of NI's hardware designs. Might not bother some of you, but if you like things very intuitive and fast, it needs some design changes.
 
OP
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Headlands

Active Member
Can you expand more on the feel? I'm really debating about trying to sell my MPK88 and pick one of these up. the DAW and Komplete integration seem worth it. MPK88 feels very...thuddy...
Well it's not like the great Yamaha and better Fatar-based controllers I've tried, but it works for me. A little mushy (which apparently goes away), and a little heavy-feeling, but for me I can program drums pretty well and it feels fine for regular playing (I personally don't need something that feels exactly like a piano, though). The dynamics feel good, too.
 

EvilDragon

KSP Wizard
After a bit of thinking... I am not exactly sure if the VEPro thing can be resolved easily, or at all. Why? Because VEPro would need to know which track was selected in the DAW, to know to which of its own tracks it should report focus shift to KK. And then it depends on how you did your MIDI routing in the DAW, too... It doesn't seem feasible. There's no way VEPro can know which track you've focused in your DAW. And then - which DAW is it that you're using? Can of worms right there - there'd need to be talks not just between NI and Vienna, but also all the DAW vendors as well! And that's probably never happening.

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I'm not sure I am :)


so when you scroll to what you want to load, you can't just push the rotary, you need to push the large dial on the right.
Or you just use the large dial for scrolling through patches all the way through, then you're always on it to push it to load stuff.
 
OP
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Headlands

Active Member
After a bit of thinking... I am not exactly sure if the VEPro thing can be resolved easily, or at all. Why? Because VEPro would need to know which track was selected in the DAW, to know to which of its own tracks it should report focus shift to KK. And then it depends on how you did your MIDI routing in the DAW, too... It doesn't seem feasible. There's no way VEPro can know which track you've focused in your DAW. And then - which DAW is it that you're using? Can of worms right there - there'd need to be talks not just between NI and Vienna, but also all the DAW vendors as well! And that's probably never happening.

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I'm not sure I am :)
You could very well be right, indeed. I think it's important for composers that use VE Pro to know this before buying.


Or you just use the large dial for scrolling through patches all the way through, then you're always on it to push it to load stuff.
Weird - that part of it wasn't working at all when I first put the S88 up, but now it is. Thanks for posting -- I rebooted and now it shows all that stuff on the right screen.
 
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procreative

Senior Member
There is a way to update the focus using the KK Instance button, by clicking it you can select the correct KK instance with the big knob. But the big drawback is that it brings the VEP Server project to the front, so you have to go back to your DAW after. Cannot seem to find a way of stopping it auto raising VEP.

I did find a way of rationalising usage of KK in my DAW when using Sonokinetic phrase libraries. They all share the same Light Guide and Smart Controls, so I added a KK patch for the first one, then expanded it to "Edit View" which shows up the Kontakt library.

You can then add extra Kontakt patches on separate midi channels. By using a multitimbral track you can play each midi channel and the Light Guide/Controls stick to the first proper KK patch.

But I tried every possible way of linking to them in VEP including hosting VEP inside a KK plugin and a Kontakt patch in that or tried using the external midi ports in VEP to try to communicate with the keyboard.

The only other thing that might be possible is using Osculator to send a command to the keyboard on track selection. But I don see what that command could be (yet).

I use a feature in Osculator with Logic, there is a command sent called Logic/Track/Name and basically every track name gets logged in Osculator. So if you have a fixed template or patches for Logic using fixed names, you can grab those in Osculator and then issue a command. So if there were some kind of midi command message that had the same effect as clicking the keyboard icon or choosing an Instance there might be a way to do it?
 

steveo42

Active Member
Tried the MK2 in the war zone, also known as GC, over the weekend. Spongy is a good description but overall, it's easy to get used to IMHO.. A few minutes of playing and it was like an old friend to me. I have an RD-2000 and RD-150 if that's of any use in comparing. One thing I will say is at least to me, it does not feel cheap at all considering the price and I think I would prefer a little sponge to noisy clacking which in my engineering mind says plastic on plastic or worse metal, which means wear over time. I'm suspecting it might break in nicely over time so maybe too much silicone lubricant applied at the factory? I dunno. Give it a couple of months and check the demo units in GC, which get the snot beat out of them, and see how they are doing. Make sure it wasn't just placed on the floor though. Overall, looks like a good deal to me.
 
OP
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Headlands

Active Member
Tried the MK2 in the war zone, also known as GC, over the weekend. Spongy is a good description but overall, it's easy to get used to IMHO.. A few minutes of playing and it was like an old friend to me. I have an RD-2000 and RD-150 if that's of any use in comparing. One thing I will say is at least to me, it does not feel cheap at all considering the price and I think I would prefer a little sponge to noisy clacking which in my engineering mind says plastic on plastic or worse metal, which means wear over time. I'm suspecting it might break in nicely over time so maybe too much silicone lubricant applied at the factory? I dunno. Give it a couple of months and check the demo units in GC, which get the snot beat out of them, and see how they are doing. Make sure it wasn't just placed on the floor though. Overall, looks like a good deal to me.
I agree, though when I played it at GC originally it felt truly bad. The one I just received from Sweetwater feels much better, straight out of the box.
 

whiskers

Perpetual student
Still on the fence about this one. Just got it. Keybed is OK, hoped for a lot better. Has a bit of a spongy, damped feeling (memory foam anyone?) rather than a hammer strike actuation feel (for want of a better word)

Just fired up the Komplete Kontrol software for the first time tonight, thing seems like a mess. Cant scale the window on the PC, and the way you browse the instruments seems like a pain. Probably just not used to it yet. IDK.
 
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