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The Native Instruments Komplete 11 Buyer’s Guide

Native Instruments is releasing Komplete 11 on September 1st

The time we’ve all been waiting for has arrived: Native Instruments is releasing the next version of their seminal music production suite, Komplete 11. The gigantic suite comes along every few years, adding new players to the mix and updating stalwart offerings like Massive, FM8, Battery, and Guitar Rig.

2016 is no exception, with Komplete 11 (launching September 1st, with pre-orders open now) launching especially exciting tools for producers wanting more powerful slicing tools or the ability to add rich orchestral sounds into their mixes.

The New Komplete 11 Plugins

komplete 11 symphony essentials

Symphony Essentials

Native Instruments: “Five meticulously sampled orchestral instruments, including brass, strings, and woodwinds. They deliver the same professional recordings and signature interface as the acclaimed SYMPHONY SERIES with a streamlined set of articulations.”

DMNW Take: These orchestral plugs are the pared down versions of their Symphony Series brethren, with less adjustability and significantly smaller sample sizes. Their bright, aggressive nature and small(er) instance size make them perfect for pairing with electronic productions.

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komplete 11 form


Native Instruments: “A creative synthesizer that enables you to transform samples into anything you can imagine. Move beyond traditional synthesis – FORM offers a refreshing approach to sound creation that delivers beautifully organic and powerful results.”

DMNW Take: Think ReCycle + Stutter Edit + Resampling + Synthesis. Drag-and-drop editing combined with a suite of effects and performance parameters won’t likely do anything groundbreaking, but will significantly reduce the amount of time you spend designing fresh sounds.

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reaktor 6 komplete 11

Reaktor 6

Native Instruments: “The ultimate creative toolkit for deep sound exploration, featuring cutting-edge DSP and high-fidelity sound. Build custom synths and effects. Experiment with modular patching. And discover 70+ included instruments plus thousands of sounds.”

DMNW Take: As usual, updates to the intense synth-building software are largely “under-the-hood,” with significant upgrades to I/O and external control, and better library and workflow UX. Of note is the new Blocks system, which promises to make building modular synths easier thanks to prefab modules from other Komplete synths and plugins.

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kontakt 56 komplete 11

Kontakt 5.6

Native Instruments: “The world’s leading software sampler, with a sophisticated sound engine, wide array of effects, powerful modulation possibilities, and advanced scripting. The latest 5.6 update* provides a new look and a host of new builder features.”

DMNW Take: Improved time-stretching algorithms, a new Session and Stadium Drum Kit, a new 2/4 and Daft LP filter that sound almost embarrassingly analog, and some formant/BP filters that round out the already stacked sampler.

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una corda komplete 11

Una Corda

Native Instruments: “An inspiring instrument that faithfully captures the sound of a custom-made piano with one string per key – created by David Klavins with composer Nils Frahm. Discover evocative tones from a full range of distinct sound characters.”

DMNW Take: Following in the footsteps of The Giant, Native Instruments has sampled another one-of-a-kind piano. This one’s claim to fame is having only a single string per key, leading to some insanely percussive and emotive piano sounds…plus really incredible prepared piano FX, if you’re scoring your first horror film.

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session guitarist strummed acoustic komplete 11

Session Guitarist – Strummed Acoustic

Native Instruments: “Your always-on-call, professional session guitarist, delivering perfectly strummed and recorded patterns, vivid sound, and real-time performance control.”

DMNW Take: You know the drill, another plugin that promises to sound just like a real session guitarist. Admittedly the demos sound good, deep and expressive with single strings clearly audible, but it’s worth mentioning that every demo has additional live guitars layered in. We’ll believe it when we try it.

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discovery series india komplete 11

Discovery Series: India

Native Instruments: “Your always-on-call, professional session guitarist, delivering perfectly strummed and recorded patterns, vivid sound, and real-time performance control.”

DMNW Take: Sitars, santurs, lakshmi drums, hammered dulcimers, and more. All can be played to a drone and pumped full of reverb, and the plugin has a built-in pattern sequencer. The sounds are pretty astonishing, and with the right production could really take things to the next level. Be excited about this one.

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emotive strings komplete 11

Emotive Strings

Native Instruments: “Create moving, big-screen melodies with authentic legato string phrases and arpeggios. Turn your ideas into scoring gold with 28 GB of live-recorded lines.”

DMNW Take: If you want rich, sweeping orchestration closer to Game of Thrones or Hans Zimmer, this is your Komplete 11 plugin. Some really whiz-bang features like mod wheel crescendo/decrescendo, velocity-determined tonality, and the ability to control phrases with your left hand while changing key with your right hand may very well prove Native Instruments’ claim of “the fastest way to the finish.”

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flesh komplete 11


Native Instruments: “The latest creation by producer, musician, and inventor Tim Exile is a fun, innovative performance synth that turns anything you feed it into an electronic symphony. Made for hands-on performance – in the studio and on stage.”

DMNW Take: Basically, add a beat and generate melodies and instrumentation automatically. Remember when Propellerheads released Figure for iPhone? Imagine that, but at a much larger scale. Cool for playing around and generating track ideas, probably not so great in your actual mix.

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replika xt komplete 11

Replika XT

Native Instruments: “A creative multi-mode delay that lets you access pure inspiration with five vivid delay modes plus advanced sound-shaping options. Tap into studio-quality delay with vast sonic flexibility.”

DMNW Take: Native Instruments is clearly going after ValhallaDSP with this delay. Its pared-down interface and analogue modeling are a page right out of the minimalist book written by our Seattle DSP hero. Looks cool, is probably a perfectly good delay. Nothing game-changing.

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Next Page: Should I Buy Komplete 11? and Purchase/Release Info

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Written By

Digital music expert, ex-studio engineer, Javascript & Wordpress developer, dog father, outdoor fanatic. Published in Forbes and Huffington Post. I'm the Owner and Co-Founder of Dance Music Northwest.

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