Review: Native Instruments Komplete 11 Ultimate

December 22, 2016

Native Instruments clearly makes the case that more is more. Their Komplete bundle—now at version 11—is jam-packed with most of the products in the developer’s catalog, which is massive and represents just about every sonic category you could imagine. For the price of admission you get access to a world of best-in-class instruments and effects that could keep your creative juices pumping for years.

New with Native Instruments Komplete version 11 is a low-cost entry point—Komplete 11 Select ($199), a slim-yet-capable collection of 11 products—that joins the standard Komplete 11 bundle (45 products, $599) and Komplete 11 Ultimate (87 products, $1,199), which is reviewed here. (Upgrade pricing from older versions is also available.) Although each of the three Komplete 11 editions can be downloaded, Select can be delivered on a USB flash drive, while the other two editions are available on a hard drive. Moreover, Komplete Kontrol keyboards and Maschine products ship with Komplete Select.

Fig. 1: One of the newest pianos is Una Corda, a virtual instrument featuring one string per key and a host of fabric preparations that alter the overall timbre.
It would take an entire issue of Keyboard to cover everything included in Komplete 11 Ultimate, and even then we’d only scratch the surface. Instead, I’ll focus on the new additions and updates in Komplete 11 Ultimate, and refer you to our review of Komplete 10 at keyboardmag.com.

High Koncept

For those of us who primarily play and produce music using a keyboard, Komplete 11 delivers just about every kind of sound we could possibly want or need. Convincing classic EPs, Hammond organ and Clavs? Check. Rich, deeply-sampled acoustic pianos? Double check (see Figure 1). Bleeding-edge, awe-inspiring synthesizers? Triple check (see Figure 2). You get the idea.

Fig. 2: Reaktor Blocks has been added to Komplete 11’s already impressive line-up of powerful synthesizers.
Komplete 11 is divided into four main categories—Engines, Synthesizers, Sampled Instruments, and Effects. Depending on the number of products in each category, there are logical subcategories such as Drum and Percussion, World Instruments and Cinematic within Sampled Instruments, for example.

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