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Nobletonmusic

Native Instruments Midi Controllers & Cakewalk

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Hi Everyone,

I want to purchase a few of the NI VSTs and also need a midi controller. I read a great post in here from one of the staff I believe, talking about the best controllers for compatibility with CbB. Have been researching the controllers suggested in the post - Akai, M-Audio, Roland A-800 Pro and just about all of them out there.  It would seem that not all midi controllers integrate well with every DAW. Since I've been a Cakewalk /Sonar guy since the late 90s, I'd love to stay with CbB.

Does anyone have any input on the Native Instrument controller - Komplete Kontrol A-61. Leaning that way, if it works well with CbB.

Open to other suggestions on midid controllers that work well with CbB also.

Thanks

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Hi. I posted a similar question about user-experience with NI controllers a couple weeks back because I’m interested in their controller line as well, but got zero responses. Hope you have better luck because I’m still curious about using them with CbB.  Hard to imagine no one is using them. 

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Hi Billy,

Thanks for the update. I agree, there should be a good number of people using NI. I know the drums sets Battery & Studio Drummer are used by a lot of people who do digital recording. Have a good Christmas!

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I use Komplete Kontrol S49. I love it. I do have issue with Controller Editor not editing CCs, but it probably just local issue, and if you dont need to alter controllers- I did not need to alter them for years. Also NI just had sale- every Komplete half off. I would never buy individual instruments. It only makes sense to buy Komplete. Preferably Ultimate, but Standard is ok too. You will need Kontakt. There were good options to buy controller and Komplete at half off. But it my be gobe already. Call stores, maybe somebody will be able to offer you this deal.  

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I do not have NI keyboard, but I have seen several such questions. Without good solution.

Just some background:

*  first NI keyboards was supporting Mackie Transport. Early Komplete Kontrol was locking in DAW instance switching. So, transport was working and Komplete Kontrol steering with manual instance switching. Nothing else was foreseen and nothing could be implemented.

* in the second NI keyboards generation they have removed Mackie Transport (and controlling MIDI) support. Komplete Kontrol was still the same, so transport functionality could be done with OSC only (my no one from my knowledge has done that for Cakewalk)

* recent Komplete Kontrol has returned MIDI steering, using documented (not in public) protocol. And it covers not only transport but also other DAW parameters. They have also unlocked instance switching. And so, it is THEORETICALLY possible to make recent S and A keyboards work in Cakewalk with full integration. But that is not  done yet...

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It depends on what you want to integrate. It's a MIDI controller...the biggest issue will be the transport control.  I think that requires  custom code, as azslow3 mentions above. I know it took a while for Studio One to integrate the NI keyboard functionality, apparently it's not impossible but it's not trivial, either.

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I'm so impressed by the people in the CbB forum. Everyone is so willing to help & really know what they are doing. I'm flattered to see someone as respected in the Cakewalk community as Craig Anderton took a few minutes out of his Christmas day to post a response. I have listened so many times on YouTube to the instructional & product overview videos he did on Cakewalk.  Excellent work and that voice, that's a voice for voice-over work if ever I heard one ! Thank you Sir, Azslaow, & Astral who also commented on Christmas day. Thanks for your initial response Billy 86.

If I understand the situation, NI will integrate with Cakewalk but not all aspects; transport control, altering controllers are not likely to work. I don't see myself altering controllers. I'm simply hoping that I can improve workflow by have some of the faders & knobs streamline the process, not have me doing everything in CbB with a mouse and short cuts. I see myself purchasing more NI products beside my recent purchase of Session Guitarist - Acoustic Picked. The Studio Drummer package looks very good.

Hope everyone has a great Christmas, for the rest of the day!

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Nobletonmusic:

I have using the NI Komplete Kontrol S61 as my solitary key controller since it came out with NI Komplete V10/11/12 with absolutely no problems. Love it.
The Mark II version of the keyboard is even more useful with the LCD screens on it. I just use the onscreen popup browser instead.

(new to the forum, so no profile yet.)

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I've used the Controller keyboards but in the end I went back to a straight midi keyboard, mine is the M-Audio Keystation 61 mkiii. It's small and fits on my desk better.

With the transport, everything can be done from the PC keyboard anyway and since I have to use the PC keyboard anyway, I didn't see it as any advantage. The mixing controls are ok but I don't like how they line up pan and track volume, also I find them just too big for my purposes.

The NI keyboards are great in terms of feel and accessing sounds, I guess it's different for different people. I don't mind using the mouse and have become pretty good with mousing in volume changes even without writing them as I go, just taking notes and drawing them in while the song is stopped. Probably not the recommended way to mix but it works ok for my purposes.

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I'm not sold on NKS for the masses. I think it encourages mediocre productions,

by making generic pools of sounds:  pads, leads, pluks etc

and the musician is easily opted out of learning the character

and capabilities of instruments, and settling for the first sound

that's catchy enough to get a click.  There are working people competing for

jingles and making demos, scoring various projects, where time seems of the essence.

But to me NKS seems like fools gold. It's like porn flooding the zone with naked women.

There is usage, but not relationship, and certainly not intimacy.

NKS floods the zone with sounds, but will the art be personal?

Will it be long lasting and memorable? Listened to a second time?

Or will it devolve into quickies, rushed out for the easy money?

And let's not forget that NKS exists only to generate revenue for the front office.

Through hardware sales, partnership deals, licensing, and fees for helping coders

to assimilate their products.

Ultimately, the goal is to eliminate competitors who won't or can't comply.

For some, NKS will be a sugar/caffeine rush on the morning commute,

and the early shift, but later on, when the pressure is on,

a productivity crash hits, and the results suffer accordingly.

 

I can't think of anything I listen to on a regular basis, that would have

required NKS to create.  And there is plenty of junk audio cranked out

where the station quickly gets changed,  or the stop button gets clicked,

and the desire for finding some semblance of excellence, lives on.

  • Meh 1

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3 hours ago, Frank Cheney said:

I'm not sold on NKS for the masses. I think it encourages mediocre productions,

by making generic pools of sounds:  pads, leads, pluks etc

and the musician is easily opted out of learning the character

and capabilities of instruments, and settling for the first sound

that's catchy enough to get a click.  There are working people competing for

jingles and making demos, scoring various projects, where time seems of the essence.

But to me NKS seems like fools gold. It's like porn flooding the zone with naked women.

There is usage, but not relationship, and certainly not intimacy.

NKS floods the zone with sounds, but will the art be personal?

Will it be long lasting and memorable? Listened to a second time?

Or will it devolve into quickies, rushed out for the easy money?

And let's not forget that NKS exists only to generate revenue for the front office.

Through hardware sales, partnership deals, licensing, and fees for helping coders

to assimilate their products.

Ultimately, the goal is to eliminate competitors who won't or can't comply.

For some, NKS will be a sugar/caffeine rush on the morning commute,

and the early shift, but later on, when the pressure is on,

a productivity crash hits, and the results suffer accordingly.

 

I can't think of anything I listen to on a regular basis, that would have

required NKS to create.  And there is plenty of junk audio cranked out

where the station quickly gets changed,  or the stop button gets clicked,

and the desire for finding some semblance of excellence, lives on.

It s atool and will be what you do with it ;) NKS isnt cheap for brands like kontakt was also , but at least a brand proposed some kinda standard .... fair enougth .... it can be discussed but at the end the end user experience is what i m focusing here (by saying this , this doesn t mean your point is not relevant , like everybody , monopoly is something i hate   But sometime its not a wishe but a consequence of stuff done right ;)).

 

KK is worth already with the arpegg and chords built in once you really know how to use it ( yeturday i made patch in massive , keyz envolving and used chords with the arpegg to create a strum , flam , call it how you want ....it was just fast and beautyfull ...giving that tis works with any controllers is a plus !!h

 

For the op , NI controllers are exellent and the integration is solid , transports works with all major daws , editing is easy , the whole experience makes it the best choice imho .... specially if you own nks supported instruments ...previews are time savers , and tags : you can use it or not ;) i rarelly use those , only sorteed by brands and go straight the instruments i know is good for this or that ;) ....

Support is serious , maintenance is solid and prices are fair .

Edited by Zo

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I'm with Zo. The point of NKS isn't to lock you into presets, but to make it easy to edit and modify sounds (instruments and effects) to your needs, via tactile control. Which parameters are available for editing depends on the company making the software. Some companies opt for the most strategic parameters, while others make just about every parameter available for tweaking. Another big advantage is that parameters are pre-mapped. You don't have to spend time going through multiple "MIDI Learn" operations (or worse yet, program parameter controller numbers).

Of course, you don't have to use NKS. But it's there if you want it.

7 hours ago, Frank Cheney said:

And let's not forget that NKS exists only to generate revenue for the front office. Through hardware sales, partnership deals, licensing, and fees for helping coders to assimilate their products. Ultimately, the goal is to eliminate competitors who won't or can't comply.

Well, any product is designed to generate revenue. But the more attractive the product, the more revenue it will generate.

Note that there is NO fee to become an NKS partner (I do believe the SDK is available only to partners, which is why you need to sign up to get it). NKS used to be NI-only, but the company realized that it would never become a standard unless it was an open standard. I think it's only a matter of time before NKS-compatible controllers are opened up to other companies as well.

As to eliminating competitors, adapting plug-ins for NKS means that Native Instruments will promote those products. NI promotes products from Waves, Arturia, AAS, and others due to the NKS connection, even though they compete directly with NI. It's pretty clear NI places more importance on NKS than specific products.

You may be confused with the licensing fees for products designed to work with Kontakt Player and Reaktor Player.  However, developers get something in return: NI takes care of all serial number generation and managing, copy protection, maintenance to retain compatibility with future OS and Player updates, and a dedicated support channel. Fees vary from 1.5% to 9%, depending on quantity and product pricing, and for most products will likely be in the 5% range. Having been involved in licensing negotiations with various companies, based on my experience this is a pretty standard fee, especially given the benefits.

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Another advantage with nks is like for xo from xln audio , tagging makes you sometime forget aboiut habbits or confort zone , i literraly discovered ver capable synth in reaktor thks to presets ....!!! 

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Good points made by everyone, with accuracy and food for thought!

So 'discovery' is always valuable, and the NKS ways facilitate that,

which is a big +  ...hadn't looked at it with that perspective. On the

other hand, today I discovered a really fun parameter/effect in Native Instruments

'The Giant' piano, 'reverse resonance'. If you play a glissand, a kind of chordal trail

(moving pad?) soon follows, quite a delight, begging for a long enjoyable session!

 

I think it would be tough to tag accurately, and tough to search for as a type of sound that

would be grouped with others, as it may be on the unique side.

Maybe you guys could see if NKS colates the words I used above, and locate presets

that utilise the reverse resonance? Hopefully, it's not an isolated parameter/effect!

Cheers

 

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HEY!! You  CAN use the Komplete Kontrol keyboard as a general purpose MIDI controller with Cakewalk! (At least I was able to do so with my S49 Mk2). Cakewalk's MIDI Device preferences should check ALL Komplete Kontrol Options: -1, EXT-1, and DAW.

Install MIDI-OX,  open it, leave it open, and  under Options > MIDI Devices,  choose Komplete Kontrol - 1  for MIDI Input and Komplete Kontrol EXT-1 for MIDI output.  If you choose the Komplete Kontrol -1  input for MIDI, you can have instruments and such respond to the MIDI.

You can even switch back and forth between controlling an instrument loaded in  Komplete Kontrol, and something that's just loaded as an instrument in Cakewalk.  To control  a Cakewalk instrument (or effect), press the keyboard's MIDI button, and choose Komplete Kontrol -1 for the input.

To get back to Komplete Kontrol, press the Plug-In button.  Now the knobs control the instrument in Komplete Kontrol.  Is this cool, or what?

Edited by Craig Anderton
  • Like 1

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Craig.. Thanks. I thought that MIDI-OX was used primarily to check the velocities generated by one's midi controller keyboard. I installed it last week and was checking the velocities on a keyboard (my old Ensoniq SQ2)  that seemed lower than they should be. I assume the  "Options > MIDI Devices is in CbB,  or is a part of the Komplete Kontrol set up? I don't see an Options tab on the MIDI-OX page, unless I'm missing something.

I'm not clear on how the MIDI-OX program fits into the connection from the  Komplete Kontrol controller and CbB

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1 hour ago, Craig Anderton said:

MIDI-OX is about routing as well as monitoring.

There's a reason MIDI-OX's icon is a Swiss Army Knife 😋

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Thanks, with me a picture is ALWAYS, the preferred option. Talk about a brain freeze. I went to the MIDI-OX home page, instead of the software I'd downloaded. I see my Focusrite MIDI device listed there now. If I do purchase the Komplete Kontrol A-61. I will follow your instructions on setting up the device.

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