We’re starting off with something compact and portable that’ll fit in your bag and be the perfect accompaniment to your laptop-based music-making rig.
The Komplete Kontrol M32 is a micro-size keyboard controller. It has 32 compact keys but these shouldn’t be mistaken for “minikeys.” They are smaller than a regular keyboard, but they have a smooth synth-action and feel great under your fingers. You have octave up and down buttons and two touch strips to provide pitch bend and modulation or whatever you want to map them to.
But the cleverness behind the M32 is to be found in the software. Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol software is the backbone of all their controller keyboards. It’s an instrument and plug-in host for any software plug-ins that support their NKS standard. When they do, then all the knobs and controls on the M32 are instantly and automatically mapped to relevant controls on the synthesizer, instrument or effect.
Imagine dialing through your virtual instruments, loading one and finding all the controls perfectly mapped to the hardware, ready to go. You can also access the browser directly from the keyboard, switch plug-ins and change presets without having to touch the computer.
There are transport controls for your DAW and some special integration with Native Instruments’ included Maschine groove sequencer. Built into the keyboard is Smart Play, which includes different scale and arpeggiator modes, instant chords and tunings so that you never play a wrong note.
It’s a great little keyboard with all the power and features of the larger A-Series controllers for $129.
Street Price: $129