Native Instruments: Clear Up Your Questions Before Buying It!


Native Instruments is one of the most popular professional music software developers and hardware designers in the market since the late 1990s and you surely will have heard of it. Some people think NI VST plugins are expensive, whereas many others think they are incredibly cheap when bought in a bundle.

To help clear up all these, in this post, you will find an honest and straightforward answer to the most common questions about Native Instruments, based on my own experience, as well as from the point of view of most audio engineers, producers, composers, and musicians of all genres. 

  • Is Native Instruments Good?
  • Is Native Instruments a DAW?
  • Is Native Instruments Komplete Worth It?
  • Is Native Instruments Kontact Free?
  • Who Uses Native Instruments?
  • What Is the Difference Between Komplete 12 and Komplete 13?
  • Which Version of Komplete Should I Buy?

Is Native Instruments Good?

Native Instruments features a huge range of virtual acoustical and digital instruments, samplers, and expansions. It’s a great option to make music at the highest professional standards. It’s a very popular resource for musicians, composers, DJs, and producers. The quality/price ratio of all their bundles will always exceed your expectations.

  • Anyone who wants to pursue a music career as a composer for multiple genres and formats, looks for the best tools in the market, initially free resources. Native Instruments grants their clients access to plenty of great free plugins and effects
  • One of the best advantages of Native Instruments VST plugins and hardware products is the amount of money that can be saved when purchasing audio interfaces, keyboards, and drum machines, as all of them include a specific version of Kontact, and upgrading to the next bundle turns out very cheap
  • You can avoid months or years of trial and error by picking separate plugins from numerous manufacturers, which in many cases can do a good job, but can demand a significant budget

The risk for most people who follow that option is spending hundreds of hours, trying to mix and change settings again and again to make their music sound the way you really want.

Is Native Instruments a DAW?

A DAW is software that allows you to record, edit, and master audio and midi tracks. Native Instruments is VST software and hardware that emulates music instruments, synths, effects, drum machines, samples, and music expansions. It works on computers as a set of plugins on any DAW or as stand-alone software. 

The emulation of acoustic and digital music instruments is called VST (Virtual Studio Technology) Instruments. 

When they were first released in the late 1990’s they were a complete revolution, mainly for independent producers and musicians who didn’t have to depend anymore on hiring session musicians or buying state-of-the-art digital instruments since then.

Native Instruments has been in the top 10 best-ranked music software for music production of all kinds of audio products (films, TV, all music genres, DJ production, video games, sound effects). 

Since I started using Native Instruments VST plugins in 2002, with Pro Tools, it’s been one of my five favorite resources for music composition and generation of sound effects. 

Is Native Instruments Komplete Worth It?

Native Instrument’s Komplete is absolutely worth it. It comes as separate plugins or in four different bundles, plus a monthly paid online version. Start with the free version and then upgrade to the next bundle that suits your needs. The Collector’s Edition ends up being the cheapest option to purchase the very best plugins at an incredibly low price. 

The table below shows the features of the free version Komplete Start, Komplete 13 Select, and the monthly paid online option Kontact One. To see full details of all the Komplete versions click here.

Komplete Start
(Free Bundle)
Komplete NOW
($9.99 Month)
Komplete 13 Select
($199)
7 synthesizers
TRK 01 Bass, Mikro Prism, Lazzer Bass, Carbon 2, Space Drone, News Cool, Block Base

9 sampled instruments
Basic versions of Analogue Dreams, Ethereal Earth, Hybrid Keys; Kinetic Treats; Expansions Selection; world instruments; 13 rock and pop instruments, Synth; Vintage, Urban Beats

2 effects
Supercharger (compressor)Guitar Rig 6 Player


Komplete Kontrol

Kontact 6 Player

Reaktor 6 Player
This package is very useful for hip-hop, R&B, trap, drill, and pop production

Synthesizers
Massive X, Cloud Supply, Hybrid Keys, Lo-Fi Glow, Retro Machines MK2

Sampled Instruments
Battery

Effects
Replika, Raum
Synthesizers
Everything in Komplete Start plus: Massive, Monark, Reaktor Prism, Reaktor Factory Selection

Sampled Instruments
Everything in Komplete Start plus full versions of Ethereal Earth, Hybrid Keys, Retro Machines MK2, Scarbee Mark 1, Scarbee Rickenbacker Bass, The Gentleman (classic piano), Vintage Organs, West Africa, Drum Lab, Kontact Factory Selection

Effects
Everything on Komplete Starter plus: Raum, Phasis, Replika, Solid Bus Comp

Expansions
Deep Matter, Lilac Glare, Solar Breeze, True School, Velvet Lounge

Komplete Kontrol

Kontact 6 Player

Reaktor 6 Player

Is Native Instruments Kontact Free?

Kontact 6 is a free sample player that can host multiple libraries from Native Instruments and third-party developers. All you need to do is create an ID account on Native Instruments’ official website, add Komplete Start, download Native Access, open it, and choose the components you want to install.

  • To get Kontact 6, you can download it separately. It’2 970 MB on Mac OS or Windows
  • You can get it included, as part of Komplete Start. It’s over 6 GB on Mac OS or Windows

What Is the Difference Between Komplete 12 and Komplete 13?

Komplete is a bundle of virtual instruments, samplers, extensions, and effects by Native Instruments. Komplete 13 is the latest upgrade released in October 2020. Among the newest effects and instruments in all the four versions are Raum, Guitar Rig 6 Pro, Noire, Super 8, Session Guitarist, Cuba, Crush Pack (Bite, Freak, Dirt).

More new features in Guitar Rig 6, not only for guitars but any other instruments or vocals you want:

  • More minimalism and better visually organized
  • Intelligent Circuit Modeling for constant updating
  • It can be organized as a rack guitar, for a better signal flow of dynamic processing, amplifiers, and effects, just like in a studio rack
  • New amplifiers: Chicago, Bass Invader, Fire Breathers, and Matched Cabinet Pro
  • Renewed effects: distortion, saturation, compression, modulation, and reverb
  • Crush Pack: Freak, Dirt, and Bite
  • Mod Pack: Flair, Choral, Phasis
  • Raum
  • Vintage Compressors: VC 2A, VC 160, VC 76
  • Solid Mix Series

You can find new emulations of classic string instruments whose acoustic versions are worth millions of dollars (Komplete 13 Ultimate and Komplete 13 Ultimate Collector’s Edition)

  • Stradivari Violin: Komplete 13 Ultimate
  • Cremona Quartet, with the three: Stradivari violin and cello, Amati, and Guarneri: Komplete 13 Ultimate Collector’s Edition
  • Starlight and Pharlight: Komplete 13 Ultimate and Komplete 13 Ultimate Collector’s Edition
  • Mallet Flux and Mysteria 

 You can see here all the details of what is new in the four bundle versions of Komplete:

Which Version of Komplete Should I Buy?

If you’re new to Native Instruments, get Kontact Start. If you’re into making music and effects for AA video games, radio, TV commercials, audiobooks, or podcasts, get Komplete Select. You’ll need Komplete 13, Ultimate, or Collector’s Edition for high-budget soundtracks for TV, films, or cinematic sound for AAA games.

Native Instruments represents an ocean of options in audio production. I always recommend getting from basic to intermediate bundles and then, after exploring them in detail, you can pick the advanced ones. 

  • Trying each bundle will give you the chance to get the tools you need for the projects your work on more frequently, and for the right price.
  • When you buy a low price, basic bundle, you always have the chance to upgrade to the next one for a fair price. 
  • You may also consider the benefit of getting some of the basic and intermediate bundles when you purchase audio interfaces, drum machines, or keyboards.

The table below shows the software included with each Native Instruments’ hardware product, as well as the upgrade price for the next, more advanced bundle:

Product and PriceSoftware IncludedUpgrade Bundle Price
Traktor Kontrol S4 Vapor Gray or Ultraviolet
$999
Traktor Pro 3
(Worth $99)
Traktor Pro 3 is the most recent update
Traktor Kontrol S3
$599
Traktor Pro 3
(Worth $99)
Traktor Pro 3 is the most recent update
Traktor Kontrol S2
$399
Traktor Pro 3
(Worth $99)

DJ2
(Free App for Ipad and computers)
Traktor Pro 3 is the most recent update
Traktor Kontrol Z1DJ Mixing Controller
$219
Traktor LE 3Traktor LE 3  is the most recent update
Tracktor Kontrol X1
$219
E-voucher coupon for €50 to purchase Traktor Pro 3Traktor Pro 3 is the most recent update
Maschine + (Vapor Gray or Ultraviolet)
$1,399
Maschine 2

Komplete 13 Select 
(Worth $199)
Upgrade to Komplete 13 $399
Maschine MK3Maschine 2

Komplete 13 Select 
(Worth $199)
Upgrade to Komplete 13 $399
Komplete Control M32
$139
Komplete 13 Select 
(For a limited time)
(Worth $199)

Ableton Live 11 Lite
Upgrade to Komplete 13 $399
Komplete Control A25
$169
Komplete 13 Select 
(For a limited time)
(Worth $199)
Upgrade to Komplete 13 $399
Komplete Control A49
$219
Komplete 13 Select 
(For a limited time)
(Worth $199)
Upgrade to Komplete 13 $399
Komplete Control A61
$279
Komplete 13 Select 
(For a limited time)
(Worth $199)
Upgrade to Komplete 13 $399
Komplete Control S49
$699
Komplete 13 Select 
(For a limited time)
(Worth $199)
Upgrade to Komplete 13 $399
Komplete Control S61
$799
Komplete 13 Select 
(For a limited time)
(Worth $199)
Upgrade to Komplete 13 $399

Recent Posts