Doug's Blog #2 August 29th, 2016

 California Keys with Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S88

I’ve been in a transcendent state playing piano for the last 3 hours.  I was so immersed that I completely lost track of time.

This trance-like state was induced because I was using the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S-88 with NKS and the grand piano, in surround no less, from our upcoming release, California Keys. 

Native Kontrol Standard (NKS) is Native Instruments’ extended plug-in format for all virtual instrument developers. NKS allows for intuitive and seamless interaction between plug-in instruments and KOMPLETE KONTROL and MASCHINE hardware – definitive integration designed by developers themselves. 

We’ve integrated NKS programming into California Keys. NKS offers unprecedented control over all parameters in real time while you play, directly from the front panel of the Komplete Kontrol S88.

 The S88 is an 88 note fully weighted hammer-action Fatar keybed with aftertouch. The S-series controllers feature real time control knobs to adjust parameters as well as browse and load from your Komplete Kontrol library.

 For advanced keyboardists and pianists that are used to a real grand piano, the combination of our California Keys Grand Piano and the S88 is the closest I’ve gotten to the emotional “state of consciousness” I feel when I’m playing my real grand.

While recording the amazing Fazioli 10 foot grand, our vision was to offer it so it would serve a large variety of playing styles. We mic’d the piano close up, under the piano, a classical ORTF configuration and two matched pairs of Earthworks mics behind and in front of the player 12 feet away. These room mics can be output through your surround matrix with the U87 through the sub. Close mics in front and viola! You’ve got a beautiful surround piano. The cool part is this; all of these mics are completely controllable from the front panel of the NI S88. You can control the volume of each mic, panning, reverb, ADSR, tone, sympathetic string level, note off and pedal sounds.

The range of tone and playability is truly amazing. I’ve never been able to play this softly on a digital piano. We recorded the quietest layers of the piano including the "bonus pedal".  This is a fourth pedal which raises the hammers up to within 1 inch of the strings for the quietest playing imaginable. 

We then added a velocity curve slider to adjust the sensitivity allowing you to access these layers easily according to your playing style.

 The N.I. S88 is hands down the best controller I’ve ever played. In addition to using the parameters we’ve set up, you can also assign the knobs to whatever paramenter you wish when using any instrument in Komplete Kontrol and save your own settings via snapshots.

If you’re a live player, you can finally stash the laptop and control instruments directly from the front panel.

All for now, I'm gonna play some keyboards!!

Komplete Kontrol and California Keys

A Sound Partnership

Available in several sizes.