Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol M32
First there was S, then came A. and now we have M. Say hello to the third tier of Native Instruments’ keyboard controllers for the Komplete Kontrol platform.
Native Instruments’ Komplete Kontrol S Series keyboards leave little to be desired for even the most discerning producer with their hi-res colour screens and the handy Light Guide system. Following that, the relatively new A Series brings a wealth of control to a less budgeted demographic. Now the mini-keyed baby of the family arrives and adds a new dimension of portability to the NI Komplete Kontrol ecosystem.
The new M32 weights in at 1.45kg and is a cute 475 x 167mm. Many of the A and S Series’ physical controls are shared by the M32, such as the pre-mapped touch sensitive knobs, hybrid scroll wheel/joystick and backlit buttons. Ribbon sliders replace wheels for pitch bend and modulation and a foot pedal can be plugged into the back. Don’t be discouraged by the tiny OLED screen; as we discovered with the A Series, its size belies its considerable utility — be it scrolling through preset categories in Komplete Kontrol or reading out parameter values. The mini keys are great for laying down bass and lead lines but don’t expect to comfortably bash out a classical piece.
Ableton Live 10 Lite is bundled with the M32. You also get a heap of Native Instruments goodies such as Maschine Essentials, Komplete Start (a siginificant production suite of synths and samples), Komplete Kontrol, Monark (monosynth), Reaktor Prism and Scarbee Mk I (Rhodes emulation). It’s not el cheapo beginner software — this bundle is capable of producing serious sounds.
For out-and-about musical sketching at an airport lounge or your work lunch break, the M32 is perfect. It’ll neatly flatpack next to your laptop in a bag or backpack for alacritous composition when inspiration strikes. When performing, the M32 makes a neat supplement to a larger keyboard for triggering virtual instruments. At under $200, it’s a thrifty purchase for any producer but especially those who use Ableton Live and Komplete Kontrol.