Native Instruments Announces Maschine MK3 and Komplete Kontrol Keyboard

Back in 2009, Native Instruments released the Maschine MK1 controller, effectively changing the production workflow with its integration of complementary hardware and software. NI iterated on the model a few years later, with the cosmetically and functionally upgraded MK2.

Today, NI unveiled the most recent iteration in the series, the MK3. And rather than pushing out another slightly upgraded version of the line, NI essentially redesigned the entire package.

The new design is sleek, industrial, and features a crisp HD display. It includes extra sensitive pads and more dedicated buttons — the lack of which on the previous models was always a sore spot for users who had to create complicated shortcuts to bring up the functionality they wanted.

Perhaps the most exciting new feature of the MK3, though, is the fact that it has an audio interface. With its line ins and outs, you can now connect your monitors directly and have an easier time sampling audio outside of the studio.

Maschine MK3

Komplete Kontrol

Native Instruments also announced the Komplete Kontrol MK2 alongside the Maschine, and though not as radical of a redesign, it's still worth getting excited about.

The Komplete Kontrol keyboard and the Maschine were always intended to be used together as two pieces of hardware with seamless integration, but the MK1 keyboard just wasn't quite there with its functionality. The MK2, however, sees some important upgrades that will likely change that.

It, too, is outfitted with a nice color display this year and features more dedicated controls for audio, transport, undo, etcetera, which is going to make using with a DAW that much easier. The keyboard ships supporting a few DAW hits (Ableton, Logic Pro X, and GarageBand) with more (Cubase and Nuendo) promised down the line. This also means that its integration with Maschine will now really work in the way that NI intended.

Known for restricting users to its generally closed ecosystem of software, NI is starting to expand its compatibility with outside sounds. There's no word on the Maschine MK3's hackability yet, but the Komplete Kontrol keyboard now fully supports VST plugins, which is a start.

At launch, the 49–key (at $599) and 61–key (at $699) versions will be available, with 88–key hammer action iteration expected to be available later. The Maschine MK3 is also sticking with the series' regular price at $599. All three products will hit stores starting on October 5, but if you're already sold, you can preorder right now on the NI website.

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