A custom built piano, orchestration and delays – 7 features of Komplete 11 to get excited about
Since the announcement of Komplete 11, producers and home studio enthusiasts have been eagerly awaiting the September 1st release date, anxious to get their hands on the new recording software bundle from renowned brand Native Instruments. Although information on new features were somewhat scarce, with Native Instruments choosing to surprise us all come September 1st, there’s definitely some exciting key elements to this new program that we’re really looking forward to trying out. Not only is the new packaging design getting us excited, but the launch video set tongues wagging indeed too. By all accounts, the Komplete 11 software package has almost every aspect of computer based music production you would ever need – aside from an engineer to sit with you! It seems this could be one of the greatest software packages ever released based on what we do know – with 87 full products, over 18,000 sounds and more than 500GB of samples in the Komplete 11 Ultimate edition, 45 full products, over 13,000 sounds and more than 155GB of samples in the mid level Komplete 11 version and 11 full products, over 2,500 sounds and more than 25GB of samples in Komplete 11 Select, we’re confident any studio could benefit from this great package. So today we’re going to look at the 7 things we’re really excited about when it comes to Komplete 11, specifically the Ultimate Edition.
The Symphony Essentials package includes a line of five “meticulously” sampled orchestral instruments which according to NI, offers the same professional recordings as the extremely popular Symphony Series, but with a more streamlined set of articulations. Within this package, you get a full selection of brass instruments that includes a 32-piece brass ensemble as well as 5 brass soloists which will allow you to take full use of 153 combined articulations. The String section has been sampled from a 60-piece orchestral string ensemble to offer 38 articulations whilst the beautifully rich woodwind recordings are taken from a 36-piece woodwind ensemble and 6 woodwind soloists. When it comes to lush orchestration, Komplete 11 has it covered, and with a myriad of different mic placements also included, it’s more than enough to keep the professional scorer happy. If the audio demos are anything to go off, this is going to sound huge! For those who don’t want to stretch to the ultimate edition, it can be purchased separately.
Form is the new creative synthesizer from NI, that takes samples from your collection and allows you to completely change sounds to “Move beyond traditional synthesis”. This means you can create evolving soundscapes, deep basses to ethereal digital noise as you draw on a large number of curve presets that have been pre-loaded or create your own drastic sonic changes. Create modulated effects as you easily drag and drop samples and manipulate to your needs. You can even use an additive oscillator to enhance harmonic content and add a myriad of effects whilst you tweak your sounds via the frequency shaping and digital or analogue saturation. This is an extremely useful feature of Komplete 11 that has to be heard to be believed and surely one of the major talking points within the production industry.
Session guitarist – Strummed Acoustic
Session guitarist is your very own personal guitarist at your fingertips. This beautifully sounding guitar has been sampled from a dreadnought acoustic by a seasoned studio professional to bring you unprecedented guitar sounds and allows you to easily scroll through an encyclopedia of beautiful (and most importantly, useful) strumming patterns, that sound awesome. This nifty feature has been designed to allow the keyboard player to dictate exactly how the guitar is played. Strumming patterns and endings are played with your left hand whilst the chords and notes are played with your right. An interesting feature is that the mod and pitch-wheels dictate playing position and the accent strength all in real time. You can even choose strumming patterns that feature real string noise, including fret noise and the sound of the plectrum hitting the strings. You can even add effects via convolution reverb! Perfect for those who want realistic sounding guitars without having to learn guitar themselves!
Showing again just how innovative Native Instruments can be, they have taken piano sampling to a completely new level by designing and building a one of a kind custom-made contemporary piano specifically for this package. Originally created by David Klavins in close collaboration with composer Nils Frahm, this beautiful piano, which has one string per key to give you total control over your sound, will give your music, whether composing for film and television, pop, rock or jazz an entirely individual element unlike anyone has ever heard before. The creation of this piano, and subsequent sampling, has been a labour of love for the brand as different fabric preparations can even be exploited. The felt preparation provides a gentle tone with a reduced attack whilst the cotton preparation provides the user with a more percussive sound with added overtones. A beautifully sounding piano that is completely unique to Komplete 11.
Discover Series: India
Komplete 11 also features a huge library of beautifully sampled instruments from the Indian tradition to provide the user with a unique and extremely versatile element which they can manipulate to their needs. Choose from nine percussion instruments with added control over patterns, fills and single hits all of which can be assigned to the keyboard as well as six melodic instruments with ultra-realistic articulations that have already been mapped to the keyboard for your convenience. You can even explore different scales (called ‘ragas’) and map them to your keyboard for ease of use. You can add rhythmic cycles (called ‘talas’) and change intensity, depth and vary each instrument to just how you like it. It’s also compatible with your KOMPLETE KONTROL S-Series keyboard as Native Map assigns everything to your display knobs for effortless workflow.
When you want to be free to create your very own high-fidelity sound and indulge in deep sound exploration, REAKTOR 6 is for you. The new BLOCKS feature update for example, is perfect for those who also want to create modular synth patches. This new update of REAKTOR Blocks 1.2 introduces new CV and MIDI connectivity allowing you to calibrate pitch signals to use with external hardware oscillators and will even let you convert any signal into gates and triggers. Perhaps the most interesting feature about REAKTOR 6 is that it comes with 14 patches designed by modular synthesizer experts, offering incredible synths with great flexibility that are all ready for use KOMPLETE KONTROL S-Series keyboards and MASCHINE. Each patch is a great starting point to create your very own ultimate custom designed synth. The REAKTOR community is the place where you can upload your own creations and find out what new additions have been added to the user library – perfect or those who want to be part of the bleeding edge synth community. Check out Blocks below:
Whether you’re an EDM producer or just a guitarist who loves all sorts of delay (who doesn’t?!), the REPLIKA XT feature to Komplete 11 will definitely appeal. This multi-mode delay offers five awesome delay modes with a myriad of different options to each. Get studio quality delay modes at the touch of a button and add new elements to your sound via the Modern, Vintage Digital, Analogue, Tape and Diffusion delay modes. The Modern delay offers clean, controllable repeats, perfect for those who want clean sounding delay aspects, whereas the Vintage Digital provides warm, yet crunchy repeats that have taken inspiration and modelled after the earlier samplers and delays. For those who want slightly more ethereal and unpredictable delay sounds, you have Analogue – which replicates that coveted bucket-brigade pedal sound, Tape – which provides the sounds of those famous tape echo units and Diffusion, which is quoted as “something entirely its own” providing reverberant echos that “no physical space can provide”. This is a fantastic suite of delay effects for the professional musician and producer which comes pre packed with custom presets from some of today’s leading artists including Funkstörung, Richard Devine, Roger Lyons, Chris Shaw and more.
Lee Glynn is a guitarist and multi-instrumentalist who lives in Liverpool, England. After moving to the UK from Perth, Australia, Lee enjoyed a successful career as guitarist in Liverpool based rock band Sound of Guns.
After releasing two albums, a myriad of EPs / singles and touring extensively around the world for 6 years including stops at Glastonbury, Latitude Festival, as well as the coveted Reading & Leeds Festivals, Lee decided it was a time for a change of scenery.
Utilising his experience in music journalism, Lee now works within the web team at Dawsons Music, where he can still relay his passion for music by producing great content for the Dawsons blog and social media. Lee is still an avid guitar player and writer.