Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 MK2 MIDI Keyboard Controller
At publication time this was the Equal Highest Rated MIDI Keyboard Controller from $500 to $1000 along with the Arturia KeyLab 88 MKII.
Native Instruments is well known in DJ circles because for the quality of their Traktor software, they also expanded into music hardware which includes the Komplete Kontrol S61 MK2, a 61-key MIDI keyboard controller.
While it does not have many DJ friendly functions, it does retain the company's standard for quality, as evidenced by its many good ratings.
To achieve its success, NI equipped this controller with a semi-weighted Fatar keybed, and paired it with essential controls that include pitch bend and mod wheels, 8 touch-sensitive knobs, a touch strip and a 4-directional push encoder.
It doesn't have much else in terms of design features, but the keys themselves are more then enough to make it a viable top rated instrument.
- Keys: 61-Key
- Pads: Fatar Keybed Semi-Weighted
- Controls: Pitch Bend Wheel, Mod Wheel, 8 Touch-Sensitive knobs, 4-Directional Push Encoder, Touch Strip
- Octave: 2 Octaves (+/- )
- Zones: Up to two (Split)
- Automap: Yes (Via Software)
- Connectivity: 5-Pin MIDI, USB
- Control Hardware Directly: Yes
- Compatibility: OSX 10.11 (Up), Windows 7 SP1 (Up)
- Power: USB Bus powered / 15V DC Power Supply (sold separately)
- Dimensions: 39.6" x 11.7" x 3.3"
- Weight: 14.4 lbs.
- Bundled Software: Komplete 11 Select Software Bundle
The Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 MKII continues to gather good reviews, most of which are from people who are impressed by the quality of its keyboard . Even those who owned its first iteration found that the MK2 brings with it significant improvements to their overall workflow and performance experience. A good number of users also commended it for the solid feel of the knobs, buttons and keys. And as expected, those who are already using Native Instruments' software are happy with easy it is to integrate into their setup.
There are some complaints about keyboard mapping not working as they hoped it would. There are also a few who noticed that some of the Fatar keys produce unwanted mechanical noise as they release them.
If you're using Native Instruments software, or if you're looking for a more streamlined 61-Key MIDI keyboard controller then check this out.