Native Instruments excels in two regards: One, how easy its devices are to use, and two, the extensive palette its software programs offer. For the latter point, the variety and quality don’t just benefit the producer making a dance track but further prove to be an asset to those in post-production, mastering, songwriting, and sound design.
Their latest collection, Komplete 10 Ultimate, takes all of the above notions to an entirely new dimension. The Komplete series has tied together multiple packs of sounds before, and now this group brings together 75 titles. The expansiveness lets you into an entirely new world, from orchestral textures to pianos, guitars, and synthesizers, all while saving you nearly 90 percent if you purchased each product individually.
Komplete 10 presents a simplified version, but Komplete 10 Ultimate, what we’re reviewing here, offers some of the biggest titles and is a bit more comprehensive, with new instruments introduced. Native Instruments claims this covers over 17,000 sounds and more than 440GB of instruments and effects offering synthesizer, sampling, creative and studio, and cinematic capabilities.
The selection really does cover a huge range, which can be viewed here, but there are a few notable changes if you’re considering an upgrade. One, Komplete 10 Ultimate adds Reaktor Player, Round, Kontour, and Polyplex into the package and has expanded Kontakt.
This latter improvement doesn’t so much benefit the electronic dance music producer directly but instead beefs up the orchestral possibilities. That’s not to say orchestral instrumentation can’t be included (after all, the Pet Shop Boys have been doing that since the late ‘80s), but this particular feature truly addresses any composer or producer looking for a bigger and more professional sound. Expanding this aspect is Action Strikes, a percussion series with 12 full ensembles, 65 single instruments, 12 kit sets, and 105 rhythms; Rise & Hit, with 8GB of samples covering 700 single- and multi-layer sounds; and Kinetic Metal, a group of sounds for creating ethereal textures and tonal percussion with 200 unique, multi-layered instruments from metal sources.
As well, the Sampled and Acoustic options offer more for the studio, including Session Horns Pro, Cuba, and piano sounds, and Native Instruments included three new piano titles.
That’s not to say the dance music producer’s getting short-changed. In fact, the Synthesized and Electronic group now features Rounds, with designs and sequences for up to 16 synth sounds covering analog and digital engines; Massive, with virtual analog textures for stage and studio use and 1,300 presets; Kontour; and Razor. Additionally, the Sound Design and Mixing features continue providing the same options and more – Molekular, Supercharger GT, and Reverb Classics – for altering your sounds with studio-grade effects.
However, what comes with Komplete 10 Ultimate isn’t the sole highlight. Native Instruments equips the software with Komplete Instrumental Browser, with a unified workflow that allows the user to search by tag and keyword. With all of the products under a single plug-in, the user can select from targeted keywords and sound types, with the software pulling all possibilities from across the titles.
Native Instruments further ensures that this software fully and effortlessly integrates with its devices, including the S-Series of keyboards and all Maschine products from Mini to Studio. All allow for this tag-based browsing to find sounds and instruments, while the hardware clearly displays what was selected and how it’s being used.
For installation, the software is compatible with all AAX, VST, and AU plug-in hosts, but there are a couple of points to keep in mind. One, because of the expansiveness, Komplete 10 Ultimate is loaded onto a 250GB read-only hard drive. Installation onto your computer takes about four hours, and a large amount of space is required. After, however, only a single code is needed for authorization, so the software is relatively easy to set up.
Should you buy Komplete 10 Ultimate? It all depends upon your needs. If you currently use any of the above-mentioned Native Instrument devices, adding the software opens up the sounds, samples, and effects available. On the other hand, as these devices are still compatible with Komplete 9, it might not make financial sense to install an entirely new software program that overlaps in many regards. Determine, first, what you want out of your software before making a decision, but the quality and expansiveness of Komplete 10 Ultimate are certainly worth it.