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Kompletely Native

Native Instruments Komplete 8 & Komplete 8 Ultimate review

Native Instruments has been offering a selection of its software products grouped under the brand "Komplete" for several years now. The selection is updated every year with the latest versions of several products plus some additional tools. And it offers a rather unbeatable value for money ($499).
Native Instruments Komplete 8 et Komplete 8 Ultimate

Considering that products like Kontakt or Reaktor are sold for $399 each, it would be a huge mistake to ignore Komplete and the 26 other tools it includes for only $100 bucks more. You would be missing synths like Massive, FM8 and Absynth, effects like Reflektor, The Finger and Transient Master, drums like Studio Drummer and Abbey Road 60's, as well as Guitar Rig Pro and some acoustic and electric pianos. The full product list is available here. Add to this a $25 voucher and you get an extremely appealing product.

People who already own a previous version of Komplete (v2 or higher) can upgrade for $199, which might be especially attractive for those thinking about buying Studio Drummer ($149). People who own Maschine, Kontakt, Reaktor, Kore or Guitar Rig Kontrol can crossgrade for $369.

The Ultimate Pack

Native Instruments Komplete 8 et Komplete 8 Ultimate

Komplete 8 marks the arrival of a new version sold for $999, which includes nothing more than all 50 Native Instruments software tools available right now. If you're not sure which version of Komplete 8 is right for you, take a look at the comparison chart on this page. The most interesting products included in the Ultimate version (and missing in the normal version) are Session Strings Pro (it's a pity that Komplete 8 doesn't include a "non-pro" version!), the VC 2A, 76 and 160 effects, Abbey Road 70's and 80's drums, Modern Drums, Scarbee bass, Funk Guitarist, Alicia Keys piano, and George Duke Soul. That's a lot, all the more considering that some of these tools are very interesting (look up their reviews on AudioFanzine). It's up to you to decide if you need them or not...

No More DVDs

Another good news from Komplete 8 Ultimate is that it is sold on a 2.5" USB hard drive instead of being scattered over a dozen of DVDs. If you have installed Komplete on your computer even once, you know how boresome and long the installation can be. Enough to spend a whole evening inserting DVDs in your computer every 20-30 minutes...

Native Instruments Komplete 8 et Komplete 8 Ultimate

Not with Komplete 8 Ultimate! The installation process is still quite long (about two hours) but you can start it before going to bed and it will copy the 200 GB data to your hard drive without disturbing you anymore. Thumbs up! In case you're asking yourself: no, it's not possible to run Komplete 8 Ultimate directly from the USB hard drive. You might think it's a pity but it's quite logical considering the limited speed of the drive, which is much slower than the hard drive of your computer. You can also copy the full content of the USB hard drive to another media (internal hard drive, data server, etc.). This way, you have a security backup and you'll be able to speed up the next installation. The content of the USB hard drive is not protected, however you need the serial number to authorize your product in Native Instruments' Service Center.

Native Instruments Komplete 8 et Komplete 8 Ultimate

People who own a previous version of Komplete (v2 to v7) must spend $499 in order to upgrade to version 8 Ultimate. Quite attractive, especially if you have a very old version.

Coinciding with the launch of Komplete 8 and Komplete 8 Ultimate, we also reviewed Session Strings Pro as well as the new versions of Kontakt and Guitar Rig Pro. The reviews are available here:

Guitar Rig Pro 5
Kontakt 5
Session Strings Pro

List of the programs included in Komplete 8 and Komplete 8 Ultimate already reviewed on AudioFanzine: