Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6

Review: Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6

Native Instruments, in their quest to streamline their product lineups into easily understandable categories, recently released the Komplete Audio 6 and booted their Audio Kontrol 1 into retirement. Rather than a simple rebadge however, they’ve designed a whole new product; we take a look to see what’s changed…

Product: Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6

Compatibility: Mac/PC

Connectivity: 4x 1/4″ TRS outputs and stereo S/PDIF out, 2x 1/4″ TRS inputs, 2x combi inputs with +48v and stereo S/PDIF in. MIDI in, MIDI out, headphones.

Price: £249GBP / $299USD

The Komplete Audio 6 doesn’t stray too far from the design blueprint NI laid out for their audio interfaces a while ago; a thick steel coat wraps around three and a half of the box’s surfaces, with the sides tough matt plastic and the fascia a glossy black with lights to indicate levels and inputs.

The Komplete Audio 6 doesn’t stray too far from the design blueprint NI laid out for their audio interfaces a while ago

NI have given the displays a refresh, and the new look (shared with the Traktor Audio 6 and 10) makes it easier to take in information at a glance… and we think it looks nicer too.

Input and output wise, every analogue connection is balanced, with a stereo S/PDIF input and output, four ¼” TRS outputs and two inputs round the back, and two combi jack inputs on the front which can provide phantom power. There’s also MIDI in and out on the back, as well as a clever USB port that locks the cable in and makes it really difficult to pull out by mistake – perhaps a feature developed more for NI’s Traktor Audio range than what will in most cases be a somewhat sedentary piece of equipment, but cool nonetheless.

The Komplete Audio 6 supercedes the Audio Kontrol 1, and the hardware is much more streamlined.

Komplete Audio 6 supercedes the Audio Kontrol 1, and the hardware is much more streamlined

The top panel now simply features an analogue 5o’clock – 7o’clock dial which attenuates the level of output one and two, with gains for the inputs and direct monitoring channel on the front of the unit. Output three and four adjustment no longer have analogue gain attenuation, permanently set to 0dB.

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NI Komplete 6

NI Komplete Audio 6 Out Now

The Komplete Audio 6 from Native Instruments has just been released – one’s winging its way over as we speak, and there’ll be a review of it very soon.

one’s winging its way over as we speak

Until then, check out the announcement and all the specs in my previous post here – this could be the ideal small interface for home and project studios…

Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6

Native Instruments Announce Komplete Audio 6

Native Instruments are streamlining their product line to make associations between their hardware and software lines as clear as they can; they recently appended the word Traktor onto their new range of DJ focused audio interfaces, and have followed up by doing the same with their production focused interface, now the Komplete Audio 6.

NI promise even clearer sound and lower latency

As the successor to the Audio Kontrol 1, the Komplete Audio 6 features a similarly production focused set of attributes. Certain less popular features – such as 192kHz sample rate and the MIDI control on the unit – have been removed in the transition, whilst others have been added. Whilst the sample rate is now a maximum of 96Khz, NI promise even clearer sound and lower latency, and the front knob is now a simple, smooth analogue volume control. There are now two XLR/TRS combi inputs (with 48v phantom power) and a S/PDIF pair in addition to a TRS input pair, two sets of TRS outputs, headphone out and MIDI I/O, and having had a brief fondle of the unit it definitely has that NI stamp of quality all over it.

It’s due out on the 2nd of May, and will retail at €299. Keep an eye out for the full review on Oh Drat very soon – until then you can take a look at the specs of the Komplete Audio 6 at Native Instruments’ site.

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