Native Instruments Komplete 13 Review

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Native Instruments Komplete 13

Native Instruments Komplete 13

Native Instruments Komplete 13 Ultimate

Native Instruments Komplete 13 Ultimate


Sampled Instruments

With the addition of Noire, Stradivari, Mallet Flux, Mysteria, and Session Guitarist, the sampled instruments see a major improvement this time around.

Its tendency to deliver two full paradigms is the fascinating thing about these tools. For one, Mallet Flux provides some truly inspirational mallet resources that sound utterly breathtaking. They are sampled meticulously and have a degree of polish that looks fantastic. Add a mix GUI that allows each instrument to playback triggered rhythm patterns, and you have an extremely powerful engine to produce accurate mallet patterns of music.

Native Instruments Komplete 13 Ultimate 1

For the other sampled instruments, this remains true. Noire, on its own, will be an outstanding piano instrument. Samples and dynamic layers are worth 16 GB, which sounds rich and playable. Attach the option to put between the hammers and the strings a felt dampener, and now you can get a really mellow piano sound that really sits down in the mix. Not only does the particle engine apply 'pads' to the piano, but it also adds rhythmic textures and swirling motion behind the piano in such a way that you want to try every preset.

Session Guitarist instruments are very much worth taking in the time it takes to master them. The guitar loops given are diverse, and placing the guitar in 'melody mode' really gives you the versatility to get guitar tracks that are almost indistinguishable from the actual player. Giving access to many different guitar articulations by hitting a key switch really helps you to pull out the natural tone of the samples and make it very compelling.

I find Mysteria enjoyable to make vocal textures, but I'm not fully sure that I want to set aside 30gb of room for it. It obviously has a role in cinematic sound design, but I definitely categorize this one in the 'you already know if you need it' genre.

The Stradivari Violin was genuinely inspirational. The size is massive, but this solo instrument was so fine that I immediately regretted not getting the whole quartet and splurging for the "Collector's Edition." Orchestra composers, if the other three pieces in this acoustic string set are just like the Stradivari Violin-this is the latest collection to be beaten.

The Synthesizers

When it comes to the synths supported, there are a few nice ones to try out. Super 8 is a modern synth that has its own plugin instead of a touch or reactor synth. It has a very 'massive' sound for me, which makes sense because it uses its own combination of dual oscillators plus FM synthesis. I find the plugin easy to use (although it certainly has a reactor look at it) and the presets are sufficient. Modulation routing and mapping for the owners of Komplete Kontrol is well thought out and makes playing Super 8 with a well-equipped controller enjoyable and simple.

There are three updates to the 'playlist' and my main one is Butch Vig Drums. I was happy to write off BVD as something I wouldn't use as much as I already have a Lot of drum instruments-but BVD is something extraordinary. The combination of well-played and strong grooves with the synth/filter/actuated elements makes this a beautifully versatile instrument for fast modern development. It also looks fantastic (I mean, we don't have to think about it, but... it does!)

Synth patch expansions give you a lot more use out of the reactor, Big X, and Battery 4. It was nice to pull up Battery, a plugin I haven't been exploring for a while, and hear Indigo Dust kits incorporated and give a fresh sound to a plugin that didn't get a lot of use for me.

Straylight and Pharlight all load up into Kontakt and are outstanding additions to the lineup. Granular instruments usually excel at producing haunting textures and atmospheres, and these two are no different. Although they both have a very distinctive voice, I find Straylight to be unlike anything I've ever heard before. Macro controls made it easy to modify the ambient textures in real-time and this was much more 'playable' than many other 'ambient libraries.' I will certainly see those who work in film and television scoring get a lot out of this instrument.


The resources of Komplete 13 are genuinely unique and outstanding additions to the lineup. As far as value is concerned, I certainly believe that they are deserving of the upgrade (I have not always felt that in my 13 versions of purchasing Komplete software updates). From practical sample libraries to world synths, there's everything for all with Komplete 13. Check out our separate Guitar Rig 6 review, too!