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Software Review: KOMPLETE 9 ULTIMATE from Native Instruments, Part 1

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KOMPLETE 9 ULTIMATE is a bundled package of instruments and effects for modern digital music creation, composition, production, and sound design. There are three different versions of KOMPLETE 9: KOMPLETE 9 ULTIMATE, KOMPLETE 9, and KOMPLETE 9 ELEMENTS. Each one contains a variety of instruments and effects that provide value for your musical creation. I will look at the KOMPLETE 9 ULTIMATE bundle which contains the most products and I will break it down into three reviews.

In this review I will look at the items that have not changed since KOMPLETE 8 ULTIMATE as well as those items that I have reviewed previously and have now been added to this version of KOMPLETE 9 ULTIMATE. That itself is quite extensive. The next two reviews will examine all of the remaining new products that are contained within.

KOMPLETE 9 ULTIMATE

As its title exclaims, KOMPLETE 9 ULTIMATE is truly the ultimate collection of instruments and effects from Native Instruments. It comes with 65 full products containing 16,000 sounds that will take up 370 GB of hard drive space. In fact, it is so large that it is shipped to you on its own hard drive. It provides a complete creative suite that is suitable for just about any kind of audio production.

To put this in perspective, the earlier KOMPLETE 8 ULTIMATE gave you 50 products and 240 GB. That means that this update will bring you 15 additional products and over 3,000 new sounds to add to your arsenal of music development.

When I reviewed KOMPLETE 8, I broke it out into four parts. The first three parts covered what was in the non-Ultimate package and the fourth covered what was in the Ultimate product. In Part I I covered the KONTACT 5 software sampler as well as the piano and keyboards portions of the base package.

In Part II I looked at the REAKTOR 5.6 sound creation system, the synthesizers, and some of the creative and studio effects that come with the bundle. Part III analyzed GUITAR RIG 5 Pro, drums and percussion instruments, and the rest of the creative and studio effects.

KOMPLETE 9 ULTIMATE

Finally in Part IV I looked at the parts that made up the Ultimate collection, which included additional synthesizers, strings and cinematic sounds, still more creative and studio effects, and additional drums, percussion, guitars, basses, and pianos. The good news is that all of this stuff is still here.

The better news is that more products have been added! Of the ones that I have reviewed since the release of KOMPLETE 8 ULTIMATE, they have added EVOLVE, a virtual instrument that can be used for creating epic, cinematic sounds as well as adding atmosphere to just about any audio recording, and DAMAGE, a virtual instrument that can be used for creating epic, hard-hitting hybrid percussive sounds.

KOMPLETE 9 ULTIMATE

Next there is ACTION STRINGS which provides the orchestral and epic sound that you hear in blockbuster movies, recorded live in very high quality, and instantly playable. SESSION HORNS is a playable horn section that gives you the ability to boost your sound production with the sound of a tight four-piece horn section that can play free or use any of the 170+ phrasings.

ABBEY ROAD VINTAGE DRUMMER will take you back to the dynamic sound of the early incarnations of the Abbey Road drums. These are very rare instruments from the 1920s through the 1940s that provide the sound and feel of the golden era of recorded music. With the SCARBEE RICKENBACKER BASS, Rickenbacker has for the first time given its approval to put its name on a software product, so that now you have the ability to put the iconic sound of a 4003 bass into your musical production. You get all of the meaty sound that has shaped the rock industry for decades.

Finally, now with THE GIANT, you get a sampled piano based on the world’s largest upright piano, Klavins Piano Model 370. This is a piano unlike any other, that can tackle everything from urban pop to film scores and ballads. But it does even more. There is also a dark, cinematic version of the instrument that needs to be heard to be believed.

As I have said in my previous reviews, the quality of workmanship that goes into Native Instruments’ products is beyond compare. The sound quality, the flexibility of the products, and the ease of use make them the go-to packages and standards of the industry. Add to that the fact that they not only work well together, they work well with other products on the market as well.

KOMPLETE 9 ULTIMATE

Just the seven new items that have been added, as described in this review of KOMPLETE 9 ULTIMATE, would cost you more than the entire bundle of 65 products if you were to go and buy each package separately. That right there should give you an idea of the kind of value you will get. Add the fact that you also get all of the existing stuff from KOMPLETE ULTIMATE 8, to me it’s a no brainer. If you already have KOMPLETE ULTIMATE 8, that makes it an even easier choice. If you really want have the ultimate music production toolkit, then I very highly recommend KOMPLETE 9 ULTIMATE.

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About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.
  • andrew

    Most disgusted with this product. They shipped hundreds of faulty HD s and won t give you links to rather download. Its been over a month and no software to show for it. Matthias in all his arrogance replied. Sorry I decide what you get when asked for a guarantee that the new one is not refurbished