Native Instruments Komplete Audio Interface 6 Review

komplete-audio-interface-6The Komplete audio six by Native Instruments is a heavy duty, top of the line, small metal interface and it’s the perfect partner to your laptop or PC. This model is flexible enough to make both DJs and producers happy and portable enough to easily slip in a bag and take it from gig to gig.

Shopping for a quality interface can be tough work, especially if you’re just getting into creating your own tracks. Affordability, flexibility and software compatibility are all important when it comes to determining which model has what you need, but this model by Native Instruments takes all of these factors into consideration with the Komplete model, which has a lot to offer packed into a compact design.

Komplete Audio Interface Rundown

This interface features six ins and outs that can be used without external power. There are four ins via quarter inchers and jacks and four balanced quarter inch outs located on the back.

You’ll also find an easy and quick instrument and line level selection on one and two, with the knobs for gain providing enough power it can bring even the quietest mic up to strength. The ins and outs 5/6 remain specifically for S/PDIF.

The flexibility of this model will begin to show once you check out the level knob for the separate monitor and you can switch this signal to mono or kill it with a couple of push buttons. This allows the user to have main outs that utilize a completely separate controllable monitor mix.

There is also a separate headphone level knob, which gives the user simplicity and flexibility that’s needed and all without having to utilize an on screen driver app in order to set the routing just the want they want it.

The headphone can also be used as an out, so there is actually a few stereo outs, each with level controls straight out of the box.

Most models of interfaces use small rotaries or choose multi-function, continuous and large dials, but there is something so very right about this model’s top mounted main volume dial.

When it comes to installation, it only requires the user to add a simple driver. On a Mac it’ll appear on software drop downs for audio.

This interface also comes with a pretty impressive software package. Not only will you get Traktor LE two and Cubase LE5, but you’ll also benefit from the full Komplete Elements as well. This is a thousand sound suite that’s packed with sounds and plugs that are taken for the Komplete seven synth pack.

The audio quality is full range and punchy and as good as what you can expect from bus powered boxes. The MIDI response is very snappy and doesn’t contain latency in and out. The audio runs glitch-free without spikes or jumps on the CPU meter.

If you need a great sounding, hardwearing, bus powered unit to take on tour or you’re in need of a serious upgrade, this model can definitely fit the bill.

Considering the manufacturer primarily produces software, they still know what’s up when it comes to creating sound cards, S4 controllers and interfaces. Their expertise in both hardware and software has resulted in some pretty great bundles in the past and this interface bundle offers a ton of value for the price.

In this package you’ll find the interface, printed user manual, USB cable, software, and installation disc. The interface itself is housed in a metal wrap around over the back, front and bottom and features a heavy duty plastic that covers the sides and top, giving it a cool look and a solid feel.

native-instruments-komplete-audio-interface-6The recording setup is fairly simple, just plug into the front inputs and select instrument levels or line and adjust the input using the gain knob. The LEDs on the top panel offer additional visual feedback regarding monitoring status and output and input activity. Using recording software the latency will be almost undetectable with vocals or guitar. If you do run into latency issues the monitor control can be used in order to blend between computer-out sources and the direct in sources, which means you can listen to direct, dry guitar input at the same time as listening to the backing tracks from your PC. You can also hear the guitar input post and effects using the backing tracks. Users can also mix between the two so they can hear a bit of processed guitar and a bit of dry guitar.

When you hold down the monitor button it will cycle through the monitor signal outputs. The LED on the top will display the status in real-time. The interface’s mono switch is used for such mono sources as a single mic or guitar.

Komplete Pros and Cons

Pros: Some users noted that the audio quality was much better than what you’d expect from past Native Instruments models. The included software package was one of the biggest selling points for this interface.

Cons: Consumers noted that the audio didn’t sound as great as the PreSonus Audiobox interface, which is offered at a comparable price. Others felt that this model was somewhat limiting.

NI Interface Conclusion and Rating

If you want to record high quality inputs from mics or guitars you may want to check out the more popular Apollo Twin Thunderbolt interface, but for field use and live use, or times when you just need some extra connections, this model gets the job done very well. At first glance, the interface doesn’t look at sleek and sick as the Thunderbolt or the Presonus models, but their streamlined designs are undermined by their clunky breakout cables. As far as the build goes, the strong, compact design seems to have paid off for this model, which can handle tough everyday use and frequent transportation like a champ. Consumers who purchased Native Instruments Komplete Audio Interface 6 gave it a rating of four and a half out of five stars for ease of use, included software package and affordable pricing.

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