Berlin’s Native Instruments (or NI for short) is a company that covers a lot of territory in the broader music space. The company itself divides its offerings by brand into Komplete (instruments and effects), Traktor (DJ), and Maschine (production and performance). Fair enough, but in my mind, the logical split is more between the music creation and DJ markets, and within each, a clear split between software and hardware, resulting in four total product areas — any one of which could make a decent business on its own, as demonstrated by NI’s numerous competitors.
In the past couple of years, NI has arguably been cooking with gas, taking good advantage of a €50 million private equity investment made in the company back in October 2017. After a period of seeming stagnation, NI has made a series of updates and new product introductions that has been tough to keep up with, even for someone like me who’s accustomed to covering this space and the endless feed of newness. This review was originally going to be centered on the latest iteration of the company’s Komplete plug-in collection, but Winter NAMM 2019 has forced me to make some room here for the latest rollouts that NI announced at the show.