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are illuminated key switches on a midi keyboard important?
Old 10th May 2020
  #1
Lives for gear
 

are illuminated key switches on a midi keyboard important?

Hello,

Native Instruments has the Komplete s88 88-key midi controller. It has colored led's. Among other uses, I believe these led's tell you where the NI Kontakt key switches are (for different string articulations, etc.).

Are these key-switch colored led's:
1. very useful/important
2. somewhat useful/important
3. not very useful/important

I'm in the process of selecting a midi controller. I do not have experience with big string libraries. So I don't know how important the colored led's are to identify where the key-switch notes are on the keyboard. I understand music theory, so I don't need them to tell me how to play a scale or anything like that.

Thanks!
Old 11th May 2020
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gearstudent View Post
Are these key-switch colored led's:
1. very useful/important
2. somewhat useful/important
3. not very useful/important
Only if you like work in total darkness I would imagine.

Your question reminds me a of a Monty Python sketch. "Biggles stood naked, illuminated only by the light from the altimeter"

The really important thing is to be able write commercial music that people want to hear and/or buy/use/license. Coloured LEDs may seem important right now, but in the greater scheme of things................probably aren't.
Old 11th May 2020
  #3
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by gearstudent View Post
Hello,

Native Instruments has the Komplete s88 88-key midi controller. It has colored led's. Among other uses, I believe these led's tell you where the NI Kontakt key switches are (for different string articulations, etc.).

Are these key-switch colored led's:
1. very useful/important
2. somewhat useful/important
3. not very useful/important

I'm in the process of selecting a midi controller. I do not have experience with big string libraries. So I don't know how important the colored led's are to identify where the key-switch notes are on the keyboard. I understand music theory, so I don't need them to tell me how to play a scale or anything like that.

Thanks!
I have that controller - and I bought it specifically for the reason you are talking about. And they are 1000% easily visible in any kind of light situation. I would say yes, absolutely, they are life changing and MEGA important - if it works for you - as every freaking Kontakt patch has different key switches, and every library does things differently in regards to the key switching - even within various libraries there is no consistency. So yeah, that's super important to me. Again, tThat's the main reason I bought this controller.

Well.....it's become only KINDA important.

Kinda because the various color LED's actually do NOT in fact work with Kontakt. They work with NI Komplete Kontrol which loads Kontakt libraries inside of that plugin. Unfortunately, I don't really like to load my Kontakt libraries inside of Kontrol, so the whole LED thing is moot for me.

Last edited by drBill; 11th May 2020 at 10:12 PM..
Old 18th May 2020
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
I have that controller - and I bought it specifically for the reason you are talking about. And they are 1000% easily visible in any kind of light situation. I would say yes, absolutely, they are life changing and MEGA important - if it works for you - as every freaking Kontakt patch has different key switches, and every library does things differently in regards to the key switching - even within various libraries there is no consistency. So yeah, that's super important to me. Again, tThat's the main reason I bought this controller.

Well.....it's become only KINDA important.

Kinda because the various color LED's actually do NOT in fact work with Kontakt. They work with NI Komplete Kontrol which loads Kontakt libraries inside of that plugin. Unfortunately, I don't really like to load my Kontakt libraries inside of Kontrol, so the whole LED thing is moot for me.
Same for me. I bought the s88 thinking that Komplete Kontrol would make life easier. The keyboard is really nice but Komplete Kontrol is not particularly stable on my system and makes it harder to find the patches I want. I'd recommend it as a keyboard controller, especially for piano, but the coloured lights are useless for me.
Old 18th May 2020
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Thanks. So it looks like it is a nice-to-have. I think it is a great idea. If I had a string orchestra patch, I would love to see the colors for the key switches and different colors for the bass, cello, viola, and violin regions.

Hopefully this will become something of a standard across manufacturers with better and more universal implementation.
Old 3rd June 2020
  #6
Gear Head
I too have the 88 MK2, and whilst I love the concept, I too don't like using the Komplete Kontrol within my DAW.

I much prefer loading Kontakt directly. But then I don't get the colored lights for the key switches. Boo!

Now if NI would just make Kontakt work with the MK2 that would be a real game changer...
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