Transcript: Komplete Audio 6 Video Review


Posted to YouTube Oct 18th, 2012

Hey what is up?!?

Welcome back this is David from basic-home-recording-studio.com with another video review in my series.

Today we will be taking a look at the Komplete Audio 6 that's complete with a "K" Ka-Ka-Komplete Audio 6 USB audio interface from Native Instruments.

Inside the Box

Here is everything that's included in the package the unit obviously here we'll get into that in detail next.

Starting, though, with a 5 foot USB cable nothing too special about this, but it is always nice that they include a cable that's actually long enough to use.

Over here is the manual they did a really good job with this.

The instructions for getting set up are very clear and easy to follow, and here is the included software.

This is the Komplete elements package it's a collection of 3 rockin plug-ins including Guitar Rig, which is sweet, Kontakt which is for drums, and Reaktor which is a software synth.

These are a pretty amazing bonus to what this unit offers just on the surface.

Next we have the software drivers which are pretty boring, but also critically important these basically get your unit configured to talk with your computer and the disc also has a trial version of Traktor LE 2, which is DJ software that can be used to do remixes and mashups up and stuff like that.

So if youre into that maybe for a different review ill get into some of that DJ stuff, but not right now.

Lastly the included recording software is Cubase LE 6 from Steinberg.

You get a 30 day trial to play around with and then if you wanna continue to use it you have to register so it's still free after the 30 days are up but you will have to go on to Steinburg and register an account with them.

So that is everything that comes bundled with the system now let's talk about the unit itself.

First Impression

Starting with the front panel we have 2 mic preamps here and here.

They are combo jacks which means they take a XLR mic cable or a 1/4" instrument cable.

If you use a mic cable it will automatically detect mic level signal, otherwise you'll need to specify what type of signal, line or instrument level, using the control here.

The gain control is very smooth over the full range of motion and had almost no wiggle, actually has no wiggle, it's very very solid. So the controls really feel good across the front here.

Moving on now to the monitor section, this is a direct monitor function and why is direct monitoring so popular? 

Because it allows you to hear your input signals with no latency.  And what does that mean?

Latency is the amount of time it takes for a signal to go through your audio interface, get processed by the computer, and then sent back to the unit where your headphones are connected.

So all this takes time and so the direct monitoring allows you to hear the input before it is sent on to your computer.

The only trick here is that sometimes you want to have a highly processed signal, such as when using a virtual instrument like a soft synth or a guitar amp simulator, like the Guitar Rig that we mentioned earlier, which in another review I played around with and I think it's totally awesome just to say that again.

Anyway, this direct monitoring if it's turned on you wouldn't hear that processed signal so the value of this feature really depends on what type of recording you plan on doing in your home studio.

Finally the headphone input and headphone level here are pretty self explanatory so let's move on to the top panel where we have some very sweet looking indicator LEDs.

You can see that if I hold down the monitor control the unit transitions between the different modes.

You also have Phantom power, signal present, and signal clipping, and other unit status indicators there real-time on top of the unit. 

In fact, everything you need is right on top here including some things that you might not need like the oversized Jumbotron main volume knob.

This thing is enormous and I have no idea why it gets prime time booking main event status on the top here but I mean I could understand it if it was something like all the way here to the left was "sucks" and all the way over here to the right was "kick ass" but it's not.  It's just the main output level.

So to be honest I cannot ever think of a time personally when I've wanted to have instant access to this particular control, but if you have, here it is.

So let's turn it around and finish up just a few things on the back.

Here the USB is plugged in.  This unit runs off of USB power so it has no dedicated power supply, which I love because it's just one less cable to worry about.

Here's your 48 V Phantom power which powers your condenser mic.

I highly recommend using a condenser mic for home recording so that's covered here.

The 48 V Phantom power goes to both mic preamps on the front when turned on and it will not harm, for example, a dynamic mic if you have it plugged in with your condenser.

So what do I mean by that?  If you have a condenser which requires the 48 volts to operate and a dynamic, which does not, you can plug them both in, turn on the 48 volts it will not harm your dynamic mic.  I've gotten a question a few times.

Here we have a MIDI In and Out which is great if you want to use a keyboard controller or a control surface being a piano player myself I usually look for these in an interface.

Here is the SPDIF Sony Philips Digital InterFace connections it's a digital interface that I personally don't use myself but may come in handy for some other applications.

As the name says it's digital so you can send your signal lossless-ly.

I always have trouble with this word.  Lossless output.  There!

Finally we have the additional balanced input and output and the only catch with that is that there is no dedicated level control for those so you have to use software to set the level there so that's something to keep in mind.

It's not quite so convenient as the ones on the front the preempts the front are very very nice.  These are a little bit of a pain in the backside.

But anyway here's the main event output we've all been waiting for.

These typically go to your studio monitors but I mean hell with the big button here you could crank it out from across the room you can be lounging in the corner just kicking your feet back and reach across wheel of fortune style like BYAH! Give that thing a nice little spin and see where it lands.

So anyway that's the unit now let's get on with the software.

Software Demo

So let's spend some time now with the software component and kick it off by launching Cubase LE 6 and this is actually the part of the review that I always secretly dread because it means I need to learn how to use new recording software because whatever's included with the unit is what I use so...

This one's actually pretty slick though you see it comes up here I'm gonna choose this acoustic guitar plus vocal and of course it's not gonna come up properly because I'm recording.

Let's just set this up real quick...so we have our driver here - that's fine.

Now I'm gonna set up my... here's the problem.  Ok I'm gonna just take these out. 

I try to do this - I hope this is helpful - try to show people that you really don't need anything apart from what is included in the box.  Ok I think that's set up now.

And If I've done this right - let me choose - let's see my vocals are here on one so I'm gonna be there and that means this guy is gonna be on...  Whoa!

Alright, there!  Ok so you can see my voice now - so there's my voice on the screen and I'm just gonna record a quick little song here to show you how easy it can be.

::Sea Breeze by Tyrone Wells::

All right that is just a little Tyrone Wells song that I like to play, but you can see it's real easy to track a song you definitely don't need to go out and buy a big expensive software package.

You can use what's already included in the audio interface system.

So that's it for the software portion I want to get on with the final verdict here and talk about the strengths and weaknesses of this unit and how it stacks up to the competition.

The Verdict

And that is the end of the review but I do have a few things I wanted to emphasize at the end as the pros and cons scroll across the screen.

Overall I believe this is an excellent package.

The hardware and software work great together and the included plug-ins are super-fun and awesome.

They really did an amazing job with this unit and I gotta say, actually in general, that I'm very impressed overall with the quality and value of the units that I've been sent to review.

I've only been in this hobby myself for about four years now and I'm telling you this is the perfect time to be in this hobby because the gear is so much cooler, has way more functionality, is cheaper, and way easier to set up than it was even just a few years ago.

So if you are just starting out I'm really excited for someone who's just getting into this hobby because you have so many great options to choose from and this is definitely one of them.

Remember Native Instruments gets software and that's really important these guys know what they're doing it's really a software company that's getting into the hardware business but as much as the hardware, you know, people kind of focus in on the hardware and I know a lot of this review is based on the hardware, your interface is with the software.

You're gonna be dealing with the software and from the plug-ins to the Cubase, which I hadn't used much myself, that they've chosen to include with this I mean it all works really good together so that's such an important thing when you're starting off, especially as a beginner, to not fight against your hardware software integration.

This thing makes it easy it has everything you need it is easy to set up and like I said it has some really slick software perks that make it a great option.

So that's it thanks for watching this review was actually the result of a comment I received so thank you very much requesting this review it was not easy to get a hold of I must say that Native Instruments did not want to play ball but I'm very resilient.

And I'm very crafty... and sneaky.

And I had to pull some strings and I had to call in some favors, but I hear the voice of the people and if the people want to see a review on the Komplete Audio 6 with a K the people will get a review of the Komplete Audio 6 with a K.

That's just how it is.

That's the kinda guy I am so please keep the comments coming.

Please go check out the website basic-home-recording-studio.com to get it on and cracking with your own home studio today, and if you have any questions don't hesitate to leave a comment here for me or send me a message on the Facebook page.

Thanks a lot for watching, my name is David and I'll talk to you guys again real soon.

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