NI KOMPLETE Audio 6 Review

NI KOMPLETE Audio 6 Review

If you play guitar you should record yourself. It is a great way to judge your performances, write songs, learn recording, and improve as a player. If you own a computer or laptop it can become the basis of a home studio. But one additional item you will need is a good audio interface. I chose the Native Instruments KOMPLETE AUDIO 6 interface for my home studio. 

I found the KOMPLETE AUDIO 6 interface to be the perfect audio hub for my home (Mac) laptop-based studio and computing in general. I use it for so many things. First off, all of my computer audio is routed through it to my powered speakers. And the large volume knob on the top is a great convenience. Much easier to use than those tiny plastic knobs on the front of most audio interfaces. So whether I am listening to music, watching YouTube or Netflix, making music in my DAW (Digital Performer), or playing back notation in Sibelius, I get great sound. 

Sound Quality

The audio converters are clean with plenty of gain. I’ve never used the SPDIF (digital) input so I won’t comment on it.

Recording

The KOMPLETE AUDIO 6 interface is not really designed for recording a whole band, but is perfect for the musician who builds tracks one at a time. You can plug an electric guitar or bass into either of the front inputs and play directly into any of your favorite software apps or DAW. I have Guitar Rig and AmpliTube, and with the buffers set low I don’t notice any latency when recording. I record acoustic guitar using a Studio Projects C1 phantom powered microphone. I also have a MIDI keyboard controller hooked up using the MIDI input on the KOMPLETE AUDIO 6 for keyboard parts. Everything just works. It is very easy and convenient to plug my guitar or bass into the KOMPLETE AUDIO 6 and make music.  

The Native Instruments website has several example setups for using the The KOMPLETE AUDIO 6 interface. This one is almost exactly how I use it, except I don’t use a digital device. 

ni-komplete-audio-6-setup.jpg

Construction

The unit itself is very solid, made of mainly aluminum. It is heavy enough to not slide around much your desk. It is USB powered so you can use it with a laptop (and headphones) anywhere. It comes with some sample software packages (Komplete Elements) from NI, but these are not the reason to buy it. The best reasons are solid construction, great audio quality, easy usability, affordability, and the handy large volume knob on the top of the unit. 

Front and back inputs/outputs.

Reliability

I have owned this unit for over a year and have never had any issues using it with my Mac PowerBook Pro laptop. 

Final Thoughts

For the guitar player who wants to use his computer or laptop for recording, the KOMPLETE AUDIO 6 interface is a great choice. It is solid, convenient, portable and provides clean audio. All at an affordable price.

Native Instruments website

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