The one amazing thing about the internet is the fact you can stumble upon all kinds of superb information and software, much of which is either free or at a relatively low price.
Admittedly, there is a lot of terrible stuff on the internet too, but with some investigation, it’s more than possible to find a whole new batch of amazing products that no one has ever recommended before.
This is where Komplete Start comes in. I’m honestly quite surprised that I don’t hear more people talking about what what this download has to offer.
Komplete Start from Native Instruments is easily the best batch of free plugin-ins for Garageband for not only their superb quality but also their price: free.
Komplete Start is just a teaser to get you interested in what Native Instrument has to offer. You can download all of it at this link here.
If you want the full upgrade to Komplete 12, grab the software bundle at this link here.
I just stumbled upon Komplete Start a few days ago when I was searching around for plug-in bundles for my own beat-making and music production. I was looking at software bundles on ZZSounds when I discovered that they were selling products from Native Instruments.
When I went to Native Instruments’ website, I saw that they’re giving away Komplete Start, 20GB of instruments and effects for free – with no catch.
I immediately started downloading the program – after making room on my laptop – and once I started using some of the instruments and sounds, I was honestly pretty blown away by their quality, particularly, their flutes, which I’ll talk about more later.
The quality of all the sounds, plug-ins, synths, etc, really can’t be understated. In terms of the plug-ins that I’ve tried thus far, the instruments included in Komplete Start are the best sounding VSTs I’ve heard.
Frankly, it would take me a couple of days to go through each instrument and pre-set included in Komplete Start and write a comprehensive review of each one.
For that reason, I’m going to explore everything briefly, and I’ll talk about the things that I like the most so far.
What’s Included In Komplete Start
- 7 Synthesizers: TRK-01 Bass, Mikro Prism, Lazerbass, Carbon 2, Space Drone, Newscool, and Blocks Base
- 9 Sampled Instruments: Play Series Selection, Kinetic Treats, Expansions Selection, World, Band, Synth, Vintage, and Urban Beats.
- 2 Effects: Supercharger and Guitar Rig 5
- Komplete Kontrol, Kontakt 6 Player, Reaktor 6 Player
The list above doesn’t capture what’s all included in either.
Each one of the aforementioned instruments all has their own pre-sets and instruments right inside of them. According to Native Instruments, there are 2,000 sounds approximately and I don’t doubt that at all.
Play Series Selection
- Analog Dreams, Ethereal Earth, and Hybrid Keys.
Each one of these has it’s very own unique sound.
In the Ethereal Earth section, there is a Kalimba that has the clearest and most amazing sound.
It’s far beyond the Kalimba that Garageband has to offer. The preset is called “Hollow Trees,” and the quality of it is so good that it instantly makes me feel like I should stop writing this article and start making a new song.
Among the other presets in Ethereal Earth, there a few others that really catch my eye, including Cyclic Behavior, Water Therapy, and Ceremony.
Ceremony, in particular, has somewhat of an Eastern sound to it. It’s the combination of a Sitar and a Synthed Gong.
Hybrid Keys is equally as cool. Atmospheric keys sound like a regular piano but with a little bit more ambiance and reverb. But not like the typical Garageband piano.
Harmonic Keys sound great as well. There really isn’t much to say about all of this other than the fact that each instrument and pre-set sounds so great that it’s really quite inspirational.
If you’re looking for a muse to start creating a music, then you’ll do right by getting Komplete Start.
Analog Dreams is a collection of synths and other sounds. Frankly, this one is my least favorite, so I’m not going to talk about it too much, because I’m not a huge fan of synthesizers, to begin with.
- Sounds and textures from children’s toys. Even though it doesn’t sound that appealing, Kinetic Treats has a lot of really cool sounds and instruments that are highly realistic and high quality.
Under Kinetic Treats, you have three different options with I would say around a dozen pre-sets in each category.
There is Electric Train Set, Record Player Music Box, and Xylophones (more on those in my guide).
Under Electric Train Set, I would say that the Railroad Crossing 1 sounds the coolest, however, Electric Train Set is my least favorite among them.
Record Player Music Box and Xylophones are my personal favorites, including Xylophones, which I think have a lot of cooler sounds that are more conducive to creating melodies and other interesting soundscapes.
Reaktor 6 Plug-In
The Reaktor 6 software suite is equally as interesting. Essentially, Reaktor 6 is a piece of software that allows you to create your own sounds. There are approximately 90 different soundscapes and pre-sets in this particular section.
What I like thus far is the Suryia instrument and the Visions of the Emerald. If you go into the drop-down menu of Reaktor 6 or Komplete Kontrol like what’s shown in the images below, you can scroll through some of these sounds and instruments.
Here’s what it looks like in Komplete Kontrol:
Here’s what it looks like in Reaktor 6:
What’s The Difference Between Kontakt 6, Reaktor 6, and Komplete Kontrol?
If you’re anything like me, it was a bit confusing going through all of the available software and players, mostly due to the sheer amount of stuff that you get all at once.
Essentially, Reaktor 6 is a software that allows you to create, edit, adjust, and mold your own synths, samples, sound designs, and other effects.
Kontakt 6 is more of a player. It’s meant for playing the sample-based instruments, however, Komplete Start only contains the demo version and not the full version like you would get from their website.
Komplete Kontrol, on the other hand, is kind of like a collection of all three. It’s the interface where you can access everything at once.
List Of Other Features
Some of these features have already been mentioned, however, and are included in either Kontakt 6 or Reaktor 6.
All of them are included in Komplete Kontrol.
- 1,500 loops and samples from a massive library belonging to Native Instruments.
- Six unique instruments from the world over, including percussion, plucked instruments, bagpipes, reed instruments, and flutes. I was particularly impressed by the flutes, which are far, far, superior to what Garageband has to offer.
- E-Pianos, Organs, acoustic drum kits, basses, e-guitars, clavinet, muted trumpet, ragtime piano, and a high-quality upright bass (pay careful attention to the upright bass here, because it’s easily superior to the stock upright bass in Garageband).
- 54 different lead synths, 13 of which are Vintage, 50 different synth pads, and around 10 miscellaneous synths.
- Approximately 5 different drum kits and around 40 different drum loops, sounds, individual slices, and single loop tracks.
- Five different synth engines that allow you to craft your synth in whatever way you choose.
- 70 presets, cabinet simulations, effects, and other sounds.
- A mono synth
- A ton of different pads and voices
- The supercharger is meant to imitate a tube compressor.
- A sequencer and sound generator.
- A ton of different sounds and racks for building your own synth.
All-in-all, there are a lot of free instruments and sounds that come with Komplete Start, and I think that it’s definitely worth checking out.
As I mentioned above, some of my favorite sounds thus far are the World selection, which includes very high-quality flute sounds. There are approximately seven of them, as far as I can tell.
Guitar Rig 5
It also comes with Guitar Rig 5, which is a popular option among guitar players, although, from what I understand, Native Instruments hasn’t updated it in several years (apparently Amplitube 5 from Plugin Fox is the better option these days).
With that said, Guitar Rig 5 does come with a ton of different pre-sets and demos that you can try.
In the case that you like it, you can go to their website if you want to get all of the amps, effects, stompboxes, and other modelers and simulations, moreover, I have a guide that shows you how to set your guitar up with your computer.
How To Install Komplete Start
I would do a tutorial on how to install Komplete Start, but Native Instruments already does that for you.
You can check out this link here, and they show you how to set it up without any problems.
Important Things To Note
1) Depending on what settings and instruments you use, you may run into the fact that some of the content, in particular, in the Reaktor 6 section, are demos, and if you use them, you time out at 30 minutes.
Komplete Start is merely an introduction to some of Native Instruments’ paid plugins and software bundles, for instance, Komplete 12 Ultimate (also from ZZounds), which has a lot more sounds and instruments to use.
2) If you want way more quality instruments and sounds, I’d recommend grabbing a copy of Komplete 12 from ZZSounds at the link near the top of the article.
3) Another important thing to note is the fact that much of the instruments can be combined together.
For instance, when you load up one instrument, if you decide immediately after to switch to another by clicking on a new preset, you have to remember to delete the previous one, otherwise, they’ll play together at once.
It’s very possible that you may choose to keep them as one sound because some of them can sound pretty cool when combined.
4) Komplete Kontrol acts as the interface by which you can control everything.
In other words, you get approximately 5 plug-ins when you download Komplete Start (Reaktor 6, Kontakt 6, Komplete Kontrol, Guitar Rig 5, and Supercharger), however, many of the sounds are scattered across all of these plug-ins.
If you want to see a relatively comprehensive view of what kind of sounds the plug-in comes with, then you have to check out Komplete Kontrol, which is going to be where you see a lot of the sounds.
You can see what Native Instruments has to say about Komplete Kontrol in the image shown below:
5) Remember that you need around 20GB of space on your hard drive to install everything included with this free download.
6) It’s easy to get ahead of yourself and load up a bunch of competing plug-ins at once, which will render some of them useless.
For instance, you don’t want Komplete Kontrol running on a software instrument track, and then in the plug-ins below that one, you’re running Reaktor 6.
This won’t work, and you’ll wonder why the sounds aren’t playing.
Youtube Video Review
All-in-all, I’m very fond of what this software and plug-in bundle has to offer.
For free, you get access to a wide range of instruments and sounds. I really think that the quality of what is offered here can’t be understated.
It’s not just that you get a lot of cool sounds and instruments, it’s that each one is very high quality and they actually sound good.
That’s what we’re all looking for when we get plug-ins and other software bundles.
There’s no point in getting 2000 sounds and instruments if none of them sound any good. And with Komplete Start, that isn’t the case.