Considering NI Maschine Komplete Kontrol S49. Need recommendation.

I have Cubase 10.5 Pro and Dorico. Most serious composing is done in Dorico, but I do produce some projects in Cubase using a combination of Band-in-a-box, microphone recording, and MIDI I enter myself. I have been doing some housekeeping during the stay-at-home. I have just rebuilt my studio computer to run completely from a 2TB SSD, with permanent storage on a network-attached ReadyNAS box.

That all works fine. However, in the process of the rebuild, I left a lot of software behind. I decommissioned any VSTs and VSTis that were VST2 and not getting much support. The only software I will really miss from that heap is Rapture Pro from Cakewalk. That hasn’t been supported for years and was somewhat unreliable on Cubase. Nonetheless, It has some presets I really liked. Most of it is redundant with Halion SE, but I feel a need to have a bit more at my disposal. I guess I could upgrade to the higher Halion levels.

My MIDI keyboard is an older Yamaha synth that is due for replacement. That got me looking around for software that might be roughly equivalent to Rapture Pro. The NI stuff looks interesting to me. One of the other bits of software I dropped was the Garritan Jazz & Big Band (JABB) library. I see that NI has Studio Horns that would be comparable to JABB. That’s not terribly expensive if you already have the Maschine kit.

So that brings me to the Komplete Kontrol S49 as a replacement for my old Yamaha synth. I should mention I also have a Behringer X-Touch, so I already have a control surface with the basic transport controls, punch in, etc. I’m trying to understand if the Maschine platform would do much for me on Cubase.

Clearly it can function as your basic MIDI keyboard, but that’s a lot of money if that’s all I am really using. It seems to me some of the controls are redundant with the X-touch, although the Maschine provides more rotary knobs that are assignable. If I understand the product, when you use NI VSTis (and some from a few other vendors but not Steinberg), you can see the soft synth right on the Maschine’s LCD displays and preview sounds very quickly. I might do a fair amount of that. But my question is really what benefits the Maschine gives me if I am using Halion SE, Padshop or any other VSTi that isn’t designed to tightly integrate with the Komplete Control.

Any guidance or opinions will be welcome. And that includes opinions that I ought to look at some other product entirely.

I would also appreciate any opinions about other MIDI keyboards that have some control surface capability, such as

Nektar LX49 (about $150):

Arturia Keylab 49 (About $210):

Akai Advance 49 (about $300):

or any others in this category.