Steinberg Absolute (new) or Komplete 11 (upgrade)?

Since there’s still a sale going on, I’m wondering what you would advice comparing the two options. I have Komplete v6 (I think) and the upgrade to 11 is pretty cheap. On the other hand I don’t have Absolute of any version so that would be completely new to me.

I don’t do a lot of music so getting both would just be too much for me I think. What would you recommend and what are the considerations you see? Usability? Versatility? Integration? Quality?

Any input is welcome.

I have both. Since you work in post I think that Absolute 3 would be far more interesting, depending on the job. Halion 6 is a lot more intuitive than Kontakt and is great for sound mangling, and both Halion 6 and the full version of Groove Agent 4 could be used to trigger edited versions of samples, all with their own insert effects.

As for their sounds, Komplete has a nice selection of synths but I like Absolute’s acoustic instruments better.

The sounds in Halion and Halion Sonic are almost all different from Halion Sonic SE, and are mostly higher quality versions of sounds from the Yamaha Motif XS. While they’re not super realistic, they have a nice “plug and play” quality to them. Halion Sonic 2 and 3 also introduced more instruments besides those, which can be identified by their macro interface.

The content from Groove Agent 4 is also all different from Groove Agent SE 4, and overall I like the stock synth drum kits a lot better than the ones in Battery 4. The paid expansions definitely sound better than the stock Acoustic Agent kits though. The Vintage Kit sounds the best out of the stock ones.

Thanks a bunch mate. I appreciate the input. I’ll take it into consideration.

I’ve had issues with Native Instruments. Mainly the abandoning of certain instruments. My big gripe is my new machine could not install the instruments. Backwards compatibility is a no-go.

I know TEEF. I liked some of the older instruments and they’re now gone.

I ended up not getting Absolute for various reasons, and I guess I have to make a call on Komplete before the end of today. Not sure yet.

The other gripe I have with many of these ‘collections’ is that they seem to use the same ‘modules’ that make up their instruments. I thought about this at the very early stages of Komplete - I think I started with Komplete v2 - when I started seeing and/or hearing that the same distortion module was found in different instruments. At least that’s what it sounded like to me. So if you have some sort of synth component in Pro 5 or the B3 organ, it really felt like it came from or was included in Reaktor.

And then that’s what it felt like as the collection grew. And it makes complete sense; just make the individual components and include them in different instruments and market those as ‘more different’ than they maybe are. Not that they don’t have value, just that there’s a similarity of sound that I experience. When I listen to the demos of Komplete instruments that’s what strikes me. They ‘all’ have the same feel to me.

Totally agree. I have since migrated to halion. Halion is not as intuitive as kontakt but is a lot deeper as far as a sample player goes if thats your mainstay for sound design.

I have both Absolute 3 and Komplete 11 Ultimate. In a broad sense they check different boxes for me. I think the Steinberg stuff is more “vibey” and contemporary sounding whereas the NI stuff, at least the libraries that I use, are more clean and ultra realistic. Just my opinion and experience. YMMV

This is a tough one because I would say Absolute covers more types of sounds, etc., and is cheaper BUT Kontakt has some very highly articulated and detailed stuff. For instance the Absolute doesn’t have any bass that are nearly as detailed as the Scarbee stuff. And the new symphony essentials have more articulations than HSO. But I agree with others than I can find a synth sound close to what I am looking for in HALion and edit it slightly if needed.

Sorry for the necro here… I decided to wait and now I’m again considering an upgrade.


Is there anything in Absolute Collection 4 that corresponds to the instruments in Komplete 12 Ultimate that are focusing on “rises”, “hits” and also “Thrill”?

I’m basically looking at the Komplete bundle and my opinions from the past still stand, but with the sale going on specifically those tools seem to be useful to me in post - being able to quickly and easily add (generic) rises and hits, and definitely add something like “thrill” real quick to create tension.

Does Absolute has something along those lines?

I have both - get Komplete 12 Ultimate way more options

But that’s double the price… (Unless you buy some of their hardware first and than wait for the 50% upgrade discounts, which I have missed this year… :frowning: )
I’m also interested in either Absolute or Komplete (Also looking at the NI Kontrol keyboards, so I guess I’m heading in the NI Komplete direction…)

even the cheaper editions of Komplete have loads of options. Plus there are thousands upon thousands of free or cheap kontakt libraries - lots of them are very good indeed. Nothing wrong with Absolute (apart from the usual bugs etc) but Komplete is a better option (IMO obvs)

I’m 90% certain I’m going the Komplete route. Just need to find the nicer deals.
Komplete 12 Ultimate full price at NI is €1199. That’s not gonna happen…
But if I’d buy an S49, I get Komplete 12 Select bundled.
Then I need to find the best upgrade prices. (Gear4Music has the Selekt to Ultimate upgrade for €482 at the moment.) :wink:

I’ve got both but my Komplete is the ultimate version. Got a great upgrade price in the sale to go from Komplete.

Purely on a financial basis I’d go for the upgrade to Komplete.

If you had to choose one over the other then it comes down to what you personally want and need. Komplete pips it for me with Guitar rig and I like the pianos better. If I owned neither I’d get Komplete.

Getting both is the best option. Cuts out any thinking which I like. But this does make a mockery of my first point.

I ended up getting Komplete Ultimate. Played some poker. Won some money. Bought it.

My first impression is that Absolute probably would have nicer and tighter integration into Cubase / Nuendo, so if I win some more or if the put it on sale I might get that as well.

I also still think my impressions were largely correct in that Komplete has a lot of instruments and effects that are all based on the same modules, and from a pure “load and play” perspective a lot of has the same fundamental flavor. Nothing wrong with that, but it really makes the entire collection feel a lot smaller in reality. It’s like we’re getting 6-7 flavor of the same type of synth sound in different instruments rather than those 6-7 being different.

Anyway, at the sale price it was essentially worth it I think, especially since my old Komplete was old enough to not install and upgrade nicely any longer.

PS: Oh, and those specific instruments I mentioned will actually be really useful. I wish Steinberg had something like those for those of us in post/film/TV…