Komplete Kontrol Not working On Ableton? 4 Issues (Solved)

Native Instruments have an amazing host of MIDI keyboards in the Komplete Kontrol series, but unfortunately, some users have experienced issues when working on Ableton Live.

In this article we’ll dive into 4 issues with using the Komplete Kontrol and Ableton Live, and get you back to what’s most important – the music making.

Man with black cap sits at two computer screens with midi keyboard plugged in

Your Software is Outdated and Causing Glitches

If you’re experiencing issues with your NI Komplete Kontrol S49 MK2 in Ableton Live, where the screens and keyboard light guides get stuck on a specific patch and certain controls stop working, you’re not alone.

Firstly, we need to cover our basics, and that means making sure all your software is up-to-date.

Keeping your software up to date is crucial because updates often include bug fixes, improvements, and compatibility enhancements.

In the case of Ableton Live and the Komplete Kontrol software, both are regularly updated by their respective developers, Ableton and Native Instruments.

Here’s how you can verify and update your software versions:

Ableton Live:

  1. Open Ableton Live.
  2. Go to the “Help” menu.
  3. Select “Check for Updates” from the drop-down menu. Ableton Live will check if there are any available updates.
  4. If updates are found, follow the on-screen instructions.
  5. Download and install the updates as prompted.

Komplete Kontrol Software:

  1. Visit the Native Instruments website or launch the Native Access application (if installed). (Native Access is a desktop application that manages your Native Instruments products.)
  2. Use Native Access to check for updates for the Komplete Kontrol software.
  3. If updates are available, follow the prompts provided by Native Access.
  4. Download and install the updates as instructed.

It’s important to note that updating your software might require an internet connection and may take some time depending on the size of the updates. Be patient and follow the instructions provided during the update process so as to not miss anything!

Having the latest software versions installed means you can take advantage of any improvements or bug fixes that have been released since your initial installation.

This can significantly increase the stability and compatibility of your setup, potentially resolving the issue you’re experiencing with the Komplete Kontrol S49 MK2 in Ableton Live.

You Might be Running Ableton in the Wrong Mode

If you’re experiencing trouble with your NI Komplete Kontrol S49 MK2 and Ableton Live while using an M1 Macbook, you’re in the right place!

One of the main reasons for issues with the Komplete Kontrol keyboard is compatibility with the software.

Let’s get to the bottom of this problem and get you back on track with your production. Firstly, we need to understand the different modes on a Macbook:

Native Mode

Native mode on Mac refers to running software applications that are specifically designed and optimized to run natively on Apple Silicon-based Macs, such as those equipped with the M1 chip.

In native mode, applications take full advantage of the performance and power efficiency benefits offered by the Apple Silicon architecture.

Rosetta Mode

Rosetta is a technology developed by Apple that allows Mac computers with Apple Silicon, such as the M1 chip, to run applications that were originally designed for Intel-based Macs.

When an application is run in Rosetta mode, it is translated or “emulated” on-the-fly by the operating system, allowing it to execute on the new architecture.

It’s important to note that by default, Ableton Live runs in the native M1 mode on compatible systems. However, you can try running it in Rosetta (emulated) mode to troubleshoot any compatibility issues.

Here’s how to run Ableton Live in Rosetta Mode on an M1 Macbook:

  1. Right-click on the Ableton Live application icon and select “Get Info”
  2. In the Info window, check the box that says “Open in Rosetta”
  3. Launch Ableton Live again, and it will now run in Rosetta mode.
  4. Test the functionality of the Komplete Kontrol S49 MK2 in Rosetta mode to see if it resolves any stability or functionality issues you were experiencing.
  5. Note any improvements or changes in behavior while using the controller in Rosetta mode.

Once you’re running Ableton Live in Rosetta Mode, you can then run your NI Komplete Kontrol S49 MK2 as a VST3.

Hopefully, your Komplete Kontrol MIDI keyboard is back in action, allowing you to get back to making that next big hit!

Note: remember to switch back to native M1 mode when testing is complete or if you don’t experience any improvements.

VST Compatibility Issues

Various issues can often stem from VST plug-ins having compatibility problems.

I’ve compiled some helpful troubleshooting tips to get your keyboard working smoothly again:

Verify Compatibility:

  • Confirm that your version of Ableton Live is compatible with the Komplete Kontrol VST3 plugin.
  • Check the system requirements for both Ableton Live and the Komplete Kontrol software to ensure compatibility.

Please also read our article about how much RAM Ableton needs.

Try Different Plugin Versions:

  • If you’re experiencing issues specifically with the VST3 version of the plugin, consider trying the VST2 version instead.
  • Some users have reported better compatibility and functionality with the VST2 version in Ableton Live.

For these tips to make sense, we need to get a better understanding of VST compatibility. Take a quick look at this table to learn more.

Compatibility Factors


Version Differences VST plugins and DAW software are developed and updated independently. 

New versions of the DAW may introduce changes to their internal architecture or functionality. 

If a VST plugin is not updated to be compatible with the latest version of the DAW, it can lead to compatibility issues, such as crashes, missing features, or incorrect behavior.

Operating System Requirements VST plugins rely on the underlying operating system to function correctly. 

Different operating systems (e.g., Windows, MacOS) have their own specifications, and plugin developers must ensure compatibility with each platform. 

If a VST plugin is not designed or updated to work with a specific operating system, it may not load or function properly.

System Architecture VST plugins can be developed for different system architectures, such as 32-bit or 64-bit. 

The system architecture of both the plugin and the DAW must match for seamless compatibility. 

If a 32-bit VST plugin is used with a 64-bit DAW (or vice versa), it may not load or operate correctly.

System Resources VST plugins, especially complex instruments or effects, require a certain amount of system resources (e.g., CPU, RAM) to function optimally.

If a computer does not meet the minimum requirements specified by the plugin, it can result in performance issues, audio glitches, or even crashes.

Also check out our article with solutions for Ableton VST scanner issues.

Incorrect Setup Causes Problems

Incorrect setup of your Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol keyboard with Ableton Live may be the reason for your problems, so let’s get straight into how to set it up just right.

This is for the Komplete Kontrol A-Series, S Mk2, or M32 keyboard.

Before diving into the setup, make sure you meet the following requirements:

  • Ableton Live version 10.0.5 or later
  • Any operating system (Windows or macOS)

To enable Komplete Kontrol support in Ableton Live, follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Install the Latest Version of Komplete Kontrol

Start by installing the most up-to-date version of Komplete Kontrol using the Native Access app.

Native Instruments provides detailed instructions for the Komplete Kontrol Setup on their Knowledge Base.

Even if you don’t plan on using the Komplete Kontrol plug-in itself, it’s essential to install the latest version for the control surface to function correctly with Ableton Live.

Step 2: Connect Your Komplete Kontrol Keyboard

Connect your Komplete Kontrol keyboard to your computer using a USB cable or any other compatible connection method.

Ensure a secure connection before moving on to the next step.

Step 3: Launch Ableton Live

Now it’s time to launch Ableton Live.

Once Live is up and running, the Komplete Kontrol keyboard should be automatically recognized and activated, ready for you to start making music.

If this doesn’t happen automatically, don’t worry—we have a solution for that too.

Step 4: Manual Activation (if necessary)

In case the control surface doesn’t activate automatically, we can manually enable it in Ableton Live’s preferences.
Follow these simple steps:

  • Open Ableton Live’s preferences by navigating to the “Link MIDI” section.
  • Locate the control surface selection and choose the appropriate option based on your keyboard model (Komplete Kontrol A, or Komplete Kontrol S Mk2).
  • After selecting the control surface, make sure to choose the correct input and output ports corresponding to your Komplete Kontrol keyboard.

With these steps, you should have your Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol keyboard fully set up and integrated with Ableton Live.

General Pros and Cons of the Komplete Kontrol MIDI Keyboard and Ableton Live

Now that we’ve run through troubleshooting tips to get your Komplete Kontrol keyboard working smoothly with Ableton Live, let’s dive into some general Pros and Cons of using them together.


Komplete Kontrol keyboards provide streamlined integration with Ableton Live, ensuring an intuitive and efficient workflow.

With hands-on control over Ableton Live’s parameters, such as instrument settings and mixer controls, you can easily perform and shape your sounds.

The Native Kontrol Standard (NKS) integration allows seamless control of third-party instruments and effects, enhancing your creative possibilities. Additionally, the powerful browsing and tagging system enables quick navigation through your libraries, saving time and keeping your creative flow uninterrupted.


  • Ableton Live and NI Komplete Kontrol Software must be updated to ensure optimal performance.
  • If Ableton is run in the wrong mode, issues will arise when using the NI Komplete Kontrol keyboards.
  • VST Compatibility issues can be the route of problems when using Komplete Kontrol and Ableton Live together.
  • Komplete Kontrol if set up incorrectly with Ableton Live can be a problem to use.

Final Thoughts

Troubleshooting can often be a slow and laborious process.

I encourage you to be patient and methodical, and you’ll get to the problem of your Komplete Kontrol and Ableton Live woes.

By following the troubleshooting tips provided, such as verifying software versions, testing different modes, and checking compatibility, you’ll resolve issues encountered with Komplete Kontrol keyboards in Ableton Live.


Setting Up Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol Keyboards with Ableton Live.
Komplete Kontrol Keyboards