The Cheapest Way to Buy Native Instruments

The Cheapest Way to Buy Native Instruments

Tips and tricks to buy Native Instruments plug ins at the cheapest price

Christof Baer
Christof Baer
last updated this article on 
January 23, 2023
 and first floated it on 
June 6, 2021

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How to buy Native Instruments plugins with up to 66% discount

Native Instruments has an extensive range of software plugins and hardware*, which is one of the most popular brands in music production. Plugins such as Massive* were revolutionary, and the Komplete bundles* have grown into a comprehensive package for producers and musicians across most music genres. But they are expensive. The Komplete Ultimate* bundle costs $1,199.

So what are the best options for you to get your hands on Native Instruments plugins at the lowest price? And legally, without downloading a cracked version?

TOP TIP: Clever but legal way to buy Komplete 14 for around $200 (or 66% discount off $599 full price)

You can buy Native Instruments Komplete for 66% discount using our buying guide.

You can supercharge your Komplete discount by combining a few tips above:

  1. First, buy an older version of a used Komplete license (Komplete version 2-12 is eligible).
  2. Second, update your Komplete license to the latest Komplete 14.
  3. Third, save even more when waiting to upgrade in a sale period for updates (such as Native Instruments Summer Sale called "Summer of Sound", currently live from 1-30 June 2022*).

For example, I found the following pathway to buy Komplete 14 for $200:

  1. Buy Komplete 2-13 used with a license transfer from the existing owner, which costs around $100. I found Komplete 7 with a license transfer sold for $103 in May 2021 on eBay.
  2. Update to Komplete 14 for $199, or save even more during Native Instruments Summer Sale* to update for $99.50.
  3. TOTAL cost to buy Komplete 14: around $300, or only $200 (when upgraded during the Summer Sale).
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Step by Step guide to buying Native Instruments plugins at the lowest price

Whether you want to buy Massive, Reaktor, Guitar Rig or the full Komplete bundle. We researched all options we could find to buy Native Instruments at a discount, and listed them in order. Just follow the step by step guide to find the best option for you.

Step 1: Download the free Native Instruments Komplete Start bundle

Download the free Native Instruments bundle Komplete Start, which comes with 18 synths, samplers and effects, 2,000 presets and 6GB of samples.

Until 16 January 2023, you can also get the free Hypha plugin, and a $25 voucher to redeem in the Native Instruments shop.

Step 2: Try most Native Instruments plugins for free - for 30 minutes at a time, or Komplete Now for one month

Download any of the available demo versions, which you can use for 30 minutes. You can close and open the plugins to have another 30 minutes.

Or you can try the Native Instruments Komplete Now subscription* for free for 1 month.

Step 3: Upgrade or update your Native Instruments plugins to save up to 66%

Do you already own a Native Instruments plugin?

Use your personal upgrade and update offer to save up to 66%.

Step 4: Students save 50% on Reaktor 6

Students can use the Reaktor 6 educational offer to save 50%.

Step 5: Buy a used license to save around 50%

Are you comfortable buying a license from someone else?

Then buy a used license and get it transferred to you, to save typically 50%.

Step 6: Save typically 50% in the official Native Instruments sale

Are there any Native Instruments sale events?

Native Instruments completed their annual Black Friday/Cyber Season sale event* on 6 December 2022, which offered 250 Native Instruments plugins reduced by 50%.

Don't want to miss the latest Native Instruments deals? Sign up to the musicmanta newsletter, and we will keep you up-to-date. Plus, you will receive a free 130 MB sample pack, exclusive competitions, the latest news and reviews, and much more.

Step 7: Choose the cheapest retailer to save up to 9%

Are you OK to do some research on the cheapest reseller?

Then our research showed that you can save up to 9% compared to the Native Instruments Shop, from official resellers. Even better, you can buy a special Play Series bundle exclusively from Plugin Boutique, which save you up to 66% off individual plugin prices.

1. Free Native Instruments plugins & samples: Komplete Start*

Native Instruments Komplete Start includes 18 free plugins of top synths, samplers and effects, 2000 presets and 5GB of free samples.

Komplete Start* is a comprehensive bundle that includes 18 plugins encompassing synths, samplers and effects. 2,000 presets are included, as well as 6GB of samples. All for free*. That is what I call a great deal.

7 Free Synth Plug Ins

9 Free Sampled Instruments

2 Free Effect Plug Ins

Video: Getting Started with Native Instruments Komplete Start

You can find more video on Komplete Start on the Native Instruments YouTube channel.

2. Native Instruments Demos and Komplete Now Trial: try plugins for free

Native Instruments Plugin Demos

NI Massive was one of the first VST synth plugins, and still holds up well 20 years later.

Before any potential purchase, we recommend you try any software first. Native Instruments offer demo versions of some of their plugins for free but not for all.

The demo versions are limited to 30 minutes. You can save presets, but cannot open them again.

Free Native Instruments Synths Demos

Free Native Instruments Sampler Demos

Free Native Instruments Effects Demos

Free Native Instruments Drums Demos

Native Instruments do not offer a demo version for their Play Series instruments, Solid Mix Series, Mysteria, or any of the Expansions, Keys, Drums, Guitars, Strings, Brass/Woodwinds, or World sample based plugins.

Native Instruments Komplete Now: one month free trial (normally $9.99)

Komplete Now is a subscription of selected Native Instruments plugins for $9.99 a month, including the Massive X VST instrument plugin.

Another way to try Native Instruments plugins for free is the Komplete Now trial subscription*. The company offers a free one month trial, which currently includes the following plugins:

3. Native Instruments Upgrades and Updates: up to 66% discount

Native Instruments offers highly discounted updates from older plugin versions to newer ones. For example, here are the prices of the full version of Komplete 14 Standard, compared to update and upgrade offers:

  • Komplete Standard 14: $599
  • Update from Komplete 2-13: $199 (66% off)
  • Upgrade from Komplete Select: $399 (33% off)
  • Upgrade for owners of Komplete Audio 6, Komplete Kontrol A Series, Maschine Mikro Mk3: $499 (17% off)

Similar update and upgrade paths are available to owners of individual plugins, such as Guitar Rig Pro, Massive X or Kontakt.

During the Summer Sale "Summer of Sound", updates and upgrades are 50% off. This sales event has been running every summer for a few years now, in 2020*, 2021* (from 1 to 30 June) and 2022 (from 1 to 30 June 2022*). If you missed it, but can wait until next summer, that is a big saving.

4. Native Instruments Educational/Student Discount: 50% off Reaktor 6 only

The only Native Instruments product with a student discount is Reaktor 6*. With the 50% discount, Reaktor 6 $199 full price is reduced to $99. None of the Komplete range, Traktor, Komplete, or Maschine hardware is offered at a student discount.

How can I get a student discount for Reaktor 6?

You can simply purchase the education version of Reaktor 6 at 50% discount in the Native Instruments shop*. As part of the purchase process, you will need to register for student status.

Find out more about the Native Instruments Education Program.

Our Ultimate Guide to Student Discounts lists top brands offering up to 66% discounts, including AVID Protools, Ableton Live, Native Instruments Reaktor, FL Studio, Antares Auto-Tune and many more

5. "Used" Native Instruments plugins via License Transfer: typically 50% discount

Native Instruments allows license transfers, thereby enabling the selling and buying of "used" or second-hand plugins.

How do you transfer Native Instruments licenses?

  • The seller logs into their Native Instruments account* and selects the products they want to deactivate and transfer in the Transfer a License section.
  • Their request will be sent to the registration support team, which will check if the transfer is eligible/possible.
  • If yes, the product(s) with its serial(s) will be removed from their account, and they will receive a Transfer ID, which they can provide to the new owner.
  • The new owner can log in to their account and import this Transfer ID on the Import Licenses page, which will import the products and serials to the NI account. The user can then activate the product(s) with the provided serials.
  • Note that Native Instruments is not responsible for providing the product itself to the new user. Nevertheless, for most products, there is a download available in My Account.
  • It is impossible to sell licenses under a single Transfer ID to multiple persons. If you need to split the products, generate separate Transfer IDs for each buyer.

Once Native Instruments has approved your license transfers, you can see a list of all Transfer IDs in your account.

What are the limitations of Native Instruments license transfers?

  • Hardware that comes with software can only be sold as a whole. For example, you cannot sell Komplete Select, which comes with Komplete Kontrol keyboards separately. You have to sell both as one bundle, and the software activation required hardware activation first.
  • Educational and not-for-resale (NFR) licenses cannot be transferred.
  • If a product is removed from your account, any upgrades based on that product become invalid.

Where do I find used licenses offered for sale?

First of all, check the seller's credentials before you part with your money, and ensure the buyer pays for the license transfer fee, which is essential for the legitimate transfer via their FabFilter account.

Forums

You can find offers to sell and transfer Native Instruments licenses on forums such as KVR, VI Control, or Sound on Sound. Asking prices by sellers typically offers at around 50% discount.

Examples of offers for I found at the time of writing included:

  • Replika XT for $35 (50% off $69)
  • Electric Sunburst Deluxe for $75 (50% off $149)
  • Komplete 13 Standard for $350 (40% off $599)

eBay

eBay obviously is a vast market place to buy pretty much anything. This includes used music software. You should find Komplete licenses on auction, including license transfer from the existing owner.

You need to take some precautions, such as checking out the listing detailed description, the buyer's feedback, confirming with the seller they own the full version (not an update version or not-for-resale version), and that Native Instruments have authorised a license transfer.

Bear in mind, the eBay Money Back Guarantee can provide some redress if the deal turns sour.

knobcloud

You could also try out knobcloud, a website that facilitates the buying and selling of plugin licenses. knobcloud is a marketplace where sellers can list their licenses for sale, and buyers can purchase them using PayPal. knobcloud does not charge a fee for the service, but the seller is still accountable for the accurate description and smooth transfer of licenses. That means the vigilance I advised above still applies.

I have not used knobcloud myself but it looks like an interesting concept, saving some effort to trawl through forums. Reviews on KVR generally report a positive experience from both buyers and sellers, but prices seem a bit more expensive than less what sellers ask for on forums. For example, I saw Native Instruments Komplete 11 offered for sale for €399, a 32% discount off the usual €589 price. You can always update to the latest version.

6. Native Instruments Sale: typically 50% discount

When is the next Native Instruments Sale? When can I get a Komplete discount or Komplete sale?

Given the consistent sales patterns from Native Instruments, it is highly likely that 1 to 30 June will the the next Native Instruments sale.

  • Summer of Sound 2023: Expected to be 50% off updates and upgrades, including bundles such as Komplete.

This is based on analysing the sales from 2020 to 2022.

Native Instruments 50% off Annual Sales: Black Friday and Summer Sale "Summer of Sound"

Native Instruments has had two major sales periods per year for many years, Summer of Sound, and Black Friday/Cyber Monday. The plugins included vary:

  • Summer of Sound 2020*: 50% off updates and upgrades, including bundles such as Komplete.
  • Black Friday 2020: 50% off most individual plugins and expansions, but bundles such as Komplete were excluded.
  • Summer of Sound 2021*: 50% off updates and upgrades, including bundles such as Komplete.
  • Black Friday 2021: 50% off most individual plugins and expansions, but bundles such as Komplete were excluded.
  • Summer of Sound 2022*: 50% off updates and upgrades, including bundles such as Komplete.
  • Black Friday 2022: 50% off most individual plugins and expansions, but bundles such as Komplete were excluded.

Check out the Best Plugin Deals for up to 90% off top brands, such as iZotope, Waves and Arturia

7. Research the cheapest Native Instruments retailer: up to 9% discount

Some retailers choose to sell Native Instruments plugins at a lower price than the Native Instruments shop.

Thomann* - up to 9% off

At the time of writing, we found Thomann* to be the cheapest official Native Instruments reseller. Here is what we found for Komplete 14 in our research:

USA: Save up to 9%

(Prices last checked and updated: 23 January 2023)

As prices change, here are the best selling Native Instruments products with live prices from Thomann*:

Native Instruments Studio Box bundle only $49 - 66% off until 31 January 2023*

This special bundle* is only available from Plugin Boutique until 31 January 2023, and includes three instruments from the Play Series, at 66% discount:

  1. Soul Sessions*: 150 tweakable presets of hybrid sounds for creating soul-drenched melodics and bass
  2. Ignition Keys*: Retro-style keyboard sounds, including pianos, organs, synth leads and hybrid pads.
  3. Stacks*: Organic leads, off-kilter keys and organs, live bass, horns, strings, and vintage synths.

Buying Native Instruments plugins: Questions and Answers

Do Native Instruments plugins ever go on sale? When does Native Instruments go on sale?

We cannot predict the future, but in recent years Native Instruments has always offered a sale, reliably around Black Friday in November every year. In addition, the Native Instruments Summer Sale called Summer of Sound has been running in June for many years. Discounts have always been around 50%, but did not include all plugins and bundles. Just sign up to the musicmanta newsletter and we will let you know when the next sale is on.

Does Native Instruments offer a student or educational discount for students and teachers?

Yes, but only for Reaktor. You can simply purchase the education version of Reaktor 6 at 50% discount in the Native Instruments shop*. As part of the purchase process, you will need to register for student status.

Do you have a question not covered here, or found another way to buy Native Instruments plugins at a discount? Help us help others by letting us know.

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