Recommendations for KSP replacement?

Until they come out with an amazing update (or a KSP 2), I have to look else where for a production machine. What would you recommend?
Important for me are:

  • some kind of song mode. This means, I’d like to be able to arrange patterns (no matter if they have different lengths) in succession, press play and after 3 minutes I can press stop and my song with Intro, Chorus and Refrain is done, should I wish to do so. 64 bar chains on the KSP is way to short (and they don’t save for me anyway).
  • the song mode requires a good amount of steps to be possible of course.
  • higher resolution in MIDI data per step. Sometimes when I record, the KSP chokes and leaves out note data.
  • must be able to do odd measures like 7/8, 5/4 etc
  • CV outs would be a bonus, but not a requirement.
  • be reasonably portable (not a studio only device) to gig with.
  • I could do without an internal keyboard (although I love that the KSP has one!).
  • fast backup and management of files to PC (preferably in a non proprietary way. It would be great to be able to edit MIDI data on PC if I wish and then transfer the file back to the KSP) with the ability to recombine projects maybe from other backups.
  • I can imagine having sound files on the device would be a nice addition, but this isn’t a must have for me.

So far I found:

  • Akai MPC Live 2, One+ (or Force)
  • Maschine+
  • Digitakt

Any users have experience with those devices and the KSP and could recommend which way to go?

One thing for sure, NOT the Maschine+.

Maybe Arturia is lacking support and not showing their love for the KSP and BSP, but it seems to be running in the family… Native Instruments shows similar behavior when it comes to their existing product line.

Marketing is what keeps them great, especially on the synths and sound side of things. But support is drama, lust like their development and love for existing products.

Traktor Kontrol is buggy as hell and support for latest OS versions is sloooowww. And if they release an update (to fix bugs) almost every time new bugs are introduced.

Maschine+ is a great machine, especially when you prefer a desktop-like DAW in a box. But when it comes to using it with other gear I find it unstable and unreliable. Search the NI community forums for ‘compatible audio devices’, ‘roadmap’, ‘what’s next for M+’, etc. and you’ll find a lot of users who (still) like it, but also a lot of very disappointed customers who have bought a very promising piece of gear that hasn’t had an update and bug fixes for a very long time.

Sounds familiar…?


Well, I for myself, am thinking about getting a Novation SL MK3.

  • It has most of the same features (double the step size and tracks).
  • AFAIK, you can have CC the knobs for use on different midi channels.
    To me, that’s a big plus. I’m really missing that feature on the KSP.
  • Not as many CV/ gate ports. Not a big loss, imho.

Though, some people (probably experienced piano players) complain about the keys.

If you’re looking for a real brain-station and have a bigger stack of money, you should have a look at the Synthstrom Deluge.

But it’s a hefty price, compared to KSP.
Saved up the money and got mine last year.

The FX (reverb/ EQ) are pretty outdated. And the internal speaker is… “yeah… there’s wasn’t much space left, mate!”.
But the control-, sequencing- and sampling capabilities are awesome.

  • clip view ( just like different patterns on KSP, also can be chained)
  • Arranger view, for track building (basically, glueing the clips together and modulate them to your liking)
  • quasi, unlimited steps
  • MPE and aftertouch supported
  • note from another controller can be recorded via MIDI IN
  • MIDI Out and USB Port as well
  • no official number of device limits
  • runs on a battery, that lasts about 6 to 7 hours (about same time to charge)
  • they released a video on how to change the battery (in case of EOL) as well
  • and more

Also, they went open source a few months ago and there’s herd of coders upgrading and implementing new features to the device (i.e.: a compressor).

I think, it’s not the perfect machine. But it has a lot of versatility and potential in it.
To give another example: The synth engine is limited to two osc. Sometimes it’s tricky to make things sound big/ wide.

It can be a big control device in and outside a DAW environment.
And especially the open source part and the community working together with the developers gives the impression, they’re willing to make this thing future proof.

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This is very familiar to me.

I love the immediacy of the KSP for writing and jamming, but it falls over in a live environment.

I ended up buying an SL MK3, and it’s a far better controller. However the sequencer is in many ways even worse than the KSP - certainly less intuitive.

I’ve also spent a lot of time looking at the Deluge as my ‘hub’ / main sequencer, as well as the MPC series and Force. Currently I’m just using Ableton to sequence, but ultimately I’d like to be less reliant on my laptop. I’d love for the KSP to have a robust song-mode but I don’t think it’ll ever get added, sadly.

My main concern with the Deluge is that it doesn’t seem straightforward to get data in and out of the device (e.g. I don’t think you can just load up midi files, or WAVS etc).



Worse, in which ways?
I’m just curious, since I plan on switching to this controller.

Though, I have a notion that I have to adapt to the complexity of every device to a certain degree. It really is about how good it integrates into my surroundings.

I get you. Operating independantly from a computer is great. Both ways really have their ups and downs. :smile:
I started building a circle (because lazy):
PC --{USB}–> Interface --{MIDI}–> Controller → Deluge → Device-Chain → (back into) Interface --{USB}–> PC

Depending on what I want, I just need to unplug one MIDI cable or I simply set the config to not receiving/ transmitting MIDI:

  • DAWless - Unplug the MIDI cable from Controller (MIDI-In) or it should receive MIDI (settings)
  • DAWsome (giggles) - Unplug the MIDI cable from Interface (MIDI-In), or last synth (MIDI-Out) or set the last synth to not transmitting MIDI.

The Deluge can also create/ record/ transmit MIDI-Tracks (/clips), so i can even record the input notes given from the Controller infront of it, in the MIDI chain, as long as it is the right channel.
Another feature I’m still missing, is an LFO, dedicated to MIDI CC for automation.

The Deluge uses a SD card as storage device. Without one, it won’t work.
It can use WAV-files and you can edit them on the device. But initially, they need to be put on the SD card.

I got myself a USB card reader stick, like this:
Quick and easy, to me.

About the MIDI files:
I’m not very experienced with midi files tbh. When I looked around in the Synthstrom forum, I found people using a tool, called “midian”. But it’s not being continued.
Here’s a link:
And it might not work with newer firmwares. But I’m confident, if it is being adressed somewhere in the forums, they might take it on the to-do list.

Just in case more interest.

  • Link to the Synthstrom Forum Entry about midi files
  • Link to the Patch notes of community features since open source

I hope, I don’t contravene against some forum rules, or something like that.
Please, let me know, if so.
My only intention is to give a comprehensive answer, as much as I am able to, based on the experience I have gained so far.


Check OXI One, this is monster. Comparing to Arturia, they release BIG FIRMWARE updates with speed of light. I like KPS keyboard, but OXI One is in everything more advanced than KSP. I like KSP anyway, with all these bugs, but OXI is next-gen with great support.

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On so if I understand correctly you are looking about a sequencer with good “piano roll sequencing”, song mode and ile transfer capablities then you can plug whatever keyboard on it.

  • digitakt and novation sl mk3 are not good for that ( 1 event per step = can’t strum chords, doesn’t reproduce keyboard playing
  • agree that maschine + isn’t good for external sequencing because there re so many bugs.

My best sequencers I’ve had doing that Job where squarp Pyramid and then Squarp Hapax.

  • I think oxi one is doing the job as well

I’m currently on push 3 standalone which is probably the most powerful tool I’ve ever had if want to sequence, sample , effect in large projects BUT some stuff are still missing in standalone mode like midi pgr change or true song mode . Despite these flaws I would recommend it.

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Ok so with the recent move to open source and now the first community OS published with amazing features, the Deluge is looking more and more appealing, I gotta say.

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Yeah, I still have to upgrade and check the new features, like the Ableton orientated session view.

Ron Cavagnaro is making a bunch of tutorial videos.
He’s also being referred to by Synthstrom Audible themselves.
And there’s a free editor tool for synths, (drum-)kits for pc:
Delugeator 2.0

But the OXI One looks like a pretty good middle way, as well.

I’ll try to keep my answers a bit shorter now.