Native Instruments is an impressive company design-wise, as might be expected from this Berlin-based company. From their packaging to their manuals to their products, good design is kept at the fore.
Take their new Audio Kontrol 1, which is “not a sound card.”
It looks beautiful, and looks easy to access and use. From experience with other NI products, I know the “feel” of the knobs and buttons is wonderful, too. The interface is interactive, with subtle lights that react to your touch.
The Audio Kontrol 1 is a flexible controller, and all of the parts are user-assignable to different functions in different audio programs. Should be a powerful tool for making music, and all for under $300.
And it looks like they even went through the effort to take a great product photo, with a real reflection (very rare these days!).