Download Native Instruments Kontakt 5. Kontakt 5 comes with a huge instrument library, an instrument bus system, a huge array of filters, expressive sound shaping, new on-board studio effects, an advanced sampling framework and scripting, and deep editing capabilities. Kontakt 5 includes a rich sound library with well over one thousand different instruments with meticulous quality, contains all standard band instruments for any genres, highest-quality orchestral instruments, and an incredibly musical library like instruments, samplers and effects and other versatile tools. Native Instruments Kontakt 5 now support for new bus system with comprehensive routing options and new support for MIDI file which allows you to create instruments that can loops, play patterns, and grooves as opposed to single notes. Key Features: Create, play, loops and grooves instruments Deep sample editing and instrument building Huge library with one thousand instruments Integrated universal sound design toolset Play and control stunning instruments Slice, stretch, pitch with Wave Editor Super high quality HQ time stretching, and more.
38 Best Free Kontakt Libraries – Pianos, Keys, Strings, Guitars, Drums, Percs, SFX etc
Published January By Nick Magnus It’s over five years since Native Instruments released the original version of their flagship soft sampler, and its third incarnation takes the Kontakt concept even further, with a streamlined user interface, a new waveform editor and a massive sample library. The jump from Kontakt version 1 to version 2 brought a huge number of improvements to all areas of Native Instruments’ software sampler. Amongst the enhancements were a more attractive cosmetic appearance, easier modulation routing, more flexible effects routing, a variety of new effects including a convolution reverb, a searchable database, instrument banks, universal file import and the KSP script engine, to name just a few highlights.
To fully appreciate the differences, it’s worth catching up with the reviews of Kontakt 1 and Kontakt 2 in the August and July issues of SOS. The increment to Kontakt 3, whilst not being quite as all-encompassing as the last major integer change, brings some perhaps less dramatic but nonetheless beneficial improvements over Kontakt 2.
Included in the roster of changes are numerous workflow enhancements, a substantially reworked and turbo-charged waveform editor, an improved mapping editor, a speedier and more elegant database, some new effects, another cosmetic makeover and a generous 33GB sound library that spans five DVDs. The program installs alongside any previous versions should you have any , ensuring that projects using Kontakt 1 or 2 will continue to function correctly.
The Kontakt 3 library can be installed at the same time, or at a later date, to your destination of choice. You can also opt to install the entire shooting match, or just specific parts of the library.
See the ‘Kontakt 3 Library’ box later in this article for more information. Product activation is via the NI Service Centre application included on the installation disk, which allows for both on-line and off-line registration. Interestingly, NI have chosen to abandon the DXi version.
Who’s A Pretty Boy Then? Kontakt 3’s new cosmetics are immediately apparent. Much as I liked the slightly dour, militaristic look of K2, K3 has an altogether more modern, friendly appearance and a fresh, neutral colour scheme that helps clearly differentiate one section from another.
Before we go any further, it’s worth noting that K3’s hierarchical architecture is identical to that of K2, which is as follows: Groups are contained within Instruments, which can be seen as being rather like the patches in a synthesizer. Instruments are, in turn, stored within Banks, much like you would find on a hardware synth. Each instance of Kontakt can have four Multi pages. Kontakt 3 offers numerous improvements to enable you to navigate all these different levels at far greater speed than before.
The main ‘view’ controls are clearly laid out at the top of the main screen: The View button at the far right collapses Kontakt to a compact version that shows just one loaded instrument at a time, which is useful for conserving screen space.
A new ‘i’ button reveals a contextual help strip at the bottom of the main K3 window. This provides extremely useful information when you’re not sure what something does; just point the mouse at a knob, button or other screen element, and the strip displays a short description of its function to guide the way. The Master Control section, which deals with tempo sync and master tuning, has a welcome new addition: This affects the total output level of all Kontakt’s outputs, and is a lifesaver when the combined output of all your loaded sounds takes your DAW into the red.
One of the principal new navigation aids is the Instrument Navigator pane below the two Browser panes at the bottom left. The Instrument Navigator helps in two ways: Previously, you would have had to manually search through the rack to find the instrument of interest, but now, these are listed in the Navigator. Just click on an instrument name here, and the rack scrolls automatically to that instrument. Secondly, and most usefully, this works when editing instruments too. Using the Navigator, you now simply click on the name of the next instrument to be edited, and you’re there — no closing and re-opening of editing views is necessary.
Kontakt even helpfully maintains the same relative position within each instrument’s editing views, so you can instantly compare, for example, the envelope settings of all your instruments with ease. The Navigator also provides instrument solo and mute buttons, so there is no need to scroll down the main rack looking for these.
Further features in the main editing window help speed up your work: When lit in solid red, the ‘Edit All Groups’ button warns that any edit will affect all Groups; clicking on the drop-down menu cancels the ‘Edit All’ function and allows selection of one Group at a time for editing. Secondly, moving between modulation source routing panels and their respective destination modules is made faster thanks to the new Modulation Quick Jump buttons, which accompany all modulation routings.
Instead of having to scroll manually between the two, which is often quite a distance, clicking a Quick Jump button scrolls directly to the relevant module, which itself has a corresponding button to take you back to the source routing panel. Thirdly, the Modulation Shaper now makes light work of creating smooth modulation response curves with its new ‘envelope view’.
Like Flex Envelopes, the curves allow for multiple break points with adjustable curve smoothing. Kontakt 3 Library Although part of the K3 library duplicates that of K2 principally the excellent VSL Orchestra collection , if you have K2 and if you have plenty of spare disk space, it’s worth retaining the entire K2 library alongside it.
The difference is ‘only’ around 7GB I can’t help but smile wryly as I type that! While K2 instruments will load into K3, K3 instruments are not backward compatible, so if you delete the K2 duplicates but wanted to return to using K2 for whatever reason, the K3 library instruments would be unusable in that version. The 33GB K3 library consists of around instruments organised into six categories; although space restrictions make it impossible to describe the instruments in detail, an overview of each category below gives an idea of what to expect.
All instruments in the library make use of Performance Views, the extended ‘skinned’ panels below each instrument that contains a set of appropriate performance controls. These controls can affect anything from cutoff frequency and resonance, to effects parameters, keyswitchable articulations, legato and hammer-ons, harmonising and more. All Performance View parameters can be automated simply by dragging controllers onto them from the Browser’s Auto pane. This is an almost identical collection to that supplied with Kontakt 2, but with some variations — and, of course, the Performance Views offer enhanced playability.
Well, they’re here, but you also get a diverse range of musical automata, including arpeggiators, mini-sequencers and synth-style drum beatboxes that make extensive use of KSP Scripts. These come ready loaded with groovy patterns and beats, but they can all be reprogrammed to do as you wish. Urban Beats: Each instrument also includes a fully playable kit of parts with detailed control over each sound’s effects, levels and articulations.
The groove loops have their own level and effects controls and are also reprogrammable, making each Urban instrument a very flexible toy, and fun into the bargain.
Flutes, recorders, reeds, metallophones, stringed instruments, accordions and percussion make up the menu. My personal favourites are the bagpipes, including Uilleann and Highland versions, complete with drones and chanters. A PDF manual for the library installs with K3, providing detailed descriptions of every instrument and full instructions on how their Performance Views work.
I had hoped that NI would make this process as easy as drag’n’drop, but alas no; something perhaps for the future. Oh, and be warned that some of these library instruments can be quite CPU-hungry! Browser Tabs Still on the navigation theme, a Monitor button has been added to those at the top of the Browser pane, offering three tabbed views: Group, Zone and Parameter. Group view provides an overview of all Groups that make up the Instrument currently being edited, as well as being another convenient means of selecting Groups without needing to open the Group Editor in the main window.
This even has its own search function, which is handy for filtering a lengthy Group list down to specific types. Zone view shows a list of all Zones within an Instrument. It’s also searchable by name, and any combination of zones can be selected from here for editing. Single-clicking a Zone name automatically selects that Zone’s Group, whilst double-clicking on a Zone name opens up the waveform editor in the main editing window, just as it does in the Mapping Editor.
Parameter view shows the value of the last-touched parameter across all Groups of the current Instrument, or across all Instruments in a Multi if you’re not in Instrument Edit mode. This is very handy for side-by-side comparisons, and displayed parameters can be edited from here by clicking and dragging their values’ text with the mouse.
See the composite screenshot of all three tabbed views above. A composite of the three different tab views in the Browser’s new Monitor page. Not to be confused with Modulation Quick Jump, the Browser View tab also incorporates a Quick Jump function, which allows you to ‘tag’ up to 10 frequently visited folders in your library and go to them with a single mouse click.
This is very handy if you have a large library with instruments stashed away inside many embedded folders. The Engine tab adds one new feature: CPU Profiling Mode. When this is activated, constantly updated CPU usage is displayed in each instrument’s header, and is also superimposed upon every active effect slot when the edit window is open.
This makes it easier to identify which elements are responsible for excessive CPU usage. Kontakt’s searchable database has also been improved both in appearance and operation, and now performs searches at lightning-fast speeds. Simply choose the search level Multi, Bank, Instrument or Sample and enter a search term the list updates instantly as you type. The screenshot below shows the results for a search for Wurlitzer pianos, using the search term ‘wurl’. For me, the greatest improvement is that the parent directory of each search result is now also shown, making it far easier to identify suitable candidates, and to discount any ambiguous results the search may return.
Mapping Editor New to the Mapping Editor are six tools which can assist in the laying out of key Zones. Auto-Spread Zone Key Ranges and Auto-Spread Velocity Ranges automatically fill in any holes there may be between key and velocity Zones by extending the Zones horizontally or vertically until they touch their neighbours. Root does the same for key Zone ranges, but keeps the root keys in the centre of Zones to ensure the minimum transposition from the root key in either direction. Resolve Overlapping Key Ranges and Resolve Overlapping Velocity Ranges both do the opposite to Auto-Spread; in other words, wherever overlaps occur, ranges are reduced to make the Zone transitions clean.
The improved Kontakt database enables faster searching at all levels. Auto is the most elaborate tool, and attempts to create a Zone map based upon the samples’ names. The names are broken down to a series of ‘tokens’, to which certain conditions can be applied the example just given would break down to three tokens: Using this information, Kontakt makes a stab at placing the sample where it ought to be.
There is also an option to read the root key from embedded sample metadata, if it exists. Unsurprisingly, if the sample names are less than informative, like ‘Piano 31’ or ‘sample ‘, the Auto tool is unlikely to offer much assistance! Also newly implemented is ‘rubber band zooming’ — this allows you to zoom in on the Zone Mapping area by holding down the Alt key and lassoing with the mouse. Lastly, it is now possible to drag samples from the desktop, or any directory browser, directly onto the Key Mapping area.
Sonar users will be pleased to know that this includes dragging samples from Sonar’s Loop Explorer window, obviating the need to locate and load them from Kontakt’s own browser window. Wave Editor Of all Kontakt 3’s features, the Loop Editor has received the most substantial reworking. Now known as the Wave Editor, this offers a marked improvement over its previous incarnation, with additional tools to aid looping, beat-slicing and more.
The Wave Editor can be called up manually via its own button, and also opens when any Zone is double-clicked, showing that Zone’s waveform. Four sets of ‘tasks’ are laid out across four tabbed views, and we’ll look at them each in turn in a moment. The Sample Loop mode of the Wave Editor. To the right of the screen, the Grid control panel is always visible, offering two options: Fix and Auto.
NI’s attitude to cracked software
I’m like you in that Kontakt 3 is a huge expense. I’m not that clever with computers either and am not confident I could fix it myself. At the moment I don’t want to risk it – maybe I will wait a while and see if these activation problems are sorted – perhaps they are working on a new version of service centre which will fix everything. I do want the Kontakt 3 library but maybe I should consider Halion 3 or Sampletank – they are cheaper anyway.
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