Hey guys, Daniel Kern here, and if you don’t know me, well, I am a music producer who comes from Vienna, Austria and I work professionally as a composer, arranger, and freelance musician. I have done many projects in my day, and today I am here to talk about Kontakt, which is a long-standing piece of go-to digital sampling software using VSTs that is used by producers everywhere, and, I must say, something that I use frequently for my own various musical projects.
Let me get to the point – Kontakt is amazing! If you’ve been in the music production business for very long, this is probably something you know yourself. You may also know that Kontakt has gone through various incarnations, and that it is not necessarily easy for a beginner producer or musician to penetrate its complexity right away.
New to this and don’t know anything about it? Ok, so Kontakt is a VST Plugin environment from the company Native Instruments that allows the user to integrate different kinds of Libraries either in Kontakt’s .nki file-format or you can also upload .wav files and spread them across a virtual keyboard for use however you like. So it actually makes it possible to create “your own VSTs”, or, you could say, Kontakt-Libraries.
However, it is worth noting that you can use your own recordings as well – slice them, dice them, pitch them up or down, or put different samples on different velocities of the same key, etc. All without having to worry about programming a VST Interface. This is what I use Kontakt for, and I like it a lot.
These days, you’ll find Kontakt as part of a software suite called Komplete. On it’s own, Kontakt is still impressive, but Komplete takes it up a notch. Komplete itself comes with an incredible amount of libraries, to be more specific: 87 instruments and over 18.000 sounds to choose from! All in all it’s over 500 GB worth of goodies, and so your hard drive had better be ready.
But thats not all. There are nearly infinite additional products you can purchase (or download for free) from other companies in order to augment and adapt your situation, such as Project Sam, Samplephonics, 8DIO, Sample magic and many more. FYI, I recently developed a few Kontakt Libraries myself, so look for them on my website at www.danielkern.at.
Each of KONTAKT’s instruments has its own unique interface, providing you with different options to select presets, adjust the sounds you want to use, modulate them, etc. This means you can make music for all different types of genres. I have done soundtrack work, hip hop, and even some chiptune / 8-bit stuff with Young Coconut.
In the KOMPLETE bundle you will receive not only sample-based instruments like Pianos, Drumsets, Percussion and so on, but also Synthesizers like Reaktor, FM8, Razor, Kontour, Massive and many more. This package has kept me busy for ages, and so I suggest you stay organized, or you might get lost in there.
The bundle also includes a load of Virtual Effects like Guitar Rig, Driver, different EQs, Compressors, Reverbs and so on.
Basically, it’s like this: If you are new into producing, this bundle is a great start and gives you everything you need for getting started, so I highly recommend it.
There are a bunch of other VSTs that KONTAKT Instruments cant compete with, but in nearly all of my productions you will find at least one or two Kontakt stems. As I said, it’s great, so if you can afford it, I’d say go for it.