MANUAL
Disclaimer
The information in this document is subject to change without notice and does not represent a
commitment on the part of Native Instruments GmbH. The software described by this document is subject to a License Agreement and may not be copied to other media. No part of this
publication may be copied, reproduced or otherwise transmitted or recorded, for any purpose,
without prior written permission by Native Instruments GmbH, hereinafter referred to as Native
Instruments.
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All other product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.
Document authored by: Jan Morgenstern, Adam Hanley et al.
Software version: 5.7 (09/2017)
Special thanks to the Beta Test Team, who were invaluable not just in tracking down bugs, but
in making this a better product.
Contact
NATIVE INSTRUMENTS GmbH
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Germany
www.native-instruments.de
NATIVE INSTRUMENTS North America, Inc.
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www.native-instruments.co.uk
© NATIVE INSTRUMENTS GmbH, 2017. All rights reserved.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
1
2
Welcome to KONTAKT ................................................................................................ 16
1.1
What is KONTAKT? ...................................................................................................................... 16
1.2
The Documentation ..................................................................................................................... 16
Document Conventions .............................................................................................. 16
1.2.2
About this Application Reference ............................................................................... 17
1.2.3
Other Documentation ................................................................................................. 17
Setup ........................................................................................................................ 19
2.1
2.2
3
1.2.1
Stand-alone Operation ............................................................................................................... 19
2.1.1
Low Memory Warning on Start-Up .............................................................................. 20
2.1.2
Audio Configuration ................................................................................................... 20
2.1.3
Latency Optimization ................................................................................................. 22
2.1.4
MIDI Configuration .................................................................................................... 22
Plug-in Operation ....................................................................................................................... 23
2.2.1
Changing Outputs in Pro Tools .................................................................................. 24
2.2.2
Changing Outputs in Logic 8 ..................................................................................... 24
User Interface Elements ............................................................................................. 25
3.1
Info Pane .................................................................................................................................... 25
3.2
Knobs ......................................................................................................................................... 26
3.3
Buttons ....................................................................................................................................... 27
3.4
Drop-Down Menus ...................................................................................................................... 28
3.5
Scroll Bars .................................................................................................................................. 28
3.6
Value Fields ................................................................................................................................ 29
3.7
Saving and Loading Presets ....................................................................................................... 30
3.8
MIDI Learn .................................................................................................................................. 31
3.8.1
Assigning MIDI Controllers ........................................................................................ 31
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3.8.2
4
5
KONTAKT: The Big Picture ......................................................................................... 32
4.1
Core Building Blocks .................................................................................................................. 33
4.2
Tools ........................................................................................................................................... 34
The KONTAKT Window ............................................................................................... 36
5.1
Stand-alone Menu ...................................................................................................................... 37
5.2
The Main Control Panel ............................................................................................................... 38
5.3
6
Removing MIDI Controller Assignments ..................................................................... 31
5.2.1
Files Menu ................................................................................................................. 38
5.2.2
Workspace Menu ........................................................................................................ 46
5.2.3
Minimized View .......................................................................................................... 47
5.2.4
System Performance Meters ...................................................................................... 48
Options Dialog ............................................................................................................................ 49
5.3.1
Interface Tab ............................................................................................................. 50
5.3.2
Engine Tab ................................................................................................................ 51
5.3.3
Handling Tab ............................................................................................................. 53
5.3.4
Load / Import Tab ...................................................................................................... 55
5.3.5
Database Tab ............................................................................................................ 57
5.3.6
Libraries Tab ............................................................................................................. 58
5.3.7
Memory Tab ............................................................................................................... 59
5.3.8
Usage Data ................................................................................................................ 62
The Rack Multi Instrument Mode ................................................................................ 64
6.1
Multi Instrument Header ............................................................................................................. 64
6.2
Instrument Header ...................................................................................................................... 65
6.3
Purge Menu ................................................................................................................................ 68
6.4
Instrument Header (Minimized) .................................................................................................. 69
6.5
Performance View ....................................................................................................................... 70
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7
The Rack Instrument Edit Mode .................................................................................. 72
7.1
Instrument Options Dialog .......................................................................................................... 76
7.1.1
Instrument Tab .......................................................................................................... 77
7.1.2
Voices Handling Tab .................................................................................................. 78
7.1.3
DFD Tab ..................................................................................................................... 79
7.1.4
Controller Tab ............................................................................................................ 80
7.1.5
Snapshot Tab ............................................................................................................ 81
7.1.6
Infos Tab ................................................................................................................... 82
8
Loading and Creating Instruments .............................................................................. 84
9
Using Snapshots ....................................................................................................... 89
9.1
Saving a User Snapshot ............................................................................................................. 89
9.2
Loading a Snapshot from the Snapshot Menu ............................................................................ 91
9.3
Loading Snapshots from the File System .................................................................................... 94
9.4
Deleting a User Snapshot ........................................................................................................... 94
10 Loading and Creating Instrument Banks ...................................................................... 96
11 The On-Screen Keyboard ........................................................................................... 99
12 The Master Editor ...................................................................................................... 100
13 The Browser .............................................................................................................. 102
13.1
13.2
Libraries Tab .............................................................................................................................. 102
13.1.1
Loading and saving Instruments and Multis ............................................................. 102
13.1.2
Function Menu ........................................................................................................... 103
13.1.3
Add Library Button ..................................................................................................... 103
13.1.4
Library Activation via KONTAKT .................................................................................. 105
Files Tab ..................................................................................................................................... 105
13.2.1
Upper (Container) Pane ............................................................................................. 106
13.2.2
Middle (Objects) Pane ............................................................................................... 107
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13.3
13.4
13.2.3
Instrument Navigator Pane ........................................................................................ 109
13.2.4
Audition Strip ............................................................................................................ 110
13.2.5
Refresh and Eject Buttons ......................................................................................... 111
13.2.6
The View Menu ........................................................................................................... 111
Importing Non-Native Files Into KONTAKT ................................................................................... 113
13.3.1
Direct Access to Foreign Formats ............................................................................... 113
13.3.2
Batch Import ............................................................................................................. 115
13.3.3
Importing From Other Media ...................................................................................... 116
13.3.4
Format-Specific Notes ............................................................................................... 118
Database Tab ............................................................................................................................. 119
13.4.1
Overview of the Database Browser ............................................................................ 120
13.4.2
Building the Database ............................................................................................... 122
13.4.3
Searching by Attributes ............................................................................................. 124
13.4.4
Searching by Keywords .............................................................................................. 128
13.4.5
Configuring and Sorting the Results List ................................................................... 129
13.4.6
Assigning Attributes .................................................................................................. 130
13.5
Expert Tab .................................................................................................................................. 134
13.6
Automation Tab .......................................................................................................................... 139
13.6.1
Assigning MIDI Controllers (alternative way) ............................................................. 141
13.6.2
Removing MIDI Controller Assignments ..................................................................... 142
14 The Quick-Load Catalog ............................................................................................. 143
14.1
Building a Catalog ..................................................................................................................... 144
14.2
Loading Objects from the Catalog .............................................................................................. 145
15 The Outputs Section .................................................................................................. 147
15.1
Panel Controls ............................................................................................................................ 148
15.2
Working with Output Channels ................................................................................................... 149
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15.3
Working with Aux Channels ........................................................................................................ 150
15.4
Outputs in Host Mode ................................................................................................................. 151
16 The Group Editor ....................................................................................................... 153
16.1
Control Header ............................................................................................................................ 154
16.1.1
Edit All Groups ........................................................................................................... 155
16.1.2
Group Selector ........................................................................................................... 155
16.1.3
Edit ............................................................................................................................ 156
16.1.4
Group Solo ................................................................................................................. 157
16.1.5
Select by MIDI ............................................................................................................ 158
16.2
Group List ................................................................................................................................... 158
16.3
Voice Groups ............................................................................................................................... 159
16.4
Group Start Options .................................................................................................................... 161
17 The Mapping Editor ................................................................................................... 164
17.1
Mapping Samples Manually ....................................................................................................... 165
17.2
Mapping Samples Automatically ................................................................................................ 167
17.3
Managing Zones ......................................................................................................................... 169
17.3.1
Editing Parameters in the Status Bar ........................................................................ 170
17.3.2
Editing Parameters Graphically ................................................................................. 170
17.3.3
Editing Parameters via MIDI ...................................................................................... 171
17.4
Control Strip ............................................................................................................................... 172
17.5
Edit Menu ................................................................................................................................... 174
17.6
Batch Tools ................................................................................................................................. 177
18 The Wave Editor ........................................................................................................ 180
18.1
Tool Bar ...................................................................................................................................... 182
18.2
Status Bar .................................................................................................................................. 186
18.3
Waveform View ........................................................................................................................... 187
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18.4
Grid Panel ................................................................................................................................... 189
18.4.1
Fix Mode .................................................................................................................... 191
18.4.2
Auto Mode .................................................................................................................. 193
18.4.3
Editing Slices Manually ............................................................................................. 194
18.5
Sample Loop Tab ........................................................................................................................ 195
18.6
Sync / Slice Tab .......................................................................................................................... 200
18.7
18.8
18.6.1
Using the Beat Machine ............................................................................................ 200
18.6.2
Using the Time Machine ............................................................................................ 202
18.6.3
Mapping Slices Manually ........................................................................................... 202
18.6.4
Mapping Slices Automatically ................................................................................... 204
Zone Envelopes ........................................................................................................................... 206
18.7.1
Assigning and Selecting Envelopes ........................................................................... 207
18.7.2
Adjusting Assignment Parameters ............................................................................ 208
18.7.3
Editing Envelopes ...................................................................................................... 209
18.7.4
Utility Functions ........................................................................................................ 211
Sample Editor ............................................................................................................................. 212
18.8.1
Edit Operations .......................................................................................................... 215
18.8.2
Transform Operations ................................................................................................ 215
19 The Script Editor ....................................................................................................... 217
19.1
Loading a Script ......................................................................................................................... 218
19.2
Saving Script Settings ................................................................................................................ 219
19.3
Editing and Saving a Script ........................................................................................................ 219
20 The Source Module ................................................................................................... 221
20.1
Sampler ...................................................................................................................................... 221
20.2
DFD ............................................................................................................................................. 223
20.3
Tone Machine ............................................................................................................................. 224
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20.4
Time Machine ............................................................................................................................. 226
20.5
Time Machine II .......................................................................................................................... 227
20.6
Time Machine Pro ....................................................................................................................... 227
20.7
Beat Machine ............................................................................................................................. 228
20.8
S1200 Machine ........................................................................................................................... 230
20.9
MP60 Machine ............................................................................................................................ 231
21 The Amplifier Module ................................................................................................ 232
22 Signal Processors in KONTAKT ................................................................................... 235
22.1
Group Insert Effects .................................................................................................................... 237
22.2
Bus Insert Effects ....................................................................................................................... 238
22.3
Instrument Insert Effects ............................................................................................................ 239
22.4
Instrument Send Effects ............................................................................................................. 240
22.5
Adding Modules .......................................................................................................................... 241
22.6
Deleting Modules ........................................................................................................................ 241
22.7
Editing Module Parameters ........................................................................................................ 241
22.8
Common Parameters .................................................................................................................. 242
22.9
Signal Processors in the Outputs Section ................................................................................... 243
22.9.1
Output Channel Inserts ............................................................................................. 243
22.9.2
Aux Channels ............................................................................................................. 244
23 Effects ...................................................................................................................... 245
23.1
AET Filter .................................................................................................................................... 245
23.1.1
About Authentic Expression Technology ..................................................................... 245
23.1.2
Creating a Velocity Morph .......................................................................................... 247
23.1.3
Creating an Articulation Morph ................................................................................. 249
23.1.4
Create AET Morph Layer Dialog .................................................................................. 252
23.1.5
Morph Map Editor ...................................................................................................... 253
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23.1.6
AET Filter Module Controls ......................................................................................... 255
23.2
Transient Master ........................................................................................................................ 256
23.3
Feedback Compressor ................................................................................................................. 257
23.4
Solid Bus Comp .......................................................................................................................... 258
23.5
Compressor ................................................................................................................................ 260
23.6
Limiter ........................................................................................................................................ 261
23.7
Tape Saturator ............................................................................................................................ 262
23.8
Distortion .................................................................................................................................... 263
23.9
Lo-Fi ........................................................................................................................................... 263
23.10 Saturation .................................................................................................................................. 264
23.11 Cabinet ....................................................................................................................................... 265
23.12 Skreamer .................................................................................................................................... 266
23.13 Twang ......................................................................................................................................... 266
23.14 Jump ........................................................................................................................................... 267
23.15 Van51 ......................................................................................................................................... 268
23.16 ACBox ......................................................................................................................................... 269
23.17 HotSolo ....................................................................................................................................... 270
23.18 Cat ............................................................................................................................................. 271
23.19 DStortion .................................................................................................................................... 272
23.20 Rotator ....................................................................................................................................... 273
23.21 Surround Panner ......................................................................................................................... 274
23.21.1
Explanation of channel abbreviations: ..................................................................... 276
23.21.2
Controls ..................................................................................................................... 280
23.21.3
Surround Panner Automation ..................................................................................... 281
23.21.4
Host/MIDI Automation ................................................................................................ 281
23.21.5
Internal Modulation ................................................................................................... 281
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23.22 Stereo Modeller ........................................................................................................................... 283
23.23 Inverter ....................................................................................................................................... 283
23.24 Send Levels ................................................................................................................................ 284
23.25 Delay .......................................................................................................................................... 285
23.26 Chorus ........................................................................................................................................ 286
23.27 Flanger ....................................................................................................................................... 287
23.28 Phaser ........................................................................................................................................ 288
23.29 Convolution ................................................................................................................................ 289
23.30 Reverb ........................................................................................................................................ 291
23.31 Gainer ......................................................................................................................................... 292
24 Filters ....................................................................................................................... 294
24.1
Lowpass Filters ........................................................................................................................... 296
24.1.1
SV LP1 ....................................................................................................................... 296
24.1.2
SV LP2 ....................................................................................................................... 296
24.1.3
SV LP4 ....................................................................................................................... 297
24.1.4
Ladder LP1 ................................................................................................................ 297
24.1.5
Ladder LP2 ................................................................................................................ 297
24.1.6
Ladder LP3 ................................................................................................................ 298
24.1.7
Ladder LP4 ................................................................................................................ 298
24.1.8
AR LP2 ....................................................................................................................... 299
24.1.9
AR LP4 ....................................................................................................................... 299
24.1.10
AR LP2/4 .................................................................................................................... 300
24.1.11
Daft ........................................................................................................................... 300
24.1.12
PRO-53 ...................................................................................................................... 300
24.1.13
Legacy LP1 ................................................................................................................ 301
24.1.14
Legacy LP2 ................................................................................................................ 301
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24.2
24.3
24.1.15
Legacy LP4 ................................................................................................................ 301
24.1.16
Legacy LP6 ................................................................................................................ 302
24.1.17
Legacy Ladder ........................................................................................................... 302
Highpass Filters ......................................................................................................................... 302
24.2.1
SV HP1 ....................................................................................................................... 303
24.2.2
SV HP2 ....................................................................................................................... 303
24.2.3
SV HP4 ....................................................................................................................... 303
24.2.4
Ladder HP1 ................................................................................................................ 304
24.2.5
Ladder HP2 ................................................................................................................ 304
24.2.6
Ladder HP3 ................................................................................................................ 305
24.2.7
Ladder HP4 ................................................................................................................ 305
24.2.8
AR HP2 ...................................................................................................................... 306
24.2.9
AR HP4 ...................................................................................................................... 306
24.2.10
AR HP2/4 ................................................................................................................... 306
24.2.11
Daft HP ...................................................................................................................... 307
24.2.12
Legacy HP1 ................................................................................................................ 307
24.2.13
Legacy HP2 ................................................................................................................ 308
24.2.14
Legacy HP4 ................................................................................................................ 308
Bandpass ................................................................................................................................... 308
24.3.1
SV BP2 ....................................................................................................................... 309
24.3.2
SV BP4 ....................................................................................................................... 309
24.3.3
Ladder BP2 ................................................................................................................ 309
24.3.4
Ladder BP4 ................................................................................................................ 310
24.3.5
AR BP2 ...................................................................................................................... 310
24.3.6
AR BP4 ...................................................................................................................... 311
24.3.7
AR BP2/4 ................................................................................................................... 311
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24.4
24.5
24.6
24.7
24.3.8
Legacy BP2 ................................................................................................................ 311
24.3.9
Legacy BP4 ................................................................................................................ 312
Peak/Notch ................................................................................................................................. 312
24.4.1
SV Notch .................................................................................................................... 313
24.4.2
Ladder Peak ............................................................................................................... 313
24.4.3
Ladder Notch ............................................................................................................. 313
24.4.4
Legacy BR4 ................................................................................................................ 314
Multi ........................................................................................................................................... 314
24.5.1
SV Par. LP/HP ............................................................................................................ 314
24.5.2
SV Par. BP/BP ............................................................................................................ 315
24.5.3
SV Ser. LP/HP ............................................................................................................. 316
24.5.4
3x2 Versatile .............................................................................................................. 316
24.5.5
Simple LP/HP ............................................................................................................. 318
Effect Filters ............................................................................................................................... 319
24.6.1
Formant I ................................................................................................................... 319
24.6.2
Formant II .................................................................................................................. 319
24.6.3
Phaser ....................................................................................................................... 320
24.6.4
Vowel A ...................................................................................................................... 321
24.6.5
Vowel B ...................................................................................................................... 321
EQs ............................................................................................................................................. 322
24.7.1
Solid G-EQ ................................................................................................................. 322
25 Modulation in KONTAKT ............................................................................................. 324
25.1
Modulation Sources .................................................................................................................... 324
25.2
Modulation Destinations ............................................................................................................. 325
25.3
Creating Modulation Assignments .............................................................................................. 326
25.4
Deleting Modulation Assignments .............................................................................................. 328
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25.5
Assignment Controls .................................................................................................................. 328
26 Modulation Sources .................................................................................................. 332
26.1
26.2
Envelopes ................................................................................................................................... 332
26.1.1
AHDSR Envelope Controls .......................................................................................... 333
26.1.2
DBD Envelope Controls .............................................................................................. 334
26.1.3
Flexible Envelopes ..................................................................................................... 334
LFOs ........................................................................................................................................... 337
26.2.1
26.3
26.4
LFO Controls .............................................................................................................. 338
Other Modulators ........................................................................................................................ 339
26.3.1
32-Step Modulator ..................................................................................................... 339
26.3.2
Envelope Follower ...................................................................................................... 340
26.3.3
Glide .......................................................................................................................... 341
External Sources ......................................................................................................................... 342
27 Keyboard Shortcuts ................................................................................................... 344
27.1
Global Keys ................................................................................................................................. 344
27.2
Browser ...................................................................................................................................... 345
27.3
Instrument Edit Mode ................................................................................................................. 345
27.4
Group Editor ............................................................................................................................... 346
27.5
Mapping Editor ........................................................................................................................... 346
27.6
Wave Editor ................................................................................................................................ 347
28 File Formats .............................................................................................................. 348
KONTAKT - Manual - 15
Welcome to KONTAKT
What is KONTAKT?
1
Welcome to KONTAKT
We at Native Instruments would like to thank you for purchasing KONTAKT — it’s because of
customers like you that we can continue developing ground-breaking music software. We hope
that this application reference will provide you with all the information you need to make use
of KONTAKT’s features to their full capacity.
1.1
What is KONTAKT?
Simply put, KONTAKT is one of the leading sampling solutions in the audio industry. It allows
you to play back and process audio samples — but that does not even begin to convey the full
range of its capabilities. With KONTAKT, you can create sophisticated sample-based virtual instruments, process their audio signals with powerful DSP structures, build complex performance setups with extensive modulation routings, and gain access to a huge number of thirdparty sample libraries.
1.2
The Documentation
KONTAKT comes with a number of documentation resources, both in printed and electronic
form. We won’t suggest you should go ahead and read through all of them right now, but you
might want to get an overview of what is there. That way, whenever you are stuck at some
point, you will know where to look for help.
1.2.1
Document Conventions
This document uses particular formatting to point out special facts and to warn you of potential issues. The icons introducing the following notes let you see what kind of information can
be expected:
The speech bubble icon indicates a useful tip that may often help you to solve a task
more efficiently.
KONTAKT - Manual - 16
Welcome to KONTAKT
The Documentation
The exclamation mark icon highlights important information that is essential for the given context.
The red cross icon warns you of serious issues and potential risks that require your full
attention.
Furthermore, the following formatting is used:
▪ Text appearing in (drop-down) menus (such as Open…, Save as… etc.) in the software and
paths to locations on your hard disk or other storage devices is printed in italics.
▪ Text appearing elsewhere (labels of buttons, controls, text next to checkboxes etc.) in the
software is printed in blue. Whenever you see this formatting applied, you will find the
same text appearing somewhere on the screen.
▪ Important names and concepts are printed in bold.
▪ References to keys on your computer’s keyboard you’ll find put in square brackets (e.g.,
“Press [Shift] + [Enter]”).
►
Single instructions are introduced by this play button type arrow.
→
Results of actions are introduced by this smaller arrow.
1.2.2
About this Application Reference
This Application Reference is the most important documentation resource. It provides thorough
descriptions of all the user interface elements, options, tools, editors, and sound processing
modules of KONTAKT. You can use it both as a reference manual and a thorough guide to
working with the application.
1.2.3
Other Documentation
We prepared a wealth of information about all aspects of KONTAKT, most of which you can
find in the form of PDF documents within the KONTAKT installation directory on your hard
drive. When you are using the stand-alone version of KONTAKT, you can access these docu-
KONTAKT - Manual - 17
Welcome to KONTAKT
The Documentation
ments via the Help menu at the top of the application window (Windows) or your desktop
(Mac). Otherwise, just locate the installation directory on your workspace and open the files
with a PDF reader of your choice.
In addition to this guide, KONTAKT comes with the following documents:
▪ The Getting Started document will guide you through the basic steps of setting up KONTAKT and then get you acquainted with the fundamental aspects of its user interface. After
reading it, you should be able to start KONTAKT both in stand-alone mode and as a plug-in
in your sequencer, find, load and play sounds, and know your way around the user interface. Because of this, we recommend that you take the time to read this guide in its entirety.
▪ The Library Manual lists and describes the contents of the extensive library of ready-to-play
instruments that comes with KONTAKT. This can be found in the Kontakt Factory Library
folder.
▪ The KSP Reference Manual documents the built-in scripting language, which allows instrument creators to embed scripts that can dynamically alter MIDI data and playback parameters in their patches. As such, it is targeted towards advanced users.
▪ The Manual Addendum documents the new features that are included with each update of
KONTAKT. If you are already familiar with KONTAKT, this manual will only give you information on the latest features and changes. If you are new to KONTAKT, this manual has
been kept up to date and so it is unlikely that you will need to reference the Manual Addendum.
▪ The KONTAKT Player Getting Started explains how you can load and use third-party sample
Libraries that come bundled with the KONTAKT PLAYER with KONTAKT 5. This guide is
only installed with KONTAKT PLAYER.
KONTAKT - Manual - 18
Setup
Stand-alone Operation
2
Setup
Once the installation process has finished, you should find the KONTAKT 5 installation directory on your hard drive. It contains the KONTAKT 5 application and the documentation resources as described in the previous chapter.
Before you start KONTAKT for the first time, it is worth explaining that it has two fundamentally different modes of operation. You have the choice of running KONTAKT as a normal application, in which case it will behave like any other program on your computer — we refer to this
as the “stand-alone version” in the documentation — or, alternatively, you can use it as a virtual instrument plug-in within your sequencer or DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) application.
The most important difference between these modes concerns the way in which KONTAKT
handles MIDI and audio streams. In stand-alone operation, KONTAKT will address your MIDI
and audio hardware directly (which requires you to specify some details about your hardware
and drivers), while in the case of using KONTAKT as a plug-in, these will be taken care of by
the sequencer host application. The following sections will explain both modes in more detail.
2.1
Stand-alone Operation
When you launch the KONTAKT 5 application in the installation directory, KONTAKT will start
as a stand-alone program that provides its own application menu, just like any other application on your computer. In this mode, KONTAKT will receive MIDI data from one or more ports
of a MIDI interface and send audio signals directly to your audio interface. This can be very
useful if you don’t need the additional functionality of a full-blown sequencer environment for
your task at hand, for instance when you’re using KONTAKT as a live performance instrument
or as a sampling host on a stand-alone computer. Also, when you are creating or editing complex sample libraries yourself, using the stand-alone version is often easier than opening KONTAKT in a sequencer.
When you start KONTAKT in stand-alone mode for the first time, both audio and MIDI will
need to be configured. In order to make KONTAKT receive MIDI notes from your keyboard and
play sound in response, you will first have to tell it which hardware it should use. This is done
via the Options dialog, which should appear automatically upon the first start.
KONTAKT - Manual - 19
Setup
Stand-alone Operation
Options button
You can also open this dialog at any time by clicking on the Options button at the top of the
main window. This is the central place for configuring all aspects of KONTAKT’s user interface
and its sample playback engine. In this chapter, we’ll only describe the Audio and MIDI tabs at
the bottom; you can find thorough explanations of the other options later in this manual.
2.1.1
Low Memory Warning on Start-Up
Sometimes a memory warning is displayed when running several stand-alone instances of
KONTAKT simultaneously. This “low memory” warning dialog appears when KONTAKT is running with no admin privileges or if a second instance of KONTAKT is started and is requesting
RAM which the first instance has already reserved.
Hence, running several stand-alone instances of KONTAKT simultaneously is not recommended.
2.1.2
Audio Configuration
In the Audio tab of the Options dialog, you can specify which audio device KONTAKT should
use for playback and adjust global playback parameters.
KONTAKT - Manual - 20
Setup
Stand-alone Operation
Audio tab of the Options dialog
The dialog provides the following options:
▪ Driver: With this drop-down menu, you can select which of your operating system’s device
driver architectures KONTAKT should use. Most professional audio devices provide ASIO,
CoreAudio (Mac) or WASAPI (Windows) drivers.
▪ Device: This menu lists all connected audio interfaces that match the driver architecture
chosen above. Use this to select the audio interface that you would like to use for playback.
▪ Sample rate: This drop-down menu allows you to set the global playback sample rate at
which KONTAKT will operate. Common values are 44100 Hz for music and 48000 Hz for
film production. Note that this does not have anything to do with the sampling rate at
which your samples have been recorded — if the playback rate does not match a sample’s
recording rate, KONTAKT will handle all necessary conversion steps transparently for you.
▪ Latency: The size of the audio playback buffer in samples. Small values will shorten the
delay between pressing a key and hearing the resulting sound (this is called “latency”), but
may cause drop-outs and stuttering when playing a lot of voices at the same time. Conversely, setting this to a higher value will make playback more reliable at the cost of more
latency. Note that this control is not always available, as sometimes the latency is handled
by your hardware drivers.
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Setup
Stand-alone Operation
2.1.3
Latency Optimization
The load that typical digital audio calculations generate on your processor is often not constant
and predictable; parameter changes, additional voices or other processes can all cause momentary peaks in the load, which can result in drop-outs or other audio artifacts if not properly
compensated for. That is why audio programs don’t send the audio signals they generate directly to the hardware, but write them to a short buffer in memory instead, which is what is
then sent to the actual hardware. This concept allows the program to bridge short irregularities
in the stream calculation and thus be more resistant to processing peaks.
Of course, this “safety net” comes at a price — the buffering causes a delay, known as latency, between the triggering of a note and the actual sound. This delay gets longer with increasing buffer sizes. Hence, it is vital to tune the buffer size in order to find a good compromise
between latency and playback reliability. The optimal value depends on such diverse factors as
your CPU, memory and hard disk access times, your audio hardware and drivers, and your operating system environment.
In order to find the optimal buffer size for your system, we recommend that you begin by setting the Latency slider described in the previous section to a healthy middle value between
384 and 512 samples, and then gradually decrease the value during your normal work.
Latency Slider
When you begin to notice drop-outs, increase the buffer again by a small amount.
Generally, it is a good idea to have as few other applications as possible running in the background when working with audio software. Also, if you cannot get below a certain buffer size
without getting drop-outs, consult the documentation of your audio hardware to find out whether you can access it via an alternate driver architecture, as some architectures allow more efficient low-level access to the hardware than others.
2.1.4
MIDI Configuration
The MIDI tab of the Options dialog provides a list of all MIDI inputs and outputs that have
been found on your system. These are ports of physical MIDI interfaces connected to your
computer, but also any virtual MIDI ports that may be provided by drivers or other applications
to facilitate inter-application MIDI usage.
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Setup
Plug-in Operation
MIDI tab of the Options dialog
In order to make KONTAKT respond to MIDI data from the outside, you’ll have to enable one or
more ports that appear in the inputs list of the MIDI tab. Make sure the Inputs button is highlighted and identify the port(s) that you intend to use for MIDI input in the list. If the Status
field on the right side of an entry reads Off, click that value and assign one of the MIDI port
identifiers (A-D). This enables the respective port, which will later be identified by the selected
letter throughout the user interface.
2.2
Plug-in Operation
The plug-in version of KONTAKT allows you to use it as a virtual instrument inside your sequencer or DAW. That way, you can run multiple instances of KONTAKT side-by-side along
with your other sound generators and effect plug-ins, trigger them with the data of MIDI tracks
from within your sequencer, and directly feed their audio output into the signal flow of your
virtual mixer.
Depending on your operating system and choices upon installation, KONTAKT provides VST,
Audio Units (AU), and AAX plug-in formats.
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Setup
Plug-in Operation
Refer to the documentation of your sequencer to find out which of these formats is the right
one in your case; if you have enabled the appropriate format at installation time, KONTAKT 5
should appear in the plug-in selection list inside your sequencer. If it does not, re-run the installer and make sure the appropriate plug-in is marked for installation.
Note that AAX plug-ins are supported in DigiDesign hosts only. For other hosts, check
the documentation for which plug-in version to use.
The way in which virtual instrument plug-ins are integrated into the workflow very much depends on your sequencer; consult its documentation to find out how to instantiate and work
with the KONTAKT plug-in.
2.2.1
Changing Outputs in Pro Tools
1.
After changing the output configuration in Pro Tools, you need to close the session running.
2.
Unplug KONTAKT. Quit Pro Tools.
3.
Restart Pro Tools.
4.
Plug in a new instance of KONTAKT. Reopen your session.
When setting the new output configuration for KONTAKT make sure to select this configuration
as default setting.
2.2.2
Changing Outputs in Logic 8
Make sure KONTAKT’s output configuration matches the channel setup chosen in Logic 8.
Otherwise signals might be routed to the wrong Aux channel.
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User Interface Elements
Info Pane
3
User Interface Elements
During your work with KONTAKT, you will discover that most elements that let you interact
with the program are being used consistently throughout the whole interface. The handling of
these common elements is always the same, only the context in which they appear will vary.
This chapter will explain the basic types of elements that you will encounter, and what you can
do with them. Before we begin, though, there is a helpful function you should know about before all others, since it will reliably serve as a reference whenever you’re not sure what a specific knob, menu or other interface element does: the Info Pane.
3.1
Info Pane
The Info Pane is an area located at the bottom of your KONTAKT window, just above the bottom-most status bar.
To display the Info Pane:
1.
Open the Workspace menu in the KONTAKT header.
2.
Click on the Info option.
→
This toggles the visibility of the Info Pane.
The Info Pane, showing a description of the Options button in the Main Control Panel
KONTAKT - Manual - 25
User Interface Elements
Knobs
On its right side, the Info Pane will display a short help text about whatever control your mouse
is currently hovering over. If you don’t know what a knob, button, menu entry, or in fact any
other user interface element does, just hover your mouse over it while the Info Pane is visible
and a description of the control will appear there.
Setting the Language of the Info Pane
The Info Pane help is available in five languages: English, German, French, Spanish and Japanese. In addition, some other parts of the interface, such as the stand-alone menus, have also
been localized. You can set your preferred language via the new Language drop-down list in the
Interface tab in the Options dialog. You need to restart KONTAKT after selecting a new language. If you select Automatic, the language follows the language selection of your operating
system.
3.2
Knobs
Knobs are the most frequently used interface element for adjusting numeric parameters.
Bipolar knobs like this one have their zero (and default) setting in the middle of their scale.
They’re designed to resemble real rotary controls that you can find on mixing consoles and other equipment.
▪ To change a knob value, click it and drag your mouse upwards to move the knob clockwise,
or downwards to move it counter-clockwise.
▪ Some knobs can be adjusted more finely if you hold down the [Shift] key on your keyboard
while moving the knob.
▪ You can reset a knob to its default value by clicking on it while holding the [Ctrl] key if you
are on a Windows operating system, or the [Cmd] key if you are on Mac OS X.
▪ Many time-related parameters throughout the KONTAKT environment can be synchronized
to your song tempo. Clicking on the unit that’s being displayed in the respective control’s
numeric readout will open a drop-down menu, which contains a number of note values; selecting one of these, then dialing in the number of notes that you’d like to be spanned by
KONTAKT - Manual - 26
User Interface Elements
Buttons
one cycle, will synchronize the parameter to the current tempo. If you want to switch the
parameter back to unsynchronized operation, just open the menu again and select its <default> entry.
The tempo synchronization drop-down menu allows you to choose a note value instead of an absolute time value for the respective control.
▪ To create a new modulation assignment, which uses a modulation signal source to change
a parameter over time, right-click the respective knob and choose a modulation source
from the drop-down menu that appears. How KONTAKT’s modulation system and the assignment of modulation sources work will be explained in detail in chapter ↑25, Modulation in KONTAKT of this manual.
▪ Right-clicking on a knob can also allow you to set it to MIDI-Learn mode for quick assignment of a MIDI controller to the selected knob.
3.3
Buttons
Buttons appear wherever a parameter can be switched on and off. Each click on a button toggles it between those two states. The current state of a button is being indicated by its background color; if a parameter is enabled, its button will be highlighted.
KONTAKT - Manual - 27
User Interface Elements
Drop-Down Menus
Active toggle buttons are highlighted.
3.4
Drop-Down Menus
These menus allow you to choose from a list of values. They look similar to buttons, but with a
small down arrow icon on their right side. Click them to open the menu; it will stay open until
you have either selected a new value or clicked somewhere else in the KONTAKT window,
which leaves the previous value unchanged. Some menus have further sub-menus; these will
be indicated with a small right arrow next to their name. Moving the selection bar to one of
these items will open the respective sub-menu.
The mode drop-down menu of the Source Module.
3.5
Scroll Bars
Scroll bars appear at the bottom or right border of panes whose contents take up too much
space to be displayed in their entirety. Clicking on the position indicator bar and dragging it
will scroll the viewport across the content, while clicking on the empty space of a scrollbar will
jump to the respective position. Some contents can also be zoomed in and out; this is indicated by “+” and “-” buttons at one end of their scrollbar. Click “+” to zoom in, or “-” to zoom
KONTAKT - Manual - 28
User Interface Elements
Value Fields
out. Some places in KONTAKT, namely the Mapping Editor and the Wave Editor, provide an
alternative way of zooming that you might find more convenient; you can read all about this
method, dubbed “rubber-band zooming”, in the chapters of the respective editors.
Horizontal and vertical scroll bars in the Wave Editor.
3.6
Value Fields
Some fields contain editable — usually numeric — values without an additional control. These
frequently appear in places that don’t provide enough space for knobs or other controls, such
as rows of tables that can shrink or grow. There are various ways to edit their value:
▪ Click the field and drag your mouse upwards to increase the value, or downwards to decrease the value.
▪ When you hover your mouse pointer over the field, small up and down arrows will appear on
its right side. Click these to increase or decrease the value one step at a time.
▪ Double-click the field and enter a new value with the keyboard.
Value field
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User Interface Elements
Saving and Loading Presets
3.7
Saving and Loading Presets
Whenever you have created a setting that you’re really happy with in any part of KONTAKT, you
might want to save it for later use in another context. The KONTAKT environment is split up
into modules, and most of these offer a preset drop-down menu that allows you to manage presets for the respective module. Loading a preset in a module won’t affect the other modules in
your Instrument — this modular approach lets you freely combine different presets into your
own Instruments.
Presets are saved in files (file extension: .nkp) which reside in a series of sub-folders within a
“presets” folder. KONTAKT creates two of these preset folders on your system: one contains
the factory presets, and is located in a directory which is not writable by normal users; the other one resides within your home directory and will be used to store your own presets. KONTAKT will create this user presets folder when you first start it up. On Windows, the factory and
user preset folders will be created in
▪ C:\Program Files\Common Files\Native Instruments\Kontakt 5\presets
▪ C:\Users\[username]\Documents\Native Instruments\Kontakt 5\presets
On Mac OS X, you can find the factory and user preset folders in
▪ Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/Native Instruments/Kontakt 5/presets
▪ Macintosh HD/Users/[username]/Documents/Native Instruments/Kontakt 5/presets
KONTAKT comes with a large number of ready-made presets for most of its modules. These
are good starting points for your own settings, so it’s worth browsing the Factory preset list of a
module when you have a specific task in mind and don’t know where to begin.
As mentioned, preset management in KONTAKT takes place within each module’s preset dropdown menu. You can access this by clicking on the drop-down menu labeled Pre or Preset that
is located on the left side of each module. It contains all preset files that were found in the
respective preset folders on your hard disk, with further subdirectories (if any) appearing as
sub-menus. The Save Preset entry at the bottom of the menu will open a dialog, which asks
you for a filename. Enter a descriptive name and click Save — from now on, your settings will
be available within the User submenu of the presets drop-down menu. This will not work, however, if you change the path in the save dialog, so it is recommended that you always save your
presets to the default path.
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User Interface Elements
MIDI Learn
3.8
MIDI Learn
KONTAKT features a MIDI Learn function for all sliders and knobs. Once you have assigned
one of KONTAKT’s controls to a knob or fader on your MIDI controller device, you can conveniently access the corresponding parameter in KONTAKT via MIDI as well as from the interface.
3.8.1
Assigning MIDI Controllers
To assign any of KONTAKT’s sliders or knobs to a certain MIDI controller:
1.
Right-click the knob or slider you want to assign a MIDI controller to.
2.
Select Learn MIDI CC# Automation.
3.
Turn the knob or move the slider on your MIDI hardware controller.
→
The control should pick up the movement instantly.
You can add additional MIDI controllers (CC#s) to the same KONTAKT knob. You can also assign multiple knobs or sliders to the same MIDI controller.
If you cannot assign MIDI controllers this way, see section ↑13.6, Automation Tab, for
an alternative assignment method.
3.8.2
Removing MIDI Controller Assignments
To remove an assignment made to a specific controller:
1.
In KONTAKT, right-click the knob or slider.
2.
Select Remove MIDI Automation: CC#.
→
The MIDI controller assignment will be removed.
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KONTAKT: The Big Picture
4
KONTAKT: The Big Picture
KONTAKT is an extremely powerful, complex, and capable instrument. Before getting into specifics, let’s take a step back first and describe KONTAKT in general terms.
The structure of most samplers, hardware or software, is similar to that of a synthesizer: at its
source, some kind of sound generator outputs unprocessed signals in response to incoming
MIDI notes; these signals are then processed in a variety of ways and sent to the output. The
difference is that the sound generator of a typical synthesizer creates its source waveforms entirely by electrical or mathematical means, often being limited to a range of well-defined waveforms, whereas a sampler can use any kind of previously recorded audio data — sampled
acoustic instruments, sound effects, vocals, and (of course) any classic waveform known from
synthesizers as well.
KONTAKT’s overall structure is not any different in this regard, albeit it is far more sophisticated than a lot of conventional samplers. For instance, KONTAKT does not force any particular
signal flow structure upon your Instruments — it has an entirely modular approach to sound
processing and parameter modulation. Anything is possible, from triggering simple one-shot
samples to building sophisticated virtual instruments that faithfully reproduce all aspects of
their acoustic counterparts and respond intelligently to your performance.
As usual, this power comes at a price, though; while you’ll be able to load and play your first
KONTAKT Instruments right away, it will take some more practice to become a master at creating your own Instruments. We hope this manual will help you achieve this; also, whenever
you’re stuck, remember you can get helpful hints from the Info Pane described in section
↑3.1, Info Pane at any time.
Building Blocks
The full functional range of KONTAKT’s sampling environment is split up into smaller sections,
which allows you to concentrate on the task currently at hand without getting distracted by
other details. This functional division is also reflected on the user interface; most elements
that belong to a specific kind of task are kept within a separate pane, tab, or dialog window.
KONTAKT - Manual - 32
KONTAKT: The Big Picture
Core Building Blocks
In this section, we’ll further distinguish two general types of building blocks: the core blocks,
which are hierarchically organized and make up KONTAKT’s chain of turning MIDI data into
sound, and the tools, which allow you to perform a wide range of peripheral management, configuration, and monitoring tasks.
4.1
Core Building Blocks
Let’s follow KONTAKT’s path of turning simple audio files into readily playable instrumental
setups, starting from the smallest element and then working our way upwards:
▪ A Sample is a simple audio file on your hard disk. Samples may occasionally carry additional metadata, but in their purest form, they don’t provide anything other than a recorded audio signal. An example of a Sample would be the digital recording of a single piano note.
Samples can appear in various formats, such as WAV, AIFF, or REX.
▪ A Zone is KONTAKT’s way of putting a Sample into a playable context. Think of a Zone as a
wrapper around a single Sample; in addition to the Sample itself, the Zone contains information about which MIDI data will make KONTAKT trigger this Sample, at what pitch the
sample was recorded, and a few other details. An example of a Zone would be the aforementioned piano Sample, with the attached information that it should be played without
any transposition whenever KONTAKT receives an F3 note with a velocity value between 64
and 95. As Zones don’t contain much additional data, they only exist within a larger context and can’t be saved and loaded separately.
▪ A Group is a container that allows you to combine a number of Zones. As every Zone belongs to a Group (and only one), each Instrument will contain at least one Group; usually,
you’ll add several more Groups in order to combine your Zones by means of distinctive aspects — the aspects you choose are entirely up to you, but there are some common approaches. All Zones that belong to a specific Group will share a number of common parameters and signal flow modules; for instance, their Samples will be played by the same
sound Source Module. Consequently, if you want some of your Zones played by a Source
Module with different settings, you’ll need to separate them into their own Group first. In
the course of this manual, modules that pertain to a Group are being referred to as “Grouplevel modules”. A typical example of a Group would be “all Zones in my Instrument that
should be played at mezzoforte level”. Groups can be saved and loaded separately as files
with an .nkg extension.
KONTAKT - Manual - 33
KONTAKT: The Big Picture
Tools
▪ An Instrument is the entity you’ll encounter most frequently when you’re working with readymade KONTAKT libraries. As its name suggests, it’s the virtual equivalent of an acoustic
instrument — when being played, it produces a specific range of sounds, possibly at different timbres, dynamics, and articulations. Technically, a KONTAKT Instrument is a wrapper
for a number of Groups, whose output signals will be mixed and pass a common signal
chain; the modules in this chain are said to reside on the “Instrument level”. A typical example of an Instrument would be “a piano”. Instruments can be saved and loaded separately; native KONTAKT Instrument files have an .nki extension.
▪ An Instrument Bank is the only optional element of KONTAKT’s core hierarchy; in other
words, you don’t have to use this feature if you don’t want to. Instrument Banks allow you
to combine up to 128 Instruments into a container that responds to a single MIDI input
channel; you can then switch the active Instrument by sending MIDI program change messages on this channel. This allows you to create General MIDI-compatible sound sets, or
combine Instruments that contain various articulations of the same acoustic instrument into one slot. A typical example of an Instrument Bank would be a number of violin Instruments that contain legato, detaché, staccato, and pizzicato Samples, respectively, with the
different articulations and playing techniques being switchable via program change messages. Instrument Banks can be saved and loaded separately as files with an .nkb extension.
▪ Finally, a Multi lets you freely combine up to 64 Instruments into a production setup. The
Multi is the topmost element of KONTAKT’s core hierarchy. Each Instrument in a Multi responds to a specific MIDI channel and will send its output signal to a specific Output
Channel, where the signals from all Instruments will be mixed and passed on to a physical
output of your audio interface or, alternatively, to your host program. A typical example of a
Multi would be “a jazz trio ensemble”. Multis can be loaded and saved as files with
an .nkm extension.
4.2
Tools
In addition to its core architecture, KONTAKT offers some tools that will simplify your everyday
work:
KONTAKT - Manual - 34
KONTAKT: The Big Picture
Tools
▪ The Browser is located on the left side of your KONTAKT window and can optionally be hidden to save screen space; it provides a convenient way to organize and access all KONTAKT-relevant files on your system, such as Instruments, Multis, or Banks. The Browser
pane also offers a number of additional utility functions; these will be described in detail in
chapter ↑13, The Browser.
▪ The Database keeps track of all files on your system that can be used by KONTAKT; it allows you to browse and access these files without the heaviness of a full-featured file system browser and lets you quickly search through large amounts of data. It’s explained in
detail within section ↑13.2, Files Tab.
▪ The Rack occupies the largest amount of space in your KONTAKT window; it operates in
one of two different modes. In Multi Instrument mode, the Rack will provide an overview of
all Instruments that are currently in your Multi, along with some general parameters. Clicking on the wrench icon on the left side of an Instrument Header will switch the Rack into
Instrument Edit mode, which provides a flexible and adjustable view of the contained module panels, editors, and modulation tables of this Instrument.
▪ The Outputs section is a mixer-style environment in which you can adjust output levels, assign Output Channels to physical outputs, and use signal processing modules that operate
on the output signals of all Instruments in your Multi.
▪ The virtual On-Screen Keyboard, the Master Editor, the Info Pane and the Options dialog provide various utility functions and are being explained in detail within their respective sections of this manual.
KONTAKT - Manual - 35
The KONTAKT Window
5
The KONTAKT Window
Let’s have a look at KONTAKT’s main window during a typical session:
KONTAKT in action
The user of this session has currently set up a number of Instruments in a way that allows him
to play them via different MIDI channels. Let’s have a look at the visible main elements of the
user interface:
KONTAKT - Manual - 36
The KONTAKT Window
Stand-alone Menu
▪ At the top of the user interface, the Main Control Panel provides options that toggle the display of various optional interface parts, such as the Browser; it also includes the file dropdown menu and access to the global functions and options, as well as some status meters.
▪ The Browser (left side of the user interface) provides functions for managing your collection
of KONTAKT-relevant files. In the screenshot, it’s currently switched to the Libraries tab,
which contains easy access to your KONTAKT libraries.
▪ The Rack, which takes up the largest part of the user interface, is currently in Multi Instrument mode (Multi Rack); below its own header, it displays a number of Instrument Headers; these represent all Instruments in the current Multi.
▪ Within the Multi Rack, the Instrument Headers are shown at normal viewing size; they contain the Instrument’s name and various parameters, such as MIDI input channel, output
level, panning position, and tuning.
▪ The Outputs section displays a channel strip for each configured Output Channel, plus four
Aux Channels.
▪ The Info Pane, which displays some details of the currently selected Instrument file below
the Browser, and a brief explanation of the control at the mouse position below the Rack.
▪ The Status Bar, where messages from running Scripts and, at startup, the Database loading
progress will appear.
Each of these sections is explained in detail within its own section of this manual.
5.1
Stand-alone Menu
In addition to the contents of the main window, the stand-alone version of KONTAKT provides
a system drop-down menu labeled Help. It’s located at the top of the desktop on Mac OS X, or
at the top of the KONTAKT window on Windows. The Help menu lets you launch Native Instruments’ NATIVE ACCESS application, access the additional PDF documents that are part of the
KONTAKT installation and explain special topics, and point your web browser to the KONTAKT
website.
KONTAKT - Manual - 37
The KONTAKT Window
The Main Control Panel
5.2
The Main Control Panel
The Main Control Panel is the topmost row of elements in your KONTAKT window.
The Main Control Panel
Here you can enable and disable the main parts of the user interface, access various global
menus, open the Options dialog, and view statistics about KONTAKT’s overall resource usage.
5.2.1
Files Menu
The Files Menu
This drop-down menu is the first element in the Main Control Panel; it is marked with a disk
icon. The Files menu contains the following functions:
New instrument: Adds a new Instrument to your Multi.
KONTAKT - Manual - 38
The KONTAKT Window
The Main Control Panel
Whenever you create a new Instrument, KONTAKT will use a default Instrument file as a
template, which is usually empty. Overwriting this file with your own version allows you
to define your own default settings. For instance, you might want new Instruments to
contain a Send Levels module in their Instrument Insert Effects chain from the get-go;
just create a new Instrument, insert the module into its chain, and choose the “Save as
default instrument” command from the Save menu while the instrument is open for editing.
New instrument bank: Adds an empty Instrument Bank to your Multi. Instrument Banks are
described in detail in chapter 9.
Load…: Opens a file selector dialog, asking you to locate and load any object that KONTAKT
can handle, whether it’s an Instrument (file extension: .nki), a Multi (.nkm), or an Instrument
Bank (.nkb).
Load recent…: This sub-menu contains an up-to-date list of files that you recently opened in
KONTAKT. Selecting one will load it.
New instrument from list: This submenu provides access to the contents of your Quick-Load
catalog of Instruments as a hierarchical menu structure. Select an entry in order to add the
respective Instrument to your Multi. The Quick-Load catalog is explained in chapter 13.
New instrument bank from list: Provides access to the contents of your Quick-Load catalog of
Instrument Banks.
Save as…: This function allows you to save any Instrument in your Multi to an .nki file for later
re-use. When you move the mouse to this entry, a sub-menu will open, which contains a list of
all Instruments in your current Multi. Selecting one of them will open a Save dialog that lets
you choose a location and change the name of the Instrument. Note that the file name — without the .nki extension — will be used as the Instrument name that’s being displayed in the
Instrument Header.
KONTAKT - Manual - 39
The KONTAKT Window
The Main Control Panel
The Save Instrument dialog as it appears in Windows 10
Below the file selector, the dialog lets you choose how KONTAKT should handle the Samples
that are being referenced by the Instrument. When you have added these Samples to your Instrument during your current session, they’re still in their original location, and the Zones in
your Instrument reference them via their full paths; the various options in the save dialog allow
you to fine-tune this behavior before your Instrument is written to disk:
▪ Patch Only will keep the Samples in their original locations and leaves the file references
in their current state. This creates very small files, as only the Instrument parameters will
be saved. Be aware, though, that this method can keep the relation between the Instrument and its Samples in a rather fragile state; as soon as you move the Samples to a different location or delete them, KONTAKT won’t be able to find them the next time you attempt to load the respective Instrument. In such cases, a “Samples Missing” dialog will
appear, asking you in which places KONTAKT should search for the Samples. The “Samples Missing” dialog and its options are explained in chapter 8.
While an Instrument is currently loaded in KONTAKT, never move its referenced Samples to a different location manually. There’s no guarantee that KONTAKT will keep all
referenced Samples entirely in memory, so trying to save the Instrument with Samples
afterwards can result in corrupted Sample data in such a scenario.
KONTAKT - Manual - 40
The KONTAKT Window
The Main Control Panel
▪ If you enable the Absolute Sample Paths checkbox below the Patch Only option, the Sample files will be referenced by the Instrument with their absolute paths; this has the benefit
that KONTAKT will still be able to find them when you move the Instrument file to a different location. However, if you know that the Samples already reside in a folder that will always be moved and backed up along with the destination folder of your Instrument, you
can keep the saved file reference relative to the Instrument location by disabling the Absolute Sample Paths option.
▪ Patch + Samples will save the .nki file and copy the contained Samples to a new location,
changing the file references within the Instrument to the copies in the process. If you leave
the Sample Sub-Folder option below set to its Use Default value, KONTAKT will save the
Sample files to a “Samples” folder inside the destination location of your Instrument file;
this folder will be created if it doesn’t exist yet. That way, the Samples will be kept close to
the Instrument, which helps you keeping track of them when doing backups or moving directories. You can also specify a different Sample location, though; for example, you might
want to use a common “Samples” folder that resides in the directory of your project.
▪ Monolith will combine the Instrument and its referenced Samples into a single, large file.
This is the safest option to choose in terms of keeping Sample references intact, as the
Samples cannot accidentally get separated from the Instrument later. This is also a good
way to create Instruments that should be distributed to other users of KONTAKT.
Should you choose to save the referenced Samples along with your Instrument data by selecting either Patch + Samples or Monolith, you further have the choice to save them in a compressed format by checking the box below the sub-folder field. In this case, KONTAKT will
write the Samples using a proprietary, lossless audio codec that typically yields compression
rates between 30% and 50%. This will not only improve access performance when streaming
the Instrument from disk, but will also reduce its memory footprint, as KONTAKT will decompress the Samples on-the-fly from memory with very little CPU overhead. The downside of using compressed Samples, however, is that you cannot use external wave editors to access them
directly anymore.
It’s important to keep track of the ways the Sample and Instrument files on your hard disk relate to each other; this protects you from unpleasant surprises when you move files around, delete them, or recover KONTAKT data from a backup.
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The KONTAKT Window
The Main Control Panel
When you are using KONTAKT as a plug-in inside your host program and save your session, all Multi and Instrument data will be included in this session file. Sample references will be saved in an absolute fashion, so you might get a “Samples Missing” dialog
when you open the session again after you have moved your Samples. If the Samples
reside below KONTAKT’s library path (which you can specify manually on the Load / Import tab of the Options dialog), though, the references will be saved relatively to this
folder; this makes it possible to share session files with KONTAKT instances across platforms. Hence, it’s a good idea to always keep your KONTAKT libraries somewhere below
the folder that you’ve specified as your library folder.
Save multi as…: This saves your current multi to an .nkm file on your hard disk. While the resulting Multi file will contain all Instrument data, KONTAKT will still need to take care of the
Samples that are referenced by the Instruments. Thus, the save dialog offers the same Sample
management options as described in the Save as… paragraph above. Saving a multi will also
save the output routing options.
Save as default instrument: This command is only viewable when you are editing an instrument. It saves the selected Instrument as your default one so whenever you create a new Instrument, either via the New Instrument command of the Files menu, or by dragging Samples
from the Browser into the Rack, KONTAKT will use this Instrument as a template.
Save as default multi: This command will save your current Multi as a default template that
KONTAKT will load at startup or when you choose the Reset Multi command.
Reset multi: This will restore the default Multi that’s loaded at start-up, removing all Instruments from your current Multi in the process.
Batch re-save: As explained in the paragraph about the Save function, KONTAKT Instruments
that include references to external Sample files can cause problems if either the Instrument or
the Sample files are being moved to a different location. In such cases, you will be presented
with a “Samples Missing” dialog that asks you in which places KONTAKT should look for the
missing files (see chapter 8). While it’s not a big problem to let KONTAKT locate the Samples
of one or two Instruments via this dialog, and then re-save them afterwards in order to make
the changes permanent, the described effect will be worsened by an order of magnitude if it
occurs with a whole library. This can happen if you move the library folder or its contained subfolders around, and makes it very tiresome to access the library, as every attempt of loading an
Instrument will be answered with a “Samples Missing” dialog.
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The KONTAKT Window
The Main Control Panel
To fix the problem manually, you would have to load each Instrument, locate the missing Sample files via the “Samples Missing” dialog, and re-save the Instrument to its original location
within the library folder. For large libraries, this is unfeasible. The Batch Re-save function automates this process; when you select it, a selection dialog will appear, asking you to choose a
folder. After clicking Choose, all Instrument, Multi, and Bank files in this folder and its subfolders will automatically be scanned for unresolved Sample references; if any are found, the
“Samples Missing” dialog will appear once, allowing you to specify which places should be
searched to resolve the references.
As the Batch Re-save process will overwrite the Instrument, Multi, and Bank files within
your selected folder, it’s recommended to make a backup of this folder before you execute the command.
Once KONTAKT has successfully located the Samples, the affected Instrument, Multi or Bank
files will be re-saved with corrected references, so afterwards, you’ll have a consistent library
again.
Collect samples/Batch compress: If you are working with a library of nkis that are referencing
samples in multiple locations, or you wish to compress (or even de-compress) the samples of a
library, this function allows you to compile samples, instruments, banks and multis into a single location.
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The KONTAKT Window
The Main Control Panel
The Batch Compress dialog
When you select this option, a dialog box will appear. Here you must select a source folder
(where your nki, nkb and nkm files are currently located) and a destination to which you wish
to have these files compiled and copied to.
There are two different folder creation strategies:
▪ Mirror source folder structure in the destination location: This mode keeps the folder structure of the source folder when generating the destination folder structure, so there are no
explicit "Instruments" and "Collected Samples" subfolders in the destination folder when
using this mode.
One exception: When batch-compressing a source/library folder, if there is an Instrument in the library folder that references a sample outside the source/library folder (and
its subfolders), a "Collected Samples" subfolder will be generated in the destination
folder and this sample will be saved there.
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The KONTAKT Window
The Main Control Panel
▪ Collect Samples and create new destination folder structure: In this mode the folder substructure of the target folder will be different from the source folder’s structure: Instrument
files will be saved in an "Instruments" subfolder, while all samples are saved in "Collected
Samples". This prevents having to resave the same sample more than once (if it was referenced by more than one Instrument in the source folder for instance).
Whichever strategy you choose, samples and Instruments in the source folder will neither be deleted nor updated. Impulse Response samples and wallpapers of the source
Instruments will be resaved as well, but without compression.
▪ For converting uncompressed samples to lossless compressed .ncw-files select Lossless
compressed NCW.
▪ For converting compressed .ncw-files back to an uncompressed format select Uncompressed WAV / AIF.
Note that Batch Compress does not work for copy-protected libraries.
Global purge: The purge mechanism in KONTAKT keeps track of which samples in an instance
have been actually triggered in a session, and gives you the option of removing all other samples from the Instrument. This way, you can reduce the number of samples that are being kept
in memory to the subset that you have actually used in your arrangement.
►
Place your mouse over this entry in the Files menu to open a submenu with options for
sample purging and loading.
The Global purge submenu
The Global purge submenu contains 4 entries:
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The KONTAKT Window
The Main Control Panel
▪ Reset markers: Whenever KONTAKT plays a sample in any of your Instruments, it will flag
the respective sample as being used. Using this function, you can delete all of these flags,
thereby resetting all data that KONTAKT has gathered about sample usage so far. After you
have finished your work on a part, you should select this function once and then play your
part; this way, only the notes that have actually made it into the final part will be flagged
as used. Afterwards, you can proceed by choosing the Update sample pool function described below.
▪ Update sample pool: This function removes all samples that are not currently flagged as
being used from memory, and reloads any currently purged samples that have been triggered since the last purge operation. In other words, it brings the sample pool in sync with
the sample usage flags it has gathered since the last purge operation.
▪ Purge all samples: Unloads all samples from RAM. This allows you to reverse the usual
purge process: you can play your arrangement in a “silent run”, and then load only the
Samples that are actually being used via the Update sample pool command afterwards.
▪ Reload all samples: Reloads all Samples, reverting any previous purge actions.
You can also purge samples per Instrument using the Purge menu in the Instrument
Header. See ↑6.3, Purge Menu for more information.
5.2.2
Workspace Menu
The third element in the Main Control Panel is a menu that allows you to choose which key
elements of the KONTAKT interface should be displayed.
The Workspace Menu
Here are the available options in the Workspace Menu:
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The KONTAKT Window
The Main Control Panel
▪ Browser: Click this option to show or hide the Browser at the left side of the KONTAKT window. You can read all about the Browser in chapter ↑13, The Browser of this manual.
▪ Master: This option will show or hide a panel with a number of global parameters and common utility functions. This feature is explained in chapter ↑12, The Master Editor.
▪ Info: This option toggles the visibility of the Info Pane, which will appear at the bottom of
the window. It displays information about the currently selected file (if the Browser is active) and the user interface element at which your mouse is currently pointing.
▪ Outputs: This option will show or hide KONTAKT’s Outputs section, which is explained in
detail within chapter ↑15, The Outputs Section.
▪ Keyboard: Shows or hides the virtual On-Screen Keyboard, which allows you to generate
note and controller events, and indicates where Zones and keyswitches of your currently selected Instrument are placed. The On-Screen Keyboard is explained in chapter ↑11, The
On-Screen Keyboard.
▪ Quickload: Toggles the visibility of the Quick-Load menu, which is a user-defined browser
for quick access to your favorite KONTAKT related files. It is further described in chapter
↑14, The Quick-Load Catalog.
5.2.3
►
Minimized View
Click the Minimized View button to collapse the KONTAKT window.
Clicking on the rightmost button in the Main Control Panel will reduce your KONTAKT window
to the header of the currently selected Instrument and, if it provides one, its Performance
View. This makes for a convenient way to save screen space in scenarios where you’re using
KONTAKT as a sample player only.
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The KONTAKT Window
The Main Control Panel
A KONTAKT Instrument in Minimized view
Above the Instrument Header, a the Main Control Panel remains mostly unchanged, however
the contents of the Workspace Menu has been reduced to just the Keyboard and Quickload options.
►
Click the Minimized View button again to return to the full KONTAKT workspace.
5.2.4
System Performance Meters
In the upper right section of the Main Control Panel, you’ll find a number of system meters
that are being continually updated during operation.
Voice count, memory, CPU, and disk meters
The value next to the notes icon indicates the total number of voices that are currently being
played (this is also known as the Voice Count).
Below, the total amount of allocated Sample memory is displayed; this figure will be much
smaller when you’re using DFD Instruments.
The values to the right show the current CPU and disk load as percentage values. These provide immediate visual feedback on whether you’re close to maxing out your computer’s capabilities.
To the right of the CPU and Disk meters is an exclamation point (!). This is the Restart button
and can be used if KONTAKT is suffering from hanging voices (i.e. stuck notes) or persistent
CPU overloads. Clicking this button will re-initialize KONTAKT’s audio engine, including all the
instruments that are currently loaded. Essentially this button is a soft reset, returning all values to their starting positions, but without closing and reloading everything.
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The KONTAKT Window
Options Dialog
5.3
Options Dialog
The Options dialog
Clicking on the gear icon in the Main Control Panel will open the Options dialog. This is where
you can configure KONTAKT’s global program preferences, such as interface behavior, audio
engine parameters, and import options. Preferences are divided into several categories, which
you can access with the tabs on the left side of the Options dialog.
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The KONTAKT Window
Options Dialog
5.3.1
Interface Tab
Interface tab of the Options dialog
This page contains options that change the look and behavior of KONTAKT’s user interface.
Reset Size: If KONTAKT’s interface becomes too large and you can no longer access the resizing handle to the bottom right of KONTAKT’s window, you can use this button to reset KONTAKT’s window size.
Show mapping and keyswitches on keyboard: If enabled, KONTAKT’s virtual On-Screen Keyboard will highlight keys that trigger zones or keyswitches in your currently selected Instrument
with different colors. By default, keys that trigger zones are colored blue and those that trigger
keyswitches are colored red, however some libraries may deviate from this convention.
Auto-refresh browser: When enabled, the Browser will periodically check your file system for
changes and pick them up by itself, without requiring you to refresh it manually.
Info Pane Language : KONTAKT can display hints in the Info Pane help area in English, German, French, Spanish or Japanese. You can select one of these languages from the Language
drop-down list. If you select Automatic, KONTAKT will use your operating system’s language
settings, unless it is unsupported, in which case KONTAKT will use English.
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The KONTAKT Window
Options Dialog
Suppress drawing of unselected groups in mapping editor: When active, KONTAKT will not display the zones of unselected groups in the Mapping Editor.
5.3.2
Engine Tab
Engine tab of the Options dialog
Default Volume for new instrument and volume reset: This value will be used as a default output volume for new and imported Instruments. Also, it’s the value to which the output volume
slider will snap when you [Ctrl]/[Cmd] + click it.
CPU overload protection: High voice counts can make the audio engine overload your CPU during operation; in such cases, the engine can choke and be rendered unusable until you restart
it manually via the Restart Engine button in the Engine sub-tab of the Expert tab in the Browser. This scenario can be avoided with the overload protection mechanism, which allows KONTAKT to kill voices when the CPU load gets critical. The Relaxed, Medium, and Strict settings
affect how cautious KONTAKT will be about this. Relaxed will not start killing voices until the
CPU is very close to overloading, and thus will give you the highest voice count while still providing some protection against overloading; if the CPU load is still too high, try one of the
stricter settings.
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The KONTAKT Window
Options Dialog
Multiprocessor support: KONTAKT can make use of multiple CPUs or multi-core processors. To
switch multi-processor support on and off and to set the number of processors / cores you want
to use for KONTAKT, select the corresponding entry from the Multiprocessor support menu.
Multi-processor settings are saved independently for a) the stand-alone and b) all plug-in versions. On multi-processor or multi-core systems, many factors influence the system’s behavior.
When running KONTAKT as a plug-in, multi-processor mode can sometimes cause crackles
and drop-outs. Whether or not these noises occur during playback strongly depends on your individual software and hardware setup. Therefore, the only option is to test which multi-processor setting works best for you when using the KONTAKT plug-in. Note that multi-processor support is disabled for the KONTAKT plug-in per default (off entry in the Multiprocessor Support
menu).
For stand-alone usage, we generally recommend turning multi-processor support on. Use the
above setting in the Engine tab of the Options dialog to enable multi-processor support according to the number of processors or cores installed.
Send MIDI to outside world: This drop-down menu allows you to choose which classes of MIDI
events will be sent to KONTAKT’s MIDI output ports. All menu entries will be toggled between
on (indicated with a small diamond next to the entry) and off state when you click them. The
available event classes are:
▪ GUI keyboard: MIDI events that are generated when you click on KONTAKT’s virtual OnScreen Keyboard.
▪ script generated CC’s: MIDI controller events that originate from running Scripts.
▪ script generated notes: Note-on and note-off events that originate from running Scripts.
▪ incoming CC’s: This will mirror incoming MIDI controller events at the MIDI output.
▪ incoming notes: Mirrors incoming MIDI note events at the MIDI output.
Offline Interpolation Quality: This option allows you to specify an interpolation quality setting
for offline bouncing and freezing that’s different from the one specified in the Source Modules
of your Instruments. For instance, you might want to keep your Source Modules set to standard
in order to save CPU resources during arrangement, but switch to perfect for bounces to get
the best possible quality during mixdown. The default setting is like realtime, which will use
each Source Module’s HQI setting during offline operation.
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The KONTAKT Window
Options Dialog
5.3.3
Handling Tab
Handling tab of the Options dialog
Use computer keyboard for MIDI playback: When enabled, you can use your computer keyboard to trigger MIDI notes for the currently selected Instrument. The QWERTZ/QWERTY row
of letters will play the middle octave.
Keyboard Velocity: Adjusts the velocity of notes that are triggered via your computer keyboard.
Solo Mode: This setting determines what KONTAKT will do when you attempt to activate the
Solo button on more than one Instrument. In Place will only allow one solo Instrument at any
time, so any other one will be muted; Latch will let you switch more than one Instrument into
solo mode.
Browser: Double-click loads instrument: If enabled, you can add Instruments from the Browser
into the Rack by double-clicking on their names.
Browser: Show files before folders: This determines the order in which files and folders will be
listed in the lower pane of the Browser.
Default root-key for new zones: When you create Zones out of Samples that don’t have any embedded information about their pitch, the Zones will be generated with the root key specified
here.
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The KONTAKT Window
Options Dialog
MIDI channel assignment for loaded patches: This drop-down menu lets you switch between
two different modes that affect in which way KONTAKT will assign MIDI channels to newly
added Instruments:
▪ Assign 1st Free is the default behavior and will assign the smallest possible MIDI port that
hasn’t been used yet (if available)
▪ Assign to Omni was the standard behavior of KONTAKT 1 and will always assign loaded Instruments to Omni (thus making them respond to all input ports).
▪ The additional Keep Channels from K1.x Patches toggle option lets you specify whether
KONTAKT should use the MIDI channel embedded in KONTAKT 1 patches (later versions
don’t save MIDI assignments in Instrument files anymore, only in Multi files).
Enable undo: Selecting this option enables the ability to undo actions. However, this can be
quite resource intensive, especially with larger instruments, which is why it is unselected by
default.
External wave editor: This setting lets you specify your own preferred sample editor. When you
click the Ext. Editor button in the Wave Editor, KONTAKT will start the specified editor with
the current sample, and automatically pick up the changes when you save the Sample within
that editor.
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The KONTAKT Window
Options Dialog
5.3.4
Load / Import Tab
Load / Import tab of the Options dialog
Show "Replace Multi" dialog: When enabled, KONTAKT will display a warning dialog window to
check if, when you load a multi, you are sure you want to discard the current multi. When disabled, KONTAKT will not make this check and replace the current multi instantly.
Load samples in background: When enabled, KONTAKT can load post 4.1 instruments with
background loading. This feature is useful for instruments that use a large amount of samples
and take a long time to load fully. With background loading active, KONTAKT will display the
instrument’s interface and become playable as soon as possible, though certain keys may not
sound immediately if the samples have yet to be loaded into memory.
Convert 3rd party samples to WAV when saving: If enabled, KONTAKT will always save Samples used by Instruments that came in third-party formats, such as REX, in WAV format; otherwise, they will be saved in their native formats.
Unwind automation IDs for additionally loaded patches: When enabled, KONTAKT will re-assign automation IDs of newly loaded Instruments if there’s already an Instrument in your Multi
that uses the same IDs. As an example, suppose you would like to add an Instrument twice to
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The KONTAKT Window
Options Dialog
your Multi, which uses automation IDs 0 through 9; if this option is enabled, KONTAKT will
change the assigned IDs of the second Instrument to 10-19 on load, provided that these IDs
have not been used by other Instruments in your Multi yet.
Force-load pre-2.0 patches in DFD mode: Since the DFD (Direct From Disk) mode was introduced with the KONTAKT 2.0 release, older libraries don’t make use of it; if this option is enabled, KONTAKT 1.x Instruments will be loaded with their Source Modules set to DFD mode by
default, thus making larger libraries benefit from the significantly reduced memory footprint.
Note, though, that the DFD mode doesn’t provide all features of the Sampler mode; if your
KONTAKT 1.x Instruments use any of these features, enabling this option might change their
behavior.
Limit file names to 31 characters: When enabled, KONTAKT will restrict all file names to 31
characters during import runs. This can be helpful in certain cross-platform scenarios, as some
older file systems only support filenames up to this length.
Import keyswitched sources into separate instruments: If this option is enabled and KONTAKT
encounters any keyswitches when importing third-party formats, it will split the patch in question into several Instruments, each of which will contain the Groups that were assigned to a
single key in the source patch.
Write absolute paths instead of relative paths: When enabled, KONTAKT will use absolute
Sample references for Instruments that are being converted via the Import button in the File
Browser. Absolute paths ensure that Sample references will be kept intact when you move the
Instrument file to a different location later. Note that this option only affects the operation of
the Import button; when you manually save Instruments or Multis, you’ll be specifically asked
whether absolute or relative paths shall be used.
Browser Import: Destination file format: When converting Sample data via the Import button in
the File Browser, KONTAKT will save Samples in the format specified here.
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The KONTAKT Window
Options Dialog
5.3.5
Database Tab
Database tab of the Options dialog
The settings on this tab affect the operation of KONTAKT’s Database, which is explained in
detail in section ↑13.4, Database Tab of this manual.
Automatically add loaded / saved files to database: When enabled, KONTAKT will automatically add any files that you access to the Database if they’re not already included. This helps
keeping your Database up to date without the need for manual rebuilds.
Include samples in database scan: If enabled, KONTAKT will include information about individual Samples (i.e. audio files) in the Database when scanning your file system for objects.
This can be useful when you’re frequently creating and editing your own Instruments; otherwise, it’s not advisable to enable this option, as it can massively increase the size your Database.
Database Location List: Here you can specify locations that should be covered by the Database,
such as the directory or partition that contains your sample libraries.
▪ You can add locations to this list by clicking on the Add button and selecting a new location in the selection dialog that appears
▪ Selecting a list entry and clicking on Remove will delete it from the list.
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The KONTAKT Window
Options Dialog
▪ Clicking on the Update button will pick up any changes while preserving all user settings
that you’ve made in the Database (such as ratings or color assignments) at the cost of increased disk space consumption.
▪ The Reset and Scan button will erase the entire Database and rebuild it from scratch; all
user settings will be lost in this case.
5.3.6
Libraries Tab
The Libraries tab of the Options dialog
The Libraries tab is where you can define which of you Powered by KONTAKT libraries appear
in the Libraries tab of the Browser (a.k.a. the Library Browser).
The main area of the Libraries tab contains a list of all of the Powered by KONTAKT libraries
you have installed on your computer. By default, these libraries will have an entry in the Library Browser.
If you want to hide a library from the Library Browser without uninstalling it from your computer, you can uncheck its entry in this list.
If you want the library to return to the Library Browser, you simply re-check its entry in this
list.
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The KONTAKT Window
Options Dialog
See ↑13, The Browser for more information on the Library Browser.
5.3.7
Memory Tab
The Memory tab of the Options Dialog
On the Memory tab, you can optimize KONTAKT’s memory usage settings for your specific
computer configuration.
Override Instrument’s preload size: If enabled, KONTAKT will ignore the preload buffer size
that’s embedded in Instrument files since KONTAKT 2, and use the specified buffer size instead. We recommend leaving the preload buffer size on default value. Memory improvements
might be possible by moving the slider to the lowest setting possible without experiencing playback errors.
KONTAKT Memory Server Options (Mac OS X only)
Mac OS X cannot address more than 4 GB of RAM (up to 3.5 GB supported) per application. If
you are running KONTAKT on a 32-bit Mac, you are able to access more than 4 GB RAM with
KONTAKT Memory Server (KMS).
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The KONTAKT Window
Options Dialog
Using KMS is only recommended when working with very large numbers of samples
which require more physical memory than one KONTAKT instance can access. You
should not enable KONTAKT Memory Server if it is not absolutely necessary!
In order to use KMS on your computer, Mac OS X needs to be installed, and at least 4 GB of
physical RAM must be available. Using KMS also requires administrator privileges, so make
sure you are logged in as an administrator. KONTAKT will detect the Mac OS X version and the
amount of RAM present on your computer automatically. Subsequently, it will display an option to enable advanced memory access.
The Memory tab on OS X
After activating KMS you need to restart KONTAKT for the changes to take effect.
KONTAKT will automatically set the size of accessible RAM to a value suitable for most cases.
You can find the amount of determined accessible RAM in the KMS Options dialog.
KONTAKT Memory Server is a separate application running in background. KONTAKT no longer loads samples itself as long as the KMS option is enabled. All running KONTAKT instances
share the KONTAKT Memory Server and can access the samples loaded. The KONTAKT Memory Server will boot automatically as soon as you start a KONTAKT instance.
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The KONTAKT Window
Options Dialog
The KMS utility appears in the Mac OS X system bar, so you can monitor the amount of RAM
used by the server process. CPU and RAM requirements of KMS utility itself are negligible.
Note that there is no option to shut down the KMS utility in Manual mode.
Memory Server Modes
Memory tab with Memory Server mode options
▪ Automatic: In Automatic mode the KMS will keep all samples currently used by KONTAKT
instances stored. If an Instrument is removed from KONTAKT’s rack, samples that are no
longer needed will be also removed from the Memory Server’s sample pool. The KMS will
automatically shut down when all KONTAKT instances are closed.
▪ Manual: In Manual mode the KONTAKT Memory Server does not remove samples from the
server when an instrument is removed from KONTAKT’s rack or when all KONTAKT instances are closed. All samples stay in the memory as long as it is running. This can be helpful, e.g. when re-opening a project in your host sequencer which is using KONTAKT as
plug-in and when working with extensive templates of numerous instruments. Loading
times are significantly shorter, since the samples are already stored in RAM and do not
need to be loaded again.
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The KONTAKT Window
Options Dialog
The KMS Utility in the Mac OS X system menu bar
Managing the KONTAKT Memory Server
The KONTAKT Memory Server is managed via the KMS utility, which allows you to manually
purge unused samples if you want to free memory. If you are running out of memory when
loading additional Instruments, the server will automatically start to purge samples that are not
referenced by any loaded Instrument.
5.3.8
Usage Data
The Usage Data tab of the Options dialog
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The KONTAKT Window
Options Dialog
KONTAKT collects anonymous data regarding your usage of the software in order to better inform future updates. This helps the developers see which functions are used most or least often, and how users tend to access certain functions. Sending this data to Native Instruments
will help make future versions of KOTNAKT better, but the choice of whether or not you want
to share this information with Native Instruments is yours.
▪ If you wish to opt out of the anonymous data tracking, select the No, I don’t want to contribute option.
▪ If you wish to help future KONTAKT updates, select Yes, enable using data tracking.
Data Being Tracked
The following data will be transmitted by Usage Data Tracking:
▪ System profile (operating system, audio drivers, and things like that)
▪ Current location (country and city)
▪ Data about your interaction with the software (e.g. actions you perform or audio interfaces
you connect)
Data Not Being Tracked
The following data will not be gathered by Usage Data Tracking:
▪ Personal data (Name, email address, payment details, serial numbers, etc.)
▪ User content (file names being referenced, samples, songs, tags, comments, mappings
etc.)
▪ Any user activity outside of the NI application
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The Rack Multi Instrument Mode
Multi Instrument Header
6
The Rack Multi Instrument Mode
The Rack is the place in which your mouse pointer will spend the most time when you’re working with KONTAKT. It operates in one of two modes: the Multi Instrument mode lets you view
and edit your Multi and the performance views of the Instruments in it, while the Instrument
Edit mode lets you edit the inner workings of a single Instrument. Let’s take a closer look at
the first one.
When you start KONTAKT, the Rack will be in Multi Instrument mode. In this mode, any Instrument in your Multi will be shown as a horizontal Instrument Header, which contains the
Instrument name and some controls for general parameters. Your Multi can contain up to 64
Instruments, which will be spread across 4 pages of up to 16 Instruments each.
6.1
Multi Instrument Header
At the top of the Rack section, you’ll notice a header that contains a name field and some buttons; this header is always visible as long as the Rack is in Multi Instrument mode.
The Multi Instrument Header
The Rack header in Multi Instrument mode allows you to manage your Multi, switch between
the four Multi pages, toggle the visibility of the Multi-Script editor, show or hide Aux send controls, and resize all Instrument Headers.
At its left side, a text field contains the name of your currently loaded Multi; if you have just
started KONTAKT, this will read New (default), as this is the default Multi file that will be
loaded on startup. To change the name, just click it and enter a new one. The left and right
arrow buttons will replace your Multi with the previous or next one from the same directory, if
there are any.
Next to the Multi name field are four page buttons which allow you to switch between the four
Instrument pages.
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The Rack Multi Instrument Mode
Instrument Header
Each Multi can contain up to 64 Instruments, arranged across four pages of 16 Instruments each
You can use these pages for keeping your Instruments in separate categories when your Multi
is very large, or you can just switch to the next page when the 16 available Instrument slots of
your current one are occupied.
Another option is to assign all Instruments on a page to channels of the same MIDI port; if you
have four ports at your disposal, this method lets you easily keep track of your MIDI assignments in large Multis. Of course, nothing keeps you from assigning several Instruments to the
same MIDI channel — this is a quick way of creating layered sounds.
The Multi Workspace Buttons
Beside the Instrument Page buttons are three buttons that alter the workspace in some way,
displaying or hiding certain controls, or minimizing all instruments at once.
▪ The KSP button next to the page buttons toggles the visibility of a global Script Editor
pane; here you can create, edit and manage Multi Scripts, which operate on a higher level
than normal Instrument Scripts, but work the same otherwise. Multi scripts are explained
in chapter ↑19, The Script Editor.
▪ The next button, labeled Aux, toggles the display of a row of Aux send controls that let you
control the signal level at which each Instrument is routed to the Aux Channels, which are
explained in section ↑15.3, Working with Aux Channels.
▪ The last button toggles all Instrument Headers in your multi between their minimized and
maximized size. At their normal size, Instrument Headers contain more information, but also occupy more screen space — if you’re not planning to adjust any Instrument parameters
and would like to see an overview of all Instruments on a page, just switch all Instrument
Headers to their minimized view.
6.2
Instrument Header
Whenever you create a new Instrument, it will appear in the Rack as an Instrument Header.
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The Rack Multi Instrument Mode
Instrument Header
An Instrument Header at its normal display size
Each Instrument Header can be optionally reduced in size; the header shown here is set to its
normal size. In this mode, it displays parameters that describe how the Instrument will work in
the context of the current Multi; also, it provides some controls that allow you to adjust parameters like the Instrument’s output volume, its panning position, or its mute status. Here’s a
run-down of the controls:
▪ Edit button: This is the button with a wrench symbol on it. For locked instruments, this will
be replaced by a cog. If you click this button, the Rack will switch into Instrument Edit
mode, and you will be able to edit the Instrument on its core level. The same button in
Instrument Edit mode will return to the Multi Instrument view.
▪ Instrument Icon: Located below the Edit button. KONTAKT Instrument creators can choose
from a range of icons that indicate the general category of their creation. Some libraries
will also use custom icons. Clicking this icon will toggle the Instrument’s Performance View
on or off (if the Instrument has one).
▪ Quick-Load menu: The dropdown menu to the left of the instrument name gives access to
your Quick-Load Browser.
▪ Instrument Name: This field contains the name of your Instrument. You can edit the name
by clicking on it and entering a new one. Note that the name displayed here will be identical to the file name (without the .nki extension) when you load and save the Instrument.
▪ Previous / Next buttons: The left/right arrow button to the right of the instrument name will
exchange the Instrument with the previous or next one from the same directory, respectively. The exchange will be done in place, so the new Instrument will occupy the same slot.
▪ Output Channel: This field displays the currently selected Output Channel that will receive
the output signal from this Instrument. Clicking on the channel name will open a dropdown menu with all currently defined Output Channels; this way, you can assign the Instrument to a different channel.
▪ MIDI Channel: This field indicates the currently assigned MIDI input channel that the Instrument will respond to. Clicking on it will open a drop-down menu that allows you to select a new MIDI channel for this Instrument. The Omni setting will make it respond to
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The Rack Multi Instrument Mode
Instrument Header
MIDI data on any channel; below it, the available ports of your MIDI interface will appear
as sub-menus, each one containing the 16 channels of the respective ports. Note that the
maximum number of distinct MIDI channels that you can use is 64 in the stand-alone version of KONTAKT, and 16 when using KONTAKT as a plug-in.
▪ Voices: This number indicates how many voices are currently being used by the Instrument.
▪ Max Voices: This is the maximum number of voices that the Instrument may use at any
time. You can change this value by clicking on it, then dragging your mouse up or down. If
you notice that the number of currently used voices rises to the Max Voices value during
play and you hear that voices are being cut off, try increasing this value.
▪ Purge: This button opens a drop-down menu that lets you execute the functions related to
KONTAKT’s purge mechanism on a per-instrument basis. The purge facility is explained in
section ↑6.3, Purge Menu.
▪ Memory: This value indicates how much system memory is currently being used by the
Sample data of this Instrument.
▪ Solo button: When you click this button, all other Instruments in your Multi will be muted,
so that you can hear its output signal in isolation. How KONTAKT will handle multiple Solo
selections depends on the setting of the Solo Mode option, which is explained in section
↑5.3.3, Handling Tab.
▪ Mute button: This will mute the current Instrument, thus temporarily removing its output
signal from the Output Channel.
▪ Tune: Moving this knob clockwise or anti-clockwise will change the pitch of this Instrument
up or down, respectively. The control covers a range of +/- 3 octaves and will move in semitone steps unless you hold the [Shift] key while moving it, which lets you make finer adjustments.
▪ Pan: This slider adjusts the panorama position of the Instrument’s output signal.
▪ Level Meters: These LED-style bar graph meters indicate the current output levels across all
channels of this Instrument.
▪ Volume: This slider adjusts the output volume of this Instrument. You can choose whether
the default value of Volume sliders will be -6 dB or 0 dB in the Options dialog.
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The Rack Multi Instrument Mode
Purge Menu
▪ Remove Instrument: Clicking on the “X” button in the upper right corner of an Instrument
Header will remove the respective Instrument from your Multi.
▪ Minimize View: When you click this button, this Instrument Header will be minimized in
size. This allows you to adjust the display sizes of headers individually.
▪ Aux: Clicking on this button will show and hide the row of Aux send sliders below this Instrument Header.
▪ PV: If the Instrument provides a Performance View panel, this button will toggle its visibility. You can read all about the Performance View feature in section ↑6.5, Performance View
of this manual.
6.3
Purge Menu
The purge mechanism in KONTAKT keeps track of which Samples in an Instrument have been
actually triggered since the Instrument was loaded, and gives you the option of removing all
other Samples from the Instrument. This way, you can reduce the number of Samples that are
being kept in memory to the subset that you have actually used in your arrangement.
Consider this example: You’re working on a large orchestra piece and have just finished the
cello part. The cello Instrument in your Multi covers the note range between C1 and G4 in
chromatic steps, with five velocity Zones per note; in other words, it’s huge. Your cello part, on
the other hand, consists of alternating C2 and G1 quarter notes. Clearly, there’s a lot of memory waste going on. Using the purge facility, you can play your part once — this will allow KONTAKT to gather which Samples are actually being used — and then eliminate all unused Samples from the memory. Your Instrument will work as it did before, but notes or velocity ranges
that didn’t occur during the analyzing phase won’t play anymore. If you change your mind later, you can reload all Samples with one mouse click.
Using purge functions like this can cause problems with instruments that randomly trigger samples, or use round robin options. Check the library specification before you use
these options.
A purge menu is available for each Instrument; this way, you can use the purge feature on Instruments whose parts are already finished, while keeping others that are still in active use
loaded in their entirety.
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The Rack Multi Instrument Mode
Instrument Header (Minimized)
The Purge Menu
You can access the local purge menu of an Instrument at the right side of the Instrument
Header. Let’s take a look at each of the functions:
▪ reset markers: Whenever KONTAKT plays a Zone in your Instrument, it will flag the respective Sample as being used. Using this function, you can delete all of these flags, thereby
resetting all data that KONTAKT has gathered about Sample usage so far. After you have
finished your work on a part, you should select this function once and then play your part;
this way, only the notes that have actually made it into the final part will be flagged as
used. Afterwards, you can proceed by choosing the Update Sample Pool function described
below.
▪ update sample pool: This function removes all Samples that are not currently flagged as
being used from memory, and reloads any currently purged Samples that have been triggered since the last purge operation. In other words, it brings the sample pool in sync with
the Sample usage flags it has gathered since the last purge operation.
▪ purge all samples: Unloads all Samples from RAM. This allows you to reverse the usual
purge process: you can play your arrangement in a “silent run”, and then load only the
Samples that are actually being used via the Update Sample Pool command afterwards.
▪ reload all samples: Reloads all Samples, reverting any previous purge actions.
6.4
Instrument Header (Minimized)
If you want to save screen space, you can switch all (or a selection of individual) Instrument
Headers to a minimized view, which contains only the most important parameters and controls.
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The Rack Multi Instrument Mode
Performance View
An Instrument Header at its minimized display size
In this mode, the Instrument Header includes only the Edit button, the Instrument Name field,
Solo and Mute buttons, Output Volume and Pan sliders, Level Meters, and buttons for removing this Instrument from your Multi and switching the header back to its normal size. For an
explanation of what each control does, refer to the previous section about the Instrument
Header.
6.5
Performance View
Using KONTAKT’s internal scripting language, Instruments can provide custom control panels,
called Performance Views. The idea behind this feature is that it makes Instrument-specific
settings available in a user-friendly way that doesn’t require the user to switch into Instrument
Edit mode. For example, a funky guitar Instrument might provide a Performance View that lets
you tweak its effects, like a wah-wah filter or a guitar amp simulation. The main advantage of
this approach is that Performance Views appear below the Instrument Header in the Rack; you
don’t need to switch to Instrument Edit mode to locate the important sound and performance
parameters. All Instruments included in the KONTAKT library provide Performance Views.
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The Rack Multi Instrument Mode
Performance View
If an Instrument provides a Performance View, its custom panel will appear below the Instrument Header in the rack.
As you can see, this feature can be used to build highly customizable user interfaces; in this
example, the Performance View has a custom control set and a row of tabs at the bottom,
which let the user switch between different control pages.
Note that Performance Views appear only below Instrument Headers at normal size, not
below minimized headers. Also, you can turn control panels of Scripts in your Instrument into Performance Views yourself; this process is explained in section ↑19.3, Editing and Saving a Script of this manual.
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The Rack Instrument Edit Mode
7
The Rack Instrument Edit Mode
Whenever you edit an Instrument, the Rack will switch into Instrument Edit mode. In this
mode, all other Instrument Headers won’t be visible anymore (but you can still access them via
the Instrument Navigator pane of the Browser; read how this works in section ↑13.2.3, Instrument Navigator Pane of this manual); instead, the whole Rack space will be dedicated to the
editors, control panels, and modulation tables of your selected Instrument.
►
To edit an Instrument, click the wrench icon of its Instrument Header when the Rack is
in Multi Instrument mode.
At the top of the Rack pane, you’ll notice that switching to Instrument Edit mode has also
changed the header.
The Rack header in Instrument Edit mode
When in Instrument edit mode, the Rack header allows you to manage your Groups, Undo or
Redo your most recent actions, save the Instrument, or switch the edit view to the previous or
next Instrument in your Multi
From left to right, here’s what these elements do:
▪ Exit button: Clicking on this button will “fold in” the Instrument and return to the Multi Instrument view.
▪ Displayed Group: This field indicates the name of the Group whose parameters are currently
being displayed by the Group level modules. When you click it, a drop-down menu that
contains all Groups in your Instrument will appear. Choosing one of these Groups will select it for display and editing.
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The Rack Instrument Edit Mode
▪ Edited Groups: This field indicates whether parameter adjustments on the Group level will
affect just one or multiple Groups. If it reads Group, any parameter changes will only affect
the current Group; Multi indicates that multiple Groups are currently selected for editing,
and All warns you that all Groups of your Instrument are currently selected for editing.
▪ Edit All Groups button: This button toggles the selection of all Groups for editing. It does the
same as the Edit All Groups button in the upper left corner of the Group Editor.
▪ Undo button: When you click the circled arrow of this button, your last action will be undone. As KONTAKT keeps a log of your actions, you can revert more than one action to return to a specific point in your editing history. Clicking on the small down arrow icon at the
right of this button will open your edit history in a dialog window; selecting an action will
take you back to this point in your edit history. Note that the Undo and Redo facilities are
only available when you’re working in Instrument Edit mode. To enable the Undo function,
open the Handling tab in Global Options and select the Enable undo option.
▪ Redo button: If you reverted one or more actions via the Undo button and change your
mind, you can restore parts of your changes by clicking on the circled arrow of the Redo
button. Note that you have to do this right after using the Undo function; if you perform
any other actions after using Undo, your edit history cannot be restored. Just like the Undo
button, the Redo button will open a history list dialog when you click the small down arrow
at its right side.
▪ Quick-Save: This button saves your Instrument in its current state; if you haven’t saved it
before, a “Save” dialog will appear, otherwise KONTAKT will overwrite the last version right
away. Use this button generously when you’re in the middle of complex editing tasks; this
way, you can always revert to the last saved version if something goes wrong.
▪ Previous / Next Instrument buttons: Clicking on these buttons will switch the Instrument Edit
view to the previous or next Instrument in your Multi.
Below its own header, the Rack displays the Instrument Header of your edited Instrument (this
is identical to the one that’s being displayed in Multi Instrument mode), a row of buttons that
will show and hide editors for various aspects of your Instrument, and a flexible vertical view in
which you can access all editors, modulation and routing tables, control panels, and signal
processing chains of your Instrument. The four sections at the bottom of the Rack — labeled
Buses, Insert Effects, Send Effects, and Modulation — can be optionally hidden from view by
clicking the button next to their titles. When you choose to show all details, the Instrument Edit view of a full-sized, complex Instrument might look similar to this:
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The Rack Instrument Edit Mode
Instrument Edit rack, with all editors and panels open
If you find this a little intimidating, don’t worry; you don’t have to know every panel inside out
before you can create useful Instruments or edit existing ones. Just conquer the interface one
step at a time and refer to this manual and the Info Pane whenever you’re not sure what a specific knob, button or menu does; this way, you’ll get the hang of how to get the most out of
KONTAKT sooner than you might think.
Let’s take a quick look at what each panel does. All interface elements will be explained in
detail within the respective chapters of this manual.
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The Rack Instrument Edit Mode
▪ Instrument Header: This is the same header that is displayed when the Rack is in Multi Instrument mode. You can switch back to the Multi Instrument mode by clicking on the
wrench icon.
▪ Editor Buttons: These buttons toggle the display of various editor panels in the Instrument
Edit view. The Mapping Editor and Wave Editor buttons have an arrow icon on their right
sides; clicking on this when you’re running KONTAKT in stand-alone mode will open the
respective editor in a separate window. The leftmost button, labeled Instrument Options, is
special and will be explained below.
▪ Script Editor (visible if the Script Editor button is enabled): In this editor, you can load
Scripts, access their user interfaces, and edit their source code.
▪ Group Editor (visible if the Group Editor button is enabled): This is where you select, edit,
and manage the Groups in your Instrument.
▪ Mapping Editor (visible if the Mapping Editor button is enabled): This editor lets you add
Samples to your Instrument, map them to the keyboard, assign them to velocity ranges,
and manage the Zones in your Instrument.
▪ Wave Editor (visible if the Wave Editor button is enabled): This is where you work on the
Sample level to create loops, define Slice markers for rhythmic Samples, create Zone Envelopes, and perform destructive audio editing operations.
▪ Source Module: This core module takes care of the Sample playback mode for the Group.
▪ Source Modulation Router: In this table, you can define modulation assignments, which
change parameters of the source module over time in a variety of different ways.
▪ Group Insert Effects: This chain consists of 8 slots, each of which can take up a signal processing module. Each Group has its own Insert Effects chain, which will operate polyphonically (i.e. on the signal of each voice that originates in this Group separately).
▪ Signal Processor Controls (visible if the Edit button on the chain module above is enabled):
This panel contains the controls of a signal processing module in the Group Insert Effects
chain.
▪ Amplifier Module: This module will shape the volume, pan, and phase of the source signals
in each Group.
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The Rack Instrument Edit Mode
Instrument Options Dialog
▪ Modulation Router (visible if the Channel Routing button on the Amplifier panel is enabled):
This matrix allows you to configure the signal handover between the Group and Instrument
signal flow level.
▪ Instrument Bus Effects Chain: In this area you can apply different effect chains to up to 16
different buses. Buses can be used to apply effect chains to different collections of
Groups. In the same way a Group processes a collection of Zones, a Bus will process a collection of Groups (however Bus level effects are not polyphonic and cannot have modulation assignments like Group level effects).
▪ Signal Processor Controls (visible if the Edit button on the chain module above is enabled):
This panel contains the controls of a signal processing module in the Instrument Bus Effects chain.
▪ Instrument Insert Effects chain: This chain could be considered the master effects of the instrument, affecting all signals that pass through the instrument’s main output.
▪ Signal Processor Controls (visible if the Edit button on the chain module above is enabled):
This panel contains the controls of a signal processing module in the Instrument Insert Effects chain.
▪ Send Effects Slots: These slots take up signal processing modules which act as send effects;
they can be fed individually with signals from various points of the signal flow. They are
routed in parallel to each other and to the Insert Effects chain.
▪ Signal Processor Controls (visible if the Edit button on the Send Effects slots module above
is enabled): This panel contains the controls of a signal processing module in one of the
Send Effects slots.
▪ Modulation Sources: This section contains a panel for each modulation source that you have
defined in the displayed Group.
7.1
Instrument Options Dialog
When you click on the leftmost button below the Instrument Header while editing an Instrument, the Instrument Options dialog will appear. It allows you to adjust parameters that affect
this Instrument’s playback behavior, MIDI response, and appearance in the Rack. The Instrument Options are divided into four categories; you can access these by clicking on the respective tabs on the left side of the dialog window.
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The Rack Instrument Edit Mode
Instrument Options Dialog
7.1.1
Instrument Tab
The Instrument tab of the Instrument Options
The Instrument tab of the Instrument Options dialog contains general options which affect the
playing behavior of the respective Instrument.
▪ Key Switch default Key: If you have defined any keyswitches for your Instrument, this value
specifies the default switch that will be active right after the Instrument has been loaded.
▪ MIDI Transpose: This parameter allows you to apply a transposition offset to all incoming
MIDI notes. In contrast to the Tune knob in the Instrument Header, which alters the pitch
of the sample playback, this value will change the MIDI notes only; for instance, a setting
of 12 will have the same effect as playing an octave higher.
▪ Key Range: The keyboard range to which this Instrument will respond. Setting this parameter to different ranges across multiple Instruments is a quick way to create keyboard splits.
▪ Velocity Range: Limits the velocity range to which this Instrument will respond.
▪ Instrument Wallpaper: To give your Instruments a distinctive appearance in the Rack, you
can create your own skins. This parameter lets you choose an image file in TGA or PNG
format that will be used instead of the default panel background of the Instrument Header
at its normal size. The image needs to have a color depth of 16, 24, or 32 bits and should
be 633 pixels wide — larger widths will be cut off, smaller widths will be filled with black.
We have included some sample skins in the KONTAKT installation.
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The Rack Instrument Edit Mode
Instrument Options Dialog
After you have added a skin to your Instrument, we recommend that you save it once with samples; this will put the skin image file into a “wallpaper” sub-folder inside the Instrument’s
sample folder.
▪ Resource Container: Now that KONTAKT libraries can link to many different types of files,
the Resource Container was designed as a tool for library developers to help them keep all
of these files in a convenient location. In this area you can Create a Resource Container, or
attach an nki to an existing one via the browse button.
7.1.2
Voices Handling Tab
The Voices tab of the Instrument Options
Voice Stealing
This section contains options for setting how the instrument should react when it starts to exceed its voice limit.
▪ Mode: This sets the default way in which KONTAKT will free up voices when the Instrument’s maximum voice count has been reached. These options are explained in section
↑16.3, Voice Groups of the Group Editor chapter.
▪ Fadeout Time: When KONTAKT has to recycle a voice, it won’t just cut it off abruptly, but
apply a short fade-out; this eliminates clicking noises. This parameter adjusts the length of
the fadeout in milliseconds.
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The Rack Instrument Edit Mode
Instrument Options Dialog
Time Machine Pro
In order to produce high quality time and pitch manipulation, the Time Machine Pro machine
mode uses more resources than the other machine modes. As such, the number of voices it
can process at any one time have their own limits, separate from the main Instrument voice
limit. These limits are set in this section.
▪ Standard Mode Voice Limit: Sets the voice limit for groups using the standard quality Time
Machine Pro mode.
▪ HQ Mode Voice Limit: Sets the voice limit for groups using the HQ Mode option in Time
Machine Pro.
7.1.3
DFD Tab
The DFD tab of the Instrument Options dialog
In the DFD Tab you can access the options for Direct From Disk streaming. This allows KONTAKT to read samples directly from the Hard Drive, and only load a small section of the sample in RAM, reducing the overall RAM usage of the Instrument.
▪ DFD Preload Buffer Size: With this slider, you can adjust the size of each Sample portion
that will be buffered in memory for instant playback. This value applies only to Samples
that belong to Groups whose Source Module is operating in DFD mode. If any Group in
DFD mode causes drop-outs which disappear when you put the respective Source Module
into Sampler mode, you might want to try increasing this parameter.
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The Rack Instrument Edit Mode
Instrument Options Dialog
▪ Background loading: The Background loading option Allow instant playback for samples
which are not loaded yet is available here. Enable this option to have KONTAKT play every
triggered note during Background Loading. Under certain special circumstances, playing
notes while loading samples in the background may cause ’flam’-like glitches or other unexpected audio artifacts as KONTAKT attempts to play a sample it has not yet loaded. Disable this option to avoid such artifacts.
7.1.4
Controller Tab
The Controller tab of the Instrument Options dialog
This tab contains the options for how the instrument should react to certain standardized MIDI
controller messages.
▪ MIDI Controller #64 (Sustain Pedal) acts as: You can choose how KONTAKT should interpret and handle incoming MIDI controller #64 messages, which are usually being sent by
sustain pedals:
◦ Pedal + CC will keep the Instrument in its sustain phase as long as the sustain pedal
is depressed, and also treats the message like a normal MIDI controller (which allows
you to use it as a modulation source).
◦ Sustain Pedal without Controller will keep the Instrument in its sustain phase as long
as the sustain pedal is depressed, but the message will not be available as a normal
MIDI controller.
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The Rack Instrument Edit Mode
Instrument Options Dialog
◦ Controller Only: KONTAKT won’t use sustain pedal messages for sustaining notes, but
you will be able to access them as MIDI controllers for your own purposes.
▪ Accept all notes off / all sounds off: When activated, KONTAKT will interpret and adhere to
incoming “all notes off” MIDI messages.
▪ Accept standard controllers for Volume and Pan: When activated, you can change the output volume and pan settings of an Instrument by sending MIDI CCs #7 and #10, respectively. These are the standard controller numbers for volume and pan.
▪ MIDI Controller #7 (Volume) range: This drop-down menu lets you choose how the value
range of MIDI CC #7 controller messages will be mapped to the output volume slider if the
previous option is enabled. The selected range endpoints correspond to the volume levels
at MIDI values 0 (minimum) and 127 (maximum), respectively. The default setting is negative infinity .. 0dB, which mutes the Instrument at controller value 0 and puts it at unity
gain at controller value 127.
7.1.5
Snapshot Tab
The Snapshot tab of the Instrument Options
Snapshots are a way of saving any processing related information associated with an Instrument, without the need to save the whole instrument.
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The Rack Instrument Edit Mode
Instrument Options Dialog
For example, if you want to create an Instrument with some synthesizer samples, and then
save a version of that same Instrument with a low pass filter applied, you can save that filtered
version as a Snapshot.
In the Snapshot Tab you can view the locations of the Snapshot files associated with the Instrument.
▪ Snapshot Saving Location: This area will display the location on your computer where the
user Snapshots for this Instrument will be saved to and loaded from. Clicking on the Show
button will open this folder in your operating systems file browser.
▪ Factory Snapshots: Some 3rd Party libraries will come with their own Snapshots, which cannot be overwritten. These Snapshots are stored in a separate location, which you will be
able to see here. You can toggle the availability of factory Snapshots by clicking the button
to the right of this section.
7.1.6
Infos Tab
The Infos tab of the Instrument Options
▪ Instrument Icon: KONTAKT allows you to assign icons to your Instruments; these will be
displayed within normal-sized Instrument Headers in the Rack and provide visual hints
about the Instrument category. The rightmost icon in the list, labeled new, is the default
icon for newly created Instruments. Note that KONTAKT will assign special icons to Instruments that were imported from third-party formats; these don’t appear in this list.
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The Rack Instrument Edit Mode
Instrument Options Dialog
▪ Instrument Info: Use this text field to enter any information, credits, or production notes
you’d like to be attached to your Instrument.
▪ Author: When you have created an Instrument and want to distribute it, you can enter your
own or your company’s name here.
▪ Weblink: This field lets you provide a web location where people can find more information
about you and your KONTAKT creations.
If the Instrument is part of a 3rd Party Library, then it will display information about the library
and will not be editable.
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Loading and Creating Instruments
8
Loading and Creating Instruments
In order to add a previously created Instrument to your Multi, either in KONTAKT format (.nki)
or in one of the supported third party formats, locate your Instrument file within the Browser
first. You can either
▪ Drag it into a blank space of the Rack to add it to the Multi.
▪ Drag it onto an Instrument that is already in the Rack to replace that Instrument with the
new one.
Alternatively, you can choose the Load command from the Files menu; a file selection dialog
will appear that lets you locate and select any Instrument, Multi, or Instrument Bank file on
your system.
If you have enabled the Browser: Double click loads instrument option in the Options
dialog, you can also load Instruments by double-clicking them in the Browser.
After the Instrument has been loaded successfully, it will appear in the Rack. If required, you
can now change its Output and MIDI channel assignments from the controls in the Instrument’s Header. Once these are correctly set, you should be able to play the Instrument via your
MIDI keyboard or the virtual On-Screen Keyboard.
If you would like to create an Instrument from scratch, you have several options:
▪ The New Instrument command in the Files menu will add an empty Instrument that’s
based on the default Instrument template (you can change this template by creating a default Instrument of your choice and saving it via the Save as Default Instrument command
in the Files menu).
▪ Alternatively, you can start out with a Sample or a set of Samples and let KONTAKT do the
work of combining them into an Instrument. Locate and select the Sample files that you
want to use in the Browser, then drag them into an empty space in the Rack; KONTAKT
will create a new Instrument (once again, based on the default Instrument template) and
spread the Samples across the keyboard. If you do this with a WAV file that contains Slice
markers or with a REX file, KONTAKT will switch the new Instrument to Beat Machine
mode, so that you can play your Sample in sync to your song tempo right away.
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Loading and Creating Instruments
Samples Missing Dialog
As explained in the Files menu section of the Main Control Panel chapter, KONTAKT uses different ways to reference the Samples that are being used by an Instrument. When Instruments
are being saved in a monolith, the Sample data gets embedded in the file itself, and thus can’t
be accidentally separated. In a lot of cases, though, you will encounter Instruments that reference external Sample files on your system via their respective paths and file names. It’s obvious that while this method creates small Instrument files and avoids unnecessary duplication
of Sample data, it’s not as bullet-proof as combining Instrument and Sample data into a monolith; whenever you move referenced Sample files to a different location, KONTAKT won’t be
able to find them anymore in the location that’s being specified within the respective Instrument files. Depending on whether KONTAKT used a relative path for referencing Samples, this
can even happen when you move Instrument files while keeping their referenced Samples in
their original locations.
Whenever you attempt to load an Instrument whose Samples cannot be found in their expected
location, KONTAKT will open a Content Missing dialog. This window offers various options that
help KONTAKT locate the missing files on your system. Once it has found them, you can then
re-save the Instrument with the corrected references in order to make the changes permanent.
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Loading and Creating Instruments
The Content Missing dialog
In its upper half, the Content Missing dialog displays a list of all Sample files that were referenced within the Instrument file, but couldn’t be found in the expected locations; these locations are shown in the right column. Whenever you’re not sure which action might have caused
the Content Missing dialog to appear, study the locations displayed in the assumed at column
carefully; you might recognize a folder that you’ve moved to a different location at some point
in the past.
In the lower half of the dialog, KONTAKT provides a number of commands that will either
search for the missing files automatically (left side), or allow you to specify the new location
manually (right side). If you’re not sure where the missing Samples could be located, choose
one of the automatic options on the left side:
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Loading and Creating Instruments
▪ Search Filesystem: This will search for the missing Samples on all file systems of your hard
disks. Depending on the size and speed of your hard disks, the scanning process might
take a considerable amount of time, but if the Sample files have not been renamed or deleted, they will eventually be found.
▪ Search Database: This will search the Samples within KONTAKT’s own Database, then use
any found records to locate them on your hard disk. The idea behind this is that the Samples might have been picked up by a Database re-build process after they have been
moved; if this is the case, their actual locations in your file system can be retrieved from
the Database. This option requires a correctly built Database that has been configured to
include Sample data.
Note that by default, all these options search for the missing Samples by their file names only;
in some cases, two or more different Samples on your hard disk might share a common name.
This can cause KONTAKT to load the wrong Sample; if you notice this in your Instrument,
don’t save it. Instead, remove it from your Multi, load it again, and repeat the search process
after you’ve enabled the Check for Duplicates option at the bottom of the “Samples Missing”
dialog. This will make KONTAKT examine any files with matching names more thoroughly,
which will sort out duplicates, but take more time than searching without this option.
If you already know where the missing Samples are located on your system, there’s no need for
an automatic search. Instead, choose one of the options on the right side, which allow you to
locate files manually:
▪ Browse for Folder: When you click this button, a folder selection dialog will appear. After
you’ve located and chosen a folder, KONTAKT will look for the missing Samples inside this
folder and all of its sub-folders.
▪ Browse for Files: This option will ask you to locate each missing file manually, one at a
time, via a file selection dialog. During this process, the name of the currently searched file
will be displayed in the title bar of the selection dialog window.
If the resolve all possible option is enabled, KONTAKT will look for all missing Samples in
each location that you specify via the Browse for Folder or Browse for Files option. If it’s disabled, you will be asked to provide a location for each missing file separately.
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Loading and Creating Instruments
Once you have selected the appropriate search action, KONTAKT will start the file scanning
process. During this scan, the missing Sample list will shrink whenever a Sample has been
successfully located. Once all Samples have been found, the dialog will disappear and the Instrument will be loaded into your Rack. You should now make sure that it works correctly and
then re-save it to its original location with the Save as… command in the Files menu.
If you have moved a whole library, and the Samples Missing dialog appears each time
you attempt to load an Instrument from this library, you don’t need to click through the
Samples Missing dialog and re-save the Instrument each time; the Batch Re-Save command in the Files menu allows you to locate the referenced Samples of all Instruments
below a folder at once and re-save all of them automatically. This command is explained
in section ↑5.3.3, Handling Tab of this manual.
If there are still missing Samples after the scanning process, the Content Missing dialog will
reappear, which allows you to try another search option. If each attempt to locate the missing
Samples fails, they either don’t exist on your system anymore, or have been renamed. In such
cases, you can choose to either abort loading the Instrument by clicking the right button at the
bottom of the dialog, or load the Instrument without the missing Samples with the left button.
▪ Allow alternate file types: This option allows you to ignore the audio file extension and resolve missing samples with alternative file types with the same name. For example, if you
had an instrument which referenced uncompressed WAV files, but at some point you compressed the files to NCW format, you can reference the NCW files in place of the WAV files.
▪ Keep search mode and selected folders for the current session: If you are opening multiple
Instruments that could require searching for Samples in the same location, checking this
option will tell KONTAKT to repeat the search mode for any newly opened Instrument while
you are still running the same session. Closing and reopening KONTAKT will reset this option.
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Using Snapshots
Saving a User Snapshot
9
Using Snapshots
Snapshots offer a way of saving variations of any KONTAKT Instrument for easy recall. Take,
for example, the NI Abbey Road Drummer products; each comes with a fully-featured mixer including separate channels for each drum component, as well as built-in effects. With Snapshots, you can create any number of mixes for the same Instrument, save them in the .nksn
file format and re-use them in your next project or share these Snapshots across your computers. You can even share them with other users who own the same KONTAKT Library or have
access to the same collection of Instruments.
The KONTAKT Factory Library doesn’t come with Snapshots, so in order to demonstrate
the full feature set, we’ll save a Snapshot first.
Access the Snapshot View via the camera icon in the Instrument Header, switch back to the
familiar Info View with its Input / Output configuration options by clicking the i icon.
Access to the Snapshot View
9.1
Saving a User Snapshot
Let's start exploring Snapshots with saving your own. By loading a Factory Library Instrument
and adjusting some of its parameters, you will end up with a sound which is distinct enough
for you to want to keep it.
1.
In the Libraries Tab, browse to the KONTAKT Factory Library / Vintage / Digital Machines
and load the 'Electric Grand.nki' Instrument. Play a few notes on your MIDI keyboard to
get familiar with the Electric Grand’s sound.
2.
In the Instrument Tab in Master FX, activate the Rotator by clicking the switch to the left
of the corresponding label. Leave all parameters in the Rotator section in their default position.
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Using Snapshots
Saving a User Snapshot
3.
In the Inst Controls section, turn the Bits knob to the 12 o'clock position. Play a few
notes again and notice the change in sound.
4.
Now let’s save this new sound as a Snapshot for convenience.
5.
Click the camera icon in the Instrument Header. This will switch the Header to the Snapshot View.
Accessing the Snapshot View
6.
Here, click the floppy disk icon to open the Snapshot Saving dialog.
Saving a Snapshot
7.
Enter a Snapshot name (e.g. Triple Peaks) and click Save.
Snapshot Saving Dialog
→
The Snapshot is saved and added to the Snapshot Menu.
All User Snapshots are automatically stored in the default User Content folder. This is where
the KONTAKT Factory Library Snapshot you just created will be stored:
▪ On Mac OS X: Macintosh HD/Users/<User Name>/Documents/Native Instruments/User Content/Kontakt Factory Library/Electric Grand/Triple Peaks.nksn
▪ On Windows:C:\Users\<User Name>\My Documents\Native Instruments\User Content\Kontakt Factory Library\Electric Grand\Triple Peaks.nksn
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Using Snapshots
Loading a Snapshot from the Snapshot Menu
You can transfer any of your Snapshots to another computer by copying the respective
Snapshot files.
Please make sure you include your Documents / My Documents folder in your regular
data backups.
9.2
Loading a Snapshot from the Snapshot Menu
Let's get to know this feature by loading a Snapshot from the Instrument Header's new Snapshot Menu. We assume here that you saved the Triple Peaks Snapshot as described in the
↑9.1, Saving a User Snapshot section.
Load a User Snapshot
1.
In the Libraries Tab, browse to the KONTAKT Factory Library / Vintage / Digital Machines
and load the 'Electric Grand.nki' Instrument.
2.
Click the camera icon to switch the Instrument Header to the Snapshot View. By default,
no Snapshot is loaded.
3.
Open the drop-down menu and select the Triple Peaks Snapshot.
The Snapshot Menu
→
The Triple Peaks Snapshot is loaded.
Alternatively, when no Snapshot is loaded, click the Next Button after loading the Electric Grand Instrument to achieve the same result.
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Using Snapshots
Loading a Snapshot from the Snapshot Menu
Load a Factory Snapshot
Factory Snapshots are only available for KONTAKT PLAYER Libraries. So this section only applies if you own at least KOMPLETE 9 or a KONTAKT PLAYER library released after KOMPLETE 9.
Please make sure to install all KOMPLETE Library updates offered in NATIVE ACCESS
to gain access to Factory Snapshots
Some of the KOMPLETE Libraries seem minimalistic at first glance - THE GIANT, for example,
ships with only two Instruments ('The Giant .nki' and 'The Giant - Cinematic.nki'). The true
sound design potential can be tapped by tweaking the parameters available on the Instrument's user interface, though. Our sound designers created a number of Snapshots to showcase the variety of sounds available from just this instrument.
Let's load a few Factory Snapshots and listen to the differences.
1.
Load The Giant.nki from the Libraries Tab. The Giant will load with its default settings.
2.
Click the camera icon in the Instrument Header to switch to the Snapshot View.
Open Snapshot View
3.
Click the drop-down menu at the bottom of the Instrument Header to expand the Snapshot Menu.
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Using Snapshots
Loading a Snapshot from the Snapshot Menu
The Snapshot Menu
4.
Select 'Intimate.'
5.
Play a few notes on your keyboard and listen to the characteristics of the sound. The ‘Intimate’ Snapshot has an overall round tone, which appears to be standing close by, combined with a very large Hall reverb.
6.
Now click the left arrow next to the Snapshot name to quickly load the previous Snapshot
in the list, named 'Hard And Tough'. Notice that this Snapshot loads instantly, because
all Samples related to the Instrument are already loaded.
7.
Again, play a few notes on your keyboard. The ‘Hard And Tough’ Snapshot has a very
bright and hard sound, with very pronounced resonances.
8.
Open the drop-down menu, select the ‘Lots Of Noise’ Snapshot and play a few notes. You
will notice noise from the piano's hammers after each note you play.
→
You’ve now listened to three very distinct variations of just one Instrument.
If you need to recall a specific sound for recurring use in the studio or for live playing, Snapshots give you an easy way of doing just that.
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Using Snapshots
Loading Snapshots from the File System
9.3
Loading Snapshots from the File System
KONTAKT supports two ways of loading Snapshot files (.nksn):
▪ Dragging and dropping a Snapshot file from the Finder / Explorer onto the Rack
▪ Loading via double-click in Finder (Mac OS X) or Explorer (Windows)
This allows you to take your favorite Snapshots to the studio on a flash drive or send them attached to an e-mail and load them from your Desktop without altering the installation on the
studio computer.
Drag and Drop
In order to load a Snapshot from any disk, drag an .nksn file from its current location onto an
empty area of the Rack. KONTAKT will load a new instance of the corresponding Instrument
with that Snapshot.
If you drag a Snapshot onto an active Instrument in the Rack instead, that Instrument will be
replaced by the Instrument loaded from the Snapshot.
Snapshots you open are not automatically saved to the default location.
Please note, the Next/Previous buttons can only skip through Snapshots located in the
Factory Snapshots and the User Content folder
Double-click
Double-clicking a Snapshot file in Finder (Mac OS X) or Windows Explorer inserts a new Instrument instance in KONTAKT.
9.4
Deleting a User Snapshot
In order to keep things tidy in the Snapshot Menu, you can delete any Snapshots you saved
when you feel you don't need them anymore. Keep in mind that Snapshots are saved on a perInstrument basis. So in order to delete a Snapshot in KONTAKT, you have to load it first.
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Using Snapshots
Deleting a User Snapshot
Please note that you can only delete User Snapshots. All KOMPLETE Factory Snapshots
are read-only. In order to follow the steps described here, you have to have saved a
Snapshot first as detailed in the ↑9.1, Saving a User Snapshot section
To demonstrate how deletion of Snapshots works, we’ll delete the Triple Peaks Snapshot saved
in that section.
1.
Load the Electric Grand.nki.
2.
Click the Camera icon to access the Snapshot View.
3.
Open the Triple Peaks Snapshot.
4.
Click the trash bin icon in the Instrument Header.
Delete Snapshot icon
5.
Confirm deletion of the Snapshot in the dialog which pops up.
→
The Snapshot file is now erased from the folder on your hard disk as well as removed
from the Snapshot Menu.
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Loading and Creating Instrument Banks
10
Loading and Creating Instrument Banks
An Instrument Bank allows you to combine up to 128 KONTAKT Instruments into one slot of
your Rack. Only one of the Instruments in a Bank can be active at any time, and you can
switch between them by sending MIDI program change messages. All Instruments in a Bank
will share the same MIDI channel, Output Channel, maximum note count value, output and
pan settings, and Aux send levels. You can adjust these settings in the Bank Header, which
appears in the Rack and resembles an Instrument Header in structure.
An Instrument Bank Header
Consider this example: An orchestral sampling library provides numerous articulations and
playing techniques for each instrument; these are split up into a number of KONTAKT Instrument files. For instance, the “Solo Flute” folder might contain the four files “Flute sustain.nki”, “Flute staccato.nki”, “Flute halftone trill.nki” and “Flute flutter tongue.nki”. Of
course, you could just add these Instruments to your Rack and assign them to different MIDI
channels; this is not efficient, though, at least not if you’re planning to use only one Solo Flute
in your arrangement (and thus won’t need multiple articulations at the same time), since
you’re wasting three MIDI channels and three of your 64 available Instrument slots.
Instead, you could create a “Flute” bank and insert all articulations you’ll need into its slots;
this allows you to switch between these articulations by sending MIDI program change messages. This work-flow is closer to the way you’d interact with a real flutist; in order to get him to
adapt his playing style to your music, you need to add expression, dynamic and articulation
marks, as well as playing directions, to your sheet music.
Some notation programs allow you to specify how different articulation, expression, dynamic, and playing direction marks in your score will be translated when you’re playing
it back via MIDI. Assigning these items to MIDI program changes that correspond to the
respective Instruments in your bank allows you to create very sophisticated setups,
which allow you to create realistic mock-ups from your scores instantly without any further MIDI optimization. Refer to the manual of your notation program to find out whether it supports this method.
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Loading and Creating Instrument Banks
Similarly, you can create MIDI program changes at specific places of your sequences in any
MIDI sequencer program.
►
To add a new, empty Instrument Bank to your current Multi, choose New instrument
bank from the Files menu.
→
A new Bank Header will appear in the Rack.
The Bank Header controls are similar to that of an Instrument Header, but apply to all contained Instruments. In its name field, the Bank Header will display the name of the currently
active Instrument. In order to add Instruments to this Bank, click the wrench icon at the left
side of its header; this will open a list of 128 Instrument slots.
To access and assign the Instruments of your Bank, open the slot list by clicking on the
wrench icon in the upper left corner of the Bank header.
The Instrument List View
Dragging an Instrument (.nki) file from the Browser into a slot of the Instrument Bank will load
the Instrument into this slot. The number in the slot field indicates the program change number that will switch to this Instrument; in the example shown above, incoming notes on the
Bank’s MIDI channel will trigger the Dirty Saw Lead Instrument in slot 001 (this is being indicated in the name field of the Bank Header); sending a MIDI program change with a value of 2
will switch over to the Innocent Lead Instrument, which will then stay active until the Bank
receives a new program change message.
Alternatively, you can click on the Instrument names in the Bank to change the selected Instrument.
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Loading and Creating Instrument Banks
You can edit an Instrument inside a Bank by double-clicking on the respective slot; this will
put your Rack into Instrument Edit mode. Once you’re done with your modifications, be sure to
return to Multi Instrument mode by clicking the wrench icon in the upper left corner of the
Rack, as clicking the “X” button in the upper right corner will remove the whole Bank from
your Multi. Also, note that the modified Instrument can only be saved within the Bank file;
there’s no way to save it to a separate Instrument file.
Instrument Banks and their contents will be loaded and saved along with your Multi, but you
can load and save them separately as well. KONTAKT Instrument Bank files are indicated with
the extension .nkb. You can load these in the same way as you load Instruments; double-click
them or drag them from the Browser into an empty space of your Rack, or use the Load command in the Files menu.
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The On-Screen Keyboard
11
The On-Screen Keyboard
KONTAKT can optionally display a virtual On-Screen Keyboard that you can “play” with your
mouse in case you don’t have a MIDI keyboard connected to your computer.
►
To display the keyboard, select the Keyboard option in the Workspace menu.
The On-Screen Keyboard, indicating various key ranges with different colors
▪ When you click a key, the keyboard will generate a corresponding note event that will be
received by the currently selected Instrument. The note’s velocity will be relative to the
where you click on the key: clicking towards the top of the key will produce notes with a
low velocity, clicking towards the bottom of the key will produce notes with a high velocity.
▪ Clicking and dragging the Pitch and Mod wheels at its left side will generate pitch bend
and MIDI CC #1 data respectively.
▪ To the left of the wheels, a transposition control lets you shift the displayed key range up
and down.
Furthermore, the keyboard indicates used key ranges of your currently selected Instrument with
colors; KONTAKT’s color defaults are as follows:
▪ Playable keys (i.e. those that produce sound) are colored blue.
▪ Ke-switches (i.e. keys that change the instrument’s behavior somehow) are colored red.
In some libraries, however, these colors can change in order to indicate different things (keyboard splits, different instrument types, etc.). This feature provides a quick overview in which
range your Instrument can be played, and which keys will switch between the different articulations.
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The Master Editor
12
The Master Editor
The Master Editor panel contains a number of global controls that affect the behavior of all Instruments in your Multi, as well as some common utility functions.
►
To display the Master Editor panel, select the Master option in the Workspace menu.
The Master Editor in Stand-alone mode
From left to right, here’s a rundown of what you can find in the Master Editor panel:
▪ Master Vol: This control adjusts the volume of all Output and Aux Channels — and thus all
audio signals that leave KONTAKT — at once. Its default setting is 0.0 dB, which leaves
the output levels unaffected.
▪ Master Tune: This knob allows you to change the master reference tuning from its default
value of A3 = 440 Hz. This might be required in situations where KONTAKT will be combined with the sound of orchestras, historical ensembles, or folk music, which frequently
use slightly different reference tunings.
▪ Master Tempo: This field displays the current global tempo in beats per minute, as well as
sync options and song position controls.
◦ The tempo value (below the BPM label) affects the playback speed of sliced loops and
all time-related controls that can optionally be synchronized to the tempo, such as the
Speed control of LFOs. If you’re running KONTAKT in stand-alone mode, you can
change the master tempo by clicking on the value and entering a new one, or by tapping a new tempo using the Tap button.
◦ If running as a plug-in in your host program, KONTAKT will use and follow your song
tempo by default; you can switch this behavior off by deactivating the button labeled
Ext, which allows you to specify the tempo manually.
◦ In stand-alone mode, the Ext button allows you to sync KONTAKT to an external MIDI
clock.
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The Master Editor
◦ The play and re-wind buttons below this control KONTAKT’s internal song position,
which is necessary for some instruments that require song position information, like a
drum machine.
◦ Tap: This button offers a more intuitive way to adjust the Master Editor tempo. Just
tap this button rhythmically in quarter note values; KONTAKT will measure the time
between taps and adjust the tempo value accordingly. If you’re using KONTAKT as a
plug-in in your host program, this button only works if you’ve switched off the Extern
Sync. parameter.
▪ Metronome: This panel provides a simple metronome that can be handy in various adjustment or rehearsal situations both in the studio and in live environments. The metronome
can be switched on and off at any time by clicking on the metronome icon. The readout
next to it allows you to adjust the volume of the metronome click. Note that in order for the
metronome to run, the master clock needs to be running.
▪ Reference Tone: This function provides a reference tone that allows you to tune other instruments in accordance to KONTAKT’s current reference tuning.
◦ Activate the reference tone by clicking on the tuning fork icon.
◦ Change the pitch of the reference tone by clicking and dragging on the note readout to
the right of the tuning fork.
◦ The volume of the reference tone can be adjusted by clicking and dragging on the Vol
readout.
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The Browser
Libraries Tab
13
The Browser
The Browser allows you to organize and navigate any number of files that can be used in KONTAKT in a quick and efficient way. Among other things, you can use it to:
▪ Navigate through your file system to locate and load KONTAKT objects, such as Instruments or Samples.
▪ Import Instruments from various third-party sampler formats.
▪ Manage and browse the contents of KONTAKT’s Database.
▪ Display a convenient overview of various aspects of the currently edited Instrument.
▪ Assign host and MIDI automation sources to Instrument parameters.
Wherever it makes sense, you can drag and drop items from the Browser into the Rack, so you
usually won’t need to drag anything from the desktop.
►
To display The Browser, select the Browser option from the Workspace menu.
When it is active, the left side of the window consists of a section with 6 tabs, namely Files,
Libraries, Database, Expert, and Automation. Let’s see what each of these does.
13.1
Libraries Tab
The Libraries tab provides direct access to all KONTAKT libraries installed on your computer.
13.1.1
Loading and saving Instruments and Multis
▪ To load an Instrument or a Multi, click the Instruments or Multis button and navigate
through the library structure like in the lower pane of the Files tab.
▪ When using KONTAKT PLAYER libraries, you can save your own Instruments and Multis to
the original library or to any custom location. When saving your own variations to the original location of your library, these Instruments and Multis will also appear in the Libraries
tab.
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The Browser
Libraries Tab
13.1.2
Function Menu
The Function menu is located at the bottom right of the Library box
The Function menu provides access to important resources like Library readme files and manuals, and maintenance tasks such as location of the library and removal of a library box.
The Function menu contains the following:
▪ Open containing folder: opens the location of the library on your hard disk in your operating
systems file browser.
▪ Remove library: removes the library from the Library tab. Note that this does not delete or
uninstall the library. If you want the library to appear in the Libraries tab again, you can do
this via the Libraries tab of the Options dialog (see ↑5.3.6, Libraries Tab for more details)
▪ User Manual(s) (if available): if the library folder contains a user manual, it will be displayed here. Clicking on this option will open the manual file.
▪ License Agreement: contains a list of the licenses for the library.
▪ Readme (if available): if the library folder contains a readme text file, it will be displayed
here. clicking on this option will open the file.
13.1.3
Add Library Button
Clicking on the Add Library button will open NATIVE ACCESS with the Add a Serial window
open.
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The Browser
Libraries Tab
NATIVE ACCESS as it opens after clicking the Add Library button
From here you can enter a serial number from a purchase of a Powered by KONTAKT library
and it will be added to your collection.
KONTAKT automatically detects if an installed library has been moved; the library box will display options to either manually locate the library or remove the library box from the Libraries
tab.
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The Browser
Libraries Tab
Adding a library is only possible with admin rights.
13.1.4
Library Activation via KONTAKT
Libraries are activated through NATIVE ACCESS, but it is possible to quickly open NATIVE ACCESS to activate a specific library from the KONTAKT Library Browser.
1.
After installing a library, open KONTAKT.
2.
Locate the library in the Libraries tab of the Browser.
3.
Click on the Activate button on the respective library and a log-in screen will open.
4.
NATIVE ACCESS will open and prompt you to enter a serial number for the library.
5.
Enter a serial number and click Activate.
→
Your library will now be activated and ready to play.
13.2
Files Tab
This part of the Browser allows you to navigate your file system in a tree-based way, which will
be immediately familiar if you’re accustomed to your operating system’s file browsers and selectors. It consists of two main panes and an audition toolbar at the bottom of the section.
There is an optional third pane, the Instrument Navigator, which you can toggle via the Instr
Nav button just below the tabs. This pane is also available on the Database and Libraries tabs
and will be explained in more detail later.
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The Browser
Files Tab
The Files tab of the Browser pane provides a file system navigator.
You can click the horizontal splitter bars that separate the panes and drag them up or down in
order to change the height of the respective panes. This works in other Browser tabs as well.
13.2.1
Upper (Container) Pane
This pane shows all container objects on your computer in a tree structure. The term "container" encompasses all items that contain other objects, such as volumes (like hard disks, CDROMs or network places), folders and monolithic sampler files that serve as "virtual folders"
KONTAKT - Manual - 106
The Browser
Files Tab
(more on this later). A "+" icon next to an object indicates that there are further objects contained within, which are not currently being shown; you can display those by clicking on the
"+". Conversely, clicking on a "-" next to an object hides all of its contents from the tree view.
The upper pane of the File Browser displays a navigable tree structure of your file system.
13.2.2
Middle (Objects) Pane
Whenever a container object that you have selected in the upper pane contains items which
can be used in KONTAKT, these will show up in the middle pane. In contrast to the multi-dimensional tree structure of the upper pane, this list is always "flat" and does not span multiple
folders. In addition to relevant files, folders (if any) will also show up in this list and can be
navigated to via double-clicking; at the very least, the first item of the list will usually be the
parent directory (indicated with an arrow icon). This also means that you don’t necessarily
need to use the upper pane for navigating through folders; however, it’s usually faster and
more convenient.
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The Browser
Files Tab
The middle pane of the File Browser, displaying a number of Samples and their file sizes, native tempos, and modification
dates.
Information on the displayed items is spread across 4 columns; in addition to the filename,
size and modification date, there’s also a Tempo column that indicates the native tempo of
sliced loops. You can change the width of these columns by clicking and dragging the separator bars between their labels. Clicking on a column label will change the sort order of the list
according to the respective value; clicking on the same label again will reverse the ordering direction.
Once you have found one or more items that you want to use in KONTAKT, there are several
ways to load them:
▪ Double-click a Multi file (.nkm) or drag it from the Browser into the Rack to load it; KONTAKT will ask you whether you want to replace your current Multi or merge the one you’ve
selected with the existing Multi.
▪ Double-click an Instrument file (.nki) or drag it from the Browser onto a free space in the
Rack to add it to your current Multi. KONTAKT will assign a MIDI channel according to the
MIDI channel assignment for loaded patches setting in the Options dialog. This also works
with multiple Instruments.
▪ Drag an Instrument onto an existing Instrument Header in your Rack to make it replace the
respective Instrument. KONTAKT will keep the MIDI channel setting of the previous Instrument.
▪ Double-click a Sample (i.e. an audio file) or drag it onto a free space in the Rack to create
a new Instrument (based on your default Instrument) that contains a Zone with this Sample
spread across the whole keyboard range. If you do this with multiple Samples, KONTAKT
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The Browser
Files Tab
will still only create one instrument, but with a corresponding number of adjacent Zones.
Note that this does not work with 8-bit Samples, as Groups created in this way will be set
to DFD mode by default, which does not support 8-bit data.
▪ Click and drag a Sample into the Mapping Editor of an existing Instrument to create a Zone
and place it on the key or key range you’re pointing at. While dragging, move the mouse
pointer up and down in the Mapping Editor to enlarge or shrink the target key range. This
also works with multiple Samples, in which case KONTAKT will create a number of adjacent Zones. If you want to create multiple Zones above each other (thus combining a number of samples into a velocity switch that’s placed on a single key), move the mouse pointer all the way down to the keyboard.
The sort order of the Browser’s object pane determines in which order multiple Samples
will be used in KONTAKT. For instance, if you’re planning to create a velocity switch
from a number of Samples, but realize after placement that the velocity assignment
ended up being upside down, just reverse the list order in the Browser and try it again.
There are two ways to select multiple items in the object pane: contiguous ranges of items in
the list can be selected by clicking the first item and then, while holding your [Shift] key, the
last one in the range. Non-adjacent items can be selected with [Ctrl]-click ([Cmd]-click on Mac
OS X).
13.2.3
►
Instrument Navigator Pane
To display the Instrument Navigator pane, click on the Instr Nav button at the top of the
Browser.
The Instrument Navigator shows a list of all Instruments in your Rack, which is kept up-to-date
at all times. It has a lot in common with the Multi Instrument view of the Rack in that it’s divided into 4 pages of up to 16 Instruments each, and displays the Instrument names along with
M (mute) and S (solo) indicators. It provides a good way to keep the big picture when you’re
editing an Instrument, when the Rack does not convey any information about Instruments other than the currently edited one.
The Instrument Navigator is not strictly specific to the Files tab, but rather a utility window that’s available in various tabs in the Browser. It’s explained here for sake of consistency, and referenced briefly in sections about other places where it’s available.
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The Instrument Navigator pane, displaying a number of loaded Instruments in the Multi.
The Instrument Navigator list will keep in sync with the page and Instrument selection in the
Rack and vice versa. To switch to one of the four Instrument pages, you can either use the
page buttons in the Rack header (if it’s in Multi Instrument mode), or click the page numbers
at the top of the Instrument Navigator list. Similarly, you can select an Instrument by clicking
on either its header in the Rack, or its entry in the Instrument Navigator pane. If an Instrument
that you select is not currently visible in the Instrument Navigator list, it will automatically
scroll to its list position.
Double-clicking an Instrument in the Instrument Navigator list will open it for editing in the
Rack. When you’re editing an Instrument, you can quickly switch to another Instrument by
clicking on its name in the Instrument Navigator list; this is a great way to compare settings
between Instruments, as KONTAKT will try to anchor both Instruments’ editor views to the
same vertical position.
13.2.4
Audition Strip
The Audition Strip allows you to listen to audio files prior to loading them. This feature works
with audio files and sliced loops that you select in the lower pane of the Browser. Note that
when auditioning sliced loops, they will not be played in their native tempo (which is being
displayed in the Browser list), but in the current tempo of your host or, if you’re running KONTAKT in stand-alone mode, the tempo that’s set in the Master Editor.
The Audition Strip is the bottom-most element of the File Browser and contains three controls.
The Audition Strip allows you to play any Sample that you select in the Browser.
▪ Volume slider: This slider adjusts the sample playback level.
▪ Play button: This button plays the selected Sample once or, if a Sample is currently being
auditioned, stops the playback.
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▪ Auto button: When enabled, KONTAKT will automatically play a Sample once when you
click it.
13.2.5
Refresh and Eject Buttons
Just below the Browser tabs, you’ll see a series of function buttons and drop-down menus that
are specific to the currently visible tab. On the Files tab, this row starts on the left side with a
Refresh button, depicted by a circled arrow.
Browser refresh and eject button.
Whenever the File Browser has not yet picked up changes that recently occurred in your file
system, such as newly installed or removed sample libraries, you can force an update of the
file display by clicking this button.
The button next to the Refresh symbol allows you to eject your computer’s CD/DVD drive(s)
from within KONTAKT. Just select the drive in the upper pane and click this button to eject it.
13.2.6
The View Menu
This is a drop-down menu which contains options and functions that alter the way in which
information will be shown in the File Browser panes.
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The view menu of the File Browser contains options that determine which items will be shown.
The first three items in this menu, labeled Show Network Drives, Show Removable Drives, and
Show Foreign Formats, are toggle options; selecting them will switch them on (indicated with a
small diamond next to their label) and off. With these, you can adjust whether the File Browser
should include mounted network volumes, removable drives, and file formats that are not native to KONTAKT (but can be imported) in its lists.
Below the options, you’ll find multiple slots labeled Quick-jump and numbered 1 to 10. Quickjumps are location memories that you can use to conveniently access a number of frequentlyvisited places in your file system without the need to navigate there using the container pane
each time. The handling is simple: any location you navigate to in the File Browser gets immediately saved to the currently selected Quick-jump entry. Once you switch to another Quickjump location, the previously selected one will keep its value. Switching back to it will bring
you to the saved location, but watch out — if you navigate any further now, the Quick-jump
memory will be changed accordingly. If you don’t want this, activate the Lock Current Quickjump option at the bottom of the View menu to freeze the saved location. Instead of using the
pull-down menu each time, you can also use [Ctrl] + [F1] through [Ctrl] + [F10] (Windows) or
[Alt]-[F1] through [Alt]-[F10] (Mac) to access the respective Quick-jump locations via your keyboard.
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13.3
Importing Non-Native Files Into KONTAKT
In addition to its own native formats, KONTAKT can transparently load and use a multitude of
third-party formats without the need for external converters or arcane import procedures. In a
lot of cases, using third-party content is as easy as dragging the respective files onto an empty
space in the Rack — KONTAKT will take care of all required conversion processes behind the
scenes. In other cases, you might want to import a whole library and save it on your hard disk
in KONTAKT format. This functionality is provided by a powerful built-in batch converter.
You’ll find a complete list of foreign sampler formats that you can use in KONTAKT in the final
chapter of this document.
13.3.1
Direct Access to Foreign Formats
If you want to import one or more Instruments from a foreign library into your Multi without
having to write out the library in KONTAKT format first, KONTAKT lets you do just that. For the
most part, this on-the-fly access works very similar to loading KONTAKT’s own formats; there
are a few peculiarities to keep in mind, though, which stem from the different file management approaches of other samplers:
▪ Some samplers (e.g. EXS-24) keep program data in separate files that include references
to where the actual samples can be found in the file system, while others (e.g. GigaStudio)
combine large amounts of program data and samples into big monolithic files — just like
KONTAKT’s own monolithic files, these can be opened and browsed in KONTAKT’s File
Browser as if they were folders. In both cases, you can drag program files into the Rack
once you’ve located them.
▪ The aforementioned sampler formats, along with some others, appear in the form of common files that you can manage via your operating system. There are others (e.g. AKAI
S-1000/S-3000 or E-mu EOS) that are based on proprietary file systems, which are usually
found on CD-ROMs. The 32 bit version of KONTAKT includes facilities for reading thirdparty CD formats; however the 64 bit version does not.
To help you get the grip on how the various supported foreign formats can be used in KONTAKT, here are some step-by-step instructions that cover some common scenarios.
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Let’s start with the necessary steps for loading a single EXS24 program. Similar steps apply to
HALion and most other software sampler formats.
1.
In the upper pane of the File Browser, locate and select the folder that contains your
EXS24 program file.
2.
Locate the EXS24 program file in the lower pane of the File Browser and drag it onto an
empty space in the Rack.
3.
KONTAKT will now convert the program in memory. During this process, it tries to find all
referenced Samples in the locations specified in the program file. If it can’t find one or
more required samples, it will pop up the “Samples Missing” dialog to ask you how it
should proceed; refer to chapter ↑8, Loading and Creating Instruments to learn how this
dialog works.
As mentioned above, monolithic files can be opened and browsed in the File Browser just like
folders.
Although an Instrument that has just been imported from a monolith (such as a .gig file)
is readily playable, there’s actually no way to reference the samples contained in the
monolith in a permanent way. This means that if you save your Multi or your host project
and recall it later, a Samples Missing dialog will appear as KONTAKT tries to load the
respective Instrument. To circumvent this, we recommend that you save your Instrument
to an .nki file right after importing; KONTAKT will save its Samples along with it.
Here’s how you locate and load a GigaStudio program. Similar steps apply to Kurzweil K2x00,
SountFont2, Unity, REX I/II, and some REAKTOR map formats:
1.
In the upper pane of the File Browser, locate the GigaStudio monolith (.gig) that contains
your program. You’ll notice the file has a "+" icon next to it, indicating that it’s a container. Select this file. The lower pane will now display the contained programs and samples.
2.
In the lower pane, select the program you want to load and drag it onto an empty space in
the Rack.
Finally, here’s how to import a single program from a CD-ROM in AKAI S-1000 / S-3000 format, which has a proprietary file system that can only be read through the 32 bit version of
KONTAKT’s File Browser. Similar instructions apply to E-mu EOS / EIV / ESI, Ensoniq
ASR-10 / EPS, and Roland S50 / S550 / S770 formats.
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Opening the contents of a CD-ROM is only possible in the 32bit version of KONTAKT;
this process is not possible in the 64bit version.
While KONTAKT is running, insert the AKAI CD into your computer’s CD / DVD drive. Depending on your operating system, a pop-up might appear informing you that this CD can’t be read
— in such cases, choose Ignore.
1.
After a short while, a new volume labeled Akai CD will appear in the upper pane of the
File Browser — you may have to scroll down to the end of the list to see it. Clicking the
"+" icon next to it will display the included partitions.
2.
Again, click the "+" icon next to the partition which contains your program. Below the partition name, a list of AKAI monolithic files will show up.
3.
Select the monolith you want to access. The lower pane will now show a list of included
programs and samples.
4.
Select the program you want to load and drag it into the Rack.
Once the conversion has been completed successfully, the Instrument will appear in the Rack
and can be played and edited in the usual way. If you want to re-use it at a later point without
having to perform the conversion again, you should now save it in KONTAKT format. This is
done in the same way as with Instruments that came in KONTAKT’s native format from the
outset.
13.3.2
Batch Import
If you’re planning to incorporate a foreign sample library into your KONTAKT collection permanently, it makes sense to convert the whole library into KONTAKT format once, which eliminates the need for subsequent conversion steps.
When converting formats that keep their samples in a separate location, these won’t be
duplicated during the conversion process. Instead, the resulting Instrument files will reference the original Samples on your hard disk. In such cases, the "Sample Destination
Folder" setting will be ignored. To keep things easily manageable, it’s recommended to
choose a destination folder in a location that’s close to the original Samples.
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Importing and saving each contained Instrument manually would be rather tiresome, though.
With KONTAKT’s powerful batch import facility, you can convert whole libraries, folders, monoliths, or volumes at once and save them to your hard disk in KONTAKT format.
Importing the contents of a CD-ROM is only possible in the 32bit version of KONTAKT;
this process is not possible in the 64bit version.
Here’s how it works:
1.
In the upper pane of the File Browser, locate and select a container object that contains a
number of programs to be converted. This can be a folder, a monolith (like a GigaStudio .gig file), or a volume (like an AKAI S-1000/S-3000 CD).
2.
Click the button labeled Import at the top of the File Browser. A pop-up dialog will appear
asking you to specify destination folders for the converted Instrument and Sample files.
3.
Specify suitable destination folders by clicking on the Choose buttons and locating them
via the file selector.
4.
Once the destination folders are set correctly, click Convert to start the import process.
Depending on the size of the imported set, this might take a while.
5.
Once the process has finished, the status window will disappear. You can now navigate to
the folder you’ve specified in the File Browser and access your library in KONTAKT format.
13.3.3
Importing From Other Media
If you owned a hardware sampler at some point, you might have sampler data on media other
than CD-ROMs, such as floppy disks, magneto-optical disks or hard drives that you’d like to
use in KONTAKT. If these are formatted in your sampler’s proprietary filesystem, KONTAKT
won’t be able to read them directly in the same way as it reads proprietary CD-ROMs, but
there’s still a way to access their contents. With freely available third-party software, you can
copy the raw contents of such a medium into an image file on your hard disk, and then access
this image within KONTAKT. This section describes two ways to accomplish this on Mac OS X
and Windows.
On Mac OS X, you can use Apple’s own Disk Utility program to create images from media. Disk
Utility is part of the standard Mac OS X installation. Here’s how it works:
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1.
Start Disk Utility.
2.
Insert the medium into the drive. It should appear as an icon in the volume list on the left
side, most likely with a label similar to “Untitled 0”.
3.
Select this volume and choose Disk Image from (...) from the File -> New submenu, with
(...) being a disk ID similar to disk3s1.
4.
A dialog will appear, which asks you for a location and filename for the image file.
5.
If the process has finished successfully, you’ll see a new file with a .dmg extension in the
chosen location. Copy this file into the folder
/Users/[username]/Documents/Native Instruments/KONTAKT 5/Images
and start KONTAKT. The volume should appear in the upper pane of the File Browser and
can be imported in the usual way via the Import button.
On Windows, images can be created with the Translator Free utility from ChickenSys. Download it from http://www.chickensys.com/downloads/translator_free.php and make sure to include the “ASPI for Windows” component in your installation. Here’s how to create the image:
1.
Make sure that your drive is visible in Windows Explorer and, if it’s a drive that uses removable media, that your medium is inserted.
2.
Start Translator Free and locate your drive in the My Computer tree. It will a have label
similar to “SCSI-ATAPI” or “IOMEGA Zip 100”. If you can’t find it in the tree, open the
Drives tab in the Options dialog (Select Tools > Options), choose Nero ASPI Driver, quit
the program and reboot your machine, and repeat steps 1 and 2.
3.
Expand and select the elements beneath the volume to check whether you can read the
contents of your drive.
4.
Right-click the volume and select Create Virtual Drive from the context menu. Choose the
first option, Copy Entire Drive, and click Write Virtual Drive. You’ll be asked for a name
and location for the image file.
5.
Click Save. A new image file should appear in the selected location. Put it into the folder
%SYSTEMDRIVE%\Users[username]\Documents\Native Instruments\KONTAKT 5\Images
6.
Start KONTAKT. The volume should appear in the File Browser and can be converted in
the usual way via the Import button.
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In the same way, you can create image files from CD-ROMs and use them. While it’s certainly
easier to access the CD-ROMs directly from within KONTAKT, this method is useful for backing up your media, and also cuts your import times by a considerable amount.
13.3.4
Format-Specific Notes
There are some peculiarities to be aware of when working with certain formats. This list provides an overview.
▪ EXS24: All versions are supported.
▪ Apple, ACID, BeatCreator and REX loops: Loops of these types can be dragged directly into
the Rack or the Mapping Editor. If multiple loops are being imported at once, they will be
combined into one Instrument, with each loop assigned to a separate Group.
▪ Reason NN-XT : Refill programs are encrypted and therefore cannot be imported directly.
Open the NN-XT patches of your choice in Reason’s NN-XT module and save them as SXT
files, then import these into KONTAKT.
▪ GigaStudio: There is no way to have the resulting Instruments reference the samples contained in GigaStudio monoliths in a permanent way, but when you save the patch, you will
be prompted to save out new samples. You can choose the destination sample format for
imports — WAV or AIFF — on the Load / Import tab of the Options dialog. It is important
to note that .gvi files for GigaPlayer are encrypted and cannot be loaded.
▪ HALion : All versions up to 2 are supported; version 3 patches are encrypted and therefore
cannot be imported.
▪ Yamaha A-3000, A-4000, A-5000 : Media need to be in DOS format.
▪ VSampler : All versions up to 2.5 are supported.
▪ Battery: BATTERY 3 Cells can only be imported via the Import Group command, which you
can find in the Edit menu of the Group Editor.
▪ Bitheadz DS-1 Unity : Encrypted and encoded Unity libraries are not supported.
▪ Akai MPC: Supported MPC versions are MPC-60, MPC-3000, MPC-2000, and
MPC-2000XL. Nested folders are not supported; only the contents of the root folder will be
loaded.
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▪ Kurzweil K2500, K2600: Only patches that don’t use any Samples from the original onboard ROM can be imported.
▪ Roland S700 , S770: Sample programs in these formats can only be accessed via image
files. To find out how to create these, refer to section ↑13.3.3, Importing From Other Media.
13.4
Database Tab
What good is a sampler if you can’t find the files you want, and find them quickly? That’s what
KONTAKT’s Database is all about. The Database stores and manages information about all
KONTAKT-relevant items that exist on your system, no matter whether these files are stored on
hard disks or on network volumes.
As such, the Database’s purpose is similar to the File Browser described earlier in this chapter.
It has a fundamentally different approach, though: While the File Browser is primarily concerned with the “hard facts” of your data — their directory paths, file names, and types, the
Database employs a more user-friendly metadata system to keep track of your files. “Metadata” is a catch-all term for information that’s not strictly required for using a file, but facilitates
its management within a large set of other files. When a brick-and-mortar library puts tags inside its books that inform you about the general topic of the book, where it can be found in the
catalogue, and when it has to be returned, it’s adding metadata to their assets; in reference to
this, the process of adding metadata to files or other records is generally being referred to as
“tagging” in the computing world.
A well-tagged sample library relieves you of the burden of having to deal with directory paths,
internal library structures and file naming conventions all the time: Instead, you can simply express queries like “show me all marimbas” or “show me sounds suitable for a drum & bass
production” and immediately access the matching objects. Of course, this requires that the
majority of the content in your collection has been tagged in some way or other in the first
place. It goes without saying that the KONTAKT 5 sound library comes with extensive predefined metadata, and we expect developers of commercial libraries to adopt this practice for
their future products. Content from existing sample libraries, whether they were made with a
previous version of KONTAKT or have been converted from other formats, has to be tagged
manually before you can manage it with the Database; obviously, this is also true for your own
material.
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You can find all functions that pertain to the Database on the Database tab of the Browser. In
the remainder of this section, we’ll describe all of its functions in detail.
13.4.1
Overview of the Database Browser
In its default state, the Database tab of the Browser appears as a two-section view. We’ll refer
to the upper section as the Attribute List; the lower one is called the Results List. Both sections always operate in unison: The Results List contains a continuously updated list of all objects in the Database that match the search conditions you define in the Attribute List.
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The Database Tab
From top to bottom, you can see the control buttons, the type switches, the Attribute List, the
text search bar, the Results List, and the Edit button.
At the top of the Database tab, you’ll find a row of control buttons that serve various purposes:
The DB Options button opens the Database tab of the Options dialog, where you can set various options that define how the Database will be populated with data.
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The Instr Nav button toggles the visibility of the Instrument Navigator, which will appear at the
bottom of the tab and is explained in section ↑13.2.3, Instrument Navigator Pane.
On top of the Attribute List, you’ll find a number of type buttons; these narrow any search
query down to certain kinds of KONTAKT objects (such as Multis, Banks or Instruments), so
that you won’t get distracted with results that have no relevance to your task at hand.
Object Type Filter buttons
The Results List will only show objects of the types that are highlighted in this bar. You can
toggle the Multi, Bank and Instrument buttons independently; searching for Groups, Samples
or Script and effects presets excludes the other options, as these change what’s being displayed the Attribute List.
Between the Attribute List and the Results List, you’ll find a text input bar that allows you to
search for keywords inside the current Results List. Note that this will only refine the search
query that’s defined by the selected values in the Attribute List; thus, if you want to search for
a keyword within the entire Database, you should first make sure that nothing is selected in
the Attribute List.
Finally, the Edit button at the bottom of the Database tab lights up whenever you select one or
more entries from the Results List; clicking on it will switch the Database tab into edit mode,
where you can assign attributes to the selected objects or define your own attributes and attribute sets. We’ll explain these functions later in this section.
13.4.2
Building the Database
Before you can start working with the Database, you’ll have to “populate” it with the contents
that you’d like to manage. You do this by pointing KONTAKT to the volumes or directories in
your file system that contain relevant files; it will then perform a scan of these locations, during which all retrieved information will be added to the Database. After that, KONTAKT can
keep the contents of the Database updated automatically whenever you save or load a file; this
requires that you enable the Automatically add loaded / saved files to database switch on the
Database tab of the Options dialog. In this case, a manual re-scan is only required when there
have been fundamental changes to your collection.
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The Database tab of the Options Dialog
There are two different methods of adding files to the Database:
▪ The most common way to permanently include the contents of a volume or folder in the
Database is to add it to the list of scanned locations. To access this list, click the button
labeled DB Options at the top of the Database tab, or open the Options dialog and switch
to its Database tab. KONTAKT will perform a complete scan of any location that’s in the
list; in the simplest case, just add the folder where your sampling libraries reside. To add a
location, click the Add… button on the right side of the list and locate the respective folder
within your file system. After you’ve added a new location, you should manually initiate an
update scan by clicking on the Update button. Depending on the number of objects that
exist inside the folder or on the volume, this process may take a while. If you want to remove an entry from the list, thus excluding its contents from the database, select it and
click the Remove button.
By default, KONTAKT won’t add individual Sample files (like WAVs or AIFFs) to the Database, as their number can easily get so large that it would negatively affect KONTAKT’s performance and memory footprint to keep them available at all times. Still, you
have the option to include them anyway by enabling the “Include samples in database
scan” option on the Database tab of the Options dialog. This can be useful when you’re
frequently creating your own Instruments and want to be able to access your Sample
collection via the Database; in all other cases, we recommend to leave this option disabled.
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▪ You can also hint the Database at folders, or even add individual files to it, by selecting
them in your operating system’s file browser and dragging them into the Results List.
Please note that any records that you’ve added in this way will disappear from the Database the next time you initiate a re-scan by clicking on the Update or Reset and Scan button in the Options dialog.
Adding files to the Database via drag and drop
13.4.3
Searching by Attributes
Once your collection has been mapped by the Database, you can go ahead and search for Instruments, Multis, Banks, Groups, Presets, and — provided you have enabled the appropriate
option on the Database tab of the Options dialog — even for individual Samples.
As mentioned in the introduction of this chapter, the Database uses metadata attributes that
describe various meaningful aspects of your files, instead of just referencing them by their filenames. Among the list of predefined attribute types you’ll find the following:
▪ The author of an object, which refers to the actual person who created it, and its vendor,
which identifies the distributor of the library it originates from.
▪ The general timbre of the sound. This is useful for abstract sounds of synthetic or organic
origin and allows the description of them with intuitive properties like “fat”, “dissonant”,
“cold” or “exotic”.
▪ The instrument type, which provides a two-level classification for a more accurate description of the instrument family.
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The Attribute List, which is the upper section of the Database tab, allows you to search for all
these attributes within your collection. It consists of a number of freely configurable attribute
columns, each of which lists those attributes in the respective attribute set that have been assigned to objects in your collection.
The Attribute List
Before we explore these things in detail, let’s take a step back and explain what’s the principal
idea behind the Attribute List. As mentioned before, it acts as a filter for the objects displayed
in the Results List below it; whenever you click a value in one of its attribute columns, you’re
toggling the inclusion of objects that are tagged with this specific attribute within the search
results. When no attributes are selected, the filter is inactive; in this case, the Results List will
display all objects in the Database that match the type selected above the Attribute List. This
is useful when you want to use the text search bar to search for keywords in your entire collection. To quickly clear all active attribute selections, along with the contents of the search bar,
click the button marked with an X on the right side of the bar.
The order of the columns in the Attribute List is significant: KONTAKT processes the attribute
filters you define from left to right, starting with the leftmost column, and each column only
displays attributes that actually occur within the filter results at that point. In other words, you
work with the Attribute List by expressing search queries, progressively refining and limiting
the scope of your search as you go through the list from left to right, until the length of the
Results List has shrunken to one or a few entries — at this point, you can simply double-click
one of them or drag it into the Rack in order to load it into KONTAKT.
In the Attribute List, you can have as many attribute columns visible as you like — in practice,
you might want to stick to the ones that you use most commonly.
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Selecting Attributes to display
At the top of each column, a header displays the name of the attribute set that’s currently being displayed in it. Right-clicking on this name will open a context menu that allows you to
switch the column to a different attribute set, or adjust some options that affect the selection
behavior of that column. If you choose the attribute set that’s currently being assigned to the
column itself (indicated with a filled-out rectangle next to its name), the column will disappear
from the list; obviously, any selections that you made in it will then no longer apply to your
search.
To add a new column to your list, click the “+” sign on the header of the rightmost column
and select an attribute set from the drop-down menu. Keep in mind that the new column may
not contain any selectable values; this means that after all filter rules from the columns to the
left of it have been applied, there are no objects left that use attributes from this specific set.
Let’s have a look at an example: Suppose you’re looking for a dirty synth lead sound that is
also bright.
1.
The Type attribute set is special in that its attributes are spread across two columns instead of one, with the right column showing more specific subcategories of the general
instrument family that you select in the left one. Following this, select Synth Lead in the
first column and Dirty Lead in the second one (if the Dirty Lead attribute doesn’t appear,
your collection doesn’t contain any Instruments tagged with this type).
2.
Now, assuming that the number of search results is still too large to browse comfortably,
add another column with the Timbre attribute by clicking on the “+” sign on the header
of the existing column, or re-assign the Timbre attribute to the column next to it.
3.
Click on the Bright entry in the Timbre column to narrow the search results even further.
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Database Tab
Searching for dirty lead synths
The context menu that appears when you right-click the header of an attribute column contains a sub-menu labeled Options.
The Options submenu
Here you can adjust two properties that define how KONTAKT will handle selections of more
than one attribute within this column.
▪ If you enable Multi Select, you can select multiple attributes from the column just by clicking on each one.
▪ Alternatively, in Single Select mode, clicking on an attribute will deselect any others in the
same column. In this case, you can still add attributes to your selection by holding the
[Ctrl] (Control) on Windows or [Cmd] (Command) key on Mac OS X while clicking.
With the other option, you can define how multiple selections will influence the search result.
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The Browser
Database Tab
▪ If OR Mode is enabled, the result will include files that match any of the attributes that
you select in this column.
▪ Switching to AND Mode will only return files that match all of the selected attributes (remember that you can assign more than one attribute from a set to an object).
13.4.4
Searching by Keywords
Depending on the size of your collection, not all attribute searches will return an easy-to-grasp
list of just a few matches right away. Also, there are cases where you already have one or more
specific items in mind, and defining a set of filter attributes “around them” would be counterintuitive. This is where the text search bar between the Attribute List and the Results List
comes into play. Whatever you enter here will be used as an additional text filter for the Results List; in other words, KONTAKT will search for the entered text string within the attributes
of all listed items, and omit all non-matching entries from the list. This process happens instantaneously on each keystroke, so you don’t need to write out whole words or press Return to
confirm them — just type away until the item that you’re looking for appears within the first
few entries of the list.
Using text search in the Database
If you want to search the whole database, just make sure there’s currently nothing selected in
the Attribute List. Of course, it often makes sense to use both the attribute and the text search
in unison by first limiting the listed items with a coarse attribute filter, then refining the search
results by entering a text string.
By entering several words separated with spaces, you can search for multiple keywords at once.
In this case, the Results List will only contain items whose attributes match all of them. The
order in which you enter the keywords doesn’t matter; “violin stacc ens” will yield exactly the
same search results as “ens violin stacc”. KONTAKT performs the search inside all attributes,
even those that are not currently visible in the Results List, so you don’t need to limit yourself
to searching for names — you can just as well use partial file system paths or library titles.
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The Browser
Database Tab
On the right side of the text search bar, you’ll notice a search result counter and a button
marked with an X.
Results counter and the reset button
When you click it, KONTAKT will reset the active filter — that is, all selected values in the
Attribute List will be unchecked, the search bar will be cleared, and the Results List will
switch back to displaying the entire content of the Database.
13.4.5
Configuring and Sorting the Results List
You can freely configure the Results List to display any information you’re interested in. When
you right-click the header of a column, a drop-down menu will appear that contains all available attribute sets; those that are already included in the list are marked with a filled rectangle
next to their name. To toggle the inclusion of an attribute type, just click the respective menu
entry.
Adding a new column
When you add a new column, it will appear to the left of the one on which you opened the
drop-down menu. You can change this order by clicking on a column header and dragging it to
the left or right — a vertical right line will show you were the column would get placed when
you release the mouse button.
All columns are variable in width. To resize one of them, click and drag the vertical line that
separates it from the one to its right.
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The Browser
Database Tab
Adjusting the column width
Values that don’t fit their current width will be abbreviated with an ellipsis (…). In case the
whole list gets too wide to be displayed in its entirety, you can move it by dragging the horizontal scrollbar at the bottom of the list.
By default, search results are being sorted by the attribute that appears in the leftmost column
(usually the name). By clicking on the header of any column, you can switch the sort criteria to
its respective attribute; click the same header again to toggle between ascending order (which
is indicated with a small arrow pointing upwards on the right side of the header) and descending order (downward arrow).
13.4.6
Assigning Attributes
As explained at the beginning of this section, the whole concept of the Database rests on the
assumption that the contents of your collection (or at least, a large part of them) are “tagged”
(i.e. described) with metadata. While KONTAKT’s own sound library already comes pre-tagged,
and thus can be managed via the Database right away, this isn’t necessarily true for third-party
sample libraries that are already installed on your system, or data that you created yourself.
Any item from these sources will be initially represented with only the information that KONTAKT can deduce from the file itself, such as its name or the Sample size. Luckily, it’s not
hard to add more useful metadata yourself. Of course, you don’t have to fill in all of the provided information aspects — you can just specify those that you think will actually help you retrieve the objects from your collection later on.
There are several different methods of assigning attributes to objects in your collection. All of
them require that the entries that you’d like to tag appear in the Results List, so you can either
browse the entire list for untagged items, or narrow it down to a specific group of objects first
by entering keywords into the search bar.
Once you’ve found one or more objects that you’d like to edit, click them to select them. Selecting multiple items works just like in the File Browser: You can add individual objects to
your selection by [Ctrl]-clicking (Windows) or [Cmd]-clicking (Mac OS X) on them, or select a
range of entries by clicking on the first, then [Shift]-clicking on the last entry in the range.
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The Browser
Database Tab
Preparing to edit all sounds that match the "Hi Hat" search term.
Once you have selected the objects in question, click the Edit button below the Results List, or
right-click a list entry and choose Edit from the drop-down menu; this will switch the Database
tab into edit mode. The actual appearance of the edit page depends on whether you had only
one or multiple files selected.
In both cases, the top half of the tab will consist of an attribute selection table, which roughly
resembles the Attribute List of the standard search view. Here you can assign attributes to the
objects you selected.
Assigning attributes
If you had selected multiple objects when you clicked Edit, there’ll be an Info entry in the first
column; it allows you to define the vendor, author or bank name of all items at once. The respective list of attribute sets appears in the second column; select one and its attributes will
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The Browser
Database Tab
show up in the third column. As usual, the predefined Type attribute set will open in a twocolumn view. If required, drag the horizontal scrollbar to move its subcategory column into
view.
Those attributes that are currently assigned to the edited item(s) are indicated with a dot next
to their name.
Shades of grey dots next to attributes
Click a value to toggle the assignment; remember that you can assign more than one attribute
from a single attribute set at a time. If needed, repeat this process with the other predefined
attributes sets. The more information you specify, the easier it will be to retrieve the respective
item later on. If you’ve selected multiple items when you entered the edit mode, you may notice that some dots appear in a darker shade; this means that the respective attribute is currently only assigned to some, but not all, of the selected items. Clicking on it will assign the
value to all items.
If you had only one object selected when you clicked Edit, the bottom half of the tab will consist of an input mask with several text fields. Here you can enter free-text data such as the
vendor or sound bank or adjust, in the case of sampled phrases, the tempo value.
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The Browser
Database Tab
Editing a single object
Once you’re satisfied with the assignments and the data you entered, click the Save button at
the bottom of the tab to make the changes permanent. If you change your mind and prefer to
discard your changes, click Cancel. In both cases, you’ll be returned to the default search view
of the Database tab.
Let’s have a look at a typical example. Say you have a marimba Instrument on your hard disk
that you’d like to add some metadata to.
1.
Make sure the Database tab of the Browser is set to its standard search view, and that
only the Instr button at its top is highlighted. This will narrow all searches down to Instruments.
2.
Now, enter a part of the Instrument’s name, or possibly a part of the directory path it rests
in, into the input bar below the Attribute List. The Instrument should now show up in the
Results List, possibly among others. If you can’t find it, check whether the Instrument’s
folder is covered by the scan paths of the Database; this is explained in section ↑13.4.2,
Building the Database.
3.
Select the Instrument in the Results List and click Edit. The tab will switch to edit mode.
4.
In the upper pane, select Standard from the first column and Type from the second. Then
check Mallet Instruments in the third column and Marimba in the fourth to specify the
instrument type.
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The Browser
Expert Tab
5.
If you want, enter the vendor (the company or distributor of the Instrument) and the author (the person who created it) into the respective text fields in the bottom pane.
6.
Finally, click Save to make the changes permanent. From now on, the marimba will turn
up whenever you search for mallet instruments, products of that particular developer, and
so on.
KONTAKT also provides an alternate way of assigning attributes to one or more items, which
doesn’t require you to enter edit mode. After you’ve selected the items in the Results List, just
click and drag them to the Attribute List above; it will temporarily switch to an unfiltered view
where all attributes show up, no matter whether they’ve been used in your collection or not. By
dragging the items on top of an attribute and releasing the mouse button, KONTAKT will tag
all selected items with this value. This method also works with user-defined attributes, as long
as the attribute set in which they appear is assigned to a column of the Attribute List.
13.5
Expert Tab
When you’re editing a complex Instrument with lots of Groups and Zones, it’s sometimes hard
not to get lost in the intricacies of KONTAKT’s editing facilities. The Browser’s Expert tab
counteracts this by providing a handy overview of various aspects of your currently edited Instrument. Similar in nature to the Instrument Navigator pane, it shows a continually updated
and searchable list of all Groups and Zones in your Instrument. It allows you to quickly include
and exclude Groups for editing, and provides a context sensitive parameter view that shows the
values of the parameter you touched last across all Groups.
Expert tab, displaying all Groups of the Gongs Instrument.
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The Browser
Expert Tab
At the top, you’ll notice a tool bar with five buttons, the first four of which will switch the Expert view into the respective display mode:
Groups
This view provides a list of all Groups in your Instrument. It will only work in Instrument Edit
mode. The leftmost column indicates whether a Group is marked for editing — it corresponds
to the checkboxes next to the Group names in the Group Editor — and can be clicked on to
toggle the edit status of the respective Group.
The Group selection only affects commands that can be found in the "Edit" menu of the
Group Editor, and is thus different from the editing checkbox, which is being used for
changing parameters across multiple Groups.
At the right side of the list, the Group IDs are displayed as a quick reference for KSP script
editing. Groups can be selected by clicking on their names; multiple selections work in the
same way as they do in the File Browser, i.e. [Shift]-clicking below or above a selected Group
will select a range, a [Ctrl]+click ([Cmd]+click on Mac OS X) will add Groups to the active selection; [Alt]+click will select all currently visible Groups for editing.
You can rename Groups by double-clicking on their name and entering a new one.
Right-clicking on a Group will open a context menu with various Group-related actions; this is
identical to the Edit menu of the Group Editor.
The Group context menu
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The Browser
Expert Tab
You can toggle a Quick-Search function by clicking on the button with the magnifying glass
symbol to the right side of the list header. This will show a text input box above the list; while
it is visible, the list will only show Groups whose names contain whatever you enter into this
box.
You can hide (and, in consequence, deactivate) the Quick-Search feature by clicking the "X"
button on the right side of the search bar.
Zones
This view displays a list of all Zones that are contained in your Instrument across all Groups.
Otherwise, it works exactly like the Groups view, and includes the Quick-Search feature as
well.
Double-clicking a Zone will open it in the Wave Editor.
Parameter
When you switch to this view and touch any knob, the Expert pane will show the values of the
respective parameter across all Groups in your currently edited Instrument, or, if you’re not in
Instrument Edit mode, across all Instruments in your Multi. This makes for a convenient way to
compare settings across Groups. You can also change parameter values directly within the list
by clicking on their value and moving the mouse vertically, just like you would do on the respective knob.
Expert tab, displaying the values of EQ frequency parameters across multiple Groups.
Of course, parameters will only appear next to Groups that actually contain the edited parameter as well. For instance, if you’re adjusting the Grain parameter of the Source Module —
which is unique to the Time Machine mode — all Groups that are not currently in Time Machine mode, and therefore don’t know this parameter, will be indicated with NA in the Value
column.
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The Browser
Expert Tab
Engine
This subtab displays an overview of various system resources, such as detailed memory and
CPU usage statistics. The information provided on this page is mainly intended for power
users; when you have a problem and get in contact with the Native Instruments support, they
might ask you for specific values from this page.
The Engine page provides an overview of the current status of KONTAKT’s audio engine.
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The Browser
Expert Tab
The Restart Engine button allows you to force a re-initialization of KONTAKT’s audio engine in
case of CPU overruns.
If you’re using KONTAKT as a plug-in, there will be another button below labeled Offline
(Bounce) Mode. This is intended for hosts that don’t correctly advertise this mode to their
plug-ins when bouncing or freezing tracks. You can check if your host behaves correctly in this
regard by observing the state of the button when bouncing or freezing; if it turns orange, KONTAKT receives the bounce signal from the sequencer. If it doesn’t and you experience crackles
or drop-outs, you can activate this button manually before bouncing or freezing.
CPU Profiling Mode: Switch to CPU Profiling mode in order to identify which parts of your Instruments are currently consuming the largest share of processing power. Percentages are
shown in the instrument name as well as in the Source module in Edit mode and in the top
parts of all effects in the effect chains.
Use the bottom part of the effect icons to switch to different effect slots for editing
while in CPU Profiling mode.
▪ Instrument name: observe the Rack to identify most consuming Instruments first, then
switch to Edit mode.
▪ Source module: switch to a different HQI setting if CPU usage is too high. If you are using
Time Machine Pro, consider downgrading to the lighter Time Machine engines.
▪ Group Inserts: Move memory-intensive effects without attached modulators to the Instrument or Bus Inserts instead. Remember group effects are calculated per voice!
▪ Instrument Inserts / Bus Inserts / Sends: Move memory-intensive effects to the Outputs section, inserts into the regular output channel, sends into the Aux channels.
Just like the File and Database Browsers, the Expert pane optionally provides an Instrument
Navigator list. This can be shown and hidden with the rightmost button of the Expert toolbar.
For an in-depth explanation of what this pane does, please refer to section ↑13.2.3, Instrument Navigator Pane.
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The Browser
Automation Tab
13.6
Automation Tab
Whenever you need to control any parameter of an Instrument from outside KONTAKT, using
for instance your sequencer’s automation system or MIDI controller data generated by an external fader box, you can easily pick and assign the appropriate automation source from the Automation tab of the Browser.
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The Browser
Automation Tab
The MIDI Automation page displays a list of assignable MIDI controllers at the top, and details of the selected assignment at
its bottom.
At the top of the Automation tab, two buttons allow you to switch between the list of automation sources that are provided by your host and MIDI controllers. Assigning a source to a parameter works the same way in both lists, so when this manual describes the process for working with MIDI automation, the same concepts can be applied to the host automation workflow.
Assigning automation is simple: just select a source from the list and drag it onto a knob
whose parameter you want to automate.
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The Browser
Automation Tab
If you want to assign a fader of a master keyboard or a MIDI controller box, but are not sure
which controller number is the right one, just move the fader when the MIDI automation list is
visible - KONTAKT will flash a red dot next to the respective list entry when it receives any
MIDI controller data, which allows you to quickly spot and assign the appropriate controller.
Multiple parameters can be assigned to the same automation source. This allows you to
control multiple aspects of your Instrument with a single controller, such as increasing
the brightness of an Instrument in combination with the loudness. Also note that modulation wheels usually send MIDI Controller #1, while volume controls send #7.
You can edit assignments and their parameters by selecting them in the list. If the selected
item is assigned to one or more parameters, these will show up in the list below. At the bottom
of the pane, you can adjust some parameters of the assignment that’s selected in the lower
list:
From % / To %: By default, automation controllers are mapped in a way that makes them cover
the whole available range of the assigned parameter. By changing these parameters, you can
alter the scaling of the assignment so that the automation values are mapped to a limited
range of the assigned parameter. A positive side effect of this is that this section of the parameter’s range can then be automated with finer resolution.
Soft Takeover: This function avoids sudden parameter jumps that can happen if received automation data is different from the current value of the assigned parameter. If you activate this
button, the assigned parameter will not be changed until an automation value is received that
matches the parameter’s current value. A typical example would be the assignment of an external fader to a filter’s cutoff parameter; if the filter cutoff is currently set to 50% and you slowly
move the fader upwards, KONTAKT will softly pick it up as soon as it reaches its mid-point.
Remove: This button deletes the automation assignment that’s selected in the lower list.
13.6.1
Assigning MIDI Controllers (alternative way)
If you cannot assign MIDI controllers as described in section ↑3.8, MIDI Learn, there is an alternative way:
1.
Make sure at least one instrument is loaded and set to the MIDI port and channel of your
hardware controller.
2.
Click the Browser’s Automation tab.
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The Browser
Automation Tab
3.
Select the MIDI Automation sub tab.
4.
Turn a knob or move a slider on your hardware controller.
5.
You should see a flash next to the CC# that is used by your external controller; in addition, the MIDI symbol in the instrument header should flash. If this does not work: Open
the Options dialog. Select the MIDI tab.
6.
Select Inputs. Check if your MIDI hardware is selected as input for the same port you
have assigned the instrument in question to.
7.
If the MIDI input is setup correctly, drag and drop the MIDI CC# you wish to use onto the
control you wish to control.
MIDI controller reception in KONTAKT
13.6.2
Removing MIDI Controller Assignments
To remove an assignment made to a specific controller:
1.
Click the Browser’s Automation tab.
2.
Select the MIDI Automation sub tab.
3.
Find the MIDI control whose assignment you wish to remove, either by searching, or by
moving the control and seeing which number in the list is highlighted with the lightning
bolt symbol.
4.
Select the control in the list and click the Remove button.
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The Quick-Load Catalog
14
The Quick-Load Catalog
In this chapter, we’re going to introduce another tool that can assist you in managing your Instruments, Banks, and Multis: the Quick-Load catalog. It’s somewhat similar to the File Browser in that it provides access to a hierarchical directory structure. In contrast to it, though, you
can freely define the Quick-Load catalog’s structure without having to pay attention to the included files’ actual paths, library relationships, or formats. In other words, you can define a
“virtual file system” that exists in parallel to the actual file system on your hard disks, and use
it to freely organize and index your files without actually copying or moving them to different
locations.
The central facility where you manage and access your catalog is the Quick-Load Browser. It
appears below the Rack when you right-click somewhere inside the empty space below the Instrument Headers (if you are a Mac OS X user, hold your [Ctrl] key down and left-click). You
can resize this pane by clicking and dragging the bar that separates it from the Rack. Another
right-click inside the empty region of the Rack hides the browser again. Please note that as
long as the Quick-Load Browser is visible, it will hide the On-Screen Keyboard.
The Quick-Load Browser, displaying an exemplary directory structure.
In appearance and handling, the Quick-Load Browser is similar to a multi-column directory
browser that you might find familiar from your operating system. It displays multiple layers of a
directory tree in a horizontal arrangement of columns. When you click a subdirectory in one
column, the column to the right of it will display that directory’s contents, with each additional
column opening another sub-layer of the directory tree. That way, you can navigate through
your directory structure from left to right until you’ve found what you’ve been looking for.
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The Quick-Load Catalog
Building a Catalog
At the top of the pane, you’ll find three buttons that switch between the catalogs of Multis,
Banks and Instruments, respectively. The contents of these catalogs are in no way related to
each other, so you can create independent directory structures for each of the three object
types.
Upon first activation, the Quick-Load Browser’s list is still empty, as it doesn’t have any predefined structure. In order to fill it with content, you can create directories and drag files from
the Browser or the file manager of your operating system into their content columns. This process is described in detail in the following section. After that, we’ll explain how you can use the
Quick-Load catalog during your everyday work.
14.1
Building a Catalog
In order to organize any larger number of objects, you should begin by devising a directory
structure that’s consistent with your approach to locating Instruments, Banks and Multis. The
criteria you choose for this is entirely up to you; for instance, you could categorize your objects
by their instrument types, music genres or libraries. You could also combine these and sort
your collection by a coarse type category on the root level, then by the respective libraries on
the levels below that. Of course, it’s also possible to mix categories on the same level — since
no actual files will be touched when managing your collection via the Quick-Load Browser, you
can easily put the same object into more than one directory.
In case you’d like to keep your favorite Instruments in direct access at all times, you can
put these — in parallel to your normal categorization in the Quick-Load Browser — into
a “favorites” directory. As contents are always sorted alphabetically, though, this directory will most likely appear amidst all others. To circumvent this, just prepend its name
with a special character, such as an asterisk (*); that way, it will always appear at the
top of the list.
Begin by right-clicking into the empty list inside the leftmost column and choose the command Add New Folder from the context menu. A new directory entry will appear. Give it a
meaningful name and repeat these steps for every directory that you’d like to create on the root
level. In order to extend the directory structure with deeper levels, select one of the new entries and create more subdirectories within the column next to it as described. That way, you
can build a hierarchical directory structure step by step. Of course, you can also extend a
Quick-Load catalog that has already been populated with content at any time. To rename a di-
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The Quick-Load Catalog
Loading Objects from the Catalog
rectory entry, double-click it or, alternatively, right-click and choose Rename Folder from the
context menu. If you want to delete a directory and all of its sub-contents from your catalog,
right-click its entry and select the Delete from Quick Load command from the menu. Of
course, no actual files will be deleted in this process.
In order to fill your directories with content, just drag one or more files from the Browser into
the column of the directory in which you’d like to put them. It doesn’t matter if these originate
from the Files, Libraries or Database tabs; you can even drag KONTAKT-relevant files directly
from your operating system’s file navigator into the Quick-Load Browser.
Dragging an object into the Quick-Load Browser
While you’re dragging your objects (with mouse button held down), you can still navigate
through the Quick-Load catalog in order to locate a specific directory. Just move your mouse
pointer across the directory entries that you’d like to switch to; the columns to the right of the
current one will adapt their contents accordingly.
In order to remove an object from a directory of the catalog, right-click its entry and choose
Delete from Quick Load from the context menu.
14.2
Loading Objects from the Catalog
During your work with KONTAKT, the Quick-Load catalog is just a mouse click away at all
times, and you can use it at any time to quickly locate and load Instruments, Banks or entire
Multis. For this, you can use the Quick-Load Browser itself or, alternatively, one of the QuickLoad menus that replicate the structure of your catalogs as hierarchical drop-down menus.
We’ll describe both methods in this section.
To open the Quick-Load Browser, right-click the empty space inside the Rack. First, use the
type switches at the top to select the kind of objects that you’d like to access. Following the
instructions in the previous section, you can now navigate the respective catalog, going from
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The Quick-Load Catalog
Loading Objects from the Catalog
left to right, until you’ve found an entry that you’d like to load. If the object is an Instrument or
a Bank, you can add it to your Multi either by double-clicking on it, by dragging it into the
empty space inside the Rack, or by right-clicking on its entry and choosing Load from the context menu. Alternatively, you can replace an existing object in your Multi by dragging its replacement onto the respective header in the Rack or choosing its position from the submenu
Load Into Slot, which you can find in the context menu. Loading a Multi works in the same
way, but in that case, you can only choose between replacing or combining your current Multi
with the new one.
An alternate method of accessing your catalogs is offered by way of the Quick-Load menus,
which you can find in different spots of the user interface, depending on whether you’d like to
add a new object to your Multi or replace an existing one. In the former case, click the button
labeled Files in the Main Control Panel and open the submenu New Instrument from List or
New Instrument Bank from List. It contains the entire structure of the respective catalog as a
list of menu entries and submenus, which you can traverse in the usual way.
Replacing an instrument using the Quick-Load menu
The same menus appear when you click the small down arrows inside the name fields of the
Instrument, Bank, and Rack headers. In that case, the respective Instrument, Bank, or the entire Multi will be replaced with the object that you select from the menu.
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The Outputs Section
15
The Outputs Section
KONTAKT’s Outputs section provides a routing and mixing environment that is laid out in the
way of a traditional mixing console. The output signals from all Instruments in your Rack will
first arrive in this section, where they are then routed to the physical outputs of your audio interface or into your host software. The Outputs section panel allows you to:
▪ create, delete, rename, and configure Output Channels, which act as mono, stereo, or multichannel signal routing destinations for your Instruments,
▪ rename and configure Aux Channels, which act as additional routing destinations for “signal taps” at various locations across your Instruments and Instrument send effects,
▪ change the output volumes of Output and Aux Channels,
▪ add, remove, and edit signal processors on Output and Aux Channels, and
▪ monitor your output levels.
►
To show and hide the Outputs section, select the Output option in the Workspace menu.
→
The Outputs panel will appear in the lower half of your Rack space.
The Outputs section, displaying a stereo Output Channel strip at the left, and the four Aux Channel strips at the right.
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The Outputs Section
Panel Controls
15.1
Panel Controls
On the left side of the Outputs section, you can see one or more channel strips for the Output
Channels, followed by four Aux Channel strips. Output and Aux Channels have identical controls, namely (from top to bottom):
▪ Channel name: This name will be used throughout KONTAKT whenever it refers to this
channel. You can change it by clicking on the field and entering a new name.
▪ Channel Insert Slots (only visible if the Output panel is at full size): Signal processing modules can be inserted into these slots to process the channel’s signal. Refer to chapter ↑22,
Signal Processors in KONTAKT for more information on signal processing in KONTAKT.
▪ Channel Fader and Level Meter: The vertical fader controls and displays the output gain of
this channel. Next to it is a bar graph meter that provides visual feedback on the signal
level.
▪ Channel Configuration button: Clicking on this button will open a dialog window, in which
you can configure this channel’s name, the number of audio channels it carries, and its
physical output assignment.
►
To edit an effect on an output channel, click on its name and the controls will appear in
the top part of the Outputs section.
►
Click on the name again to close the effect panel.
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The Outputs Section
Working with Output Channels
In addition to the channel strips, the Outputs section has a tool bar at its top, which contains
the following functions:
▪ Add Channel: Clicking on the + button opens a dialog to create and configure new output
channels.
▪ Delete Channel: Clicking on the – button removes the currently selected channel from the
Outputs section (to select a channel, click its border).
▪ Presets/Batch Configuration: is a dropdown menu containing options for saving, resetting,
or reconfiguring the Outputs section.
▪ Maximize/Minimize Output Panel: The button to the far right of the Outputs section toggles
whether the insert slots will be shown. If deactivated, the height of the panel will be reduced in order to save screen space.
15.2
Working with Output Channels
In KONTAKT, you can route the output signal of each Instrument in your Multi to any Output
Channel that you have defined in the Outputs section. Each of these Output Channels can be
configured to carry between 1 and 16 audio channels — new Output Channels are configured
for stereo signals by default, but you can change this setting in the channel’s configuration dialog. When you create a channel, it’s recommended to name it in a descriptive way by clicking
in the top-most text field of its channel strip and entering a name. This way, you can easily
locate it within the Output drop-down menu of an Instrument.
Whenever you play a note, the respective Instrument’s output signal will arrive at the assigned
Output Channel and be sent, after it has passed the channel inserts (if any) and the volume
fader, to the physical output defined in the channel’s Configuration dialog. The bar-graph display next to the channel fader will give you an idea of the signal level at the output. Note that
the Master Volume control located in the Master Editor will affect the levels of all Output and
Aux Channels in your Outputs section.
Your output configuration always needs to contain at least one channel, so you can’t delete a
channel if it’s the only one. New Instruments will always be assigned to the leftmost channel
in the Outputs section by default.
To change the number of audio channels that are carried by an Output Channel, or its physical
output assignments, click the button at the bottom of the channel strip.
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The Outputs Section
Working with Aux Channels
The Channel Configuration dialog
The Channel Configuration dialog that appears provides these elements:
▪ Channel name: This field replicates the field at the top of a channel strip. You can enter a
new name by clicking on it.
▪ Audiochannels: Adjusts the number of audio channels this channel will carry, up to a maximum of 16. To change the number, click the field and drag your mouse up or down.
▪ Output Map: This list displays all audio channels of this Output Channel along with their assigned physical destinations — which can be either tangible output jacks on your audio interface or “virtual” connections to your host, depending on whether you’re using KONTAKT
in stand-alone or host mode. To change a physical output assignment, click its name and
choose a new output from the drop-down menu.
▪ Previous / Next buttons: These buttons jump to the settings of the previous or next channel
of the Outputs section, allowing you to quickly adjust the output configuration for all channels at once.
15.3
Working with Aux Channels
The four Aux Channels in KONTAKT are basically identical to Output Channels, but receive
their signal from other places. While each Instrument routes its output signal to exactly one
Output Channel, you can additionally send this signal to one or multiple Aux Channels at ad-
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The Outputs Section
Outputs in Host Mode
justable levels. This allows you to easily create sub-mixes. You can also use the Aux Channels
as routing destinations for all Send Effects that appear in your Instruments. This allows you to
“tap” wet effect signals in order to process them independently from the dry signals. How this
kind of routing works is explained in detail in chapter ↑22, Signal Processors in KONTAKT of
this manual.
Apart from this difference, Aux Channels work in exactly the same way as Output Channels;
each has its own channel strip in the Outputs section, can contain up to four insert signal processors, and can be routed to specific physical outputs. In addition, the levels of all Aux Channels can be adjusted globally with the Master Volume control located in the Master Editor.
15.4
Outputs in Host Mode
When using KONTAKT in stand-alone mode, the assignment of physical outputs within the
Channel Configuration dialog is straightforward: the drop-down menu will contain all outputs
(up to 32) which are provided by the audio interface that you’ve selected in the Audio tab of
the Options dialog. When using KONTAKT as a plug-in in audio hosts, things get a little more
complicated, as each host handles plug-ins with multiple outputs differently.
The maximum number of (mono) audio channels that you can assign in host mode is limited to
32 for the VST version of KONTAKT, and 16 for the AU and RTAS versions. The VST plug-in is
special in that it comes in 3 different flavors with 8, 16 or 32 outputs. In AU and RTAS environments, the host will determine the actual number of outputs. Refer to the documentation of
your host program to learn how this is being handled in your case.
Note that KONTAKT has to advertise its number of outputs during instantiation, which means
that it can’t successfully change its output configuration on the fly during operation. In consequence, when you try to change anything in the Outputs section, a window will pop up asking
you to save and reload your song in order to let the host accommodate to the changes. Before
you do this, go to the Presets/Batch Configuration menu and select the appropriate option from
the Save current output section state as default for sub-menu.
Another caveat relates to the fact that the output configuration of each KONTAKT instance will
be saved along with your song; this can result in the rather unfortunate case of several loaded
KONTAKT instances with different output configurations. This can seriously confuse your host
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The Outputs Section
Outputs in Host Mode
and lead to unexpected behavior, so when you’re working with KONTAKT as a plug-in, we recommend that you make all output configuration changes the default for that specific plug-in
type.
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The Group Editor
16
The Group Editor
Groups are perhaps the most prominent entity of a KONTAKT Instrument. In addition to providing a way to combine and use a common signal path for any number of Zones in your Instrument, Groups allow you to define conditions on which Zones will be played, adjust how the
voice allocation for the contained Zones will be handled, and provide a selection mechanism
that lets you change parameters in unison across groups. What’s more, you can export and import Groups to and from your hard disk, which is the most convenient way to copy parts of one
Instrument to another.
Generally, when you create your own Instruments, you should find a consistent way to distribute your Zones into Groups. This can be a common aspect of the Zones that serves as an attribute for dividing them into categories; for instance, if you create a chromatically sampled
Instrument with four velocity layers, you could distribute the Zones on each layer across four
Groups named “vel 0-31”, “vel 32-63”, “vel 64-95” and “vel 96-127”. This way, should you
decide later that the highest velocity layer needs some additional “sparkle” to cut through your
mix, you can simply select the respective Group for editing and add a EQ with a treble boost to
its Group Insert Effects chain.
As another example, if you want to add release samples, you’ll need to move them into a separate Group, as the required Release Trigger parameter always acts upon a whole Group.
Once you’ve gotten the hang of how the Group concept works, you’ll need a convenient way to
create, delete, access, name, and manage the Groups in your Instrument; this functionality is
provided by the Group Editor.
►
When you’re in Instrument Edit mode, click the button labeled Group Editor at the top of
the Instrument Edit view
→
The Group Editor will appear in the Rack.
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The Group Editor
Control Header
The Group Editor, opened on an Instrument which contains 3 Groups. Only the “Bass” Group is currently selected both for
display and for editing.
The Group Editor is divided into four sections:
▪ At its top, a control header provides several buttons and drop-down menus.
▪ The largest amount of space is taken up by the Groups list below, which will display all
Groups in your Instruments as a scrollable list.
▪ At the bottom of the editor, you’ll find a row of several parameters that pertain to the assignment of Voice Groups
▪ The Group Start Options button in the lower left corner will show or hide an additional set
of rows which contain the Group start conditions.
Let’s take a look at what each of these elements does.
16.1
Control Header
This row of buttons and drop-down menus at the top of the Group Editor provides common utility functions for easy Group management. The following sections will explain each of these elements, from left to right, in detail.
The header of the Group Editor contains a number of options and utility functions.
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The Group Editor
Control Header
16.1.1
Edit All Groups
If this button is activated, all parameters that you adjust on the Group level from that point on
will affect all Groups in the currently edited Instrument. This button is just a convenient shortcut for checking all edit boxes in the Group list; the same function is also available via a button located in the Rack header when you’re in Instrument Edit mode.
As an example, suppose you have three Groups with a modulation assignment for each, which
assigns an LFO to their pitch in order to create a vibrato effect. If you decide now that the vibrato effect is a little too strong across all Groups, you don’t need to change the respective
modulation intensity in each Group. Just activate the Edit All Groups button and decrease the
respective Intensity parameter in one of the Groups; the respective parameters in all other
Groups will change with it.
We recommend that you always switch this feature off right after you’ve used it. If you leave it
on and make any adjustments to Group parameters later without keeping it in mind, you’ll potentially destroy carefully tweaked parameter settings in other Groups.
You can find more information on how to change parameters across Groups in section ↑16.2,
Group List.
16.1.2
Group Selector
Next to the Edit All Groups button, you’ll notice a label that indicates the currently selected
Group, as well as the total number of Groups in your Instrument. Clicking on it opens a dropdown menu that allows you to select another Group; clicking on the Group name that’s displayed in the Rack header when you’re in Instrument Edit mode will do the same. In contrast
to clicking on a name in the Group list, however, this action won’t enable the selected Group
for editing at the same time, which makes it the preferred way of selecting Groups if you just
want to check out their contents without editing them.
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The Group Editor
Control Header
16.1.3
Edit
This drop-down menu contains a number of utility functions, most of which act on all Groups
that are currently selected in the Group list. Note that this selection is different from enabling
Groups for editing; selected Groups will be indicated with a filled or hollow rectangle around
their name in the Group list, while Groups that are enabled for editing will be indicated with a
checked box in front of their name.
The Edit menu contains editing commands that operate on the currently selected Group(s).
The Edit menu is also available as a right-click context menu both inside the Group Editor and
the Groups tab of the Monitor.
Let’s take a look at each function in this menu:
▪ Set Edit flag for selected groups(s): This option checks the Edit Flag for all Groups that are
currently selected in the Groups List. This allows you to check multiple Groups for editing
quickly, without using the Edit All Groups option, which only allows an all or one mode of
editing Groups.
▪ Delete selected group(s): Deletes any selected Groups. If any of the Groups still contain
Zones, they will be deleted as well; in such cases, you’ll be asked if you’re sure about this.
▪ Purge empty groups: Deletes all Groups that don’t contain any Zones.
▪ Copy selected group(s): Copies the selected Groups to the clipboard.
▪ Cut selected groups(s): Moves the selected Group and its Zones to the clipboard for later
use, removing the Group from the Group list in the process.
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The Group Editor
Control Header
Using the cut, copy, and paste commands in the Group Editor, you can move and copy
Groups between Instruments. This even works across multiple KONTAKT instances and
sessions.
▪ Duplicate groups(s): Creates identical copies of the selected Groups.
▪ Paste group(s) with samples: Inserts the contents of the Group clipboard into the Group
list, leaving their Zones and referenced Sample information intact. Note that if you copied
the respective Group(s) beforehand, therefore creating duplicates by pasting them, the
Zones will be duplicated along with the Groups, so later changes to the Zone parameters in
one Group won’t affect the Zones of its copy.
▪ Paste group(s) w/o gamples: Inserts the contents of the Group clipboard into the Group list,
omitting any Zones in the process. This way, you’ll get empty Groups that replicate the settings of a previously copied or cut Group.
▪ Export edited group: This function allows you to save the currently selected Group to
an .nkg file on your hard disk, which you can re-use in other Instruments. In contrast to
other commands that act on all selected Groups, this one doesn’t handle multiple selections; only the currently displayed Group, which will be indicated in the Group list with a
filled rectangle around its name, will be saved. When you click this function, a pop-up dialog will ask you to specify a location and name for the file. In addition, you can also choose
between different ways of how the referenced Samples in this Group should be handled:
◦ Patch Only won’t save the Samples, but reference them at their original positions in
the Group file.
◦ Patch + Samples will save the Samples along with the Group file in a definable location
◦ Monolith will combine both Group data and its referenced Samples into one large file.
▪ Import Group: Load a Group in .nkg format and add it to your Instrument, along with all of
its contained Zones. This command also allows you to import BATTERY 3 Cells.
16.1.4
Group Solo
If this button is activated, all Groups except the currently selected one will be muted. This lets
you conveniently check out the contents of a Group when working with multiple Groups, whose
Zones may overlap.
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The Group Editor
Control Header
16.1.5
Select by MIDI
If this button is enabled, you can select Groups by playing notes on your keyboard. When KONTAKT receives a MIDI note, it checks all Groups for Zones that match its note number and velocity, and selects any Groups that contain such Zones in the Group list. This makes for a very
intuitive way to quickly switch between Groups; suppose you’re working on a drum set with every instrument being assigned to a separate Group. Instead of locating the bass drum Group
within the Group list and clicking on its name, you just play a bass drum note on your keyboard, and the corresponding Group will be automatically selected.
16.2
Group List
This pane displays a list of all Groups in your currently edited Instrument. If the number of
Groups won’t fit into the window, a scroll bar will appear on its right side. Here you can select
Groups and enable them for editing.
In order to select a Group for viewing, just click its name; it will be highlighted with a filled
rectangle, and all currently visible controls on the Group level will now show the parameters of
this Group. Any command you select from the Edit menu of the Group Editor will now operate
on this Group only. Double-clicking an entry allows you to change its name.
While only one Group can be displayed at any time (which will always be indicated with a filled
rectangle in the Group list), you can select multiple Groups by holding the [Ctrl] key ([Cmd] on
OS X) while clicking on separate Groups to add them to your selection, or holding the [Shift]
key while clicking on a second entry to include all Groups between the first and the last one in
your selection. This selection affects only upon which Groups the commands in the Edit menus
will act; to find out how to change parameters across multiple Groups, read on.
You’ll notice a small check box next to each Group name in the Group list, which will always
be enabled on the list entry on which you clicked last.
The check box next to a Group name indicates whether this Group is selected for editing.
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The Group Editor
Voice Groups
It indicates whether the parameters of the respective Group will be changed along when you do
any adjustments. In other words, when you enable the check boxes next to multiple Groups
and then move any controls of the currently displayed Group (such as the Volume or Pan knob
of the Amplifier Module), the parameters of the other Groups will be affected as well.
This transfer happens in an absolute fashion; settings in the other Groups will simply be replaced with the new ones. This can easily result in unintentional changes to parameters in other Groups than the currently visible one, so be sure to check whether other Groups are currently enabled for editing before you do any adjustments on Group level modules. This is made
easier by a text indicator in the Rack header: as long as you’re in Instrument edit mode, it will
indicate how many and which Groups are currently enabled for editing.
Note that the Expert tab in the Browser offers you alternate views for the functions described
in this section. These can greatly simplify managing Groups and changing parameters across
Groups; depending on your preference, you might want to use them instead of the Group list
for some operations. The Expert tab is described in detail in section ↑13.5, Expert Tab of this
manual.
16.3
Voice Groups
The concept of Voice Groups allows you to fine-tune the way in which KONTAKT allocates audio voices to Groups. Please don’t confuse Voice Groups with Groups; in spite of the similar
names, they’re entirely different concepts. To understand Voice Groups, let’s begin with an example.
A typical sampler program of a drum set contains at least one sample of a closed hi-hat and
one of an opened hi-hat. As the ringing sound of an opened hi-hat will be immediately cut off
when the drummer closes it, we can conclude that these sounds never occur at the same time;
therefore, we could simulate this behavior by limiting the maximum voice count of the hi-hat
to one. As each played Sample will take one voice, and the last played Sample will have priority over any Samples that were triggered before by default, playing the closed hi-hat Sample
will cut a still ringing open hi-hat Sample off.
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The Group Editor
Voice Groups
How can we accomplish this? You can adjust the maximum number of voices to be used for an
Instrument in the Instrument Header, but this would restrict all other parts of the drum kit to
one voice as well. A more practical way would be to make use of the Voice Group concept: it
allows you to create a voice allocation setting and apply it to any number of Groups in your
Instrument.
In contrast to Groups, you don’t have to create or manage Voice Groups; instead, 128 of them
are pre-defined in every Instrument. By default, Groups are not assigned to any Voice Group,
which means they will share the pool of voices as defined in the Instrument Header with all
other Groups. By assigning some of your Groups to one of the 128 Voice Groups and adjusting
this Voice Group’s parameters, you can define a new set of voice allocation rules for these
Groups. For instance, you could solve the hi-hat problem by assigning the closed and open hihat Groups to Voice Group 1, then set the voice count of this Voice Group to one. There are
more parameters to a Voice Group than its maximum voice count; these will be explained later.
The 128 Voice Groups can be assigned and edited in the strip below the Group list of the
Group Editor. Selecting a Voice Group from the drop-down menu at its left will assign all currently selected Groups to this Voice Group, and display its parameters in the fields to the right.
The row of parameters below the Group list allows you to assign and adjust Voice Groups.
Here’s a run-down of these parameters, from left to right:
▪ Voices: Adjusts the maximum number of voices that can be used by the Groups in this
Voice Group. If a Sample is triggered and the maximum voice count has already been
reached, voices of Samples that would otherwise still sound will be “sacrificed” and recycled.
▪ Mode: This setting decides which of the currently allocated voices will be sacrificed and
recycled if a newly triggered Sample would otherwise exceed the maximum voice count for
this Voice Group:
◦ Kill Any: Let KONTAKT decide what to do.
◦ Kill Oldest: The oldest, still playing Sample will be cut off.
◦ Kill Newest: The most recently triggered Sample will be cut off.
◦ Kill Highest: The note with the highest pitch will be cut off.
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The Group Editor
Group Start Options
◦ Kill Lowest: The note with the lowest pitch will be cut off.
▪ Pref. Rel: If this button is activated and the Voice Group runs out of voices, KONTAKT will
give already released notes a higher priority when it decides which voices to keep.
▪ Fade Time: Adjusts how long a sacrificed voice will fade out before it disappears. The fadeout length is specified in milliseconds. This may cause the overall number of voices to temporarily exceed the maximum value.
▪ Excl. Grp: This drop-down menu allows you to assign the current Voice Group to one of 16
Exclusive Groups. Assigning two or more Voice Groups to the same Exclusive Group will
cause Samples from one Voice Group to cut off all still-sounding Samples from the other
Voice Groups assigned to the Exclusive Group. When you re-consider our hi-hat example,
you’ll notice that an alternative solution would be keeping the samples in separate Groups
and assigning them to the same Exclusive Group. This has the added benefit that you can
edit the Group-level signal processing of both samples separately.
16.4
Group Start Options
By default, each Zone in a Group will always play its assigned Sample when a note is received
that matches its keyboard and velocity range. However, there are applications that demand for
more control about when the Zones in a Group will come active. Some examples include:
▪ When you sample an acoustic Instrument, you might want to provide multiple, slightly different Samples for each note and velocity range, then have KONTAKT cycle between them
in a round-robin fashion when note repetitions are played; this eliminates the dreaded “machine gun effect”, which is a giveaway of sampled instruments. For this, you need a way to
make each Group wait for its turn before it sounds.
▪ With the advent of large, modern sample libraries, it has become customary to let the user
switch between different articulations with keys on his master keyboard that are unused by
the Instrument’s Zones; these so-called keyswitches require a way to make Groups only
come active when their respective keyswitch was the last received one.
▪ You might want to switch between Groups depending on the value of a MIDI controller; for
instance, lots of modern piano libraries use separate sample sets for notes which are
played with the sustain pedal depressed and released.
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The Group Editor
Group Start Options
The Group Start Options allow you to define a range of conditions that have to be met before
the respective Group will become active and can output any sound. The list of these conditions
is hidden from the Group Editor view by default; you can show it by clicking on the Group Start
Options button in the lower left corner of the Group Editor.
Multiple Group start conditions, combined with “and” operators. This means that all specified conditions must be met before the Group becomes active.
Each row of this list has a drop-down menu at its left side.
►
To add a condition to the list, select its general type from this menu.
To the right of the menu, KONTAKT will then show the respective parameters that belong to
the respective condition along with explanatory labels, as well as an operator drop-down menu
that logically combines this entry with the next one.
The Group Start Options list includes the following types of conditions:
▪ Always: This is a no-operation value. If it’s is the only value in the list, the selected Group
will always be active. In lists with more than one row, this value serves as a marker for the
last row in the list, as well as an entry that deletes rows from the list when you choose it.
▪ Start on Key: This condition lets you define keyswitches. A Group with this condition will
be disabled until a trigger note within the defined range is received; it will be disabled
again when another Group in your Instrument with a Start on Key condition will come active, so that you can switch between Groups with single key strokes.
▪ Start on Controller: The Group will come active when KONTAKT receives a MIDI controller
within a specific range. It will be deactivated again when a controller value outside the
range is received.
▪ Cycle Round Robin: All Groups that have this condition in their Group Start Options will be
cycled in a round-robin fashion on each note. Among other things, you can use this feature
to add realistic variations to note repetitions, or automatically alternate between left and
right strokes on percussion instruments.
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The Group Editor
Group Start Options
▪ Cycle Random: Like Cycle Round Robin, but notes will be cycled randomly instead of sequentially.
▪ Slice Trigger: This option was used by slice Groups in KONTAKT 2. It is provided for backwards compatibility and should not be used explicitly.
By adding multiple conditions to the list and connecting them with the logical operators you’ll
find in the drop-down menu at the right side, you can create very complex combinations of
conditions. Note that the last entry of the list (which will be an always condition) won’t be taken into account when your list contains at least another condition entry.
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The Mapping Editor
17
The Mapping Editor
Samples, which are essentially audio files by another name, are made playable in KONTAKT by
creating Zones that reference these files. A Zone is a kind of container that holds information
in order to tell KONTAKT which Sample to play when a specific note is received. A Zone needs
to specify a range of note and velocity values that it should respond to. In addition, a Zone can
contain other values, like volume, pan, and tune adjustments.
All of the facilities required to specify the parameters of a Zone (and a few more) are provided
in the Mapping Editor.
►
Click on the Mapping Editor button just below the Instrument Header to toggle the Mapping Editor view on and off.
The Mapping Editor, displaying the Zones of an Instrument which contains 3-layer velocity switches throughout its playable
range.
The Mapping Editor consists of three parts:
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The Mapping Editor
Mapping Samples Manually
▪ At the top, a control strip with 2 rows of buttons and menus provides access to a number
of utility functions that operate on your selected Zones.
▪ A status line displays the parameters of the currently selected Zone and allows you to
change it.
▪ The largest space is taken up by the Zone grid, a two-dimensional panel with a keyboard at
its bottom. It displays and lets you change the key range (horizontal axis) and velocity
range (vertical axis) of each Zone in an intuitive, graphical way. Scroll bars at the right and
lower border allow you to move the view around, as well as zoom vertically and horizontally
by clicking the “-” and “+” buttons; the “-” and “+” keys on the number pad of your keyboard will do the same. Alternatively, you can quickly zoom into a specific region by holding the Alt key while clicking and dragging the mouse on the grid; this will open a “rubber
band” selection frame, which will fill up the whole view with its selected area when you
release the mouse button. To zoom out again, just click somewhere on the grid while holding the Alt key. When you play a note on your MIDI keyboard, a small red marker should
appear above the corresponding key of the on-screen keyboard, with higher velocities being
indicated with a higher position in the grid.
17.1
Mapping Samples Manually
You can manually create Zones by dragging one or multiple Samples from the Browser or your
desktop into the Zone grid of the Mapping Editor. While dragging, a highlighted region will tell
you where KONTAKT would place the Zone(s) on the keyboard. When you release the mouse
button, the Zones will be created; if you change your mind and don’t want to add new Zones,
just move your mouse outside the Mapping Editor and release the button.
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The Mapping Editor
Mapping Samples Manually
While you keep your mouse button depressed, KONTAKT will highlight the pattern in which it would map new Zones to the
keyboard.
The way KONTAKT will distribute the new Zone(s) depends on your mouse position and whether you’re dragging one or multiple Samples:
▪ Dragging a single Sample into the Zone grid will create a Zone that spans the entire velocity range, and will be placed on one or several adjacent keys. When you move the mouse all
the way to the bottom of the grid, the Zone will be assigned to a single key; moving the
mouse upwards will gradually enlarge the keyboard range of the Zone, until it spans the entire keyboard when you’re at the top of the grid.
▪ Dragging multiple Samples into the Zone grid will create a corresponding number of adjacent, non-overlapping Zones, starting with the key at your horizontal mouse position. Just
like when you drag single Samples, the vertical mouse position will adjust the size of each
Zone’s key range. When you move your mouse all the way to the top of the grid, all Samples will be layered in overlapping Zones that span the whole key range.
▪ Dragging multiple Samples onto a key of the keyboard below the grid will create a corresponding number of Zones that evenly divide the velocity range on that key. This makes for
a convenient way to quickly create velocity switches.
Note that when you drag multiple samples from the Browser into the Mapping Editor, the sort
order in which they appeared in the Browser will also determine the order in which the corresponding Zones will be placed. For instance, if you’d like to create an eight-way velocity switch
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The Mapping Editor
Mapping Samples Automatically
out of samples named “Piano-C3-1.wav” through “Piano-C3-8.wav”, you should make sure
that the Samples list in the Browser is sorted by name in ascending order before you select
and drag the Samples into the Mapping Editor.
In addition to Samples, you can also drag one or multiple sliced loops into the Mapping Editor
to place them on the keyboard. In this case, the newly created Zones won’t belong to the currently selected Group; instead, a new Group will be created for each Loop with its Source Module set to Beat Machine mode.
17.2
Mapping Samples Automatically
Placing Zones manually by dragging Samples from the Browser into the Zone grid works well if
your Instrument won’t contain a lot of Zones, or if your Samples are conveniently named in a
way that makes it possible to pre-sort them in the Browser before you create Zones out of
them. But what if the samples of your violin set are not named “Violin-1.wav” through “Violin-14.wav”, but instead “Violin-G2-A2” through “Violin-A#5-C6”? There’s no way to get the
Browser to sort them in any meaningful way.
For scenarios like this, the Mapping Editor includes an Auto-Mapping feature. It consists of a
customizable filename scanner that first attempts to determine which parts of your Sample’s
filenames could contain valuable information, then lets you assign to which Zone parameters
these parts should be mapped.
To use the Auto-Mapping feature, you’ll have to create Zones out of your Samples first by dragging them into the Mapping Editor as described above. While doing this, you won’t have to
care about aspects that can be derived from the Sample filenames later. For instance, if your
filenames contain the key range, you don’t need to place the Zones anywhere particular; they
will be moved to their correct destinations by the Auto-Mapping feature anyway.
In the next step, mark all Zones in the Mapping Editor upon which you want the Auto-Mapping
feature to act. You can select multiple Zones either by holding the [Shift] key while clicking on
them, or by clicking on the grid background and dragging the mouse to open a “rubber band”
selection frame. When all Zones you want to process are selected, open the Edit drop-down
menu at the top of the Mapping Editor and choose Auto Map — Setup. A dialog window will
appear that displays the result of the filename scanning process.
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The Mapping Editor
Mapping Samples Automatically
The Auto Mapping dialog, displaying a filename that has been split up into four tokens.
At the top of this dialog, you can see which filename has been used to determine where the
interesting parts of the filename could be. These so-called “tokens” are any strings that appear
in the filename and are separated from each other with non-alphanumeric characters like
spaces, dashes, or underscores. Below, the filename is displayed again, this time split up into
its determined tokens, with a drop-down menu below each of them. These menus allow you to
specify for each token whether it shall be ignored or used to derive any Zone information. For
example, if your Samples are named similar to “Trumpet-f-C1-D#1.wav”, with the “f” indicating the dynamic layer and the notes representing the low and high endpoints of the key range,
you can leave the drop-down menu of the first token (“Trumpet”) at its Ignore Me entry, while
setting the menus of the second, third and fourth tokens (“f”, “C1” and “D#1”) to Make
Group Name, Make Low Key, Make High Key and Set to Single Key respectively.
Tokens marked “Ignore me” won’t be used for any automatic Zone adjustment.
Of course, this applies only if you want to separate multiple dynamic layers into Groups, otherwise you can leave the second menu set to Ignore Me as well.
When you enable the Read root key from sample metadata if possible option at the bottom of
the dialog, KONTAKT will read and use the root key information that’s embedded in some WAV
and AIFF files, if available, instead of trying to get it from the filename. Once the settings accurately reflect the information contained in your filenames, click the Close button at the bottom of the dialog.
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Managing Zones
Now, with the Zones still selected, choose the Auto map selected command from the Edit
menu at the top of the Mapping Editor, or use the keyboard shortcut [Ctrl] + T ([Cmd] + T on
Mac OS X). If you correctly identified all filename tokens in the previous step, KONTAKT will
now automatically arrange and place the Zones according to the information it gets from the
filenames of their referenced Samples.
17.3
Managing Zones
Once you’ve created Zones for your Samples, you can take care of adjusting their parameters to
your needs. Each Zone carries the following parameters with it:
▪ K.Range: This is the range of notes on your keyboard to which the Zone will respond. For
instance, a keyboard range of “C3–D#3” tells KONTAKT that the respective Zone shall be
played when a C3, C#3, D3, or D#3 note is received. If a Zone is being assigned to a single key (as it’s the case with chromatically sampled Instruments), the keyboard range will
look similar to “C3–C3”.
▪ Velocity: The values here specify the lowest and highest velocity values the Zone will respond. A Zone that will be triggered regardless of the velocity will have a velocity range of
“0–127”.
▪ Root: This is the pitch at which the sample was originally recorded. When the Zone is being
played at this key, no transposition will take place. Note that an incorrect root key value
will result in a transposition offset of the whole Zone, as KONTAKT will transpose Zones
based on the distance between their root key and the actual received note. Also, for any
transposition to occur at all, the Tracking parameter of the respective Group’s Source Module needs to be enabled.
▪ Volume: This parameter lets you specify a volume offset for each Zone. The default volume
setting of all Zones is 0 dB.
▪ Pan: This parameter allows you to place each Zone independently within the stereo panorama.
▪ Tune: This parameter lets you change the tuning of a Zone within a range of +/- 36 semitones.
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Managing Zones
Note that the last three parameters are mainly intended for a non-destructive correction of
Samples which deviate in volume, panorama position, or tuning. They work in combination
with the identically named parameters of the Source and Amplifier modules. If you want to
modulate these parameters on a per-Zone basis, read about Zone Envelopes in section ↑18.7,
Zone Envelopes.
17.3.1
Editing Parameters in the Status Bar
In order to view and change the parameters of a Zone, first select it in the Zone grid of the
Mapping Editor by clicking on it. All parameters of the currently selected Zone will now be displayed in the status bar above the Zone grid. You can change a parameter by clicking on its
value and dragging your mouse upwards or downwards. While this is the only way to change
the volume, pan and tune parameters of a Zone, there are several alternate ways to adjust its
keyboard range, velocity range, or root key.
17.3.2
Editing Parameters Graphically
You can change the keyboard and velocity range of a Zone, as well as its root key, graphically
within the Zone grid of the Mapping Editor:
▪ Clicking into a Zone and moving the mouse horizontally will move the whole Zone across
the keyboard. Using the left and right cursor keys while holding [Ctrl] ([Cmd] on Mac OS X)
will move the currently selected Zone(s) across the keyboard.
▪ Clicking on the left or right border of a Zone (the mouse cursor will change when it’s right
on the border) and dragging it horizontally, thereby changing the horizontal size of the
Zone, will change that Zone’s keyboard range. Using the left and right cursor keys while
holding [Shift] and [Ctrl] ([Cmd] on Mac OS X) will adjust the high key limit of the selected
Zone’s key range.
▪ Clicking on the upper or lower border of a Zone and dragging it vertically will change this
Zone’s velocity range. Using the up and down cursor keys while holding [Ctrl] ([Cmd] on
Mac OS X) will move the velocity range of the currently selected Zone(s) by two velocity
steps; holding [Shift] and [Ctrl] will change their upper velocity limits.
▪ Clicking on the yellow key on the keyboard below the Zone grid and dragging it horizontally
will change the Zone’s root key.
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Managing Zones
▪ [Ctrl]-clicking and dragging while your mouse is on the left or right border of a Zone will
create a Zone crossfade. This function will be explained below.
▪ Alt-clicking and dragging will open a “rubber band” zoom frame; when you release the
mouse button, the contents inside the selection frame will zoom in to fill the whole pane.
To zoom out again, just Alt-click somewhere on the grid.
You can select multiple Zones by clicking on them while holding the [Shift] key, or clicking on
an empty space of the grid and dragging the mouse to open a “rubber band” selection (when
you hold [Shift], you can open the selection frame at any point, also on Zones).
If multiple Zones overlap and you can’t reach one that’s hidden behind another, try
holding the [Ctrl] key ([Cmd] on Mac OS X) while clicking inside them repeatedly; this
will cycle through all Zones you’re pointing at.
By using the cursor keys while holding [Shift], you can add adjacent Zones to your current selection. This way, you can use the described methods to move or modify the Zones in unison;
the status bar, however, will only show values that are identical across all selected Zones when
multiple Zones are selected.
17.3.3
Editing Parameters via MIDI
A third alternative that lets you change the keyboard and velocity ranges of a Zone in an intuitive way is using your MIDI keyboard. After you’ve selected a Zone in the Zone grid of the Mapping Editor, enable one of the buttons depicted with a small MIDI jack and a double arrow in
the control strip, or both.
Enabling MIDI Mapping
The button with a horizontal arrow lets you change the keyboard range, the one with a vertical
arrow lets you change the velocity range.
When these are active, play two keys on your keyboard; it doesn’t matter whether you play
them at the same time or in succession. Depending which of the two buttons you have enabled, KONTAKT will use the note numbers and the velocity of both notes as endpoints for the
Zone’s new keyboard and/or velocity range.
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The Mapping Editor
Control Strip
17.4
Control Strip
The control strip is located at the top of the Mapping Editor and consists of two rows of controls. This is where you can find most utility functions for managing and editing your Zones.
The Control Strip of the Mapping Editor provides a number of options and utility functions.
Let’s take a look at the elements of the control strip:
Edit menu: This button opens a drop-down menu with utility functions that operate on all currently selected Zones, such as clipboard operations, functions for assigning Zones to Groups,
and batch processes. You can find a thorough explanation of all entries in this menu in the
next section of this chapter.
List View: This button switches the Zone grid to an alternate view mode that displays all
Groups and their contained Zones in a hierarchical list structure at the left side.
When you’re in list view, you can expand or collapse all Groups at once by holding
[Shift] when you click an expand/collapse button.
This mode is especially handy when you’re working with lots of Zones that overlap in large
areas, as Zones that are hidden behind others can be difficult to select and edit in the normal,
flat view. The downside of the list view is that it doesn’t convey any information about the velocity ranges; the only way to modify these is by editing them numerically in the status bar after you have selected a Zone. Just like the default view, the list view can be moved around with
the scrollbars and zoomed with either the zoom buttons or by clicking and dragging a “rubber
band” zoom frame while holding the Alt key.
Select Zone via Midi: If this button is enabled, any incoming MIDI note will automatically select any Zone(s) that match its note number and velocity. The function works similarly to the
Select by MIDI feature of the Group Editor.
Auto-Spread Zone Key Ranges: This function automatically fills “holes” in your key mapping
by successively extending the key range of each selected Zone to both sides until it “touches”
its neighbors. The algorithm ignores the root keys of the selected Zones; it simply uses the cur-
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Control Strip
rent key range as a starting point for extension. If you want the root keys to be accounted for,
use the Auto-Spread Key Ranges via Root Key function instead. The Auto-Spread Zone Key
Ranges function is also available in the Edit menu.
Auto-Spread Velocity Ranges: This function works similarly to Auto-Spread Zone Key Ranges,
but operates on the velocity range of each selected Zone instead of the key range. This function is also available in the Edit menu.
Auto-Map Selected: When you click the Auto button, the Auto-Mapping feature will change the
parameters and placement of each selected Zone according to information it has derived from
its Sample’s filename. This function is also available in the Edit menu. The Auto-Mapping feature is explained in detail in the previous section of this chapter.
Auto-Spread Key Ranges via Root Key (Root): This function works similarly to the Auto-Spread
Zone Key Ranges command; however, it aims for the smallest possible maximum transposition
that can occur in each Zone by accounting for the root keys and trying to keep them in the
center of their respective Zone. This function is also available in the Edit menu.
Resolve Overlapping Key Ranges: This function eliminates key range overlaps between the selected Zones by successively shrinking the key range of each Zone until it doesn’t overlap its
neighbor anymore. It aims for optimal utilization of root keys (and consequently, the smallest
possible amount of transposition). This function is also available in the Edit menu and via the
keyboard shortcut [Ctrl]-R ([Cmd]-R on Mac OS X).
Resolve Overlapping Velocity Ranges: This function works similarly to the Resolve Overlapping
Key Ranges command, but operates on the velocity ranges of the selected Zones. It’s also
available in the Edit menu and via the keyboard shortcut [Shift] + [Ctrl] + [R] ([Shift] + [Cmd]
+ [R] on Mac OS X).
Set Key Range via MIDI: If this button is enabled and a Zone is selected, KONTAKT will use the
next two incoming MIDI notes as the endpoints of a new key range for the selected Zone. This
function is described in the previous section.
Set Velocity Range via MIDI: If this button is enabled and a Zone is selected, KONTAKT will use
the velocities of the next two incoming MIDI notes as the endpoints of a new velocity range for
the selected Zone. This function is described in the previous section.
Lock Zones: When this button is enabled, the key and velocity ranges of all Zones will be protected from being changed graphically inside the Zone grid. This can be handy when you’re doing editing tasks that require you to switch between Zones a lot, and want to avoid accidentally
moving one of them or changing its key or velocity ranges.
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The Mapping Editor
Edit Menu
Solo Zone: This button will mute all Zones in your Instrument except of the currently selected
one(s). Once activated, the solo function will follow your selection, so you can quickly check
out the contents of specific Zones acoustically.
Select. Groups Only: When this button is activated, the Mapping Editor will only show Zones
that belong to the currently selected Group. To help you keep the overview, other Zones will be
displayed dimly in the background, but won’t be able for selection or editing.
AutoSel. Grp: When this button is enabled, the Group selection will follow your Zone selection.
In other words, selecting a Zone will automatically select the respective Group to which it belongs in the Group Editor.
Sample Field: This text field displays the filename of the Sample that’s assigned to the currently selected Zone. When you hover the mouse pointer over this field, KONTAKT will additionally
display the full path to the Sample file. Using the arrow buttons on the right side of the field,
you can assign a new Sample to the selected Zone; the buttons will switch to the previous or
next Sample within the folder of the current one.
17.5
Edit Menu
This drop-down menu contains utility functions that operate on your currently selected Zones.
In addition to clipboard commands and functions that allow you to re-assign Zones to different
Groups, it also contains a range of batch functions that are designed to operate on multiple
Zones, commands for controlling the Authentic Expression Technology (as described in section
↑23.1, AET Filter), and some options that affect the display and editing behavior of the Mapping Editor. Let’s have a look at what you can find in the Edit menu, from top to bottom:
▪ Cut zone(s): Moves the selected Zones to the clipboard for later use, removing them from
the Zone grid in the process. Using the clipboard, you can move Zones from one Instrument to another, even across different KONTAKT instances.
▪ Copy zone(s): Copies the selected Zones to the clipboard.
▪ Duplicate zone(s): Creates identical copies of the selected Zones. These copies will be
placed on top of the originals and will be selected after the process, so you can move them
to a different place right away if you wish. The keyboard shortcut for this function is [Ctrl]D ([Cmd]-D on Mac OS X).
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Edit Menu
▪ Paste zone(s): Inserts the contents of the Zone clipboard into the Mapping Editor. The
Zones will appear in the same place they were cut or copied from.
▪ Delete zone(s): Removes the selected Zones from the Mapping Editor.
▪ Exchange Sample: Opens a file chooser dialog that lets you assign a new Sample to the selected Zone. This operation will keep the other Zone parameters, such as key and velocity
ranges, intact.
▪ Select all zones: Selects all Zones in your Instrument, including those in other Groups than
the currently selected one, even if the Select. Groups Only button is enabled.
▪ Deselect all zones: Clears all active Zone selections, if any.
▪ Move zone(s) to new empty group: Creates a new Group with default settings and re-assigns
all currently selected Zones to it. Use this function if you want to separate a number of
Zones from your current Group and use them to build a new Group from scratch.
▪ Move zone(s) to new clone group: Creates a new Group that replicates the settings of the
Group to which the first selected Zone is assigned, then re-assigns all currently selected
Zones to it. This process won’t change the functionality of your Instrument, as the new
Group will behave exactly as the old one did; however, it allows you to change parameters
of the new Group separately from the original Group.
▪ Move to Existing Group: This entry opens a sub-menu that contains a list of all Groups in
your current Instrument; by selecting one of them, all currently selected Zones will be
moved to this Group.
▪ Move each zone to its own group (empty): This function works similarly to the Move zone(s)
to new empty group command, but instead of creating a single Group and moving all selected Zones into it, it will create a separate, empty Group for each Zone.
▪ Move each zone to its own group (clone): This function works similarly to the Move zone(s)
to new clone group command, but will create a separate Group for each Zone, which replicates the settings of the original Group.
▪ Batch tools: This entry opens a sub-menu with utility functions designed to operate on
multiple Zones. Its contents will be described in the next section of this chapter.
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Edit Menu
▪ Create AET morph layer: Opens a dialog that lets you analyze the Samples of the selected
Zones and save them to a new Morph Layer. These layers constitute the basic building
blocks of the Authentic Expression Technology introduced in KONTAKT 4. Please refer to
section ↑23.1, AET Filter of this manual for a thorough description of AET.
▪ Open AET morph map editor: Opens a dialog that lets you combine one or more Morph Layers into a Morph Map.
▪ Auto add AET velocity morph: This is a convenient function that carries out all necessary
steps of building a standard velocity morph across the selected Zones for you. Please refer
to section ↑23.1.2, Creating a Velocity Morph to find out how to use this feature.
The following seven entries are options that affect the operation of the Mapping Editor. You
can toggle them by choosing them from the menu; if an option is currently active, this is indicated with a small diamond icon next to it.
▪ Auto move root key: When enabled, moving a Zone will move its root key along with it. This
way, the pitch of the Zone will stay the same when it’s being moved.
▪ Show sample names: If enabled, the filenames of the assigned Samples will be displayed
within the rectangles that represent each Zone in the Zone grid. Note that the name will be
hidden when a Zone rectangle is too small; if you’d still like to see it, try zooming in until
the name appears.
▪ Map mode: These five settings affect how the Mapping Editor will behave when you drag
multiple Samples from the Browser into the Zone grid:
◦ Chromatic: This is the default setting. The Mapping Editor will create adjacent Zones
across both black and white keys, with the vertical mouse position adjusting the size
of each Zone.
◦ White Keys Only: New Zones will be assigned to single, adjacent white keys.
◦ Black Keys Only: New Zones will be assigned to single, adjacent black keys.
◦ Snap to White Keys: This mode works similarly to Chromatic, but the Mapping Editor
will place the low key of each Zone on a white key.
◦ Snap to Black Keys: The low key of each Zone will be placed on a black key.
Auto map – Setup: Opens the setup dialog that lets you identify the tokens of Sample filenames for later Auto-Mapping. The Auto-Mapping feature is described in detail in section
↑17.2, Mapping Samples Automatically.
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The Mapping Editor
Batch Tools
Auto map functions: Contains a number of entries that replicate the functions of the corresponding buttons which you can find in the control strip; they are explained in detail in the
previous section of this chapter.
17.6
Batch Tools
You can find these tools in the Batch Tools submenu of the Edit menu. In addition to functions that place root keys in relation to the respective Zone borders, the menu includes several
utility operations that let you create crossfades between Zones, which needs a brief introduction.
When you create Sample sets of tonal instruments that don’t include a Sample for each note,
the notes that haven’t been sampled need to derive their signal from the Samples of nearby
notes. This is usually done by transposing these “native” Samples upwards or downwards. This
method has a downside — the necessary re-sampling process can “skew” the sound character
of your instrument, especially when transposition over a wider note range is required. Consequentially, this means that two consecutive notes on a scale which happen to cross the “border” between two Zones, and thus are both transposed versions of different Samples, can
sound dissimilar.
The same problem can arise with velocity switched Sample sets; suppose you’re using four
Samples per note, each assigned to one of four equally large velocity ranges. Especially when
you’re sampling an acoustic instrument, it can easily happen that two consecutive notes with
only marginally different velocity values still happen to fall into two different velocity ranges,
thus resulting in noticeably different timbres.
Crossfades provide a way to counteract these effects. The basic idea is that overlapping your
Zones and creating a crossfade between them, thus making them blend into each other within
the overlapping parts, will mask the difference in sound for notes that fall “between” them.
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The Mapping Editor
Batch Tools
Crossfades are being depicted with colored gradients.
Consider this example: You’re sampling an instrument in minor thirds and have just sampled D
and F. You create two Zones out of the Samples and extend them a major second to both
sides. Now, Zone 1 covers the key range between C and E, with its root key being D. Zone 2
has its root key on F and covers the key range between D# and G. Notice that the Zones overlap on D# and E, where both will be transposed. Now you create a key crossfade on both
Zones; as a result, D# and E notes will play a blend of both Zones, with the D Zone’s Sample
being predominant on D# notes, and the F Zone’s Sample being predominant on E notes. Of
course, this method works just as well with larger sampling intervals. Just make sure that your
Zones overlap in ranges you’d like to be crossfaded, whether in key (horizontal) or velocity (vertical) direction.
With this knowledge, let’s get back to the contents of the Batch Tools sub-menu:
▪ Auto-Apply X-Fades (Key): Creates crossfades between all selected Zones whose key ranges
overlap to some extent. Active crossfades will be indicated with a shaded area between
Zones; if this makes your Zone grid look too cluttered, try zooming in or switching into List
View.
You can manually create crossfades by [Ctrl]-clicking and dragging the left or right border of a Zone.
▪ Auto-Apply X-Fades (Velocity): Creates crossfades between all selected Zones whose velocity ranges overlap to some extent.
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The Mapping Editor
Batch Tools
▪ Remove X-Fades (Key): Removes all key range crossfades from the selected Zones, if any,
which reverts them to normal overlapped Zones.
▪ Remove X-Fades (Velocity): Removes all velocity range crossfades from the selected Zones,
if any.
▪ Move Root Key(s) to Lower Border: Moves the root key of each selected Zone to the lowest
note in the key range.
▪ Move Root Key(s) to Center: Moves the root key of each selected Zone to the center of the
Zone’s key range.
▪ Move Root Key(s) to Upper Border: Moves the root key of each selected Zone to the highest
note in the key range.
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The Wave Editor
18
The Wave Editor
In the previous chapters of this manual, we explained how you can use KONTAKT to turn Sample files on your hard disk into playable Instruments. Building Zones, Groups and Instruments
out of ready-made Samples is fine by itself, but if you want to really get into creative sound
design, you’ll sooner or later want a tool that lets you work directly on the waveform of your
audio material. As you might have guessed already, the Wave Editor is this tool. Let’s have a
look at what you can do with it:
▪ View and audition Samples. This sounds trivial, but it’s sometimes helpful to listen to a
Sample in its “raw” form instead of playing it via the keyboard right away. Also, there are
some problems that that can be hard to spot by listening alone, such as DC bias, inaccurate Sample starts, or excessively long silence at the end of your Samples; such issues are
easy to notice when you’re looking at a graphic representation of your waveform.
▪ Create and edit loops. Ever since digital sampling became feasible, sound creators have
used looping as a means to render the maximum playable note length independent from
the actual sample length. In the days of sampling libraries that routinely exceed the 10 GB
mark, this might not be the predominant reason for looping Samples anymore; KONTAKT’s
looping facilities go far beyond the traditional concepts, though, and open up a whole
range of creative sound design applications.
▪ Slice Zones. Slicing is a method that lets you deconstruct drum and percussion loops or
musical phrases into their rhythmic “atoms” and trigger these either from the outside or
using an internal sequencer. This makes it possible to change the tempo of a drum loop or
phrase without the sonic artifacts associated with conventional time-stretching algorithms.
It also allows you to reconstruct your loops into entirely new patterns and process their elements separately. As slicing your Zones provides KONTAKT with information about their
rhythmic structure, you can also align most selection and processing operations to the
rhythm pattern by making them snap to Slice markers.
▪ Create and edit Zone Envelopes. Just like you can use envelope generators as a source for
parameter modulation on the Group level, KONTAKT also provides envelopes that operate
on separate Zones. The most striking aspect of Zone Envelopes, apart from the added flexibility, is that you can edit them right on top of the Sample waveform; this makes it possible to create precise automation curves in perfect sync to your audio material.
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The Wave Editor
▪ Perform destructive Sample editing. KONTAKT offers a range of operations that modify your
Samples permanently on the hard disk; this is useful for editing tasks that prepare your
Samples for smooth operation within KONTAKT, such as clean editing of start and end positions, normalizing, fades, or removal of DC bias.
►
To open the Wave Editor, click the Wave Editor button at the top, just below the Instrument Header.
Usually you’ll want to open the Mapping Editor along with it, as the Wave Editor always displays the content of the currently selected Zone; this way, you can easily switch between the
Samples in your Instrument by selecting Zones in the Mapping Editor.
Double-clicking a Zone in the Mapping Editor will open the Wave Editor with this Zone right
away.
The Wave Editor panel. In its lower half, the Sample Loop tab has been selected, which lets you create and edit loop regions.
The Wave Editor’s interface panel is divided into five sections:
▪ At its top, a horizontal tool bar provides common utility functions and playback controls.
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The Wave Editor
Tool Bar
▪ Below that, a status bar displays various aspects of your current Zone, such as its start and
end positions, in numeric form. These readouts make it possible to edit with sample accuracy.
▪ The largest space is taken up by the waveform view, which contains the Sample waveform
and allows graphical editing of various position-related parameters. At the top of the waveform view, you’ll notice a time line that informs you about the currently displayed time region and scale of the display. If you don’t see a waveform in this section, select a Zone in
the Mapping Editor first.
▪ At the bottom of the editor, four tabs provide access to function sets, which relate to the
various tasks you can perform in the Wave Editor: creating and editing loops, synchronizing
sliced Zones to your song tempo, creating and editing Zone Envelopes, and editing your
Sample destructively.
▪ Next to the tab section, a Grid panel allows you to define a number of markers at rhythmically relevant points across your Zone; we’ll refer to this process as “slicing”. Slicing your
drum loops or phrases opens up a range of possibilities for changing their speed and patterns, and can be used to align most editing operations to rhythmical values of your material.
Before we get to the more sophisticated facilities that the Wave Editor has to offer, let’s stick
to the basics and take a closer look at the utility sections, starting at the top.
18.1
Tool Bar
The topmost row of buttons in the Wave Editor pane provides various navigation functions that
affect which part of the Sample is currently being displayed, a set of playback controls, and
menus that contain selection options and utility commands.
The Wave Editor Toolbar
From left to right, here’s what the elements do:
▪ Size (only visible in external window): If you have opened the Wave Editor within an external window by clicking the arrow next to the Wave Editor button at the top of the Rack, this
drop-down menu lets you choose between three predefined window sizes.
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The Wave Editor
Tool Bar
▪ Magnify Tool: This is a toggle button. When it’s enabled, clicking and dragging your mouse
in the waveform view will open a zoom frame; when you release the button, the area within
the selection frame will be horizontally zoomed in so that it fills the entire view. Just clicking somewhere within the waveform view will zoom out again. You can obtain the exact
same behavior by holding the Alt key while performing the same mouse actions inside the
waveform view.
▪ Jump to Zone Start: When you click this button, the waveform view will jump to the start
marker of your Zone (which may or may not coincide with the actual beginning of the Sample data).
▪ Jump to Loop Start: Clicking on this button will center the waveform view on the start point
of the currently selected loop region.
▪ Zoom on Loop: Zooms the waveform view so that the currently selected loop region fills the
entire view.
▪ Jump to Loop End: This button will center the end point of the currently selected loop region
in the waveform view.
▪ Jump to Zone End: When you click this button, the waveform view will jump to the end marker of your Zone.
▪ Snap: This drop-down menu contains two toggle options, which affect whether KONTAKT
will automatically adjust (“snap”) the start and end positions of your loop regions to match
certain features of your waveform, which can be helpful in finding inaudible loops and
avoid clicking. Snap Loop to Zero Crossing will snap the start and end points of your loops
to positions at which your waveform crosses the zero line and matches the direction of the
respective other point; Snap Loop to Value Crossing will snap start and end points to the
nearest position where the waveform value and direction matches the value at the respective other point. You can only choose one of these options, or none; the currently active one
is indicated with a small diamond icon next to it. Note that when you choose a snap option, KONTAKT won’t change your loop right away; you’ll have to move both the start and
end point of your loop manually in order to make them snap to the selected features. How
to do this will be explained in section ↑18.5, Sample Loop Tab.
▪ Command Menu (the cog icon): This drop-down menu contains utility functions that adjust
your loops automatically in various ways; the available operations will be explained below.
▪ Stop: This button stops Sample playback.
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The Wave Editor
Tool Bar
▪ Loop: When this toggle button is enabled, the Play button next to it will play your currently
selected loop in repetition. Note that only the section between the start and end points of
your loop is played, not the initial portion of the Zone before the loop; therefore, the playback result will be different from what you will hear when you trigger the Zone with a note.
▪ Play: Clicking on this button will either play your Zone once (if the Loop button next to it is
inactive), or the currently selected loop region (if the Loop button is enabled).
▪ Auto Pre-Listen: When this button is enabled, KONTAKT will play any region as soon as you
select or change it; depending on which tab is selected, this works with loop regions, Slices, or edit selections.
▪ Ext. Editor: When you click this button, the current Sample will be opened within your favorite external Sample editor. This requires that you have set the External Wave Editor option
on the Handling tab of the Options dialog beforehand. Note that while your external editor
is running, KONTAKT will freeze and not respond to any input; as soon as you quit your
external editor, KONTAKT will examine the Sample on your hard disk for changes and reload it if required.
Command Menu
This drop-down menu appears when you click the menu with the cog icon in the tool bar. It
contains various functions that operate on the loops of either your current Zone, or all loops of
the currently selected Zones. Note that some options are only visible when you have selected
an active loop on the Sample Loop tab.
The Command Menu
Let’s have a look at what each command does:
▪ find loop end (short) (only visible when a loop region is selected): Attempts to find a wellworking end point for the selected loop region automatically, but will only look for it in the
vicinity of your current end point, thereby keeping your loop at roughly the same length.
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The Wave Editor
Tool Bar
▪ find loop end (long) (only visible when a loop is selected): Attempts to determine an optimal end point for the selected loop region. In contrast to the previous entry, this function
can increase the length of your loop by a significant amount if the detection algorithm
deems a more distant position an optimal candidate for a new end point.
▪ restore loops from sample: Some audio file formats, such as WAV and AIFF, can optionally
carry metadata that specifies one or more loop regions. When you choose this function,
KONTAKT will look for this data in the Sample file and, if it finds any, use it for creating
loops.
▪ The following functions can be found below the To All Selected Zones sub-menu. As the
name suggests, these functions operate on all Zones that you have currently selected in the
Mapping Editor, not just the currently displayed one.
◦ restore loops from samples: Attempts to retrieve and use loop data from the Samples
of all selected Zones. This function works like the similarly named function explained
above, but acts upon multiple Zones.
◦ copy current zone’s loop settings: Copies the loop settings of the currently visible
Sample to all selected Zones.
◦ copy current sample-start settings: Copies the sample start offset of the currently visible sample to all selected Zones.
◦ copy current start-mod settings: Copies the sample start modulation amount of the
currently visible sample to all selected Zones.
◦ Adjust Loop Starts +/- 1: This nudges the start points of any loop regions in all selected Zones forward or backward by one sample value. This function is meant for correcting loops that were incorrectly imported; some editors and samplers use different offsets than KONTAKT for saving their loop points, which results in loops being off by
one or more sample values when you import them.
◦ Adjust Loop Ends +/- 1: This function works like the previous one, but acts upon the
loop end points.
◦ DC Removal: This function will detect and remove any DC bias from the Samples of
all selected Zones. DC bias appears as a constant offset between the sample values
and the zero line. While it’s inaudible, it can reduce your headroom and cause problems at mixdown. It’s also a possible side effect of a few signal processing and resampling functions found in sample editors, so it’s generally a good idea to execute
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The Wave Editor
Status Bar
this function on your Samples once before you proceed with further editing. Note
though that it’s a destructive function, which will alter the Sample data on your hard
disk.
18.2
Status Bar
The status bar is located below the tool bar and contains the filename of the Sample that’s
assigned to your current Zone, as well as a number of numeric values.
The status bar of the Wave Editor displays various details of your Sample and your currently selected loop region, if any.
It serves as a precise position monitor for various editing operations that take place in the
waveform view. You can adjust editable values either by clicking on them and moving your
mouse up or down, or by double-clicking on them and entering a new value. From left to right,
the status bar consists of these elements:
▪ Sample: This is the filename (without extension) of the Sample that’s assigned to the currently selected Zone. Hovering your mouse over the name will display the full path to this
file. Using the left and right arrow buttons at the right side of the field, you can switch to
the previous or next Sample file in the same folder as the current one. This will assign a
new Sample to the currently selected Zone, so this field works in the same way as the identically named one in the Mapping Editor.
▪ S. Start (Sample Start): The position of your Zone’s start marker, indicated in sample values. Moving the start marker will change the position from which the Sample will be played
when the respective Zone is being triggered; you can change it either by dragging the vertical green line in the waveform view, or by adjusting this value as described above.
▪ S. Mod (Sample Start Modulation Range): This value indicates the maximum amount by
which the Zone start position can be modulated forth and back. For instance, if this range
covers two seconds to both sides of the Start position, modulation assignments can change
the Start position by two seconds at most. The modulation range is indicated graphically in
the waveform view with a green line at the top, which extends horizontally to both sides of
the Zone start marker to the earliest and latest start position attainable through modulation. You can change this value by clicking on it and dragging your mouse up or down.
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The Wave Editor
Waveform View
▪ S. End (Sample End): The position of your Zone’s end marker. All playback will stop at this
position, and any material beyond the marker will be ignored. You can change this position
either by dragging the vertical red line in the waveform view, or by adjusting this value as
described above.
▪ Format: This readout indicates the sampling rate and bit depth at which your Sample was
recorded. It’s not adjustable.
▪ Len (Length): The total length of your Sample. This value is not adjustable.
18.3
Waveform View
The central element of the Wave Editor is the waveform view in the middle of the panel. It displays a navigable, visual representation of your Sample and allows you to perform a number of
editing functions in a direct and intuitive graphical way.
The Waveform View
If you don’t see a waveform when you open the Wave Editor, remember that you first need to
select a Zone in the Mapping Editor. It’s a good idea to keep the Mapping Editor open as well
when you’re using the Wave Editor, as this arrangement allows you to quickly switch between
the Zones in your Instrument. When a Zone is selected, the waveform view will display the
waveform of the assigned Sample, with each audio channel being drawn on a separate zero
line. The time line at the top of the view indicates which portion of the Sample is currently
being shown, and allows you to estimate the length of loops, Slices, and selections visually. In
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The Wave Editor
Waveform View
addition to the waveforms, the waveform view contains a variable number of additional items.
Note that some of these, such as the loop regions, envelopes, or Slice markers, pertain to features which will be explained in detail later in this chapter.
▪ The start position of your Zone is indicated with a green vertical line that ends in a flag at
the bottom. Unless the Zone start position is being modulated, any playback of the current
Zone will always start at this marker, and the Sample portion to the left of the marker is
discarded. To change the position of the Zone marker, click its green flag at the bottom
and drag it horizontally, or adjust the S. Start value in the status bar as explained in the
previous section.
▪ The end position of your Zone is indicated with a red vertical line. It marks the position in
your Sample where all playback will stop. Apart from that, you can handle it in the same
way as the start marker.
▪ The range in which your Zone start position can be modulated back and forth is indicated
with a horizontal green line above the Zone start marker. You can adjust this range by
clicking on its numeric value in the status bar and dragging your mouse vertically.
▪ When the Sample Loop tab at the bottom of the editor is selected, loop regions will be
highlighted, with the currently selected region being indicated with a brighter color and a
small status bar at its bottom. Loop crossfades will show up as diagonal lines at the beginning of a loop section. When one of the other tabs is selected, the borders of your loop regions will be shown as vertical lines, with a horizontal, dashed line in between.
▪ When the Grid is activated, Slice markers will appear as vertical lines across your waveform. The first marker, which allows you to adjust the Grid offset, is marked with a small
“1” at its top.
▪ If your Grid is in Auto mode, thereby aligning the Slice markers to peaks in your Sample,
the threshold above which a peak will create a Slice marker is shown graphically with horizontal lines across the view.
▪ When the Zone Envelope tab is selected, the currently selected Zone Envelope will be displayed as a curve on top of the waveform. If your Zone Envelope contains a loop region, it
will be highlighted. A vertical line indicates where clipboard contents will be inserted when
you use the Paste function.
▪ When you switch to the Sample Editor tab, a vertical line indicates where clipboard contents will be inserted when you use the Paste function.
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The Wave Editor
Grid Panel
▪ The Sync / Slice, Zone Envelopes, and Sample Editor tabs allow you to select contiguous
regions of your Sample for editing; these selected regions will be highlighted.
Just like in other editors, you can move the portion of the content that’s currently being displayed by clicking and dragging the horizontal and vertical scroll bars. The horizontal scroll bar
allows you to move to a different time position of the Sample. The vertical scroll bar shifts the
waveform of each channel up or down within its view region; when you have zoomed in vertically, this scroll bar allows you to view the signal at different parts of the level range.
There are different ways to zoom in and out of your waveform. Firstly, there’s a noteworthy difference between zooming horizontally and vertically. Horizontal zooming works in the same way
as in other editors: zooming in magnifies a region of the content (in this case, a specific time
range) so that it fills up the view, thereby displaying a greater level of detail, zooming out fits
more content into the view. Vertical zooms in the waveform view, on the other hand, will always
keep the zero line of each channel at its respective position, thus magnifying only the amplitude of each waveform. This makes it possible to see level changes that are too small to be
noticed at a normal zoom level; by zooming in vertically, you can make out small sonic details,
such as release trails, in regions that look like plain silence on a lower zoom level.
You can zoom in and out horizontally or vertically one level at a time by clicking the “+” and
“-” buttons next to the scroll bars. Whenever you use this method to zoom vertically, the zero
lines of each channel will be re-centered in their respective regions of the view. An alternative
that’s often more convenient is to hold the Alt key while clicking and dragging your mouse in
the view; this opens a “rubber band” selection frame. Once you release the mouse, the selected region will be zoomed in so it fills the whole view. To zoom out again, just click somewhere
in the view. This method allows you to quickly and intuitively get a detail view of a specific
region of your Sample. Enabling the button marked with a magnifying glass in the tool bar has
the same effect as holding Alt.
18.4
Grid Panel
The Grid settings affect most other operations in the Wave Editor, so we’ll describe this feature
before we get to the function tabs. You can find all settings that pertain to the Grid on the panel in the lower right corner of the Wave Editor. When the Grid is inactive, this panel will be
shaded.
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The Wave Editor
Grid Panel
The Grid Panel
In a nutshell, whenever you’re working with Samples that contain rhythmic material or musical
phrases, the Grid allows you to put a marker on every single hit or note that occurs within your
Sample, thus splitting it up into a number of musically significant regions — we will refer to
these regions as “Slices” from now on. Preparing your material in this way (“slicing”) has lots
of advantages:
▪ By aligning loop regions with Slice markers, you can instantly create clean Sample loops
that stay in perfect tempo.
▪ Using the functions on the Sync / Slice tab, you can adapt your drum loop or phrase to
your song tempo in various ways.
▪ The mapping features of the Sync / Slice tab allow you to turn Slices into separate Zones,
which makes it possible to trigger them separately; this way, you can instantly create a
playable “drum kit” from any drum loop, and construct entirely new patterns out of its elements.
▪ When you’re working with Zone Envelopes, you can make their breakpoints snap to Slice
markers. This way, it’s easy to create rhythmical modulation curves.
▪ When you’ve selected the Sample Editor tab, the region selection for destructive operations
will snap to Slice markers as well, which lets you perform operations like removing, exchanging, or reversing Slices in isolation very quickly.
In conclusion, it’s almost always a good idea to activate and adjust the Grid panel first before
doing any further editing on rhythmic material. To activate the Grid, click the “power” button
in the upper left corner of the Grid panel. The panel will light up, and a number of vertical
markers will appear across your waveform view — if you can’t see them, try zooming out horizontally. Each of these markers indicates the start of a Slice (and the end of the preceding
one). You can always move these markers around by clicking on the small arrows at their top
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The Wave Editor
Grid Panel
and dragging them horizontally, but in a lot of cases, you won’t have to. That’s because the
Grid offers two modes that take care of the correct marker placement for you, namely Fix and
Auto. You can switch between these modes by selecting one of the tabs in the Grid panel.
18.4.1
Fix Mode
The Fix mode is intended for slicing material that has a very precise timing; it’s less ideally
suited for sloppily played acoustic drums. Also, it helps to have your drum loop or phrase edited cleanly when you’re planning to use the Fix mode, with the first beat being exactly at the
beginning of the Sample, and no silence after the last beat; this is not a requirement, though.
When you activate the Grid on a Zone for the first time, it’s in Fix mode by default; if you’re
currently in Auto mode, you can switch to the Fix mode by clicking on the Fix tab of the Grid
panel.
The Grid Panel in Fix mode
The idea behind the Fix mode is that your Sample will be split up into Slices of equal length,
which is determined by the tempo of the loop, it’s time signature, and a selectable note value.
To achieve a proper slicing, KONTAKT first needs to know the native tempo of your Sample. It
tries to guess this by looking at its total length and assuming that it’s a whole number of measures, played in a 4/4 meter. The resulting tempo is displayed in BPM at the bottom of the Grid
panel. Note that this guess will only have a chance of success if your Zone has been cleanly
edited, with the first hit or note being exactly at the beginning, and no excess space behind
the last one. If you’ve made sure that this is the case, but the displayed tempo value is still
incorrect, there can be two reasons for this:
First, your drum loop or phrase could be in a different meter than 4/4. This is easy to correct:
next to the tempo readout, you’ll notice a Time Signature value. By clicking on either its numerator or its denominator and dragging your mouse up or down, you can specify a different
meter.
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The Wave Editor
Grid Panel
If the Time Signature value matches the meter of your loop, but the tempo is still incorrect,
KONTAKT has estimated the number of bars in your Sample incorrectly. You can validate this
by switching to the Sync / Slice tab and checking the value of the Zone Length field. For instance, if your Zone consists of one bar at a tempo of 50 BPM, KONTAKT might misinterpret it
as two bars at 100 BPM. In such cases, the detected tempo will always be a multiple of the
actual tempo, or vice versa. You can correct this by halving or doubling the tempo value with
the “-” and “+” buttons next to it, respectively, until the correct tempo is indicated. Note that
this will change the length as indicated in the Zone Length field on the Sync / Slice tab as
well; the tempo and (musical) length values are invariably tied to each other.
Of course, if you already know the tempo of your Sample, you can skip all this and just enter
the correct tempo value after double-clicking on the tempo value. Alternatively, click the time
line and drag your mouse horizontally; this will stretch or compress your Grid until it matches
the tempo of your Sample. Provided that your Sample start is cleanly edited, adjusting the
tempo directly will give you a perfectly set up Grid right away. If there’s any silence at the beginning, the Slice makers will all land slightly before the actual hits; you can compensate this
by moving the first Slice marker, labeled “1” at its top, which will move all following Slice
markers along, thereby adding a time offset to your Grid.
Once the tempo of your Sample is set to the correct value and you have compensated any possible time offset, you’ll notice that the Slice markers in the waveform view split your Sample
into 16th notes. That’s because the Grid uses the length of one 1/16th note as the default
width for Slices. You can change this value by adjusting the control labeled Width in the middle of the Fix tab. You can change both the numerator and the denominator of the displayed
note value by clicking on it and dragging your mouse vertically; also, clicking on the -/+ buttons next to the note value will halve or double the denominator, thereby increasing or decreasing the size of your Slices.
The Slice width directly affects the usefulness and quality of later tempo adaptations,
either via the Beat Machine or by triggering the Zones from the outside. For instance, if
your loop contains a constant 16th hi-hat groove and is sliced up into 8th notes, two hihat hits will end up in each Slice, with the duration between them remaining constant.
This would create a shuffle effect with increasing tempo. While this trick can be useful
in some cases, it’s usually a better idea to use the smallest rhythmical division that occurs in your drum loop as the Slice width: 1/8 for a straight heavy rock beat, 1/16 for a
more delicate funk groove, 1/12 for a ternary shuffle, and so on.
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The Wave Editor
Grid Panel
Once you’re done with all required adjustments and made sure that the Slice markers are wellaligned with your beat, you might want to remove or add Slice markers to accommodate pauses
or additional ghost notes outside of the Grid, or manually correct the position of some Slice
markers. These actions will be described after the next section.
18.4.2
Auto Mode
The Fix mode of the Grid works well for exact and predictable beats or phrases, possibly of an
electronic origin, that follow a fixed pattern in tempo and articulation. It’s less practical with
irregular beats or loops that were recorded live and played by a drummer with less than perfect
timing: in such cases, most Slice markers that were placed in Fix mode will land slightly before or after the hits they were meant for, and would need careful manual tweaking to be corrected. This makes the Auto mode the better choice for such material. You can switch over to
this mode by clicking on the Auto tab at the top of the Grid panel.
The Grid Panel in Auto Mode
In Auto mode, KONTAKT detects transients in the waveform of your Sample and creates Slice
markers at these positions. For instance, each bass drum and snare hit in a typical rock groove
will be clearly visible as a level peak in its waveform; intermediate hi-hat hits will be visible as
smaller peaks. By using the attack phases of these peaks as Slice positions, KONTAKT can
split these elements into Slices automatically. All you have to do is telling KONTAKT the level
above which a transient shall be considered for slicing; this level threshold is the most important parameter of the Auto mode.
When you switch the Grid into Auto mode, you’ll notice two purple, horizontal lines that appear
at the top and bottom of your waveform view. By moving the horizontal slider on the Auto tab,
these lines will change their position; they indicate the peak detection threshold graphically.
Any peaks in your waveform that cross these lines will result in a Slice marker being placed at
their respective position. As an example, reconsider the straight rock groove mentioned above:
adjusting the threshold so that only the strong bass drum and snare hits cross the threshold
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The Wave Editor
Grid Panel
will create large Slices, possibly at the length of 1/4 and 1/8 notes. Slowly lowering the threshold will gradually add more Slices, until all hi-hat hits and ghost notes will be marked separately.
When you’re using this function frequently, you’ll sooner or later encounter a drum loop where
no threshold setting seems to work just right: on higher settings, hits that you’d like to be included will be ignored, while lower settings will add too many unwanted bits to the Grid. There
are two ways to deal with this problem: if a low threshold tends to add lots of very small slices
(for instance, on snare flams), try increasing the parameter labeled Min Slice Duration below
the threshold fader. This will ignore all slices that would be shorter than the specified length.
If this does not work, try to find a compromise threshold that covers most of the hits you’d like
to be included, and then add or remove Slices manually as needed. This process will be explained in the next section.
Note that even if you’re using the Grid in Auto mode, KONTAKT still needs to know the tempo
of your Sample if you want to use one of the features for automatic synchronization. Therefore,
the tempo control is still visible at the bottom of the Grid panel in Auto mode and might need
manual adjustment as described in the previous section. In contrast to the Fix mode, though,
it won’t affect the position of your Slice markers; it’s only important if you use the Beat Machine or Time Machine to adapt your Sample to a new tempo.
18.4.3
Editing Slices Manually
You can manually modify or delete any Slice, including those that were generated by KONTAKT, and add new Slice markers to your Sample. This allows you to fine-tune automatically
generated Slices, or manually slice material that’s not suitable for being processed automatically.
Note that whenever you move an existing Slice or add a new one, it will be automatically
locked. While Slice markers that were created via the Fix or Auto mode will change their positions or disappear when you adjust the tempo or switch the Grid mode, locked markers will always remain at their absolute position within the Sample until you change their position or remove them manually. Locked markers will appear as gray vertical lines in the waveform view.
There are several ways in which you can engage in the slicing process.
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The Wave Editor
Sample Loop Tab
▪ To move an existing Slice, click the small triangle at the top of its marker in the waveform
view, and drag it horizontally. If you need to change it with more precision, try zooming in
on the waveform. The first Slice marker in your Sample, indicated with a small “1” flag at
its top, is special; when you move it, all following markers will move along by the same
amount. This allows you to compensate silence at the beginning of your Sample.
▪ To remove a Slice from your Sample, enable the “-” button on the right side of the Grid
panel, then click the small triangle icons on top of the Slice markers that you’d like to remove from your Sample. Remember to disable the “-” button when you’re finished to avoid
accidental deletions. Alternatively, you can remove a Slice marker by right-clicking on the
triangle at its top.
▪ To add a new marker to your Sample, activate the “+” button on the right side of the Grid
panel, then click in the waveform view wherever you’d like the new marker to be located.
When you’re done, remember to deactivate the “+” button again. Alternatively, you can
right-click anywhere in the narrow strip below the time line in order to create a marker at
that position.
▪ Finally, if you want to toggle the “locked” status of a Slice marker manually, activate the
lock icon on the right side of the Grid panel, then click the small triangle on top of the
marker(s) that you’d like to lock or unlock. To lock all slices at once, Alt-click the lock
icon. Remember that any unlocked Slice markers will be changed when you adjust the
tempo or switch the Grid mode.
18.5
Sample Loop Tab
The functionality of the Wave Editor is split across four tabs at the bottom of its panel. Any tab
that you select changes the behavior of the wave editor and the details that are being shown in
the waveform view to a certain amount; for instance, when you switch to the Sample Loop tab,
KONTAKT will highlight all loop regions in your Sample; when you change to the Zone Envelopes tab, loop regions will merely be hinted at with vertical amber lines, but any selected
Zone Envelope will appear as an orange curve on top of the waveform. In this section, we’ll
take a look at the Sample Loop tab.
First of all, a little semantics. In the context of sampling, the term “loop” is used for two different concepts, which are related, but should be distinguished anyway for sake of clarity:
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The Wave Editor
Sample Loop Tab
▪ Technically, a loop is a contiguous region of a Sample that will be played back repeatedly;
in a traditional forward loop, the playback position will jump to the start of this region
whenever it reaches its end. In KONTAKT, loops can be played forward and backward alternately, or played only a specific number of times before playback will proceed as usual.
When we refer to loops in the context of this section, we’re talking about this technical
concept.
▪ A more colloquial use of the term is to describe Samples that contain musical phrases (as
opposed to single notes). Often, these Samples are pre-produced drum or percussion
phrases (“drum loops”), which makes them useful as building blocks for rhythm parts. As
the name implies, these Samples are usually meant for being played in repetition in order
to fill the required number of measures. This can be done by looping them in the sampler
as described above; however, this is not a prerequisite. Many people prefer to trigger them
inside their sequencer on each downbeat instead; this method has the added benefit of
avoiding tempo drifts that can occur over time when a loop region doesn’t match the length
of a measure exactly.
Sample loops were common in the heyday of hardware samplers, when both disk space and
sample RAM were sparse. This limitation made it all but impractical to capture notes of an instrument like a piano, which can have a natural decay time in the order of a minute, in their
entirety. Instead, it was reasoned that the most critical part of an instrument sound is its attack phase; after that, most sustained instruments quickly settle to a predominantly periodic
waveform of some sort. By using sample loops to keep these periodic parts sounding during the
sustain phase, thereby artificially “stretching” the sound beyond the length of the actual sample data, sample creators overcame the space limitations.
With the advent of software sampling and hard disk streaming, this application of loops became a little less important. They’re still being used in this way, but their predominant appeal
nowadays is creative sound design. As you might guess, loops in KONTAKT are equally wellsuited for both approaches; let’s see how they work. To create and edit loops, first click the
Sample Loop tab in the Wave Editor.
The Sample Loop tab of the Wave Editor is split into a number of loop selection buttons, and a parameter view for the currently selected loop region.
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The Wave Editor
Sample Loop Tab
You’ll notice a small “power button” icon to the left of the tab title. Clicking on this icon will
globally activate or deactivate all loops of your Sample. When your Zone contains any active
loop region, this button will be lit up.
KONTAKT allows you to define up to eight different loop regions per Zone. These “slots” are
accessible via eight buttons, which are arranged in a 2x4 grid below the tab. When you start
with an unlooped Zone, none of these buttons will be highlighted, which indicates that there
are currently no active loop regions. Each selection button can take up one of 3 colors:
▪ Non-highlighted (dark blue): The respective loop region has either not been defined yet, or
has been temporarily disabled.
▪ Yellow: The respective loop region is active and currently selected for editing. The region
will also be highlighted with a bright amber color in the waveform view. Only one loop region can be selected for editing at any time.
▪ Light blue: The respective loop region is active, but not currently selected.
Clicking on one of these buttons will select the respective loop region for editing; if it’s not
active or has not been defined yet, it will be activated in the process. When you select a loop
region, KONTAKT will display its parameters within the edit panel next to the selection buttons, and highlight the region in the waveform view. You can instantly create a loop region by
right-clicking into the waveform view and dragging your mouse horizontally. This will replace
your currently selected loop region, or, if none is selected, define the first one. You can change
the start and end positions of a loop region graphically by clicking on its left or right border,
respectively, and dragging it horizontally. Clicking inside a region and dragging it allows you to
move loop regions without changing their size. You can view and change these and all other
parameters of a loop region numerically within the edit panel.
The detail view allows you to adjust the start and end positions of your loop regions numerically with sample value accuracy.
To change any value, either click it and move your mouse vertically, or double-click it and enter a new value. Let’s have a look at each parameter of the edit panel:
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The Wave Editor
Sample Loop Tab
Power Button: Indicates whether the current loop region is active. When you select a loop region
for editing, it will automatically be enabled. To disable (and de-select) a region, click this button. Note that this applies to the power button in the edit panel of the selected loop region;
the power button next to the tab title will globally activate or deactivate all loop regions.
Loop Start: The start position of the loop region within your Sample, displayed in sample values.
Loop End: The end position of the loop region within your Sample, displayed in sample values.
X-Fade: To mask imperfect loop points, KONTAKT can fade the end of the loop region into its
beginning. This value adjusts the length of this crossfade in milliseconds. KONTAKT will indicate a loop crossfade in the waveform view with a diagonal line on the left side of a loop region.
Loop Edit: When activated, KONTAKT will switch the waveform view to an alternate display
mode that allows you to adjust your loop points in a very intuitive way.
The Loop Edit View
The Loop Edit view is split vertically; the left side will show the waveform just before the loop
end point, the right side will show the waveform just after the loop start point. In other words,
the boundary in the center depicts the transition that will occur at the loop point. In addition,
the original progression of the waveform after the end point is shown in a dim gray in the right
part of the view, which allows you to assess how close the transition matches the unlooped
waveform. You can move your loop start and end by clicking in the right or left part of the view,
respectively, and dragging the mouse horizontally. Alternatively, you can adjust the numerical
values within the edit panel in the usual way. While you change the positions, observe the tran-
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The Wave Editor
Sample Loop Tab
sition in the center of the view; the more it looks like a continuous waveform, the cleaner your
loop will turn out to be. To return to the normal waveform view, just click the Loop Edit button
again.
Tune: This control allows you to change the pitch of Sample loops independently from the rest
of your Zone. Note that the detuning will affect all playback passes after the first loop jump; in
other words, KONTAKT will play the region at its normal pitch once until the playback position
reaches the end marker of the loop, then the specified pitch will come into effect for the duration of the loop.
Count: This value specifies how many times the loop region will be repeated before KONTAKT
proceeds to play the rest of the Sample. A value of zero will loop the region indefinitely, which
means that playback will never reach any following Sample material and loop regions.
Loop Mode: This drop-down menu lets you choose between several different loop characteristics. In addition to the displayed entry, the selected behavior is depicted with an illustration
above the menu. KONTAKT provides the following loop behaviors:
▪ Until End: KONTAKT will play the loop in a forward direction. The loop will keep playing
during your amplitude envelope’s release phase, if any.
▪ Until End <->: KONTAKT will play the loop in alternating forward and backward directions
(“ping-pong loop”). The loop will keep playing during the release phase of your sound.
▪ Until Release: KONTAKT will play the loop in a forward direction as long as the key is being held. When it’s released, it will resume normal playback of the Sample, starting from
the current playback position.
▪ Until Release <->: Like Until Release, but with an alternating forward and backward playback direction during the loop.
▪ One Shot: If the first loop region of your Sample is set to this mode, KONTAKT will ignore
all other active loop regions and play the Sample in its entirety when it’s triggered, without
stopping at note-off events. This is useful for drum samples that should always play to their
end, regardless of the actual trigger note length. Note that this works only if you’re not using a volume envelope on your Group; otherwise, the release phase will still fade the Zone
out as soon as the key is released.
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The Wave Editor
Sync / Slice Tab
If the Grid is active, all changes to the start and end points, whether they take place graphically within the waveform view or numerically within the edit panel, will snap to the nearest Slice
marker; this makes creating exact loop regions within rhythmic material very easy. For a thorough description of the Grid feature, refer to the previous section of this chapter.
18.6
Sync / Slice Tab
In the section about the Grid panel, we mentioned that slicing your drum or percussion loop
with the Grid allows you to synchronize its playback speed to your song tempo in a number of
different ways, or map the resulting Slices to your keyboard, which lets you trigger the elements of a drum loop or a phrase at your own tempo and in your own pattern. The launch pad
for all these features is the Sync / Slice tab in the lower part of the Wave Editor. Note that an
active Grid that’s adjusted to match your Sample is a prerequisite for most of these functions
to work; if you want to synchronize or rearrange any rhythmic material, you should therefore
always set up the Grid first, then proceed to use the functions on the Sync / Slice tab. Section
↑18.4, Grid Panel of this chapter explains how to activate and adjust the Grid.
The Sync / Slice tab
The Sync / Slice tab provides four different approaches to make your Sample independent from
its original tempo or pattern: you can feed your slices to the Beat Machine, time-stretch your
Sample with the Time Machine, or map your Slices to the keyboard in a manual or automated
fashion. Let’s have a look at the advantages and peculiarities of each approach.
18.6.1
Using the Beat Machine
The Beat Machine, which is one of the playback modes provided by KONTAKT’s Source Module, plays all Slices of your Zone in succession via an internal sequencer. This retains the original pattern of your drum loop or phrase, but allows you to adapt it to your song’s tempo, or
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The Wave Editor
Sync / Slice Tab
freely change the playback pitch of the Slices. To use this feature, make sure your Grid is correctly set up, and enable the Use Beatmachine button on the Sync / Slice tab. Depending on
the contents of the Group to which your current Zone belongs, one of two things will happen:
▪ If the current Zone is the only one in your Group, KONTAKT will switch the Source Module
of this Group into Beat Machine mode.
▪ If there are any other Zones in your Group, KONTAKT will move the current Zone into its
own Group first and then switch that Group’s Source Module into Beat Machine mode. This
reassignment is necessary to avoid disrupting the playback of other Zones which cannot be
triggered correctly by the Beat Machine.
Once the Source Module that plays your Zone is in Beat Machine mode, any key to which the
Zone is assigned will trigger the tempo-synchronized playback of all Slices in succession.
When you look at the Speed knob of your Group’s Source Module, you will notice that it displays the keyword Zone instead of the usual numeric value. This indicates that it uses the Zone
Length value (as displayed on the left side of the Sync / Slice tab) to determine at which speed
it has to play the Slices so that the phrase will span the same length at your song tempo. This
is the same mechanism that allows you to select a note value from the drop-down menu of any
time-related control in order to synchronize it, and in fact, the special Zone keyword appears
among the usual note values in the drop-down menu of the Speed control if you use the Beat
Machine via the Sync / Slice tab. Of course, nothing prevents you from selecting a different
note value from the drop-down menu, or selecting the Default entry in order to adjust the playback speed independently from your tempo. You can always return to synchronized mode by
selecting Zone again.
Note that all changes to the slicing of your Sample will be immediately picked up by the Beat
Machine, which lets you hear any modifications instantly. For example, you might notice during playback that some ghost notes are not properly marked in your Sample and are thus being
played back with incorrect timing. Just add the respective Slice markers, as explained within
the Grid section of this chapter — the Beat Machine will adopt your changes right away, even
during playback.
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The Wave Editor
Sync / Slice Tab
18.6.2
Using the Time Machine
As an alternative to the Beat Machine, KONTAKT can also use the more conventional timestretching algorithms of the Time Machine mode to sync your Sample to the tempo of your
song. While using the Beat Machine or one of the Slice mapping features explained below is
usually the better choice for percussive material, the Time Machine can be very useful for tonal phrases.
As the Time Machine treats your Sample as one contiguous region with no regard to Slices, you
don’t necessarily need to have the Grid activated in order to use this feature. However, KONTAKT still needs to know the length (and therefore, the tempo) of your Sample in order to determine how far it has to be stretched or compressed in time to match your current tempo.
Therefore, you need to specify the correct (rhythmical) length of your Zone in the Zone Length
field of the Sync / Slice tab. If you don’t know the length, you can alternatively activate the
Grid and specify the tempo of your Sample instead. KONTAKT needs to know only one of these
values, as the respective other one can be derived. Note that specifying the Zone Length value
explicitly will only change the tempo correctly if the end marker of your Zone coincides with
the actual Sample end; otherwise, it will change the end marker position to match the length
that you entered. In such cases, you should therefore adjust the tempo in the Grid panel instead.
Once the Zone Length field displays the correct length, enable the Use Timemachine Pro button on the left side of the Sync / Slice tab. If your Zone is not the only one in its Group, KONTAKT will move it into a new Group first to avoid disrupting the playback of other Zones. The
Source Module of the Group that contains your Zone will then be put into Time Machine mode.
Just like the Beat Machine, the Time Machine will have its Speed control set to the special
Zone value by default when you’re using it via the Sync / Slice tab. This means that your Sample will be played back at your host or Master Editor tempo right away when you trigger it. The
meaning of the Zone keyword and how you can override it to freely adjust the playback speed
is explained in the previous section of this chapter.
18.6.3
Mapping Slices Manually
Once you have placed Slice markers across your Sample via the Grid, you might want to trigger
these Slices directly with your keyboard or from within your sequencer. The manual mapping
feature of the Sync / Slice tab lets you do just that.
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The Wave Editor
Sync / Slice Tab
Provided that you have correctly set up the Grid for your Sample and selected the Sync / Slice
tab, you can select Slices that you want to map to your keyboard simply by clicking between
two Slice markers in the waveform view. KONTAKT will highlight any selected Slice in blue. To
add more Slices to your selection, either hold the [Ctrl] key ([Cmd] on Mac OS X) and click
further Slices one at a time, or hold the [Shift] key and click a second Slice to select all Slices
in between. For instance, if you want to map all Slices of your Sample to keys, click the first
one, then hold [Shift] and click the last one; this will select all Slices and highlight the entire
Sample.
Selecting Slices
Once you’re happy with your Slice selection, make sure the Mapping Editor is visible above the
Wave Editor. Now, click one of the selected Slices, and drag it over into the Zone grid of the
Mapping Editor; all other selected Slices will move along. You’ll notice that while keeping your
mouse button pressed, KONTAKT will highlight a range of keys in the Zone grid, starting from
the key below your mouse pointer. This allows you to position the Slices you’ve selected on the
keyboard. The process works exactly as if you’re dragging a number of Samples from the
Browser into the Mapping Editor — the horizontal mouse position determines the key at which
KONTAKT will begin to map the Slices, while the vertical mouse position within the Zone grid
determines the number of adjacent keys each Slice will be assigned to.
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The Wave Editor
Sync / Slice Tab
While you keep your mouse button depressed, KONTAKT will indicate where it would place the new Zones on the keyboard.
If you agree with the displayed assignment pattern, release your mouse button. KONTAKT will
now create a new Zone for each Slice in your selection, and place all Zones in succession in
the order in which they appear in your Sample. Each of the new Zones will reference the original Sample from which it was created, with its Sample start and end markers set to the boundaries of the original Slice. You can now trigger these Zones from your keyboard or within your
sequencer, create new patterns with them, or adjust the playback or effect parameters of each
Zone separately via Zone Envelopes.
18.6.4
Mapping Slices Automatically
While mapping your Slices manually in the way described above works well if you want to place
only specific Slices or a range of Slices onto keys, the more frequent case will probably be that
you’d like to put all Slices on adjacent keys and then trigger them from within your sequencer.
Of course, you can do this manually as well; there’s a better way, though. The auto mapping
feature of the Sync / Slice tab allows you to automatically map all Slices of your Sample to
adjacent keys. What’s more important, it can generate a MIDI sequence for you that, when
placed in your sequencer, will trigger all Slices in exactly the same pattern as they occur in
your Sample. As your sequencer will obviously play MIDI sequences at the song tempo, the
pattern will always be in sync, thereby replicating the functionality of the Beat Machine. The
feature leaves more room for creativity, though: once you have imported the MIDI sequence in-
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The Wave Editor
Sync / Slice Tab
to your arrangement, you can go ahead and make modifications to this pattern. Of course, you
can also discard it altogether and build your own patterns from scratch, thereby reassembling
your drum loop or phrase in an infinite number of ways.
Before the auto mapping can take place, you may need to adjust some parameters first that
affect where the new Zones will be placed and how KONTAKT will handle the Zone creation
process. You can find these parameters in the middle and on the right side of the Sync / Slice
tab.
The Auto Mapping parameters
▪ Auto-Fade Time: KONTAKT can optionally create volume fade envelopes for each Zone that
it creates from your Slices. When you set this parameter to a value other than zero, each
new Zone will contain a volume Zone Envelope which fades the respective Slice in and out;
the specified value determines the fade-out time, the fade-in time will be shorter than that.
Creating auto-fades for your Slices can give smoother results when you change the playback speed of the pattern. The specifics of how Zone Envelopes work will be explained in
the next section of this chapter.
▪ Mapping Base Key: This is the first key at which KONTAKT will start mapping the Slices.
▪ Auto Find Empty Keys: If enabled, KONTAKT will leave out any keys that trigger existing
Zones when it maps Slices to the keyboard. This avoids mapping Slices to the same keys
as other Zones.
After adjusting these parameters, you can go ahead and start the auto mapping process. You’ll
notice a rectangular field labeled Drag’n’Drop MIDI at the right side of the Sync / Slice tab.
From here, you can “pick up” the MIDI sequence that corresponds to your Slice pattern; just
click inside the field and drag its content onto either your desktop (which will create a standard MIDI file) or into the arrangement window of your MIDI sequencer (which will insert the
MIDI sequence right into your arrangement). If you’re sure you won’t need the MIDI file, you
can also just click the field instead; this will only create the mapped Zones.
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The Wave Editor
Zone Envelopes
Using Drag Midi to Host
At the same time, KONTAKT will create the required Zones, map them to the keyboard, and
put them into a new Group. If you’ve placed the MIDI sequence on the correct track of your
arrangement — it has to be sent to the MIDI channel of your current KONTAKT Instrument —
and play it back, you should hear your drum loop or phrase played back at your song tempo. If
you want, you can now proceed with modifying this MIDI sequence. Of course, should you decide to delete the sequence, the generated Slice mapping will stay in place, so you can build
your own patterns from scratch as well. To get rid of the mapping, just delete the Group that
was created in the process.
18.7
Zone Envelopes
Envelopes are a common source for modulating parameters in synthesizers and samplers; they
provide a flexible way to create finely adjustable and repeatable modulation patterns. In KONTAKT, envelopes are usually being generated by envelope generators, which act as signal sources for modulation assignments. These can be added to Group-level modules, which means
that any conventional envelope affects all Zones in a Group in the same way. There are cases,
however, when modulating parameters on a per-Zone basis would be really helpful; Zone Envelopes make this possible. What’s more, since they are directly tied to the Sample of the Zone
in which they appear, you can edit them on top of the waveform view; this allows you to intuitively create all kinds of modulations in perfect sync with the Sample content.
To create and edit Zone Envelopes, click the Zone Envelopes tab at the bottom of the Wave
Editor.
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The Wave Editor
Zone Envelopes
From left to right, the Zone Envelopes tab provides selection and delete functions, assignment buttons, edit tools, and utility
functions.
18.7.1
Assigning and Selecting Envelopes
Similarly to normal Group-level modulation assignments, the first step to create a Zone Envelope is to tell KONTAKT which parameter you’d like to modulate. For this purpose, the Zone
Envelopes tab provides three assignment buttons, labeled Volume, Pan, and Add. These are located in the middle of the panel. Each of these buttons creates a new Zone Envelope for a specific parameter and selects it for display; if an envelope for the selected parameter already exists, an info message will appear instead.
The upper two assignment buttons create a Zone Envelope for volume and panorama position, respectively; using the lower
button, you can create a Zone Envelope for any Group-level parameter.
The upper two buttons create envelopes for the playback volume and the panorama position,
respectively; as these are parameters that you will probably want to modulate frequently, they
are provided here for quick access. The third button, labeled Add:, allows you to create Zone
Envelopes for any parameter that appears on a panel of a Group-level module. Whenever you
click the control of such a parameter, the Add: button will pick it up and display its name. By
clicking on the Add: button then, you can create a new Zone Envelope which modulates the
chosen parameter. For instance, you might want to modulate the cutoff frequency of a filter
that resides in the Group Insert Effects chain of your current Group; just locate the Cutoff knob
on the filter panel (you may have to double-click the filter module in the chain if you don’t see
it) and click it — you don’t need to move it. The lowest assignment button on the Zone Envelopes tab of the Wave Editor should now read Add: Cutoff. When you click this button, a new
cutoff envelope will appear as a straight horizontal line within the waveform view.
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The Wave Editor
Zone Envelopes
In theory, you can create a Zone Envelope for every Group-level parameter, all within one Zone.
However, KONTAKT will only display one of your envelopes in the waveform view at any time.
In order to select a Zone Envelope for viewing and editing, click the drop-down menu button
on the left side of the Zone Envelopes tab, and choose an existing envelope from the menu.
The selection drop-down menu contains all Zone Envelopes of your current Zone. Selecting one will display it in the waveform view.
If you want to get rid of an envelope, first select it for editing via the drop-down menu, then
click the Delete button below. This will remove the envelope from the list and return the respective parameter to its unmodulated state.
18.7.2
Adjusting Assignment Parameters
There are a few adjustable parameters that change the way in which the Zone Envelope’s
shape will affect the modulated parameter. For this purpose, each Zone Envelope that you create will add an entry to the Modulation Router of the module that contains its target parameter. You can jump to the corresponding assignment parameters of a currently selected Zone
Envelope by clicking on the Modulation Quick-Jump button that’s located next to the assignment buttons on the Zone Envelopes tab.
The Modulation Router of a Zone Envelope
A Modulation Router entry of a Zone Envelope looks and works exactly like one that belongs to
a normal modulation assignment — it provides a modulation intensity slider, an Invert button,
a Lag control, and an optional Modulation Shaper. To find out what these controls do, refer to
section ↑25.5, Assignment Controls of this manual. In contrast to normal Modulation Router
entries, though, entries that pertain to Zone Envelope assignments can’t be created in the usual way of assigning other modulation sources; the only way to add them is implicitly by creating
a Zone Envelope within the Wave Editor.
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The Wave Editor
Zone Envelopes
Adjustments made to parameters for individual Zones stand in proportion to adjustments
made on Group level: The value of a parameter for a single Zone can only be edited in
relation to the value of the corresponding parameter on Group level.
Editing parameters for factory content is only possible on Group level.
18.7.3
Editing Envelopes
After you have created a new Zone Envelope, it will be selected right away and displayed within the waveform view of the Wave Editor as an orange, horizontal line. Zone Envelopes work
similarly to flexible envelopes (see section ↑26.1.3, Flexible Envelopes of this manual) in that
they consist of a series of breakpoints, which are connected by either straight lines or curves.
The minimum length of a Zone Envelope is predetermined by the length of your Sample,
though. At the beginning of the envelope, you’ll notice a small rectangle; this is the first breakpoint of your envelope. Click this breakpoint and drag it up or down to change the envelope’s
initial level.
To add a new breakpoint, right-click ([Ctrl]-click on Mac OS X) somewhere within the waveform
view. KONTAKT will connect the new breakpoint to its neighbors with straight lines. You can
change each breakpoint’s level and position in time by clicking on it and dragging it around;
the waveform display in the background provides visual feedback if you want to align it to features of your Sample. The envelope display will always keep in sync with the waveform; thus,
zooming in and out of the waveform or scrolling the view, as described at the beginning of this
chapter, will change the envelope view accordingly.
Zone Envelopes allow you to create arbitrarily complex modulation shapes.
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The Wave Editor
Zone Envelopes
In the middle of a segment between two breakpoints, you’ll notice a small, filled circle. Clicking on this circle and dragging it up or down will change the curve shape of this segment. To
remove a breakpoint from your envelope, right-click ([Ctrl]-click on Mac OS X) on it.
If the Grid is active, all breakpoints will snap their position in time to the nearest Slice marker
when you move them. This allows you to create rhythmically useful modulation patterns very
quickly. Also, the Pencil Tool explained below allows you to create straight envelope lines for
each Slice.
When you use this function in combination with the Beat Machine, as explained in section
↑18.6.1, Using the Beat Machine, it opens up a whole range of possibilities that were only
possible in previous KONTAKT versions if you separated each Slice into its own Group: since
straight lines, as created with the Pencil Tool, set the target parameter to a value that will remain constant over the duration of the Slice, you can easily adjust parameters for each Slice
separately. As an example, suppose you’re playing a sliced dub drum loop via the Beat Machine and want to add reverb to a single snare hit. To accomplish this, add a reverb module to
a free Instrument Send Effects slot first, then insert a Send Levels module into the Group Insert Effects chain of the Group that contains your drum loop. Now, with the Sample being displayed in the Wave Editor and the Zone Envelopes tab selected, click the send level button in
the panel of the Send Levels module which corresponds to the reverb. The name of this send
parameter should now appear in the Add: button on the Zone Envelopes tab. Click this button;
a new envelope will appear in the waveform view. Now select the Pencil Tool and click inside
the Slice of the snare hit that you’d like to process; a new “plateau” will be added to your envelope at this spot. Clicking and dragging it allows you to adjust the reverb level of this slice in
isolation. With a little creative thinking, the possibilities of this approach are virtually boundless.
Using the Pencil Tool and/or the Randomize Env function, you can quickly change Group-level parameters for each Slice in
isolation.
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The Wave Editor
Zone Envelopes
You can cut, copy, and paste regions of your Zone Envelope. For this purpose, the waveform
view provides a selection feature and a paste cursor. When you click anywhere in the waveform
view and drag your mouse horizontally, KONTAKT will highlight the selected region; you can
change an existing selection by clicking and dragging one of its borders, or move it across the
envelope by clicking inside it and dragging your mouse horizontally. To put the contents of a
selected region into the clipboard, click either Cut or Copy in the middle of the Zone Envelopes
tab — Cut will remove the selected region in the process, while Copy won’t change your envelope. To insert the clipboard contents into your envelope, click the Paste button below; KONTAKT will insert the clipboard region at the position of your edit cursor, which is indicated with
a vertical red line that you can position by clicking anywhere within the waveform view. This
method also works across different envelopes.
18.7.4
Utility Functions
The right side of the Zone Envelopes tab contains a number of utility functions that change the
behavior of your currently selected Zone Envelope in various ways:
▪ Loop Env: When this button is enabled, you can define a loop region within your Zone Envelope. This feature works similarly to the loop sections of flexible envelopes, which are being
described in section ↑26.1.3, Flexible Envelopes; in contrast to these, though, it does not
need to be anchored to breakpoints. This aspect is rather important, as KONTAKT allows
you to reproduce a loop region of your Zone within the envelope, which makes it possible to
keep the Zone and its Zone Envelope in perfect sync during loops. Of course, you can just
as well adjust your loop region freely and independently from any Zone loops; clicking and
dragging one of its borders will resize it, and you can move it as a whole by clicking inside
the region and dragging your mouse horizontally. Note that when you’re using an envelope
loop that doesn’t match an identical loop region in your Sample, your envelope and the
Sample will eventually drift out of synchronization.
▪ Randomize Env: If you’re working on a sliced Sample, this button will create a random step
pattern which changes its value at each Slice marker; using this feature, you can quickly
create rhythmic modulation patterns that resemble classic “sample and hold” modulations
of synthesizers. Using the Pencil Tool described below, you can easily change the level of
each step. Note that this function will overwrite your currently selected Zone Envelope.
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The Wave Editor
Sample Editor
▪ Get Param From Cur. S. Loop: When you click this button, KONTAKT will copy the start and
end positions of the loop region that’s currently selected on the Sample Loop tab and use
them for your envelope’s loop region. This is useful for getting your envelope in sync with a
looped Sample.
▪ Env Follows Playback Speed: When this button is active, the selected Zone Envelope will always speed up or slow down in unison with your Sample. For instance, when you’re playing
your Sample an octave above its original pitch in Sampler or DFD mode, its playback speed
will be doubled; enabling the Env Follows Playback Speed button ensures that the Zone
Envelope will speed up accordingly, so that your Sample and its envelope always stay in
sync. When this button is inactive, the envelope will always be processed at the original
speed of the Sample.
▪ Pencil Tool: This button is located above the Cut, Copy, and Paste buttons in the middle of
the Zone Envelopes tab. It provides a tool that lets you create and edit straight lines between Slice markers. This way, the target parameter of your envelope will be set to a constant value during the length of the respective Slice. For example, you might want to adjust
the volume of each Slice of a Beat Machine-triggered drum loop separately. When the Pencil Tool button is enabled, clicking between any two Slice markers will create a straight
horizontal line between them; you can change the level of these lines later by dragging
them up or down with the Pencil Tool.
18.8
Sample Editor
Most of the available operations in the Wave Editor work in a non-destructive way, which
means that they affect only the playback of your Sample and don’t change the actual Sample
data on your hard disk. Therefore, they can be easily reversed if needed. This is not always
what you’ll want, though: for example, if your Sample starts with a region of excess silence,
you might want to get rid of it permanently (instead of working around it by changing your
Zone start markers). Similarly, if there’s a DC bias in your Sample, there’s no practical reason
to keep it in there. For these cases, KONTAKT provides a built-in collection of destructive editing tools that allow you to cut, copy, and paste your material, create fades and regions of silence, reverse portions of your Sample, normalize its peak levels, or remove any DC bias. To
access KONTAKT’s palette of destructive editing tools, click the Sample Editor tab in the lower
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The Wave Editor
Sample Editor
part of the Wave Editor. If any other currently loaded Instruments use the Sample which you’re
just trying to edit, KONTAKT will ask you first which of these Instruments should adopt your
changes, and which should keep the original version.
The Sample Editor tab
As you can see, the elements on this tab are split into three functional blocks, namely Edit,
Transform, and Selection. The Edit tools let you remove and reorder regions of your sample,
but leave the Sample data within these regions unaffected; the Transform tools process the actual Sample data, for instance by changing the level.
When the Sample Editor tab is selected, the behavior of the waveform view will depend on
whether the Grid is active or not.
If the Auto Pre-Listen button in the tool bar of the Wave Editor is enabled, KONTAKT
will automatically play your selected region whenever you change it.
If it’s inactive, clicking into the waveform view will position a vertical marker at this location;
this is the edit cursor, which indicates where the contents of the clipboard will be inserted
when you select Paste. Clicking on the waveform and dragging your mouse horizontally will
highlight a contiguous region of your Sample; all Edit and Transform commands will operate
on this region. To change an existing selection, click its left or right border and drag it horizontally; holding the [Shift] key while doing this allows you to make finer adjustments. The boundaries of the currently selected region will also be displayed numerically in the Selection panel
of the Sample Editor tab; you can adjust any of these values directly by clicking on it and moving your mouse vertically, or by double-clicking on it and entering a new value.
If the Grid is active, the position of the edit cursor, as well as all selection boundaries, will
snap to the nearest Slice markers. You can select a contiguous series of Slices by clicking into
a Slice and moving your mouse horizontally. Changing the left or right border of the selection
or moving it as a whole works as described above, but the selection will remain tied to the
Slice markers.
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The Wave Editor
Sample Editor
Selecting slices for editing
While you’re working on your Sample, KONTAKT will actually write out any changes to a backup copy, so your original file will be left untouched. KONTAKT will create the backup copy inside a folder named “__edited__”, which is located in your original Sample’s location. Once
you’re finished with editing, your Instrument (and any other loaded Instruments that use this
Sample and have been selected by you when you switched to the Sample Editor tab) will reference this backup copy instead, and you will hear your changes instantly. By saving your Instrument, you’ll make the reference to the modified backup copy permanent; your original Sample
will remain unaffected during the whole process, so other Instruments on your hard disk that
use it will still work as expected.
Before we explain what each operation on the Sample Editor tab does, we should mention an
important feature that will turn out to be rather helpful if things go wrong, namely the Undo
and Redo buttons on the right of the tab.
Undo and Redo button
These work like the identical buttons in the Instrument Edit Rack header. Clicking on the
curved arrow on the Undo button (left) will reverse the effects of the last operation, thus reverting the waveform to its former state; clicking on the small down arrow on the same button will
open a drop-down menu with a list of the most recent operations that lets you select to which
point in the operation history you want to return. Note that the last entry of this list will always
be Restore Orig., which will undo all changes that took place since you switched to the Sample
Editor tab, thus restoring the Sample reference in your Instrument to the original Sample
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The Wave Editor
Sample Editor
again. If you don’t do any further editing on the Sample Editor tab after this, the “__edited__”
folder will be deleted when you quit KONTAKT. The Redo button to the right works similarly,
but the other way around: it will restore any effects that you have just reversed with the Undo
button.
18.8.1
Edit Operations
Cut: Puts the currently selected region of your Sample into the Sample clipboard, removing it
from the Sample in the process.
Copy: Leaves your Sample intact, but copies the selected region to the Sample clipboard for
later use.
Crop: Removes all audio data outside the selection; in other words, the selected region will become your new Sample.
Delete: Removes the selected region from the Sample, without putting it into the clipboard.
Paste: Inserts the contents of the clipboard into your Sample. The insert location depends on
whether a region is currently selected: if so, it will be replaced with the clipboard contents,
which erases the previous contents of the region and will change the overall length of your
Sample in most cases. If no region is selected, the contents of the clipboard will be inserted at
the location of the edit cursor; this location is indicated with a vertical blue line, which you
can position by clicking into the waveform view.
Duplicate: Inserts a copy of the selected region right after the region.
18.8.2
Transform Operations
Fade In: Creates a smooth fade in from silence that spans the selected region.
Fade Out: Creates a smooth fade out into silence that spans the selected region.
Silence: Replaces the selected region with digital silence, i.e. a series of zero values.
Reverse: Reverses the selected region, so that it plays backwards.
Normalize: Amplifies the selected region to the greatest possible level without clipping. The
Normalize function analyzes your Sample region and applies a gain factor that makes it utilize
the entire available dynamics range; in other words, after you’ve used this operation, the highest peak in the region will just hit the 0 dB mark.
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The Wave Editor
Sample Editor
DC Removal: Detects and removes any DC bias from the selected Region. DC bias appears as a
constant offset between the sample values and the zero line. While it’s inaudible, it can reduce
your headroom and cause problems at mixdown. Usually, you’ll want to use this operation on
your whole Sample.
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The Script Editor
19
The Script Editor
KONTAKT includes a powerful and flexible scripting language processor, which is designed to
let third-party developers come up with custom and complex ways in which users can interact
with their Instruments and Multis. Although KONTAKT’s scripting language is easy enough to
learn for anyone who has used a programming language before, a thorough reference would
still go beyond the scope of this manual, so we’ve made it available as a separate PDF document that you’ll find in the Documentation folder of your KONTAKT installation. In this section, we’ll keep to the basics of loading and using Scripts within the Script Editor.
There are some basic aspects of Scripts that you should be aware of, even if you’ll only use
pre-made Scripts. Scripts in KONTAKT work like small programs that hook into KONTAKT’s
way of processing notes, controller data, and user actions, enabling them to change Instrument
parameters and MIDI data in a programmatic way. A very simple example would be a Script
that alters incoming MIDI notes by transposing them up an octave, or creating a second voice
that follows in octaves; more complex Scripts, though, can provide anything from powerful sequencer environments to realistic simulations of human instrument articulation.
Scripts are not only available on the Instrument level, but on the Multi level as well. This
opens up a wide range of new possibilities in Script design; for instance, you can write Scripts
that split and distribute MIDI data among multiple Instruments. For the most part, the scripting features that you can use on a global level are very similar to those on the Instrument level;
there are some inherent differences, though, which are explained in the KSP Reference Manual.
Loading, editing and managing Scripts takes place in one of KONTAKT’s Script Editors. You
can access the global editor, which contains Scripts that affect the Multi, by clicking on the
button labeled KSP on the right side of the Instrument Rack Header.
The KSP button
In order to open the local editor of an Instrument, click the Script Editor button below its
header when the Rack is in Edit mode. The Script Editors on the Multi and Instrument levels
are mostly identical, and the explanations in the remainder of this chapter apply to both.
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The Script Editor
Loading a Script
An empty Script Editor
At the top of the panel, you’ll notice five tabs, each of them with an empty label. These are
slots that can take up a Script each; if a Script changes any events, another script in a slot to
its right will “see” the modified events. In other words, the five slots act as a chain of event
filters. Below the slot tabs, there’s an empty space; each script can provide its own user interface, which will appear here.
19.1
Loading a Script
To load a Script, click the Preset button. A drop-down menu will appear, allowing you to select
an item from the preset scripts folder of your KONTAKT installation.
Loading a preset Script
After you’ve selected a Script, its user interface controls will appear in the space below the
tabs. Most Scripts will work right away after loading; others might need you to do any meaningful adjustments first. You can always bypass a Script, thus temporarily deactivating it, by clicking on the Bypass button in the upper left corner of the Script Editor.
Whenever you’re using a Script that provides its own controls, you can automate these like any
other control of the KONTAKT user interface; select the Auto tab in the Browser and drag either a MIDI controller or a host controller ID onto the knob whose parameter you’d like to automate. For more information on how this works, refer to section ↑13.6, Automation Tab of this
manual.
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The Script Editor
Saving Script Settings
19.2
Saving Script Settings
Whenever you have made a setting that you particularly like, you can save the Script in its current state for later re-use. Just click the Script button, then select the Save Preset command
from the drop-down menu. A dialog will appear, asking you to enter a new filename for the
Script. We don’t recommend that you overwrite the original Script with your new settings, except if you want to change its default state for any later use.
Note that you don’t need to explicitly save your Script if its settings are unique to your current
project; its state will be saved along with your session or Multi. Also, some more sophisticated
Scripts provide a built-in facility for preset management within the Script’s user interface.
19.3
Editing and Saving a Script
If you’re into programming, you can browse and edit the source code of a Script via a built-in
code editor. Click the Edit button in the lower left corner of the Script Editor; a text editor
pane will open below the Script’s user interface. Within this editor, you can make changes to
the current Script, or write your own Script from scratch. Whenever you’ve made any changes,
they won’t affect the running Script right away; instead, the Apply button in the upper right
corner of the source code editor will light up to remind you that you’ll have to commit the
changes first. You do this by clicking the Apply button; if the Script interpreter does not find
any errors in your Script, your changes will be made active. Keep in mind, though, that you
still need to save your Script in order to make the changes permanent.
Locking a Script
If you want to protect the source code of your Script to keep others from browsing and editing
it, you can lock it with a password while the source code editor is visible. To do this, click the
Lock with Password button in the upper left corner of the source editor, enter a password
twice, and click OK. Others can still use the script as it is, but the source code editor won’t
show up if they don’t have the password.
Before you lock a Script, though, remember that there’s a helpful and friendly community of
fellow Script authors out there; locking your Scripts will keep them from finding and fixing
bugs you might have missed or enhancing them with new features.
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The Script Editor
Editing and Saving a Script
Even if a thorough explanation of the scripting language is beyond the scope of this
manual, here’s a neat trick we don’t want to keep back: you can turn any panel of an
Instrument Script into a Performance View, thereby making it visible and accessible
within the Rack, simply by adding the statement “make_perfview” in a new line somewhere between the lines “on init” and the following “end on”, which can usually be
found at the top of Scripts. After you click the Apply button and return to the Multi Instrument view, the Script controls will appear below the Instrument Header in the Rack.
You can read more about the Performance View feature in section ↑6.5, Performance
View of this manual.
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The Source Module
Sampler
20
The Source Module
As its name suggests, the Source Module is located at the very beginning of KONTAKT’s signal
flow and acts as the source of all audio signals. It provides access to the underlying sample
playback engine, and as such can’t be removed from an Instrument. It operates in one of six
playback modes, all of which are optimized for handling different audio material:
▪ Sampler: This is a traditional sample playback engine that keeps all sample data in your
computer’s RAM.
▪ DFD (Direct from Disk): This is a high-performance solution for streaming samples from disk
in real-time.
▪ Tone Machine: In this mode, you can change the pitch and formants of your sounds independently from the playback speed.
▪ Time Machine, Time Machine II, and Time Machine Pro: These playback modes allow you to
compress and stretch your Samples in real-time, while leaving their pitch unaffected.
▪ Beat Machine: This mode handles rhythmic samples (such as drum loops) that have been
“sliced”, making them fit your song tempo.
The mode of operation can be switched via the drop-down menu in the upper left corner of the
Source Module’s control panel. Note that the Source Module is located on the Group level,
which means that each Group in your Instrument has its own Source Module, and changes to
the playback mode only affect Zones within the Group to which the respective module belongs.
Let’s have a look at how each of the playback modes works and what controls it does provide.
20.1
Sampler
The Sampler mode provides traditional, interpolated playback of Samples from memory.
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The Source Module
Sampler
This is a “traditional” digital sampler that stores sample data in system memory, reads it out
from memory, and applies any required transposition by re-sampling the audio data in realtime. The Sampler module is very efficient and draws little power from the host CPU.
Most of the available parameters in this mode can be modulated. Remember that all adjustments you make will affect all Groups that are currently selected for editing in the Group Editor.
Sampler Controls
Tune: Changes the playback pitch within one octave up or down. As this is a traditional sampler mode, changes to your pitch will always affect your playback tempo as well; if you want to
adjust these parameters independently of each other, switch to one of the Tone Machine or
Time Machine modes. This control works in semitone steps when moved, but you can make
finer adjustments by holding down the [Shift] key as you move the knob.
Reverse: Plays all Samples in the Group in reverse. Note that when this button is activated,
playback will start at the End Marker of a Zone, so if there are a few seconds of silence at the
end of a Zone, the sound will be delayed.
Tracking: When enabled, the pitch of the Sample playback will be transposed along with the
key position. If your Group contains Zones that are mapped across several keys and should be
played tonally, Tracking needs to be activated, or else all keys of the Zone will play at the same
pitch. If you want to keep the pitch of a Sample constant across multiple keys or provide a
separate Zone for each key (as it’s the case with chromatically sampled Instruments), you can
deactivate it.
MIDI: Sets the MIDI port and channel this Group will respond to. Use this only if you want different Groups respond to different MIDI channels, otherwise set the Instrument’s MIDI channel
in the Instrument Header and leave this setting at its Default (Instrument) value.
Release Trigger: When activated, samples in this Group will be triggered when a MIDI note-off
command is received (as opposed to responding to note-on commands as usual). This function
provides the necessary means for creating release samples. With these, you can recreate the
natural release sound of an instrument, such as the damper on a harpsichord or a reverb trail
recorded in the instrument’s natural environment, when a key is being released. Note that if
your release sample has a loop, there’s no way to tell KONTAKT to stop playing it from the outside (after all, that’s what the note-off command was meant for in the first place), so you
should make sure your Group has a volume envelope, or else it will keep playing indefinitely.
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The Source Module
DFD
T (Time, only visible if Release Trigger is activated): If you set this to a value other than 0,
KONTAKT will count from that value backwards in millisecond intervals when it receives a
note, then stop the timer and provide its current value as a modulation source when it receives
the corresponding note-off value. This way, you can make your Instrument respond to note durations, for instance by reducing the volume of your release sample after longer notes in order
to make it fit a Sample with a natural decay.
Note Mono (visible only if Release Trigger is activated): This button affects how release samples
will respond to note repetitions. When it’s activated, playing a note repeatedly will cut off any
previous release samples that are still sounding (if any), so that only one release sample will
play at any time.
HQI (High Quality Interpolation): This drop-down menu allows you to choose from a list of 3 resampling algorithms of various quality. Only Samples that are played at a different note than
their root key will need to be re-sampled. The Standard setting uses the algorithm of old KONTAKT versions, which offers a reasonably good re-sampling quality while being light on the
CPU. The High and Perfect settings select high-quality re-sampling algorithms, which eliminate virtually all audible artifacts (especially when transposing upwards), but need more CPU
resources. Note that while the CPU demand of the Standard setting is constant, the High and
Perfect settings will use more CPU resources the further they need to transpose a Sample from
its root key; therefore, if you play a Sample two octaves above its original pitch, they will generate a higher CPU load than if you play it a semitone higher.
20.2
DFD
The DFD mode streams Samples from your hard disk in real-time as they are triggered.
The DFD mode uses an advanced streaming engine, which allows you to play very large Sample
sets in real-time without having to load all sample data into RAM. This is accomplished by
loading only the beginnings of all Samples into RAM (where they can be accessed instantly)
and, as soon as a Sample is being played, streaming its remainder from your hard disk. This
method has a few caveats that you’ll need to keep in mind when creating your own Instru-
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The Source Module
Tone Machine
ments, but they’re usually far outweighed by the possibility of playing Instruments whose Sample data is anything from “inconveniently large” to “several times bigger than the size of your
computer’s RAM”.
The controls for the source module’s DFD mode are identical to those of the standard Sampler
mode; all internal differences are transparently handled by KONTAKT.
Here are a few things you should be aware of when using DFD:
▪ The maximum number of voices will most likely be lower compared to the Sampler module,
as the latency and throughput of your hard disk will be a bottleneck for sampling performance. Therefore, you can optimize your overall voice count by putting only Groups and Instruments that access very large Samples into DFD mode, while keeping all others in Sampler mode.
▪ Do not try to use DFD mode with Samples that reside on a CD-ROM. Copy them to hard
disk first.
▪ Although the DFD mode minimizes RAM usage in comparison to the Sampler mode, it still
has a noticeable memory footprint, as it needs to pre-load the beginnings of all Samples
into memory.
▪ You can switch between DFD and Sampler mode at any time. However, when switching
from DFD to Sampler, there may be a slight pause, as the entire Sample set needs to be
loaded into RAM.
20.3
Tone Machine
The Tone Machine mode lets you adjust the speed and pitch of your Samples independently.
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The Source Module
Tone Machine
The Tone Machine mode offers you unprecedented control of your Samples’ pitches and formant frequencies, which can both be changed independently from the playback speed. It accomplishes this by processing your audio signals with granular synthesis algorithms, and has
tremendous potential for creative sound design, as well as lots of utilitarian applications.
When you switch your Source Module from Sampler or DFD mode into this mode, it needs to
analyze your sample material first, which can take some time if you have lots of samples in
this Group. A progress bar will indicate the current status of this analysis.
Note that since the Tone Machine handles your audio data in small chunks of sample values
called “grains”, all boundaries of Sample loop regions will be aligned to these chunks. In consequence, this can result in slightly inaccurate playback of loops.
Tone Machine Controls
Tune: Changes the playback pitch within one octave up or down, without affecting the playback
speed.
Smooth: In order to reduce artifacts during playback, KONTAKT will crossfade grains into each
other. This control adjusts the shape of these very short crossfades. Higher values will result in
a smoother pitch shift, but rhythmic material may lose definition and “punch”. Lower values
are prone to cause a buzzing sound, but will keep transients intact.
Speed: Changes the playback speed independently of the pitch. This value is displayed as a
percentage of the original speed by default, so 200% doubles the playback speed, while 50%
halves it. The control goes all the way down to 0%, which freezes the sound at its current playback position. The Speed parameter can also be synchronized to your host or Master Editor
tempo; in this mode, your samples will be stretched to match the length of a note value. To do
this, click the displayed unit of the Speed control and select a note value from the drop-down
menu, then dial in a numerator for this value with the Speed knob. To switch back to unsynchronized mode, just choose the Default entry from the drop-down menu.
Formant: This control shifts the formant frequencies, which are the parts of your signal’s frequency content that decide its predominant timbral characteristics, independently of the
pitch.
DC Filter: The Tone Machine algorithm can impose a DC bias upon your waveform in certain
cases, which reduces headroom and can cause distortions. This button enables a filter that
eliminates this bias and re-centers your waveform around its origin. It’s recommended that you
leave this enabled.
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The Source Module
Time Machine
Legato: If this button is activated and you play multiple notes in a legato fashion, KONTAKT
will carry its current playback position over to each following note, rather than playing each
Sample from the beginning.
Tracking: If this button is activated, the playback pitch will depend on the notes that you play.
When disabled, the pitch won’t follow the keyboard.
MIDI Channel: Sets the MIDI port and channel this Group will respond to. Change this only if
you want different Groups respond to different MIDI channels, otherwise set the Instrument’s
MIDI channel in the Instrument Header and leave this setting to its Default (Instrument) value.
Release Trigger: Allows samples in this Group to be triggered when a MIDI note-off command is
received. This function and its additional parameters are covered by the description of the
Sampler mode above.
20.4
Time Machine
The Time Machine performs time-stretching of your Samples in real time.
The Time Machine works similarly to the Tone Machine in that it uses granular synthesis to
render pitch and playback speed of your samples independent of each other. It is optimized to
alter the playback speed while leaving the pitch unaffected, thus providing a facility for real
time time-stretching. Its controls are mostly identical to those of the Tone Machine as described above. In addition, it offers the following controls:
Hi Quality: This button replaces the DC Filter button of the Tone Machine. When enabled, the
Time Machine will analyze the sample data in order to determine optimal grain boundaries for
this material; disabling this will make the granular synthesizer work the same regardless of its
source material. This especially affects playback quality at low speeds.
Grain: This control replaces the Formant control of the Tone Machine. It determines the grain
size of the granular synthesizer. Since the grain size is not static in Hi Quality mode, this control has little effect when you have enabled the button described above.
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The Source Module
Time Machine II
20.5
Time Machine II
The Time Machine II mode is optimized for high-quality time stretching, especially of percussive material.
This module works in a similar way as the Time Machine, but uses enhanced algorithms that
provide better quality time stretching and pitch shifting. Its controls are mostly identical to
those of the Time Machine, with the following exceptions:
Transient Copy: When this button is enabled, transients in your material — instantaneous level
changes that occur in percussive sounds — will be preserved as accurately as possible. Therefore, this mode is recommended when you’re working with drum loops or other percussive material.
Tr. Size (Transient Size): When the Transient Copy function is enabled, this control adjusts the
duration of transients that will be left untouched.
Grain Size: This drop-down menu allows you to choose from several grain sizes that are optimized for various types of source material. As the effects of various settings on your particular
material is hard to predict, it’s usually worth trying several settings until you’ve found the one
that sounds best.
20.6
Time Machine Pro
The Time Machine Pro is the highest quality time-stretching mode.
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The Source Module
Beat Machine
This module should be used for the highest quality, independent pitch-shifting and timestretching. It is best used for realistic changes, not extreme effects. Due to the higher quality,
the CPU and RAM consumption of this mode is rather high. Its controls are mostly identical to
those of the Time Machine, with the following exceptions:
Reverse: Time Machine Pro is the only time machine module that offers a real-time audio reverse function.
Voices menu: Restricts the number of voices in order to control CPU consumption.
Pro Mode: Switches between "efficient" and "pro" mode and displays advanced controls, which
are described below.
Envelope Order (Env.Order): Sets the order of the spectral envelope (formant) estimation. The
default is set to 25% which works fine for most material. If the input audio is really high pitched the order should be lowered, cogently, if the input audio is low pitched the value should be
raised.
Envelope Factor (Env.Fact.): Sets the spectral envelope’s shift factor. The default is set to zero
which works fine for most material. This spectral shift is performed before the overall pitch
shifting.
Time Machine Pro can only process stereo files. In case of more channels (surround),
only the first two channels are processed, the others are muted.
20.7
Beat Machine
The Beat Machine mode shouldn’t be activated manually; it’s better to Slice your Samples first in the Wave Editor and then
activate it via the Use Beat Machine button on the Sync / Slice tab.
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The Source Module
Beat Machine
The Beat Machine is a mode for tempo-synchronized playback of “sliced” Samples. In short,
the slicing mechanism provides a way to change the playback speed of percussive audio material, such as drum loops, without the tendency to “slur” transients or introduce other artifacts
that are common to other time-stretching methods. In contrast to these, though, slicing needs
some prior human intervention, the idea being that you add markers to your Samples, which
tell KONTAKT where their distinctive parts — such as the drums in a drum loop — are located. After you’ve created those markers, KONTAKT will be able to trigger these elements in time
to your song with an internal sequencer. This sequencer is the Beat Machine.
If the task of placing markers in your Samples, which is referred to as “slicing”, sounds daunting to you, don’t worry. The intelligent slicing functions that you’ll find in the Grid panel of the
Wave Editor will make this task as simple as possible, and of course, once you’ve sliced a
Sample, the slicing information will be saved along with the Instrument. What’s more, there’s
lots of pre-sliced material available in the form of commercial loop libraries.
The process of slicing a Sample manually is described in detail in section ↑18.4, Grid Panel of
this manual. Also, note that the Sync / Slice tab of the Wave Editor includes a Use Beat Machine button, which allows you to synchronize the Sample to your song tempo right away. In
fact, you should always use the Use Beat Machine function instead of switching your Source
Module into Beat Machine mode explicitly. Please refer to sections ↑18.4, Grid Panel and
↑18.6, Sync / Slice Tab of the Wave Editor chapter to learn how to slice your own Samples and
use the Beat Machine to play them back.
Beat Machine Controls
MIDI Channel: Sets the MIDI port and channel this Group will respond to. Change this only if
you want different Groups respond to different MIDI channels, otherwise set the Instrument’s
MIDI channel in the Instrument Header and leave this parameter at its Default (Instrument)
value.
Tune: Adjusts the pitch at which each Slice will be played back within one octave up or down.
Speed: Adjusts the speed at which the Slice pattern will be played back. When you’re using the
Use Beat Machine button on the Sync / Slice tab of the Wave Editor to synchronize your sliced
Samples, the readout of this control will display Zone, which means that the speed gets automatically synchronized to your host tempo. Read about this mechanism in section ↑18.6.1,
Using the Beat Machine of this manual. If you have activated the Beat Machine mode manual-
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The Source Module
S1200 Machine
ly, the speed will be displayed as a percentage of the pattern’s original speed, and can be
synchronized manually by clicking on the displayed unit, then choosing a note value from the
drop-down menu.
Tracking: If this button is activated, the playback pitch will depend on the notes that you play.
When disabled, the pitch won’t follow the keyboard.
Sl. Atk. (Slice Attack): Since slicing can occur at spots in your Sample that can cause clicks
when played back in isolation, Slices are being crossfaded into each other instead of just
played back in succession. This control adjusts the attack time of the crossfade envelopes. As
large values can weaken your transients, you should generally adjust this control to the lowest
possible value that just avoids clicking.
Sl. Rls. (Slice Release): Adjusts the release time of the crossfade that occurs between Slices.
Release Trigger: Allows samples in this Group to be triggered when a MIDI note-off command is
received. This function and its additional parameters are covered by the description of the
Sampler mode at the beginning of this chapter.
Internal Trigger: This button is only included for backwards compatibility. Its function was used
with slices that have been automatically mapped into Groups across the keyboard. As this
function is replicated with Zones since the release of KONTAKT 3, you need this button only if
using Instruments that have been saved in previous KONTAKT versions.
20.8
S1200 Machine
The S1200 Machine.
The S1200 Machine is the first of the "vintage machine modes". It emulates the behavior of a
classic drum sampler from the late 80s. It not only degrades the playback quality of the samples (to about 12-bit, 26kHz), but also changes the way KONTAKT changes the pitch and basic handling of the sample playback engine.
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The Source Module
MP60 Machine
The controls are similar to those of the Sampler or DFD modes, but with the omission of the
Quality menu and the inclusion of a Static Filter menu.
20.9
MP60 Machine
The MP60 Machine.
The MP60 Machine is the second of the "vintage machine modes" and emulates the behavior
of a different 80s classic sampler. As with the S1200, it not only degrades the playback quality of the samples, but also changes the way KONTAKT changes the pitch and basic handling
of the sample playback engine. It is generally of a higher sample quality than the S1200
mode.
The controls are similar to those of the Sampler or DFD modes, but with the omission of the
Quality menu.
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The Amplifier Module
21
The Amplifier Module
The Amplifier Module follows the Source Module and the Group Insert Effects chain in the
Group level of KONTAKT’s signal flow. Its purpose is to adjust the volume and stereo panorama of the signal before it enters the Instrument level, and optionally change the default output
channel assignment and the channel routing that occurs between the Group and the Instrument level. A particularly vital task of the Amplifier Module is brought about by combining it
with modulation: this way, you can use volume envelopes, which are elementary in the creation
of playable Instruments.
The Amplifier Module
As it’s a fundamental part of KONTAKT’s signal flow, the Amplifier Module can’t be removed
from a Group, nor can you have more than one Amplifier Module within a Group. All signals
generated by the Source Module in the Group will pass through your Amplifier Module.
These are the available controls:
▪ Volume: Adjusts the overall level of all signals that originate from this Group.
▪ Pan: If the Group is being routed to a stereo Output Channel, this control allows you to
place the signal in the stereo panorama. Note that the Volume and Pan controls affect the
playback of all Zones in your Group; if you want to adjust these parameters on a per-Zone
basis, change them in the Mapping Editor instead, or use Zone Envelopes, which are described in section ↑18.7, Zone Envelopes of this manual.
▪ Phase Invert: Switching this button on inverts the phase of the audio signal, so that negative signals become positive, and vice versa. It acts in the same manner as a phase invert
button on a mixing console and has the same uses, namely to make sure that signals mix
together without phase cancellation.
▪ L/R Swap: Activating this button will swap the left and right channels of a stereo signal.
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The Amplifier Module
▪ Channel Routing: Clicking this button will open a routing matrix below the panel, which allows you to change the channel assignment aspects of the connection between the Group
and the Instrument level, as well as create special routing configurations for up-mixing or
down-mixing your Group signal to a different channel configuration. More details regarding
this panel will be described later in this chapter.
▪ Output: This drop-down menu allows you to specify an alternate Output Channel, or Bus
routing for this Group. When set to Default (Instrument), the Group’s output is routed to
the Instrument Insert Effects Chain, then to the output of the instrument, the Channel Output of which is selected from the Instrument Header. If you select a Bus from this dropdown, the group’s audio will be routed to that Bus Effect Chain, then to the respective
Bus’s output (which, by default, is the Instrument Effect Chain). You can also send the
Group’s audio directly to a Channel Output, which will bypass any Bus and/or Instrument
effects.
Channel Routing Panel
A routing configuration which keeps the channel order and assignment intact, but lowers the second channel by -12 dB in
volume.
Each horizontal row of this table corresponds to a channel of the Group signal that’s present at
the input of the Amplifier Module, as specified in the leftmost column. Each vertical column
corresponds to an audio channel of the output that you’ve selected for this Instrument in the
Instrument Header. You can create a connection between an input and an output channel by
clicking into the field that is crossed by the respective row and column. An existing connection
will be indicated with a colored rectangle; click it again to remove the connection.
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The Amplifier Module
For more complex routings that convert between different channel configurations, it’s possible
to send an input signal to multiple output channels, or to mix multiple input signals down to
one output channel. You do this simply by creating more than one connection within a row
(mix-up) or a column (mix-down). In such cases, it’s often desirable to create connections with
an intrinsic amplification or attenuation; for example, a common practice for mixing surround
signals down to stereo is to fold the rear signal to the stereo channels at a lower volume. This
can be accomplished in the Channel Routing matrix by right-clicking into the fields of existing
connections, which will change the level of this connection as indicated by the color of the
rectangle. Repeated clicking will cycle through a number of preset levels, which are displayed
with their respective colors at the bottom of the routing matrix.
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Signal Processors in KONTAKT
22
Signal Processors in KONTAKT
KONTAKT has a sophisticated signal flow structure that allows you to create flexible signal
routings and process your audio signals with a multitude of effects and filters. This chapter will
provide an overview on how to work with KONTAKT’s signal processing modules; it will explain
what kinds of modules are available to you and how they can be put to use in an optimal way.
Whenever we use the term “signal processor”, we’re referring to both effects (which are the
kind of audio processors you’d expect in a typical multi-effects device) and filters (which
change the frequency content of your signals).
The following chapters will provide in-depth descriptions of the effects and filters that you’ll
find in KONTAKT’s extensive collection of signal processors, but for the moment let’s stick to
the general basics. The following diagram depicts KONTAKT’s signal flow structure:
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Signal Processors in KONTAKT
Audio Signal Path
Take a look at the four rows of 8 slots each that reside within the Instrument and Group structures: these are the slots that can take up signal processor modules of your choice. The first
three rows — titled Group Insert Effects, Bus Insert Effects and Instrument Insert Effects —
form chains of insert modules. This means that the audio signal is processed in its entirety by
each of the signal processors in the order in which they are placed in the chain, with the output of the rightmost module in the chain being used as the output signal of the Group, Bus or
Instrument.
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Signal Processors in KONTAKT
Group Insert Effects
In contrast, the slots of the Instrument Send Effects section take up modules that work independently from each other in a parallel fashion. The idea behind send effects is that you can
“tap” your signals at various points of the signal flow, and send them to a send effect at an
adjustable level.
If you’re familiar with how signal processors are used in a studio environment, with devices like
compressors and equalizers usually being inserted into the signal flow, and effects like reverbs
being fed through the aux sends of a mixing console and added back to the main mix, you’ll
discover that KONTAKT’s signal flow replicates these concepts and uses the same terminology
in a lot of cases. Let’s take a closer look at each row of slots.
22.1
Group Insert Effects
The Group Insert Effects Chain
This chain takes up to 8 modules which will process the output signal of a specific Group in
the order of their placement in the chain. Here’s a typical application example: Suppose you’re
creating a drum kit Instrument, which has the typical array of drums (e.g. bass drum, snare,
toms, and cymbals) separated into a Group for each drum. The snare is a bit lacking in
“punch”, so you want to use a compressor with a long attack time to bring out its initial “slam,
but you don’t want your cymbals to be treated in the same way. You can enable the “snare”
Group in the Group Editor for editing (take care that you deactivate all other Groups, or else
their chains will be changed in unison), and add the compressor to this Group’s Group Insert
Effects chain. Only the snare sounds will pass the compressor; all other Groups are unaffected.
The Group Insert Effects chain has an additional feature that separates it from the Instrument
Insert Effects chain: while the slots to the left of the chain always receive the signal before it
enters the Amplifier module, the slots on the right can optionally be placed after the Amplifier
module in the signal flow. This is very useful in cases where you want to use the Send Levels
module, which allows you to send signals to modules in the Instrument Send Effects slots.
While you usually wouldn’t want the operation of a distortion effect to be affected by your volume envelope, and therefore would place it before the Amplifier, sending a pre-Amplifier sig-
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Bus Insert Effects
nal to a reverb or delay can give unexpected results. In most cases, you’ll want send effects to
receive the output of the Amplifier as you’re hearing it, so placing the Send Levels module in
one of the two rightmost slots by default is a good idea.
►
To specify the number of post-amplifier effects, click and drag on the numeric value in
the PostAmpFX section.
There are a few other details to keep in mind when you’re working with Group Insert Effects:
▪ Group insert modules work in a polyphonic fashion, which means that their effect will be
computed separately for each voice that you play. In some cases, this can result in different sounds than you might expect, for instance when you use compressors or distortion effects. This behavior allows you to create modulations that work on a per-Voice basis, such
as velocity-controlled distortion, or key-tracking filters. Keep in mind, though, that in consequence, this multiplies each module’s CPU resources by the number of voices; if you
don’t need Group-specific or polyphonic processing, it’s more efficient to move a module
into the Bus or Instrument Insert Effects chain instead, where it will operate on the summed signal.
▪ Most parameters of Group insert effects can be modulated internally via a modulation matrix. This matrix can be accessed via the Modulation button in the lower left corner of an
effect panel. KONTAKT’s modulation system is explained in detail in chapter ↑25, Modulation in KONTAKT of this manual.
▪ Many of KONTAKT’s signal processors are capable of processing multichannel signals. If a
compatible effect follows a multichannel zone or a Surround Panner, it will operate on all
surround channels.
22.2
Bus Insert Effects
You can route Groups through the Instrument Buses for more flexible effect routing.
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Instrument Insert Effects
You can select one of KONTAKT’s 16 Instrument Buses as an additional effect chain for several Groups. You can have up to 16 buses, each with an independent effect setup. You can select the Bus you wish to edit by clicking on the output level meter to the top of this section or
by selecting it from the drop down menu below the Edit All Buses button. If you want to edit
all Buses at once, activate the Edit All Buses button. While this button is active, any changes
you make on the Bus level will affect all Buses at once.
The Bus level also has an amplifier section, with Volume and Pan controls, as well as an output selector drop down. The Output menu functions much in the same way as the Group level,
but with one extra option to route the output through the instrument output, but bypassing the
Instrument Insert Effects Chain. To do this, select program out (bypass insertFX) from the Output menu.
The outputs of the Groups you have routed to any Bus are summed and processed together; all
processors operate in a monophonic fashion, without any means to discern between voices.
The effect chain section can be edited in a similar fashion to the Group Insert Effects Chain,
but without the pre or post amp optional routing.
A typical application of the Instrument Buses would be if you had several different Groups, but
these could be grouped into audio chains for similar processing, for example: drums. Here you
may have different Groups for each articulation, but for the effects processing you want each
instrument type (kick, snare, toms, etc) grouped together to be processed through different effect chains.
22.3
Instrument Insert Effects
The summed signals from your Groups will pass the Instrument Insert Effects chain just before they’re sent to the assigned
Output Channel.
This chain operates on the summed output signal of all Groups and Buses (unless they are
routed directly to an Output Channel). It works exactly as the Bus Insert Effects chain, with the
exception that it doesn’t offer an Amplifier section; any volume, pan and output control at this
point is placed in the instrument header. Like the Bus Insert Effects Chain, all processors op-
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Instrument Send Effects
erate in a monophonic fashion, without any means to discern between voices. A typical application of modules in this chain would be a compressor or EQ that should operate on an Instrument signal in its entirety.
22.4
Instrument Send Effects
In contrast to the insert chains, the Instrument Send Effects work in parallel, and only receive signals that you explicitly
send to them via the Send Levels module.
To use a module as a send effect, add it to one of your Instrument’s Send Effects slots, and
tap a source signal to be sent there by adding the Send Levels module to a Group, Bus or Instrument Insert Effects chain. A typical effect to be used in this way is a reverb: you might
want to send different levels from the different parts of your instrument to the reverb, but then
control the reverb as a single effect unit, Send Effects let you accomplish this.
The amount of signal that’s being sent to the effect is called the send level, while the effect’s
output level is called the return level.
After you have added an effect to a slot in the Send Effects row, you’ll notice on its panel that
it has a control labeled Return on its right side. This knob allows you to adjust the return level
for this effect, as well as choose a routing target for its output signal by clicking on the small
“I” icon next to the numerical readout.
Changing the output assignment of your send effects modules allows you to isolate wet effect signals from your Instrument’s
Output Channel.
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Adding Modules
Note that you can send a signal to a send effect from more than one place within your
Instrument. In such cases, the signals will be summed before they enter the effect; in
other words, all send effects operate in a monophonic fashion.
22.5
Adding Modules
There are two ways of adding a signal processing module to a slot:
►
To add an Effect Module to a slot, click the + icon in the lower right corner of an empty
slot and select a module from the drop-down menu.
To change a module’s position in a chain, you can drag it onto the separator line between two
slots; a vertical line will appear if it can be moved to this position. All modules to the right of
this position (if any) will move one slot further to the right in order to make place for the module.
22.6
Deleting Modules
To delete a module from a slot, either click on the X icon in the upper right corner of the module field, or select this module’s parameter panel and press the delete key on your keyboard.
22.7
Editing Module Parameters
Whenever you add a signal processing module to a slot, this module’s control panel will appear
below the slot row. The panel can be shown and hidden by either clicking the button labeled
Edit in the lower left corner of the row, or by double-clicking on an effect module in that row.
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Common Parameters
While the control panel is visible, it will show the controls of the currently selected module;
clicking on another module will switch over to that one, so there will be only one module’s panel displayed below the row at any time.
Each signal processing module provides a panel with controls that let you adjust its parameters.
22.8
Common Parameters
All signal processing modules have a few functions in common; you can find these on the left
side of their parameter panels.
Each control panel provides buttons for bypassing the module, opening a list of presets, and showing or hiding the Modulation Router for this module if it resides on the Group level.
▪ Byp. / Bypass: Clicking on this button will toggle a bypass mode, which causes the module
to pass its input signal on to its output, without any processing taking place. In the process
of tweaking parameters, it’s sometimes easy to lose objectivity and unintentionally go “over
the top” with your processing, so it’s good practice to re-check your signal against the unprocessed sound every so often when you’re tweaking parameters.
▪ Pre / Preset: This button opens a drop-down menu which allows you to pick a set of parameter values for this module from KONTAKT’s preset library, as well as save your current settings as a new preset. Note that the insert and send slot rows (and, for that matter, most
other modules in KONTAKT) have their own preset menus; these allow you to load and save
entire signal processing chains.
▪ Mod: Only modules that have been added as Group inserts have this button. It opens a
Modulation Router, which allows you to create modulation assignments for most effect parameters via KONTAKT’s internal modulation system. The modulation system is explained
in chapter ↑25, Modulation in KONTAKT of this manual.
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Signal Processors in the Outputs Section
22.9
Signal Processors in the Outputs Section
The facilities described so far in this chapter allow you to use signal processors in various places and configurations throughout your Instrument. But what if you want an effect to operate
on more than one Instrument in your Multi?
For this reason, KONTAKT also provides effect slots that can be used to perform signal processing in both flavors — as inserts or sends — within the Outputs section, which is described
in detail in chapter ↑25, Modulation in KONTAKT of this manual. Inserts are provided within
the Output Channel strips, while separate channels, called Aux Channels, provide the necessary means to use send effects across Instruments. Let’s look at both of these in detail.
22.9.1
Output Channel Inserts
Display the Outputs section from the Workspace menu. To the left, you’ll see one or more output channel strips. Just below the channel name at the top, there are four slots; this is the
insert chain for the respective channel. If you can’t see these slots, check that the Outputs
panel is maximized by clicking on the button to the top right of the Outputs section.
The Output Channels with Effects inserted
The output insert chain works exactly the same as the Bus Insert Effects or Instrument Insert
Effects chains, though laid out in a vertical fashion, with the topmost slot being the first of the
chain. Clicking on the small arrow icon next to a slot will open a drop-down menu with the
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Signal Processors in the Outputs Section
names of all available signal processors. Once you’ve selected and inserted a module from this
list, you can show and hide its parameters for editing either by clicking on its name. Opening
the drop-down menu and selecting the Empty label at its top will remove a module from the
chain.
22.9.2
Aux Channels
Remember that the Instrument Send Effects slots provide a means to use effect modules as
send effects, which can be used across multiple Groups and Buses; in a similar fashion, Aux
Channels allow you to use send effects across multiple Instruments. You’ll find the Aux Channel strips on the right side of the Outputs section mixer; technically, they’re just additional
output strips that get their signals from different places throughout the signal flow. Consequently, this also means that effects can be added in the same way as with the normal output
channel strips; just open the drop-down menu at one of the insert slots and select a signal processor for the respective slot.
The Aux Channels can be fed from two places in KONTAKT. By clicking on the aux button in
the Rack header in Multi Instrument mode, a row of level controls will appear below each Instrument Header. With these controls, you can send the respective Instrument’s output signal
to one or multiple Aux channels at adjustable levels.
Instrument Aux Sends
Alternatively, you can re-route the output signal of any effects module that you added to a
Send Effects slot to one of the Aux Channels. While this might seem counter-intuitive at first,
it makes sense when you consider that you might want to access the wet signal of a send effect separately from the main output; routing it to an Aux Channel not only allows you to further process the wet signal in isolation, but also makes it possible to route the signal to different physical KONTAKT outputs. You can also use the Gainer module within a Send Effects slot
to build a “bridge” to the Aux channels and feed them with Group-specific signals; this process is explained in section ↑23.31, Gainer of this manual.
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AET Filter
23
Effects
This section provides descriptions of all effects modules that are available in KONTAKT, as
well as explanations of their parameters. The term “effects” encompasses dynamics tools,
such as compressors, as well as audio processors that change the signal in a usually non-linear
way, such as reverbs, flangers or distortion effects.
You can access these modules by clicking on the + icon in the lower right corner of each effects slot, which opens a drop-down menu of available effects.
23.1
AET Filter
This module constitutes the core of the powerful Authentic Expression Technology (AET) in
KONTAKT, which allows you to “morph” continuously between the timbral characteristics of
multiple samples. The module is designed to work on the Group level, so it can only be placed
in the Group Insert FX chain.
As the process of creating and using a morph extends to other elements of the user interface
than this module itself, we’ll start with a high-level explanation of the idea and technology behind AET; if you’re just interested in a reference of the involved dialogs and the module’s controls, you can find those at the end of this section.
23.1.1
About Authentic Expression Technology
When sampling acoustic instruments, one of the common difficulties to overcome stems from
the fact that most of them change their tonal characteristics radically throughout their range of
dynamic and expression — a french horn played mf can sound very different from one played
p. This makes it more difficult to capture the whole range of their sonic character in a convincing way with static samples alone. The traditional approach has been to tackle this problem
with sheer size: Sample libraries that contain several dozen velocity layers per note have now
become a common occurrence, and indeed, this is a good way to increase the sampled instrument’s level of detail. In a lot of cases, though, the shortcomings of turning highly dynamic
instrumental sounds into static samples, such as noticeable timbre changes when moving from
one velocity layer to the next, still persist.
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AET Filter
With the Authentic Expression Technology (AET) in KONTAKT, we’d like to introduce a radically different approach. The core of this technology is an FFT filter with a very high resolution,
which is able to “imprint” frequency responses of almost any complexity on your signal. These
frequency responses are derived from other samples in your patch via spectral analysis. For instance, the currently playing velocity layer could be filtered with the spectral information of the
layer just above it to sonically shift it closer to the latter. By dynamically varying the amount of
processing with the help of a modulation source (such as the velocity), you can thereby pass
through any number of intermediate stages between two samples, thus “morphing” between
them in real-time.
The process is not limited to dynamic layers, either: You can morph between different playing
techniques of an instrument (such as a trumpet playing with and without mute) or even between different signals. This opens up a whole range of sound design possibilities — fancy a
morph between a piano and a celesta!
The functionality of AET is split up into two logically separate parts. In the analysis phase, you
tell KONTAKT which Samples should be taken into consideration; it will then generate spectral
“fingerprints” of these and save them for later use. This selection and setup process takes
place in the Mapping Editor. Once the fingerprints have been created, they become available
for selection within the AET Filter module, which you can insert into a Group Insert FX slot just
like any other effect module. Here’s where the actual filtering takes place: With just a single
parameter, you can control which of the stored frequency responses will be imparted to which
amount on the currently playing sample.
Before we dive head-first into an actual use case of AET, we should explain two of the logical
building blocks you’ll encounter in the setup process:
▪ A Morph Layer is a group of non-overlapping Zones whose samples are directly related in
some way; these are often stacks of velocity layers or multi-sampled Zones that cover a certain key range, or in other words, blocks of adjacent Zones in the Mapping Editor.
▪ A Morph Map is a collection of one or more Morph Layers. This is what’s ultimately loaded
into the AET Filter module, and its contents decide what the Morph knob on the module’s
control panel will do. A Morph Map that contains only one Morph Layer is called a velocity
map; in this case, the target frequency response will be derived from the Zone whose keyboard range matches the currently pressed key, and whose velocity range corresponds to
the setting of the Morph knob. A Morph Map with multiple Morph Layers is the basis of an
articulation morph; this is the more complex case, which allows you to set up morphs be-
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AET Filter
tween two or more sets of Samples which are not necessarily related, such as different
playing techniques or even entirely different instruments. Usually, the Morph Layers in
such a map originate from different Groups in your Instrument.
▪ In short: If you want to use the expression filter for dynamic velocity morphing, a Morph
Map with only one Morph Layer will do fine (the Auto add AET velocity morph function described below will even set this up for you); if you want to do more complex things, you’ll
have to create a Morph Map that consists of multiple, manually defined Morph Layers.
Now that you know what Authentic Expression Technology is and what it can do for you, let’s
take a look at how to use it in real-world situations.
23.1.2
Creating a Velocity Morph
This is the basic use case, and since it is so common, KONTAKT offers you a function that
automates it for you. Just load or create an Instrument with multiple velocity layers, select all
of your Zones in the Mapping Editor (take care that you don’t accidentally select multiple overlapping Zones; you might want to use the Selected Groups Only switch), then select the Auto
add AET velocity morph command from the Edit menu.
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You can find the “Auto add AET velocity morph” function both in the Edit menu and in the right-click context menu of the
Mapping Editor.
When you open the Group Insert FX chain now, you’ll notice that KONTAKT has added an AET
Filter module for you. Take a look at its control panel and Modulation Router — it has already
been set up with an auto-generated Morph Map, and the Morph knob is being modulated by
the velocity.
The “Auto add AET velocity morph” function will add a ready-to-use AET Filter module to your Group Insert FX chain.
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AET Filter
When you play some notes, KONTAKT will still only play the Sample that’s assigned to the incoming velocity; the further the actual velocity is away from the middle velocity value of the
played Zone, though, the more of the spectral characteristics of the Zone directly below or
above will now be imparted on the sound. Once the velocity crosses the border to another
Zone, the process will be reversed; now the next Zone will play, with the frequency response of
the preceding one being used for filtering. This way, the timbral differences of your velocity
layers are elegantly masked, resulting in a smooth dynamic response over the whole velocity
range.
Of course, nothing stops you from assigning other modulation sources than the velocity
to the Morph knob; you can just as well use a continuous MIDI controller or aftertouch
for this purpose. Using a different modulation source for morphing makes it possible to
sweep through the morph gradient while the sound is playing, which opens up very interesting performance possibilities. Keep in mind, though, that the filter will only act upon
the Sample that was triggered when you pressed the key.
23.1.3
Creating an Articulation Morph
Setting up a simple velocity morph as described above is easy enough. There are times,
though, when you need a more flexible way of configuring the morph filter. For example, you
might want to set up a dynamically playable morph between two different, but musically related articulations of the same sound source, such as a choir singing “ahh” and “ooh”. This requires some more manual intervention. The procedure can be broken down into the following
steps:
1.
Create one Morph Layer for each of the Groups that the articulations are assigned to,
2.
Combine two or more of these layers into a Morph Map, and
3.
Load this map into an AET Filter module that you place in the Group Insert FX chain of
the Group that should be processed.
In our example, we assume that the “ahh” and the “ooh” Zones are neatly split up into two
different Groups, as would be the natural structure of a KONTAKT patch. In a first step, select
all Zones from the “ahh” Group (using the Selected Groups only function if needed), then
choose Create AET morph layer from the Edit menu. A dialog window with a few options will
appear.
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Before creating a new Morph Layer from the selected Zones, KONTAKT asks you to specify some details about the process.
Enter a descriptive name for your layer (such as “ahh”) and make sure that both the Tonal option is enabled and the Smoothing parameter is set to its default value of 0.5, then click OK.
KONTAKT will now generate spectral fingerprints of all Zones and save them in a new Morph
Layer. Once it has finished, repeat the process with the Zones in the other group. You have
now created two new Morph Layers that contain spectral information which will be used in the
resulting morph.
In order to tell KONTAKT which morph layers you’d like to use in your morph, you’ll have to
create a new Morph Map and add those layers to it.
To add a new Morph Map:
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1.
Open the AET Morph Map Editor from the Edit menu; a dialog window with an input line
on top will appear.
2.
Combine your Morph Layers into Morph Maps with the AET Morph Map Editor.
3.
Enter a descriptive name here (such as “ahh -> ooh morph”) and click the Add: button.
The Morph Layers you just prepared will now turn up in the right one of two lists at the
bottom of the dialog, meaning that they’re available for inclusion in your new Morph Map.
Select them one-by-one in the right list and move them into your map by clicking the left
arrow button. Note that the order in which you include them is important; in our example,
we want the filter to morph the original “ahh” samples into the frequency response of the
“ooh” samples, so the “ahh” layer has to be on top of the list.
4.
Before you finish, make sure you switch the Morph Map type to articulation morph instead
of velocity morph; otherwise, KONTAKT will display an error message, as velocity maps
may only consist of a single Morph Layer. Click OK; your Morph Map is now ready for use.
Now would be a good time to stress the fact that in this scenario, the “ooh” samples will take
no part whatsoever in the resulting sound; they just served as templates for setting up the
morph filter. Even at the highest Morph setting, what you hear will actually be the “ahh” samples with the frequency response of the “ooh” samples superimposed. This also means that
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AET Filter
you should make sure that the “ooh” samples won’t be played when you press a key; the result
would be a messy combination of filtered and unfiltered samples. The easiest way to do this is
to turn the Volume knob of the “ooh” Group’s Amplifier Module all the way down.
To complete the process, switch over to the “ahh” Group, locate its Group Insert FX chain, and
add an AET Filter module to an empty slot. Open the pull-down menu on the left side of its
panel and select the Morph Map you just created. Now open the Modulation Router of the
module and assign a controller, such as the modulation wheel, to the Morph parameter.
Setting the AET Filter module up in this way allows you to morph between your articulations in real-time using the modulation wheel.
That’s it — when you play some notes now, you can seamlessly morph between “ahh” and
“ooh” using the modulation wheel. Of course, you can also create morphs across more than
two Morph Layers; by repeating the steps above, you could easily add another layer of the choir
singing “mmh” to your patch.
Now that you know how to use AET in your own Instruments, we’ll conclude this section with a
description of the involved dialogs and their options.
23.1.4
Create AET Morph Layer Dialog
This dialog appears when you select the Create AET morph layer command from the Edit or
context menu of the Mapping Editor. Its function is explained in section ↑23.1.3, Creating an
Articulation Morph.
Name: The name of this Morph Layer, which will be used to identify it in the Morph Map Editor.
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Smoothing: This value affects how much the analyzed frequency response will be smoothed
out before it’s being used as a template for the filter. Sensible values range from 0.1 (no
smoothing) to around 2.0 (strong smoothing).
Tonal: When this option is active, KONTAKT will analyze each sample harmonically in relation
to the fundamental frequency of its respective root key value. You should only turn it off for
material that’s entirely non-tonal, such as noise or percussion, or in case the root key value is
wrong; in that case, KONTAKT will perform a plain frequency analysis with no respect to harmonic structures.
Root Key Shift: As described above, KONTAKT will use the root key value of a Zone to determine its Sample’s fundamental frequency when the Tonal option is enabled. There are cases,
though, where the root key value deliberately differs from the true fundamental frequency of
the Sample. For instance, you could be working on a patch that places multiple playing techniques of the same instrument in different octaves, so that C2 and C4 play the same note, but
with different articulations. In that case, using the root key value without correction would mislead the analyzer into considering the wrong frequencies; with the Root Key Shift parameter,
you can specify an offset between the actual note of the Sample and its root key value in semitones. The default value of 0 assumes a correct root key setting; a value of -12 corresponds to
the actual fundamental tone being one octave below the root key.
Analysis Range: Click and drag the borders of the selection range here to limit the analysis
process to a certain time frame of each sample. When analyzing samples that change their
timbre over time, this allows you to tell KONTAKT at which point in a note the instrument will
exhibit its most characteristic frequency spectrum, and exclude the rest from influencing the
analysis result. For a piano or guitar, this would be the first seconds of each note; if you’d include the whole decay phase in the analysis, the average spectrum would turn out much darker.
Number of Zones: The number of Zones that are currently selected in the Mapping Editor and
will be included in this Morph Layer when you click OK.
23.1.5
Morph Map Editor
This dialog appears when you select the Open AET morph map editor command from the Edit
or context menu of the Mapping Editor. Its function is explained in section ↑23.1.3, Creating
an Articulation Morph.
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The AET morph map editor dialog.
Add: Enter a name in the input field next to this button and click it to create a new, empty
Morph Map.
Map: This pull-down menu contains all available Morph Maps of your Instrument. Select one to
edit it.
Remove: Deletes the currently selected Morph Map from the Instrument, thereby bypassing any
AET Filter modules that reference this map.
Velocity/Articulation: Specify the principal type of the Morph Map here. Velocity maps morph
between the Zones of a single Morph Layer, while Articulation Maps morph between multiple
Morph Layers. Refer to the previous subsection for a thorough discussion of the differences.
Morph Layers in Current Map: Contains the names of all Morph Layers that make up the current
map. Selecting a layer and clicking the right arrow button removes it from the map.
Available Morph Layers: Contains the names of the Morph Layers available for inclusion in the
current map. Selecting a layer from this list and clicking the left arrow button will add this layer to the Morph Map.
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Delete: Selecting a Morph Layer from one of the lists and clicking this button will remove it
from your Instrument.
Rebuild: This will re-open the Create Morph Layer dialog for the currently selected Layer, which
allows you to readjust its analysis parameters.
23.1.6
AET Filter Module Controls
This is the processing module that performs the actual filtering of the source material. When
using AET via the Auto add AET velocity morph command, KONTAKT will set this module up
for you; in all other cases, you’ll have to insert it into a Group Insert FX chain yourself.
The control panel of the AET Filter module. Shown here is an auto-generated velocity morph across six layers.
Morph Map: Use this drop-down menu to load a Morph Map into the module.
Edit Morph Map: Click this button to open the Morph Map editor dialog explained in the previous section with the active Morph Map selected.
Morph: This is the most important parameter of the module; it should usually be modulated
with an external source, such as the note velocity or a MIDI controller. Based on the contents
of the selected Morph Map, KONTAKT will build a continuous “morph gradient” that combines
and connects the filter responses required to achieve the various timbres of the included
Morph Layers with smooth transitions. Using the Morph parameter, you can set the filter to any
point in this gradient. At its lowest value, the signal is changed towards the respective sample
in the first Morph Layer of the map (if this happens to be identical with the playing sample,
the filter will be flat); at its highest value, the sample is changed towards the respective sample in the last Morph Layer of the map. You can follow this behavior graphically in the morph
curve view described below.
Amount: The amount to which the filter influences the resulting signal. At the lowest setting,
the filter has no effect.
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Transient Master
Filter Curve: This graph represents the actual, currently active filter response, which is the difference between the analyzed frequency response of the source (i.e. the currently playing Sample) and the target (i.e. the Morph Layer that appears in the Morph Map at the point that’s set
with the Morph knob).
Morph Curve View: This is a graphical representation of the selected Morph Map and the resulting filter gradient. It’s divided into multiple color-coded sections and curves, with the sections
depicting the Morph Layers that make up the map, and the curves representing the amount to
which the frequency response of the respective layer will influence the final filter response at
any point. On top of each section, the name of the respective Morph Layer is being shown for
reference. At the peak of each curve, the currently played sample will be morphed into the frequency response of the respective layer to the maximum amount. The section and curve of the
active sample (i.e. the source) are marked yellow; these correspond to a flat filter response.
The sections and curves of the other layers are alternatingly colored white and blue. When
playing a note and changing the Morph parameter, a horizontal, angled bracket below the
graph marks the source and target points of the gradient that KONTAKT uses to determine the
final filter response.
Output: The output level of the module in dB.
23.2
Transient Master
The Transient Master is an easy to use compressor designed to control the attack and sustain
of a sound. Instead of following the amplitude of the sound like a traditional compressor, it
follows the general envelope and is thus not as susceptible to changes of input gain. It is best
used on sounds with fast attacks, like percussion, pianos or guitars. The Transient Master can
also be quite extreme in some cases, so use it with caution.
The Transient Master.
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Effects
Feedback Compressor
Controls
▪ Smooth: Transient Master is designed mainly to work on drums or percussive material, so
certain input signals (for example: an acoustic guitar) may not work ideally in the default
mode, so try switching this button on if you are encountering problems.
▪ Input: Controls the input gain to the effect.
▪ Attack: Controls the scaling of the attack portion of the input signal’s volume envelope. Increasing this parameter will add more punch and decreasing it will reduce sharp attacks.
▪ Sustain: Controls the scaling of the sustain portion of the input signal’s volume envelope.
Increasing this parameter will add more body to the sound and decreasing it will reduce
the sound’s tail.
▪ Ouput: Controls the output gain after the effect. For dynamic effects like compressors, this
is very important.
23.3
Feedback Compressor
Compressors are dynamic tools that automatically reduce the level of loud passages in a signal,
thereby affecting the signal's dynamic range. A feedback compressor is a type of compressor
that compares the amplifier's output signal, rather than the input signal, to a threshold level.
When the threshold level is reached, the compressor reduces the signal's gain level. The Feedback Compressor is modeled after a classic feedback compressor known for its bright and punchy sound.
The Feedback Compressor
Controls
These are the Feedback Compressor's controls:
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Effects
Solid Bus Comp
▪ High Quality: Toggles oversampling within the effect, which can increase audio quality, but
will also increase CPU load.
▪ St. Link (Stereo link): When enabled, this causes the compressor to always act on the left
and right channel in unison; this preserves the stereo image. When disabled, the Feedback
Compressor becomes a dual mono processor, which means that both channels will be processed independently.
▪ Input: Adjusts both the input level and the threshold simultaneously. Turning this knob
clockwise will result in more compression.
▪ Ratio: Determines the amount of compression. 1.0 means no compression at all, while 2.0
means that a 2 dB increase at the input will raise the output by only 1 dB.
▪ Attack: Controls the scaling of the attack phase of the input signal's volume envelope. Increasing this parameter will add more punch and decreasing it will reduce sharp attacks.
▪ Release: Determines how long it takes for the compression action to stop after the input
signal falls below the threshold level. Typical values range from 50 to 250 ms.
▪ Makeup: Controls the output gain of the compressed signal. Used to compensate for the
gain reduction of the effect.
▪ Mix: Controls the dry/wet mix of the compressor. This can be used to create a parallel compression style routing, which increases the quieter signals rather than reducing the louder
ones. At a setting of 100% you will only hear the compressed signal; at a setting of 0% you
will only hear the unprocessed input signal.
▪ Output: Controls the module’s output level.
▪ Gain Reduction Meter: The meter to the bottom right shows the amount of gain reduction
in dB.
23.4
Solid Bus Comp
Compressors are dynamic tools which automatically reduce the level of loud passages in a signal, thereby affecting the signal’s dynamic range. The Solid Bus Comp is modelled after a
classic analog bus compressor. It offers a more characteristic dynamic control than KONTAKT’s standard compressor.
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Effects
Solid Bus Comp
The SolidBusComp.
Controls
▪ Link (Stereo link): When enabled, this causes the compressor to always act on the left and
right channel in unison; this preserves the stereo image. When disabled, the Compressor
becomes a dual mono processor, which means that both channels will be processed independently.
▪ Threshold: Sets a level threshold above which the Compressor starts working. Only levels
that rise above this threshold will be reduced by the compression; signals that stay below it
will be left unprocessed.
▪ Ratio: Controls the amount of compression, expressed as a ratio of “input level change”
against “output level change”. A Ratio of 1:1 means that no compression will be happening. For example, a Setting of 4 represents the ration 4:1, which means for every 4 decibel
increase of amplitude above the threshold, the output will increase by only 1 decibel.
▪ Attack: Adjusts the time the Compressor will take to reach the full Ratio value after an input signal exceeds the Threshold level.
▪ Release: Adjusts the time the compressor will take to fall back to non-compression after
the input signal falls below the threshold.
▪ Makeup: Controls the output gain of the compressed signal. Used to compensate for the
gain reduction of the effect.
▪ Mix: Controls the dry/wet mix of the compressor. This can be used to create a parallel compression style routing, which increases the quieter signals rather than reducing the louder
ones. At a setting of 100% you will only hear the compressed signal, at a setting of 0% you
will only hear the unprocessed input signal.
▪ Output: Controls the module’s output level.
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Effects
Compressor
23.5
Compressor
Compressors are dynamic tools which automatically reduce the level of loud passages in a signal, thereby affecting the signal’s dynamic range. They are invaluable tools for a lot of common
tasks — for instance, they can be used for reducing level peaks, thereby allowing the overall
signal volume to be turned up without making it clip, or in other words, increasing the average
volume of a signal. By careful adjustment of the attack and release times, they can also modify
signal transients, allowing you to add punch to weak-sounding drums or taming exaggerated
“clicking” in percussion sounds. However, there is a point of diminishing returns; too much
compression can result in a rather strained and weak sound.
The Compressor.
Controls
▪ Mode: Choose between Classic, Enhanced, and Pro mode. Each of these settings provides
a different flavor of compression; if you feel you can’t make a setting work with your sound,
you should experiment with the other modes in this menu.
▪ St.Link (Stereo link): When enabled, this causes the compressor to always act on the left
and right channel in unison; this preserves the stereo image. When disabled, the Compressor becomes a dual mono processor, which means that both channels will be processed independently.
▪ Thresh: Sets a level threshold above which the Compressor starts working. Only levels that
rise above this threshold will be reduced by the compression; signals that stay below it will
be left unprocessed.
▪ Ratio: Controls the amount of compression, expressed as a ratio of “input level change”
against “output level change”. A Ratio of 1:1 means that no compression will be happening. A Ratio of 2:1 means that a level increase of 2 dB at the input will raise the output
level by only 1 dB (keep in mind, though, that this applies only for input levels above the
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Effects
Limiter
threshold). A 4:1 Ratio results in more aggressive compression, with a 4 dB level increase
at the input causing a 1 dB increase at the output. Typical ratios for natural compression
of instruments are between 2:1 and 4:1.
▪ Attack: Adjusts the time the Compressor will take to reach the full Ratio value after an input signal exceeds the Threshold level. If you’re using compression mainly for transparent
dynamic reduction, values between 5 and 10 ms are a good starting point. Longer attack
times can be useful for emphasizing transients and adding “punch” to a signal.
▪ Release: Adjusts the time the compressor will take to fall back to non-compression after
the input signal falls below the threshold. Typical values range from 50 to 250 ms.
▪ Output: Controls the module’s output level. This knob acts as a make-up gain control,
which allows you to bring the output signal up to the same peak level as the input signal
after compression. After you’ve found a compression setting, it’s good practice to adjust
the input and output signals so they have comparable levels, and then compare them via
the Bypass button. This way, you can make sure your adjustment really made the signal
sound better (and not just louder).
23.6
Limiter
Limiters are actually a special form of compressors with a ratio of one to infinity, a threshold
just below the maximum level, and a very short attack time. They act as a “safety net” to keep
short signal peaks from overloading the system, which would result in audio clipping. While
compressors have a range of artistic applications, limiters are usually used for technical reasons — they can tame signals with peaks which would otherwise overload the output, without
requiring you to turn the signal’s overall volume down.
The Limiter.
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Effects
Tape Saturator
Controls
▪ In Gain: Sets the gain of the input signal. The Limiter is different from the Compressor in
that it has a fixed threshold; to achieve a sensible peak reduction, use this control to adjust
the input gain until you see the Attenuation meter responding only to occasional level
peaks.
▪ Release: Just like the Compressor’s control of the same name, this knob adjusts the time it
takes the Limiter to return to an unprocessed signal after the input level falls below the
threshold.
▪ Attenuation: This LED-style meter shows the amount of gain reduction that the Limiter imposes on the signal. Limiting works best if this meter responds only to occasional level
peaks; if it indicates permanent action, it’s a sure sign that your In Gain is set too high.
This can considerably degrade the quality of your signal.
▪ Output: Adjusts the module’s output level.
23.7
Tape Saturator
The Tape Saturator emulates the soft compression and distortion of recording to tape. It can
be used lightly to add warmth and coloring to the sound, or heavily to add aggressive distortion.
The Tape Saturator.
Controls
▪ High Quality: Toggles oversampling within the effect, which can increase audio quality, but
will also increase CPU load.
▪ Gain: Controls the input gain of the effect. This will increase the amount of tape distortion
and compression.
▪ Warmth: Controls the low frequency boost/cut of the effect.
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Effects
Distortion
▪ HF Rolloff: Controls the high frequency rolloff starting frequency. Frequencies above this
point will be attenuated.
▪ Output: Controls the output gain of the effect.
23.8
Distortion
This module causes distortion by clipping or rounding off high sample values. It thereby simulates the behavior of overloaded transistor or tube circuits, adding artificial harmonics to a
sound.
The Distortion module.
Controls
▪ Mode menu: Selects between either Tube or Transistor characteristics. Tube distortion creates a smooth saturation, which emphasizes even harmonics, while the Transistor setting
generates odd harmonics that create a harsher-sounding clipping effect.
▪ Drive: Adjusts the amount of distortion.
▪ Damping: Turning this knob clockwise attenuates high frequencies in the output signal,
thereby counteracting the brightness caused by the artificial harmonics.
▪ Output: Adjusts the module’s output level. Since distortion boosts the gain considerably,
it’s often necessary to attenuate the signal at the output stage.
23.9
Lo-Fi
This module adds various digital artifacts, like quantization noise or aliasing, to a clean signal.
It’s great for roughing up sounds that would otherwise be too plain and featureless.
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Effects
Saturation
The Lo-Fi module.
Controls
▪ Bits: Re-quantizes the signal to an adjustable bit depth. Fractional bit levels (such as 12.4
bits) are possible and can add considerable “grit”. Audio CDs have a quantization depth of
16 bits, old samplers frequently used 8 or 12 bits, and 4 bits evoke memories of countless
irritating children’s toys.
▪ S.Rate (Sample Rate): Re-samples the signal to an adjustable sample rate. The re-sampling is done without any kind of (usually mandatory) low-pass filtering, which causes all
kinds of wonderful aliasing artifacts. The sample rate goes all the way down to 50 Hz,
which will not leave much of the original signal.
▪ Noise: Adds hiss to the audio signal.
▪ N.Color: Adjusts the frequency characteristic of the noise and acts as a low-pass filter.
▪ Output: Adjusts the module’s output level.
23.10 Saturation
This module is basically an amplifier with a non-linear characteristic. It allows you to recreate
the effect of tape saturation, which causes an increase of high-level energy in your signal.
The Saturation module.
Controls
▪ Mode menu: Select the saturation type: Classic, Enhanced or Drums. Classic is the original
KONTAKT algorithm, Enhanced is a higher quality saturation mode and Drums is the saturation model used by MASCHINE
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Effects
Cabinet
▪ Saturation: Adjusts the transfer curve. A negative setting results in a characteristic that will
expand the signal — lower sample values will be attenuated, higher values will be amplified. Positive settings do the opposite and thusly simulate the compression-like saturation
of an analogue circuit. At a value of 0.0, the signal will pass the module unprocessed.
▪ Output: Adjusts the module’s output level.
23.11 Cabinet
This module simulates the sound of a guitar cabinet recorded through a microphone. By following a distortion effect (like the Skreamer) with this module in your insert chain, you can
simulate a complete guitar amp.
The Cabinet.
Controls
▪ Cabinet Type (small pane at the left side of the module): Allows you to choose the simulated cabinet model via the up and down buttons.
▪ Size: Adjusts the size of the simulated cabinet. Larger cabinets tend to have a more pronounced bass response, while smaller cabinets can sound thin and tinny.
▪ Air: Controls the level of early reflections in the room response, adding a sense of space to
the sound.
▪ TREB (upper horizontal fader): Boosts or cuts the level of the higher frequencies.
▪ BASS (lower horizontal fader): Boosts or cuts the level of the lower frequencies.
▪ Output: Adjusts the module’s output level.
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Effects
Skreamer
23.12 Skreamer
This module offers an alternate overdrive algorithm that sounds warmer and smoother than the
Distortion effect.
The Skreamer.
Controls
▪ Tone: Controls the brightness of the sound. Turning this knob clockwise will result in a
more pronounced top-end, which works great on bright, screaming leads and biting
rhythms. Turning it counter-clockwise results in a mellower, darker sound.
▪ Drive: Adjusts the amount of distortion.
▪ Bass: Adjusts the low frequency gain.
▪ Bright: Adjusts the high frequency gain.
▪ Clean: Blends clean signal into the distorted tone. At 0.0 %, only the distorted signal is
audible, while at 100.0 %, equal amounts of distorted and clean signal are mixed.
▪ Output: Adjusts the module’s output level.
23.13 Twang
The Twang effect simulates the rich tube sound of classic guitar amps from decades ago. It’s
ideal for screaming leads and crunchy rhythm guitar sounds, as well as clean sounds with personality.
The Twang.
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Effects
Jump
Controls
▪ Bright: A tonal option which increases the high frequency content of the signal.
▪ Polyphonic: If this button is inactive, the Twang module will work as a mono effect, which
causes stereo signals to be summed to mono at its input; when active, the effect operates
on each input channel separately.
▪ Volume: Controls the input level. In contrast to the Output knob, which merely adjusts the
overall level of the module, this knob works like the gain control of a guitar amp and affects the amount of distortion.
▪ Treble, Mid and Bass: These controls adjust the respective levels of the signal’s high, midrange, and low frequency components.
▪ Output: Adjusts the module’s output level.
23.14 Jump
The Jump effect simulates the classic tone of British guitar amplifiers. It is ideal for creating
smooth, singing lead sounds. The Jump effect is available on both the Group and Instrument
level.
The Jump Effect
Controls
These are the Jump effect's controls:
▪ HiGain: Increases the preamp's gain potential. Switch to HiGain mode if you want to create
distinctly distorted or saturated sounds.
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Effects
Van51
▪ Mono: When this button is engaged, all channels of the input signal will be summed to a
mono signal before being processed. This happens regardless of the number of channels
the input signal consists of, i.e. no matter whether it is a mono, stereo, or 5.1 signal.
When this button is not engaged, each channel is processed individually. Please note that
this can increase the CPU load considerably.
▪ PreAmp: Sets the amount of gain added by the preamp. Turning it clockwise adds drive,
distortion and edge to the sound.
▪ Master: Adjusts the amp’s master volume.
▪ Bass: Adjusts the low frequency response.
▪ Mid: Adjusts the midrange frequency response.
▪ Treble: Adjusts the high frequency response.
▪ Presence: Boosts the frequency response in the upper midrange.
▪ Output: Adjusts the module's output level.
23.15 Van51
One of the benchmarks in high gain amplifiers. Van51 delivers a wide range of raw and edgy in
your face guitar tones. The Van51 effect is available on both the Group and Instrument level.
The Van51 Effect
Controls
These are the Van51 effect's controls:
▪ Lead Channel: Switches between Rhythm (when inactive) and Lead (when active) channels.
▪ HiGain: Toggles between normal and high gain amplification.
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Effects
ACBox
▪ Bright: When active, this adds high frequency boost in the Rhythm channel.
▪ Crunch: Adds a large amount of distortion in the Rhythm channel.
▪ Mono: When this button is engaged, all channels of the input signal will be summed to a
mono signal before being processed.
When this button is not engaged, each channel is processed individually. Please note that
this can increase the CPU load considerably.
▪ Rhythm: Controls the amount of preamp overdrive of the Rhythm channel.
▪ Bass: Adjusts the low frequency response.
▪ Middle: Adjusts the mid frequency response.
▪ Treble: Adjusts the high frequency response.
▪ Lead: Controls the amount of preamp overdrive of the Lead channel.
▪ Post Gain: Controls the master volume of both channels and the poweramp saturation.
▪ Presence: Boosts the frequency response in the upper midrange.
▪ Reso: Controls the low range frequency response in the poweramp.
▪ Output: Adjusts the module's output level.
23.16 ACBox
The ACBox models the guitar amplifier sound that powered the British Invasion of pop music.
There were many versions of this highly original amp made, each having a different character.
We chose a model that stands out with a unique flavor and includes the famous Top Boost
channel!
The Normal channel has a treble Tone Cut control while the Brilliant channel offers Treble and
Bass controls.
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Effects
HotSolo
The ACBox Effect
Controls
These are the ACBox effect's controls:
▪ Mono: When this button is engaged, all channels of the input signal will be summed to a
mono signal before being processed.
When this button is not engaged, each channel is processed individually. Please note that
this can increase the CPU load considerably.
▪ Norm Vol: Sets the level for the Normal channel. The Treble and Bass controls have no effect in this channel.
▪ Brill Vol: Sets the level for the Brilliant channel.
▪ Trem Sp: Sets the rate of the tremolo.
▪ Trem Dpt: Controls the amount of tremolo applied. The effect is off when fully turned
down.
▪ Treble: Adjusts the high frequency response for the Brilliant channel.
▪ Bass: Adjusts the low frequency response for the Brilliant channel.
▪ Tone Cut: Controls a low-pass filter. By turning the knob clockwise treble in the output of
the Normal channel is reduced.
▪ Output: Adjusts the module's output level.
23.17 HotSolo
A model of a guitar amplifier that is considered to be a modern classic. HotSolo employs two
separate preamplifier channels and heaps of gain for a distinctly contemporary rock sound.
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Effects
Cat
The HotSolo Effect
Controls
These are the HotSolo effect's controls:
▪ Overdrive: Switches between the Normal (when off) and Overdrive (when on) channels.
▪ Mono: When this button is engaged, all channels of the input signal will be summed to a
mono signal before being processed.
When this button is not engaged, each channel is processed individually. Please note that
this can increase the CPU load considerably.
▪ Bass: Adjusts the low frequency response.
▪ Mid: Adjusts the midrange frequency response.
▪ Treble: Adjusts the high frequency response.
▪ Presence: Boosts the frequency response in the upper midrange.
▪ Norm Pre: Sets the preamp gain for the low gain channel.
▪ Ovrd Pre: Sets the preamp gain for the high gain channel.
▪ Master: Controls the overall output level.
▪ Depth: Controls the low range frequency response in the power amp.
▪ Output: Adjusts the module's output level.
23.18 Cat
Cat simulates a guitar distortion pedal, ideal for blues and rock tones.
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Effects
DStortion
The Cat Effect
Controls
These are the Cat effect's controls:
▪ Mono: When this button is engaged, all channels of the input signal will be summed to a
mono signal before being processed. This happens regardless of the number of channels
the input signal consists of, i.e. no matter whether it is a mono, stereo, or 5.1 signal.
When this button is not engaged, each channel is processed individually. Please note that
this can increase the CPU load considerably.
▪ Volume: The master volume control for the effect.
▪ Filter: For a darker sound, turn clockwise to enhance the low frequency range; turn counter-clockwise for a brighter, sharper sound.
▪ Distortion: Controls the amount of distortion applied.
▪ Balls: Adds low-end punch. Turning it counter-clockwise creates a flatter, more biting
sound.
▪ Bass: Adjusts the low frequency response.
▪ Treble: Adjusts the high frequency response.
▪ Tone: Adjusts the frequency range influenced by the built-in pre-distortion midrange booster.
▪ Output: Adjusts the module's output level.
23.19 DStortion
An emulation of a classic guitar distortion effect pedal.
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Effects
Rotator
The DStortion Effect
Controls
These are the DStortion effect's controls:
▪ Mono: When this button is engaged, all channels of the input signal will be summed to a
mono signal before being processed.
When this button is not engaged, each channel is processed individually. Please note that
this can increase the CPU load considerably.
▪ Volume: The master volume control for this effect.
▪ Tone: turning this control clockwise accents the midrange while dropping the bass. Counterclockwise takes off the highs and boosts the bass for a warmer sound.
▪ Drive: adds dirt to the sound.
▪ Bass: Adjusts the low frequency response.
▪ Mid: Adjusts the midrange frequency response.
▪ Treble: Adjusts the high frequency response.
▪ Output: Adjusts the module's output level.
23.20 Rotator
The Rotator effect realistically simulates the sound of rotating speaker cabinets, which are
commonly associated with drawbar organs that became popular in rock music of the 60s and
70s. Although the effect is almost intrinsically tied to "the" prototypical drawbar organ sound,
it works equally well on guitars, synth pads, and a wide range of other sounds.
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Effects
Surround Panner
The Rotator.
Controls
▪ Speed: Although this parameter appears as a knob in order to facilitate automating, it really only has 2 positions — Slow and Fast. A change of this setting realistically simulates the
acceleration or braking of the rotor.
▪ Acceleration and Brake Speed (horizontal faders next to the Speed control): These adjust
how quickly the rotors of the treble (upper fader) and bass (lower fader) parts of the cabinet will react to speed changes. At the rightmost position, the respective speaker will
change its speed instantly, while it will take a long time to reach its designated speed with
the fader at the leftmost position.
▪ Balance: Controls the relative levels of the cabinet’s treble and bass parts.
▪ Distance: Controls the simulated distance between the cabinet and the pickup microphones. A closer distance results in a wider stereo panorama.
23.21 Surround Panner
This module provides extensive and powerful surround mixing and automation capabilities to
Group signals. It works with a multitude of input and output channel configurations, ranging
from mono up to 16-channel surround sound, and allows you to place input signals as sound
sources on a spatial plane, move them either manually or via automation, and simulate a range
of natural dampening and doppler effects which occur when sound sources are being moved
around the listener.
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Effects
Surround Panner
The Surround Panner.
Menus and Buttons
Surround Format: This drop-down menu selects the output format of the module. Options
range from simple speaker-subwoofer splits (1.1) up to 16-channel surround formats, and also
include a wide range of common cinema and music surround formats like 5.1, 7.1 and 10.2.
Changing this setting does not affect the positions of your sound sources on the plane. The following table lists all available surround formats along with their channel assignments. Refer to
these channel maps if you’re unsure which channel will carry which speaker signal at the module’s output.
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Effects
Surround Panner
Table of available surround formats, along with their channel assignments.
23.21.1 Explanation of channel abbreviations:
Channel
Abbreviation
Left
L
Right
R
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Effects
Surround Panner
Channel
Abbreviation
Left 2
L2
Right 2
R2
Left 3
L3
Right 3
R3
Center
C
Left Center
Lc
Right Center
Rc
Center Surround
Cs
Center Center
CC
Center 2
C2
Center 3
C3
Surround
S
Left Surround
Ls
Right Surround
Rs
Low Frequency Effects
Lf
Left High
Lh
Right High
Rh
If you need to re-assign channels to different outputs, you can do this on the Channel Routing
page of the Amplifier Module (refer to chapter ↑21, The Amplifier Module of this manual for an
in-depth explanation).
Mouse Mode: This drop-down menu allows you to choose from a list of algorithms which affect
how your input sources will be positioned on the plane and respond to mouse movements.
▪ Mono Mix: All sound sources will be set to the same position.
▪ Sync: When you drag a sound source, all other sound sources will move along in the same
direction.
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Effects
Surround Panner
▪ Center Mirror: Sound source positions will be mirrored at the center point of the plane.
▪ X Mirror: Sound source positions will be mirrored along the X axis.
▪ Y Mirror: Sound source positions will be mirrored along the Y axis.
▪ XY Mirror: Sound source positions will be mirrored along the X and Y axis.
▪ Individual: Each source can be positioned individually with the mouse.
Algorithm: Determines how the level of a sound source will be affected by its distance from the
center. The drop-down menu offers three algorithms:
▪ Constant Power: This panning algorithm will adjust the relative speaker levels of a sound
source in a way that preserves the source’s apparent volume, regardless of its panning position. Placing a source icon right above a channel icon will isolate the source signal on the
respective channel. Moving it around the plane will distribute its signal among the respective speakers in relation to their distance from the source, keeping the overall apparent volume (or, more precisely, the power) constant. This behavior will be affected by the Divergence setting.
▪ Sinusoid: This algorithm uses a sine function to adjust the volume of a source in relation to
its distance from each speaker. Setting the Divergence parameter to lower values will result
in a more directional image. If you move a source far away from speakers and use a high
Divergence setting, its level can drop to silence.
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Effects
Surround Panner
▪ Logarithmic: This panning algorithm uses a logarithmic function to change the level of a
source in relation to its distance from each speaker.
None of the above algorithms or modes is tied to a specific channel format. We recommend
that you experiment with the algorithms and parameters in order to find the most suitable setting for your surround production.
Air Absorption: If a sound source moves away from a listener in the real world, the sound that
reaches the listener will gradually lose its high frequencies. When this button is activated, the
Surround Panner will simulate this absorption effect. If you’d like to increase the impression of
distance further, even after you’ve dragged a sound source all the way to the plane border, increasing the size of the sound field with the Size control will gain you some more space.
Delay: As sound waves take some time to propagate through the air, sounds from sources which
are further away from a listener will be delayed in relation to sounds in the vicinity. When this
button is activated, the Surround Panner will replicate this effect with a delay line. Enabling
this feature can dramatically improve localization, but it also uses a lot of CPU power. If you
want to simulate positioning entirely with delays (and keep levels always constant), set the divergence control to 0%.
Doppler Effect: In the real world, this effect — usually associated with ambulances or racing
cars going past — is a direct consequence of the delay and intrinsically tied to it; in the microcosm of KONTAKT, though, both effects can be separately controlled. When this button is activated, the Surround Panner simulates the pitch change when a sound source moves quickly
toward or away from a listener. To hear this effect in action, move the sound source rapidly
from one corner into the opposite one. It’s more pronounced when the travel distance is longer,
so you might have to zoom out with the Size control in order to hear it.
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Effects
Surround Panner
The Surround Panner Options dialog lets you adjust various parameters of the Doppler, Air Absorption, and Delay effects.
Options: This button will open a pop-up dialog which allows you to change the underlying parameters of the Doppler, Air Absorption, and Delay effects; furthermore, you can adjust the
crossover frequency for the LFE channel. The dialog will also display the number of input and
output channels that are currently in use. The button labeled Out Routing… will take you directly to the Channel Routing section of the Amplifier Module, where you can change channel
routings and create mix-up or mix-down configurations to convert between channel layouts.
23.21.2 Controls
Output: Adjust the module’s output level.
Divergence: Adjusts the amount of distance-dependent level changes and, consequently, the
directional focus of sound sources on the surround plane. Setting the knob to 0% will result in
constant levels regardless of positioning.
Size: Adjusts the size of the surround plane. When set to 100%, the area surrounded by the
speakers will fill out the plane window, so it won’t be possible to move a sound source beyond
the limits of the speakers. Turning the knob counter-clockwise will “zoom out” and allow you
to place sources outside the area of the speaker arrangement.
LFE: If the currently selected output configuration includes a low frequency effects (LFE) channel, this control adjusts its output level. Note that the LFE channel signal is derived from a
sum of all input signals via a frequency crossover; the frequency at which the split occurs can
be set in the options dialog.
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Effects
Surround Panner
X Shift: Imparts a constant offset on the X positions of all sound sources.
Y Shift: Imparts a constant offset on the Y positions of all sound sources.
Angle: Rotates all sound sources around the center point.
Distance: Adds a constant offset to the distances of all sound sources from the center point.
Meter: The output levels of all channels in the currently selected Surround Format are displayed here.
23.21.3 Surround Panner Automation
Automating the surround panner is particularly interesting for creating sounds that move
around the room. There are several ways to accomplish this. If you need complete control over
your motion patterns, you can use your host automation or external MIDI controllers to control
the positioning parameters from outside KONTAKT. If you want to create automatic motion, using KONTAKT’s Modulation Router opens up a range of very interesting and creative possibilities.
23.21.4 Host/MIDI Automation
If you want to modulate the Surround Panner via your host or external MIDI controllers, you
can assign external host automation data or MIDI controllers to the X Shift, Y Shift, Angle, and
Distance parameters by dragging the respective automation sources from the Auto tab of the
Browser onto the knobs you’d like to automate. For more information about external automation, refer to section ↑13.6, Automation Tab of this manual.
23.21.5 Internal Modulation
Using internal modulators on the Surround Panner offers a multitude of interesting possibilities, ranging from sounds that move around the room in a circular fashion to unpredictable and
organic patterns of random motion. To create a modulation assignment, right-click a knob and
choose a modulation source from the drop-down menu, then adjust the assignment parameters
and the source’s controls (if any). Note that only the knobs to the right of the XY pad can be
assigned for internal modulation. The knobs on the left can be automated via MIDI CC.
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Surround Panner
The buttons to the right of the XY pad can be assigned to a selected modulation source.
After you have created an assignment, observe the Surround Panner’s plane window when playing a note; you’ll notice that for every static source icon, there’s a darker icon moving along the
plane. The bright icons display the sources’ original positions (which can still be changed by
dragging the icons around), while the darker icons depict the actual positions after all modulations have been applied.
It’s hardly possible to describe the whole range of applications of modulating the Surround
Panner’s parameters, so we’ll look at a few common scenarios instead. Re-creating these
should get you a feel for what will be possible with some further experimentation.
▪ Circular motion. In order to rotate your sources around a pivot point, thereby creating a circular motion path, modulate the Angle parameter of the Surround Panner via a Sawtooth
LFO. The distance of each source from the pivot point can be changed either by dragging
the original positions, or via adjusting the surround panner’s Distance parameter. To
change the direction of the movement, enable the Invert button of the assignment in the
Modulation Router. You can also synchronize the motion to the host or Master Editor tempo
by switching the unit of the LFO’s Freq. parameter to a note value.
▪ Random motion. This is a basic method to make your sources move around in an unpredictable way. Just assign two random modulators to the X Shift and Y Shift parameters. You can
adjust how far the sources will stray from their original positions by adjusting the modulation intensities of these assignments.
▪ Fly-by paths. Assigning envelope modulators to various parameters, most notably X Shift
and Y Shift, allows you to define accurate and reproducible motion paths. It can get a
while to understand how various envelope shapes relate to the resulting motion patterns,
but once you’ve gotten the grip on it, you’ll be able to create virtually all kinds of pre-defined motion paths — especially when you’re using flexible envelopes.
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Stereo Modeller
23.22 Stereo Modeller
This module allows you to control the width of your signal’s stereo base, change the panning,
and create a pseudo-stereo signal from mono sources.
The Stereo Modeller.
Controls
▪ Pseudo Stereo: When activated, the module uses a pseudo-stereo algorithm to create a
stereo signal from a mono source. This feature should only be used with mono signals and
tends to create mono-incompatible sounds, which can disappear from a mix when it’s being played back in mono.
▪ Spread: Collapses (counter-clockwise) or expands (clockwise) your signal’s stereo base. At
the far left position, stereo signals will be summed to mono. Positive values will result in
an artificial widening of stereo sources that has a tendency to apparently expand beyond
the speakers, but watch out — just like the Pseudo Stereo feature, this tends to cause
mono incompatibilities in your mix.
▪ Pan: This control allows you to place your signal within the stereo field. It works exactly
like the Pan control of the Amplifier module.
▪ Output: Adjusts the module’s output level.
23.23 Inverter
With this module, you can invert the phase of your audio signal, or swap the left and right
channels. Since the Inverter only makes sense as an insert effect, you can use this module only in the Group Insert Effects and Instrument Insert Effects chains.
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Send Levels
The Inverter.
Controls
▪ Phase Invert: Inverts the signal phase polarity.
▪ Pan L <> R: Swaps the stereo channels.
23.24 Send Levels
This utility module can be added to the Group Insert Effects and Instrument Insert Effects
chains and allows you to send a signal from within the insert chain to any existing send effect
at adjustable levels.
The Send Levels module.
Controls
▪ Levels: On the left side of the Send Levels module, you’ll see a level control for each send
effect that’s currently in one of your Instrument Send Effects slots — if you didn’t add any
send effects yet, the panel will be empty. The knobs allow you to adjust the level at which
the signal will be sent to the respective effect.
▪ Level meters: These LED-style peak meters provide visual feedback on the send levels.
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Delay
23.25 Delay
This module offers a delay line that can optionally be synced to the tempo and provides an adjustable feedback level, a low-pass filter, and a pan control for ping-pong echo effects. If you
don’t use the tempo syncing feature, the available delay range is 5 to 2900 ms. Delay times
lower than 20 ms are not discernible as delays, but can produce interesting comb filtering effects.
The Delay module.
Controls
▪ Time: The delay time in milliseconds. To synchronize the time to your host or Master Editor
tempo, click the Speed parameter’s unit display and choose a note length value from the
drop-down list.
▪ Damping: Attenuates high frequencies in the delayed signal. Turning this control clockwise
will increase the damping effect. If you have set a feedback level, the signal will gradually
lose more high frequency content with each repetition.
▪ Pan: Setting a value higher than 0 creates a panning effect, which alternates echos between the left and the right side of the stereo panorama — this is affectionally called a
ping-pong delay. Higher values will result in wider panning; at 100, signals alternate between the far left and far right channel.
▪ Feedb.: Controls the amount of the output signal that’s being fed back into the input of the
delay line, thereby creating a series of echos that gradually fade into silence.
▪ Return (visible when used as a send effect): Adjusts the module’s return level.
▪ Dry and Wet sliders (visible when used as an Instrument insert effect): Adjusts the respective levels of the original and processed signals. In common scenarios, the delayed signal is
mixed in at a lower level than the direct signal.
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Chorus
23.26 Chorus
The Chorus module “thickens” the audio signal by splitting it up and detuning one version in
relation to the original. Separate LFOs with an adjustable phase relationship detune each stereo channel independently for creating wide-panorama effects.
The Chorus module.
Controls
▪ Depth: Adjusts the range of modulated detuning. Higher values give a more pronounced
chorusing effect.
▪ Speed: Adjusts the LFO speed. To synchronize the speed to your host or Master Editor tempo, click the Speed parameter’s unit display and choose a note length value from the dropdown list.
▪ Phase (0 to 90 degrees): Imparts an LFO phase difference between the left and the right
stereo channel. This can considerably increase the width of the output signal’s stereo base.
▪ Return (visible when used as a send effect): Adjusts the module’s return level.
▪ Dry and Wet sliders (visible when used as an Instrument insert effect): Adjusts the respective levels of the original and processed signals. Note that the typical chorus effect is created by the combination of both signals, so setting these to the same levels results in the
most pronounced effect.
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Effects
Flanger
23.27 Flanger
This module splits the audio signal up and delays one version in relation to the original signal.
By modulating the delay time, as well as feeding an adjustable amount of the output signal
back into the input, the Flanger creates a characteristic “whooshing” sound. Just like the
Phaser module, the Flanger uses a separate LFO for each stereo channel, with the phase relationship between both LFOs being adjustable.
The Flanger.
Controls
▪ Depth: The amount of LFO modulation. Higher values cause the flanging effect to sweep
over a wider range.
▪ Speed: The LFO speed. To synchronize the speed to your host or Master Editor tempo, click
the Speed parameter’s unit display and choose a note length value from the drop-down list.
▪ Phase (0 to 90 degrees): Imparts an LFO phase difference between the left and the right
stereo channel. This can considerably increase the width of the output signal’s stereo base.
▪ Colour: Adjusts the delay line’s range of operation and, consequently, the color of the
flanging effect. Small values result in short modulated delay times, making the Flanger
sound more like a phaser.
▪ Feedb.: Feeds a certain amount of the delayed signal back into the module’s input, thereby
creating a more pronounced effect.
▪ Return (visible when used as a send effect): Adjusts the module’s return level.
▪ Dry and Wet sliders (visible when used as an Instrument insert effect): Adjusts the respective levels of the original and processed signals. Note that the typical flanging effect is created by the combination of both signals, so setting these to the same levels results in the
most pronounced effect.
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Phaser
23.28 Phaser
This effect continually changes the phase relationships in your signal with an all-pass filter.
This results in a comb filtering effect, which attenuates some frequencies while boosting others. The sound is similar to that of a flanger, but in a more subtle manner.
The Phaser.
Controls
▪ Depth: The amount of LFO modulation. Higher values cause the phaser effect to sweep
over a wider frequency range.
▪ Speed: The LFO modulation speed. To synchronize the speed to your host or Master Editor
tempo, click the Speed control’s unit display and choose a note length value from the dropdown list.
▪ Phase (0 to 90 degrees): Imparts an LFO phase difference between the left and the right
stereo channel. This can considerably increase the width of the output signal’s stereo base.
▪ Feedb.: This control adjusts the emphasis of the peaks and notches that the comb filter
effect imparts on the signal.
▪ Return (visible when used as Send Effect): Adjusts the return level of the module’s output
signal.
▪ Dry and Wet sliders (visible when used as an Instrument Insert Effect): Adjusts the respective levels of the original and processed signals. Note that the typical phasing effect is created by the combination of both signals, so setting these to the same levels results in the
most pronounced effect.
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Effects
Convolution
23.29 Convolution
Convolution is a sophisticated mathematical process that, technically speaking, allows you to
replicate the acoustical behavior of a linear system — such as a room, a speaker or a hardware
reverb unit — for use with your own signals. To accomplish this, a short audio recording of a
wide-band signal played through the system is fed into the convolution processor. This recording is usually a normal audio file, called an impulse response.
Convolution is best known among users as a method for achieving highly realistic reverbs; it
works just as well for simulating the characteristic resonances of speaker cabinets and other
loudspeakers, though.
KONTAKT’s Convolution processor is somewhat unique in that it fully supports a multi-channel
signal flow, allowing you to use surround impulse responses. It can be used within the Instrument Insert Effects and the Instrument Send Effects chains, or as an Output effect.
The Convolution processor.
KONTAKT includes an extensive library of impulse responses, which range from recordings of
real rooms and speaker cabinets to synthetic impulse responses that are well-suited for special
effects, but you can just as easily use third-party impulses in WAV format.
Controls
▪ Impulse Window: This window provides a display of the currently loaded impulse response
and, if active, the Volume Envelope. You can drag impulse responses from the library into
this window to load them — this will keep your other settings intact. The row at the top
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Convolution
displays the filename of the loaded impulse response, as well as its bit depth, sample rate,
and number of channels. Just like in the Mapping Editor and Wave Editor, hovering your
mouse pointer over the filename will show the full path to the file.
▪ Pre Dly.: Just like the Reverb module’s parameter of the same name, this control introduces a short amount of delay between the direct signal and the convolution output. This is
useful when used with reverb responses to simulate the reverberation of big rooms, where a
short delay occurs between the direct sound and the first reflections from distant walls.
▪ Return (visible when used as a send effect): Adjusts the module’s return level.
▪ Dry and Wet sliders (visible when used as an Instrument insert effect): Adjusts the respective levels of the original and processed signals. In common scenarios, the reverb signal is
mixed in at a lower level than the direct signal.
▪ Latency: Adjusts the module’s latency setting in five steps (1.5, 2.9, 5.8, 11.6, and 23.2
ms). If you hear crackles or other artifacts, you can try to increase this value, which will
result in KONTAKT’s overall latency being increased (and thus all signals being delayed). If
you don’t want this, you can disable the latency compensation by activating the last entry
in this menu. This way, the overall latency won’t be increased, but the wet signal of the
Convolution processor will be delayed in relation to the dry signal (which actually can work
just fine with reverbs).
▪ S.Rate: Allows you to divide the sample rate in nine steps (1/1, 1/1.5, 1/2, 1/2.5, 1/3,
1/4, 1/6, 1/8, and Auto). If the Preserve Length button is not enabled, changing the sample merely changes the playback speed of the impulse response, resulting in longer reverb
trails and changed frequency characteristics. Activating Preserve Length will keep the reverb trail intact, but lower the sampling rate at which the convolution process takes place,
thereby reducing the CPU usage along with the quality.
▪ Reverse Button: Reverses the impulse response for special effects.
▪ Auto Gain: If this button is active, the processor will keep the overall level constant when
parameters are adjusted that would otherwise affect the level. If you turn this off, be sure
to monitor at low levels as you make adjustments, as volume changes can be drastic —
take care of your ears!
▪ Volume Envelope: This feature allows you to change the volume characteristic of the impulse response to your needs. When activated, a graphically editable 8-segment envelope
will be drawn on top of the waveform display in the impulse response window.
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Reverb
▪ Early / Late: These mode buttons switch the 3 knobs below between affecting the early reflections and the trail part of the impulse response.
▪ IR Size: Artificially compresses or stretches the impulse response in time.
▪ HighPass: Adjusts the cutoff frequency below which the signal’s frequency content will be
attenuated.
▪ LowPass: Adjusts the cutoff frequency above which the signal’s frequency content will be
attenuated.
23.30 Reverb
This module simulates the natural reverberation that occurs when a sound source is placed in
an acoustic environment, thus adding a feeling of spaciousness to the sound.
The Reverb module.
Controls
▪ Pre Dly.: Introduces a short delay between the direct signal and the reverb trail build-up.
This corresponds to the natural reverberation behavior of large rooms, where a short time
elapses before the first reflection of a sound wave returns from a wall.
▪ Size: Adjusts the size of the simulated room. This affects the duration of the reverb trail.
▪ Colour: This control allows you to adjust the construction material of the simulated room
and, consequently, the color of the reverb trail. Low values simulate softer surfaces like
wood, while high values simulate the reflection behavior of hard surfaces like concrete.
▪ Damping: Sets the amount of simulated absorption that takes place in rooms due to furnishings, people, or acoustic treatments affecting the reflection behavior.
▪ Stereo: Higher values increase the stereo base width of the output signal. Lower values
simulate a closer distance to the sound source.
▪ Return (visible when used as a send effect): Adjusts the module’s return level.
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Gainer
▪ Dry and Wet sliders (visible when used as an Instrument insert effect): Adjusts the respective levels of the original and processed signals. In common scenarios, the reverb signal is
mixed in at a lower level than the direct signal.
23.31 Gainer
This module can be used both within the Instrument Insert Effects chain and as a send effect.
Depending on where you choose to place it, it serves two different purposes.
As an Instrument insert effect, you can boost or attenuate the signal level between the previous stage’s output and the next stage’s input. In other words, it works like an additional amplifier stage.
The Gainer.
The idea behind using the Gainer as a send effect needs some more explanation. As every send
effect can optionally route its own output signal to one of the Aux Channels in the Outputs section (instead of feeding it back into the Instrument), the Gainer can act as a transparent bridge
between the send slots and the Aux Channels. Therefore, it allows you to send signals at adjustable levels to the Aux Channels on a per-Group basis, which greatly increases routing flexibility and can even save a lot of CPU resources — just move effects that you would otherwise
have created as send effects in multiple Instruments to an Aux Channel instead, and use the
Gainer within the Instruments’ send effects slots in order to forward signals to this Aux channel. By changing the Aux channel’s physical output assignment, you can even use external effects, whether they are plug-ins in your host program or outboard devices, from within Groups.
After you have inserted the Gainer module into a send slot, you’ll notice that in addition to the
Gain control, it also provides the Return control which is common to all send effects on the
right side of its panel. Next to the numerical readout of this control, you’ll notice a small
„I“ icon. Clicking on it opens a drop-down menu that allows you to select one of the Aux Channels as the routing target for the module’s output. This way, whatever you’ll send to this slot
via the Send Levels module will end up on the specified Aux Channel.
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Gainer
Controls
▪ Gain: The amplification or attenuation factor that will be applied to the signal in dB.
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Filters
24
Filters
A filter is a signal processor which changes the frequency content of a signal that passes
through it. This means that in contrast to effects like distortion, reverb, or chorus, it only
changes the amplitude and phase of frequency components which are already present in your
signal, without creating new frequency content.
Filters are generally distinguished by the part of the spectrum that is to be attenuated, and
steepness of their attenuation curve, which is usually expressed in dB per octave. As the cutoff
frequency is defined as the frequency where an attenuation of 3 dB occurs, a lowpass filter
slope of 12 dB/octave with a cutoff frequency of 440 Hz attenuates frequency content at 880
Hz (an octave above the cutoff frequency) by 15 dB, frequencies at 1760 Hz by 27 dB, and so
on. In digital filter design, specifying a filter slope as a number of “poles” has become the
norm, with each pole corresponding to 6 dB of attenuation per octave, such that a 1-pole filter
will exhibit a gentle slope of -6 dB/octave, while a 6-pole filter with its slope of -36 dB/octave
is more akin to a sonic razor blade. The pole notation is being used for KONTAKT’s collection
of sampler filters. If you find the concept of filter slopes confusing, don’t worry — just remember that lower-order filters (like 1-pole and 2-pole forms) are generally better suited for gentle,
unnoticeable tonal corrections, while higher-order filters (like 4-pole and 6-pole forms) tend to
change your signal characteristics by a significant amount, and are thus better suited for broad
treatments or effects.
KONTAKT’s collection of filter modules is divided into 7 categories:
▪ Lowpass Filters attenuate harmonics and signals above the cutoff frequency.
▪ Highpass Filters attenuate signals below the cutoff frequency.
▪ Bandpass Filters attenuate signals above and below the cutoff frequency.
▪ Peak/Notch Filters A notch filter is like the inverse of a Bandpass filter, as it only removes
signals around the cutoff frequency, but allows the signals above and below it to pass
through. A peak filter is like a very narrow Bandpass.
▪ Multi Filters in this section you will find optimized combinations of filter types in different
routings.
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▪ Effect Filters are special filter modules that don’t fit any of the traditional filter characteristics of either lowpass, highpass, bandpass or band rejection. An example of these would be
vowel filters, which emulate the resonances of the human vocal tract.
▪ EQs are the kind of frequency tools that you can find on mixing consoles. They offer some
ways of tonal alteration which aren’t available with traditional filters, such as attenuating or
boosting a specific frequency range by an adjustable amount and with adjustable precision.
These categories contain a few different variations based on the steepness of the slope (or
number of poles) and the character of the algorithm. There are five main filter variations:
▪ State Variable (SV): These are the new standard KONTAKT filters. They have a clean character which is suitable for any material.
▪ Legacy: In order to remain backwards compatible, the filter designs from before KONTAKT
5 are included with the tag Legacy. These are like the SV filters but use a much older algorithm. If you are planning to use clean filters, we advise you use the newer SV filters.
▪ Adaptive Resonance (AR): The AR filters scale the resonance of the filter by the inverse of
the amplitude of the input signal. At higher input levels, the resonance of the filter will be
reduced, which helps reduce nasty peaks in the output audio. Accordingly, these filters are
best used on drums, loops or full mix material.
▪ Ladder: Based on the classic ladder circuit used in early synthesizers, these filters would be
a first choice for synthetic sounds, but can work well on any signal. There is also a Legacy
Ladder available, based on an older algorithm.
▪ Daft: Taken from the MASSIVE filter collection, the Daft filter is a more aggressive synthesizer filter design.
▪ Pro 53: Taken from Native Instruments classic Pro-53 synthesizer, this filter emulates the
analogue synthesizer filter from the early 80s.
The most convenient way to access KONTAKT’s filter collection is by browsing the Filters page
on the Modules tab of the Browser. Here you’ll find a list of all available filters in each of the
seven categories, with icons depicting their frequency response, and descriptions of what they
do and how you can use them. If you have found a filter that you’d like to try, just drag it into
one of your Instrument’s signal processor slots.
In the following subsections, we’ll briefly introduce the available filter modules in each category and describe their parameters.
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Filters
Lowpass Filters
24.1
Lowpass Filters
This category contains filters which attenuate signals above the cutoff frequency, allowing low
frequency signals to pass through - hence the name Lowpass. All filters in this category have
the following controls, unless otherwise specified:
▪ Cutoff: Adjusts the frequency above which signals will be attenuated.
▪ Resonance (Reso.): With a value greater than 0, this control will boost a small frequency
range around the cutoff frequency.
24.1.1
SV LP1
The SV LP1 module.
The State Variable (SV) filters have a clean characteristic that can be used for all kinds of audio signals. The LP1 is a 1-pole lowpass, which attenuates frequencies above the cutoff at a
rate of -6 dB/octave. The 1-pole filter does not have a Resonance control.
24.1.2
SV LP2
The SV LP2 module.
The State Variable (SV) filters have a clean characteristic that can be used for all kinds of audio signals. The LP2 is a 2-pole lowpass, which attenuates frequencies above the cutoff at a
rate of -12 dB/octave.
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Lowpass Filters
24.1.3
SV LP4
The SV LP4 module.
The State Variable (SV) filters have a clean characteristic that can be used for all kinds of audio signals. The LP4 is a 4-pole lowpass, which attenuates frequencies above the cutoff at a
rate of -24 dB/octave.
24.1.4
Ladder LP1
The Ladder LP1 module.
Based on the classic ladder circuit used in early synthesizers, these filters would be a first
choice for synthetic sounds, but can work well on any signal. The LP1 is a 1-pole lowpass,
which attenuates frequencies above the cutoff at a rate of -6 dB/octave. The Ladder filters also
include the following controls:
▪ High Quality: Toggles oversampling within the effect, which can increase audio quality, but
will also increase CPU load.
▪ Gain: Controls the amplitude increase after the filter. This control can be used to compensate for amplitude reduction due to the filter, or to increase the soft saturation of the effect.
24.1.5
Ladder LP2
The Ladder LP2 module.
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Lowpass Filters
Based on the classic ladder circuit used in early synthesizers, these filters would be a first
choice for synthetic sounds, but can work well on any signal. The LP2 is a 2-pole lowpass,
which attenuates frequencies above the cutoff at a rate of -12 dB/octave. The Ladder filters
also include the following controls:
▪ High Quality: Toggles oversampling within the effect, which can increase audio quality, but
will also increase CPU load.
▪ Gain: Controls the amplitude increase after the filter. This control can be used to compensate for amplitude reduction due to the filter, or to increase the soft saturation of the effect.
24.1.6
Ladder LP3
The Ladder LP3 module.
Based on the classic ladder circuit used in early synthesizers, these filters would be a first
choice for synthetic sounds, but can work well on any signal. The LP3 is a 3-pole lowpass,
which attenuates frequencies above the cutoff at a rate of -18 dB/octave. The Ladder filters
also include the following controls:
▪ High Quality: Toggles oversampling within the effect, which can increase audio quality, but
will also increase CPU load.
▪ Gain: Controls the amplitude increase after the filter. This control can be used to compensate for amplitude reduction due to the filter, or to increase the soft saturation of the effect.
24.1.7
Ladder LP4
The Ladder LP4 module.
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Lowpass Filters
Based on the classic ladder circuit used in early synthesizers, these filters would be a first
choice for synthetic sounds, but can work well on any signal. The LP4 is a 4-pole lowpass,
which attenuates frequencies above the cutoff at a rate of -24 dB/octave. The Ladder filters
also include the following controls:
▪ High Quality: Toggles oversampling within the effect, which can increase audio quality, but
will also increase CPU load.
▪ Gain: Controls the amplitude increase after the filter. This control can be used to compensate for amplitude reduction due to the filter, or to increase the soft saturation of the effect.
24.1.8
AR LP2
The AR LP2 module.
The Adaptive Resonance (AR) filters follow the amplitude of the input signal and adjust the
resonance accordingly. At higher input levels, the resonance will reduce, and for lower levels it
will increase, this avoids unpleasant peaks. These filters work best on full loops or drums. The
LP2 is a 2-pole lowpass, which attenuates frequencies above the cutoff at a rate of -12 dB/
octave.
24.1.9
AR LP4
The AR LP4 module.
The Adaptive Resonance (AR) filters follow the amplitude of the input signal and adjust the
resonance accordingly. At higher input levels, the resonance will reduce, and for lower levels it
will increase, this avoids unpleasant peaks. These filters work best on full loops or drums. The
LP4 is a 4-pole lowpass, which attenuates frequencies above the cutoff at a rate of -24 dB/
octave.
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Lowpass Filters
24.1.10 AR LP2/4
The AR LP 2/4 module.
The Adaptive Resonance (AR) filters follow the amplitude of the input signal and adjust the
resonance accordingly. At higher input levels, the resonance will reduce, and for lower levels it
will increase, this avoids unpleasant peaks. These filters work best on full loops or drums. The
LP2/4 processes the audio through a combination of 2-pole and 4-pole lowpass filters to create
a more interesting frequency response.
24.1.11 Daft
The Draft module.
The Daft filter has been adapted from MASSIVE and is a more aggressive synthesizer filter design. The response of the filter is a 2-pole lowpass, which attenuates frequencies above the
cutoff at a rate of -12 dB/octave. The daft filter also includes a Gain knob that controls the
amplitude increase after the filter. This control can be used to compensate for amplitude reduction due to the filter, or to increase the soft saturation of the effect.
24.1.12 PRO-53
The PRO-53 module.
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Lowpass Filters
This is the same filter section that is provided by Native Instruments’ PRO-53 software synthesizer. It’s similar in nature to the 4-pole lowpass filter, but has a different and more distinctive
signature sound.
24.1.13 Legacy LP1
The Legacy LP1 module.
In order to remain backwards compatible, the filter designs from before KONTAKT 5 are included with the tag Legacy. These are like the SV filters but use a much older algorithm. If you
are planning to use clean filters, we advise you use the newer SV filters. The LP1 is a 1-pole
lowpass, which attenuates frequencies above the cutoff at a rate of -6 dB/octave. The 1-pole
filter does not have a Resonance control.
24.1.14 Legacy LP2
The Legacy LP2 module.
In order to remain backwards compatible, the filter designs from before KONTAKT 5 are included with the tag Legacy. These are like the SV filters but use a much older algorithm. If you
are planning to use clean filters, we advise you use the newer SV filters. The LP2 is a 2-pole
lowpass, which attenuates frequencies above the cutoff at a rate of -12 dB/octave.
24.1.15 Legacy LP4
The Legacy LP4 module.
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Lowpass Filters
In order to remain backwards compatible, the filter designs from before KONTAKT 5 are included with the tag Legacy. These are like the SV filters but use a much older algorithm. If you
are planning to use clean filters, we advise you use the newer SV filters. The LP4 is a 4-pole
lowpass, which attenuates frequencies above the cutoff at a rate of -24 dB/octave.
24.1.16 Legacy LP6
The Legacy LP6 module.
In order to remain backwards compatible, the filter designs from before KONTAKT 5 are included with the tag Legacy. These are like the SV filters but use a much older algorithm. If you
are planning to use clean filters, we advise you use the newer SV filters. The LP6 is a 6-pole
lowpass, which attenuates frequencies above the cutoff at a rate of -36 dB/octave.
24.1.17 Legacy Ladder
The Legacy Ladder module.
In order to remain backwards compatible, the filter designs from before KONTAKT 5 are included with the tag Legacy. The Legacy Ladder is like the previously mentioned Ladder filters
but uses a much older algorithm. Accordingly we advise you use the non-Legacy Ladder filters.
The Legacy Ladder is a 4-pole filter, which attenuates frequencies above the cutoff at a rate of
-24 dB/octave.
24.2
Highpass Filters
This category contains filters which attenuate signals below the cutoff frequency, allowing high
frequency signals to pass through - hence the name Highpass. All filters in this category have
the following controls, unless otherwise specified:
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Filters
Highpass Filters
▪ Cutoff: Adjusts the frequency below which signals will be attenuated.
▪ Resonance (Reso.): With a value greater than 0, this control will boost a small frequency
range around the cutoff frequency.
24.2.1
SV HP1
The SV HP1 module.
The State Variable (SV) filters have a clean characteristic that can be used for all kinds of audio signals. The HP1 is a 1-pole Highpass, which attenuates frequencies below the cutoff at a
rate of -6 dB/octave. The 1-pole filter does not have a Resonance control.
24.2.2
SV HP2
The SV HP2 module.
The State Variable (SV) filters have a clean characteristic that can be used for all kinds of audio signals. The HP2 is a 2-pole Highpass, which attenuates frequencies below the cutoff at a
rate of -12 dB/octave.
24.2.3
SV HP4
The SV HP4 module.
The State Variable (SV) filters have a clean characteristic that can be used for all kinds of audio signals. The HP4 is a 4-pole Highpass, which attenuates frequencies below the cutoff at a
rate of -24 dB/octave.
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Filters
Highpass Filters
24.2.4
Ladder HP1
The Ladder HP1 module.
Based on the classic ladder circuit used in early synthesizers, these filters would be a first
choice for synthetic sounds, but can work well on any signal. The HP1 is a 1-pole highpass,
which attenuates frequencies below the cutoff at a rate of -6 dB/octave. The Ladder filters also
include the following controls:
▪ High Quality: Toggles oversampling within the effect, which can increase audio quality, but
will also increase CPU load.
▪ Gain: Controls the amplitude increase after the filter. This control can be used to compensate for amplitude reduction due to the filter, or to increase the soft saturation of the effect.
24.2.5
Ladder HP2
The Ladder HP2 module.
Based on the classic ladder circuit used in early synthesizers, these filters would be a first
choice for synthetic sounds, but can work well on any signal. The HP2 is a 2-pole highpass,
which attenuates frequencies below the cutoff at a rate of -12 dB/octave. The Ladder filters
also include the following controls:
▪ High Quality: Toggles oversampling within the effect, which can increase audio quality, but
will also increase CPU load.
▪ Gain: Controls the amplitude increase after the filter. This control can be used to compensate for amplitude reduction due to the filter, or to increase the soft saturation of the effect.
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Filters
Highpass Filters
24.2.6
Ladder HP3
The Ladder HP3 module.
Based on the classic ladder circuit used in early synthesizers, these filters would be a first
choice for synthetic sounds, but can work well on any signal. The HP3 is a 3-pole highpass,
which attenuates frequencies below the cutoff at a rate of -18 dB/octave. The Ladder filters
also include the following controls:
▪ High Quality: Toggles oversampling within the effect, which can increase audio quality, but
will also increase CPU load.
▪ Gain: Controls the amplitude increase after the filter. This control can be used to compensate for amplitude reduction due to the filter, or to increase the soft saturation of the effect.
24.2.7
Ladder HP4
The Ladder HP4 module.
Based on the classic ladder circuit used in early synthesizers, these filters would be a first
choice for synthetic sounds, but can work well on any signal. The HP4 is a 4-pole highpass,
which attenuates frequencies below the cutoff at a rate of -24 dB/octave. The Ladder filters
also include the following controls:
▪ High Quality: Toggles oversampling within the effect, which can increase audio quality, but
will also increase CPU load.
▪ Gain: Controls the amplitude increase after the filter. This control can be used to compensate for amplitude reduction due to the filter, or to increase the soft saturation of the effect.
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Filters
Highpass Filters
24.2.8
AR HP2
The AR HP2 module.
The Adaptive Resonance (AR) filters follow the amplitude of the input signal and adjust the
resonance accordingly. At higher input levels, the resonance will reduce, and for lower levels it
will increase, this avoids unpleasant peaks. These filters work best on full loops or drums. The
HP2 is a 2-pole highpass, which attenuates frequencies below the cutoff at a rate of -12 dB/
octave.
24.2.9
AR HP4
The AR HP4 module.
The Adaptive Resonance (AR) filters follow the amplitude of the input signal and adjust the
resonance accordingly. At higher input levels, the resonance will reduce, and for lower levels it
will increase, this avoids unpleasant peaks. These filters work best on full loops or drums. The
HP4 is a 4-pole highpass, which attenuates frequencies below the cutoff at a rate of -24 dB/
octave.
24.2.10 AR HP2/4
The AR HP 2/4 module.
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Filters
Highpass Filters
The Adaptive Resonance (AR) filters follow the amplitude of the input signal and adjust the
resonance accordingly. At higher input levels, the resonance will reduce, and for lower levels it
will increase, this avoids unpleasant peaks. These filters work best on full loops or drums. The
HP2/4 processes the audio through a combination of 2-pole and 4-pole highpass filters to create a more interesting frequency response.
24.2.11 Daft HP
The Daft HP module.
The Daft filter has been adapted from MASSIVE and is a more aggressive synthesizer filter design. The response of the filter is a 2-pole highpass, which attenuates frequencies below the
cutoff at a rate of -12 dB/octave. The Daft filters also include the following controls:
▪ Gain: Controls the amplitude increase after the filter. This control can be used to compensate for amplitude reduction due to the filter, or to increase the soft saturation of the effect.
24.2.12 Legacy HP1
The Legacy HP1 module.
In order to remain backwards compatible, the filter designs from before KONTAKT 5 are included with the tag Legacy. These are like the SV filters but use a much older algorithm. If you
are planning to use clean filters, we advise you use the newer SV filters. The HP1 is a 1-pole
highpass, which attenuates frequencies below the cutoff at a rate of -6 dB/octave. The 1-pole
filter does not have a Resonance control.
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Filters
Highpass Filters
24.2.13 Legacy HP2
The Legacy HP2 module.
In order to remain backwards compatible, the filter designs from before KONTAKT 5 are included with the tag Legacy. These are like the SV filters but use a much older algorithm. If you
are planning to use clean filters, we advise you use the newer SV filters. The HP2 is a 2-pole
highpass, which attenuates frequencies below the cutoff at a rate of -12 dB/octave.
24.2.14 Legacy HP4
The Legacy HP4 module.
In order to remain backwards compatible, the filter designs from before KONTAKT 5 are included with the tag Legacy. These are like the SV filters but use a much older algorithm. If you
are planning to use clean filters, we advise you use the newer SV filters. The HP4 is a 4-pole
highpass, which attenuates frequencies below the cutoff at a rate of -24 dB/octave.
24.3
Bandpass
This category contains filters which attenuate signals below and above the cutoff frequency. All
filters in this category have the following controls, unless otherwise specified:
▪ Cutoff: Adjusts the frequency below which signals will be attenuated.
▪ Resonance (Reso.): With a value greater than 0, this control will boost a small frequency
range around the cutoff frequency.
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Filters
Bandpass
24.3.1
SV BP2
The SV BP2 module.
The State Variable (SV) filters have a clean characteristic that can be used for all kinds of audio signals. The BP2 is a 2-pole bandpass, which attenuates frequencies above and below the
cutoff at a rate of -12 dB/octave.
24.3.2
SV BP4
The SV BP4 module.
The State Variable (SV) filters have a clean characteristic that can be used for all kinds of audio signals. The BP4 is a 4-pole bandpass, which attenuates frequencies above and below the
cutoff at a rate of -24 dB/octave.
24.3.3
Ladder BP2
The Ladder BP2 module.
Based on the classic ladder circuit used in early synthesizers, these filters would be a first
choice for synthetic sounds, but can work well on any signal. The BP2 is a 2-pole bandpass,
which attenuates frequencies above and below the cutoff at a rate of -12 dB/octave. The Ladder filters also include the following controls:
▪ High Quality: Toggles oversampling within the effect, which can increase audio quality, but
will also increase CPU load.
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Filters
Bandpass
▪ Gain: Controls the amplitude increase after the filter. This control can be used to compensate for amplitude reduction due to the filter, or to increase the soft saturation of the effect.
24.3.4
Ladder BP4
The Ladder BP4 module.
Based on the classic ladder circuit used in early synthesizers, these filters would be a first
choice for synthetic sounds, but can work well on any signal. The BP4 is a 4-pole bandpass,
which attenuates frequencies above and below the cutoff at a rate of -24 dB/octave. The Ladder filters also include the following controls:
▪ High Quality: Toggles oversampling within the effect, which can increase audio quality, but
will also increase CPU load.
▪ Gain: Controls the amplitude increase after the filter. This control can be used to compensate for amplitude reduction due to the filter, or to increase the soft saturation of the effect.
24.3.5
AR BP2
The AR BP2 module.
The Adaptive Resonance (AR) filters follow the amplitude of the input signal and adjust the
resonance accordingly. At higher input levels, the resonance will reduce, and for lower levels it
will increase, this avoids unpleasant peaks. These filters work best on full loops or drums. The
BP2 is a 2-pole bandpass, which attenuates frequencies below and above the cutoff at a rate
of -12 dB/octave.
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Filters
Bandpass
24.3.6
AR BP4
The AR BP4 module.
The Adaptive Resonance (AR) filters follow the amplitude of the input signal and adjust the
resonance accordingly. At higher input levels, the resonance will reduce, and for lower levels it
will increase, this avoids unpleasant peaks. These filters work best on full loops or drums. The
BP4 is a 4-pole bandpass, which attenuates frequencies below and above the cutoff at a rate
of -24 dB/octave.
24.3.7
AR BP2/4
The AR BP 2/4 module.
The Adaptive Resonance (AR) filters follow the amplitude of the input signal and adjust the
resonance accordingly. At higher input levels, the resonance will reduce, and for lower levels it
will increase, this avoids unpleasant peaks. These filters work best on full loops or drums. The
BP2/4 processes the audio through a combination of 2-pole and 4-pole bandpass filters to create a more interesting frequency response.
24.3.8
Legacy BP2
The Legacy BP2 module.
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Filters
Bandpass
In order to remain backwards compatible, the filter designs from before KONTAKT 5 are included with the tag Legacy. These are like the SV filters but use a much older algorithm. If you
are planning to use clean filters, we advise you use the newer SV filters. The BP2 is a 2-pole
bandpass, which attenuates frequencies below and above the cutoff at a rate of -12 dB/octave.
The Legacy BP2 does not have a Resonance control.
24.3.9
Legacy BP4
The Legacy BP4 module.
In order to remain backwards compatible, the filter designs from before KONTAKT 5 are included with the tag Legacy. These are like the SV filters but use a much older algorithm. If you
are planning to use clean filters, we advise you use the newer SV filters. The BP4 is a 4-pole
bandpass, which attenuates frequencies below and above the cutoff at a rate of -24 dB/octave.
24.4
Peak/Notch
A notch filter removes a specific frequency band from the signal. It can be thought of as the
inverse of a bandpass filter - in fact, it is sometimes referred to as a "band reject" filter. A peak
filter, on the other hand, is quite different - it simply adds a resonant peak to the signal, without doing much attenuation to the signal. All filters in this category have the following controls, unless otherwise specified:
▪ Cutoff: Adjusts the frequency below which signals will be attenuated.
▪ Resonance (Reso.): With a value greater than 0, this control will boost a small frequency
range around the cutoff frequency.
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Filters
Peak/Notch
24.4.1
SV Notch
The SV Notch module.
The State Variable (SV) filters have a clean characteristic that can be used for all kinds of audio signals. The Notch 4 is a 4-pole notch filter, which attenuates frequencies at the cutoff.
24.4.2
Ladder Peak
The Ladder Peak module.
Based on the classic ladder circuit used in early synthesizers, these filters would be a first
choice for synthetic sounds, but can work well on any signal. The Peak is a unique filter that
accents frequencies at the cutoff and also includes the following additional controls:
▪ High Quality: Toggles oversampling within the effect, which can increase audio quality, but
will also increase CPU load.
▪ Gain: Controls the amplitude increase after the filter. This control can be used to compensate for amplitude reduction due to the filter, or to increase the soft saturation of the effect.
24.4.3
Ladder Notch
The Ladder Notch module.
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Filters
Peak/Notch
Based on the classic ladder circuit used in early synthesizers, these filters would be a first
choice for synthetic sounds, but can work well on any signal. The Notch cuts two narrow bands
of frequencies at either side of the cutoff and also includes the following additional controls:
▪ High Quality: Toggles oversampling within the effect, which can increase audio quality, but
will also increase CPU load.
▪ Gain: Controls the amplitude increase after the filter. This control can be used to compensate for amplitude reduction due to the filter, or to increase the soft saturation of the effect.
24.4.4
Legacy BR4
The Legacy BR4 module.
In order to remain backwards compatible, the filter designs from before KONTAKT 5 are included with the tag Legacy. These are like the SV filters but use a much older algorithm. If you
are planning to use clean filters, we advise you use the newer SV filters. The BR4 is a 4-pole
band reject filter, which attenuates frequencies at the cutoff.
24.5
Multi
24.5.1
SV Par. LP/HP
The SV Par. LP/HP module.
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Filters
Multi
The State Variable (SV) filters have a clean characteristic that can be used for all kinds of audio signals. The Par. LP/HP is the combination of a highpass filter and a lowpass filter routed
in parallel (ie. the signal is split and routed through each separately). The result is similar to a
notch filter.
Controls
▪ Cutoff: Controls the central cutoff frequency of the two filters.
▪ Resonance (Reso.): Controls the amount of boost around the cutoff frequency of each filter.
▪ Bandwidth (B.Width): Controls the gap between the cutoff frequencies of the two filters,
with the highpass filter’s cutoff always above that of the lowpass. The gap is generated
around a central point controlled by the Cutoff control.
24.5.2
SV Par. BP/BP
The SV Par. BP/BP module.
The State Variable (SV) filters have a clean characteristic that can be used for all kinds of audio signals. The Par. BP/BP is a combination of two parallel bandpass filters.
Controls
▪ Cutoff: Controls the central cutoff frequency of the two filters.
▪ Resonance (Reso.): Controls the amount of boost around the cutoff frequency of each filter.
▪ Bandwidth (B.Width): Controls the gap between the cutoff frequencies of the two filters.
The gap is generated around a central point controlled by the Cutoff control.
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Filters
Multi
24.5.3
SV Ser. LP/HP
The SV Ser. LP/HP module.
The State Variable (SV) filters have a clean characteristic that can be used for all kinds of audio signals. The Ser. LP/HP is the combination of a highpass filter routed serially after a lowpass filter. The result is similar to a bandpass filter.
Controls
▪ Cutoff: Controls the central cutoff frequency of the two filters.
▪ Resonance (Reso.): Controls the amount of boost around the cutoff frequency of each filter.
▪ Bandwidth (B.Width): Controls the gap between the cutoff frequencies of the two filters,
with the lowpass filter’s cutoff always above that of the highpass. The gap is generated
around a central point controlled by the Cutoff control.
24.5.4
3x2 Versatile
The 3x2 Versatile Filter provides three separate filter bands, each of which can be continuously
“morphed” between 3 characteristics (lowpass, bandpass, or highpass). Each filter band has a
slope of 12 dB/octave. By combining these bands at various amounts, you can create almost
every imaginable filter configuration. What’s more, the resonance controls of each filter band
exhibit a behavior known from very high-quality analog filters: at high settings, the filter will
begin to oscillate and produce sound, even if there’s no signal present at the input. This effect
is known as self-oscillation.
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Filters
Multi
The basic internal signal flow structure of the 3x2 Pole Multi-Mode Filter.
The 3x2 Versatile Flter requires more CPU power than other KONTAKT filters, so use it only
when you need this level of sophistication.
The 3x2 Versatile module.
▪ Cutoff: Adjusts the cutoff frequencies of the 3 filter bands in unison. The displayed value
is only absolute for the first (topmost) filter band, the other two bands have cutoff frequencies relative to this one (see below).
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Filters
Multi
▪ Shift 2: Adjusts the second filter band’s cutoff frequency as an offset in relation to the first
filter. With a value of 0, both filters will have identical cutoff frequencies, while increasing
the value will set the second cutoff frequency higher than the first.
▪ Shift 3: Adjusts the third filter band’s cutoff frequency as an offset in relation to the second filter.
▪ Reso. 1 to Reso. 3 (Resonance): Adjusts the resonance (boost at the cutoff frequency) for
each filter band. Values of 98% or higher will result in self-oscillation.
▪ Type 1 to Type 3: Adjusts the characteristic of each filter band, allowing you to morph continuously between a lowpass (0.0), bandpass (0.5), or highpass (1.0) characteristic.
▪ Amt. 1 to Amt. 3 (Amount): Adjusts the amount to which each filter band will affect the
overall result. At a value of 0, the respective filter will be inactive.
▪ Gain: As high resonance settings can significantly increase the signal level, KONTAKT will
automatically reduce the level the output level in such cases. You can compensate this
with the Gain control, but be careful — it’s easy to get excessive volume levels from this
filter.
24.5.5
Simple LP/HP
The Simple LP/HP Filter
This very clean-sounding filter lacks any pronounced resonance and is ideally suited for removal of low frequency rumble and high frequency issues like harshness and excessive noise without coloring the filtered signal.
The HP filter is a 2-pole (12 dB/octave), whereas the 1-pole LP has a more gentle slope of 6
dB/octave.
Controls
▪ Cutoff LP: Controls the cutoff frequency of the Low Pass filter.
▪ Cutoff HP: Controls the cutoff frequency of the High Pass filter.
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Filters
Effect Filters
24.6
Effect Filters
Filters in this category don’t match any of the traditional filter characteristics, and are thus
better suited for special effects.
24.6.1
Formant I
The Formant I module.
Formants are acoustic resonances. The term often applies to the phonetics of human speech,
as such, the formant filters are designed to mimic the frequency response of the human vocal
tract. These filters can be used to emulate the “talk box” effect.
Controls
▪ Talk: Controls the frequency response of the filter. Can be used to morph between vowelsounds.
▪ Sharp: Increases and decreases the peaks and notches in the response respectively, analogous to the resonance control of the other filters.
▪ Size: Controls the center of the frequency response, analogous to the cutoff control of the
other filters.
24.6.2
Formant II
The Formant II module.
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Filters
Effect Filters
Formants are acoustic resonances. The term often applies to the phonetics of human speech,
as such, the formant filters are designed to mimic the frequency response of the human vocal
tract. These filters can be used to emulate the “talk box” effect.
Controls
▪ Talk: Controls the frequency response of the filter. Can be used to morph between vowelsounds.
▪ Sharp: Increases and decreases the peaks and notches in the response respectively, analogous to the resonance control of the other filters.
▪ Size: Controls the center of the frequency response, analogous to the cutoff control of the
other filters.
24.6.3
Phaser
The Phaser module.
This module creates a distinct comb filter effect by using an allpass filter design that radically
alters the phase relations in your signal. Note that there’s also a Phaser module in the standard
effects section, which has a built-in modulation mechanism. While that module and the phaser
filter share the underlying principle, the filter is better suited for timbral changes, while the
Phaser effect module is recommended for creating the classic effect of the same name that
can be found in countless effects processors and guitar stomp boxes.
Controls
▪ Cutoff: Adjusts the center working frequency of the phaser’s comb filter effect. Changing
this parameter will alter the tonality of your sound in a distinct and not always easily predictable way.
▪ Reso.: Adjusts depth and narrowness of the notches that the phaser imposes on the frequency spectrum, and thereby the intensity of the effect.
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Filters
Effect Filters
24.6.4
Vowel A
The Vowels module.
This filter simulates the resonant frequencies of the human vocal tract; when forming a vowel,
the throat and mouth cavities will change their shape in order to create a complex, natural filter which emphasizes certain frequencies in the sound created by the vocal chords. These
characteristic frequencies, called formants, allow the human hearing to discern between different vowels, and are being replicated by this filter.
Controls
▪ Cutoff: Adjusts the center frequency of the filter. Various distinct frequencies across the
spectrum will produce different vowels.
▪ Reso. (Resonance): With values greater than 0, this control will emphasize the frequencies
around the center frequency in order to create a sharper sound and enhance the effect.
24.6.5
Vowel B
The Vowel B module.
This filter works similarly to the Vowel A module, but has a slightly different sonic character.
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Filters
EQs
24.7
EQs
KONTAKT’s fully parametric peak equalizers allow for a wide range of tonal alterations and corrections. Using up to three EQ bands per module, you can boost or cut any frequency range
throughout the entire spectrum by up to 18 dB, with an adjustable Bandwidth parameter allowing you to choose between gentle corrections or very steep “surgical” edits.
The EQs module.
The EQ module is available in 1-band, 2-band, and 3-band flavors. You can switch freely between these configurations without losing your settings. All bands offer 3 identical controls,
namely:
▪ Freq. (Frequency): Adjusts the center frequency at which the boost or cut will occur.
▪ Bandw. (Bandwidth): Adjusts the width of the frequency range that will be affected in octaves.
▪ Gain: Adjusts the amount of boost (positive values) or cut (negative values) at the center
frequency.
24.7.1
Solid G-EQ
The Solid G-EQ module.
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Filters
EQs
The Solid G-EQ differs from other KONTAKT EQs as it is modelled on high quality analogue
circuitry. It is a 4-band parametric EQ and offers the choice of bell or shelf style control of the
low and high frequency bands.
Controls
▪ LF Gain: Adjusts the amount of boost or cut at the LF Frequency.
▪ LF Freq: Adjusts the center frequency of the low frequency band at which the boost or cut
will occur.
▪ LF Bell: Toggles the bell shape of the low frequency band. If turned off the band becomes
a shelf.
▪ LMF Gain: Adjusts the amount of boost or cut at the LMF Frequency.
▪ LMF Freq: Adjusts the center frequency of the low-mid frequency band at which the boost
or cut will occur.
▪ LMF Q: Controls the Quality (or Q) of the low-mid frequency band. For most EQs, the higher the quality, the narrower the frequency band, but with this EQ the control is reversed to
match the hardware it emulates and becomes a bandwidth control.
▪ HMF Gain: Adjusts the amount of boost or cut at the HMF Frequency.
▪ HMF Freq: Adjusts the center frequency of the high-mid frequency band at which the boost
or cut will occur.
▪ HMF Q: Controls the Quality (or Q) of the high-mid frequency band. For most EQs, the
higher the quality, the narrower the frequency band, but with this EQ the control is reversed to match the hardware it emulates and becomes a bandwidth control.
▪ HF Gain: Adjusts the amount of boost or cut at the HF Frequency.
▪ HF Freq: Adjusts the center frequency of the high frequency band at which the boost or cut
will occur.
▪ HF Bell: Toggles the bell shape of the high frequency band. If turned off the band becomes
a shelf.
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Modulation in KONTAKT
Modulation Sources
25
Modulation in KONTAKT
KONTAKT’s internal modulation system offers a powerful way to “animate” parameters, making them change over time in a variety of different and finely adjustable ways. For this purpose, most of KONTAKT’s modules provide a table, called the Modulation Router, which allows
you to assign various sources of modulation signals to that respective module’s parameters.
If you’re new to synthesizers and samplers, you might be unfamiliar with the concept of modulation, so we’ll explain it briefly. If you already have worked with modulation, just skip the next
paragraph.
Suppose you have a very simple tone generator with only one control, which changes the pitch
of the generated tone. As players of acoustic instruments often use vibrato — a subtle “trembling” of the pitch — as a means to make their sound more expressive and dynamic, you’d like
to simulate this effect with your generator. Of course, rapidly moving the pitch knob left and
right is an option, but this is awkward and inconvenient. Instead, you can use another generator that outputs a periodic waveform as well — though at a much lower frequency than your
tone generator, let’s say 5 Hz — and connect it to the pitch control of your tone generator.
Now, the tone generator’s pitch will begin to periodically sweep up and down “around” the
pitch you’ve adjusted with the knob, in other words: vibrato. This is a very simple example of
modulation: you’re using a generated control signal (which can be periodic, but doesn’t have
to) to change some parameter over time. Of course, the example can be just as easily replicated in KONTAKT: the Source Module will become your tone generator, its Tune parameter your
pitch knob, an LFO your source of a low-frequency control signal, and an entry in the Modulation Router the wire that connects both generators.
25.1
Modulation Sources
KONTAKT’s library of sources that can be used for modulation is divided into four general categories:
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Modulation in KONTAKT
Modulation Destinations
▪ Envelopes are finely adjustable curves of varying shapes, which have a beginning and an
end; these are usually being used for creating parameter changes, often non-repetitive, that
can’t be easily obtained from a traditional periodic waveform, such as a filter that opens
and then gradually closes again after a key has been pressed. Envelopes generally react to
MIDI note messages.
While control data obtained from external MIDI messages is constrained to the 128 numerical steps of the MIDI standard by its very nature, KONTAKT’s internal modulation
sources offer a much finer resolution.
▪ LFOs (Low Frequency Oscillators) are sources that generate a periodic waveform within a
frequency range of 0.01 Hz up to about 210 Hz. In addition to the traditional set of waveforms found on synthesizers — namely Sine, Triangle, Rectangle, Sawtooth, and Random
— KONTAKT also provides a complex LFO, which generates a mixture of these waveforms.
▪ External Sources provide access to control signals that are generated outside of KONTAKT’s
modulation source modules, such as incoming MIDI data, or constant and random values.
▪ Others include sources that don’t fit into one of the other categories, such as step sequencers or envelope followers.
25.2
Modulation Destinations
Modulation Routers can be found on most modules that work on a per-Group basis; this includes the Source and Amplifier modules, as well as signal processing modules in the Group
Insert Effects chain. Furthermore, modulation source generators used in existing assignments
can have their own parameters modulated as well, which makes for a multitude of complex
possibilities.
Modules outside the Group level, such as Instrument insert or send effects, do not support parameter modulation.
In the same way as you can use one modulation source to modulate multiple parameters, you
can also combine multiple sources to modulate one parameter. If you create multiple assignments with the same destination parameter, the modulation signals will be mixed together —
keep in mind, though, that a lot of modulation signals are bipolar, and thus can cancel each
other out as well as accumulate their values.
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Modulation in KONTAKT
Creating Modulation Assignments
25.3
Creating Modulation Assignments
Each modulation assignment that actively affects a specific parameter at any given time will
be displayed with a single row in the Modulation Router of the parameter’s parent module. The
Modulation Router can be shown and hidden by clicking on the button labeled Mod or Modulation in the lower left corner of a module. If this button does not exist, the respective module’s
parameters can’t be modulated.
The Modulation Router of an Amplifier Module.
If a Modulation Router entry uses an internal modulation source for the assignment, you’ll always find a corresponding modulation source panel at the bottom of the Rack in Instrument
Edit mode; here you can adjust the parameters of the signal source, such as an LFO’s frequency or envelope timings.
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Modulation in KONTAKT
Creating Modulation Assignments
The Modulation section contains all internal modulation sources used in your Instrument.
You don’t need to scroll up and down to make adjustments to a modulation source and its
Modulation Router entry, though; clicking one of the Quick-Jump buttons on both panels or
simply pressing the “^” key (“~” on US keyboards) will instantly bring you to the respective
other panel.
The Quick-Jump button on Modulation Router entries and modulation source panels brings you to the respective other panel.
Adding a new entry to a Modulation Router table, thereby creating a new modulation assignment, can be done in one of two different ways. Which one you choose largely depends on your
personal preference.
1.
Right-click the knob of a parameter that you want to modulate, then choose a modulation
source from the drop-down menu which appears. The submenu at the bottom of this
menu contains modulation sources which already exist in your Instrument (if any), and allows you to assign an existing source to more than one parameter. If the module’s Modulation Router is not currently visible, adding a new assignment will show it. This allows
you to make immediate adjustments to the assignment parameters.
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Deleting Modulation Assignments
2.
Open the Modulation Router of a module and click the Add Modulator button on the left
side of its last row. This will open the same drop-down menu of modulation sources that
you’ll get when you right-click a knob. Since you can’t specify a destination parameter
this way, you’ll usually have to change the modulated parameter via the drop-down menu
on the right side of the new assignment entry.
25.4
Deleting Modulation Assignments
To get rid of a modulation assignment entirely, select its entry in the Modulation Router by
clicking on its panel, then press the Delete key on your keyboard. If the assignment was using
an internal signal source, and no other assignments in your Instrument are using the same
source, the corresponding source panel will disappear from the Modulation section of the Rack
as well.
You can also right-click on the modulation assignment and select Delete from the context
menu.
25.5
Assignment Controls
As mentioned, all controls which affect the behavior of a modulation source can be found on
the respective source panel at the bottom of the Rack. There are additional parameters,
though, that affect in which way this source module’s output signal will be mapped to the parameter to which it has been assigned. Since a source can be used to modulate multiple parameters in different ways, it wouldn’t make much sense to include these controls on the panel
of the source; instead, they’re a part of each assignment entry in the Modulation Router table.
The modulation router.
From top to bottom, this Modulation Router contains entries for a volume envelope, a velocityto-volume mapping, and a mapping which uses MIDI CC #69 data for the panorama position,
with using the far left as default.
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Assignment Controls
From left to right, you’ll find these controls on each assignment entry:
Modulation Source: If the entry belongs to an internal source assignment, this value can’t be
modified, but external source assignments will offer a drop-down menu here that allows you to
switch to a different source.
Quick-Jump button (only visible on internal source assignments, like LFOs): Clicking on this button will immediately scroll down to the respective source’s control panel at the bottom of the
Rack. Once you’re finished with your adjustments down there, the identical button on the panel will bring you back to where you came from.
MIDI CC Number (only visible if source is MIDI CC): The modulation will acquire its values from
incoming MIDI controller data with the number specified here. The modulation wheel usually
sends MIDI CC #1 data, volume and expression pedals CC #7 and #11, respectively.
MIDI CC Default Value (only visible if source is MIDI CC): As a MIDI controller’s current position
can’t be queried remotely and is thus unknown until actual data is received, this value will be
used as a substitute until the first MIDI CC data is seen. A value of -1 in this field tells KONTAKT not to modulate the parameter at all until actual data is received.
Modulation Shaper: If you need more control over the relationship between modulation signals
and parameter changes than what’s provided by the Intensity fader, clicking on this button will
open a shaper table, which allows you to create all sorts of custom shapes — from non-linear
transfer curves all the way to complex tables that assign each possible input value to a different output value.
A modulation shape which changes low velocity values to higher ones.
The Active button in the upper left corner of this view activates the shaping of the modulation
signal. When switched on, the window next to it will show a graphical representation of the table that’s made up of 128 vertical bars, with each bar’s height representing the actual value
that will be used for modulation if the value that corresponds to this bar is received from the
source module. In other words, what you see is a transfer curve, whose X axis represents the
input value, and whose Y axis represents the output value.
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Assignment Controls
By clicking and dragging a single bar, drawing shapes across bars, or drawing lines by rightclicking and dragging the mouse, you can quickly create your own shapes. Note that holding
the [Shift] key while changing the height of a bar allows for finer editing, while [Ctrl]-clicking
on bars ([Cmd]-click on Mac OS X) will reset them to zero.
When using this Table mode of editing the modulation shape, you have the option to import and export the table data as a text file. To open the export dialog, [Shift]-click the
Active button; and to open the import dialog, use [Shift] + [Ctrl] on Windows or [Shift] +
[Cmd] on Mac OS X.
As non-linear curves and other deterministic shapes can’t be easily drawn with any accuracy in
this fashion, the Modulation Shaper provides an alternate editing mode, which can be accessed by clicking the Table button in the lower left corner.
The curve editor allows you to create continuous, smooth modulation shapes.
When the Table button is deactivated, you can define your mapping using curve segments.
This editor mode works not unlike the flexible envelope editor described in section ↑26.1.3,
Flexible Envelopes — you can drag the endpoints of curve segments to move them, drag the
circles in the middle of a segment to change the curve shape, right-click ([Ctrl]-click on Mac
OS X) on an endpoint to delete it, and right-click ([Ctrl]-click) somewhere else to create a new
segment.
Invert button: If this button is activated, all modulation will be reversed in direction;so a rise in
the modulation signal will result in a proportional drop in parameter value.
Modulation Intensity: This fader controls how large the parameter changes caused by the modulation signal changes will be, or in other words, how far this assignment will cause the parameter to stray from its original value. As different modulation intensities can produce considerably
different effects, this is probably the most important parameter of the assignment. As an example, reconsider the LFO-to-pitch assignment described in the previous section: a natural
and subtle instrument vibrato will call for a rather low intensity value, while a higher intensity
will produce a sound reminiscent of a police siren.
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Assignment Controls
Lag (Smoothing): If this value is higher than 0, any signal received from the modulation source
will be smoothed. The displayed value is a time constant in milliseconds and indicates how
long the smoothed signal would take to reach the new value after an instantaneous change in
the modulation signal occurred. The most obvious application of this feature is a gentle
smoothing of external MIDI data; as the MIDI standard imposes a resolution of only 128 steps
on controller data, using it without smoothing is prone to causing audible parameter jumps. A
fairly low smoothing value will get rid of these, while still preserving a sufficiently fast response
to controller changes. As pitch modulation is particularly prone to audible steps, all pitch assignments will have their Smoothing parameter set to a value of 250 by default. Higher values
can give useful results with LFOs, such as a “slurred” rectangle or sawtooth modulation.
Modulation Target: Finally, the rightmost element displays the parameter that will be modulated. If you click the field, a drop-down list of all parameters that can be modulated in this module will appear, and you can choose a new target.
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Envelopes
26
Modulation Sources
Now that you know how to create assignments that connect a modulation source to a parameter, let’s have a closer look at the various modulation sources that KONTAKT has to offer. As
explained in the previous chapter, all modulation sources fall in one of four general categories:
Envelopes for (usually) non-periodic, finely adjustable curve shapes, LFOs for periodic waveforms, Other for special modulators like step sequencers, and External for modulation signals
that don’t originate from one of KONTAKT’s modulation modules.
26.1
Envelopes
KONTAKT offers three kinds of envelope shapes, each one with a different set of controls:
▪ AHDSR: This is KONTAKT’s take on the most common envelope type out there, the ADSR
envelope, which is named after its parameters (attack time, decay time, sustain level, and
release time). With these four parameters, ADSR envelopes can create a surprisingly large
number of different modulation shapes, which are well-suited to simulate the natural dynamic behaviors of acoustic instruments. KONTAKT’s flavor of this envelope provides an
additional Hold Time control, which will be described below.
▪ DBD: This is a rather simple one-shot envelope that rises or falls from zero to an adjustable
breakpoint above or below, then returns to zero. It works well for simulating things that
happen during the initial attack phase of sounds.
▪ Flexible Envelope: As the name suggests, this envelope doesn’t force any limitations whatsoever on your modulation shape. It allows you to create almost arbitrarily complex controller curves, which span anything from milliseconds to several minutes.
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Envelopes
26.1.1
AHDSR Envelope Controls
AHDSR envelope controls.
▪ AHD Only: If this button is activated, the envelope will be reduced to its attack, hold, and
decay phases (see below for a description of what these do). As this eliminates the sustain
parameter, what you’ll get is a simple one-shot envelope, which will always be completed
no matter how long the key is being held. It is thus best suited for drum and percussion
sounds.
▪ Retrigger: If this button is activated, the envelope will be restarted every time KONTAKT
receives a note, even if another note is still being held at the same time. If it’s inactive, the
envelope will keep its current position until the last note has been released, then be restarted on the next note.
▪ Curve: Adjusts the curve shape of the attack phase. A value of zero results in a linear attack curve, negative values make the shape more concave, and positive values make it
more convex.
▪ Attack: The initial time it will take the envelope to reach its maximum level after it has
been triggered.
▪ Hold: The (fixed) time the envelope will stay at its maximum level after it has completed
the attack phase and before it enters the decay phase.
▪ Decay: The time it will take the envelope to fall from its maximum level to the level set by
the Sustain control.
▪ Sustain: After it has completed its attack, hold, and decay phases, the envelope will stay at
this level as long as the key is being held.
▪ Release: The time it will take the envelope to fall from its sustain level back to zero after
the key has been released.
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Envelopes
26.1.2
DBD Envelope Controls
The DBD Envelope Controls
▪ Retrigger: If this button is activated, the envelope will be restarted every time KONTAKT
receives a note, even if another note is still being held at the same time.
▪ Decay 1 (D1): The time it will take the envelope to rise or fall from zero to the breakpoint
after it has been triggered.
▪ Break (B): The level of the breakpoint. If this value is negative, the envelope will fall, then
rise, and behave the other way around if it’s positive.
▪ Decay 2 (D2): The time it will take the envelope to rise or fall back to zero after it has
reached the breakpoint.
▪ Easy Mode: In Easy Mode, the DBD Envelope's Break and Decay 2 parameters are de-activated, leaving just one parameter: Decay 1. The breakpoint will be set to zero. The Easy
Mode is generally easier to work with than the full mode for basic percussive instruments.
26.1.3
Flexible Envelopes
This powerful envelope type allows you to create arbitrary modulation shapes by defining up to
32 breakpoints, each at a defined level and point in time. Similar envelopes appear in a few
other places of KONTAKT, for instance as Zone Envelopes in the Wave Editor.
Flexible envelopes.
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Envelopes
When you create a new flexible envelope, you’ll initially see a shape which roughly resembles a
traditional ADSR envelope in its panel. Any changes to the shape of the envelope will take
place within this graphical representation. Just like within the other envelope editors, the X axis represents the time, while the Y axis represents the modulation level.
You can define an envelope shape by creating or deleting breakpoints, moving them around
(thereby changing their position in time and their level), and changing the shape of the curves
that connect them. The initial preset is an envelope with four breakpoints; this is also the minimum number of breakpoints that have to be present in an envelope.
In order to add a breakpoint to your envelope, right-click (on Mac OS X, [Ctrl]-click) on the position where you want it to be created. Deleting breakpoints works in the same way: right-clicking (or [Ctrl]-clicking) an existing breakpoint will delete it, causing its neighbors (if the breakpoint wasn’t the last one of the envelope) to be connected with a straight line. You can change
these connections between breakpoints from straight lines to convex or concave curves by
dragging the small circles in their middle up or down.
If your envelope is becoming longer than the time window that’s currently being displayed in
the editor, you can left-click and drag the time line horizontally to scroll, or right-click ([Ctrl]click on Mac OS X) and drag it to zoom in and out.
You can move breakpoints around by dragging them with the mouse. The currently selected
breakpoint will be indicated with a filled square icon. In addition to its graphical position in
the editor, you can view its parameters as numerical values in the breakpoint status line above
the editor.
The status bar of the flexible envelope panel displays data of your currently selected breakpoint in numerical form.
From left to right, these values tell you about the current positioning mode (explained below),
the number of the currently selected breakpoint, its absolute position in time (displayed in milliseconds), its relative distance in time to the preceding breakpoint, its level, and the shape of
the curve to the left of the breakpoint (with a value of 0.5 indicating a linear shape, higher
numbers indicating a convex shape, and lower numbers a concave shape).
You’ll notice that when you move any point (except the last one) horizontally, all points that
follow it will move along by the same amount, thereby changing the overall duration of the envelope. If you don’t want this, just click the Mode entry of the breakpoint status line above the
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Envelopes
envelope editor; this will toggle the breakpoint positioning mode between SLD (slide, which is
the default and shows the described behavior) and FIX (fixed, which allows independent positioning without affecting other breakpoints).
In addition to the envelope shape, the editor displays three orange lines — two vertical, one
horizontal — drawn in a “H” shape. The section between the vertical lines, which can be dragged to other breakpoints (except the first and last point of the envelope), marks the envelope’s
sustain phase. This phase affects how the envelope will behave while a note is being held.
What exactly will happen during this time depends on whether there are any additional breakpoints between the two orange lines. If the sustain part spans only the curve between two
breakpoints, with no other breakpoints in between, the envelope will “freeze” when it reaches
the second point’s level — indicated across the sustain part with the horizontal orange line —
while the note is being held. In contrast, if there are any additional breakpoints between the
start and end markers of the sustain phase, the whole section will be looped until the note is
released, in which case the envelope immediately jumps to the section that follows the sustain
phase.
The first 8 breakpoints of a flexible envelope are special in that their positions in time and
their levels can be modulated via external modulation sources; to do this, open the envelope
editor’s Modulation Router and create modulation assignments in the usual way.
Now that you know how the envelope editor works, let’s have a look at the two remaining buttons of the panel:
Retrigger: If this button is activated, the envelope will be restarted every time KONTAKT receives a note, even if another note is still being held at the same time.
Tempo Sync: When activated, a vertical grid of note values will be drawn on top of the editor,
the step size of which will depend on your current zoom factor (remember you can zoom in and
out horizontally by right-clicking or [Ctrl]-clicking and dragging your mouse on the time line).
All breakpoints you move around in this mode will snap their position in time to these grid
lines, allowing you to create modulation curves in sync to your host or Master Editor tempo.
Since this will make the actual length of your envelope change with the host tempo, the breakpoint timing values that were previously displayed in milliseconds will now be displayed in note
divisions.
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LFOs
26.2
LFOs
Low Frequency Oscillators (LFOs) generate periodic (or in some cases, random) signals, which
are typically used for modulation across all kinds of synthesizers and samplers. Their name
stems from the modular analogue synthesizer behemoths of the past, where they first originated: it was meant to reflect that their typical operating frequency was the only thing that set
them apart from the audio oscillators (which were mostly just being referred to as “oscillators”), since otherwise, they worked pretty much the same, and had similar controls. While audio oscillators generate signals in the audible range of 20 Hz up to 20.000 Hz, LFOs provide a
much lower range. This aspect makes sense when you consider that most practical parameter
modulations call for speeds that are actually humanly perceivable as changes, not as continuous sounds. Take the canonical vibrato example from the last chapter — even 20 Hz would be
much too fast for a vibrato, so the actual frequency is actually far outside the useful audio
range.
An LFO, outputting a sine waveform at 1 Hz.
All of KONTAKT’s LFOs can generate frequencies within the range of 0.01 Hz to around 210
Hz. You’ll notice that the upper part of this range actually overlaps the audio range, which
opens up some rather interesting and creative modulation possibilities, but the better part of
your traditional LFO assignments will likely call for frequencies between 0.01 Hz and 40 Hz.
A multi LFO, which lets you mix all other waveforms into a complex waveform.
While we’re referring to “KONTAKT’s LFOs” in plural form in order to reflect the fact that depending on their output waveform, they all look a little different, there’s actually no need to
treat them like separate modules from a user’s point of view. In fact, once you’ve created an
assignment that uses an LFO as its source, you can conveniently switch the waveform on this
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LFOs
LFO’s control panel in the Modulation section of the Rack; the displayed set of controls will
follow your selection. That’s why we’ll explain every control only once in the next section, with
an appropriate remark if a control is specific to a waveform.
26.2.1
LFO Controls
Waveform button: Displays the waveform of this LFO’s output signal and allows you to select a
different one via a drop-down menu. The available waveforms are Sine, Triangle, Rectangle,
Sawtooth (falling), Random, and Multi, which is a mixture of all other waveforms.
Retrigger: If this button is activated, the LFO waveform will be restarted at the same position
each time a note is received. If it’s inactive, the LFO will run in a “freewheel” fashion, without
reacting to notes.
Freq: Adjusts the frequency of this LFO’s output signal in Hz (cycles per second). Values range
from 0.01 Hz (one cycle in 100 seconds) to around 210 Hz.
The LFO speed can be synchronized to your host tempo, an external MIDI clock, or your Master
Editor tempo. To accomplish this, click the displayed unit of the frequency readout. A dropdown menu will appear, allowing you to choose from a list of note values. After you’ve selected
a value, the LFO is in sync mode, and the frequency control will adjust and display how many
notes of this value will make up the duration of one cycle. For instance, if you select Whole
and dial in a value of 1.0, an entire LFO cycle will span exactly one bar of a 4/4 measure. To
return to unsynchronized mode, just select Default from this drop-down menu.
Fade in: If this value is greater than zero, the LFO will not start the waveform right away when a
note is received, but rather smoothly ramp it up over a time of up to 5 seconds. This works
great on human-like vibratos. Like the frequency control, this parameter can be synchronized
to a song tempo in the way described above.
Start Phase: Adjusts the position within a cycle at which the LFO will start its waveform when
it’s triggered. The value is displayed in degrees, with 0° being the start of the waveform, 180°
the mid-point of the cycle, and 360° the start of the next cycle. Setting this parameter only
makes sense when the Retrigger button is activated.
Pulsew. (Pulse width, Rectangle waveform only): The pulse width adjusts the duty cycle of the
waveform, which determines the ratio between the high and low parts of the cycle. A pulse
width of 50% results in a perfect square wave.
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Other Modulators
Waveform Mixer (Multi waveform only): The Multi waveform is special in that it’s the result of
an addition of other waveforms. Which waveforms will appear in this mixture, and at which respective amounts, can be adjusted with an additional set of controls which appears below the
main row of knobs when you switch to the Multi waveform. Note that these mix controls are
bipolar and thus allow you to reverse the polarity of source waveforms. At a value of 0.0, the
respective waveform will be absent from the mixture.
Normalize Levels (Multi waveform only): If this button is activated, and the sum of all component waveforms in the current mixture would exceed the level of a simple waveform at its
peaks, the LFO will reduce its level accordingly.
26.3
Other Modulators
This category includes all internal modulation sources that won’t fit into one of the other categories.
26.3.1
32-Step Modulator
The 32-Step Modulator.
The Step Modulator works similarly to a classic step sequencer in that it allows you to freely
define a row of up to 32 values, which will then be “played back” at a constant speed. You
can define these bipolar values by drawing bars that originate from the middle line with your
mouse; the higher a bar, the further the modulated parameter will stray from its original value
at this point in the row. To draw a linear change across multiple bars, right-click ([Ctrl]-click
on Mac OS X) and drag the mouse in your editor; this will draw a line which will be reproduced
with bars when you release the mouse button. The speed at which the Step Modulator will
move from bar to bar can be synchronized to your host or Master Editor tempo. Here’s a rundown of the controls:
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Other Modulators
Freq: Adjusts the “playback speed” of the Step Modulator. Values range from 0.01 Hz (an entire cycle through all bars will take 100 seconds) to around 210 Hz. You can synchronize the
speed to your host or Master Editor tempo by clicking on the displayed unit, then choosing a
note value from the drop-down menu and adjusting the speed knob to a number of these note
values that will be spanned by one cycle.
# (number of steps): Click this field, then drag your mouse up or down to change the number
of steps in your row. As the modulator will immediately wrap to the first row after it has
reached the end, a power of two in this field (like 8, 16 or 32) will ensure that the Step Modulator keeps aligned with a binary song meter during playback.
Retrigger: If this button is activated, the Step Modulator will restart its sequence at the first
bar each time a note is received. If it’s inactive, the step modulator will run in a “freewheel”
mode without reacting to notes.
One Shot: If this button is activated, the Step Modulator will play the row once, then stop. Otherwise, it will loop the row indefinitely.
Tools: Opens a drop-down menu with two utility functions: Reset will set all step amplitudes to
0, Snap 1/12 will restrict all edits to a grid of 24 steps (12 in each direction), which, in combination with a pitch assignment with full modulation intensity, allows you to create note sequences within a chromatic scale.
26.3.2
Envelope Follower
The Envelope Follower.
The Envelope Follower continually analyzes the amplitude of the currently played sample and
generates a modulation signal from it, thereby replicating the dynamic envelope of the audio
signal for your own use. In other words, whenever your audio signal gets louder, the modulation
signal will rise accordingly; when it gets quieter, the modulation signal will fall. These are the
available parameters:
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Other Modulators
▪ Attack: Adjusts the Envelope Follower’s response time to rising levels. Larger values will
“smooth out” the attack phases that correspond to increasing audio levels. Very short values can cause distortions, as the Envelope Follower will begin to track each cycle of the
audio waveform.
▪ Decay: Adjusts the Envelope Follower’s response time to falling levels. Larger values will
“smooth out” the decay phases that correspond to decreasing audio levels. Very short values can cause distortions, as the Envelope Follower will begin to track each cycle of the
audio waveform.
▪ Gain: Adjusts the Envelope Follower’s sensitivity to the audio signal. Larger values result in
a higher envelope amplitude.
▪ Adapt: Sets a baseline transient response time for the Envelope Follower.
26.3.3
Glide
The Glide module.
The Glide module acts as a source for a special modulation signal that’s needed to create a
portamento effect. This effect is known from monophonic synthesizers and adds a sliding transition between the pitches of two consecutive notes when they are played in a legato fashion.
To create a portamento, assign the Glide module to the pitch of your source module, and set
the corresponding modulation intensity to the maximum value. Using this module in other
ways rarely makes sense. Also note that while using this facility with polyphonic Instruments
certainly works, the effect is usually associated with monophonic Instruments. The module
provides two controls:
▪ Time/Speed: Selects one of two different glide modes. If Time is selected, all transitions
happen in the same time, regardless of the interval between the notes; in Speed mode,
wide-spaced intervals will result in longer transitions than close-spaced intervals, as the
glide speed will be kept constant.
▪ Speed: Adjusts the speed of the portamento. You can synchronize this parameter to your
host or Master Editor tempo by clicking on the displayed unit, then selecting a note value
from the drop-down menu and adjusting a numerator for this value with the speed knob.
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External Sources
26.4
External Sources
An external modulation assignment which maps MIDI Velocity to the volume parameter of an Amplifier Module.
This category encompasses modulation sources whose signals don’t originate from one of KONTAKT’s source modules; most of the sources found in this category reference incoming MIDI
data of any sort, allowing you to use data like pitch bend, aftertouch, or MIDI controllers for
parameter modulation. Let’s start with these:
▪ Pitch Bend: This kind of MIDI data is usually sent by pitch bend wheels or levers on master
keyboards. Unlike normal MIDI controllers, pitch bend data is transmitted in a rather fine
resolution of 14 bit, which provides 16,384 value steps. If both your controller and the parameter that you’d like to modulate can work with this resolution, KONTAKT will use it to
its full extent.
▪ Poly Aftertouch: This controller, also referred to as key pressure, is sent by a rather small
number of MIDI keyboards and allows you to receive aftertouch pressure data for individual
keys. Note that in order to create an Instrument that responds to polyphonic aftertouch,
you’ll need to spread your voices across multiple Groups that are cycled in a round-robin
fashion, so that the pressure of each key can be processed within its own group.
▪ Mono Aftertouch: This controller, which is also being referred to as channel pressure, provides a single value for the aftertouch pressure that’s applied to held keys. It’s sent by a
wide range of master keyboards.
▪ MIDI CC: The MIDI specification provides 128 continuous controllers (0-127) for general
use. These are supported by almost all MIDI controller devices and used for transmitting
the status of controllers like modulation wheels, sustain and volume pedals, or general purpose fader banks. Some controller numbers are assigned to standard devices (#1 = modulation wheel, #7 = volume, #11 = expression, #64 = sustain pedal, to name a few), but
KONTAKT doesn’t take that into account — you can use all controller numbers between 0
and 121 as modulation sources.
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External Sources
▪ Key Position: This source provides access to the MIDI note number of a pressed key. It can
be used to change parameters, like a filter cutoff, in response to the pitch of the played
note in order to make keyboard tracking possible.
▪ Velocity: This is a value between 0-127 that indicates how hard (technically, fast) a key
has been hit. It’s transmitted by nearly all master keyboards and is frequently being assigned to parameters like volume, brightness, or (inversely) the length of the attack phase.
▪ Release Velocity: This value is sent by a very small number of master keyboards. It indicates how slow or fast a key is being released and is useful for changing the length of a
sound’s release phase accordingly.
▪ RLS Trig. Count: This value is generated for Groups that are being triggered on release and
indicates the time between the trigger and the release signal. Read the description of release triggers in chapter ↑20, The Source Module for an in-depth explanation of this facility.
In addition to external MIDI data, the External category also includes 3 special sources of scalar values that won’t change over time:
▪ Constant will simply add or subtract the value of the modulation intensity fader to the
modulated parameter. It can be used to easily “bend” parameter values beyond the range
limits of their controls.
▪ Random Unipolar will generate a random value between 0 and 1 for each received note.
▪ Random Bipolar will generate a random value between -1 and 1 for each received note.
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Keyboard Shortcuts
Global Keys
27
Keyboard Shortcuts
On OS X computers, use the [Cmd] (Command) key instead of the [Ctrl] (Control) key. The left
and right mouse buttons are abbreviated with “LMB” and “RMB”, respectively.
27.1
Global Keys
Shortcut
Function
[Ctrl] + [N]
New Instrument
[Ctrl] + [O]
Open Instrument
[Ctrl] + [S]
Save
[Shift] + [Ctrl] + [S]
Save As
[Ctrl] + [C]
Copy
[Ctrl] + [V]
Paste
[Ctrl] + [X]
Cut
[Ctrl] + [A]
Select All
[Cmd] + [Q] (Mac OS X), Quit
[Alt] + [F4] (Windows)
Delete / Backspace
Delete
[F1]
Browser
[F2]
Outputs section
[F3]
Keyboard
[F4]
Master Editor
[F5]
Group Editor
[F6]
Mapping Editor
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Keyboard Shortcuts
Browser
Shortcut
Function
[F7]
Wave Editor
[F8]
Script Editor
[F9] (Windows), [Ctrl] +
[I]
Info Pane
27.2
Browser
Shortcut
Function
Alphanumeric Keys
Jump to file by name
Cursor Up
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27.3
Instrument Edit Mode
Shortcut
Function
Alphanumeric Keys
Play Instrument
[Ctrl] + [Z]
Undo
[Ctrl] + [Y]
Redo
[^] or [~] (key to the left
of [1])
Modulation Quick-Jump
[Esc]
Exit Instrument Edit mode
KONTAKT - Manual - 345
Keyboard Shortcuts
Group Editor
27.4
Group Editor
Shortcut
Function
[Ctrl] + [D]
Duplicate Group
27.5
Mapping Editor
Shortcut
Function
[Ctrl] + LMB
Cycle through overlapping Zones (inside Zones); Set
Zone crossfades (on Zone edges)
[Shift] + LMB
Multiple selection; expand or collapse all Groups (in
list view)
[Shift] + Cursor Keys
Add adjacent Zones to selection
[Ctrl] + Cursor Left /
Right
Move key range of selected Zone(s) by one note
[Shift] + [Ctrl] + Cursor
Left / Right
Adjust upper key limit of selected Zone(s) by one
note
[Ctrl] + Cursor Up / Down Move velocity range of selected Zone(s) by two steps
[Shift] + [Ctrl] + Cursor
Up / Down
Adjust upper velocity limit of selected Zone(s) by
two steps
[Shift] + LMB (Click and Rubber band selection w/o moving Zones
Drag)
Alt + LMB (Click and
Drag)
Rubber band zooming
[+] (Number Pad)
Zoom in
[-] (Number Pad)
Zoom out
KONTAKT - Manual - 346
Keyboard Shortcuts
Wave Editor
Shortcut
Function
[Ctrl] + [T]
Auto-map selected Zone(s)
[Ctrl] + [E]
Auto-spread Zone ranges
[Ctrl] + [R]
Resolve key range overlaps
[Shift] + [Ctrl] + [R]
Resolve velocity range overlaps
[Ctrl] + [D]
Duplicate Zone
[Shift] + [Ctrl] + [E]
Auto-spread velocity ranges
27.6
Wave Editor
Shortcut
Function
[Alt] + LMB (Click and
Drag)
Rubber band zooming
KONTAKT - Manual - 347
File Formats
28
File Formats
Hardware Formats
File Extension
AKAI
S-1000
CD-Rom
S-3000 / Mesa
CD-ROM; .s3p; .sp; no extension (Mac OS X)
S-5000 / S-6000 Program
.akp
S-5000 / S-6000 Multi
.akm
Z-4 / Z-8 Program
.akp
MPC 5000
.akp
MPC Sound
.snd
MPC Program
.pgm
ALESIS
FUSION
.afp
EMU
EOS IV
CD-ROM
EIII
CD-ROM
Esi
.esi
Emax II
KORG
TRITON
.ksc & .pcg
KONTAKT - Manual - 348
File Formats
Hardware Formats
File Extension
KURZWEIL
K2000 / K2VX
.krz
K2500
.k25
K2600
.k26
YAMAHA
A3000
A4000
A5000
MOTIF
.xov
ROLAND
S-50 / S-550
.out
S-700 / S770
.out
FANTOM-G / FANTOM-S
.svd
ENSONIQ
EPS
.efe
ASR-10
.efa
ASR-X
PULSAR
KONTAKT - Manual - 349
File Formats
Hardware Formats
File Extension
Pulsar STS Program
.p
Pulsar STS Sample
.s
Pulsar STS-5000
.sts
Software Formats
File Extension
GIGASTUDIO
Gigastudio 1-2.5
.gig
Gigastudio 3
.gig
EXS24
EXS24 mkI
.exs
EXS24 mkII
.exs
HALION
Halion 1 / 2 program
.fxp
REASON NN-XT
NN-XT Instruments
.sxt
RECYCLE
REX 1
.rex
REX 2
.rx2
KONTAKT - Manual - 350
File Formats
Hardware Formats
File Extension
MACH 5
Mach 5 Bank
.m5b
Mach 5 Preset
.m5p
Mach 5 Performance
.m5m
SOUNDFONT 2
Soundfont 2
.sf2
BATTERY
Battery 1
.kit
Battery 2
.kt2
Battery 3 Kits
.kt3
Battery 3 Cells
.cl3
REAKTOR
Reaktor
.map
LM4
LM4 mk1
.txt
LM4 mk2
.fxp
BITHEADZ
KONTAKT - Manual - 351
File Formats
Hardware Formats
File Extension
DS-1 Unity
.uds
SAMPLECELL
SampleCell
.ins; no extension / CD-ROM
BEATCREATOR
BeatCreator
.zgr
DR-008
DR-008 Kits
.zgr
RGC:AUDIO SFZ
sfz sample definition files
.sfz
VSAMPLER
VSampler 1 – 2.5
.vsb
WAVEMACHINE LABS
Drumagog
.gog
Audio File Formats
File Extension
WAV
KONTAKT - Manual - 352
File Formats
Hardware Formats
File Extension
mono / stereo
.wav
multichannel
.wav
AIFF
mono / stereo
.aiff / .aif
multichannel
.aiff / .aif
APPLE LOOPS
Apple Loop
.aiff / .aif
ACID
Acidized Wave
.wav
SOUND DESIGNER 2
Mono / Stereo
.sd2
Disc Formats
File Extension
Akai S1000 Disc
proprietary
Akai S3000 Disc
proprietary
E-MU Disc
proprietary
Roland Disc
proprietary
Ensoniq Disc
proprietary
KONTAKT - Manual - 353
File Formats
Hardware Formats
File Extension
Kurzweil Disc
proprietary
Mac HFS Disc (PC)
proprietary
KONTAKT - Manual - 354
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