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Native Instruments Kontakt 3 Reviews
Awesomely powerful sampler, which most people will treat like a ROMpler and only ever use the included sounds. These included sounds are, however, simply amazing and cover pretty much all bases from world to jazz and big band, to dance and harder styles.
There are hundreds of aftermarket libraries available for Kontakt, for a staggering range of prices, and the sampler itself imports most of the common filetypes from samplers past and present. Hardly any excuse for running out of sounds!
If there\'s any fault with the library, it\'s that the \'electronic toys\' section seems a little like the poor relation - we bought the latest/greatest software sampler to avoid tinny, home-keyboard sounds, and they\'ll find little use in my recordings. However, if you\'re into lo-fi stuff, then they\'ll be right up your street. Of course, if you\'re into lo-fi, then buying the high-fidelity, uber-powerful, massively-multisampled Kontakt library seems like an expensive way of going about it!
The real power of Kontakt comes in the scripting - which, when instituted, allows note-offs, guitar slides, round-robin samples and other nuances. The net result [even if you never program a script yourself] means that you can play a sax line, or finger-pick a guitar, and it\'ll sound as realistic as ever you\'ll hear. Saxes blow, toit, mis-fire and vibrato perfectly, and guitars slide, string-noise, resonate, twang etc just as if you\'d close miked the real deal. Of course, you can import samples and set up any script you like, to enable arpeggios, gates, tape flutter etc.
There\'s a huge number of effects available, from simple delays and reverbs, to complex convolutions and filter types [many coming from other synths in the NI range.] This means you can take a raw Moog waveform, and run it through the Kontakt filters [HP, BP, LP and any number more esoteric] to make the raw waves sound unique.
The orchestral library is from the VSL samples; take it as read that they\'re quality items; however, there\'s few solo instruments, so you\'ll have to look elsewhere for a solo violin or French Horn. There are a number of good fiddles/trombones/horns [from Chris Hein] included in the library, though.
It\'s a 33GB library, so laptop users like me may worry about available space - fortunately, you can move the library wherever you like [including to an external drive] and it\'ll be fine, as long as you point Kontakt in the right direction once you\'ve moved directories.
In summary, it\'s the present king of software samplers, with a degree of available realism like never before.