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Best method to convert the sample rate of Kontakt format libraries

evo2slo

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I work in 48kHz and would like to convert all of my Kontakt libraries that are in 44.1k to 48k for 2 reasons:

1) to use a higher quality sample rate converter (izotope) than the realtime one in Kontakt
2) to lessen the processing demands of my libraries by not needing to convert samples in real time

The libraries I have with samples in WAV format are simple to do this with by simply replacing the samples with the conversions.

However, the libraries in NCW format have me wondering what the best method would be. Should I convert the NCW samples to WAV and then convert those WAVs to 48k and then convert them back to NCW?

One tricky aspect of this is knowing which NCW files are 44.1k and which are already 48k.

Does anyone know a way of determining the sample rate of NCW files?

Has anyone else done anything like this? Thanks for the help!
 
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evo2slo

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Follow up for anyone curious: I just converted my first NCW Kontakt library from the original 44.1k to 48k. I chose 8DIO Bazantar because it was the first alphabetically - and I'm quite fond of it.

My method was I opened it in Kontakt and from the file menu chose 'save as' and from the menu selected 'Patch + Samples' and deselected the 'Compress Samples' option. This exported the instrument file and converted the NCW samples to WAV samples in a new location.

I then dragged the WAV 44.1k samples into the RX batch converter and upsampled them to 48k. Then I replaced the 44.1k WAV samples with the new 48k samples. And then I opened the saved instrument file in Kontakt, which loaded the new 48k samples. Finally I chose 'save as' from the file menu and selected the 'Compress Samples' option. This exported 48k NCW samples, and I replaced the original samples in the original Bazantar folder with the new ones. I did the same thing with the phrase instruments as well.

Strangely there were a few hundred fewer samples after the conversion than were in the original sample folder. I realized that a few of these were IR samples that did not export with the instrument. I'm still not sure what the other missing ones are, maybe unused by the developer, but everything is loading and playing great so far.

I saved the original 44.1k version to compare with the new one, and the processing difference seems to be very slight in going back and forth between them. Perhaps it would take a few dozen instances to notice much difference there. It shows that the on-the-fly resampling by Kontakt is actually quite efficient.

I did notice a significant improvement in sound quality though. Round robin sampling makes it hard to make a completely fair comparison, but in all my listening tests I preferred the new version. Yes, placebo effect possibly.

Here's 2 different exports, one with the 44.1k samples and the other with the 48k samples, from the exact same midi file. The difference was enough for me to want to continue doing this with some of my other libraries.

Kontakt using the original 44.1k NCW samples (48/24 WAV export) - default main instrument:

Kontakt using the new 48k NCW samples (48/24 WAV export) - default main instrument:
 

pondinthestream

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very different looking waveforms and sound - are you sure you haven't got an IR on one and not the other? Resampling shouldn't make that much difference to the appearance
 
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evo2slo

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Yeah it’s a much more drastic difference than I would have expected. Might be a round robin thing, selecting different samples for the notes. I’m away from my computer now but will do some more tests later - maybe multiple exports from each sample rate library instead of just the one.
 
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evo2slo

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Just did another export of the original and the converted libraries, and this time they are much closer. I think the round robins make it hard to compare. Later I'll try with a different library that doesn't use alternate samples.

Original 44.1k library:

Converted 48k library:
 

zigzag

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My method was I opened it in Kontakt and from the file menu chose 'save as' and from the menu selected 'Patch + Samples' and deselected the 'Compress Samples' option. This exported the instrument file and converted the NCW samples to WAV samples in a new location.
I think you can do this only with instruments that are not protected.
 
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evo2slo

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I think you can do this only with instruments that are not protected.
That seems true for the most part, the protected libraries only offer patch export but not patch + samples - so there doesn't seem to be any way to change their sample rate. I did try one protected library with the samples (44/16) in NKX format that surprisingly did export the samples as WAVs. Pretty sure it was an oversight by the developer because the other libraries I tried were patch only. It would be nice if developers would just do it themselves and offer 48k as an optional download. Regardless of how subtle the differences are I would prefer to use samples that are in the same sample rate as my project - especially considering that most are recorded at an even higher rate and then downsampled.
 
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evo2slo

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Here's a better comparison with the Cinematique Instruments Rytmik percussion library. I converted the original 44.1k samples to 48k and exported the same two patterns from the original and converted instruments.

All this really is is a comparison of the on-the-fly Kontakt upsampling from 44.1k to 48k, and the offline iZotope RX upsampling from 44.1k to 48k. I thought this might be helpful for anyone else who's considering converting their own libraries.

Original 44.1k Rytmik Instrument (48/24 WAV export):
Loop 1

Loop 2


Converted 48k Rytmik Instrument (48/24 WAV export):
Loop 1

Loop 2
 
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