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Kontakt 6, sampler in the cold?

LinusW

Active Member
Back in september I had a distributor give me a demonstration on Komplete 12. I asked for a Kontakt 6 showcase. He showed me the larger Kontakt window and some new general and boring instrument libraries. So I asked for new features, what does Kontakt 6 actually bring to users to call it v6? More knobs? Optimization?
-...well, the sound libraries are essentially it. There are so much more that can be made for third-party developers.
-Ok?
-We've got tools for developers making new possibilities.
-So version 6 is more about developers creating content than for the composer noodling around in the plugin?
-We don't have any third-party libraries for Kontakt 6 right now, but I'm sure a lot of folks are working on new libraries using new features. I think this spring will be amazing.

So more than 6 months later, Massive X is still not released, no articles on new features in Kontakt 6 and I've yet to see a single 3rd party library requiring Kontakt 6.

On the contrary, I see developers ready to abandon the Kontakt environment.
Spitfire Audio made their own sample player, Orchestral Tools has revealed theirs too, UJAM and Soundiron libraries have been recast into Rack Extensions so Reason users won't need Kontakt, even more developers I can't mention are working on sampler engines...
It seems like nobody wants to be the one forcing Kontakt users to upgrade because not even Native Instruments could motivate users on their own.
 

EvilDragon

KSP Wizard
There's the new wavetable oscillator which is pretty useful and allows to nicely blend samples and synthesis, and new reverb and delay effects (sorely requested by devs for years), and new scripting features.

Yes, it's a more developer-focused update.

Noire requires K6. And yes, there are more K6 libs in the pipeline. One of them by yours truly, and pretty soon ;)
 

Lukas

Keyboardist / composer
There's the new wavetable oscillator which is pretty useful and allows to nicely blend samples and synthesis, and new reverb and delay effects (sorely requested by devs for years), and new scripting features.
Yes, that's it.

There is so much that could have been improved workflow-wise. Nothing happened.

K6 is a joke. (at least the number in it)
 

GingerMaestro

Active Member
I'm planning to buy some Orchestral Tools Stuff when their new pick and mix store goes live. Would peoples advise be to avoid buying Kontakt, as this will presumably all work with their new sample player ? Does anyone know how much a Kontakt 6 crossgrade is when they have a sale and indeed when their next sale might be ? Thank you
 

whitewasteland

Senior Member
I'm planning to buy some Orchestral Tools Stuff when their new pick and mix store goes live. Would peoples advise be to avoid buying Kontakt, as this will presumably all work with their new sample player ? Does anyone know how much a Kontakt 6 crossgrade is when they have a sale and indeed when their next sale might be ? Thank you
Most of OT libraries are designed to work with the free Kontakt Player :) Actually, quite everything except the Berlin Expansions I think.
 

bcarwell

Senior Member
I'll tell you one thing I experienced recently that gave me a distaste for K6. I had some libraries I was testing in K6 player, and batch resaved. When I tried to load samples from them in Cubase I got an error message that my Kontakt was too old to load them (5.8.1) Turns out if they were saved in K6, they won't load in a downlevel of Kontakt in Cubase. I had to get new uncorrupted Instrument files from the library vendors and re-install them substituting them for the existing Instruments. Happened with several libraries. I was going to upgrade to Kontakt 6 in the hopes that would be an easy fix, but decided that's crazy to pay $100 for something I don't need just to fix this (although its been many hours and hassle to do otherwise).

Bottom line: K6 thanks but no thanks...

Bob
 

Ben H

Senior Member
Turns out if they were saved in K6, they won't load in a downlevel of Kontakt in Cubase.
Isn't that the case for all versions of Kontakt though?
Yes, this has always been the case.

There's no way a previous version of Kontakt can know what it's supposed to do with changes/additional features from a Kontakt version from the future.

I had to get new uncorrupted Instrument files from the library vendors and re-install them substituting them for the existing Instruments. Happened with several libraries.
Not sure why you wouldn't just restore the files from your backups?
 
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g.c.

Active Member
Why not just leave K5 ,and even K4 and in my case K2 active as I do to run the things that newer versions of Kontakt and newer code revisions render no longer functional?
g.c.
 

kitekrazy

Senior Member
Back in september I had a distributor give me a demonstration on Komplete 12. I asked for a Kontakt 6 showcase. He showed me the larger Kontakt window and some new general and boring instrument libraries. So I asked for new features, what does Kontakt 6 actually bring to users to call it v6? More knobs? Optimization?
-...well, the sound libraries are essentially it. There are so much more that can be made for third-party developers.
-Ok?
-We've got tools for developers making new possibilities.
-So version 6 is more about developers creating content than for the composer noodling around in the plugin?
-We don't have any third-party libraries for Kontakt 6 right now, but I'm sure a lot of folks are working on new libraries using new features. I think this spring will be amazing.

So more than 6 months later, Massive X is still not released, no articles on new features in Kontakt 6 and I've yet to see a single 3rd party library requiring Kontakt 6.

On the contrary, I see developers ready to abandon the Kontakt environment.
Spitfire Audio made their own sample player, Orchestral Tools has revealed theirs too, UJAM and Soundiron libraries have been recast into Rack Extensions so Reason users won't need Kontakt, even more developers I can't mention are working on sampler engines...
It seems like nobody wants to be the one forcing Kontakt users to upgrade because not even Native Instruments could motivate users on their own.
I refuse to buy sample based REs. Reason has no option for samples to be put on another drive. Kontakt as a VST in Reason has the advantage. I can see avoiding Kontakt Player because of fees. BTW the fees paid for Rack Extensions are no bargain either.
 

GtrString

Active Member
Native Instruments is a bit worrying, because many of us have invested a lot of dough in libraries for NI Kontakt. We just dont know the longevity of the products. All the other products from NI that were developed at the time Kontakt came out, is now legacy products they use to stuff out Komplete, so it looks the bundle. The changes are very incremental. The new stuff is often great, though, imo.

However, there are no guarantees that there will be Kontakt 7, or even Komplete 13. NI may decide that Komplete is now over with 12, and start a new line (but probably offer crossgrades and what not). We dont know. But 3rd party libs like ProjectSam Symphobia has proven to have a long shelf life, though, so even if this is the last Kontakt, the investment should be worth while for at least 10-15 years. Even if they shut down, in worst case scenario.

Compared to great analog instruments this is nothing, but I guess with virtual instruments this is as good as it gets.
 
OP
LinusW

LinusW

Active Member
I think Native Instruments have been very busy with Maschine and the NKS platform, developing hardware for a hardware based workflow instead of evolving GUIs in software. And so Kontakt becomes a small part in a giant rompler system where you browse for the next sound.
Komplete 13 will certainly come, but I think the throne of the sampler engine is torn into pieces for tailor-made custom plugins.
 

EvilDragon

KSP Wizard
Kontakt ain't going anywhere, folks.

but I think the throne of the sampler engine is torn into pieces for tailor-made custom plugins.
I don't think so. There's still lots of unknowns as far as performance of those other engines is concerned. Spitfire's isn't comparable to Kontakt (let's not talk about the GUI atrocity, while it's in a more modern style, sure, they made a lot of other UX mistakes), and all others are still a giant questionmark. And rest assured they are all probably going to be closed source and not open to 3rd parties, so it's not really comparable to Kontakt as a platform and a central hub for sample libraries.
 

thereus

Active Member
It's definitely NI's game to win or lose and all the other players are amateurs. The alternatives lack proper resource management and are limited to each company's own libraries by design. Many have other flaws. Spitfire seem to be releasing a different version for each library. Vienna's license model verges on the illegal. Play lacks basic control functionality. I could go on. Falcon is fabulous, incidently.

However, if NI wants to keep Kontakt as the universal powerhouse and avoid the proliferation of these inferior options, it is going to have to work hard to keep both the developers and the composers happy. It seems to me that it has not got the strategy quite right, if so many developers want to waste their resources on their own engines and so many users find the UI to be looking increasingly dated. It needs serious investment and a pricing review at the same time. Kontakt 6 doesn't seem to go far enough. If NI continue to just see it as just Kash Kow number 1, it will die a slow death that will be to nobody's benefit.




Kontakt ain't going anywhere, folks.



I don't think so. There's still lots of unknowns as far as performance of those other engines is concerned. Spitfire's isn't comparable to Kontakt (let's not talk about the GUI atrocity, while it's in a more modern style, sure, they made a lot of other UX mistakes), and all others are still a giant questionmark. And rest assured they are all probably going to be closed source and not open to 3rd parties, so it's not really comparable to Kontakt as a platform and a central hub for sample libraries.
 

EvilDragon

KSP Wizard
Falcon is fabulous, incidently.
Yes, for sound design it really is. CPU and RAM usage with DFD is higher than Kontakt's, tho, and library management in Falcon isn't particularly great (there's nothing like tag-based database like Kontakt has, for example).

if so many developers want to waste their resources on their own engines and so many users find the UI to be looking increasingly dated.
Note that there are hundreds of Kontakt library devs out there. There are only a few of them that are large enough to break off with their own thing, so saying "so many" paints a wrong picture, I'd say.

If NI continue to just see it as just Kash Kow number 1, it will die a slow death that will be to nobody's benefit.
This is exactly why K6 is a more developer-focused update, we got several things that were asked for years, like custom fonts, better spatial effects, certain other facilities, etc. I know a number of developers who are pretty happy with those additions.


You could ridicule Steve Ballmer all you want (me first!), but he was right about one thing. It's all about the developers (developers, developers, developers, developers...), when you have a platform.


Vienna's license model verges on the illegal
Hmmm... Care to elaborate?
 
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EvilDragon

KSP Wizard
You're right. I really just meant to say 1st party only, not open to 3rd parties.

Considering HISE's viability, I sure don't see a lot of it being used despite it being available for some time now...
 

ism

Senior Member
I can well take the point about the importance of the developer focus in K6.

But for me the question is whether these improvements will bring any benefits to orchestral libraries., specifically.

Additional effects, wavetables sound ... very nice for synths and hybrid instruments. I expect great things in, say, upcoming Output or Heavocity libraries. But I have no sense of any benefit for a user like my self who wants to see the state of the art pushed on, for instance, clarinet libraries.

OT and spitfire are at the very beginning of stepping outside the Kontakt ecosystem. OT is saying it’s explicitly because they want to push the envelope in orchestral sampling, while spitfire ... well while their marketing is for some reason studiously avoiding saying there will any benefit for high end users , it’s based on Hans Zimmer’s proprietary technology, and reading between the lines a bit, there’s every reason to hope that pushing the art of specifically orchestral sampling is also a driving force.

In practice though, so far as a know, there is no orchestral library that I can buy today that benefits from anything that beyond the state of the art of K5. And I have no idea how much this is likely to change in the next few years, or where the next significant step forward in sampling technology will come from.
 
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