Kontakt alternative

blazej Member Posts: 7 Newcomer
edited April 2023 in Kontakt

I am having endless problems and issues with Kontakt and Komplete Control. This software is so, so inconvenient, super old and ackward.

Ater 30 years this program still looks and works like taken from Window95 installation.

There is pretty much no improvement (except some super minor cosmetics). I do not even see one reason to upgrade from Kontakt6 to Kontakt7 and pay money for something that I really do not lake to use. I use it because have not found better choice but I am hoping it exists.

Is there any useful Kontakt alternative, which accepts NKS formats and standards ?



  • LostInFoundation
    LostInFoundation Member Posts: 4,269 Expert
    edited April 2023

    As much as I sometimes criticize NI for some of their behaviors, I don’t agree that Kontakt is inconvenient and awkward. There is a reason why it is practically the industry standard and so many people build their instruments in it. It has for sure a learning curve, but once you got it, it works very well.

    Probably it is simply not clicking with you (which is more than understandable), but finding an alternative will not be so easy.

    One that comes to mind (but I’m definitely no expert with it) is Decent Sampler, which is also free, so you can have a look at it without investing anything (except your time)

    In any case, NKS is NI own format, so probably you won’t find anything else accepting it. Usually other companies are using it, not the opposite

  • Gee_Flat
    Gee_Flat Member Posts: 906 Guru

    I use Kontakt 6. No one is forcing you to use K7. Maybe a Kontakt 8 release will be something you can't live without. Never know.

  • LostInFoundation
    LostInFoundation Member Posts: 4,269 Expert

    Another thing you can have a look at (if you already own it) is the recently added Maschine auto sampler functionality. Surely it is not as deep as Kontakt, but, as the name implies, it is automatic, so it requires a very small effort

  • JesterMgee
    JesterMgee Member Posts: 2,579 Expert

    What issues are you having, what OS are you on, What DAW are you using?

    No need to upgrade to K7 if you don't want it, it is optional, I still use K6, have never had issues but would help to know exactly what issues you are having. If you use Komplete Kontrol then you do not even need the browser for Kontakt and just use the instruments when loaded, so not sure what the issue is here.

  • Brad Yost
    Brad Yost Member Posts: 350 Pro


    If you can't find satisfaction using the pinnacle flagship of the industry, you could try this: https://abilityinstruments.com/

    But know that it will not load most NKI compatible instruments, and the interface is severely crippled compared to Kontakt, but... YMMV

    You know what they say... imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.

  • DunedinDragon
    DunedinDragon Member Posts: 453 Pro

    I couldn't disagree more with the OP. I've only been using Kontakt and Komplete Kontrol for a couple of years, but it's always worked consistently for me and I use it heavily each and every week. My only issue is that Native Instruments has never really provided an overall guiding summary document for helping people understand what each of their products do and how they're meant to work together. That's what tends to take the most time for people to understand.

    Once you get the model of how their products operate it's pretty simple to at least understand how to best apply them. I would say not all of their plugins are the most intuitive in terms of navigation and are often at odds with how another plugin operates. But I suspect that's a natural fallout from having multiple teams developing different plugins with no overall guidance for a common operational approach.

    If I were asked by someone whether or not they should get involved with using Native Instruments I would caution them that it's a highly technical environment and unless you're pretty proficient at using your computer and it's operating system features you'll likely struggle with it and probably have problems getting it to work how you want it to work.

  • blazej
    blazej Member Posts: 7 Newcomer


    here is an example.

    • I load KK onto the track (Ableton or S1, doesn't matter).
    • I want to open full Kontakt view in KK - BUT I CANNOT UNTIL I OPEN FROM INSTRUMENT
    • I load simple sample Lib and after few reloads I get "Memory Full" message (while there is plenty of RAM and HD space
    • I save snapshot files and they disappear
    • I want to read the screen and I cannot because fonts are super dark on a super dark background and there is no scaling of any kind
    • Kontakt libs GUI sucks at 90% rate simply because it dos not allow developers to create scalable interface (everything is OLD SCHOOL based on raster graphic which dos not scale)
    • No color, font, layout, paths, customization of any kind
    • You install or update NA components and suddenly NA puts dozens of icons on the desktop (without any warning - well this one is not directly related to Kontakt)
    • there are many (TO MANY) operations which have to be done in stand-alone KK or Kontakt because the DLL version is missing certain routines.

    I could go on and on....

    DO NOT TELL ME KONTAKT IS GREAT BECAUSE IT IS NOT. Yes it was great in Windows95 era - I could agree with that statement. Not anymore. I use it because I have no choice, but I do not like it at all and do not even need all Kontakt internal features (i.e sampling, FX etc).

    These days developers know how to write a code but 99% don't know how to design usable apps and worst of all how to design and build great interface. Kontakt interface really, really sucks and when embeded inside KK it sucks even more because these two do not talk to each other well.

    Because of the Kontakt obsolete design I had to ask for a refund for a plugin which otherwise were great. I just could not use the VST interface because it was not readable. It was partially fault of the plugin designer (ie. Spitfire) and partially because they could not build scalable GUI.

    Some people are OK walking, but some prefer to use a vehicle - it is your choice. The moment I have a choice or alternative I quit Kontakt (unless they rebuild it from the ground up). Now I suggest to go back and try Windows95 - you will have a right feeling of where the Kontakt is.

  • blazej
    blazej Member Posts: 7 Newcomer


    Thank you for replying, but Kontakt is independent of the DAW so it doesn't really matter what software I use. The Mac and Win version is pretty much the same (although the file locations are different.

    I run Ableton-Live11 and Studio One 6.1 on Win10 (64Gig-RAM, 60Tb HD space)

    My main complain about Kontakt is GUI, which limits me from using many libraries. I simply cannot read the screen and nothing is scalable. While one can scale the Kontakt window it does not scale Fonts, and Lib interface. I use 4K screens and have on HD screen. Even when I move the Kontakt window on HD screen, 80% of the time everything is still to small. the only time is is acceptable is when I open things on the laptop. Is Kontakt designed for laptops only ?

    When I open it in KK I end up with two browsers ? what is the purpose ? Yes I can close one, but why create such a mess and bloating software with unnecessary ****** ? You see the answer why Kontakt is not up to the task is very complex and it would take several pages to explain. If they at least rebuild the GUI based on vector graphic Libs it would be a huge improvement. As I stated in my other post - I had to turn away more than a dozen Kontakt libraries, because of the GUI, despite they have had great sounds and general design.

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,789 Expert

    There are hundreds of Kontakt Libraries. Do you think developers, if they still exist, rework interfaces to vector ones? Maybe some would.... So, the plugin interface rework is not as simple as it might seem.

  • RoyceClark
    RoyceClark Member Posts: 1 Newcomer
    edited April 2023

    How long have you been using Kontakt and Komplete Control, and have you tried contacting the manufacturer's customer support to address the issues you are experiencing?

  • dustindepp
    dustindepp Member Posts: 1 Newcomer

    Kontakt's interface is well-designed and efficient, allowing for quick and easy access to all the necessary controls. Also offers a wide range of effects and processing tools, enabling users to further enhance and sculpt their sounds. If you are unsatisfied then wait for Kontakt 8.

    Remember that the best Kontakt alternative for you ultimately depends on your specific needs, workflow preferences, and budget. It's always a good idea to try out different options and see which one suits your requirements the best.

  • oncloudshoes
    oncloudshoes Member Posts: 1 Newcomer

    thank you for sharing this

  • Scott Davis
    Scott Davis Member Posts: 7 Member

    At last, I can see someone else feels my frustration with NI and Kontakt. I have the latest Mac M1 , big ram and Drive and run latest Logic. Im not a newby and have been sound engineering since 1972. Kontakt just doesn't relate to the modern style of GUI and workflow for a musician . I am a composer/producer and the last thing I want is to stop my workflow to look up what NI needs to get my instruments up and working independently. As far as Garritan Orchestras and Lores, I have stopped using them. The sound samples are absolutely great, and accessing them through the Kontakt player is a waste of time ...

  • Simchris
    Simchris Member Posts: 242 Advisor

    many many pro musicians and composers would disagree with you

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