aka Member Posts: 34 Member
edited July 2023 in Kontakt

Kontakt7 vs Kontakt 6 has nothing new to offer. Yes version 7 brings some new libraries, but other than that (and Library selection panel, which nobody really cares about) it has almost nothing new to offer.

Now - let's get to the major reason for this post header.

1) KONTAKT resides on super ancient technology and libraries which make implementing new features almost impossible.

2) KONTAKT still uses super unreliable SQLite database (which should be avoided for modern software at any cost)

3) KONTAKT uses raster fonts and raster images. None of them are salable and that creates tons and tons of problems with implementing Kontakt plugin GUI. There is practical no scalability. 90% of Kontakt libraries are unreadable on high resolution screens. They especially become completely useless on 4K monitors, because everything is to small to read and use.

5) Kontakt has no customization of fonts or colors ! It is hard to believe that in XXI-st century somebody would try to sell a software without a y least this basic customization.

On top of that default Kontakt color scheme is dark and hard to read. The MENU system looks like it is designed for Windows-95.

4) Kontakt has been embedded into Komplete Kontrol which is like stacking Russian Dolls (one into another). While Russian Dolls are super cute, this method of implementing software for KK devices (keyboards) is super poor, inconvenient, unreliable. It uses extra drive space, RAM and most of all adds unnecessary complexity and more points of failure.

5) Library implementation for vendors who paid NI Kontakt license and those who do not is also super inconvenient for the user. Why the user has to deal with two locations for the Kontakt libraries (not just one) ?

6) For some users internal Kontakt editor might be useful, but these days most users use DAW's for music production end editing. Internal Kontakt functionality for editing samples, etc is nice to have but not crucial and because of the super old and inconvenient interface most users use it only ins situations when certain minimal adjustments to the library is needed.

7) This topic has been discussed hundreds of times and for the last few years I do not see even one sentence or statement mentioning serious Kontakt improvements from NI.

For me as an average user (I spent only 50% of my time on a music production) KONTAKT becomes less and less usable. I am at the point where I am not going to upgrade my Komplete Kontrol libraries, because I tend to avoid Kontakt when I can. The simple reason is usability. The major turn-off for me is the fact the Kontakt GUI on 4K screens (which I use) simply sucks !

I have purchased several libraries (i.e from Spitfire Audio) which are fantastic for their sounds but are useless for their GUI. I had to ask for a refund and it is not the developer fault. It is NI Kontakt fault! It is impossible to make right GUI for Kontakt which looks great on 4K screen as well as on 13-inch laptop. The interface does not scale and that is VEDRY SERIOUS PROBLEM ! That is the major reason that more and more people try to avoid Kontakt and Komplete Kontrol.

It very much looks like nobody at NI works with 4K screens and has no idea that this resolution becomes a standard. I use 4K monitors for myriad of other tasks and would not purchase any software which does not scale properly on my laptop and my 43" desktop screen.

That is the reason to retire KONTAKT and rebuild entire software from ground up with a new fully scaleble interface. Great examples of well designed interface could be Arturia-Pigments, products from DEVIOUS MACHINES, IZOTOPE and many more. There are very flew plugins which still fall behind modern software technology. There are hundred (if not thousands) of libraries which rely on Kontakt and as one of the leading companies NATIVE INSTRUMENTS really needs to take a quick look at their dying software.


Trying to add new libraries, adding new batch chanell creation feature or upgrading Native Access does not help if the main, the most wanted features are still gone.

Kontakt in its current state must die. Continuing the old scenario is like trying to reanimate 150 years old man (while it is time for him to go,...).



  • Sunborn
    Sunborn Member Posts: 2,144 Expert

    Why nothing new to offer? That's not true... though i am not much of a Kontakt fan (or samplers in general, i prefer synths)

  • Kymeia
    Kymeia Member Posts: 3,464 Expert
    edited June 2023

    3) KONTAKT uses raster fonts and raster images. None of them are salable and that creates tons and tons of problems with implementing Kontakt plugin GUI. There is practical no scalability. 90% of Kontakt libraries are unreadable on high resolution screens. They especially become completely useless on 4K monitors, because everything is to small to read and use.

    To enable developers to create modern, high-definition instrument user interfaces in KONTAKT, we’re introducing a new user-interface language for products called the Native UI. This language is currently within closed-alpha and will be made available to developers over time as the language stabilizes. For now, the KONTAKT Factory Library 2 and CHOIR: OMNIA are the only products built on this technology but the number of instruments will quickly grow.


    When 7.4 is released (which is pretty soon) you will see the benefits of the new Native UI coupled with the scalable interface

  • aka
    aka Member Posts: 34 Member

    Sunborn - Even the link you posted shows the page where the only new feature of Kontakt-7 is new library browser. Nothing really new or usefull, while the GUI still sucks.

  • Sunborn
    Sunborn Member Posts: 2,144 Expert

    well, don't use it bro! :-)

    but you probably forgot to read this:

    Under the hood

    As alluded to earlier, there’s even more to KONTAKT 7 than meets the eye, but there are a couple of particularly handy updates that deserve a mention here – especially if you’re building or editing your own instruments.

    The first is an update to our time-stretching algorithms. This can be useful in lots of situations but it’s likely to be of greatest benefit when working with tempo-based patches – think ACTION STRINGS 2’s looped phrases for example.

    Second, and third, we’ve added two new effects from the GUITAR RIG 6 stable (this is also where KONTAKT’s fantastic amplifier sims come from ). The first is the Psyche Delay, which gives you bucket-brigade-style analog echoes, with useful additional options, like stereo, reverse, two different feedback options, and a detune control. There’s also the new Ring Modulator, which brings frequency-modulated weirdness to any signal you pass through it. Like the Psyche Delay, it comes with apple controls to tweak, tame, or exaggerate the effect to your liking.

    -Plus the long awaited for many users VST2 to VST3 migration. Only for this feature, it should worth! But hey, there is a lot of good stuff out there to cover everyone's needs. Perhaps you can try Halion or Falcon. But this is not a reason for a software to retire.... Cheers :-)

  • Simchris
    Simchris Member Posts: 182 Advisor

    Jesus. Another person added to ignore list.

  • JesterMgee
    JesterMgee Member Posts: 2,462 Expert

    Well, another TLDR rant but the Gist is you feel Kontakt is old, nothing new to offer so useless or something to that effect.

    Prob shouldn't look into hardware synths then, some of those are older than even me and not been updated in close to half a century and STILL people out there are insane enough to make music with them.

    Don't even get me started on Steinway pianos. Tired old tech, only 1 damn preset and 3 "controls" that have a fixed function. Completely useless for anything!

  • Isotoxin
    Isotoxin Member Posts: 117 Helper

    OP have a very strong opinion nobody asked for.

  • Kymeia
    Kymeia Member Posts: 3,464 Expert
    edited June 2023

    Perhaps you can try Halion or Falcon.

    Ironically Halion is just as bad as Kontakt when it comes to resizability/HDpi (in fact Steinberg plugins generally have worse support for this than NI do). Falcon is powerful but I don't think it can match Kontakt yet, even if in some areas it outstrips it (mainly the Ircam stuff) - Kontakt's maturity as a sampler seems to be the gripe here but that is also its strength, not just a weakness. That's a one sided way of looking at it. I suspect between having to refactor the code in the transition to Apple Silicon support and the implementation of a new graphics engine that should address most concerns about 'outdated code'.

  • PoorFellow
    PoorFellow Moderator Posts: 1,572 mod
    edited June 2023

    @ aka

    Browsing this page of discussion my immediate impression is that of you being extremely frustrated because of you, at least display wise, are being at the front of the race in computing so that you use a 4K screen which gives you problems with Kontakt... (maybe 4K are more used by 'Gamers' than by people dabbling in music ?)(Though recognizing that a lot of 'Pro's may have switched)

    I also get the impression that you are not particularly interested in any true communication on the subject , but that you are more interested in venting your frustration which for me looks as if turned into 'consumer anger' (I bought and paid for this and now.....)

    I am not going to try to discuss or comment on what you wrote in so many details but let me make some remarks at least ! :

    First of all, as I see it then the major problem here is that probably too few people are using 4K screens while at the same time having your attitude of 'this is an unacceptable problem' , and the only remedy for that is time, because until N.I. see it impacting general perception of Kontakt enough then they are not likely to re-write Kontakt from scratch.. And a problem in connection with that is that as far as I know then N.I. (at least stock majority) has been taken over by some " investment firm" which to me suggests that they may be looking at short term profit more than long time performance...

    Secondly , then at a glance then if taking your description as valid then I would have to agree with you about most of what you wrote in your initial post (though apparently opinions varies as to how much new has been added from version 6 to 7) . But I will also have to disagree with your fundamental attitude displayed here , that is your "KONTAKT MUST BE RETIRED" attitude , where you ask N.I. to trash their product completely which I immediately took a lot of offense to myself as I think that the idea of Kontakt looks as a great product to me , at least before being picky about the details so to speak...

    So I think that the 'correct attitude' her ought to be that the Kontakt code base needs to be re-written if necessary from scratch.... I wouldn't like to see Kontakt go myself , on the contrary , but as a grown up I am also susceptible to what appear to be 'justified criticism' , which your criticism appear to be though maybe not fully constructive criticism when you want to trash the program...

    But going forward , I think that N.I. , from your description , would maybe probably do best if putting the code base for Kontakt through a major overhaul or if necessary then re-write code from scratch to improve program performance and compatibility to fit today's expectations and those of tomorrow too !

  • Sunborn
    Sunborn Member Posts: 2,144 Expert

    Sure it is like that, but what other options a user has since it supposed that those 3, are maybe the best available software samplers?

    • Artutria CMI V
    • LANDR Chromatic
    • Ableton Sampler (IF you use Ableton)
    • discoDSP Bliss
    • Air Music Technology Structure 2

    That's all! I think. Is any of those better than Kontakt, Halion or Falcon?

  • Rotomot
    Rotomot Member Posts: 34 Helper

    Have you or anyone else actually compared the time-stretching quality? I'm not sure it has improved compared to Kontakt 6. The Time Machine Pro algorithm is clearly different in Kontakt 7 when 'Keep Formants' is enabled, but in many cases it's not better than Kontakt 6. NI has probably just updated the Zplane Elastique library to a new version without proper testing of the sound quality.

    I tested it on some vocal, drum loop, and string run samples. There were multiple issues in the Kontakt 7 sound quality.

    The volume level is not consistent. The playback seems to get louder when pitching down.

    There is a loud transient artifact at the start of sample playback.

    When pitching up, the sound has a bit muffled quality, and the note harmonics are not preserved properly. For example in a string run the note intervals start to sound wrong when pitched up.

    I would like to have an option to use the old Kontakt 6 algorithm. Or if there are some bugs causing those sound quality issues in Kontakt 7, those bugs should be fixed soon.

  • Kymeia
    Kymeia Member Posts: 3,464 Expert
    edited June 2023

    No most of those are nowhere near as good or more meant to be emulations than comprehensive samplers. That's the thing, there isn't really much competition for Kontakt other than the ones you mentioned (they are the big 3 when people thing of high end samplers). Out of the 3 Kontakt has by far the largest user base and number of libraries.

    However there is one very innovative and interesting new player and that is Soundpaint and I think that is the one to watch:


  • nightjar
    nightjar Member Posts: 1,235 Guru
    edited June 2023

    Komplete needs a "Kontakt/VR" to run along side the current Kontakt 7.

    Totally new product based entirely on the modeling of physical objects and how they vibrate when acted upon.

  • Kymeia
    Kymeia Member Posts: 3,464 Expert
    edited June 2023

    I think a separate physical modelling synth would be great, something that has been suggested many times (also an additive/spectral one - or ideally something that combines both) - but I would not suggest calling it anything to do with Kontakt - it needs to be a distinct product in its own right.

  • nightjar
    nightjar Member Posts: 1,235 Guru
    edited June 2023

    From Kymeia quote: but I would not suggest calling it anything to do with Kontakt - it needs to be a distinct product in its own right

    I understand the problem with sharing the "Kontakt" name with a new modeling product, but I think that in a 5 year span, it is possible that this modeling approach will supplant all other sound generation methods and "Kontakt/VR" will just become Kontakt again at some future point, with sampling becoming part of a legacy product. The name Kontakt has too much marketing cache to let go to old technologies that sampling will become.

    And along with the marketing cache, the name "Kontakt" is so perfect for this new purely modeled realm of physical objects. To vibrate, these objects must come in contact with each other via various articulations. It is a perfect name!


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