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"Presets" vs. "Snapshots" – difference(s)?

dcollett
dcollett Member Posts: 6 Member

Hi, everyone. I'm new to Kontakt 7, and I have the following question:

In the NI article #360013557778, it states that the terms "Snapshot" and "Preset" are referring to the same thing. (Note: I inserted the link here, but got a warning that "You have to be around for a little while longer before you can post links. Hence the number of the article.)

However, in the Kontakt 7 manual, the description and instructions for Presets is on p 43-45, and for Snapshots on p 71-75, so it seems that these are not the same.

Are presets and snapshots exactly the same thing?

If so, why does the first article and the manual contradict each other?

Thanks for your help! 😀

David

Best Answers

  • Kymeia
    Kymeia Member Posts: 3,487 Expert
    edited July 2023 Answer ✓

    Kontakt uses multiple types of preset (as does Reaktor but different ones). If you think about it in synth parlance, a preset is simply a saved instrument state that captures, saves and enables accurate recall of a specific sound (or process if an fx preset). If you look at an instrument library such as the Kontakt factory library you can see a list of 'instruments' but essentially each of these instruments is a preset too. Snapshots were added by NI because each of these instruments can in itself have numerous potential configurations, so snapshots enable these to be captured and recalled as well (so they are more a form of 'sub-preset'). Some Kontakt instruments also allow for saving and recalling other types of preset such as chords presets in Playbox or FX presets in some instruments. So presets and snapshots are the same and different - like sparrows and hawks are both birds so the same from one perspective but also different types of birds from another.


  • Kymeia
    Kymeia Member Posts: 3,487 Expert
    Answer ✓

    Well it's correct in a sense but an over simplification. Saying '"Snapshot" and "Preset" are referring to the same thing' is correct in the sense that snapshots are a kind of preset, but then so are instruments (and in Reaktor it gets even more complicated). The relationship is hierarchical though, a snapshot is a kind of preset (or sub-preset to be accurate) but a preset isn't a kind of snapshot (as used in Kontakt) unless you are using the term snapshot generically.

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Answers

  • Sunborn
    Sunborn Member Posts: 2,172 Expert

    They are not exactly the same. Snapshots offer a way to save variations of a Kontakt instrument (including it's presets) for easy recall.

  • dcollett
    dcollett Member Posts: 6 Member

    Thank you for replying, but can you please explain more about the differences?

    As an example: in the "Twenty Five" library, the browser displays a list of "152 presets" for it.

    When you load that library and click on the snapshots (camera) icon, all 152 of those "presets" are there (organized into folders).

    So, on one page, it calls them "presets" but on the other page, they are called "snapshots."

    So, if you click on one of these snapshots, how is this different from a preset – and why is N.I. referring to them with different names?

    Also, why (in the N.I. article #360013557778) does it say "Note: In KONTAKT Library nomenclature, the terms "Snapshot" and "Preset" are referring to the same thing." ?

    I appreciate your help.

  • Kymeia
    Kymeia Member Posts: 3,487 Expert
    edited July 2023 Answer ✓

    Kontakt uses multiple types of preset (as does Reaktor but different ones). If you think about it in synth parlance, a preset is simply a saved instrument state that captures, saves and enables accurate recall of a specific sound (or process if an fx preset). If you look at an instrument library such as the Kontakt factory library you can see a list of 'instruments' but essentially each of these instruments is a preset too. Snapshots were added by NI because each of these instruments can in itself have numerous potential configurations, so snapshots enable these to be captured and recalled as well (so they are more a form of 'sub-preset'). Some Kontakt instruments also allow for saving and recalling other types of preset such as chords presets in Playbox or FX presets in some instruments. So presets and snapshots are the same and different - like sparrows and hawks are both birds so the same from one perspective but also different types of birds from another.


  • dcollett
    dcollett Member Posts: 6 Member

    Sunborn and Kymeia – thanks very much to you both for taking the time to help.

    Clearly, N.I. needs to change some of its documentation!

    I appreciate your help and explanation.

  • Kymeia
    Kymeia Member Posts: 3,487 Expert
    Answer ✓

    Well it's correct in a sense but an over simplification. Saying '"Snapshot" and "Preset" are referring to the same thing' is correct in the sense that snapshots are a kind of preset, but then so are instruments (and in Reaktor it gets even more complicated). The relationship is hierarchical though, a snapshot is a kind of preset (or sub-preset to be accurate) but a preset isn't a kind of snapshot (as used in Kontakt) unless you are using the term snapshot generically.

  • dcollett
    dcollett Member Posts: 6 Member

    Kymeia, that makes sense. I wish N.I.'s documentation was as clear because this is very confusing for people (such as me) to understand. Your explanation is much better than N.I.'s. Thanks! 😀

  • logicpromachine
    logicpromachine Member Posts: 31 Member

    This makes no sense. There should not be a camera icon in music software unless its purpose is taking a photo, skinning the background, or making a snapshot file of the GUI. Having both "preset" and "snapshot" is redundant, confusing, and totally useless.

  • Kymeia
    Kymeia Member Posts: 3,487 Expert
    edited January 29

    No they are not redundant, they refer to different levels of preset. In Reaktor you have the same, an ensemble is a kind of a preset, so is a macro, an instrument, a rack and a snapshot, but again all at different levels (and you also have a Reaktor player preset). A snapshot is the saved state of an established ensemble or instrument, whereas an instrument or ensemble is also structurally different.

    As for the use of the camera, well it makes sense linguistically as it refers to a snapshot, but also historically, as synth programmers (especially modular ones) have long used cameras to capture and recall particular patching setups before it was possible to do that digitally so the visual metaphor is appropriate.

  • nelligan tetrault
    nelligan tetrault Member Posts: 19 Member
    edited February 24

    "Snapshots were added by NI because each of these instruments can in itself have numerous potential configurations, so snapshots enable these to be captured and recalled as well (so they are more a form of 'sub-preset')"

    What about taking a factory preset (from any vst), tweaking it, and saving it's sound (not with the camera icon, not with the Komplete kontrol save as function), rather from the vst itself. This achieve the same result of capturing your settings, except with a bunch of different extentions  .nki, nabs, .nrkt, .nms. Correct ?

    I started using that route until realising that all these "presets" get saved in a bunch of different locations (per vst basis).

    If instead I use the File -) save as -) directly from Komplete kontrol, this opens a window -) save preset, but it's a nksn file, and that is called a snapshot ?? Thats confusing xD

  • Kymeia
    Kymeia Member Posts: 3,487 Expert

    If you save it in Komplete Kontrol it automatically gets saved as a user snapshot.

  • Sunborn
    Sunborn Member Posts: 2,172 Expert
    edited February 24

    "If in stead I use the File -) save as -) directly from Komplete kontrol, this opens a window -)save preset, but it's a nksn file, and that is called a snapshot ?? That's confusing"

    There are eggs and pizza and carrots and meat and they are all "food"...

    but, we don't call them "food", we call them eggs and pizza and carrots and meat... 🙄

    and it is not confusing, it is explanatory...

  • nelligan tetrault
    nelligan tetrault Member Posts: 19 Member

    Thank you Kymeia for confirming that! You seem to have a great experience with the different terminology used by NI when it comes to saving a particular sound in different vsts. Could you give an example where using the snapshot type of saving might not work or not be best? In what situation, you would choose to save as preset over snapshot (when both available?)

    Currently my understanding is that snapshots allow to save any type (or most type?) of vst under the same extension AND at the same location. Thus would make it the desired default way of saving stuff, correct?

    Thanks again

  • nelligan tetrault
    nelligan tetrault Member Posts: 19 Member

    Perhaps, but if you go at grocery and see a basket labeled cabbage 2$, but instead it's salad in it, you might scratch your head yeah?

    That's exactly the case here : the whole conversation here has been to differentiate user preset VS snapshot.

    When NI has a button that litteraly says save user preset, but it is actually a snapshot, I would argue that a little labeling job could make thing simpler.

  • Kymeia
    Kymeia Member Posts: 3,487 Expert

    Specifically for Kontakt a snapshot can only let you save the state of an existing instrument with regard to any changes to things like knob positions and samples loaded from its internal sample pool. However any structural changes to the instrument itself, or creation of a totally new instrument, require saving as an instrument (.nki). Many instruments do have their own built in preset browser but these do mostly appear to be snapshots, except in the case of libraries like some of the Guitar series that also have separate presets for fx chains and tones. As I said they are all a kind of preset (in the sense that a preset is a saved state that can be recalled like a memory), but the point is they are all different kinds of preset and it is helpful to know which kind as some can save more things than others. That's why I think of them as a hierarchy, snapshots are the most superficial level of preset in Kontakt, along with saved fx chains etc, but if you want to go deeper you can create and save whole instruments in Kontakt.

  • Sunborn
    Sunborn Member Posts: 2,172 Expert

    good example but still, things are pretty simple to me, no confusion at all :-)

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