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In today's tutorial we will take a look at How to Use and Optimize the Database. Well check...

Kontakt Tutorials

How to Use and Optimize the Database

In today’s tutorial we will take a look at How to Use and Optimize the Database.

[aside title=”Are you always having trouble finding that sample or that Instrument?”]Well check out this tutorial about the Database and never lose samples, instruments or keys again…well maybe not keys.[/aside]

How to Use and Optimize the Database

The Database stores and manages information about all Kontakt related objects on your system. It uses metadata to keep track of your files. Native Instrument libraries come pre-tagged with this metadata, but 3rd party and custom content does not. Today i will show you how to add this metadata as well how to use and optimize the database.

Building the database

First let’s add a location for Kontakt to index.

In the Browser, Click on the Database Tab. Next click the DB Options button.

In the Database Options, click the Add Button.

Browse to a folder with Instruments, Multis or Banks and click choose.

The contents of the folder have been added to the list of locations the Database will monitor, but it won’t be indexed until the next time Kontakt is opened. To update the database immediately, click the Scan Button. If you have alot of items this may take awhile. When the scan is complete the contents of the new folder will be indexed in the Database.

Tip: You can temporarily add locations to the Database by dragging files or folders to the results list. These items will remain in the Database until you perform an Update or Reset and Scan.


Once your Database is populated, you can search the database by any metadata attribute. These include Author, Bank, Timbre, Type and Vendor. The Attribute List works as a filter only displaying results that matches the selected attributes. You can also limit the type of objects in results list by by using the Multi, Bank, Instr, Group, Sample and Preset type switches. Once you have results in the Results List by filtering and searching, simply double-click an entry or drag one or multiple entries to the rack to load it.

The columns of the Attribute List can be customized. To change or remove a column, right-click on its header and click on a different attribute set to change it or the existing one to remove it. To add column, click on the plus sign.

The order of the columns is important as Kontakt processes them in order from left to right. Each column only displays attributes that are in the filter results at that point. To re-order the columns, remove all of them and then add them back in the order you would like.

To adjust how the  Attribute List handles selections of more than one attribute right-click on a column header and select options.

Multi Select lets you select multiple attributes from the column by just clicking on each one. And in single Seelct mode, clicking on an attribute will deselect others in the same column.

Tip: In Single Select Mode you can still select multiple attributes by holding control or command while clicking.

The other option defines how multiple selections will affect the Results List. Or will includes files that match any of the attributes you select.

If your collection is extremely large or you want to find a very specific item, you can also use a keyword search. The text search bar is between the Attribute List and Results List. It contains a text field, a results counter and an X button. Keyword searches occur as you type and to search for multiple keywords, just enter the words separated with a space in between. If you want to search the entire Database, make sure that no attributes are selected in the Attributes List. The number of results are displayed in the results counter. And to clear a search and reset all filters, click the X button.

Configuring/Sorting the Results

You can configure the Results List by right-clicking on a column header. In the sub-menu, click on the name of a column to add or remove it. Columns can also be re-ordered by dragging the column header or resized by dragging the column header separator. And to sort columns, click on the header column.

Assigning Attributes

To add metadata to your 3rd party libraries and custom content, filter and search to display the items in the results list. Then select the items and click the edit button or right-click the results and select Edit from the menu. This will display the Edit window.

In the edit window, attribute sets are displayed in columns similar to the Attributes List. In the first column, select Info or Standard. In the second column Author, Vendor or Bank  is displayed if you select Info and Type or Timbre if you select Standard. The third column contains the values of the attributes. To toggle a value, simply click it. you can assign more than one attribute at a time. Attributes currently assigned has a black check mark which indicates that the attribute is assigned to all selected objects. A grey check mark means that the attribute is assigned to some, but not all objects.

To add a new value, click on (Create New)… in the third column and enter in the new value.

When you are done assigning attributes, click save to save your changes or Cancel to discard your changes.

If you select a single item to edit you will also get a form with text fields at the bottom of the edit window along with the attribute list on top. This allows you to edit or add multiple attributes in one convenient location. It also allows you to edit the Comment attribute.


The Database has direct affect on Kontakt’s performance. So you want to make sure it is efficient as possible. Here are some recommended settings and tips to have your Database in tip top condition.

Disable the option ‘Includes Samples in database scan’. Kontakt doesn’t add WAVs or AIFFs to the Database because the amount of entries needed for samples will reduce performance and increase the database size. It is highly recommended to leave this option disabled.

Enable the option ‘Automatically Add Loaded/Saved Files to Database’. This will add Instruments, Multis and Banks to the database and index them when they are loaded or saved. Kontakt will do this whether the files reside in a monitored location or not.

And if you are constantly moving and rearranging files and folders in your File System, you will want to periodically reset the database. In the Database Options click on the Update Button to only add new references. Click on the Reset and Scan button to purge the database and re add references. You should be warned, Reset and Scan will complete wipe out your database and only items in monitored locations will be added back.


The Database is your gateway to all things Kontakt in your system. Learning on how to add to it, search it, modify attributes of it and optimize is key to having a good user experience when using Kontakt. Put some time aside to properly organize and tag your content so the next time you are feeling creative, you can find that specific instrument quickly.

Until next time…now go make some music.

Have A Question Or Comment About This Tutorial?

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Click through to our forum post about this tutorial and join the conversation!

Visit: How to Use and Optimize the Database


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