New Features in Kontakt 5
In this short Kontakt 5 tutorial we will discuss the new features in Kontakt 5.
For those not familiar with Kontakt, it is the one of the most powerful soft samplers in the industry. And with the latest version, solidifies Kontakt as NI’s flagship sound-creation tool.
The Solid G-EQ is basically a reskinned version of NI’s new Guitar Rig-based effects. It can only be used in Kontakt and not via Guitar Rig.
It is a 4-band EQ that is switchable to shelf on the low and high bands, plus two full parametric mid-bands.
Solid G-EQ is also available as a standalone plugin.
Solid Bus Comp
The Solid Bus Comp is also a reskinned version of NI’s new Guitar Rig-based effects. It can only be used in Kontakt and not via Guitar Rig.
It is an emulation of the SSL 4000 Bus Compressor and can be used to add presence and drive or ‘glue’ a mix together.
Solid Bus Comp is also available as a standalone plugin.
Transient Master is a new effect to the NI family that is used for re-shaping percussive sounds. You can use it to make a sound hit harder or shorten the resonance tail of a sound that is too long. It can also be used to bring instruments to the front of the mix or smooth out spikes.
Transient Master is also available as a standalone plugin.
Tape Saturator is a new effect as well and is used to add warmth or overdrive by emulating an analog tape machine.
37 New Filter Types
Kontakt 5 includes 37 new filters that range from classic state variable low-pass filters to formant filters. 9 of the filters use adaptive resonance technology which manages resonance peaks automatically.
-9 Adaptive resonance types w/managed resonance peaks
-Classic ladder types
-New state variable (parallel and serial)
-New formant types
Vintage Sampling Modes – 2 New Sampler Types
S1200 (E-MU SP1200 emulation) The S1200 also includes High, High Mid, Low Mid and Low Filters.
MP60 (Akai MPC60 emulation)
Time Machine Pro by zplane Development is the new Time-Stretching algorithm in Kontakt 5. TM Pro offers better real-time non-sliced stretching of melodic and tonal material, Real-Time Sample Reverse and a HQ Mode.
When HQ Mode is enabled you have control over Envelope Order, whether or not to ‘Keep Formants’ and Formant Shift.
Envelope Order sets the order of the spectral envelope (formant) estimation. What? I know…it sounded like Klingon when I first heard it. Basically if the instrument sound has a high pitch, envelope order should be lowered and if the instrument sound has a low pitch, the order should be raised.
Envelope order ranges from 8 to 512 and while you can play around with it, I find that the default value of 128 works fine for most material.
Formant Shift sets the spectral envelope’s shift factor. This shift occurs before any pitch shifting. Formant Shift ranges from 25% to 400%, but again, the default value of 100% works fine for most material.
From my testing so far tm pro is a huge step up from Time Machine 2, but it is a little CPU intensive. So be sure you are using a computer with a decent processor before using tm pro.
Kontakt 5 touts a new internal 16- bus routing system with integrated insert and send effects. It provides overall level and panning and includes eight FX insert slots per bus.
With the all new flexible routing and eight per-bus fx insert slots, you can now build complex effect chains within an instrument.
Routing is set via the Amp section’s output menu and groups can be routed individually to one of the sixteen buses.
FX Insert slots are configured in the new Instrument Buses section. And not only can the Bus be output through the instruments output, it can also be output through the instruments output but bypassing the Instrument Insert Effects Chain. The Bus can also be routed directly to an output channel.
MIDI File Player
The MIDI File Player is a new feature of the Kontakt Script Processor that allows you to create instruments that can play patterns, loops and grooves as opposed to single notes.
You can see this feature heavily used in Studio Drummer’s groove library.
Retro Machines Mk2
Customers who purchase Kontakt 5, upgrade from previous versions or cross-grade to Kontakt 5, are eligible for a free copy of Retro Machines Mk2. This collection of 16 vintage hardware synths and keyboards contains patches sampled from legends such as the Minimoog and Roland MKS-80 Super Jupiter to the obscure Crumar Roady Electric Piano and String Melody II String Machine).
Kontakt 5 is now compatible with the Pro Tools AAS plugin format. As of v5.1.0, Kontakt is now supported in Pro Tools 10 and the soon-to-be-released Pro Tools 11.
The new features in Kontakt 5 including a new time-stretching algorithm, studio quality effects and flexible routing to name a few are pretty impressive. These new features along with an industry standard library format, deep factory library, 3rd party library support and the Kontakt Scripting Processor puts Kontakt 5 at the top of its class.
Be sure to look out for future tutorials covering all of these features and more in depth.