Native Instruments has introduced Kontakt Player, a free software instrument based on its Kontakt 3 sampler. It offers universal playback for available Kontakt libraries and forms the basis of a new category of "Kontakt-powered" instruments.
The new player is the central instrument for all Kontakt sound materials for both studio and live performance environments. It accommodates all regular Kontakt-format libraries as well as all generations of third-party Kontakt Player instruments, including Kompakt and Intakt formats as well as Native Instruments' Akoustik Piano, Elektrik Piano, and Bandstand instruments.
The new player is based on the Kontakt 3.5 engine, and features 64-bit support, extended memory addressing, advanced DFD streaming, true multiprocessor support, and more. It provides complete playback functionality with universal import and sound manipulation via its Performance View panels. It omits only the in-depth editing features of the full-featured Kontakt 3.5. All sound libraries are managed in a graphical library browser, providing an overview of your sound collections.
Kontakt Player is also the basis for a new range of self-powered, sample-based instruments, which will be available for download and purchase directly from Native Instruments. Now available are the company’s new Maschine Drum Selection—hard-hitting drum and percussion sounds for modern electronic and club music styles—and Evolve Mutations—a new instrument for movie, TV, and game composers.
The Maschine Drum Selection, priced at $59, contains 20 full drum kits adapted from the company’s Maschine factory library. As a Kontakt-Powered instrument, the Maschine Drum Selection is ready to play both as a standalone instrument and as a plug-in for all major instrument hosts, providing an assortment of gritty urban kits, heavily processed acoustic drums, and vintage analog samples for various electronic music genres. It offers soundshaping controls, and includes a flexible graphical step sequencer that can be used to set up intricate grooves directly within Kontakt Player and Kontakt 3. All kits are also included in additional formats for use within Kore 2, Kore Player, and Battery 3.
Developed in collaboration with sound design house Heavyocity, and powered by the Kontakt engine, Evolve Mutations includes instruments, rhythms, and ambiences designed to add depth and impact to dramatic music. It contains 275 new instruments based on 2GB of exclusive sample material. It offers playback and sound shaping functionality within the Player software, including efficient envelope, filter and effects control. All sounds can also be loaded into the full version of the Kontakt 3 sampler for advanced sound editing. It sells for $119.
The launch of Kontakt Player is also accompanied by the free Kontakt Factory Selection, a 650MB download featuring 50 instruments from the Kontakt 3 library. This collection features sounds and instruments from Kontakt’s Band, Synth, Urban Beats, Vintage, and World libraries.
Kontakt Player runs as a stand-alone application or as VST or Audio Units plug-in, and as RTAS under Pro Tools 7 or 8. The Kontakt Player requires Mac OS X 10.4 or 10.5, a G5 running at 1.8GHz or an Intel Core Duo processor running at 1.66GHz, plus 1GB RAM.