Native Instruments Kontakt sampler now out for Mac
By Peter Cohen
Berlin, Germany-based musical software developer
has released Kontakt 1.1, its software sampler. This new version has been released for the Mac for the first time, and the 1.1 version is a fresh update that sports new features.
Designed for electronic musicians, Kontakt is billed as “the most powerful sampler ever created.” The software provides real-time time-stretching and resynthesis, graphical breakpoint envelopes, an integrated loop editor, analog-modeled filters, visually displayed modulation and much more. It sports a one-click interface that enables users to add filters, effects and modulations easily.
Kontakt implements a granular resynthesis engine that frees users to compose with pitch and timestretch independently. It features three playback modes — “classic,” “Time Machine,” which allows for real-time manipulation of length, pitch and format, and “Tone Machine,” which imprints a playable pitch onto the sample and maintains the same length across the keyboard.
Kontakt can be used as a plug-in with VST 2.0, DXi, DirectConnect and MAS. Native Instruments claims that Kontakt can be used with less latency than a hardware sampler via ASIO, and offers 32 outputs and up to 256 stereo voices.
Kontakt can read HALion, EXS and SDII files, as well as Gigasampler, Akai, Sound Font and Battery formats. It also supports Altivec acceleration on G4-equipped Macs. Additionally, more than 3GB of samples are included with contact, including percussion and drums, basses and guitars, pianos and vintage instruments.
Direct From Disk technology is coming as a free download in November. It’ll enable Kontakt to play samples directly from the hard drive, thus freeing users from RAM as the limiting factor for how many instruments can be loaded. What’s more, Native Instruments said that instruments that utilize Direct From Disk work faster than RAM-based instruments.
Available for US$399, Kontakt for the Mac will also be available as a free download for users who already own the PC version, Kontakt 1.1 ships on a hybrid CD for Mac and Windows. (System requirements call for Mac OS 8.5 or higher — Mac OS X status is unknown at this time.)