KONTAKT & KONTAKT PLAYER - WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?
There can often be some confusion about how the full version of Kontakt, or the free Kontakt Player will work with your use of Kontakt sample libraries.
The principle is actually quite straightforward, however there can be some caveats to bear in mind, in particular if you happen to be a Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol user, who would also like to use other third party libraries with their Komplete Kontrol keyboard and its associated software.
KONTAKT FULL VERSION VERSUS THE FREE KONTAKT PLAYER
Native Instruments run a licensing system which can help developers to guard against the unlawful distribution and piracy of their Kontakt based sample libraries.
This involves the granting of a unique post sales license number from the vendor to the customer for products that make use of this system.
The customer will need to have an account registered with Native Instruments, and is also required to install Native Access, which is Native Instruments own proprietary software management application.
The benefit to the customer is that they can authorise, manage and in many cases directly download and install their products using this one simple application.
Moreover, they are not required to own the full version of Kontakt which can be prohibitively expensive, in particular, if you only tend to purchase these licensed products which make use of this authorising system, and as such only require the free Kontakt player to work.
Customers will then enjoy unrestricted use of their purchases within the Kontakt player or in the Komplete Kontrol eco system, with no additional cost to them other than that of the initial purchase of the library.
KONTAKT, KOMPLETE KONTROL & ACCESSIBILITY
For blind & visually impaired users, the Kontakt player licensed libraries that are hosted within Komplete Kontrol are an attractive proposition, as they offer mandatory support of the NKS (Native Kontrol Standard).
This means that they will have been tagged to appear within the Komplete Kontrol browser database system, enabling users to filter and quickly identify specific instruments, sound types & genres.
Further to this, They will also feature some useful controls that relate to the libraries interface which will already have been pre-mapped to the Komplete Kontrol keyboards hardware knobs, making this an accessible, highly tactile, and productive workflow.
This accessibility is made possible because the software has a spoken feedback facility on both Windows & MAC platforms, which makes use of the host computers inbuilt text to speech features.
KONTAKT PLAYER LIMITATIONS
The main restriction of using only the free Kontakt player is that if you also want to take advantage of the many free, low cost or other unlicensed sample libraries that require the full version of Kontakt, then the player version will only function for a limited 15 minute demo period before going silent.
KONTAKT FULL VERSION WITHIN KOMPLETE KONTROL
The only permanent solution to this limitation, is to use the full paid version of Kontakt,which still remains compatible with your licensed libraries, but can also be used either on it's own or within Komplete Kontrol to scan presets from unlicensed Kontakt libraries into the Komplete Kontrol database browser, where they will be available as user content.
KONTAKT FULL VERSION & NKS
It is necessary to state at this point that even though unlicensed Kontakt libraries can be scanned and used within Komplete Kontrol, in many cases the access to parameters via the hardware controls is not always guaranteed, as it would be with the officially licensed NKS products.
This is because many developers do not always take the additional scripting steps required to make the user interface controls available for automation, which Komplete Kontrol relies upon to work.
The result being that often only the standard NKI Kontakt preset is loaded with no further access controls being available from the keyboard.
Despite this, it may not always be the show stopper it may appear to be, as modern sample libraries are often very polished, and require little additional processing depending on what you need to achieve.
Some libraries also include keyswitches on the unused octaves of a keyboard, which use midi note numbers to trigger certain features, such as the articulations within an orchestral library.
There are some notable developers who are mindful of the benefits that accessibility can bring to the table for their blind & visually impaired customers, and they will often take the additional further steps required to assign controls for non licensed Kontakt libraries in their products.
There are several non Kontakt player licensed sample libraries from the developer SoundIron which include this Komplete Kontrol hardware mapping, another is Red Room Audio, and their efforts are always appreciated by Komplete Kontrol owners.
FREE KONTAKT PLAYER LIBRARIES
A number of developers now offer free licensed Kontakt player products, which serve to showcase their commercial libraries, and because they are licensed through Native Access, will also adhere to the NKS standard to work within Komplete Kontrol.
Project Sam, SonicCouture, SonoKinetic, Strezov Sampling, Heavyocity, Embertone, & Native Instruments themselves are all among a growing number of developers who are now offering these popular freebies.
THE FULL VERSION OF KONTAKT & HOW TO SCORE A DISCOUNT!
If you already own and have registered at least one licensed Kontakt player library, then you will be eligible to receive a discount on the full version of Kontakt.
Simply log into your account on the Native Instruments website, and check your personal price for the full version of Kontakt.
This discount will also apply if you have registered any of the free licensed Kontakt player libraries mentioned above from a variety of developers.
In addition to this, Native Instruments do often run promotional offers throughout the year where Kontakt and other products are discounted among their upgrade deals.
Red Room Audio
Author: Chris Ankin
For more useful tips & tutorials on using Komplete Kontrol, then checkout the KK-Access website at: