Join Evan Sutton for an in-depth discussion in this video Loading and routing MIDI in KONTAKT, part of Advanced Instrumentation and Sound Design with KONTAKT.
- I've instantiated KONTAKT in Logic and on the left-hand side we can see our browser. If you're not seeing the browse window, just hit this little Manila folder up at the top. Now we have a bunch of different tabs. Our files tab is where we can just see our computer system that we're working on with all of our different hard drives, and then we have our libraries. The libraries is where we're gonna find all of the different factory materials that came with KONTAKT from NI. Now a lot of these are extras that were added on too that come with Native Instruments Complete, the Ultimate Collection and so forth.
So if you're not seeing all of these, don't worry about it. The main ones that you want to think about are Factory Library. That's what I'm gonna focus on as far as the library materials that we're working with. Another great place to look for factory materials is database. If your database is set up, what you can actually do is use these different attributes to find some of the things that you're looking for. And the good thing about these attributes is that they reach across all of the different libraries that we're looking in. So say, for example, I want to find some certain type of piano, I have to look through all of these different piano libraries, whereas if I went to my database, I could just hit piano keys then maybe, oh, I actually want a harpsichord but I wasn't sure where to look.
Then I can find an orchestral harpsichord, and there it is, the instrument is right here. All I do is double-click to load it up. Very simple, and here is my harpsichord. (instrumental music) Very nice. Great big fan of a harpsichord. And now I might want to actually move to a different instrument. So let's say for example I'm gonna bag it with the harpsichord, and I can just go ahead and hit the X to go back to the beginning here.
And maybe I'll switch over. Actually, I'm looking for more of an organ sound. Let's do pipe organ and that, again, is gonna be under orchestral. And let's try this manual guy. Okay, what you're seeing is that now, instead of just having replaced our harpsichord, we've actually opened the organ in addition to the harpsichord. We don't want this. And if we go ahead and start playing right now, (instrumental music) we're actually going to still only hear our harpsichord. Why, you may ask? Well, the answer is that KONTAKT is designed to run more than one instrument at a time in the KONTAKT rack.
That's what's so cool about it. So you can think of this KONTAKT rack as like a hardware rack like we used to have back in the day of hardware synthesizers that could all be controlled by one keyboard over different MIDI channels. And so what we have here is our harpsichord on MIDI channel [A]1, and A in this case, in KONTAKT, is always going to refer to your host MIDI coming from your DAW. And our organ down here is actually automatically instantiated on channel 2. And you'll see that if I instantiate another instrument, it will be on MIDI channel 3.
I can get rid of an instrument just by hitting the X here if I want, but just remember that KONTAKT by default is going to give you sequential MIDI channels because it doesn't think you want to control everything with the same controller. Now if I am going off the wall and I want to layer my organ with my harpsichord, I can just put them both on MIDI channel 1 or omni. Omni is gonna listen to all MIDI channels, and I can just go ahead and play those. (instrumental music) Not too shabby, pretty prolific, really interesting sounds.
Now what we're touching on right now is one of the great things that samplers can do for us, which is create textures that are very realistic of acoustic instruments. So samplers work really well for recreating instrumentation from the real world, when we may not have an instrumentalist that has that type of instrument on hand or if we want to do something a little bit off the wall, like maybe I want to take this harpsichord and I want a bit crush it and I want to put it through this and I want to make it part of my techno song. Well, I can use it for that. That's the fun part. The KONTAKT library has a lot of really meticulously sampled, very, very realistic instruments that are quite handy.
We can always layer instruments really easily if we want to, but if I want to go back, I can go ahead and I can open up something else like say, drums, for example. There are a lot of different things inside of KONTAKT that we can work with, and we can reproduce a lot of different types of sounds. Now if you don't feel like using the database and you actually know the library that you want to work with like, say, for example, you just went to the store, you picked up the giant. The giant is really cool. Just double-click on that nki file whenever you get to it and some of them have many folders.
Like, for example, the KONTAKT Factory Library. Some of these libraries have a lot of folders and just remember that you may find the same type of instrument in multiple folder like horns, for example. There are horns in the band folder, as well as in the orchestral folder. Just keep in mind that when you see instruments in two different places like that, it generally means that they're stylistically a little bit different. So a jazz or a soul trumpet is gonna sound a little bit different from a trumpet in an orchestra. You're gonna want to choose things also based on the genre of music that you're working within or the type of tone you want to work with.
So now this is the giant. This is an add-on that's a lot of fun. This is what the giant sounds like. (instrumental music) And we can go through all of these different incredible sounds. We can mix and match a little bit. These are some plucked sounds. (instrumental music) We can add a lot of space if we want to. (instrumental music) Those are a lot of fun.
So that's the giant. There are a whole lot of different libraries that we can work with, and I encourage you to explore some of them, although the KONTAKT Factory Library is quite expansive and has a lot going for it. One of the other things to remember though, is that 90% of the fun that we're going to have in this course is talking about mangling sounds that we load in ourselves. So we're gonna be working with some really interesting stuff and creating all new sounds out of audio and building things that we never even imagined, working with samples and working with textures of playback and time stretching and repitching; and all of this different stuff that we have available to us in KONTAKT is a really wide fun world.
- Loading and routing MIDI
- Multi-output routing
- Customizing with audio FX and modulation
- Time stretching audio
- Layering groups
- Instruments and buss FX
- Resampling and customizing instrument
- Audio editing in the Wave editor