Kontakt is the most famous software instrumetn software around today developed by Native Instruments.
The Kontakt software instrument is at the forefront of the software instrument market year after year. After all, Kontakt provides so much functionality for creating music with professional samples of any instrument you can imagine.
As a result, numerous developers build software instruments with NI’s Native Kontakt Script language so they sit in the Kontakt player. We’re exploring ten of our favorite free Kontakt libraries from those developers so that you can start writing more and more music… without paying a penny!
- Foundations Piano
- Signal Free
- RCS Essentials “Mahogany”
- The 88E
- String Textures
- Sennheiser – DrumMic’a
- ProjectSAM – The Free Orchestra
1. Heavyocity – Foundations Piano
Heavyocity’s free Piano Kontakt library is the first in their Foundations series of virtual instruments, and it features the soft and subtle dynamics of a Kawai grand piano. This free Kontakt piano instrument is fantastic for creating emotional film scores, subtle backing melodies, and more quickly.
Moreover, Foundations Piano gives you numerous presets that demonstrate what textures you can achieve with this Kontakt instrument. In fact, it utilizes two sound engines that combine a sampled grand piano for the soft tone of the instrument while a second sound engine creates textures with synth sounds.
For creative composition & processing, the Foundations Piano Kontakt instrument gives you an arpeggiator, multiple effects, a gate for rhythmic sequences, and an ADSR envelope for amplitude shaping.
2. Output – Signal Free
Our next favorite free Kontakt library is Signal Free by Output. This is a brand known for making software tools with inspiring sonic capabilities, and their freemium Kontakt synth is no different.
Signal Free version gives you 4 sound sources, 25 instrument presets, and 2 GB of content with arpeggios, thick pad sounds, and rhythmic leads. Meanwhile, the paid version gives you 50 sound sources, 500 instrument presets, and a total of 40 GB of content!
But in both the free & paid versions, the Signal Free Kontakt instrument gives you multiple advanced controls that are best for creating rhythmic pulsating sounds. For example, you’ll get an LFO, arpeggiator, sequencer, looper, basic and advanced modes, and more.
Electronic music producers can utilize Signal Free to create evolving sounds with animated details.
3. DS Drums – RCS Essentials “Mahogany”
This RCS Essentials free Kontakt Mahogany library is a collection of samples of the DS Drums collection of kits wrapped in a neat software package. As a result, you can recreate the sound of their fabulous acoustic drums on an electronic drum kit or in computer-based music productions.
The package is so neat that it gives you plenty of functionality to navigate and use all of its content. For example, a group of faders for each rum including a Master Fader let you attenuate the level of every sound at once or individual sounds.
Additionally, four effect modules include a transient designer, tape saturator, parallel compressor, and two reverbs with distinctive tones allowing you to get creative and add character and space to your productions.
One cool little trick with RCS Essentials is the automation available. From time to time you may want rim shots to trigger automatically, and to do so you can adjust the Autorimshot slider. This effectively triggers the sound automatically when a predetermined threshold is met.
4. Impact Soundworks – The 88E
The 88E is a free piano software instrument for Kontakt. It’s an experimental piano, meaning it goes about sound generation a little differently. In fact, 88E is based on an idea by Mattias Krantz whereby he tuned every piano key to E and used a giant cover to press all piano keys at once.
While 88E can play other notes, this free Kontakt instrument features numerous tools for making adjustments too. In practice, you can customize the amplitude envelope, transpose the keys, bend the pitch, adjust the position of microphones, and more.
This free Kontakt library comes with a variety of snapshots that showcase the instrument’s versatility. Impact Soundworks provided a wide range of options, from short plucks and keys to huge atmospheric soundscapes.
5. Sonixinema – String Textures
Next up we have a wide range of twisted string sounds that you can further manipulate and mangle for your music. String Textures provides you with ten presets that demonstrate the warmth and delicate capabilities of this instrument, in addition to its dark, sinister, and dirty sound too.
If you’re looking for more of a traditional-sounding instrument then look elsewhere in our list because String Textures isn’t the most conventional. Its sound palette does sound like authentic strings with natural, articulate, and smooth tones, but this instrument can convey some pretty dark emotions.
6. Sennheiser – DrumMic’a
Sennheiser DrumMic’a is a free Kontakt drum instrument with over 13,000 pre-recorded samples. Each sound has been captured with high-end studio microphones while professional drummers made the noise.
You can customize the position of the microphones in the DrumMic’a VST plugin and choose between different microphones on each drum head too!
Mixer controls allow you to adjust the level of each drum, and the channel strips feature an EQ, a transient shaper, and a compressor. But more effects include reverb, delay, and panning!
You can also adjust the velocity of each drum head and map the kit to your MIDI controller.
7. ProjectSAM – The Free Orchestra
Project Sam’s Free Orchestra Kontakt instrument is a collection of orchestral samples that you’ll find in many of their paid software instruments. Ultimately, it’s a variety of free orchestral sounds that you’d otherwise have to pay for.
You’ll find classic instruments in the Free Orchestra such as strings, brass, percussion, and more. But The Free Orchestra also utilizes sounds with unconventional timbres too. In fact, The Free Orchestra offers many tools for designing sounds that you won’t find on other orchestral plugins.
While some like envelope controls, effects, pitch shifting, and others are readily available, some settings like reverse can’t be found on all plugins – but you will find them on Project Sam’s The Free Orchestra.