Question About Kontakt

I have been considering a solo strings library, such as Spitfire's, to play around with for fun (I just play piano/keyboard as a hobby and enjoy film score music). However, I'm new to the world of VSTs, and am not completely clear on how Kontakt works.

For example, Spitfire's solo strings library says that Kontakt Player is included. Does that mean if I purchased that library, it would fully work out of the box with the included Kontakt Player? Or would the Kontakt Player only work in "demo" mode? Like, I installed some version of the Kontakt Player to try out instruments from the Pianobook site, but it is a demo version that forces me to reset it every 15 minutes or so. From what I understand, to unlock the regular version of Kontakt I would need to pay around $600 or so, which is kind of a non-starter for me since I'm just playing with this stuff for fun.

Answers

  • Sarah
    Sarah admin
    10 Comments 25 Likes First Answer Spitfire Employee
    edited April 6

    Hi @Burglekutt, excellent questions.

    To summarize, if one of our libraries is marked as a Kontakt Player library, it means you will need to install the free Kontakt Player from Native Instruments via their computer application Native Access. You would also be given a serial number from us upon purchase of a Kontakt Player library that you would need to register in Native Access in order to finish the installation process. For more information on the steps to installing a Kontakt Player library, please see this guide: https://spitfireaudio.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/115002805426-How-do-I-authorise-a-Kontakt-Player-library-

    If you were to load a Kontakt Player library as you have loaded a Pianobook library (via the Files Tab in Kontakt), it would appear in DEMO mode. This can easily be fixed by registering the serial number in Native Access, thus causing the library to appear in the Libraries Tab of Kontakt.

    As for Pianobook libraries - these can be loaded via the full version of Kontakt. If you do not have access to this, some Pianobook libraries can now be loaded through a plugin called Descent Sampler - which is open source, and free to use, and was invented by Pianobook community member David Hilowitz. For more information on this, please see David's video here: https://youtu.be/5hUc-8Y2bL0

    We also sell some Spitfire Audio libraries that require the full version of Kontakt, such as Orchestral Grand Piano, and Ricotti Mallets, but as you can see these are marked KONTAKT FULL REQUIRED on the product pages. If you were to attempt purchasing a Kontakt full Spitfire Audio library you would be met with a pop up message confirming that you own the full version of Kontakt before completing the purchase.

    I hope this clarifies things for you, but please don't hesitate to ask further questions!

  • Hi Burglekutt

    I'm fairly new to this sort of thing too but as Sarah says...

    Register an account with Native Instruments

    Install Kontakt Player

    Purchase a library that is compatible with Kontakt Player (NOT FULL KONTAKT ONLY)

    Enter the Serial Number of your purchased product

    Install the library


    When you load an instance of Kontakt Player in your DAW it will list your available Kontakt Player libraries which you can then load into the player.

    There are no restrictions or time limits.

  • Thank you both for your help! So, I guess it looks like I should be ready to go if I eventually purchase a library marked as a “Kontakt Player library”, as I already installed the free version when I started checking out the stuff on Pianobook.

    And if I’m understanding correctly, I’d just need to enter the serial number after buying the library and the free Kontakt Player I already have would bypass demo mode and work without restrictions when using this specific library. And it is its own thing, entirely separate from that $600 Kontakt Full player. Ok, I think I’ve got it.

    Thanks again for your help with my “new guy” question, haha. The stuff I’ve already installed from Spitfire using their own plug-in has been great too.

  • Yup, you got it!

    The full version of Kontakt can be bought for much less than $600. In fact, you can get it and dozens of instruments, libraries, synths, and effects with the "standard" version of Komplete 13 during NI's yearly summer sale. Sign up for their newsletter, and you'll eventually get an offer for Komplete 13 Select for $99. Buy that, and then during the summer sale, Komplete upgrades are 50% off, so the upgrade to Komplete 13 "standard" is $199.

    Alternatively, if you own a Kontakt Player library, you are eligible for a crossgrade offer to the full version of Kontakt for $399. During the summer sale, I believe the cost is also 50% off ($199), but I'm not certain. But even at $199, spending another $100 and going with the Komplete 13 sale option is a no-brainer.

  • Sarah
    Sarah admin
    10 Comments 25 Likes First Answer Spitfire Employee
    edited April 7

    Hi all, quick update to say I misspoke in my previous reply, here is my amendment:

    As for Pianobook libraries - these can be loaded via the full version of Kontakt. If you do not have access to this, some Pianobook libraries can now be loaded through a plugin called Descent Sampler - which is open source, and free to use, and was invented by Pianobook community member David Hilowitz. For more information on this, please see David's video here: