Using Kontakt

edited September 2021 in Third Party products


I'm a relative newcomer to digital recording. I use the latest version of Cubase Pro and I have several Spitfire libraries. However, in some video tutorials I see the use of Kontakt but I absolutely don't understand why this is done. Moreover, some Spitfire libraries require the full version of Kontakt. I'm not averse to getting it, but I'd like to understand a) why it's used and b) how best to use it. All the tutorials I've seen proceed from the assumption that the person watching the video is already familiar with Kontakt and understands why it's used (for example, the excellent Thinkspace Orchestral Template in a Weekend course).




  • It's the default sample library platform to use. Spitfire player is new and is not as featured as Kontakt

  • Kontakt is a plugin/standalone application that allows a bunch of VST creators (virtual instruments) to develop instruments all while not having to worry as much about the programming and compatibility issues across operating systems. As long as their VST works in Kontakt, it will work on any device that can have Kontakt. Obviously, this is not the best scenario because Kontakt can charge ridiculous fees for the cost of the app or the cost to companies to use its platform, but it's been an "ok" system so far.

    So it's actually a great investment; there's a ton of free VSTs you can get with the full version of it. Spitfire broke away and made their own application (because why pay for a plugin when you can make your own). Still partnered for their older libraries, but not everything has been switched over or will be.

    Also if you purchase Kontakt, you are able to script and create your own VSTs and effects using their scripting tools. It's not too complicated of a plugin, but it uses folders on your computer to load the instruments instead of a pretty display like Spitfire. So, you would just browse your folders and select the instrument/articulation you want to load and viola. It'll pop up. It's not super complicated to add to your workflow, but it can be very complicated to master everything you can do with it.

  • Not that many of SF's libraries require full Kontakt. ( I have the orchestral grand and about to buy the mando swarm) For me getting the full version was worth it because I want to be able to modify instruments when I please. (as well as design a few of my own) For example there's one bow crossing that vexes me in the double basses (right near the onset of the note) I can change that. I like alternate tunings - especially Pythagorian. I can get that on any instrument. I don't need a developer to set that up for me. And it's a professional tool at version 6.7. not a wonky unstable homemade VST/CPU hog.

    It is $400 however

  • Thanks - I'm still unsure of how it's used in conjunction with Spitfire. I can add my Spitfire VST as an Instrument track to my Cubase project, so why would I want to add another layer of software that presumably uses extra CPU and RAM? I think what I need is a tutorial on HOW to use the two in conjunction; there's often an assumption in tutorial videos that everyone has the same background knowledge (which I clearly don't!)

  • I think you're just slightly off in your understanding.

    There are some Spitfire libraries that have dedicated SF plugin (BBC, Abbey Road, Originals, Labs for example) and there are other libraries that will only work in Kontakt (the Albions for example).

    It's not about using them in conjunction, it's either one or the other depending on what libraries you get.

  • Yes, I'm slightly off in my understanding! I think the tutorial I was watching was using a different SF library which required Kontakt. Thanks again everyone!