Review of Kompakt
Soft sampler that's easy on the Budget
designed for setting up a multitibral sampler in your sequencer
Loads Akai, Gigasampler,
Comes with a decent
Library of more than 200 instruments. Something for everyone
Works in Win XP
and Mac OS X
- Making keymaps
is simple, but crude and there is no way to edit the maps
- No sample
- Balks loading
- Poor documentation
Native Instruments Site
Official Product Description
and Comparison to Kontakt
Native Instruments Kompakt Software Sampling
(Macintosh and Windows)|
Kompakt is a streamlined sampler that ships
with a comprehensive library and can import the most common sample
formats. Powered by the efficient Kontakt engine, Kompakt combines
intuitive handling and a capable architecture with excellent sound
quality. The factory library contains more than 200 instruments,
from detailed and convincing pianos, to basses, loops, drums, guitars,
strings, and more from the outstanding East West and Zero-G libraries.
Kompakt is the quickest way to build a production-ready instrument
collection, and it can also import Kontakt, Gigasampler (tm), EXS
(tm), AKAI (tm), and other common formats.
Native Instruments Kontakt (Macintosh and Windows)|
was designed by Native Instruments to be the most powerful sampler
ever created. Kontakt fuses an innovative design with an advanced
sampling engine. The result is an inspiringly fast and intuitively
flexible sampler with exceptional sound quality.
See Tweak's Review
Native Instruments Intakt Software
Sampler (Macintosh and Windows)
Intakt is a
state-of-the-art sampler specifically designed for rhythmic loop
playback, manipulation, and mayhem. Intaktís convenient one-screen
interface features tremendous sound shaping abilities without disrupting
the creative flow. Using multiple algorithms, Intakt automatically
syncs to tempo, while an outstanding library of loops from Zero-G
and East West provides sample source material for nearly any musical
style. Naturally, Intakt provides a wealth of sound shaping options,
including a first-class multimode filter, an envelope follower,
two LFOs, effects, and more.
Soft samplers are the rage today.
They have successfully taken much of the market from their hardware
counterparts and for good reason. Soft Samplers are cheaper, are
easier to set up, can quickly access any .wav file on your computer
and can sometimes load the same quality cd roms that the hardware samplers
do. And that's not all, when used in a sequencer as a plugin,
you can add a chain of effects to your sampled instruments with other
plugins that you could never do in hardware.
Gee, it sure is a sunny
dream is it not? Almost. The rain on the parade is that
soft samplers have a veracity for eating up the power of your CPU.
The heavier the soft sampler, the worse it gets. Gigasampler and
Kontakt are heavies. Yes you can do incredible things with them but
you will pay with your CPU. Enter Kompakt. Native's latest
softsampler is designed to take the lead out of soft sampling and provide
you with a nimble, fully tweakable soft sampler that will fit right
into your sequencer of choice.
I would not call Kompakt
small. The screen layout is rather large. You can close parts
of the display, like the keyboard, effects, envelopes and the browser
so that only the top 2/5ths of the window you see above is showing.
tweaking possibilities are great. But lacking are the hundreds of filter,
envelope and eq presets of Kontakt. Also missing is the Tone Machine
and Time Machine, a mapping editor, looping editor, internal busses, insert
effects and a lot of Kontakt's standard goodies. Thankfully, Native did
provide presets for the effects. You get Reverb, Chorus, Delay and
a Master filter that works like a parametric eq. Just fine for sample
tweaking. Tape saturation, compression, lo-fi, distortion, enhancers...are
NOT part of the Kompakt package. Also, there are no BPM or time stretching
functions in Kompakt as there are in
But there are advantages
that try to recapture the losses. In Kontakt you might have to spend
some time opening and closing little + and - buttons till you get to the
effects, making a simple mouse tweak a several minute operation in Kontakt.
The joy of Kompakt is that its right there on the screen.
The Joys of Kompakt
The interface is set up
for making a multi. You can do several instantiations if you want,
but why? You can load up to 8 instruments in a Multi, assign each to a different
midi channel. Instruments can be accessed from a drop down panel,
once they are saved in Kompakt format, making selection easy.
You can also find sounds in the browser. There is no user-definable
"favorites" menu implemented in Kompakt, so be sure to save instruments
to the Kompakt directory.
I loaded lots of EXS instruments
with no hitch at all Nice! I can now use my thousands of EXS
instruments in Cubase SX, and they sound really good. With the master
filter (eq) I can actually make them sound a little better. I didn't
try any cd roms yet. E-mu stuff is not supported--I hear it someday
may be. But because I was able to translate emu to EXS by Chicken
systems Translator, I can load all those translations into Kompakt.
Nice Again! That made me happy because now I have samples by the tonnage
in Cubase. Of course I could have loaded them into Kontakt, but the
truth of the matter is that Kompakt, at this juncture loads EXS better than
Kontakt (which seems to typically get the EXS filter wrong.)
Compatibility with Kontakt--Not
I've used Kompakt in 2
songs with success. I was happy with its performance for the most
part. But Imagine the surprise when you try to load a Kontakt instrument
and are greeted with the alert "CAUTION: This patch is in Kontakt format
and is unlike to sound as intended". Its true Kompakt does not particularly
like Kontakt instruments. Makes sense as Kompakt doesn't have half of Kontakt's
features. But! Worse yet, Kontakt cannot load Kompakt patches!
"The Patch cannot be loaded (unknown error). Uh Gee, guys, this should
be possible. But it is not in version 1.01.
So who should get Kompakt
and who should get Kontakt?
Here's my take on it:
Kontakt is for people
that want to build quality instruments from their samples. If
you are thinking of building carefully tweaked drum kits and instruments,
go for the real deal. The lack of keymap editing in Kompakt and
no undo means if you make a mistake laying down the 57th drum in a map,
you are sunk.
If loops and drum kits
are really important to you look at Intakt.
Using Other Native Instrument-based
Some sample libraries
now come with a Kontakt or Kompakt "player" that allows you to load
the instruments and do some global editing of filters and envelopes,
but not remap the samples. For example the Garritan Personal orchestra
uses a Kontakt player and StormDrum uses a Kompakt (and Intakt) player.
To get the most out of these sample libraries Kompakt makes a lot of
sense. With it you can get into mapping the samples the way you
want. With other soft samplers (Halion, EXS, etc.) you can't access
the wave files in these collections, but with full versions of Kontakt
or Kompakt, you can.
Kompakt is good for
loading instruments already made with other soft samplers and from some
cd roms. Its also good for quick and dirty mapping of a few wave
files, particularly dragging in a wave file of a whole track and tweaking
it down. Kompakt will stream from disk, so larger samples are
not a problem. So consider Kompakt for what it is--a lite version
of a soft sampler, designed for fast work in a sequencer.
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Understanding the Virtual Studio
What is a Software Sampler?
What is a Soft Synth?
What are Software Processors?
My Favorite Vintage Soft Synhts
Battery by Native Instruments
Korg Legacy MS20
Garritan Personal Orchestra
FM7 and FM8
NI's Komplete Bundle
Are Hardware Samplers Obsolete?
Logic's EXS24 Sampler
Kore 2 Review
Waves Gold and Platinum
Software Plugins Price List