Native Instruments Kontakt is one of the most potent samplers you can use in music production. And with the sheer amount of incredibly high-quality libraries out there, it can be tempting to want to purchase every single one that you can.
But First, Do Need Free Stuff? We Got You Covered:
But they can get pretty expensive fairly quickly,w which is why we thought we would do you a favor and compile the best, most modern Kontakt Libraries that you can download for free. Some require the full version of Kontakt, but any music producer can use most of them simply with the free Kontakt player.
So let’s dive into the best free Kontakt libraries you can snag today for Native Instruments’ flagship sampler.
Kontakt Factory Selection
The Kontakt Factory Selection provides a great starting point for anyone looking to get into music production. It has a diverse range of acoustic and electronic instruments, giving you everything you need to start.
With pianos, organs, electric guitars, and even some decent bass guitars, you’ll be able to create any music you want. Plus, the included set of synthesizer samples, drum machine loops, and electric pianos provide everything you need to add your unique touch to your tracks. It hosts a wide range of free instruments, and these libraries are a great way to add to your sound palette quickly.
They also included an incredible free African percussion section which has quickly become my go-to bank of drums for world music.
Foundations Piano by Heavyocity is a free Kontakt library that expertly samples the nuanced dynamics of a Kawai piano and merges it with a creative sound design layer for added depth and texture. Throw on some post-processing on this piano, and you will find a high-quality, intimate-sounding piano that blends in seamlessly with even the most well-produced ensembles.
The library provides a broad range of presets that highlight the diverse range of creative textures and emotions that are possible. Users can easily modify the piano sound to their liking with various sound-shaping features, such as an Arpeggiator, an ADSR Amplitude Envelope, and a built-in FX section with Gate and Space effects.
CINEMATIQUE INSTRUMENTS KLANG SERIES
The Klang series is another free library from Cinematique Instruments that features some of the most innovative and original sounds you can add to your Kontakt library. This compilation of free Kontakt instruments is updated monthly with a new addition. The only downside is that each device is only free for twelve months.
After the free version expires, these instruments only cost a few dollars, and you will probably know within a year if you want to keep any of them.
I love how these instruments create fascinating ambient textures within my music. They help me make the perfect soundscape for my listeners.
PROJECT EXODUS BY 99 SOUNDS
Project Exodus is a synth that is designed to make your music sound more cinematic. It has 127 different patches that are divided into three categories:
- Atmospheres (drones, textures, ambiance)
- Instruments (synth pads, leads, basses)
- Sequences (looping percussive/melodic lines)
I tried it out myself, and I thought it sounded perfect. You also have controls over the delay and reverb, the filters, the ADSR envelopes, and the tube distortion. This allows you to change the patches to suit your needs better. This is one of the best third-party libraries you can find on the internet, and I highly encourage you to snag it ASAP.
AMORE GRAND PIANO
The Amore Grand Piano from Precision Sound is a top-quality sounding piano that you can use for free in Kontakt. Its main appeal lies in its simplicity – while other free sample libraries may have more complex controls, this one provides an excellent, straightforward option for anyone looking for a good grand piano sound.
This library features a recording of a Yamaha Grand Piano and provides controls for delay, EQ, IR Reverb, and keyboard response. This piano is an excellent addition to your collection. Overall, this adds a classic and well-recognizable sound to your arsenal, which fits in perfectly to a wide range of production styles and genres.
This free Kontakt instrument features a wide range of twisted, mangled, and warped string sounds to add an extra dimension to your music. With ten custom presets ranging from warm and delicate to dark and dirty, you can download this instrument and get started immediately!
If you are looking for an early and off-kilter sound palette for your productions that also sounds hauntingly lifelike, this is the perfect bank of sounds for you. This is a must if you are looking for free orchestral sounds without using the full Kontakt version. Getting authentic-sounding strings has never been cheaper and easier with various performance options.
Lewis E. Pyle Violin
The gorgeous sustained sound of this unique Pennsylvania-made violin (ca 1895). Unlike the string bank, these strings sound authentic to life. With rich, warm timbres and evolving sample recordings, this is an incredibly accurate Kontakt library for those producers looking for authentic sound strings.
This library has a handful of different violin models to choose from and an excellent sound library made up of well-recorded samples.
Smolken’s Double Bass for Kontakt
D. Smolken was generous enough to let me make a Kontakt 5 instrument out of his great double bass recordings.
The Arco layers that go up and down are now cycled through instead of being key-switched, making the instrument simpler and sound better.
The round, warm timbres of this double bass are easy to mix and fit into hip-hop, jazz, and trip-hop productions. If you are looking for a MIDI way to play a genuinely authentic-sounding bass guitar, this is the best option (unless you’re looking to go premium).
Ferrum – Free Edition (Keepforest)
The free edition of Ferrum features a collection of modern trailer percussion sounds, including impacts, metal foley, cymbals, and more. It’s an excellent instrument for creating cinematic percussion loops. The free edition of Ferrum may have fewer samples than the full library, but it’s still a great download.
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You’ll get six octaves of free cinematic percussion sounds and a bunch of tools to help you create trailer percussion loops quickly and easily.
Kontakt Play Selection
Kontakt Play Selection is a free Kontakt library from Native Instruments that is based on presets from three various libraries: Analog Dreams, Ethereal Earth, and Hybrid Keys. Kontakt Play Selection includes ten presets from each library.
The more straightforward way to get Kontakt Play Selection is to add the Komplete Start bundle to your Native Instruments account and use the Native Access license manager to download and install the library.
PERCUSSION ELEMENTS 3
Percussion Elements 3 contains one of the Epic Percussion 3 libraries (Epic Percussion 3 includes 3 drum kits and 17 solo percussion instruments).
A new sound source control system allows you to move any of the instruments within the stage space. Complete sound control, a new “Epicness knob” algorithm that allows mixing additional samples, three microphone positions, and built-in effects.
Twenty-eight built-in rhythm loops for the fastest arrangement of rhythm sections.
This Tongue Drum, recorded by our friend Saša Dukić, best known as PsiloCybian, is a unique and hand-crafted instrument. Saša is a music producer, electrical engineer, and teacher who likes to spend his spare time creating virtual instruments.
This Tongue Drum is an incredible source of inspiration, featuring a unique atmosphere layer that adds life and character to the sound.
FREE TASTE OF DRUM FURY
Sample Logic allows you to try out a free Taiko Drum Ensemble instrument from the DRUM FURY library. If you like what you hear, just wait until you experience the full library of over 100 tools.
This percussion is some of the best in movies, with great performances that have been captured and programmed very well. You can find a lot of great percussion in this world!
DrumMic’a From Sennheiser
DrumMic’a is a highly produced virtual instrument for Native Instruments KONTAKT.
It includes more than 13,000 audio samples and around 20,000 lines of code. Features include 15 Sennheiser and Neumann microphones on a real drum set, recorded in a professional studio, and integrated software studio. Plus 1,200 authentic beats played by a professional drummer.
What makes DrumMic’a special is that it can be used with any digital audio workstation for your productions. And the best part is that Sennheiser and Neumann provide the software under a free license!
Impact Soundworks took a similar concept but a more flexible approach for their 88E library. This virtual piano is capable of playing other notes as well, and comes with various adjustments that can be made. You can customize the ADSRs, move the keys, apply pitch bending, change the microphone position, and more. This library is free to use, but I think it’s so damn powerful that they could charge a fortune for it (luckily for us, they don’t!).
To celebrate their 25th anniversary, Native Instruments released Twenty Five, an epic free Kontakt library. The library includes 150 unique presets sampled from some of the company’s most iconic products, such as FM8, Absynth, and Massive.
The library has a great selection of synthesized sounds, cinematic tones, and sampled instruments. You can find everything from bass sounds to pianos and soundscapes. The instrument’s front panel allows you to change the filter, saturation, delay, and reverb. The advanced control panel allows you to manage the built-in step sequencer and macro controls.
WAVESFACTORY OLD TAPE DRUMS
I was most impressed by Wavesfactory’s collection of free Kontakt goodies, in particular the Old Tape Drums library. This library contains samples of a Ludwig Vistalite drumkit (famously played by John Bonham) recorded onto a cassette tape.
This effect gives the drums a lo-fi sound with lots of personalities. You can control the amount of tape hiss, set the speed, choose the color, and adjust the tuning of the samples. If you click on the “effects” tab in the sampler interface, you can add your effects such as chorus, distortion, etc. to the mix.
The instrument also has stop, play, pause, rewind, and fast-forward buttons that you can use to add those sounds to your track. If you want lo-fi drums, this is the perfect pack for you.
The Free Orchestra (ProjectSAM)
The ProjectSAM team has announced a new 1 GB Kontakt library called the Free Orchestra. This collection of sounds was handpicked from their best-selling orchestra libraries and is available as a free download.
The library includes fourteen different patches, covering a range of orchestral instruments and styles, from string staccatos to brass clusters and symphonic percussion. Although the library was previously free, the recent update introduces compatibility with Kontakt Player.
This means you can install and use it with the Kontakt Player plugin without any restrictions. ProjectSAM states that composers are welcome to use The Orchestra in commercial projects.
VSCO 2 BY BIGCAT
The Chamber Orchestra from Versilian Studios (VSCO) has been turned into a free Kontakt library by BigCat! The VSCO Community Edition is an open-source library of sounds that other developers can use, taken from the VSCO catalog under a Creative Commons 0 (public domain) license. That means you can download 3 GB of samples for free, with no rules or restrictions on how or when to use them, no annoying e-mail signups, and so on.
This is the library that BigCat is drawing from for their Sketching Chamber Orchestra, explicitly made for Kontakt.
Soniccouture Free Bank
Soniccouture is giving away a bunch of free Kontakt libraries on its website in the Free Stuff section. Just sign up for a free Sonicouture account and you’ll get the activation serial numbers for the libraries in Native Access.
Sonniccouture has six free Kontakt libraries available: Choir Horns, RMI Rocksichord, Thunder Drum, Music Boxes, Tube Drum, and Tape Choir. Each library has a customized interface for fine-tuning and manipulating the sampled sounds. The great thing about Soniccouture’s freebies for Kontakt Player is their focus on unusual sound sources.