20 Best Kontakt Libraries For All Categories 2022 (Synths, Drums, Vocals)

We tried to pick the top 20 Kontakt libraries in 2022 for all categories, encompassing a wide variety of genres.

Native Instruments Kontakt is arguably the most famous and influential sampler available today. In addition to the developer’s sample libraries, thousands of paid and free sample libraries are available for the sampler. Many of them have become staples for most music producers today. Hence, it’s only natural that I’m talking about the best of those libraries you can find this new year. The list includes ethnic instruments, analog synths, granular synths, scoring instruments, beat-making toolkits, etc.

In a nutshell, here are the best NI Kontakt libraries in 2022:

1. Heavyocity Symphonic Destruction (Orchestral/Scoring Instrument)

2. Impact Soundworks Tokyo Scoring Strings (Strings Library)

3. Native Instruments Sequis (Acoustic Sequencer)

4. Sonuscore Elysion II (Synth/ Sequencer)

5. Native Instruments Ashlight (Granular Synth For Soundscapes)

6. Native Instruments Piano Colors (Versatile Piano)

7. Artistry Audio Scorpio (Motion Synth/Sequencer)

8. Heavyocity Damage 2 (Epic Drums)

9. Splash Sound Epic Percussion V3 (Epic Percussions)

10. Native Instruments Pharlight (Voice-Based Synth For Vocal Soundscapes)

11. Native Instruments Mysteria (Vocal Based Synth 2)

12. Output Substance (Bass Engine)

13. Native Instruments Electric Vintage (Electric Guitar)

14. Vir2 Instruments MOJO 2: Horn Section 2.0 (Horn Instrument)

15. Native Instruments Cloud Supply (Versatile Synth)

16. Native Instruments Straylight (Modern Soundscapes & Transitions)

17. Native Instruments Analog Dreams (Modern & Vintage Vibes Synth)

18. Strezov Sampling Jade Orchestra (Asian Ethnic Instrument)

19. Strezov Sampling Balkan Ethnic Orchestra (Eastern European Collection)

20. Native Instruments MIDDLE EAST (Ethnic Library)

Native Instruments provides two versions of the software: the free Kontakt Player and the paid Kontakt. The free version lets you use the sample libraries, whereas the paid version lets you edit the samples deeply under the hood. However, note that not all libraries open in the free version. So, make sure you check under the Compatibility section of each library on the list.

Now, without further ado, let’s have a look at our list:

Top 20 Kontakt Libraries For All Categories (Synths, Drums, Vocals, Sequencers…)

1. Heavyocity Symphonic Destruction (Orchestral/Scoring Instrument)

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Heavyocity Symphonic Destruction - Top 20 Kontakt Libraries For All Categories (Synths, Drums, Vocals, Sequencers...) | integraudio.com

The epic film score and trailer composers receive a treat in the form of this Kontakt instrument.

Heavyocity’s Symphonic Destruction combines traditional and hybrid orchestral sounds with synths, heavy guitars, and impact sounds to deliver a highly usable toolkit for modern film and trailer scoring. Many of the samples are from Heavyocity’s Novo strings, Forzo brass, and Vento woodwinds libraries, and the distinctive processing from Damage 2 percussions makes them as bombastic as possible.

The library features two classifications of instrument engines: Designers and Performers. Each folder contains engines and instruments dedicated to specific purposes in trailer/film scoring.

From mysterious and malicious quips of staccato passages to action-packed horns and impacts, you’ll find them all. However, there’s more to Symphonic Destruction than merely a collection of samples and loops.

Each engine in the library provides different features that allow you to manipulate and customize the samples or loops to your liking. Furthermore, macros let you control multiple parameters with the turn of a knob or your modulation wheel. This feature makes it a breeze to perform with the library.

Key Features:

  • Designer Engine
    The Designer Engine allows you to design many kinds of sound palettes, from pad-like hybrid strings to intricate horror drones. Of course, there are numerous factory presets and samples you can use to make new patches. Each patch features three channels where you can load a sample. You can preview, load, and distribute samples across the keyboard in the Source menu at the top left of the interface. Similarly, you’ll find three menus on the top right of the interface: Cycle, Macro Sequencer, and Master FX.
    The Cycle page lets you modulate each channel and its start position, velocity, and panning with a sequencer. Similarly, the Macro Sequencer modulates the Macro knob in the middle of the interface that controls six parameters: Envelope, EQ, Filter, Drive, Gate, and Space. Note that you can click on each parameter to find the envelope, filters, and effects editors.

 

  • Braam and Loop Designer Engines
    These Designer Engines are similar to the main Designer Engine. However, the difference is that you’ll find the menu Designer instead of Cycle at the top right of the interface. And the Designer menu is better suited for braams and loops. Instead of sequencing, you can change the volume, pan, tune, and start position of each channel.
    Furthermore, like in the previous Engine, each patch contains three channels. However, the Engine distributes each source/sample you’ll find in this Engine per octave across the keyboard. And the bottom octave plays all three channels simultaneously to give you an epic braam or a complicated loop with a single key.

 

  • Performer Engine
    The Performer Engine allows you to choose various instrument types like Traditional, Hybrid, Damaged, Soundscapes, Hybrid Pedals, Damaged Guitars, etc. Each of these comes with different sounds and articulations that you can switch using key switches. Also, you can control the dynamics using your modulation wheel or the velocity, depending on what you choose.
    In the Engine itself, you’ll find buttons on the left side of the user interface to open an amp envelope, a three-band EQ, and a filter. And on the right side, you’ll find a mixer, a performance editor, and space. In the Mixer, you will find three channels: Main (Dry), Hall, and Reverse FX. And the performance editor lets you add a gate or dynamics sequencer. While the gate sequencer controls the instrument’s volume, the dynamics sequencer modulates the dynamics (velocity) of the sample. And finally, the space page lets you add a delay and a reverb.

 

  • Repeater
    When you select short sounds like staccatos, colegno, and pizzicato, a module called Repeater appears. You’ll probably use it for ostinatos most often. However, every good ostinato requires accented notes to enhance the rhythm, and this library’s Repeater lets you do just that. It lets you play ostinatos with 3rd or 4th note accented, crescendos, diminuendos, etc., without writing each note in your DAW. Similarly, you can adjust the round-robin from none to six.

 

Symphonic Destruction - Preset Playthrough | Heavyocity

Compatibility:

This library is available for Kontakt 6.6.1 or Kontakt Player 6.6.1. Kontakt requires Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.13 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

The more you attempt to explore this library, the more you realize how vast the sonic possibilities are. I would describe this library as a comprehensive sound module for trailer or film music. You will find almost everything you’d need to compose epic hybrid cinematic scores.

Similarly, although the workflow isn’t very obvious at a glance, using each sound engine and experimenting with the buttons and knobs gets you up to speed. Also, when you’re producing, try turning up the proprietary Punisher knob if you need to hype things up a little.

Related Reading:

Complete Guide To Film Scoring In 2022 (How To Score A Film)

2. Impact Soundworks Tokyo Scoring Strings (Strings Library)

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Impact Soundworks Tokyo Scoring Strings - Top 20 Kontakt Libraries For All Categories (Synths, Drums, Vocals, Sequencers...) | integraudio.com

Captivating Japanese strings are renowned for their agility and dramatic tones, and this library seeks to capture that quality.

With so many Japanese anime and live-action shows/films gaining traction worldwide, score composers are bound to receive requests to match the scoring styles of such media. However, the Japanese string ensemble differs from the Western ensemble. They have fewer players placed in a smaller hall/chamber, and the articulation styles tend to have more flair.

The developers worked with Koichiro Muroyo, the conductor behind the sound, to build the Tokyo Scoring Strings. This library provides all the nuances of an authentic string ensemble featured in many globally favored soundtracks from Japanese media.

Similarly, Mitsunori Aizawa, the recordist and mixing engineer, is also responsible for the sound in many of these famed scores. So, with these skilled professionals and the sound of Sound City studio, Impact Soundworks has produced a sampled instrument library unlike anything else.

Key Features:

  • Authentic Sound
    Tokyo Scoring Strings features five string sections in the Japanese format. There are eight first violins, six second violins, four violas, four cellos, and three basses. Furthermore, each section has a comprehensive set of articulations recorded in detail. The articulations include arco, bowed/slurred legato, bowed/slurred portamento, rebow, staccato, staccatissimo, spiccato, secco spiccato, sforzando, decrescendo, pizzicato, tremolo, trills, releases, and harmonics. Each articulation features multiple dynamics and round robins. Similarly, the arco articulation offers three vibrato levels.

 

  • Mixing
    The library features a Console, which is a full-featured mixer. It allows you to adjust the levels of the mic channels. And you can load up to eight effect processors in each mic channel. Similarly, you can load eight more on the master channel, not to mention the send routing support. The reverb effect features custom impulse responses that provide real-life spaces to your production.

 

  • Poly Legato
    In addition to the highly detailed articulation sets, it features true legato. This feature lets you transition from one note to another smoothly. Furthermore, the library’s poly legato enables you to transition multiple notes to another set of notes using MIDI channels/MPE controller. These features ensure authentic and convincing string performances when programming or playing live.

 

Tokyo Scoring Strings Sonic Overview & Patch Walkthrough (Updated Legato!)

Compatibility:

This library is available for Kontakt 6.6.1 or Kontakt Player 6.6.1. Kontakt requires Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.13 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

With over 84 GB of sample content, Tokyo Scoring Strings is a genuinely comprehensive string ensemble that accurately captures the Japanese standard. You can control almost everything related to the performance on the front page, making the library effortless to use.

And its mixer section lets you create complete mixes before you even touch your DAW’s mixer. Overall, I highly recommend this library to anyone who already has a standard orchestral collection and is now looking to expand their sound palette.

3. Native Instruments Sequis (Acoustic Sequencer)

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Native Instruments Sequis - Top 20 Kontakt Libraries For All Categories (Synths, Drums, Vocals, Sequencers...) | integraudio.com

Sequis presents acoustic instrument samples with the unique potential of modern sequencing and processing.

Orchestral Tools has been producing sampled instruments for composition and orchestration for many years. They have now combined their expertise with the brilliant minds at Native Instruments to reimagine the way musicians play acoustic instruments. Inside, you’ll find various instruments ranging from keyboards and strings to percussions and woodwinds. And you can use a pattern sequencer to play each.

The instrument selector loads a menu that divides the samples into Instruments and Articulations. Under Instruments, you’ll find guitars, dobro, banjo, viola, cello, bass, flues, bass flues, pianos, marimbas, steel tongue drums, cajons, tablas, metal and wood percussions, shakers, hi-hats, female voice, etc.

Similarly, each instrument features multiple articulations. For example, if you click on the Female Vox instrument, you’ll find different syllables, vowels, single vowels, etc., under the Articulations section. These help you add peculiarity to your rhythm.

Key Features:

  • Sequencer
    The library features four layers, each capable of loading samples. You’ll find two pages on the user interface: Perform and Edit. On the Perform page, there are three controls. Tempo lets you change the tempo half or twice as fast as the DAW’s BPM. Similarly, you can enable or disable looping. And at the center, Layer Control lets you set how you want the layers to play. You can select either Modwheel or Polynote. The prior lets you play only one layer or all four depending on the position of your modulation wheel, whereas the Polynote mode plays more layers when you play more notes.

 

  • Edit View
    This page allows you to create and adjust pattern sequences, switch the instrument’s articulation, change the layer’s volume and pan, and add effect processors to each layer. The editing controls let you adjust swing, add accents to notes, and activate triplet patterns for polyrhythms. Similarly, the effects include reverb, filter, and delay. Together, you can achieve a fully-mixed scape of rhythms and sounds.
    The editor also features Sequence Segments, which are segments of the pattern (four in a 4/4 pattern). You can modify each segment to activate or deactivate it and repeat or reverse it once before continuing playback.

 

  • Snapshots
    Sequis features over four hundred snapshots or presets in many categories. These categories include basslines, bowed, clean slate, echoes, effects, flues, keys and mallets, percussions, plucked, etc. Although most are simplistic, each preset sounds tastefully designed to add rhythm and pacing to your music production.

 

SEQUIS Walkthrough | Native Instruments

Compatibility:

This library is available for Kontakt 6.6.0 or Kontakt Player 6.6.0. Kontakt requires Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.13 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

What sets Sequis apart from similar products is that it stays true to the acoustic category. Most sequencing libraries tend to preset hybrid sounds to add a creative taste. However, Sequis only features acoustic sounds. So, it might sound somewhat different from what you might expect, although the results are undoubtedly beautiful.

Still, I’d have liked to see a pattern designer like the ones in sequencer plugins to provide more control and intricacy. Then again, simplicity is often the key to success, and I’m sure that is the philosophy of this rhythmic tool.

4. Sonuscore Elysion II (Synth/ Sequencer)

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Sonuscore Elysion II - Top 20 Kontakt Libraries For All Categories (Synths, Drums, Vocals, Sequencers...) | integraudio.com

Dive into the world of the aggressive and driving side of film and trailer scoring with the second iteration of Elysion by Sonuscore.

Elysion II comes with the entire sound palette of the original Elysion instrument (with both the GUIs available), which was a collection of ambient synth samples or highly treated acoustic instruments. Now, Elysion II adds raw and massive-sounding samples alongside a brand-new user interface and a sequencing ensemble engine from The Orchestra library.

Combine the power of the sequencer, the wide variety of the sampled instruments, and its built-in effect processors, and you’ll find Elysion II to be a formidable scoring tool all on its own. The electronic sounds are best suited for sci-fi and action films, games, and trailers. Although, I love using such sounds combined with acoustic instruments to add impact and space to my scores.

Key Features:

  • Layers
    Each patch in Elysion II features five instrument slots. You can load an instrument in each to create an ensemble of sounds. Similarly, each layer lets mute/solo, shift the octave and add an arpeggiator/envelope. Note that the latter depends on the kind of instrument you have selected. Only sustaining instruments allow you to use both, whereas hits only allow arpeggiation.

 

  • Theme Browser
    Click on the preset’s name at the center to open the Theme browser with over four hundred themes. Here, you’ll find three categories: Spheres, Pulses, and Animated. Spheres feature hits and pad themes. The hits are shorter sounds, whereas the pads are longer and moving. Similarly, the Pulses feature rhythmical patterns, and the Animated patches are the most intricate ones utilizing the ensemble engine to design complex arrangements.
    Similarly, you’ll notice that the names of planets categorize the patches or themes. Each planet represents a sonic character. For example, Mars represents aggressiveness, Earth is familiar and pop-like, Sagittarius is violent and dark, Antares is cinematic, Mercury is lively and vibrant, and Jupiter represents joy. There are twelve such planets.

 

  • Arpeggiator & Envelope
    Each layer features an arpeggiator and an envelope editor. The arpeggiator lets you set the time signature, rate, order, steps count, transposition, swing, etc. And you can write custom sequences using the sequencer, where you can draw each note’s value with your mouse. Also, the envelope editor works very similarly.
    Furthermore, you’ll also find a dedicated Pan Engine per layer that adds space and movement to your sounds. You can draw shapes in the editor with your mouse to create the path for your panning to follow.

 

  • Mixing
    The Mix Page lets you control the volume, pan, and send levels to the master effects. The master effects include a compressor, delay, and reverb. The reverb is a convolution reverb with impulse responses from reputable effect processors and real-life spaces.

 

Best Service's ELYSION 2 by Sonuscore - Preset Demos

Compatibility:

This library is available for Kontakt 6.6.0 or Kontakt Player 6.6.0. Kontakt requires Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.13 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

The first Elysion was a cinematic soundscape engine dedicated to ambient sounds. So, the contrasting aggressiveness of the second version is a welcome change. The samples contain up to three round robins and five velocity layers. Furthermore, the upgraded engine and user interface make the upgrade worth it even for the fans of the previous version.

I highly recommend this instrument if you often make sci-fi or action music and are a fan of electronic sounds. Similarly, the soundscapes and rhythmic themes also come in handy for producing pop and dance music.

5. Native Instruments Ashlight (Granular Synth For Soundscapes)

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Native Instruments Ashlight - Top 20 Kontakt Libraries For All Categories (Synths, Drums, Vocals, Sequencers...) | integraudio.com

From animated textures to enveloping soundscapes, this granular engine does it all.

Ashlight is a texture engine for producing intricate atmospheres, pads, soundscapes, effects, and even leads. The sounds range from cinematic soundscapes to dark and moody bass and atmospheres. It features a built-in sample library and a granular synthesizer to generate sounds.

And the user interface features five pages that let you perform, edit, and customize the sounds. Let’s have a look at these pages in more detail.

Key Features:

  • Performance Page
    The primary control for sculpting the sound is the XY pad in the center of the Performer page. It allows you to make the most significant adjustments in the sound’s character. This page also contains four Macros that allow you to quickly control and alter the assigned parameters. Furthermore, you can change the volume of the two layers in the library: grain and sample. Let’s talk about these next.

 

  • Grain Page
    The granular synthesis starts with an audio sample, divides it into tiny parts known as grains, and plays back the grains out of order. The size of these grains is usually less than a hundred milliseconds, making it near impossible to detect the source sound. On the Grain Page, you can change the playback order, speed, duration, level, pitch, etc., of the grains to design new sounds. Furthermore, you can sync the Grain Cursor to your tempo, resulting in perfectly timed sweeps, risers, effects, and transitions. And, of course, you can also change the volume, panning, and the amp envelope.

 

  • Sample Page
    The sample is the second layer of your sound. You’ll find various parameters on the Sample Page that allow you to shape and manipulate the source sample. You can select a source sample from the built-in custom library featuring multi-samples and one-shots of choirs, synths, noises, percussions, pulses, guitar, etc. You can change the tuning, start offset, add a filter, add filter envelope, arpeggiate the sample, and add a volume envelope.

 

  • Effects And Global Page
    On the Effects Page, you’ll find several effect processors that you can add to each of the layers in your patch. You can load up to four effects per layer, and there are a total of nine effect processors. These effects include a multi-mode filter, EQ, dynamics, gate, drive, modulation, delay, reverb, and utility. The latter controls the stereo image and panning.
    Similarly, the Global Page features four global effect slots and options to aside the XY pads to a MIDI CC value. The effect section on this page applies to both layers of your patch.

 

ASHLIGHT Walkthrough | Native Instruments

Compatibility:

This library is available for Kontakt 6.6.0 or Kontakt Player 6.6.0. Kontakt requires Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.13 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

Ashlight is described as a “real-time cinematic texture instrument.” It features an XY pad that you can assign to your MIDI controller for performing live. And it uses a sample alongside a granulated sample to generate its ambient textures. There are 263 grain-source samples and a hundred sample sets.

Furthermore, it comes with a factory preset library with over 320 snapshots. If you often find yourself looking for dark and moody soundscapes, drones, subs, pulsing sounds, etc., Ashlight could be the perfect instrument for you. However, for a library dedicated to a small niche, the price may seem steep for some.

6. Native Instruments Piano Colors (Versatile Piano)

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Native Instruments Piano Colors - Top 20 Kontakt Libraries For All Categories (Synths, Drums, Vocals, Sequencers...) | integraudio.com

If you’re tired of the same old piano sounds in your collections, this inspiring library might spark your creativity back to life.

Native Instruments and Galaxy Instruments have come up with Piano Colors, a library of prepared piano sounds with unconventional playing and recording techniques.

From overtones generated with plastic pins and hand-plucked strings to strings beaten with mallets/brushes and bowed with electronic devices, you’ll come across a vast library of sounds you never thought possible from a grand piano.

On top of having a strange and exciting sample library, the library features various sound modules on its user interface that help you bring vibrant colors to your sonic palette. These modules include multiple layers of sounds, an arpeggiator, effect processors, and more.

Furthermore, the user interface features colorful light columns behind the piano. These light columns represent the sound layers, and their width represents the volume of each layer.

Key Features:

  • Noises
    Among the layers in this library, one of the most important is the Noise module. When you click on Noises on the main page, you’ll open a new page with five modules. These are the various kinds of noises in the library, including pedal, mechanical, key attack, pianist, and electronic devices’ noises. You can control the volume of each, and some have more parameters and controls for customization.

 

  • Two Layers
    Two of the layers are dedicated to sample playback, and you can load one of the many sampled instruments in this library in each layer. You can see more of their controls when you click on the Layer 1 and Layer 2 buttons on the main interface and open the Tone Page. This new page lets you change the brightness, pan, tone, dynamics, sub-harmonics, overtones, resonance, envelope, etc. Similarly, you can add four modulation effects, a dynamics effect, EQ, a reverb/delay, and LFO modulation per layer on this very page. The reverb/delay effect features a variety of effects, from convolution and analog reverb to the proprietary Replika delay.

 

  • Particles
    You can adjust the behavior of the Particles engine on the Particles page. When you play notes on your keyboard, the Particles engine triggers and processes additional samples called particles. It creates a series of notes and tones to create a cloud-like effect. You can customize the engine so that they behave a specific way. For instance, you can change the generated particles’ density, variation, sync, decay, pre-delay, stereo doubling, etc.

 

  • Arpeggiator
    On the Arpeggiator page, you will find a 32-step sequencer that lets you adjust each note’s rhythm, velocity, and length. You can also change the arpeggiator’s order, rate, octave, length, humanization, velocity range, etc. Using the arpeggiator alongside the Particles module rewards you with a fabulous scape of sounds.

 

PIANO COLORS Walkthrough | Native Instruments

Compatibility:

This library is available for Kontakt 6.6.0 or Kontakt Player 6.6.0. Kontakt requires Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.13 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

Piano Colors is a genuinely unique sample library. It features a prepared piano with many kinds of treatments, mallets, bows, etc. And it can sound anything from soft and soothing to harrowing and piercing.

You could use it to generate a bed of evolving soundscapes in a film’s underscore or as a rhythmic arpeggio instrument in a pop song. Overall, for what it does and the quality of the sounds, I have no complaint about this library.

7. Artistry Audio Scorpio (Motion Synth/Sequencer)

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Artistry Audio Scorpio - Top 20 Kontakt Libraries For All Categories (Synths, Drums, Vocals, Sequencers...) | integraudio.com

Scorpio is a synth library featuring sounds ranging from delicate bell-like tones and daunting basslines.

Scorpio combines synths with traditional instruments using granular synthesis to attain its powerful library of sounds ideal for modern scoring, dance music, electronica, New Age, etc. It features a comprehensive browser that lets you effortlessly find the sound you need.

Furthermore, you can customize the sounds easily in real-time using the XY-pad and macros on the main page of the user interface. Of course, you can also dive into the instrument by exploring its various pages and options to get a deeper level of control.

Based on the sounds in this library, I suggest the library for scoring sci-fi/action films, games, and trailers. Similarly, electronic music like EDM, New Age electronica, etc., will benefit from its evolving pads, arpeggios, and pulsating textures.

Key Features:

  • Sources
    The library has two layers or “sources” labeled A and B. You can click on the source name to open the source browser, where you’ll find the sounds in the library. The sounds have five categories: keys & mallets, plucks, bass & strings, brass, and synths & pads. You’ll find processed acoustic sounds like marimba, celesta, vibraphones, strings, etc., and pure synth sounds in the list. You can combine the two sources to produce exciting and intricate textures by changing their volumes.

 

  • Edit
    You can edit each source by going to the Edit page. Here, you will see the waveform of the sample you have selected. And you can change stereo width, panning, volume, tuning, amp envelope, etc., using various modules. Next, you can choose the engine type of the source: Play or Grains. Selecting Grains enables the granular synthesizer that subdivides the sample into small parts called grains. Similarly, you can add a filter and modulate it with an envelope.
    Below the source editing modules, you’ll find three sub-panels. Let’s check them out:

 

  • Layer FX
    Each layer has four effect slots
    . In these slots, you can load a variety of effects, including a filter, super GT, S-compressor, limiter, transient processor, EQ, tape saturation, dirt, drive, cat, delay, cabinet, cry-wah, Lo-Fi, several reverbs, chorus, phaser, and flanger. Each of these effect processors has various parameters that you can customize to change the sound.

 

  • Motion
    This panel lets you add further motion to the sound using two kinds of modulation: an LFO and a step-sequencer. The modulation targets include each source’s volume, pan, filter cutoff, pitch, and the FX send for each of the four slots. Each target has a slider next to its label that lets you add modulation positively or negatively.

 

  • Master FX
    The Master FX page works very similarly to the Layer FX page. The difference is that the Master FX applies to both sources. Like in Layer FX, you can choose up to four effects. And these effects are an excellent way to polish your sound and make them better suited for mixing with your music.

 

  • Arpeggiator
    After the Edit page, you’ll find the Arp page. You can enable the main arpeggiator on this page, change its speed, playback order, swing, etc. And you can adjust each note’s velocity, octave, gate, probability, stutter, and transpose using a step sequencer. These parameters help make your arpeggio patterns sound dynamic and exciting.

 

Scorpio - Overview

Compatibility:

This library is available for Kontakt 6.6.1 (NOT free Kontakt Player). Kontakt requires Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.13 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

Scorpio offers a range of inspiring sounds out of the box with a distinct style and character. The sounds vary from clean acoustic patches to aggressive synth samples ideal for EDM and trailers. Although the sounds are never really mellow – this instrument is best suited for vigorous styles of music.

Furthermore, if you are into sound designing, the ample number of source samples is sure to delight you. And the library is straightforward to use, but it can also go in-depth in detail when you need it.

8. Heavyocity Damage 2 (Epic Drums)

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Heavyocity Damage 2 - Top 20 Kontakt Libraries For All Categories (Synths, Drums, Vocals, Sequencers...) | integraudio.com

Damage 2 is one of the most extensive libraries of epic cinematic percussions.

The second Heavyocity library on the list is Damage 2, an aggressive hybrid percussion collection with 864 loops and 208 presets spread over three designer engines. You’ll find a range of sounds, from massive gran cassa and taikos to spooky gong scrapes and pristine cymbals.

Many of the sounds feature multiple mic positions, including close, room, hall, LFE, and analog Crush. On top of having a massive sound library, Damage 2 also utilizes its designer engines to produce realistic performances. You can use it for creating rolls, flairs, and even rhythms.

A single instance of Damage 2 with proper customization of the engines can act as a full-on percussive backing with a humanized feel. I also like recording its performance into another track as MIDI data and editing the performance there.

Key Features:

  • Ensemble Designer
    The Ensemble Designer is the most important engine in this library, and it comes with presets in ten categories. Among these, the “All-Star Presets” category showcases a lot of what the engine can do. In the designer engine, you can use the Stage page to load different instruments or “sources.” Each patch can load up to thirty-six sources spread across your keyboard. If you load a bank (a preset of 12 sources), the sources will spread across an octave. So, with 36 sources total, you will have three octaves of sounds on your keyboard.
    You can move each source on a virtual stage on the Stage view, setting the panning and depth (reverb wet/dry) intuitively. Next, you’ll find various controls on the Settings page to adjust the performance. The upper part features round-robin controls, velocity randomization, velocity curve, etc. And the lower part lets you change the drum’s tuning, attack, decay, and tone (also found on the Stage page). Similarly, you can activate Performance, which is a MIDI repeater. You can make it play crescendos, swells, flairs, rolls, and rhythm.
    Finally, on the Master FX page, you can activate up to seven effect processors. These include Filter, Punish, EQ, Compressor, Saturation, Delay, and Reverb. You can reorder these effects, activate or deactivate the effects, and customize each effect on the lower section of the page. Try the proprietary Punish knob to add grit and aggressiveness using preset compression and saturation.

 

  • Kit Designer
    Following the Ensemble Designer, we have the Kit Designer, which is essentially a typical drum machine. You can load drum sources using the sixteen drum pads on the lower part of the Mix page, which is the default view. From C1 to D#2, these drum pads follow the GM format to keep things simple. Furthermore, you can customize each source on the Settings page. Here, you can adjust the mic position mix, pad MIDI note assignment, tuning, velocity sensitivity, round-robin, choke, etc.
    When you add a sound source to the pad, you can mix the sound at the upper section of the Mixer page. A mixer view lets you control the volume and pan of individual drum sources. And below it, you can add up to four effect processors on each drum sound. These effect processors include compressor, transient, EQ, filter, overdrive, modulator (phaser/flanger), delay, and reverb. Finally, as with the previous engine, there’s a Master FX page with the same controls.

 

  • Loop Designer
    In this designer, you can load up to 36 loops spread across three octaves in the Source view. You can preview each loop before dragging and dropping it onto your desired note. Next, you can add four effect processors that act as sends for each loop. The effects include compressor, Lo-Fi, filter clean/dirty, modulator, distortion, delay, gater, and three reverbs.
    Furthermore, you can use a sequencer to modulate the effect sends. These help you create rhythmic sounds with your effects. And finally, it features a Master FX page with the same controls as the Ensemble Designer’s page.

 

Damage 2 - Preset Playthrough | Heavyocity

Compatibility:

This library is available for Kontakt 6.2.2 or Kontakt Player 6.2.2. Kontakt requires Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.12 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

While designing custom drum kits and ensembles is no doubt fun, Damage 2’s credible collection of presets is not something to be overlooked. The presets fully utilize the engine to present creative and inspiring sounds right out of the box. You can use these for adding flourishes to your cinematic score or pop music.

Similarly, the extensive set of effects and mixing controls ensure that you can create mix-ready sounds without using your DAW.

9. Splash Sound Epic Percussion V3 (Epic Percussions)

More Info & Price 

Splash Sound Epic Percussion V3 - Top 20 Kontakt Libraries For All Categories (Synths, Drums, Vocals, Sequencers...) | integraudio.com

As the name suggests, Epic Percussion 3 provides a collection of aggressive and driving percussions perfect for trailers and film scores.

There are seventeen single-drum patches and three kits in this library. Furthermore, you’ll find 560 built-in rhythm loops that get you started quickly. Besides the sounds, the library features a straightforward library that makes sound designing intuitive. Let’s take a closer look at everything included in this library:

Key Features:

  • Comprehensive Library
    The drums in this library include bass drums, taiko ensembles, epic toms, march snares, steel drums, African drums, oriental percussion, Cuban drums, ceramic doumbeks, nagado, sticks and blocks, tambourines, shakers, cymbals, and bells. And the kits are Marching Kit, Epic Kit, and Ethnic Kit, each of which uses a collection of individual drum sounds. Whether you’re making typical trailer music or a score with some fundamental ethnic vibe, Epic Percussion 3 has you covered. As a side note, make sure you localize your scores appropriately.

 

  • Mixing
    Epic Percussion 3 features three mic positions: close, hall, and room. You can adjust the level of each on the main page of the interface. Furthermore, you can add effects and use the built-in “epicness” knob that mixes synthesized percussion samples for a more aggressive and gritty sound.

 

  • Rhythm
    The library features 560 built-in MIDI loops, and the Rhythm page lets you make basic customizations. You can switch the loops, change the rhythm type from straight to triplets, customize the loop’s tempo (half, normal, and double speed), and add time/velocity humanization. The latter helps you create convincing performances when using loops for sketching your percussion parts.

 

Epic Percussion 3 KONTAKT - Fast Walkthrough - New Cinematic Drums Library

Compatibility:

This library is available for Kontakt 5.8.0 (NOT free Kontakt Player). Kontakt requires Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.12 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

Epic Percussion 3 provides a comprehensive set of percussive instruments for most kinds of film/trailer production. The sound quality is decent, and it also features 560 inspiring loops. Furthermore, its proprietary “epicness” knob lets you add aggressiveness to your percussions with a single twist of a knob. Overall, it feels like an excellent value for its price.

10. Native Instruments Pharlight (Voice-Based Synth For Vocal Soundscapes)

More Info & Price 

Native Instruments Pharlight - Top 20 Kontakt Libraries For All Categories (Synths, Drums, Vocals, Sequencers...) | integraudio.com

Pharlight is an innovative pad sound generator from the makers of Kontakt and is frequently utilized by cinematic composers.

Pharlight has a granular engine built from the ground up and a variety of audio sources. The granulated sounds are routed via several effect processors and modulators to produce dynamic and immersive soundscapes. It also has a sample layer that you can use to add background noises, envelope attacks, tonal centering (for atonal soundscapes), and pads to the mix.

Most of the sound sources in this library are vocal sounds choreographed to perform well with granular synths. These include invented phrases, noise samples, beatboxing, and choirs. The main focus is on ensuring that the sources have spectral variations. It provides a variety of sounds for the granular synth to utilize.

Key Features:

  • More Than A Library
    Besides its built-in sample library, you can import wav, aif, and ncw audio files into Pharlight to use them as sound sources. Of course, you can use the custom sample as either a sample waveform or in the granular synth. Furthermore, Pharlight finds the audio sample’s root key automatically, making manipulation easier than ever. Note that sounds with a large range of frequency content tend to sound best.

 

  • Grain Page
    On this page, you’ll find the Grain Layer. It is essentially a granular synth that cuts the sound source into tiny “grains” and plays them back, altering the order, stretching them, etc. Pharlight lets you adjust the grain size, interval, playing position, range and tuning to customize the generated sound. It also has an amp envelope.

 

  • Sample Page
    As you probably guessed already, the Sample page features the sample layer. It functions like a typical sampler, allowing you to load lengthy sounds such as vinyl noise or even a single-cycle waveform. Pitch adjustments, start offset, filters, filter envelope, and amp envelope allow you to manipulate the sample playback.

 

  • Effects Page
    Each of the two layers has its own effect section on the Effects page. Additionally, effects that apply globally are in the Master section. You’ll find reverb, delay, drive, tape saturation, guitar amps, tube distortion, and compressors for mixing your sounds. And finally, it also features an XY modulator that’s great for live performance.

 

PHARLIGHT Walkthrough | Native Instruments

Compatibility:

This library is available for Kontakt 6.2.0 or Kontakt Player 6.2.0. Kontakt requires Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.13 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

Pharlight is best suited for creating atmospheric sounds like pads, textures, sound effects, and sometimes even leads. It uses granular synthesis alongside sample playback to generate its sound. Furthermore, most of the presets utilize the XY modulator so that you can perform live playing them.

The built-in samples are mostly vocal sounds, although they pretty much don’t sound anything like the choirs we’re used to. Still, the voices help add a somewhat organic vibe to the synth-like sound of the library. And I also like how it allows you to use custom samples.

11. Native Instruments Mysteria (Vocal Based Synth 2)

More Info & Price 

Native Instruments Mysteria - Top 20 Kontakt Libraries For All Categories (Synths, Drums, Vocals, Sequencers...) | integraudio.com

Mysteria is a distinct and immersive vocal/choir library excellent for scoring films and trailers.

Native Instruments and Galaxy Instruments have crafted something genuinely unique and incredible with Mysteria. It has you covered whether you want to evoke a sense of terror, wonder, dread, or ethereal beauty. It uses a variety of choir “clusters” that you can mix and manipulate to produce highly expressive sounds. Depending on the needs, the clusters include recordings of elegant harmonies or chaotic discord.

Thanks to its unique and inviting interface design, you can start with calm and beautiful sounds while smoothly transitioning into the unsettling chaos of dissonant voices. Furthermore, quick automation results in stark changes that act like impact percussions. Similarly, processed, hybrid sounds add an even more distinct quality to Mysteria’s abundant sound palette.

Key Features:

  • Layers
    Mysteria features two layers, each capable of loading a sound. You can then morph between them using an XY-pad on the interface. Horizontal movement on the pad morphs between the two layers, whereas vertical movements add modulation and intensity changes in most presets. However, when making custom patches, you can control what changes occur with the pad movements in the Effects Page.

 

  • Incredible Recordings
    Mysteria employs four choirs in its recordings.
    These include an epic 48-singer choir, a 24-female singers alto/soprano choir, a 24-male singers tenor/bass choir, and a modern quartet choir. On top of contemporary recordings of the choir, it also features strange vocal techniques, melodic lines, whispers, body noises, feet stomps, breathings, etc. These provide a large variety of sounds to use in your scores.

 

  • Source Page
    A small waveform icon at the bottom of the user interface opens the Source Page. Here, you can change the fundamental parameters like amp envelope, pan, tuning, mic variations, etc. The settings vary depending on the preset types loaded in each instrument layer. Speaking of which, there are two kinds of presets: Atmosphere and Cluster. The prior features atonal sounds like whispering and stomping, whereas the latter uses tonal sounds like melodic lines. Furthermore, this page allows you to split the two layers across your keyboard, letting you play a layer at a time.

 

  • Effects Page
    On this page, you can add effect processors on each layer. These effects include an EQ, Space reverb, Replika delay, and a “Mod FX.” Under Mod FX, you’ll find six effects, and, as I mentioned earlier, you can modulate these using the XY-pad. The six Mod FX include Hacker, Mutate, Color, Drive, Stereo, and Phaser. Here, Hacker is an LFO-based processor, Mutate features unusual convolution effects, and Color changes the tone of your sound. The rest are self-explanatory.

 

MYSTERIA Walkthrough | Native Instruments

Compatibility:

This library is available for Kontakt 6.2.0 or Kontakt Player 6.2.0. Kontakt requires Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.12 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

If you often compose film scores or enjoy making cinematic music, Mysteria is a truly useful instrument. It evokes emotions harnessing the human voice and hybrid synths as sound sources. There are over 800 sound sources, 600 layer-presets, and 350 presets. Most of the presets and samples are best suited for horror, fantasy, drama, and mystery themes.

12. Output Substance (Bass Engine)

More Info & Price 

Output Substance - Top 20 Kontakt Libraries For All Categories (Synths, Drums, Vocals, Sequencers...) | integraudio.com

With Substance, gone are the days of layering multiple samples and synths to achieve your perfect low-end rumble.

Substance is a complete bass sound designing instrument featuring built-in samples of real-life acoustic instruments and dirty analog synth sounds. On the main page of the user interface, you will find a peculiar layout of three instrument layers, their controls, and macro faders that let you customize the sound quickly.

And you can also assign the macros to a MIDI CC to control them with your MIDI controller. You’ll find the power buttons to mute/enable the layers at the center of the layout. Moving out a step will lead you to the volume of each of the layers. Next, you can select various sound sources by clicking on the source name.

Outside of this section, you’ll see the category of the sound source you’ve chosen, and the logo represents the same. On the outer edge of the circular layout, you’ll find four macro faders, which differ based on the preset or your assignments.

Key Features:

  • Edit Page
    You’ll find the three layers and their various controls on the Edit page. Each layer has a volume envelope, pan knob, stereo width control, tune/transpose, and sample start offset. Similarly, you can also enable monophonic/polyphonic mode and legato. For further customization, you’ll find the key range, legato glide time, and velocity sensitivity in the Advanced tab at the bottom of the Edit page. These features are essential for creating 808-style gliding bass in electronic music, hip-hop, trap, etc.

 

  • Mixing
    There are three pages dedicated to mixing in this library: EQ, Filter, and FX. The EQ page features a 3-band EQ per layer and one more for the global output. You can choose either shelf or peak mode for the low and high bands. Similarly, the Filter page contains a multi-mode filter for each layer and a high-pass and low-pass filter for the global output. Furthermore, it also has a filter envelope.
    Next, you will find six effect processors per layer on the FX page. These effects include distortion, motion (chorus/phaser/flanger), pitch, compressor, delay, and reverb. Similarly, the global FX section has distortion, compressor, delay, and reverb.

 

  • Rhythm Page
    The Rhythm page contains a single LFO or a step-sequencer. When one of them is activated, you can start “sending” various parameters into the LFO/sequencer to modulate them. You can do so by using the upper half of the Rhythm page. Here, you’ll find volume, bite, cutoff, and resonance under each layer. And you’ll also find high-pass cut and resonance, drive, tone, and low-pass cut and resonance under the Global Sends section. If you wish to modulate one of them, turn up or down the respective fader to make it modulate positively or negatively.

 

  • Arpeggiator
    Substance has a built-in arpeggiator with twelve types of playback styles. These include pedal tone, up, down, up-down, down-up, random, chord (polyphonic), four zigzags, and as played. You can also use a step sequencer to control the velocity of each note in the arpeggio. Similarly, other controls include octave selection, gate, swing, rate, etc.

 

SUBSTANCE by Output - Walkthrough

Compatibility:

This library is available for Kontakt 5.8.1 (NOT free Kontakt Player). Kontakt requires Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.12 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

Substance is a handy tool if you often make music with bass at the forefront like trap, hip-hop, and even house. Similarly, it features interesting acoustic basses, including low brass sections, contrabass pizzicato, bass guitars, etc. When mixing these sounds with the electronic counterparts, I found the results excellent for sci-fi/action trailer music and film SFX design too. Furthermore, there are plenty of controls for customizing the presets.

That said, I would have loved to see a sample import feature that let me use custom sounds for mixing with the library’s samples. In a way, the lack of this feature defeats the library’s purpose, which is to help people avoid tedious sound layering. However, the built-in sounds are perfectly adequate in most cases. Hence, I recommend you give it a try.

13. Native Instruments Electric Vintage (Electric Guitar)

More Info & Price 

Native Instruments Electric Vintage - Top 20 Kontakt Libraries For All Categories (Synths, Drums, Vocals, Sequencers...) | integraudio.com

Native Instrument’s Electric Vintage is a capable guitar library that lets you play rhythm and lead.

Electric Vintage faithfully reproduces the sound of the Fender Telecaster, one of the most popular electric guitars of the late 1950s. It has a flexible engine that can play lead melodies and dynamic strums with an extensive library of patterns. You’ll find hand-played strums, arpeggios, and riffs in the pattern library.

The single-coil pickups produce a nasally, twangy tone that made the Telecaster stand out throughout history. And the recordings in the Electric Vintage library accurately capture the tone. Furthermore, while the library is a natural fit for funk and pop, it also shines in hip-hop, rock, and EDM music. Tweaking the built-in virtual amp and effects results in a large variety of tones.

Key Features:

  • Rhythm Patterns
    There are 231 patterns in the library, which span various genres. Strumming, open and muted chords, riffs, arpeggios, etc., let you choose the style you need for your Similarly, changing the chord voicing (fret position) opens up a whole new world of possibilities. You can also assign key switches to each pattern and play them in various orders to create custom rhythms.

 

  • Playing Melodies
    Electric Vintage comes with two instruments. The first is for playing rhythms, whereas the second is for playing melodies. Furthermore, you can also combine the melodies with the rhythm patterns. It results in a dynamic and convincing performance. For playing melodies, there are a variety of articulations available, including open, muted, flageolet, tremolo, and slides, and the ability to bend the strings using the pitch wheel. Similarly, pick your favorite tone by switching between finger and plectrum strokes.

 

  • Mixing
    Electric Vintage lets you select between the bridge pickup and the neck pickup. And you can also enable doubling to add stereo width. Other settings include muted note length, fret noise, and detuning. Similarly, you can add effects to mix your guitar sound further. The Amps & FX Browser allows you to select effects like distortion pedal, EQ, compressor, reverb, delay, modulation, and tape effect. Additionally, you can select amp simulations and cabinets to add color to your tones.

 

ELECTRIC VINTAGE Walkthrough | Native Instruments

Compatibility:

This library is available for Kontakt 6.5.2 or Kontakt Player 6.5.2. Kontakt requires Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.13 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

Sound-wise, it’s difficult to fault Electric Vintage. It reproduces the Telecaster sound well, and it features a range of effects and settings to configure your sound. Similarly, the pattern recordings are clean and highly usable. Furthermore, the pattern browser lets you play a pattern on your keyboard, and the library will automatically find the matching style for you.

14. Vir2 Instruments MOJO 2: Horn Section 2.0 (Horn Instrument)

More Info & Price 

Vir2 Instruments MOJO 2: Horn Section 2.0 - Top 20 Kontakt Libraries For All Categories (Synths, Drums, Vocals, Sequencers...) | integraudio.com

Mojo 2 is a collection of deeply-sampled brass and reed instruments with excellent features for realistic performances.

Vir2 is one of the most known sampled instrument developers producing a variety of instruments, from mallets to guitars, and they have undoubtedly nailed the recording and programming in Mojo 2. It’s a brass library ideal for jazz, march-style music, beguine, funk, big band, pop, etc. It features various legato modes that make playing solo parts effortless while keeping everything sounding natural.

The library features seventeen sampled instruments, including trumpet, muted trumpet, piccolo trumpet, muted piccolo trumpet, flugelhorn, muted flugelhorn, French horn, muted French horn, clarinet, baritone sax, tenor sax, alto sax, soprano sax, bass trombone, muted bass trombone, trombone, and muted trombone. Each horn features three round robins and four velocity layers for the ultimate realism.

Key Features:

  • Era
    Mojo 2 comes with four era-presets: modern, retro (60s – 70s), vintage 1 (40s – 50s), and vintage 2 (20s – 30s). It changes the tone of the recordings and adds noise to simulate the vintage eras. So, whether you’re writing a dramatic piece for a modern film score or a vintage horn part for a piece calling back to Louis Armstrong’s masterful melodies, Mojo 2 has you covered.

 

  • Legato
    Mojo 2 features both true legato and running legato. True legato makes a smooth change from one note to another when you’re performing. It’s one of the vital parts of realistic instrument performance. Similarly, running legato makes the instrument “run” from one note to another by playing the notes in-between consecutively. It’s also a common technique in horn performance.

 

  • Mixing
    First, the library’s Mixer page provides you with three mic positions: close, near, and room. These help you adjust the raw tone of the horns. Furthermore, it also allows you to adjust the number of players from one to ten per instrument with auto-divisi. Similarly, you can change the humanization and stereo spread of the ensemble.
    Additionally, the Effects page lets you add nine effects to process your horn sound. These are the effects included: EQ, cabinet, stereo width, saturation, tape saturation, compressor, limiter, delay, and reverb. Each effect features an on/off toggle switch, detailed parameters, and presets.

 

  • Mapping Page
    The last page in the library’s user interface is the Mapping Page. On this page, you’ll find the thirteen articulations of the instrument. And you can select the method you wish to use for switching between them. The most common way is to use key switches, but you may also use velocity. This page also lets you select the key switch note, velocity value, etc. Similarly, you’ll also find the MIDI CC assignments for various parameters.

 

In-Depth 2.0 Walkthrough | MOJO 2: Horn Section

Compatibility:

This library is available for Kontakt 5.8.1 or Kontakt Player 5.8.1. Kontakt requires Windows 7 or higher 32-bit and 64-bit and macOS 10.11 or higher 64-bit. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

Mojo 2 is a comprehensive horn ensemble instrument that covers just about every need a composer could have. Each instrument has thirteen articulations, including sustain, staccato, stabs, bend down, octave run down & up, doits, rise to hit, shakes, trills, swells, crescendos, and falls.

Furthermore, the era presets help you effortlessly achieve a vintage or modern sound. So, if you often require horn sounds in your composition, you should go ahead and try its demo for sure.

15. Native Instruments Cloud Supply (Versatile Synth)

More Info & Price 

Native Instruments Cloud Supply - Top 20 Kontakt Libraries For All Categories (Synths, Drums, Vocals, Sequencers...) | integraudio.com

Producing trap and hip-hop beats requires a variety of sounds from mellow keys to organs, and that’s where Cloud Supply specializes.

Designed in collaboration with Young Snipe, a Grammy-award-winning producer, Cloud Supply features a variety of sounds ranging from keys and leads to plucks and organs. It also contains features like resampling and effect processors that simplify applying distinctive twists to the available sounds. Hence, you can get as thorough as you want or use the presets for rapid results.

Key Features:

  • Presets
    In Cloud Supply, you’ll find 150 snapshots or presets. The presets are divided into eight categories: FX, Keys, Keysplits, Lead, Mallet, Organ, Pad, and Pluck. They’re made to span a wide range of genres, including trap, hip-hop, grime, drill, and R&B. Some of the sounds could also come in handy for producing pop and ambient music.

 

  • Sound Editor
    The library features two layers or sound sources. And the Sound Editor is where you select and modify the sources. You can adjust the tune, pan, volume, apply Lo-Fi effects, filters, and modulate using an envelope and LFO. Furthermore, you can edit both layers simultaneously by activating Layer Link.

 

  • Effect Processing
    Cloud Supply comes with an array of effect processors and six FX slots that apply globally to both sound layers. It also features an EQ per layer. In the effect slots, you can load a reverb, delay, saturation, chorus, amp emulation, etc. Once you have loaded the effect processors you want, you can change their order and save the chain as FX presets. It lets you open a chain in another patch without any manual effort.

 

  • Sequencer
    Cloud Supply features a 16-step sequencer with six lanes for modulation. The controls are similar to analog hardware and contain controls to adjust the rate, direction, and swing. Furthermore, you can apply the sequencer to both layers or only one of them. It’s an excellent way to produce rhythmic parts without writing the notes yourself.

 

Native Instruments CLOUD SUPPLY Kontakt Play Series

Compatibility:

This library is available for Kontakt 6.2.0 or Kontakt Player 6.2.0. Kontakt requires Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.13 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

Cloud Supply is best suited for smokey trap and hip-hop music. It provides a comprehensive collection for beatmakers who already have drum and bass samples. However, it could also come in handy for producing pop music.

The sounds are mellow and soft, making them excellent backing keys or pads. Still, it’s not the most versatile instrument. So, make sure you have a look at the trial before you purchase it.

16. Native Instruments Straylight (Modern Soundscapes & Transitions)

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

Native Instruments Straylight - Top 20 Kontakt Libraries For All Categories (Synths, Drums, Vocals, Sequencers...) | integraudio.com

Straylight is yet another granular synth-based cinematic sound designing tool on my list.

Ambient soundscapes, strange textures, and enveloping pad sounds are essential in film, TV, and game scores or trailers. Straylight aims to use a granular synth engine mixed with a sample player to generate organic yet superficial sounds fit for everything from post-apocalyptic sci-fi and action to moody thrillers.

The most powerful part of the library is its sample library. The sound sources include everything, from simple string ensembles to off-the-wall ideas like rubbing a rubber ball on a glass surface. The resulting library features over 360 distinct sound sources for granular and sampler layers. Furthermore, if you are short on time, you can find your perfect sound from over 300 presets.

Key Features:

  • Customize
    Like Pharlight, this library also allows you to load custom samples in both the grain and sample layers. The best sounds to use in the grain layer are those with a lot of frequency content. The more content there is, the more the synth can utilize. As for the sample layer, you can pretty much use anything. However, ensuring that the two complement one another results in a delightful result.

 

  • Granular Engine
    Clicking on Grain reveals the page where you’ll find Straylight’s granular synth. As mentioned in the previous libraries, a granular synth divides a sound source into small segments called grains. And on this page, you can adjust the grains’ duration, fades, level, pitch, playback order, speed, etc. Furthermore, you’ll also find an amp envelope on this page.

 

  • Sample Player
    The Sample page features the sample layer, which provides parameters to shape and manipulate the playback of the sample. These parameters include tuning, start offset, a filter, filter envelope, and an amp envelope. Furthermore, when you load a custom sample on this page or the Grain page, Kontakt automatically detects the root note for you.

 

  • Effects Page
    You can apply effects to each of the two layers I’ve described above on this page. There are four effect slots for each layer, and you can choose from nine effects. These effects include delay, drive, dynamics, EQ, filter, gater, modulation, reverb, and utility (stereo imager).
    Like the layer effects, you can also load four of them in the Master FX section. Furthermore, the library features a separate Send FX section, where you’ll find a global delay and reverb. You can also control the amount sent from the Grain and Sample layers in this section.

 

Let's Play: Straylight from Native Instruments

Compatibility:

This library is available for Kontakt 6.2.0 or Kontakt Player 6.2.0. Kontakt requires Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.13 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

Featuring over 450 presets, Straylight is a vast library of cinematic sounds. The sounds are categorized into atmosphere, pad, lead, transition, keys, effects, subs, and pulses. Furthermore, you can create new sounds by loading custom samples from your collection.

Often, sounds created using granular synths are unique and utterly distinct from the original source. So, make sure you try even the sounds you’d least expect to sound good!

17. Native Instruments Analog Dreams (Modern & Vintage Vibes Synth)

More Info & Price 

Native Instruments Analog Dreams - Top 20 Kontakt Libraries For All Categories (Synths, Drums, Vocals, Sequencers...) | integraudio.com

Combine the timeless sounds of esteemed hardware synthesizers with modern processing and creative effects.

Analog Dreams utilizes recordings from custom-built sounds of classic hardware synths as its sound source. And with contemporary processing, you’ll find a robust collection of retro-futuristic sounds perfect for electronic music subgenres and even scoring films. Movies like Tron, The Terminator, and Blade Runner relied on synths and processing to invent their distinguished sounds. Now, you can too with Analog Dreams.

Powerful sound editing capabilities and bespoke effects chains provide more flexibility and inspiration for individuals who want to delve further into sound designing. Similarly, you’ll also find an analog-style sequencer in Analog Dreams, which can generate intricate melodic and rhythmic patterns. If you feel stuck, try the randomize option to see where it leads.

Key Features:

  • Factory Presets
    The library includes 150 snapshots or presets organized into five categories: bass, FX, keys, pads, and plucks. These presets employ the raw sounds of legendary vintage synthesizers and present them in a contemporary context. It does so by using effects, modulation, and layering. Furthermore, the presets are sure to showcase the capability of the Analog Dreams and help inspire you to create new sounds.

 

  • Sound View
    If the core functionalities of the main user interface aren’t enough for you, try the Sound View. On this page, you will find all the controls related to selecting and manipulating your sound sources. The controls include tuning, pan, volume, bit-crush, multi-mode filter, modulation envelope, amp envelope, and two LFOs. Furthermore, you can edit each layer separately or use Layer Link to edit them simultaneously.

 

  • FX View
    Analog Dreams provides an EQ per layer and a global effect section, where you can load up to six effects from Kontakt’s collection. The effects include Choral ensemble, Flair comb modulation, Phasis modulator, Replika delay, bus compressor, etc. After enabling the effects, you can reorder the chain and save the chain as a preset to use in another library instance.

 

  • Sequencer & Macros
    Of course, no instrument inspired by vintage gear would be complete without a sequencer. Analog Dreams provides a 16-step sequencer that lets you create musical phrases, modulate the velocity and macros parameters. To select the macros, you will need to open the Macros View. Here, you can assign up to twelve parameters to each of the six macros. And each parameter can have a separate min/max range and a shaper curve to change the knob behavior.

 

ANALOG DREAMS demo and walkthrough (FREE right now!)

Compatibility:

This library is available for Kontakt 6.6.0 or Kontakt Player 6.6.0. Kontakt requires Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.13 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

If you are enthusiastic about the sounds of iconic hardware synths, Analog Dreams should provide you with a lot of inspiration. The presets range from mellow keys to massive bass sounds, making the library appropriate for various genres from pop and EDM to film scores and New Age. Furthermore, it offers ample control over the sound design, making the library more like a synth than a sample-based instrument. And the low price helps make it a value for money too.

18. Strezov Sampling Jade Orchestra (Asian Ethnic Instrument)

More Info & Price 

Strezov Sampling Jade Orchestra - Top 20 Kontakt Libraries For All Categories (Synths, Drums, Vocals, Sequencers...) | integraudio.com

Jade Orchestra is an ethnic orchestral collection of Chinese instruments and Mongolian choirs.

Co-produced with Seth Tsui, a conductor, the library includes over fifty instruments with over a hundred patches. The primary instrument categories are bowed string ensembles/solo, plucked strings, vocals, woodwinds, percussion, and pad sounds.

Furthermore, while most of the sounds are predominantly from China, other Asian sounds such as the Mongolian Longsong quartet, Moorin-Khuur, and the Japanese Shakuhachi are also present.

This library is best suited for film score composers who find themselves working on Asian-themed films, where musical localization is necessary. Similarly, you might also find the sounds useful to add peculiarity to an archetypal orchestra or even a pop song.

Key Features:

  • Performance
    Jade Ethnic Orchestra, like the rest of Strezov Sampling’s instruments, has exceptional playability owing to its true legato recording and scripting. It lets you play pieces with flawlessly connected notes that sound like you played them on a real stringed instrument rather than a keyboard. True legato is also available in the choir/voice patches.
    Similarly, the instruments in the library also provide multiple articulations. Most of the stringed instruments provide legato, tremolo, staccato, and pizzicato. Key switches let you switch between them. Likewise, bends, harmonics, and tremolo are available for plucked strings. And it features a syllable builder for natural choir performance. You can save your “lyrics” in the syllable builder to use in another instance of the library.

 

  • Mic Mixing
    Strezov Samplings used three mic placements to record the instruments: near, Decca, and hall. Decca Tree is the most typical method for recording orchestral instruments, as you may know. In this setup, three microphones are used to record the stereo features and the center sound. The collection includes a range of tailored convolution reverbs in addition to the original chamber hall sound (from Sofia Session Studio).

 

  • Comprehensive
    With over 110 GB of compressed sample content, Jade Ethnic Orchestra offers deep round robins and multiple dynamic layers, in addition to what is apparent in the recording, like articulations and mic placements. They add to the organic and natural feel of the instruments. Furthermore, other features like polyphonic legato and the proprietary X3M percussive engine provide even more possibilities in performance.

 

Jade Ethnic Orchestra - "Shenlong" PLAYTHROUGH by Jean-Gabriel Raynaud

Compatibility:

This library is available for Kontakt 5.7.1 or Kontakt Player 5.7.1. Kontakt requires Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.11 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

If you’re looking to add the flair of Chinese and other Asian instruments to your music, the Jade Ethnic Orchestra provides a straightforward way to get started. Furthermore, each instrument is multi-sampled and well-scripted, making it one of the best ethnic sound libraries yet. If it sounds like something you need, do give it a thorough try.

Related Reading:

Kirk Hunter Diamond Symphony Orchestra – Best Budget Orchestra?

19. Strezov Sampling Balkan Ethnic Orchestra (Eastern European Collection)

More Info & Price 

Strezov Sampling Balkan Ethnic Orchestra - Top 20 Kontakt Libraries For All Categories (Synths, Drums, Vocals, Sequencers...) | integraudio.com

Bring in the fresh, characterful sounds from Eastern Europe with Balkan Ethnic Orchestra.

It’s safe to say that Strezov Sampling’s take on the Balkan sounds is one of the best and most comprehensive ethnic sound libraries ever made. Balkan Ethnic Orchestra features over forty Eastern European soloists. And the variety is enough to make convincing Eastern European music. Or, of course, you could use it to add an ethnic touch to your contemporary compositions.

The library contains five segments or categories that define Balkan music. The first is the Band category, featuring brass instruments, double bass, guitar, and accordion. Then, the second is the Choir category with four singers. Next, the Ethnic category features vast variations of woodwinds, voice, stringed instruments, plucked instruments, etc. And the last two categories are Pads and Percussions.

Key Features:

  • Mic Positions
    Balkan Ethnic Orchestra features two microphone positions: close and hall. In addition to being recorded with high-end recording equipment, you are also provided with custom reverb impulse responses. If you wish to try the convolution reverb, I would recommend disabling the hall mic (with Sofia Session Studio’s reverb). It helps avoid phase cancelation.

 

  • Performance
    The instruments feature true legato, which helps keep the patches playable and expressive. Furthermore, the quartet choir features true polyphonic legato for ten syllables at three speeds. And it employs a separate layer of “shake sustain singing” for all patches. It’s an attribute you’ll find in certain regional sounds.

 

  • Deep Sampling
    All of the instruments have round robins and multiple dynamic layers. Furthermore, you’ll find various ornamented short and long articulations for all instruments. The careful recording, excellent scripting, and straightforward user interface make for an enriching experience when using this library.

 

Balkan Ethnic Orchestra: A New Flavour For Producers

Compatibility:

This library is available for Kontakt 5.7.1 or Kontakt Player 5.7.1. Kontakt requires Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.11 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

There aren’t many Kontakt libraries dedicated to the sound of Eastern Europe. So, I find it fortunate how deeply and carefully sampled the Balkan Ethnic Orchestra is. It sounds dynamic, authentic, and of high quality.

The moment you open the library, you’ll be transported away into the midst of these talented performance artists. I highly suggest the library if you want to add more colors to your sound palette.

20. Native Instruments MIDDLE EAST (Ethnic Library)

More Info & Price

Native Instruments MIDDLE EAST - Top 20 Kontakt Libraries For All Categories (Synths, Drums, Vocals, Sequencers...) | integraudio.com

Middle East captures the sounds of Arabic, Turkish, and Persian music in a remarkable collection of melodic and percussive sampled instruments.

The sound of Middle Eastern music is probably one of the most commonly used sets for film and game scores. It has become a staple to add peculiarity to a character or location, whether or not it has anything to do with the Middle East! And in Native Instrument’s take on these familiar sounds, the library seeks to remain as authentic and natural as possible.

Key Features:

  • Instruments
    Spotlight Collection: Middle East features three sections of instruments: ensembles, percussion, and melodic. Ensembles include three patches: one with five melodic instruments, one with a percussion ensemble, and one with a complete string group. Similarly, the Percussion category features single Middle Eastern percussion instruments with more detail than the percussion ensemble preset. And finally, the Melodic category features single melodic instruments with key switches for ornaments and patterns. In total, there are thirteen percussion instruments and eight melodic instruments.

 

  • Patterns
    The library features twelve patterns and phrases per instrument. These are authentic performances in MIDI format, which can be loaded and manipulated on the Perform page. You can trigger these patterns and phrases using the lowest mapped octave on your MIDI keyboard. The editing controls include sync, playback rate, tempo, etc.

 

  • Mixer Page
    The Mixer Page lets you control the volume, pan, effect send, and three fixed effects per channel. The three effects include an EQ, a drive knob, and a tone knob. The latter applies a low-pass filter when turned to the left and a high-pass when turned to the right. Furthermore, there is a separate reverb channel, which is a convolution reverb with five different spaces. The send knob on the instrument and master channel sends the dry sound into this reverb.

 

Discovery Series: MIDDLE EAST Walkthrough | Native Instruments

Compatibility:

This library is available for Kontakt 6.6.1 or Kontakt Player 6.6.1. Kontakt requires Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.13 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

Native Instruments Middle East is a comprehensive library of Middle Eastern instruments and patterns. There are twenty-seven instrument presets, 248 snapshots/presets, and 1,488 MIDI patterns and phrases. Whether you’re scoring a film or writing a pop song with an ethnic touch, the sounds and patterns from this library are sure to inspire you.

Bonus

Strezov Sampling Sambhala Textural Orchestra (Scoring Toolkit)

More Info & Price

Strezov Sampling Sambhala Textural Orchestra - Top 20 Kontakt Libraries For All Categories (Synths, Drums, Vocals, Sequencers...) | integraudio.com

This library aims to be a collection of unique scoring tools with a vast library of sounds from various acoustic and electronic instruments.

The name Sambhala comes from the mythical Buddhist kingdom that is said to exist somewhere in the Himalayas and the Gobi Desert. And likewise, Sambhala Textural Orchestra features sounds from different world instruments, percussion ensembles, choirs, orchestra string, and synthesizers curated for film, TV, and game scoring. It works particularly well when used alongside a standard orchestra in a score to create a beautiful soundscape of various instruments. You’ll find instruments perfect for fantasy films/games that sound like The Owls of Ga’Hoole, Brave, etc.

Key Features:

  • Patches
    Sambhala Textural Orchestra contains 34 patches, split into six categories: bowed strings, percussion, plucked strings, sparks, voices, and woodwinds. The patches in the percussions, plucked strings, and voices categories contain different articulations that are included as either key switches or mapped separately.

 

  • Mixing
    The library offers three microphone positions: Close, Decca, and Hall. Decca Tree utilizes three microphone setups to capture the middle of an ensemble and the stereo information. The Mixer section lets you control the volume of each. In the same section, you’ll also find Legato, Overlap, and Releases options for some patches.
    Legato turns legato transitions on/off, overlap cuts off the previous note/chord immediately when you play another note, and releases enable the sound of acoustic releases.

 

  • Elements
    There are five ambient sound effects that you can enable to create unique and exciting patches. These are named after the elements: Ether, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. You can enable or disable these and control their volume. Furthermore, you can also reverse the sound effect by clicking on the button.

 

  • Effects
    Finally, there are a few effect processors that apply on all three mic channels. These effects include a filter, compressor, EQ, delay, and convolution reverb. Click on the logo of each of the effects to open its edit parameters. Note that all of the features I’ve mentioned are on a single page. So, using the library is very straightforward.

 

Sambhala Textural Orchestra Walkthrough video

Compatibility:

This library is available for Kontakt 5.7.1 or Kontakt Player 5.7.1. Kontakt requires Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.11 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

While the Sambhala Textural Orchestra library may not be comprehensive enough to score every kind of film scene, it’s still quite versatile considering how it’s designed only for creating soundscapes. The instruments are drawn from all over the world. So, you’ll find temple bowls, crotales, koto, dulcimer, lyra, sitar, bansuri (Indian bamboo flute), Native American flute, low Irish flute, kaval, etc.

However, even if the sonic variety is credible, I find that many of the instruments lack enough dynamic layers and round-robin samples for playing melodies. Still, if you only intend to use the library for creating soundscapes, the samples are perfectly adequate.

Conclusion

There you have the top 20 Kontakt libraries available today in almost every category. It’s amazing to see how powerful a sample library becomes thanks to scripting. Percussion libraries like Heavyocity Damage 2 and Splash Sound Epic Percussion v3 are essentially virtual percussionists at the tip of your fingers.

Similarly, even if you’ve never played guitar, Native Instruments Electric Vintage lets you perform convincingly using a keyboard or programming. However, the libraries are not just about realism. Instruments like Piano Colors, Straylight, Ashlight, and Analog Dreams present everyday sounds in a completely new way.

Furthermore, my picks for the most comprehensive sets of libraries are Tokyo Scoring Strings, Symphonic Destruction, Mysteria, Vir 2 Instruments Mojo 2, Cloud Supply, and Jade Ethnic Orchestra. Each is for a different kind of use, but they all share one thing in common: they are comprehensive.

And with that, we reach the end of this article. Do let me know which ones you decided to try and your thoughts on them. Happy music-making!

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