SO WHAT PLUGINS AND FILE FORMATS CAN KOMPLETE KONTROL RECOGNISE?
We have already established that Komplete Kontrol when first loaded as a plugin within your DAW is essentially an empty vessel that acts as a host to the plugins that get loaded into it, specifically Native Instruments own directly supported file formats are as follows:
Absynth – .navs
Battery – .NBKT
FM8 – .FM8
Kontakt – .NKI
Kontakt – .NKSN
Massive – .nmsv
Razor – .NRKT
Reaktor – .Enz
Reaktor Player – .RKpl
NKS General – .NKSF
NKS Effects – NKSFX
Most of the above file formats and their associated products are fairly self explanatory, however there are one or two which warrant a little more clarification.
There are many commercial Kontakt sample libraries available to use in Komplete Kontrol, Kontact being accepted as pretty much the defacto industry standard sample instrument.
Kontakt uses .NKI files this being the most recognised Kontakt file variant. NKSN, are Kontakt snapshot files, and NKM are Kontakt multi’s which is a multi part patch made up of several individual .NKI presets but saved out as a self contained NKM multi, which unfortunately cannot be loaded into Komplete Kontrol directly.
For a library to appear within Komplete Kontrol’s factory browser specifically they need to be:
1. Authorised through Native Access and Kontakt Player compatible
2. Have their most significant controls mapped to the hardware knobs on the Komplete Kontrol keyboards.
As always there are one or two exceptions to the rule, and it is (with sighted assistance) possible to map your own NKS parameters for a Kontakt library, and indeed there are a couple of examples of free commercial non licensed/non Kontakt player libraries that are NKS ready, however due to the lack of licensing these will only appear on the user side of the Komplete Kontrol browser.
It should be apparent from your own installations and purchase choices whether a Kontakt library is NKS ready and able to use the Kontakt player, however as a matter of confirmation these products will include a .nicnt file which will also bear the same name as the library itself (for example Drumlab.nicnt). and the samples used will be compressed into .nkx monoliths. You should find the .nicnt file in the root of the library folder, and looking inside the samples folder itself will reveal iit’s sample format.
Kontakt snapshots with the file extension .NKSN are accurate describtions of their content, they take a snapshot of the current state of a loaded Kontakt patches parameter settings for later recall, and so can be thought of as presets. Indeed if you alter or edit the parameters of a Kontakt instrument to your own liking and decide to save it as a preset, then by default it will be saved to your ‘user content’ folder into a sub folder that reflects it’s origin (for example user content/drumlab/my snare.nksn).
Many library developers now distribute their products in a way that only one or two main .NKI files are provided and loaded, and the presets themselves come in the form of .NKSN snapshots, this can save a good deal of space.
Using Non-NKS Kontakt Libraries within Komplete Kontrol
It is possible to add non-NKS Kontakt .NKI preset files to Komplete Kontrol, which will appear on the user side of the Komplete Kontrol browser. There are a couple of ways to do this based on your own preferances:
The first method is to simply place yor non-NKS Kontakt libraries into your user content folder, however this is not always desirable as typically the user content location is on your operating system drive, and as Kontakt libraries can be quite large in size adding several will diminish greatly the space on your OS drive which is best avoided.
The second method is to create a folder named for example ‘Standard Sample Libraries’ on your main sample drive and place your non NKS library folders within this. You will then need to launch Komplete Kontrol in standalone, go to the preferances, libraries, users tab, and then add the path to your newly created folder, and then perform a rescan of Komplete Kontrol in order for it to pick up the new location and add it to your database.
The only caveat to keep in mind when adding non-NKS Kontakt libraries to Komplete Kontrol is that they in most cases will not appear in neatly named product categories on the user side of the browser, instead they are simply identified as a Kontakt preset and as such will be found under Native Instruments/Kontakt as part of a long list of spuriously named presets, of course if you are particularly familiar with your libraries this might not present an issue, and you could always add certain presets as favourites to aid your memory.
General NKSF Files
Komplete Kontrol’s appeal has been greatly increased since Native Instruments have allowed for the loading of third party non Native Instruments licensed plugins.
The NKSF (Native Kontrol Standard Format) is Komplete Kontrol’s global file format used by third party plugins.
There are a good range of third party .NKSF presets available for Komplete Kontrol, Omnisphere 2, Trilion, Keyscape, Korg Legacy Collection, Synthmaster, Analog Lab and many others can all be sourced either commercially or in some cases from freely available conversions by Komplete Kontrol enthusiasts.
We will look specifically at how to install third party NKSF presets
in a later article, but if you own any of the growing number of supported instruments available it will prove very convenient to have them at your fingertips within the Komplete Kontrol environment and is a real boon to productivity and workflow.
Native Instruments have now added the ability to load and use audio fx plugins within Komplete Kontrol, and these presets have an .NKSFX filename. It is possible as with instrument plugins to save your own edited presets, and you will need to be situated on the particular FX slot you wish to save to do this. Currently it is not possible to save out an whole instrument and fx chain, Komplete Kontrol will only save a single preset based on the slot location you are focused on at any one time.
It is also not currently possible to use a Komplete Kontrol audio effect on anything other than a loaded Komplete Kontrol instrument, so you are not able for example to have an instance of KK on your master bus and use an NKS effect on it, although this is a much requested and desirable feature.
(c) Chris Ankin, August 2018
Errors & Ommissions Accepted