Will This Kontakt Library Work in Komplete Kontrol?
Probably one of the most commonly asked questions and admittedly
Whether something is going to work within Komplete Kontrol is Probably one of the most commonly asked questions, and admittedly can be a topic of confusion.
The main thing to look for when purchasing a current Kontakt sample library, is whether or not it can use the free Kontakt player application.
Typically this provides a level of assurance, as libraries that require authorisation using a serial code through Native Access, are in modern times going to have NKS compatibility as a part of their licensing requirement from Native Instruments.
I use the words ‘typically’ and in modern times’ here in a cautionary capacity, as some Kontakt sample libraries that predate Komplete Kontrol and the NKS system may still have licensing requirements through Native Access, but are not NKS compliant.
Thankfully these are now less common, but if buying from one of the online discount stores, it can be wise to research just how old a product actually is, for example products that require Kontakt version 4 or the low 5 numbers should be researched before parting with your cash.
Putting all of the above aside, it is in most cases still possible to scan and load non NKS Kontakt libraries into Komplete Kontrol, however the criteria and level of accessibility is varied.
The important factor to bear in mind is that if something states that it requires the full version of Kontakt, then it will only work in a limited demo capacity if you only have Kontakt player installed on your system, and you will need at least Komplete Ultimate or will have purchased the full program separately in order to have this version on your system, which Komplete Kontrol will use to load a Kontakt based library.
Some developers do still provide their own serial number in order to prevent the easy theft and distribution of their products, however these generally only relate to the downloading stage, rather than authorisation process.
Once downloaded and unzipped they can be placed anywhere on your system, but some watermarking may be present to help prevent copyright theft.
When it comes to using third party non Kontakt player libraries, in order to have them show up within Komplete Kontrol, they will need to be placed into a recognised user location path on your system in order for Komplete Kontrol to scan them into it’s database.
The default location that Komplete Kontrol recognises is:
c:\users\documents\native instruments\user content
Users/[USER]/Documents/Native Instruments/User Content
This is on your operating system drive, and while ideal for small NKSF preset files such as those used by Omnisphere, they are not really a good idea for Kontakt sample libraries due to the large storage demands, unless they are quite negligible in size.
A preferable option is to create your own folder on a second drive, and add the folder as a user location within the Komplete Kontrol standalone application, there is an option to do this on the user library tab.
Whether you choose this option or not, Komplete Kontrol will scan any user location, and add any .NKI or .NKSN preset files it finds to it’s database, and when finished the presets will show up on the user side of the browser with Native Instruments as the vendor, Kontakt as the product and what can be a very long list of alphabetically arranged presets, which often give no reference to which library they belong, for example ‘Winter Breeze’ could belong to any Kontakt library!
There are a couple of workarounds here, you could rename the presets and prefix them with a meaningful letter or two.
For example if the library product name was Ambient Keys’, you could prefix ‘Winter Breeze’ with the letters ‘AK’, using a batch renaming utility if there are many presets involved.
Now you will find all associated presets in the list under AK followed by the preset name.
You will also be required to batch resave the top level library folder, and then perform a rescan of Komplete Kontrol for this change to take place.
The second option is to use a utility called NIMBank, which is a github utility, this allows users to rename and categorise products in a way more akin to the official Komplete Kontrol browsing experience.
The Kontakt file types that Komplete Kontrol will recognise when scanning into the browser are .NKI and .NKSN, unfortunately .NKM which is a Kontakt multi file are not recognised within the Komplete Kontrol environment.
Also a word of caution regarding non NKS Kontakt libraries that make use of the .NKSN snapshot format for delivery of their presets. Because this preset format holds path location information, when loading from within Komplete Kontrol it is often likely you will recieve a dialog warning of ‘content missing’. This is due to the preset not having been saved on your own system, and as such you will then need to manually browse to the sample folder in order for the preset to find and load the components that it requires.
This is not ideal of course, and we often do not know what preset format a developer has elected to use. It can be a lengthy process to save these back out in either the original snapshot format or more reliable .NKI format, so if at all possible try and verify in what format the presets are presented prior to purchase, and if buying third party non NKS libraries choose those that use .NKI (not an easy task granted).
We mentioned batch resaving earlier, and this is something that is always recommended for third party libraries. Both Windows and MAC platforms have their own community access solutions, Auto hotkey macros from http://www.access4music.com with their invaluable Kontakt access script. MAC has the commercially available Keyboard Maestro application, for which their are free macros available.
The batch resave process put simply, resaves all of the associated sample library files it finds within the specified location, repatriates and updates them to match the version of Kontakt you are running on your system.
This housekeeping action also has the beneficial affect of making most older library versions show up within Komplete Kontrol.
I hope this guide has cleared up some of the myths and misconceptions, and will help you to avoid blindly buying a sample library with only a vague hope of Komplete Kontrol and NKS compatibility.