NI Kontour

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
User avatar
DJ Warmonger
KVRAF
3686 posts since 7 Jun, 2012 from Warsaw

Post Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:09 am

How comes this synth from 2014 doesn't have its own topic?

https://www.native-instruments.com/en/p ... s/kontour/

I was very interested in Kontour since I learned about it. The best description is "feedback synth", which uses approach usually found only in modulars and/or analog. After few tries finally got some good results from it.

It has raw, authentic sound. Thanks to feedback path it gets wide range of modulation sweet-spot - you can push it far but the sound doesn't fall apart or get cheesy.

Unfortunately, while this synth has many unconventional features, it lacks common features which make it difficult to use. There is no dedicated amp envelope (sic!) - notes just decay as the feedback does. There are envelopes, but they are assigned only to specific parameters and not the others. Similar with LFOs assigned to "macro" knobs, which are linked only to very specific parameters. All in all, feels like a hardware synth with fixed modulation controls. Only one layer with weird unison, no sub-oscillators etc.

Still good for sick basses, gliding leads, FX, drones, soundscapes. Not much for arpeggios or keys since sound decays slowly...
Last edited by DJ Warmonger on Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
http://djwarmonger.wordpress.com/
Tricky-Loops wrote: (...)someone like Armin van Buuren who claims to make a track in half an hour and all his songs sound somewhat boring(...)

recursive one
KVRAF
4606 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Re: NI Kontour

Post Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:59 am

I do like the sound of it very much but I find the intreface somewhat esoteric and I keep forgetting I have it because it's tied to Reaktor. Same with Rounds.

Did use it in a couple of my tracks though.
You may think you can fly ... but you better not try

chk071
KVRAF
23228 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: NI Kontour

Post Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:11 am

TBH, I haven't even scratched the surface of the Komplete devices... there's so much stuff in there, it's mind boggling.

User avatar
gentleclockdivider
KVRAF
2531 posts since 22 Mar, 2009 from gent

Re: NI Kontour

Post Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:10 am

The precessor of kontour was the mighty cha-osc also coded by Stephan Scmidt ( one of my all time favourite ensembles )
https://www.native-instruments.com/en/r ... show/5877/

The kontour (reaktor based ) engine is also in the non linear labs c-15 ( new company founded by Steph.schmidt )
https://www.nonlinear-labs.de/product/c15.html

It's actually a phase modulation synth ( hence the feedback path to achieve saw waves ) etc.., and of course a lot of other things that can go through the feedback path
Eyeball exchanging
Soul calibrating ..frequencies

User avatar
Tj Shredder
KVRAF
3962 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Re: NI Kontour

Post Tue Feb 25, 2020 6:02 am

DJ Warmonger wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:09 am
Unfortunately, while this synth has many unconventional features, it lack common features which make it difficult to use. There is no dedicated amp envelope (sic!) - notes just decay as the feedback does. There are envelopes, but they are assigned only to specific parameters and not the others. Similar with LFOs assigned to "macro" knobs, which are linked only to very specific parameters. All in all, feels like a hardware synth with fixed modulation controls. Only one layer with weird unison, no sub-oscillators etc.
Do you have the full version of Reaktor? Then you could try to put in what you are missing... You can even share it with those who have a license...

ehdyn
KVRist
232 posts since 2 Aug, 2007

Re: NI Kontour

Post Tue Feb 25, 2020 6:12 am

I think if you look on the comb there's a decay param that has a big influence on the fall-off of the notes.. integral part of the circuit path for this synth.. it's not just a tacked on effect.

User avatar
Gamma-UT
KVRAF
5418 posts since 8 Jun, 2009 from UK

Re: NI Kontour

Post Tue Feb 25, 2020 7:15 am

You have to look at this one in much the same way as a physically modelled synth - regular synth parameters don't really work the way you might expect. If you need something like envelope control, you need to think about the parameters that will let you apply a mute in much the same way you'd palm-mute a string, though you do have to find out not just which parameter is going to work best (eg Comb Decay) but how you're going to map a MIDI modulator to the right source (eg modwheel->Color 2->Comb Decay), which generally means spending some quality time with the manual as what-modulates-what is far from intuitive.

User avatar
Sinisterbr
KVRist
306 posts since 11 Mar, 2010

Re: NI Kontour

Post Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:05 pm

Don't forget Forms. It's cool as hell!

BTW, why aren't there product pages for NI synths in KVR? I never understood that

chk071
KVRAF
23228 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: NI Kontour

Post Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:07 pm

There are. Not for Reaktor instruments though.

User avatar
Sinisterbr
KVRist
306 posts since 11 Mar, 2010

Re: NI Kontour

Post Tue Feb 25, 2020 8:16 pm

chk071 wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:07 pm
There are. Not for Reaktor instruments though.
Yeah, actually that's what I meant. Why?

Dombaeb
KVRist
99 posts since 7 Dec, 2018 from Saint-Petersburg

Re: NI Kontour

Post Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:43 pm

There are fabulous Scanner XT also. These tools are capable to make amazing unique sounds.

Reaktor synths out of the mainstream because they're just not comfortable, they're old and eats an enormous amount of CPU.

But..for them who care only about how it sounds and for those who are into sound-design, it's a secret weapon really )

simon.a.billington
KVRAF
1834 posts since 12 Nov, 2014

Re: NI Kontour

Post Wed Feb 26, 2020 2:29 am

I have so many synths I need to get to know more intimately. Well, the more straightforward ones are fine, like sampling, analogue, even granular. But then there are the different synth engines like you get in Kontour or Form, even FM8.

I know the principles of FM, I just haven’t spent long enough with it to know how to develop sounds from scratch. I don’t really have time for sound design, though. I usually tweak library presets and layer them with something else. Still, sound design skills do come handy periodically.

chk071
KVRAF
23228 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: NI Kontour

Post Wed Feb 26, 2020 2:47 am

Sinisterbr wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 8:16 pm
chk071 wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:07 pm
There are. Not for Reaktor instruments though.
Yeah, actually that's what I meant. Why?
As far as I can see, there's not even the plugin format "Reaktor instrument" on KVR Audio's database, so, it might be that really.

Cartwheel
KVRist
54 posts since 12 Jan, 2020 from Victoria, BC

Re: NI Kontour

Post Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:21 pm

Sinisterbr wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:05 pm
Don't forget Forms. It's cool as hell!
I agree. Out of those Reaktor synth groupings, Kontour, Rounds, Razor... Form is uber cool. I'm a novice at sound design, but the visual motion curve presets make it easy to come up with really neat sounds - even a generic sample, can get lively and unique quickly.

Return to “Instruments”