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Sampler/Sample Player Plugin by Native Instruments
$399 / €379
Favorite Sampler - Best Audio and MIDI Software - KVR Audio Readers' Choice Awards 2023Favorite Sample Platform - Best Audio and MIDI Software - KVR Audio Readers' Choice Awards 2022Favorite Sample Platform - Best Audio and MIDI Software - KVR Audio Readers' Choice Awards 2021Favorite Sample Platform - Best Audio and MIDI Software - KVR Audio Readers' Choice Awards 2020Favorite Sample Platform - KVR Audio Readers' Choice Awards 2019
Kontakt by Native Instruments is a Virtual Instrument Audio Plugin for macOS and Windows. It functions as a VST Plugin, an Audio Units Plugin, a VST 3 Plugin and an AAX Plugin.
Sample Formats
Loads and/or Saves
ACIDized WAV, AIFF, Akai, Apple Loops, Battery, EMU, EXS24, Giga, HALion, Kontakt, LM-4, Reaktor MAP, REX, REX2, Roland, SDII, SF2 (SoundFont), sfz, SND, STS, WAV
Copy Protection
Online Activation (Challenge / Response)
My KVR - Groups, Versions, & More
2040 KVR members have added Kontakt to 994 My KVR groups 2553 times.
Not In Your MY KVR Groups
(or group limitation prevents versioning)
+994 in private groups

KVR Rank

Overall: 201   162   200

30-Day: 223; 7-Day: 228; Yesterday: 203

Kontakt is the definitive sampling platform:

  • Kontakt powers the largest selection of sampled instruments available.
  • Included factory library puts 55+ GB of detailed, creative, and expressive instruments at your fingertips.
  • Shape your sound with on-board tools including modulation, wavetables, envelopes, and effects.
  • Build your own instruments with powerful sample-editing and instrument-building options.

With Kontakt, you can sound like a snare drum, a symphony orchestra, or anything in between, from a universe of sampled instruments. It's a simple sampler when you want it to be, and a deep sonic scripting laboratory when you need something more. The next generation of the world's favorite sampling platform gives you new instruments and new features under the hood – so you can layer, link, stretch, and shape your sounds any way you can imagine.

{See video at top of page}


Latest User Reviews

Average user rating of 2.75 from 8 reviews

Reviewed By xtreme sounds [all]
September 14th, 2022
Version reviewed: 6 on Windows

Kontakt needs a serious overhaul for 2023 to meet great plugin standards. The Gui should be resizeable, preset management should be modernized, even the way we select a library and add it should be more of a a bunch of smaller squares or something instead of the current large panels on the left. Samples are slow to load, volumes need to be cranked up to hear them.

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Reviewed By qsource [all]
October 18th, 2021
Version reviewed: 6.6.1 on Mac

Is Kontakt the best sampling platform I can imagine? Not even close. Worse yet, the version 6 pitfalls have been among the worst since early version 4 (about 10 years ago). Have they added features? Sure. And gigantic bloat.

Unfortunately, the bloat is not only in the size of the engine. The screen real estate it fills with useless graphics is even worse.

All that negativity aside, Kontakt is the standard of the industry for sampling that sits in your DAW. If you don't license it, you will be missing a significant chunk of available sound libraries and virtual instruments. And that's the cool part: if you want more sounds, get Kontakt for endless possibilities.

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Reviewed By AngelShark [all]
October 5th, 2021
Version reviewed: 6.6 on Windows

At this point, in 2021, Kontakt is very much a necessary evil. If you want to use many of the best sample libraries out there, you need to pay up the cash for the full version of Kontakt. But you probably won't be happy about it.

There are competing products out there that offer (at least) most of the same functionality, for a lot less money, and without using anywhere near the ridiculous processing overhead that Kontakt uses.

Oh, and those competing products have re-sizable GUIs as well. Still not figured that out in Kontakt, Native Instruments, despite what you charge for it?

It's become a bit of a joke how little regard NI has for its customers concerning this and other core products. They keep pumping out new expensive products and focus on drawing in new customers, whilst completely ignoring the problems with Kontakt that existing customers have been complaining about for years (yes, YEARS).

Sadly, it has gotten to the point where I will actively avoid buying Native Instruments products unless there's absolutely no alternative. Their market segment is ripe for disruption and frankly the day can't come soon enough...

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Reviewed By mixyguy2 [all]
April 1st, 2021
Version reviewed: 6.4 on Windows

The worst piece of drek this side of Pro Tools. Overpriced, the ridiculously cramped screen with tons of real estate wasted, you can't resize or even simply maximize that cramped screen, the ridiculous cobweb of file extensions, the lame and inconsistent file navigation, the weak customer service, the short shelf life (it's not long before simply having Kontakt is enough, you need a newer version for newer plugins, and can only get the free upgrade for minor upgrades), I could go on. And really this plugin within a plugin thing is stupid in the first place. It's a shame that so many plugins were written just to appease this archaic software sewage, which is the ONLY reason to get it. Fortunately I there are a ton of great plugins which don't require it, and few if any sample libraries do anymore, so I'll never waste money on it (I'm only familiar with due to a friend having it and quickly realized how happy I was that I never bought it).

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Reviewed By choomaque [all]
March 24th, 2021
Version reviewed: 6.5.2 on Windows

This is a bad product.

Maybe it was a good (and better than all of it's competition) sometimes in the past, but not now. If you are about to purchase it, here's what to expect.

1. It's kind of heavy on resources. Some libraries can make my 2018 Hexacore Core i5 chug to the point of complete impossibility to work (and that's for 1 instance).

2. Expect locate samples manually all the time, because at least for 5th of libraries paths to samples won't work for some reason.

3. Expect to pay $100 on average per library.

4. Expect buyer's remorse. It's a bad value for the 50% Sale price, and terrible value for the fill price.

5. Expect to not being able to write your instrument as a markup file, and fiddling with the UI instead.

6. Expect to receive samples packed in a proprietary encrypted .ncw pseudo-format often with inability to unpack anything.

Kontakt is bad. And it's status quo is to blame.

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Comments & Discussion for Native Instruments Kontakt

Discussion: Active
26 June 2012 at 10:55am

One of the #best !



5 October 2014 at 9:38am

Gentlemen-Question?-Certain wav files when played back sound jittery almost breaking up-Can any one explain-Regards-Dizzyfingers.

26 January 2015 at 10:40pm

Dear dizzyfingers, it can be the file how it's designed (no bread and butter here, all patches are made with several layers to have a complex movement) or the way you play it back in Kontakt 5, the higher the key you play the more it sounds jittery... try to start from C3, and follow the note "try lower keys" for more subtle and soft soundscapes. Cheers.

13 December 2016 at 7:03am

Major issue with 5.6.5 update, Kontakt does not display all sample libs and user instruments (about 25% of my libs).

21 December 2016 at 6:08am

Hello! Just another kindly request to compile for Linux. Thanks.

5 October 2021 at 8:57pm

AngelShark's "review" is not a review – just a whining rant against NI in general. Kontakt is the standard, and for good reasons.

8 October 2021 at 11:32pm

Oh, come on. It's no less of a review because one NI fanboy doesn't agree with it. You're entitled to your opinion of Kontakt, just as I'm entitled to mine (as a dissatisfied paying customer). Prospective buyers of Kontakt should be made aware of the drawbacks as well as the benefits. However, feel free to refute anything within my review that you feel is factually incorrect. If you look again, you'll notice I did essentially say Kontakt is the standard, but if NI aren't prepared to bring it into the current decade, the industry should move on. Just because something has always been done a certain way, doesn't mean that should be the case in the future.

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