Kore, Komplete, Reaktor @ cdm

Minisite with tutorials, tips, features on making the most of Native Instruments music production tools

Ed.: When you think of sample design, you may think of hours spent painstakingly multisampling hundreds of audio files. Of course, that’s not the way most of us work (or have time to work). More often, you have a short recording you like that you want to manipulate. Kontakt’s functional depth need not intimidate you: you can use all that horsepower to get your sounds doing interesting stuff right away.

Here, Peter Dines walks us through in a few quick steps taking a simple sample and turning it into a complex instrument. He’s got a free download to round it out. Even if you’ve seen very little of Kontakt beyond its presets, you should be able to pick up some quick skills. And yes, you’ll even do some scripting – though thanks to the presets, you won’t have to know about scripting yourself to take advantage of this feature. (We will make all of you scripters soon, though.)

In this video, a basic set of Kontakt skills that could apply to lots of ideas:

  • Creating a sample from a file
  • Slicing up bigger samples into mapped slices with the Wave Editor
  • Correcting slice points
  • Using Script Editor performance presets to get advanced features
  • (without having to write your own scripts)
  • Simple script modification – even if you’re afraid of code

But the whole thing started (appropriately enough in the holiday season) as a gift. Peter recalls:

My brother in law came back from Vienna with a great gift for me – a music box mechanism. I recorded its output and imported the file into Kontakt. In this video, I demonstrate some of the ways you can manipulate and script your way to creative results.

Music-boxing in NI Kontakt from Create Digital Media on Vimeo.

Here’s the Kontakt instrument I created in this video:

22 Responses

  1. ronnie

    Great stuff Peter. Am I missing the download though?

  2. Peter Dines

    Hi Ronnie,

    If the box.net download widget isn’t working for you, here’s a direct link to the file.

  3. SteveReid

    Brilliant tutorial Peter!

    Many thanks for all the other great content on this site as well.

    More Kontakt tutorials in this vein would be real cool.

  4. ronnie

    Thanks Peter! Keep up the good work.

  5. sowari

    yep, a brilliant tutorial… i don’t own Kontakt, but after seeing your tutorial, i feel i want to buy it.

  6. amarillo114

    This blog is gorgeous! Keep on workin’ that way Peter… we BEG you!!


  7. Max

    Thanks a lot for this great screencast!
    I happen to have a programmable music box (via punchcards), so i am gonna try this out today.

  8. Peter Dines

    Ronnie – Thanks!

    Sowari – yeah, it’s a deeper product than you’d expect. Huge potential for sound design and creative abuse.

    Amarillo114 – Thanks!

    Max – is that an antique or something modern? I have an album of classical music played on antique music boxes – it’s wonderful. I think they use an arrangement like yours, with either punch cards or a punched tape for longer song length.

  9. thehipcola

    Awesome stuff! Thanks for this tutorial…just digging into Kontakt and the tutorials really help me make sense of it.

  10. michel

    hello peter,

    thnx a lot, i found an instant use for this: usually i record a load of handclaps/fingersnaps on the fl while jamming. i then have to select them manually, which usually halts the creative process. now i record, import the recording into kontakt, slice (which works very well indeed) and just explore my midikeyboard. much better!

    i only wondered whether it was possible to export all the slices as separate files. that way i could import everything into battery.

  11. [...] Last time we looked at Kontakt I showed you how to import and slice up a sample, and create new music out of an old melody. Now let’s pick up where we left off by exploring the scripts and performance views in some Kontakt and Kontakt-based Kore library instruments. [...]

  12. regend

    nice tutorial, it definitely makes me want to get a copy of Kontakt as a stand alone module instead of doing it in Ableton Live or with my s900/s1000.

    wait until these guys hit drop their next album.


  13. Peter Dines

    Michel, unfortunately there’s no way for Kontakt to export slices as individual one-shot files at the moment. I checked with our pal Florian at Native Instruments, who says:

    it’s not possible to save the slices as individual samples. That’s essentially because slicing is a non-destructive process (as slices need to be editable), and there’s no destructive process implemented.

  14. [...] sequence and re-tune music box samples [...]

  15. S├ębastien Orban

    Peter : you’re a creativity enabler… Now, I only need something to record (no mic. For now).

    Webcam, mp3 player, here I come !

  16. Janus

    Thanks for the nice tutorial and for the awesome site as a whole. I’ve got a question: When you use the timemachine on a sample, it gets timestretched according to the host-/standalone-tempo. If you then slice the sample the slices are no longer timestretched. I would like to have timemachine-enabled slices so bad, without having to set them manually that is – is this possible. It’s perfect when you rearrange rhythmic material, and don’t want gaps if you slow down the tempo and shuffle feeling if you speed it up.

    Thanks in advance.

  17. Peter Dines

    Janus, what you want is the beat machine mode. That will put markers on the beats and let Kontakt stretch the sample intelligently.

    The downside is you lose the ability to rearrange the individual slices. If you look at the way the Urban Beats instruments are put together, you’ll see that the samples are a combination of one-hits and loops. The one-hits are used by the drum computer script and the loops are used by a separate loop-activating script.

  18. [...] workflow look like with Kontakt? Peter answers that question with a beautiful, delicate-sounding music box patch. In this example, working directly in Kontakt allows him to start with a recorded sound and get [...]

  19. Jaime Munarriz

    I also own a programmable music box, I bought it at Berlin. I wated to try fancy visual patterns o int, and then process the sound.
    It’s a pity that you avoided the microtuning, it could yield even more interesting results.
    Thanks for opening this magic window, the script editor.

  20. Peter Dines

    Sure, the microtuning is interesting too.. the sliders in the tuning table are in cents so experiment away – or expand the range to +2 and -2 semitones in the script for even more detuning.

  21. JW

    Attempting to download the musicboxing.zip and the status bar just hangs with “Please wait”. Any chance of getting this fixed? I’d love to explore the experiment. Thanks!

  22. [...] Full article is at the unfortunately now defunKt Kore pages [...]

Leave a Reply