Native Instruments has announced Kontakt 3, the latest version of its software sampler for live and studio work.

Kontakt 2 boasts many new functions and ships with an extensive instrument library, including over 1,000 instruments.

The library consists of six themed collections: Band, Orchestral, Synth, Urban Beats, Vintage and World. All based on over 33GB of high-quality source material that fully exploits the sound shaping capabilities of the Kontakt engine.

Every instrument in the library has a specialized Performance View panel that places all essential sound parameters at the user's fingertips for quick and convenient control. Drum kits even include their own programmable step sequencer, while world instruments offer tuning scale options, for example.

This functionality is based on the software's scripting technology.

The new version also introduces Zone Envelopes, which can be directly applied on the waveform. A new sample editor also enables direct editing of waveforms for audio trimming, cutting and similar tasks within Kontakt 3.

Additional improvements include a better wave editor, which offers superior slice detection, a flexible beat grid feature and the option to export sliced loops as MIDI files via drag-&-drop at any time.

The upgrade also includes several new effect algorithms, additional supported sample formats, substantially faster loading times and more.

The software ships next month and is expected to cost €399.