Featuring stunning surround-sound capabilities, a convolution processor, a script processor, wide-ranging file compatibility and a much-improved 15GB sample library, Kontakt 2 is squaring up to take on the competition from the likes of Steinberg’s Halion 3 and MOTU’s Mach 5. Like Halion 3, Kontakt 2 has a Purge feature that analyzes which samples were used, and removes from RAM unused samples – freeing it up for other uses. Like Mach 5, it has excellent synth control features and surround support.
Files can play back using one of five audio playback engines: the standard Sampler; the Tone Machine,
Time Machine or Time Machine II for pitch transposition and tempo stretching; or the Beat Machine for beat-slicing. You can use the Script Editor to build custom instruments, use the Mapping Editor to map samples onto a keyboard, and use the Group editor to group samples together for further editing. Kontakt 2 comes with oodles of effects including modulation and time effects, and a convolution reverb for ultra-realistic reverb sounds and special effects. You can use any of these effects as inserts for samples and groups, as master effects for instruments, as send or aux effects, and as master effects for outputs.
Kontakt 2 now has a first-rate sample library along with the loops, time stretching and beat slicing features needed for dance music. For creative sound design, it has filters, modulation, envelopes, dynamics control and convolution reverb. But Halion 3 and Mach 5 have most of these. The winning feature for me is Kontakt 2’s user-interface, which is much easier to learn and use.