Kontakt is not for everyone. It doesn't matter if you're a new or established artist; parting with $399 out of your own pocket can be stressful if you don't have money to spend.
Don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying that you shouldn't spend your money on Kontakt.
Because it is worth the investment.
Kontakt is the world's most popular sound library. It's on par with omnisphere in terms of industry-standard sound library plugins.
But what if you don't have the money to buy it?
There are numerous free Kontakt alternatives that you can use to create exceptional sounds in the same way that Kontakt does.
Although they are not the real thing, they are very close. You will accomplish a lot with the alternatives. You can also recreate all of the Kontakt virtual sampler's sound samples with these plugins.
Here are the top seven free Kontakt alternatives.
The TX16Wx Software Sampler is the first on this list. This Amazing Hardware Samplers sampler is something that every creative musician should have in their arsenal.
TX16Wx is a popular choice because it includes exciting modern software features.
It includes two resonant multimode fitters, for example, so you can tune the lows, mids, and high frequencies of your samples to your liking.
It also includes an ADSR envelope to shape and manipulate your sounds.
TX16Wx also has excellent effects and modulation to help you shape and design your sound. Remember that you can use this plugin to create an audio editor as well.
You can also load files in a variety of formats, including aiff, ogg, wav, FLAC, sfz, yamaha waves, and sf2.
Among the features that make this plugin valuable are an excellent file browser and active preview, a powerful mapping editor, the ability to record your own samples, and an excellent wave editor and beat slicer.
If you love the free version and can't get enough of it, you can upgrade to the pro version to enjoy additional features and benefits.
Magix Independence is another plugin we recommend. This is one of my favourite plugins on the list, and you will most likely enjoy it as well.
Simply because Magix includes up to two gigabytes of high-quality library sounds to help you advance your music production skills.
Magix, like the majority of the plugins on this list, allows you to tweak and add effects to manipulate your sound to your liking.
Magix has an easy-to-use interface, and once loaded, you can see all of the parameters you can use to modulate your sound. You can create any sound you want with these parameters without breaking a sweat.
The Magic Independence is an excellent Kontakt substitute. The only limitation is that you can only load a limited number of file formats, including Akai S1000 and S3000 soundfonts.
Vember Audio ShortCircuit is another excellent Kontakt substitute. In fact, this plugin is so good that it was initially unavailable for free. However, because it is no longer in production, it is no longer commercialised and can be downloaded for free.
Vember Audio Short Circuit, like the TX16Wx, has excellent filters and modulation capabilities.
Not to mention the plethora of samples.
Another advantage of this plugin is that it can load both SFZ and SF2 files, as well as REX2 files. This feature is useful if you are sampling and want to split your audio into hits and notes based on time and length.
Vmber is professional, but you should be aware of its two limitations. One, you will not receive any support because the software is no longer being produced. Second, it is only Windows compatible in 32 bit vst format.
We highly recommend the Beats Zampler RX if you want a more hands-on Kontakt library sampler that will give you more freedom and flexibility to manipulate your sounds.
Beats Zampler RX stands out from other free Kontakt alternatives because it is free and supports SFZ files.
Another fantastic feature of the Beats Zampler RX is the ability to shape and tune your samples to your liking, as well as add effects such as reverb and delay. It also includes filters for experimenting with frequencies and an amplitude envelope for drawing ADSR (attack, decay, release).
The best part is that there are many free commercial libraries that are compatible with the Beats Zampler RX and are of high quality.
Plogues Sforzando is another excellent Kontakt alternative. We highly recommend this sampler because it is easy to use, making it ideal for both beginners and professionals who value time and want to load their soundfont sfz and sf2 files quickly. Sforzando is gentle on your CPU and rarely causes your DAW to hang or crash.
My favourite aspect of this sampler is that you can easily find its libraries on the Sforzando website for free.
Unfortunately, in order to manipulate and program your sounds with Sforzando, you will need basic coding knowledge and a text editor.
Don't be put off by the high entry barrier because you'll miss out on the numerous SFZ and SF2 files available for free download on their website.
Grace is a good alternative to ShortCircuit that gives you more freedom and allows you to load multiple file formats.
Grace can load soundfonts such as sfz, sf2, Wav files, Mp3 files, and Aiff sample files.
A high-quality library of drums, leads, basses, keys, vintage keys, pads, and synths will be delivered to you.
My favourite aspect of this factory library is that it has a retro vibe similar to that of game consoles such as the Nintendo, so you'll be able to create unique warm sounds with this plugin. It is also well-built and simple to use for both beginners and professionals.
Not all IK Multimedia plugins are free. If you can't afford Kontakt, you can get IK Multimedia's SampleTank 3 SE for free.
And, despite being an excellent plugin created by a reputable company, SampleTank 3 SE has limitations.
In comparison to Independence, Free SampleTank has fewer libraries.
Still, the free sounds it comes with are fantastic, and there is a lot of music you can make before you run out of them. So we still recommend that you look into it. To hear the sounds, you must first register.
There you have it, seven fantastic free Kontakt alternatives. Again, despite the fact that they are not the real thing, you will be surprised at how much you can accomplish with these 7 alternatives.
You can use them to supplement your creativity until you can afford Kontakt.
Here are our top 3 picks.
- Software Sampler TX16Wx: This includes exciting parameters and features to help you perfect your sound design.
- Magix Independence Free: Comes with a large sample library with an easy-to-use interface.
- Vember Audio ShortCircuit: Has outstanding effects, modulation, and a plethora of high-quality samples.
Please leave a comment with your favorite Kontakt alternatives, as well as any plugins that we did not mention but are equally as good.