Nirvana’s first album was their best, hip-hop used to be innovative and no software sounds as good as the hardware it emulates – all arguments mostly irrelevant in the face of today’s software samplers. Soft synth and hardware synth nuts may validly argue for hours, but when it comes to software samplers, the sound quality is there, the processes have been streamlined and artists are jumping ship to the convenience of software. Kontakt by Native Instruments is revered as the finest, but Native also produce the decent samplers : Kompakt & Intakt ( see www.native-instruments.com )
Pitched as a pro-quality sampler, Kompakt essentially allows the loading or kom_pakt.jpgcreation of sample instruments for triggering or sequencing, with
a range of sound shaping and filtering available. Like most Native Instrument software the sound quality is grand, and the one-window interface keeps things simple for quick execution of ideas – but the mac interface seems to suffer slightly from being ported from PC. Kompakt also claims to support all popular sampler formats, helping make the transition to software for existing hardware sampler fiends.
A rack style interface allows up to 8 simultaneous instruments to be loaded at once, allowing custom combination instruments for performance. These might include instruments from the library such as a house organ, a weird robot loop, violins, african percussion etc. Each instrument can be adjusted using volume or panning LFOs, filter envelopes, reverb, chorus, delay or master filtering. A modulation section also allows three adjustable envelopes and four LFOs. While not nearly as comprehensive as their flagship Kontakt, Kompakt is still a solid and effective workhorse.
*more than 200 instruments ( 2gb of samples from East West and Zero-G! )
*Eightpart multitimbral, 256 voice polyphonic
*Integrated file browser with drag & drop
*Professional sound quality with advanced 32bit processing
*Powerful filter offers six types, including lowpass, highpass, and bandpass
Import and Compatibility : AKAI S-1000/S-3000, EXS24, EXSP24, HALion, Gigasampler, SampleCell, KONTAKT, BATTERY, SoundFont2, LM4, AIFF and WAV up to 32 Bit and 192 kHz
Interfaces : MAC: VST 2.0, ASIO, Audio Units, Core Audio, RTAS (Mac OS X only) SoundManagerOMS
WIN: VST 2.0, DXi II, ASIO, Coming soon: RTAS (under Win XP), MME, Direct Sound
Kompakt Requirements: US$229 : Mac OS 9.2 or higher, G3 500 MHz, 256 MB RAM, 2.2 GB free hard disc space
Windows XP/2000/ME/98, Pentium III/ Athlon 500 MHz, 256 MB RAM, 2.2 GB free hard disc space
On the sampler flipside, Intakt offers a versatile package as a dedicated rhythmic loop player and manipulator. Again it comes with massive libary – 1.2Gb of loops from breakbeat, percussion to house, drum n bass etc. Aside from the beatslicing inherent in it’s loop mangling, and the similar range of effects and modulation to Kompakt, Intakt provides 3 different modes for working – each with it’s own special capacities:
Sampler mode plays audio files back like a classic sampler – load up a sample int_akt.jpgfrom the built in browser window, and it is easily drag and dropped onto whatever range of keys you wish – on the onscreen keyboard. This sample can now be played instantly as a musical ‘melody’ using either a midi keyboard or conveniently – the keys on your keyboard also. Combined with the range of effects, filters and envelopes, interesting territory can emerge to play in very quickly.
In this mode, Intakt can automatically slice the audio into individual slices, allowing parameters, playback direction, effects and modulation to be set for each slice. The whole loop can then be played back as an entire loop – or played back by slice using your keyboard or midi keyboard, allowing all sorts of fragmented mayhem or breaking an existing loop down into a new drum kit. A random slice mode plays the loop back continuously – but from random slice-points within the loop, again – mayhem. A midi file can be exported allowing manipulation in host sequencers. The Beat Machine can also directly open REX files which already contain marker information.
Enabling high quality time stretching and compression, this mode can adapt sounds from any source to suit whatever key or tempo your song requires.
INTAKT ships with mega-loops, and also imports WAV, AIFF, REX1 and REX2 files, AKAI S-1000/S-3000, EXS, BATTERY, LM4 and KONTAKT instruments. It also features:
*up to 128 stereo voices, professional sound quality with 32 bit processing, up to 96 kHz sample rate support
*Easy synchronization of loops to MIDI tempo
*Integrated effects: Group filter including low-pass, high-pass, band-reject or band-pass modes, global filter, lo-fi, distortion, delay
*Modulation section with AHDSR envelope, two individual LFOs, envelope follower and a DBD pitch envelope
*Fast rearrangement of the slice order directly in INTAKT
*Integrated keyboard for triggering multiple samples, sample mapping and fast selection of groups, plus latch function (holds a key down automatically)
*Keyboard quantize for live application triggers loops right on beat and in time (from 1/1 to 1/64 triplets)
Import and Compatibility
Kontakt, REX, AKAI S-1000/S-3000, SF2, EXS24, EXS24P, EXS24mkII, BATTERY, SDII, LM4, AIFF and WAV from 8 to 32 bits with 44.1 96 kHz
MAC: VST, Audio Units, Core Audio, RTAS
WIN: VST, RTAS (nur Win XP), DXi, ASIO, Direct Sound
Intakt Requirements: US$229
Minimum: Mac OS 10.2.6 or higher, G3 500 MHz, 256 MB RAM
Minimum: Windows XP, Pentium III/ Athlon 400 MHz, 256 MB RAM