How to Make a Kontakt Library in 5 Steps

Lion Bold Records

January 31st, 2023


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STEP 1: COMPILE YOUR FAVORITE “TOYS” EHRM, I MEAN “INSTRUMENTS”

If you dig through the generic stock sound libraries included with your DAW or even Kontakt for that matter, you are bound to find your standard shaker, tambourine, hand drum; you name it. But have you ever noticed how bland and unrealistic they sound? Gather some instruments around your apartment, maybe borrow some from a friend or local university (with permission of course) and let’s make some REAL sounding instrument samples!

STEP 2: HIT RECORD—KEEP IT SIMPLE

Again, this article is focusing on making Kontakt instruments easily from your home. If you want a more in-depth how-to on recording advanced single instrument Kontakt libraries, check out my article titled Create Your Own Kontakt Libraries where I document how I made my Crotale Sample Library. I even give it away as a free download!

The idea here is to record the instrument the way you would actually record it in a session, so use what you have—don’t be shy, use multiple mics if you need!  If we were going for a basic pristine sound, we would just use the stock libraries I mentioned earlier! The idea here is to capture some character in the recording to make your music more unique, so go ahead, use that SM57 or that AKG414 that’s lying around, they will both get the job done. Just trust your ears. If you don’t have a microphone yet, I’ve included links to some of my favorites!

STEP 3: EDIT OUT THE JUNK

When you record, just let the tape run (as they say). In the editing phase, pick out your favorite takes, and get rid of the ones that were not so great. This might take some time, but this is the bulk of the work—trust me. Edit each sample into individual regions or clips. It is extremely important to have each region begin exactly where the sound begins in the sample. If there are a few milliseconds of silence in the clip before the sound starts, there will be a noticeable and annoying lag every time the sample is triggered. For the most responsive samples, take careful care to edit them accurately. 


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