best kontakt libraries and instruments

20 Best Kontakt Libraries & Instruments in 2021 for music producers

Kontakt is one of the most progressive sampling platforms in the world. Many plugin development companies are switching to Kontakt Instruments for its ease of use and functionality. It can be hard to choose between so many different Kontakt libraries & instruments, but we have done this work for you. Down below you’ll find the 20 best Kontakt Libraries & Instruments in 2021.


20 Best Kontakt Libraries & Instruments in 2021 for music producers


1. Spitfire Audio – Albion Solstice 

Albion Solstice is one of Spitfire’s newest libraries and already has gained quite some praise from the critics. This library will combine folk music and modern music to create modern cinematic scores. Get hold of many heritage instruments passed by many generations including strings, brasses, woodwinds, modern synthesizers, percussions, and many more. You’ll be exploring the future, inspired by the past, by using this library in your next production.




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2. Output – EXHALE 

EXHALE is a modern vocal engine that can be used in current music productions and film scores. Output has recorded real singers and a choir to offer you modern vocals for your next production. The playable vocal engine is specially crafted for producers, artists, sound designers, and composers. 500 unique vocal presets are available to use including many banks of loops and slices. These vocal samples are pre-processed using analog gear, vocoders, and tape machines. Choose between several categories: dirty, airy, one-shot, creative, and pure to find your fitting vocal sample.



3. Heavyocity – Scoring Acoustic Guitars 

Don’t look any further if you’re searching for cinematic guitar sounds to use in your music production. Scoring Acoustic Guitars is Heavyocity’s latest weapon to complete their award-winning instrument pack line called Gravity. Heavyocity succeeded to take their sound design to the next level by complementing every strum and vibration of a guitar. This library contains 2.81 GB of information including 1040 samples, snapshot presets, motion presets, and 229 Kontakt files. This stand-alone Kontakt library lets you control the resonance and the rhythm of nylon and steel-string guitars and is one of the best Kontakt guitar libraries available today.



4. Action Strings 2

This strings library will offer you an extraordinary string ensemble with strong control of every little detail. Control the high ensemble and the low ensemble and determine both their volume and pitch. Choose between 5 different mic positions and get full control over the level of each mic. Through 4 new engine features, you can arrange live modules, MIDI drag & drop, play note sequences in real-time, pitch single notes & modules, and transform chords into an arpeggiator. With a total of 30 GB of realistic string sounds, you’ll be able to create complete string parts on a professional level.



5. Session Guitarist – Electric Vintage

Electric Vintage offers you a large number of guitar sounds recorded from a rare early USA guitar model. Its clarity and warmth have been embraced by many vintage pre-amps and converters while recording. Over 230 guitar sounds, ranging from strummed patterns to dead notes, can be used in thousands of different ways. Add distortion, modulation, compression, tape, reverb, delay, and even more amps & cabs to the original sound. Looking for a certain style? Use the pattern browser to search by rhythm, recording types, and playing style.



6. Nils Frahm Noire Piano

Noire is the digital version of Nils Frahm’s concert grand piano, recorded in Saal 3 of the Funkhaus recording complex. This library offers you 2 main options to choose from. Noire Pure lets you play the original grand piano, while Noire Felt changes the tone of the piano with a smoother attack. You’ll be able to control the color, tonal shift, dynamics, reverb, and delay of both versions right away. If you want to dive a little deeper into the technical part of the piano, click the advanced customization options to control its attack, release, resonance, overtones, pedal, tonal depth, velocity, tuning, or even add a sub frequency. Use the particles engine to control space around the notes you’re playing.



7. Wide Blue Sound – ELYSIUM 

ELYSIUM is a digital synthesizer specially crafted to focus on the motion of instruments. Get hold of hundreds of sampled instruments including mallets, pianos, string sections, modern synths, basses, dreamy pads, charming leads, and many more. Use the sound browser, choose your mood type and find the perfect instrument that you’re looking for. If you want to dive a little deeper into sound design, go ahead and open the FX section. Add several stompboxes, amplifiers, chorus effects, delays, and reverbs, or choose between 300 other effects you probably never heard before. Read an in-depth review of the Kontakt library here.



8. Heavyocity – Mosaic Voices 

Heavyocity succeeded in building a digital representation of the human voice by developing Mosaic Voices. Over 8 GB of vocal samples including vocal pads, choirs, noise layers are stored in this library. Use the Mosaic engine to combine up to 3 vocal sources to create an overwhelming vocal section. Mosaic Voices comes with 130 snapshot presets including synthetic and organic voices. Search for your favorite samples out of a full palette of vocal sources and start combining them to create a vocal sample nobody heard before. Load this library into Kontakt Player and start adding that dreamy choir or airy vocal beds to your next production.




9. Output – SUBSTANCE

This bass engine combines 3 sound sources, ranging from electric and acoustic basses to gritty reese basses, to create one massive sounding bass sound. Pick a sound you like out of the 300 specially crafted presets or go crazy and build your own wall of sound. Output’s integrated engine adds layer FX and global FX such as filters, modulators, arpeggiators, or macros to your sound. This will heavily process your sound, making it gritty, harsh, or ultra-deep. You don’t have to worry about phasing issues once layering basses as SUBSTANCE does the job for you. One of the bass Kontakt libraries/instruments for making basses.




10. Slate & Ash – Cycles

Slate & Ash has been building this explicit plugin covering the large environment of granular synthesis and modulation through Cycles. Operating on a micro-level of sound will give you endless possibilities for creating new sounds. You’ll be able to drag and drop up to 25 of your own samples anywhere on the screen and start experimenting on it or you can pick a preset and start from there. Refine your search by choosing your favorite sound out of 5 main options: Basic, Ambient, Textural, Rhythmic, and Gestural. Go beyond normal sound design by using 6 stadiums of modulation, FX, and filters.




11. Olafur Arnalds Stratus

This virtual piano instrument is the result of a collaboration between Spitfire and Olafur Arnalds. Stratus is a versatile piano recorded in a special way to compliment the dynamics and organic character of the original one. Its integrated interface holds up to 8 multi-layered piano matrixes to control the space and time of the piano. A total of 16 different matrix groups including swarms, rhythms, and waves will be presented to you through this plugin. Add beauty, emotion, and character to your production, and be ready to implement complete piano parts while writing a song.




12. Hans Zimmer Piano

This 4th collaboration together with Spitfire has been the favorite one for Hans Zimmer himself. This grand piano was recorded in the Lyndhurst Hall at AIR Studios by the engineers of Hans Zimmer and Spitfire. By choosing out of 16 different mic positions, you can adjust the sound and character of the piano according to your productions. Its 211.2 GB download size includes a large amount of presets divided into mic selections, mic sets, distance compensated signals, and individual signals. This world-class concert grand piano will add dynamics, warmth, brightness, and power to your orchestral arrangements.




13. Session Guitarist – Strummed Acoustic 2

Strummed Acoustic 2 lets you expand your instrument collection with more than 160 guitar loops. Choose between 2 main guitars to achieve the best performance possible. The 6-string Martin 0-17 comes with a warm and rich tone, while the 12-string Guild F-412 adds clarity and its own distinctive character. Play these guitars like a professional straight from your keyboard, change the rhythm by using the modulation wheel, and add accents whenever you like. Through its built-in tap rhythm finder, you’ll be able to find the perfect strumming pattern by playing the rhythm yourself. Strummed Acoustic 2 will improve your workflow and it will make your productions stand out.



14. Alicia’s Keys

Alicia keys has built her own virtual piano plugin to share her Grammy-award-winning piano sound with the rest of the world. Her own Yamaha­ C3 Neo grand piano has been recorded by several microphones and preamps to capture the rich and characteristic sound. By controlling the room, pedal, resonance, and release system of the recordings you can customize your own piano sound. You can even add mechanical noise to the original sound when the piano isn’t cutting through the mix. Come close to reality by controlling the sound of fingers hitting the keys.




15. Heavyocity – Damage 2

This Kontakt instrument takes a different turn than the instruments listed above. Damage 2 will add destruction and chaos to your percussion catalog including over 40,000 samples. Expect heavy war horns, raw drums, dirty synths, and dramatic impacts. Through the implemented MIDI performance tools, you’ll be able to create your own drum rolls, rhythms, and creative patterns. There are a total of 16 voices to which you can add compression, delay, reverb, or distortion. All of the included sounds are key-labeled.



16. Continuum Guitars 

Continuum guitars let you create entire electric guitar performances with just a few clicks. Simplicity and character are some of the most important things while recording instruments and that’s why Cinesamples created this virtual instrument. Expect cinematic, ambient, and rock performances including rhythms, melodies, riffs, textures, and pads. Included within are 200 presets ready for multiple genres such as metal, hip-hop, rock, and pop. Control every inch of the guitar and be ready to rock the stage.



17. Soundiron – Elysium Harp

This 47-stringed grand concert pedal harp will add exceptional clarity, warmth, and detail to your instrument section. Add this harp as an addition to sparkle the high end or as a prominent element in the mix. Go beyond the creative side of this instrument by adding costume FX presets, changing the stereo mic positions, or by using the arpeggiator. Over 30GB of wav content and more than 12.000 samples are presented to you. Choose between finger pad plucks, soft harmonic plucks, xylophonic plucks, many pedal buzz effects, and much more. If you have been looking for some great Kontakt harp libraries Elysium Harp is one of the best options available.



18. Heavyocity – Gravity 

Gravity gives you the ability to add extraordinary sound design to your productions, made by the designers of Interstellar and Godzilla. A large library stacked with high-quality pads, transitions, and strings can be used for every genre. Add a cinematic feel, depth, character, power, or softness to your tracks by using its presets. Experiment with the endless possibilities by designing your own sample. Imagine your own world within the motion of this virtual instrument, designed by the artists behind Marvel Studios.



19. Output – Analog Strings

Add a new dimension to your string section by using Output’s Analog Strings instrument. With a total of 500 playable presets, a dual-layered engine, dual arpeggiators, and 2 FX sections you can change and form your string sounds to your wishes. Sync the samples to your tempo and add noise, resonance, and many other creative resources to the original sound to create something special. Analog Strings comes with raw as well as processed sounds. The lush quality of the samples makes it one of the best Kontakt String libraries in 2021.



20. Action Strikes – Cinematic Orchestral Percussion 

Hard-hitting percussions are the main source Action Strikes has been focussing on while developing this new library. Cinematic Orchestral Percussion will offer you over 1700 unique combinations grouped into low, mid, and high sections. Experiment with 105 different rhythms to create your own unique one and you’ll be able to choose out of 65 single instruments including 32 playable rhythms and 12 single hits. If you’re searching for orchestral drums, tight percussions, and groovy rhythms then Cinematic Orchestral Percussion is a great addition to your toolset.


Next article: Best plugins for enhancing stereo width in 2021

Image Credits: Native Instruments



- DJ/Producer from the Netherlands. - Graduated from the Conservatory in Amsterdam. - Currently working as the technical writer at We Rave You

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