In this article you'll find top 10 Kontakt libraries which work not only with the full version of the VST, but also with the completely free "Kontakt Player". Usually when you add third party free libraries, there's a "demo timeout" in Kontakt Player - after 15 minutes, it stops working. Luckily, there are still some free libraries that give you serial codes, which you can use to register them in Native Access. After registration, the instruments should appear on your Kontakt Player sidebar, just like the ones you buy, and work without any demo restrictions!
1. Heavyocity Foundations - Piano
Heavyocity offers 3 amazing free plugins for Kontakt Player, one of which is their piano. It feels more like a “felt” piano, very soft and cinematic. A lot of the presets in this piano come layered with amazing sounding pad sounds, so this library is perfect for creating incredibly emotional patterns. There’s are “Piano” and “Texture” (Pad) to control the individual layer levels.
2. Heavyocity Foundations - Staccato Strings
The second free library from Heavyocity are their “Staccato Strings”. This patch sounds really grand and cinematic. It fits perfectly to energetic sequences, as it creates a lot of tension.
3. Heavyocity Foundations - Nylon Guitar
The third library from Heavyocity is their Nylon Guitar. It’s a classical guitar sound which has quite a soft sound, and in plenty of the included patches comes layered with a background strings pad.
4. Project Sam - The Free Orchestra
Project Sam offers a library called “The Free Orchestra”. It’s not really a full orchestral bundle - it’s more like a demo of various other libraries that they have to offer. There are 14 instruments and 5 “multi-layered patches” available. Although some of them have quite crazy articulations, which makes them not useful for typical orchestral arrangements, there are a few more “classic” sounds. The patches are very solid and are sampled incredibly well.
5. Soniccouture Tape Choir
Soniccouture is a really great kontakt library developer and it’s no different with their tape choir. It’s quite a simple patch which is a bit lo-fi in nature. It sounds very warm and soft. It’s not, however, a replacement for a full orchestral choir library due to its limited sampled range.
6. Keepforest Ferrum Free
Ferrum is a “trailer percussion” library which gives you huge drum sounds, stomps and metallic hits. It’s perfect for very intense, energetic transitions.
7. Embertone Arcane: Friedlander Violin
Arcane by Embertone is a very intriguing, spooky library. It looks a bit like a game when you open it, in which a whispering voice gives you riddles to solve before you can access 4 built-in instruments. Once you pass the initial stage, one of the libraries you can access is their “Friedlander Violin”. It gives you sustains, staccatos and tremolos with great modwheel expression controls. It also has a “Polyphonic” mode so that you can play chords.
8. Embertone Arcane: Specter Alto Vocal
Another library you can access in Arcane is their alto vocal. It sounds very detailed and has amazing legato. Make sure to use the modwheel for expression control. This library will from time to time try to scare you by making glitchy effects and voices, so if you’re using it in a track, it might be best to bounce the material to audio.
9. Play Series Selection (Analog Dreams, Ethereal Earth, Hybrid Keys)
Native Instruments, as the developer of Kontakt, offers a bundle of free libraries and instruments called “Komplete Start”. One of the included Kontakt libraries is called “Play Series Selection”. Inside you’ll find 3 different instruments: “Analog Dreams” with a few 80’s inspired synth patches, “Ethereal Earth” with a bunch of cinematic pads, and “Hybrid Keys” with some keyboard-type patches.
10. Kontakt Factory Selection (World, Band, Synth, Vintage, Urban Beats)
Komplete Start also comes with selected instruments from the “Kontakt Factory” library. Although the most unique patches here might be the World instruments (including the stunning Shakuhachi and Bansuri flutes), there are also standard instruments like pianos in the Band section. Other options include a few synth patches in the “Synth” and “Vintage” sections, plus some drum machines in the “Urban Beats” section.