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Kontakt's 1.5 Beat Machine
(Click for a close-up)

NI's flagship Kontakt sampler received an extensive update with the release of version 1.5, including Mac OS X compatibility and new import capabilities.

New in Kontakt 1.5:

Beat Machine - Using a peak-detection algorithm, Kontakt 1.5's newly developed Beat Machine divides any percussive loop into individual hits. Drum loops can be synced to the host sequencer. The individual slices can also be mapped on the keyboard and played as individual hits, while each slice can even have its own filter and effect settings. A MIDI file can be imported into the host sequencer to directly edit or rearrange each loop into breaks, fills, and all-new grooves. The loop editor shows the individual slice markers in the loop and allows the markers to be set, deleted and moved. The automatic slicing algorithm can be fine tuned with the sensitivity knob for optimal results over a wide range of percussive material. Kontakt 1.5 also supports the REX 1 and 2 sample formats for loading pre-sliced loops.

Time Machine II - Kontakt 1.5's time stretching and pitch shifting engine has been further developed and improved. The result is Time Machine II, which is available in addition to the original Time Machine from Kontakt 1.2. The integrated "Transient Copy" technology allows for a more authentic reproduction of a sample's attack phase, which is especially advantageous when working with sharply transient, percussive samples. The sonic behavior of the Time Machine II can be fine tuned to best fit the source material. An especially convenient feature of Time Machine II is the ability to time stretch loops to automatically fit the tempo of the host sequencer.

VST Automation - In addition to the MIDI automation in version 1.2, Kontakt 1.5 now also supports VST automation. Nearly all control element movements can be drawn as automation curves in the sequencer and be remote-controlled. Since Kontakt is semi-modular, a VST automation number can be quickly and easily assigned to any Kontakt control element.

Drag and Drop From Finder and Desktop - Extended drag and drop functionality enhances the workflow with Kontakt 1.5. Drag and drop support is now no longer limited to the Kontakt browser: files and instruments can also be dragged and loaded directly into Kontakt 1.5 from the Mac Finder or Windows Explorer.

New Font - The browser comes with a new font that offers better readability and can be magnified.

Quicksearch - The new quicksearch functionality makes it easier than ever to find missing samples. All connected hard drives can be automatically scanned using a fast search algorithm.

Locking Zones - To prevent sample-mapped zones from being inadvertently shifted, zones can now be individually locked.

Fine Control of Master Tuning - The master tuning in the options dialog can now be altered in precise steps with a master range of +/- 200 cent.

Solo Latch, Solo in Place - With Solo Latch and Solo in Place in the options dialog you can adjust the behavior of each instrument's solo buttons. With Solo Latch, several instruments can be switched to solo at once, while Solo In Place lets only one instrument be switched to solo at a time.

Mac OS X and New Interfaces - Kontakt 1.5 fully supports Mac OS X and includes new interfaces: The Mac OS X version can be used standalone with Core Audio and Core MIDI, or as a plug-in with Audio Units, VST 2.0, and RTAS.

New import formats - Kontakt 1.5 further expands its compatibility with professional sample formats: Kontakt can now import REX, EXS MK II, and Digidesign Samplecell. Additionally it is also possible to load sounds saved for Kompakt, Intakt, and Kontakt Player.

New DFD extension - Version 1.2.4 of the DFD extension is now available for download for all Kontakt 1.5 users.


Kontakt 1.5 is available now at the NI Online Shop. As a special time-limited offer, the update is available for $/€29 (direct download) and $/€49 (boxed version) until December 4, 2003, after which it will cost $/€49 (direct download) and $/€69 (boxed version).

Customers who purchased Kontakt after August 1st, 2003 (online or from a dealer) can download the update for free if Mac OS X/RTAS support isn't already included (copy of receipt required if not purchased in the NI Online Shop).

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