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Native Instruments has announced Kontakt 3, the latest version of its industry-leading software sampler. With its powerful high-resolution audio engine, comprehensive sound shaping capabilities, unique KSP script programming, and universal sample format compatibility, Kontakt has established the cutting edge of sampling technology for music production, live performance and sound design. The new version is centered around a highly sophisticated next-generation instrument library that sets new standards both in its musical scope and in its creative value, while also adding a wide range of new functions and refinements in all areas of the software.

The new instrument library in Kontakt 3 goes far beyond what samplers have offered so far in terms of universal musical value. Over 1.000 highly expressive and ready-to-play instruments enable Kontakt 3 to fill nearly every imaginable musical role and application "out of the box". The library consists of six themed collections titled "Band", "Orchestral", "Synth", "Urban Beats", "Vintage" and "World", all based on over 33 GB of high-quality source material that takes full advantage of the unrivalled sound shaping capabilities of the Kontakt engine.

To unlock the full creative potential of the sample material, every single instrument in each collection of the Kontakt 3 library is outfitted with a specialized "Performance View" panel that puts all essential sound parameters at the user's fingertips for quick and convenient control. Drum kits even include their own programmable step sequencer, world instruments offer sophisticated tuning scale options, synthesizers come with arpeggiators and detailed voicing controls. This advanced functionality is based on Kontakt's unique KSP scripting technology, and is unparalleled in a software sampler instrument.

The comprehensive sound design capabilities of Kontakt are further extended in the new version through the addition of innovative Zone Envelopes. These highly flexible free-form envelopes are directly applied on the waveform, and add a deep yet intuitive new aspect to the powerful modulation features of Kontakt. A new sample editor now also enables direct editing of waveforms for audio trimming, cutting and similar tasks directly within Kontakt 3. Handling of loops and musical phrases greatly benefits from an improved wave editor, which offers superior slice detection, a flexible beat grid feature and the option to export sliced loops as MIDI files via drag&drop at any time.

The ease-of-use and efficiency of Kontakt 3 is profoundly increased on every level, both through a substantial general user interface overhaul as well as through various feature additions. This includes a new "Instrument Navigator" and "Monitor Tab", a "Modulation Quick-Jump" feature, and an enhanced mapping editor that makes creating and editing sound easier. The user interface is further augmented with a new integrated help panel that provides explanations and hints for nearly all functions and controls right within the software, making it easier to fully take advantage of the vast functionality that Kontakt 3 offers.

Other improvements in Kontakt 3 include several new effect algorithms, additional supported sample formats, substantially faster loading times and much more.

Kontakt 3 is also fully compatible with KORE, the advanced host system from Native Instruments.

Kontakt 3 will be available in October for a suggested retail price of $449/€399. An update for owners of Kontakt 2 will be offered at $149/€129.

Native Instruments has also announced Guitar Rig 3, the next generation of its award-winning digital guitar studio. The third version expands on nearly every aspect that sets Guitar Rig apart as the most capable digital guitar solution. It now offers more amps and effects, powerful new live features, a completely reworked tone library complete with improved preset handling, and a redesigned Rig Kontrol pedal board with optimized control and audio interface functionality. Both a "Kontrol Edition" with foot pedal and a software-only "Software Edition" of Guitar Rig 3 will be available.

Guitar Rig 3 offers four additional emulations of highly sought-after original guitar amplifiers, all based on Native Instruments' Dynamic Tube Response technology to provide the unique dynamics and full tonal charisma of tube amplification. New amps include the "Ultraschall", the "Tweed Delight", the "Citrus" and the "Hi-White". A new "Matched Cabinet" module now also provides a carefully matched combination of cabinet and microphones for every amplifier in Guitar Rig 3, and is especially straightforward and effective to set up and tweak.

The effects arsenal of Guitar Rig 3 has also been further expanded with six new units, including a sublime analog-modeled emulation of a legendary vintage tape delay. This outfits Guitar Rig 3 with a powerful arsenal of 12 true-to-life amps as well as 44 stomp boxes and effects, providing an immeasurable sonic variety to guitarists and producers.

The redesigned Rig Kontrol foot pedal included in the "Kontrol Edition" of Guitar Rig 3 offers immediate and intuitive control of the software at any time. Two additional buttons, integrated signal level indicators and concise button labeling all make sure that Guitar Rig can be controlled hands-free and away from the computer screen. The integrated audio interface has also been upgraded with studio-grade Cirrus Logic converters that provide pristine audio quality for all applications.

To provide guitarists and producers with a rich sonic resource right from the start, Guitar Rig 3 includes a new preset collection with more than 300 production-ready guitar tones that focus on highly playable amp sounds, spanning a wide range of musical eras and styles. Preset handling is more convenient due to the redesigned browser with improved search functions, new "bank categories" and a new snapshot feature that allows guitarists to quickly switch between multiple variations of a tone.

To further accommodate guitarists who take Guitar Rig on stage or to the rehearsal room, the new version also introduces a Live View feature that displays a large-scale full-screen view of the most vital parameters for live use. Preset lists, button and pedal assignments and tuner functions can now all be monitored through the Live View at a glance.

Guitar Rig 3 is also fully compatible with KORE, the advanced host system from Native Instruments.

Guitar Rig 3 will be available in October as "Kontrol Edition" and "Software Edition" for a suggested retail price of $559/€499 and $339/€299 respectively. Discounted updates and upgrades for existing Guitar Rig owners will also be available.

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