Top 10 Best FREE Kontakt Libraries 2021
Top 10 Best FREE Kontakt Libraries 2021 at a glance:
Winter Voices by Pianobook
Amore Grand Piano by Precisionsound
Klang Free Series by Cinematique Instruments
Upright Felt Piano by Westwood
Shreddage 3 Stratus FREE by Impact Soundworks
Signal Free by Output
Free Fall by Soundethers
Palette - Primary Colors by Red Room Audio
Free Stuff from Sonicouture
Ferrum - Free Edition from Keepforest
Kontakt is the industry standard sampling platform from Native Instruments. It acts both as a host for sampled instrument libraries, and as an advanced toolkit for creating your own custom samples. There are some amazing 3rd party libraries for Kontakt, however often they come with quite a hefty price tag.
But trouble your wallet no longer, I've scoured the internet to bring you the very best FREE Kontakt libraries. I'm 100% confident that you'll be truly amazed at the quality and variety of some of these instruments, from intimate sounding pianos to epic choirs, guitars, percussion, and even whole orchestras!
Note that there are two versions of Kontakt, the full-fat version, and also Kontakt Player, which is free as part of the Komplete Start Bundle. Not all 3rd party libraries work in the free version of Kontakt.
Let’s take a look at the 10 Best FREE Kontakt Libraries that I’d recommend for producers in 2021.
Winter Voices from the Pianobook community is quite simply a fantastic achievement. Created by a collaboration of over 450 complete strangers during lockdown, it is the world's biggest sampled choir, and sounds...just incredible. What's more, it's not just one instrument, but 14 separate instruments, each with their own unique interface and controls. There is an amazing variety of evolving sounds and textures here, and it seems staggering that it is all available for zero financial outlay.
It should be noted that although the library is free, you are invited to donate to #WeMakeEvents who "split donation across a range of charities supporting the arts during this hard time". It also requires the full version of Kontakt to use, or Decent Sampler, which is free. Check out the video below from Spitfire Audio's Christian Henderson on the making of Winter Voices:
The Amore Grand Piano from Precisionsound is an instrument constructed from close mic recorded stereo samples, taken from a Yamaha grand piano. The user interface is very intuitive, including controls for decay, reverb and EQ, and it even has pedal sustain support. It sounds fantastic and requires only a very small 200MB download. Note that this library does not work with the free version of Kontakt.
This is not just one instrument, but a collection of ever-changing free instruments from Cinematique. They don't stay free forever however, so you'll need to check back regularly to see what has been added to the collection. Klang instruments tend to focus on more quirky sounds and textures which is great if you want to add something really unique to your tracks.
Each high-quality instrument comes with a unified simple interface, with easy to understand controls. The full version of Kontakt is required.
Another great free piano option, Westwood describe the Upright Felt Piano as "A well-loved piano, perfect for alternative scores". Amazingly (and rather creepily), this piano was recorded in the crypt of a church! However, the acoustics of the surroundings have certainly helped to give this piano a really warm and intimate character that would sound great on cinematic or lo-fi tracks.
Note that the full version of Kontakt is required, as well as submission of an email address to enable the download. Check out the video below for more details:
Need an amazing, distorted guitar sound in your track, but don't know how to play? Well, you're in luck. The Shreddage 3 Stratus FREE Kontakt library includes "deep-sampled sustain, palm mute, and choke articulations with 3 octaves of playing range, up to 24 samples per note, and tons of performance options". The full version of Kontakt is required for this library. Check out the video below for an overview:
Signal Free is a cut-down version of the premium Signal instrument by Output, giving you the opportunity to test drive the full version. It's a pretty good instrument in itself though, coming complete with 4 different sound sources, around 2Gb of content, 25 pulse instruments, LFOs, Step, Arpeggiator, Looper, and both basic and advanced modes.
Note that although it is compatible with both Kontakt and Kontakt player, you are limited to a 15-minute play limit when using Kontakt Player.
If you're in the market for a free ambient sound generator, then Free Fall by Soundethers may be for you. At its heart it consists of 16 presets, which each contain different layered sounds which you can mix and blend together. You can also add custom automation to add variety to your sounds. The download size is tiny, coming in at around 170Mb.
Note that in order to get access to the library you must send an email to the developer in order for them personally to send you a download link. This process doesn't appear to be automated, so expect to wait for a few hours before you get a reply. It also requires the full version of Kontakt. Checkout the video below to give you an idea of the types of sounds you can create:
Palette - Primary Colors is a free library containing a 1.3Gb taste of their premium Palette Orchestral series. Recorded in a dedicated hall using renowned performers, it features woodwind, strings, and brass ensembles. Each player was recorded in their standard orchestral seating positions which, according to the Red Room Audio, means "The result is a rich, playable patch that's natural, unscripted, and full of life - instantly gratifying and perfect for quickly laying down ideas without sacrificing realism". It requires the full version of Kontakt to use.
Soniccouture are giving away an impressive selection of sampled instruments such as Hammersmith Free, Tape Choir, Music Boxes, Tube Drum and Rocksichord. You do need to register to download them from their website, however in my opinion it's definitely worth doing this. The best thing about this offer? - Well, all the instruments work inside the free version of Kontakt, so you literally don't need to spend a penny to use them. A great way to expand your collection of sounds for no cost.
Ferrum is another free demo library that works with the free Kontakt player. This library is based upon selected percussion samples that showcase the premium instrument to good effect. It contains bells, cymbals, impacts and other great sounding percussion effects, all packaged within a smart, easy to use interface. Once again though, you will need to sign-up with a valid email to receive the 500Mb download link.
There we have it - The Top 10 FREE Kontakt Libraries in 2021. Hopefully you've found something interesting in the list above. I'll try and keep this list as up to date as possible, so if I've missed anything, or an instrument is no longer available then please let me know.
Have a great day, and Happy Producing!