Optimizing the Performance of KONTAKT 5

To improve KONTAKT's performance on your system, please carry out the steps below:

  1. Make sure the latest KONTAKT update is installed. You can check the installed KONTAKT version by clicking the logo in the upper left corner of the KONTAKT window. A new window will open displaying the version number:
  2. Increase the latency in the Preferences of your host application if you are using KONTAKT as a plug-in. If you are running KONTAKT in standalone mode, open the Options and click the Audio tab. Increase the latencey by moving the Latency slider to the right.
    Note: Further information regarding latency can be found in the article "What is Latency" which is linked in the Related Articles section at the bottom of this page.
  3. Make sure the CPU speed and RAM of your system match the requirements of both KONTAKT and your host sequencer (the system requirements can be found on the product package or on the product web page). Note that these system requirements apply to KONTAKT running as a standalone application while no other programs are running. If you are using KONTAKT within a host sequencer such as Pro Tools or Logic, the computer will need sufficient resources to run the host application as well. If possible, add more RAM to your system to increase memory to run KONTAKT as well as your sequencer more effectively. This can make a huge difference in performance.
  4. Tweak your Multiprocessor support settings. In the Multiprocessor support section you can adjust the number of cores you wish to use with KONTAKT. You can select any number of cores to use, from one to the maximum number of cores available on your computer.
    This raises the question: how many cores should you select here in order to get the best performance from KONTAKT? The answer depends on your sequencer, the project you are working on, your computer system, and so on. We cannot offer an exact answer that will give best performance for all users in all situations, but as a starting point, you can begin by turning multiprocessor support on for all available cores on your computer, in other words select the maximum value available. If you are running several instances of KONTAKT in your host project, you will probably acquire a better performance if you reduce the number of multiprocessor cores slightly. Depending on how many instances of KONTAKT you are running, you may achieve a better performance by turning the multiprocessor support off and allowing  your host sequencer to manage the multiprocessing instead. This is also dependent on which host sequencer you are running, they all manage multiprocessor support  in a different way. Don't be confused if the CPU or system usage monitor of your sequencer does not reflect the multiprocessing of KONTAKT - it is not transparent to the sequencer.
    Note for Pro Tools users: If you are using Pro Tools as a host we recommend leaving one or two cores free. So you have an 8-core machine, you should select 6 or 7 cores in KONTAKT. If you are running on a 2-core machine, you may try using both cores for KONTAKT. Also read the article "Optimizing the performance of Native Instruments plug-ins in Pro Tools" which is linked in the Related Articles section at the bottom of this page.
  5. Make sure that you have not used all your RAM so that virtual memory is not in use for the samples. If you are using a computer with 4 GB or more RAM, turn the Use Memory Server option under Options>Memory on. Further information regarding the Memory Server can be found in the KONTAKT reference manual. Please note that the Memory Server feature is only available on Mac systems and is not visible for Windows users.
  6. Check where your Kontakt Library folder is located. You will get the best performance if your library is on an additional hard drive separate from your system drive or the drive where you store your audio projects. The speed and bandwidth of the hard drive are also important. You will receive best results with a faster drive (7200 RPM or greater). You may consider getting an even faster hard drive with an RPM speed of 10000 or 15000. These are more expensive but can result in a substantial increase in performance.
  7. Make sure that you are not using any unnecessary effects in your instruments. For example, if you load a number of instruments in KONTAKT and each one is using its own reverb, you will quickly expend a great deal of CPU power. Youcan  save CPU power by using only one effect on one of KONTAKT's Aux channels and sending part of the output of each individual instrument to that channel.
  8. If you are using an instrument with a long sustain it may help to turn down the maximum number of voices for this instrument to reduce the CPU load. This can be set with the Max parameter in the instrument's header (see screenshot).
    Handle this setting carefully to avoid "voice-stealing" or at least keep it inaudible. It works best with certain kind of instruments, e.g. timpani or other percussive sounds with long release tails and pizzicato strings.

Related Articles:

Product Group:
Software Version:
Computer Performance DAW / Sequencer Product Operation
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