If you’ve got Kontakt, you know just how powerful it is.
And it’s only natural to begin seeking out free libraries you can utilize to make beats, compose, and produce music.
We’ve got great news for you, because there are a ton of free Kontakt libraries out there to help you get started.
Ready to dive in? Then let’s get into it.
Ferrum – Modern Trailer Percussion by Keepforest
Ferrum was produced by Vladislav Martirosov and Arseni Khodzin.
As its name would suggest, it’s a library featuring cinematic percussion with huge hits, punches, anvils, door impacts, cymbals, bells, tiny metals, and metallic foley.
Ferrum comes with a step sequencer, quick stage placement module, multiple playback modes (including doubling and ensemble), effect rack, and dozens of snapshots.
The full edition comes with 23 patches featuring 550 notes and 16 round-robins. The free edition, though, comes with hand-picked trailer percussion samples to help you get a feel for what’s available in the full version. Ferrum is compatible with Kontakt Player and Native Instruments hardware.
Ferrum’s sounds are massive, as one would expect. They are obviously tailored to film and trailers, but it could be a fun library to experiment with in other genres and musical situations as well.
Gombulator by Fine Cut Bodies
Fine Cut Bodies’ Gombulator is a Kontakt instrument based on a rare early 80s synth, the Yamaha PSR-15. All six of its preset sounds and a set of drums were sampled to create to unique Gombulator interface.
The sounds are just as you would expect – gloriously retro. Perfect for synthpop and even chillout, mood, or ambient music.
The samples are of excellent quality overall, which makes this instrument especially fun to mess around with.
Download: Fine Cut Bodies
Shreddage 3 Stratus FREE by Impact Soundworks
Shreddage 3 Stratus is just as you would expect – a free electric guitar sample library.
Amazingly, it comes with deep-sampled sustain, palm mute, and choke articulations with three octaves of playing range, up to 24 samples per note, and a variety of performance options.
I’m a guitarist myself, so I can’t imagine not playing guitar on my recordings. That said, the sounds included in Shreddage 3 far surpass anything I’ve heard sampled. You can create a ton of convincing guitar sounds with this baby!
I don’t think it would be too much of an exaggeration to say that this is the best free guitar Kontakt library out there.
The latest version includes pristine 24-bit recordings, SHRED window and offset, expanded UI, POLY INPUT window, multiple fret and string voicing algorithms, new STRUMMING tab for custom rhythm parts, modular rack and mixer with 30+ effects, and TACT 2.0 for articulation mapping.
Unreal that such a thing is available for free (to be fair, there is a full version with more features).
Download: Impact Soundworks
Palette – Primary Colors by Red Room Audio
Red Room Audio describes Palette as a “symphonic sketchpad.” Palette – Primary Colors gives you a small taste of what’s available inside the full version. It comes with strings, woodwinds, and brass ensembles recorded using their own proprietary True Ensemble Recording technique.
Primary Colors gives you access to a limited set of articulations and one microphone position, but you still get three dynamic layers and up to seven round robins.
Overall, I think the included sounds are great. Nice and dynamic. Not the best I’ve ever heard, but I’ve also heard much, much worse.
The instruments were sampled in a spacious but dry environment, which makes it easy to blend the sounds with other libraries or even your own tracks.
Red Room Audio will ask for a donation at checkout. You aren’t obligated to pay, of course, but if you like the software, it’s always a nice gesture!
Download: Red Room Audio
Sonas Ronroco Virtual Instrument by Samplephonics
Sonas Ronroco is kind of insane. It includes a collection of 893 Ronroco loops and 3,996 multisamples. It comes with a custom Kontakt GUI, and the samples were all recorded at 80 Hertz Studios in Manchester. The samples were played by world music expert Dominik Johnson.
This library comes with playable picking groves, textures, and one-shot samples with five mic positions and an on-board mixer.
Just in case you didn’t know, a Ronroco is a stringed mandolin like instrument of the Andean regions.
Did you ever know you needed this much Ronroco in your life? I didn’t. But if you listen to the samples, I’m sure you’ll agree – more Ronroco!
The Stroh Violin by Impact Soundworks
Impact Soundworks’ Stroh Violin (created by John Matthias Augustus Stroh) is a self-amplified variation on the classic violin with a resonating metal body and horn. Now that’s an eye opener! Had you heard of such a thing? I hadn’t.
This library includes three custom-mapped articulations (sustain, spiccato, and pizzicato), up to five round robins, and a three-layer rhythmic sequencer/gate. It also features control for grit, dirt, and vinyl.
There are a ton of sounds included here, and they’re all quite awesome. Overall, I would not say that the instrument sounds that different from a standard violin, but it does sound great.
Download: Impact Soundworks
The Free Orchestra by ProjectSAM
ProjectSAM’s Free Orchestra features over 1 GB of cinematic sounds, from orchestral string staccatos and brass clusters to symphonic percussion and “dystopian” sounds.
If you’re a film or video game composer, I have no doubt you’re going to have a ton of fun with this library. The sounds are all awesome and are highly customizable.
The sample presets consist of:
- Bombastic Basses
- Dystopian Drones
- Ghostly Clusters
- Heroic Horns
- Luminous Choir
- Ominous Lows (new preset)
- Pandora Bursts
- Pandora Panic (new preset)
- Power Strike
- Short Strings
- Sordino Violins
- Tongue in Cheek
- Tutti Hits
- Wild Winds
For more information, be sure to visit the link posted below.
The Alpine Project
The creators of The Alpine Project sought to combine the best public domain orchestral samples with advanced effects and scripting. It has consistently been ranked as on the of top three orchestral libraries for Kontakt.
The project is regularly updated, so it’s worth bookmarking their website.
The sounds are basically what you would expect from public domain. Which isn’t to suggest they’re bad. A lot of them are quite good. It’s what you can do with them with The Alpine Project that makes all the difference.
Just so you know, you will need to enter your email to grab The Alpine Project. At least you won’t need to sign away rights to your firstborn…
Download: The Alpine Project
Amore Grand Piano by Precisionsound
Amore Grand Piano is just as it sounds – it’s a free grand piano Kontakt library.
They used a Yamaha grand piano for the samples, and “close miked” it in stereo. This helped keep its footprint down to just 200 MB.
This library features a three-page GUI that gives you control over decay, EQ, IR reverb, delay, and keyboard response.
The result, at least to my ears, is a warm sounding piano with a fast decay. It does sound quite good though and demonstrates enough versatility to handle different uses.
Piano in 162 by Ivy Audio
The Piano in 162 is a Steinway Model B grand piano sample library. Steinway, of course, is considered the cream of the crop by many.
The library is available in several formats – Kontakt, SFZ, and Korg Kronos.
The included UI allows for mixing, loading, and purging of ambient mics. These controls help you place the sounds into any mix. Piano in 162 was recorded at 96kHz through two Rode NT5 cardioid microphones (a close pair inside the piano and an ambient pair). You also get five dynamic levels, and two round robins.
Simon Dalzell is responsible for the performances heard in this library.
The result is a full-bodied, dynamic piano with warmth and articulation. If you aren’t happy with these sounds, then I don’t know what you would consider “good enough” for you.
Download: Ivy Audio
Carpenter Trombone by Ivy Audio
The Carpenter Trombone is a detailed tenor trombone library performed in a professional studio, with legato, sustain, and staccato articulations.
The user interface gives you control over dynamics, articulation, convolution reverb, as well as advanced legato tweaking and release sample behavior.
Legato transitions were painstakingly recorded with a full length sustain. Rarely do you find sample libraries with such attention to detail.
University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music graduate Dylan Carpenter was responsible for making this library possible.
The included sounds are nothing short of stellar.
Download: Ivy Audio
free-neverland-lead by Standalone-Music
From KSHMR & 7 Skies comes the free-neverland-lead, the same lead and layers used on “Neverland.”
The easy interface gives you full control over the shape of your sound, and it’s compatible with Kontakt on any DAW, including Ableton Live, FL Studio, Logic Pro, Cubase, and others.
Included are some great sounding synth leads that really cut through the mix. So, if you’ve ever wanted those elusive (well, not exactly) sounds of “Neverland,” you’ll want to check this one out.
Signal Free by Output
Signal Free is a pulse engine instrument. It comes with four sound sources, 25 pulse instruments, 2 GB of content, LFOS, step, arpeggiator, looper, as well as basic and advanced modes.
It has a stunning interface overall, and it instantly stands out from the legion of libraries and plugins that weren’t graced with the same attention to detail.
Included are some breathtaking sounds, perfect for various forms of electronic, instrumental, ambient, and other styles of music.
As its design suggests, all sounds have a rhythmic pulse to them. Not ideal for every situation, but awesome for some.
Orchestral Rise Builder by Hidden Path Audio
Here’s another free cinematic sample library for Kontakt. The samples were recorded with a full orchestra in a traditional scoring stage environment.
The interface features mapped keyboard sections for long, medium, and short risers with options for full orchestra, strings only (arco and trem), brass only, and woodwinds only.
When you’re looking to create dramatic swells (common in the horror genre), this one ought to come in handy. I can’t see it being practical for general music production purposes, but in specific situations, you should find it useful.
Download: Hidden Path Audio
The Total Composure Orchestra by Xtant Audio
The Total Composure Orchestra is a full orchestral sample library built entirely on public domain samples.
Most of the included instruments only contain one set of articulation and some are limited to one recorded dynamic layer besides. With the help of some physical modelling techniques, however, Xtant Audio was able to enhance the sounds.
The Total Composure Orchestra’s interface is quite simple, but it does give you some options for tweaking and customization.
Overall, the sounds are quite decent. For obvious reasons, not the most amazing you’ve ever heard, but certainly not the worst you’ve ever heard either. A great composing tool.
Download: KVR Audio Software
AURORROR by FluffyAudio
FluffyAudio’s AURORROR is a synthetic soundscape library featuring 850 MB of content, 630 samples, 25+ NKI presets, and more than 25 sound sources.
AURORROR gives you the ability to create unique patches by layering up to three layers of sounds and gives you control over the sources with arpeggiator and polystep modes, 13 modulators, synced delay, stop modulator and LFOs, five LFO modulation shapes (SINE, SAWTOOTH, TRIANGLE, SQUARE, and RANDOM), effects, atmospherizer effects, and 18 convolution IRs.
As its name would suggest, AURORROR is a great tool for composers, especially those looking to create for horror genres or any media requiring dramatic, eerie music. That said, there are some conventional sounds that could easily be used in other ways, and they sound quite good!
Vintage Toy Tambourine (Red) by SampleHero
This fun library features a deeply sampled vintage toy tambourine captured with a stereo pair of large-diaphragm Neumann mics through a Universal Audio preamp.
Vintage Toy Tambourine comes with a ton of samples – single hits, mod-wheel shakes, special hits, loops, and special loops. It also features a three-band EQ and reverb for additional tone shaping.
Comically, they used a thin metal antique tambourine with rusted jingles. The sounds are indeed unique.
Freelodica by Wavesfactory
The melodica is a popular beginner free-reed instrument. It’s basically a hybrid of a pump organ and harmonica, where it gets its name from.
Wavefactory’s Freelodica, of course, features a melodica recorded with two mic positions with stereo and width controls. It comes with envelope, key noise, and air volume options, as well as 3x optional round robin and extended playable range.
Samples include original tuning (slightly out of tune), as well as perfectly tuned ones. You can control the dynamics using the selected CC number.
All these controls make for quite the versatile Kontakt library. Great for all those times you need a playful melodica in your tracks.
Guitar Freepack by Indiginus
The Guitar Freepack comes with three instruments, including DoubleTrack Ac Picked Special, StrumMaker III Free Version, and Lead Guitar Jr.
DoubleTrack Ac Picked Special is just as it sounds. It’s a double-tracked acoustic guitar combined and hard panned.
StrumMaker III Free Version comes with four chord variations per scale step. You cannot create your own chords or patterns, however.
Lead Guitar Jr. adds a harmony to create double note pitch bends.
Overall, you can get some decent sounds using Guitar Freepack. It’s a little limited, but what do you expect for free?
Djemko Drum Ensemble by Supreme Samples
Supreme Samples’ Djemko Drum Ensemble is an experimental library featuring a pitched down djembe, which sounds a bit like a taiko drum.
Creator Jimmy Ferrufino deep sampled his djembe, layered it multiple times and ran it through a variety of sound processors to create this cinematic sounding drum. He says this makes it perfect for trailer music or soundtracks.
The result needs to be heard to be believed. The drum sounds huge and has a bit of that “soldiers marching” kind of vibe to it. I could see myself having some fun with this!
To get Djemko, you will need to enter your name and email into Supreme Samples’ capture form.
Download: Supreme Samples
Candlestick by Atom Hub
Ever wondered what an old candlestick sounds like? Wonder no more.
The creator of Candlestick sampled their old metallic and wooden candleholder and was able to get a variety of sounds and pitches out of it. It makes for quite the percussive instrument. Perfect for experimentation.
Download: Atom Hub
Top Free Kontakt Libraries, Final Thoughts
Free Kontakt libraries give you access to a huge palette of sounds you can use in your music.
Just remember, if it isn’t available for free, there are probably paid products matching your needs. If you want to be an innovator, you could try creating your own sample libraries too.
It’s time to get out there and start making music. As always, experiment plenty and have fun!