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Valentine Osipov
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How to Create Amazing Sounds with the Play Series Selection (KONTAKT) in Any Genre




Native Instruments Play Series Selection (KONTAKT)




If you are looking for a way to add some outstanding sound quality, powerful sound design, and simple playability to your music production, you might want to check out the Play Series Selection from Native Instruments. This is a collection of sonically rich sample libraries that combine carefully designed presets with focused controls for modifying them. The best part is that you can use them with KONTAKT, one of the most popular and versatile samplers in the market.




Native Instruments – Play Series Selection (KONTAKT)



In this article, we will explore what the Play Series is, what KONTAKT is, and how you can use them together to create amazing sounds for your music projects. We will also share some tips and tricks on how to get the most out of them, as well as answer some frequently asked questions.


What is the Play Series?




Definition and features




The Play Series is a family of instruments that are designed to be easy-to-use, but also flexible and expressive. They are based on high-quality samples that cover a wide range of musical genres, styles, and moods. Each instrument has a distinctive sound and character, from realistic acoustic instruments to futuristic synth sounds.


The main feature of the Play Series instruments is that they have a simplified interface that lets you quickly access the most important parameters of the sound, such as volume, tone, shape, and effects. You can also use the smart play features to play chords, scales, and arpeggios with ease. The Play Series instruments are designed to be inspiring and fun to play, whether you are a beginner or a professional.


Examples and categories




The Play Series Selection (KONTAKT) includes 12 instruments that cover a variety of sounds and genres. Here are some examples of what you can find in the collection:



  • Analog Dreams: A collection of classic synth sounds from the 80s and 90s, with warm pads, punchy basses, and retro leads.



  • Cloud Supply: A collection of modern trap and hip hop sounds, with airy keys, plucks, bells, and pads.



  • Ethereal Earth: A collection of hybrid sounds that blend organic instruments with digital synthesis, with ethnic flutes, strings, percussion, and atmospheres.



  • Glow: A collection of neon-lit synth-pop sounds, with catchy leads, arpeggios, chords, and basses.



  • Hybrid Keys: A collection of creative keyboard sounds that mix acoustic pianos, electric pianos, organs, and synths.



  • Lofi Glow: A collection of lo-fi and chillhop sounds, with dusty keys, vinyl crackles, tape hiss, and warm pads.



  • Mallet Flux: A collection of mallet percussion sounds that can create rhythmic patterns and melodies.



  • Modular Icons: A collection of modular synth sounds that were created by legendary artists and sound designers.



  • Noire: A collection of piano sounds that capture the intimate and expressive sound of a grand piano in a studio setting.



  • Butch Vig Drums: A collection of drum sounds that were recorded and processed by the renowned producer Butch Vig.



  • Lo-Fi Glow Presets Expansion Pack: An expansion pack for Lo-Fi Glow that adds more presets and sound variations.



  • Maschine Expansion Aquarius Earth: An expansion pack for Maschine that adds more sounds and patterns inspired by soulful hip hop.



The Play Series instruments are grouped into four categories based on their sound and character:



Category


Description


Examples


Synthetic


Instruments that use synthesis to create electronic and futuristic sounds.


Analog Dreams, Cloud Supply, Glow, Modular Icons.


Hybrid


Instruments that combine synthesis with sampling to create unique and organic sounds.


Ethereal Earth, Hybrid Keys, Lofi Glow.


Acoustic


Instruments that use sampling to capture the sound of real instruments.


Noire, Butch Vig Drums.


Rhythmic


Instruments that use sequencing and arpeggiation to create rhythmic patterns and melodies.


Mallet Flux.



As you can see, the Play Series offers a lot of variety and versatility for your music production needs. You can use them to create any genre or mood you want, from ambient and cinematic to pop and rock.


What is KONTAKT?




Definition and features




KONTAKT is a sampler, which means it can play back recorded sounds, or samples, and manipulate them in various ways. KONTAKT is one of the most popular and powerful samplers in the market, and it is used by many professional musicians, composers, and producers.


KONTAKT has many features that make it a great tool for music production, such as:



  • A huge library of sounds: KONTAKT comes with over 50 GB of sounds, covering a wide range of instruments, genres, and styles. You can also expand your library with thousands of third-party libraries, including the Play Series instruments.



  • A flexible engine: KONTAKT has a powerful engine that can process and modify the samples in various ways, such as changing their pitch, tempo, envelope, filter, modulation, effects, and more. You can also create your own instruments using the built-in editor and scripting tools.



  • A user-friendly interface: KONTAKT has a clear and intuitive interface that lets you easily access and control the parameters of the sounds. You can also customize the interface to suit your preferences and workflow.



  • A standalone and plugin mode: KONTAKT can run as a standalone application or as a plugin in your digital audio workstation (DAW). This means you can use it in different ways depending on your needs and setup.



KONTAKT is a sampler that can do almost anything you want with sounds, and it is compatible with most formats and platforms. It is a must-have for any music producer who wants to have access to a vast and diverse sonic palette.


Compatibility and integration




KONTAKT is compatible with various DAWs, hardware, and software, which makes it easy to integrate with your music production environment. Here are some of the compatibility features of KONTAKT:



  • Plugin formats: KONTAKT supports VST, AU, AAX, and NKS plugin formats, which means you can use it with most DAWs, such as Ableton Live, Logic Pro, Cubase, Pro Tools, FL Studio, and more.



  • Hardware controllers: KONTAKT supports MIDI controllers, which means you can use them to play and control the sounds in KONTAKT. You can also use Native Instruments hardware controllers, such as Komplete Kontrol keyboards and Maschine pads, which are specially designed to work with KONTAKT and offer enhanced integration and functionality.



  • Software instruments: KONTAKT supports NKS (Native Kontrol Standard), which means you can use it with other Native Instruments software instruments, such as Reaktor, Massive X, Guitar Rig, and more. You can also use it with third-party NKS-compatible instruments, which offer seamless integration and compatibility with KONTAKT.



KONTAKT is compatible with most DAWs, hardware, and software instruments, which makes it easy to integrate with your music production environment. You can use it to create complex and expressive sounds using any combination of sources and controllers.



How to use the Play Series Selection (KONTAKT)




Installation and activation




To use the Play Series Selection (KONTAKT), you need to install and activate it on your computer. Here are the steps to do so:



  • Download and install Native Access: Native Access is a software that helps you manage your Native Instruments products. You can download it from here. Once you have downloaded it, run the installer and follow the instructions to install it on your computer.



  • Log in to Native Access: Launch Native Access and log in with your Native Instruments account. If you don't have an account, you can create one for free here.



  • Add the Play Series Selection (KONTAKT) to your account: If you have purchased the Play Series Selection (KONTAKT) from the Native Instruments website, it should automatically appear in your account. If you have purchased it from another source, you need to add it to your account using the serial number that came with your purchase. To do so, click on the Add a serial button in Native Access and enter your serial number.



  • Download and install the Play Series Selection (KONTAKT): Once you have added the Play Series Selection (KONTAKT) to your account, you can download and install it using Native Access. To do so, go to the Not installed tab in Native Access and find the Play Series Selection (KONTAKT). Click on the Install button and choose a location for the installation. Wait for the download and installation to complete.



  • Activate the Play Series Selection (KONTAKT): Once you have installed the Play Series Selection (KONTAKT), you need to activate it using Native Access. To do so, go to the Installed products tab in Native Access and find the Play Series Selection (KONTAKT). Click on the Activate button and wait for the activation to complete.



Congratulations, you have successfully installed and activated the Play Series Selection (KONTAKT) on your computer. You can now use it with KONTAKT or any compatible DAW or hardware controller.


Loading and browsing presets




To load and browse the presets of the Play Series instruments in KONTAKT, you need to follow these steps:



  • Launch KONTAKT: Launch KONTAKT as a standalone application or as a plugin in your DAW.



  • Navigate to the Play Series instruments: In KONTAKT, go to the Browser panel on the left side of the interface. Click on the Libraries tab and find the Play Series instruments. You can also use the search function or the quick load feature to find them faster.



  • Select an instrument: Click on an instrument name to load it into KONTAKT. You will see its interface appear on the right side of the interface.



  • Browse through the presets: Each instrument has a number of presets that are organized into categories based on their sound and character. You can browse through them using the Preset Browser at the top of the interface. You can also use the arrow keys or the mouse wheel to scroll through them. To load a preset, simply click on its name or double-click on its thumbnail.



  • Play and audition the presets: Once you have loaded a preset, you can play and audition it using your MIDI keyboard or controller, or using the virtual keyboard at the bottom of the interface. You can also use the Smart Play features to play chords, scales, and arpeggios with ease. You can also use the Sound Variations to switch between different sound variations of the same preset.



Loading and browsing the presets of the Play Series instruments in KONTAKT is very easy and intuitive. You can quickly find the sounds you need and experiment with different options and combinations.


Modifying and customizing sounds




To modify and customize the sounds of the Play Series instruments in KONTAKT, you need to follow these steps:



  • Select a preset: Select a preset that you want to modify and customize using the Preset Browser.



  • Use the focused controls: Each instrument has a set of focused controls that let you adjust the most important parameters of the sound, such as volume, tone, shape, and effects. You can use the knobs, sliders, buttons, and switches to tweak the sound to your liking. You can also use the Randomize button to generate random variations of the sound.



  • Use the effects: Each instrument has a set of effects that let you add some extra character and polish to the sound, such as reverb, delay, chorus, distortion, and more. You can use the buttons to turn on or off the effects, and use the knobs to adjust their settings. You can also use the Mix knob to balance the dry and wet signals.



  • Save your changes: Once you have modified and customized the sound to your liking, you can save your changes as a new preset. To do so, click on the Save As button at the top of the interface, and enter a name for your new preset. You can also choose a category and a subcategory for your new preset. Your new preset will be saved in KONTAKT and will appear in the User Presets folder in the Preset Browser.



Modifying and customizing the sounds of the Play Series instruments in KONTAKT is very easy and fun. You can use the focused controls and effects to create your own unique sounds and save them as new presets.


Tips and tricks for using the Play Series Selection (KONTAKT)




Mixing and layering sounds




One of the best ways to use the Play Series Selection (KONTAKT) is to mix and layer different sounds together to create rich and complex textures. Here are some tips and tricks on how to do so:



  • Use multiple instances of KONTAKT: To mix and layer different sounds together, you need to use multiple instances of KONTAKT in your DAW or as a standalone application. You can load different Play Series instruments in each instance of KONTAKT, and assign them to different MIDI channels or tracks.



  • Use complementary sounds: To create a harmonious and balanced mix, you need to use complementary sounds that fit well together. For example, you can use a bass sound from Analog Dreams, a pad sound from Ethereal Earth, and a lead sound from Glow. You can also use sounds from different categories, such as synthetic, hybrid, acoustic, or rhythmic.



  • Use volume and panning: To create a clear and spacious mix, you need to use volume and panning to adjust the level and position of each sound in the stereo field. For example, you can lower the volume of background sounds, raise the volume of foreground sounds, pan some sounds to the left or right, or center some sounds in the middle.



  • Use EQ and compression: To create a smooth and balanced mix, you need to use EQ and compression to shape the frequency and dynamics of each sound. For example, you can use EQ to cut or boost certain frequencies, or to avoid frequency clashes between sounds. You can also use compression to reduce the dynamic range of sounds, or to make them more consistent and punchy.



  • Use effects and automation: To create a more interesting and expressive mix, you can use effects and automation to add some movement and variation to each sound. For example, you can use effects such as reverb, delay, chorus, distortion, and more to enhance or alter the sound. You can also use automation to change the parameters of the sound over time, such as volume, tone, shape, effects, and more.



Mixing and layering sounds is a great way to use the Play Series Selection (KONTAKT) to create rich and complex textures. You can experiment with different combinations and settings to find the ones that suit your music project.


Creating your own presets




Another way to use the Play Series Selection (KONTAKT) is to create your own presets using the Play Series instruments. Here are some tips and tricks on how to do so:



  • Start with a preset: To create your own preset, you can start with an existing preset that is close to what you want, and then modify and customize it using the focused controls and effects. You can also use the randomize button to generate a random preset that you can tweak further.



  • Use the sound variations: To create your own preset, you can also use the sound variations that are available for each preset. The sound variations are different versions of the same preset that have different settings and characteristics. You can switch between them using the buttons at the top of the interface, or using your MIDI controller. You can also mix and match different sound variations from different presets to create your own hybrid sounds.



  • Save your preset: Once you have created your own preset, you can save it as a new preset using the save as button at the top of the interface. You can also choose a category and a subcategory for your new preset. Your new preset will be saved in KONTAKT and will appear in the user presets folder in the preset browser.



Creating your own presets is a great way to use the Play Series Selection (KONTAKT) to express your creativity and personality. You can create your own unique sounds and save them for future use.


Using automation and MIDI mapping




A final way to use the Play Series Selection (KONTAKT) is to use automation and MIDI mapping to control the parameters of the Play Series instruments in your DAW. Here are some tips and tricks on how to do so:



  • Use automation: Automation is a feature that lets you record and playback changes in the parameters of the sound over time. For example, you can automate the volume, tone, shape, effects, or any other parameter of the sound. To use automation, you need to enable it in your DAW and in KONTAKT. Then, you need to select the parameter that you want to automate, and record or draw the changes that you want to make. You can also edit or delete the automation data later.



  • Use MIDI mapping: MIDI mapping is a feature that lets you assign any parameter of the sound to any knob, slider, button, or key on your MIDI controller. For example, you can map the volume, tone, shape, effects, or any other parameter of the sound to any control on your MIDI keyboard or controller. To use MIDI mapping, you need to enable it in KONTAKT. Then, you need to select the parameter that you want to map, and move or press the control that you want to assign. You can also edit or delete the MIDI mapping later.



Using automation and MIDI mapping is a great way to use the Play Series Selection (KONTAKT) to add some dynamics and expression to your sound. You can c


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