Kontakt is a powerful sampling software that allows you to create custom samples of your own, but what if you want to use a sample of an instrument you don’t already have access to? Or if you want to use a sample of an entire orchestra?
Well, luckily there are plenty of free Kontakt libraries available to download for Kontakt, ranging from pianos, songwriter guitars, cinematic sound effects, hip-hop and trap beats, or even a full orchestra. Stick around and we’re going to go over a few of our favorites here for you.
Each of these libraries is completely free and has the link included so you can get right to work implementing the exact sounds that you’re looking for, to give your music that something extra.
(Please note: while the libraries listed here are free, not all of them work with the Free version of Kontakt, however most work with Kontakt 5 and newer.)
The Top 10 (In No Particular Order)
Let’s start with the basics; a nice, clean grand piano. Amore Grand Piano is a sample library that was recorded from a Yamaha grand piano using a close mic stereo set up. EQ controls allow you to fine tune the sound from the source and the layout is simple and intuitive. Decay, IR Reverb, Delay and Keyboard response are all represented with controls, making it simple to dial in the specific piano tone you’re looking for. Regardless of style or production, it’s amazing that all of this is offered in this free and must have tiny 200MB high quality package, and is consistently one of the best free Kontakt libraries.
If you don’t have Kontakt, or are looking to get a little more out of a piano library, you can read about our 7 Best Free Piano VST Plugin picks.
So it’s a trashy little tambourine, but believe me, it sounds amazing. A thin metal tambourine with only three pairs of rusted jingles sampled on a stereo-pair of large-diaphragm Neumann microphones, this library allows you to create the perfect tambourine loop for your project. No more looking for the right sound, the right rhythm or the right texture, this ‘toy’ tambourine will liven up your percussion and give that little something extra to your music. Sometimes it’s the little things that count. With such a dedicated sound, it’s no wonder that it takes up precious little space, just 27MB.
Now, how about free orchestral libraries for kontakt? Recorded in a dedicated hall with world-renowned performers, Palette – Primary Colors allows you to conduct an entire ensemble from your computer. Primary Colors is just a free taste of the entire library, but it gives you more than enough to sink your teeth into, making it one of the top free Kontakt libraries out there. Featuring strings, woodwinds, and brass, it allows you to color your sound with true ensemble recording.
What this means is that each instrument plays in its own individual range, so when you play a note that overlaps with multiple instruments, you will hear each one, and when you move out of a particular instrument’s range, it will automatically drop out. This gives you an ease of use that not only makes your music sound more realistic, but it’s perfect for laying down ideas quickly and easily. At 1.3GB, Pallette – Primary Colors is one of the more sizeable free Kontakt libraries that boasts a wide variety of musical possibilities.
Maybe you’ve got enough instruments to last you the next few albums, but need some classic electronic drums to give those songs some proper mojo. LMFree by Beaotic is built with exactly that in mind, being a sampled library and emulation of the classic 80s drum synth, the LinnDrum LM-2. Known for providing the groove and rhythm of countless pop hits of the 80s, 90s, and 2000s, this meticulously crafted mojo machine easily finds itself amongst the absolute best of free Kontakt libraries. A massive feat for only 23MB of drum kit which pairs well with our top free 808 sub bass sample pack picks to get that vintage and modern flair.
Is a piano a little too small? Looking for something with more space to the sound, something large and full? You’re probably looking for The Leeds Town Hall Organ. Massive sounds and beautiful, rich tones are pouring from this instrument like a fine, aged wine. Exactly what it says, The Leeds Town Hall Organ library was created over months by meticulously sampling the authentic sonic character of an organ that is over 150 years old. Easy to use with six included presets, this virtual instrument will add weight and space to your music, but it will also take up as much space on your hard drive as it does to your sound, clocking in at 3.2 GB.
If you’re looking for a way to make truly amazing electric guitar sounds but can’t tear up a fretboard like Hendrix or SRV, Shreddage 3 Stratus has you covered. Packed with options, this free version allows you to tweak and edit your tone until it’s perfect to your ear. Sampled with sustains, palm mutes, chokes and more, this library gives you the ability to completely control the sound and emulate the way actual guitarists play. String noises, strumming patterns and poly note patterns are all supported and let you create powerful leads, churning rhythms and strumming parts all in one place. Shreddage 3 Stratus requires 1GB of space.
So, this is a bit of a cheat, as it isn’t one library, but three. They are all included together as a single download, and they are an incredible package. The first is Lead Guitar Jr, which is simple but powerful, adding a harmony at higher velocities to create gorgeous unison pitch bends. The second is StrumMaker III which is limited by not allowing user created patterns or chords, but still offers plenty of variety in itself.
Four chord variations per scale step allow you to create realistic sounding strumming for backing tracks or rhythm tracks. Finally, in the package you get DoubleTrack Ac; which combines two sampled acoustic guitars, hard panned, to simulate double-tracking, the recording technique of recording two version of the same part to add fullness to the sound.
Indignus’ 3 Free Guitar Libraries is an essential amongst the free Kontakt libraries, especially for those looking to get in touch with their Nashville songwriter selves.
Offering 66 high quality drum and instrument presets, Trap Gods comes loaded with everything you need to make beats, allowing you to create them entirely in the preset bank. 808s, kicks, snares, hats and leads are all here, laid out in an easy to understand and customizable interface. Tweak the EQ, envelope, chorus and more and let your creativity run wild. Coming in at a little more than 1 GB, everything offered is 100% royalty free.
Instruments, check. Drums, check. FX and ear candy? You’re covered. Output Audio’s Free version of Signal is a high quality 2GB ear candy and tonal pulse maker motherlode. Although limited to the full version, this free version has plenty of sonic interest with 25 presets and 4 sound sources to keep your tracks feeling fresh, fun, and dynamic for many future music production, composing, and sound design sessions. Especially powerful for situations calling for cinematic flavor. Easily one of the best free Kontakt libraries available.
The last 5% of a production can really come down to the use and quality of sound effects. Seemingly, FX (effects) samples are absolutely everywhere, so much so it may be daunting to choose the right few, especially when your ear might start to homogenize them. Sometimes, less is more, and in the case of 99 Sounds’ 99 Sound Effects, the less sounds like more. An incredibly highly crafted collection of sounds, this is a free Kontakt library that absolutely delivers that last 5% with 263MB of Braams, Fallers, Drones, Textures, and Retro sounds to give your music a dynamic and cinematic pop.
Hopefully, you’ve found something new in these free Kontakt libraries that will help you take your music to the next level. From simple piano sounds, to orchestral powerhouses, there are an almost endless variety of samples to choose from in this powerful tool. We’ve listed just a few of our favorites here, but there are plenty more to be found.