Further work/videos on Kontakt – Intro

Wow! We are having a hard time keeping up with all the comments and suggestions from everyone… Love it and keep all the great ideas coming! Between all of us, we might just get this figured out! 🙂

Jeff had some very good comments on one of our recent posts. We are going to work through each of those, one at a time, and share what we learn for each item.

In short they were:

  1. Initialization of the Kontakt Multi.
    1. Added 09/01/17 – Further work/videos on Kontakt – Load Time / Multi
  2. Editing of Kontakt Sounds.
  3. Alternative way of Accessing Kontakt Sounds.

If you would like to review more details take a look at the full discussion.

Stay tuned. Lot’s more to come! For now, let us leave you with a “teaser” of something we are working on. Just the bass and piano tracks. The bass was done using the Upright Bass from the Kontakt Factory Selection and the Piano is from the “Hammerhead” that we are using with Kontakt.

26 thoughts on “Further work/videos on Kontakt – Intro

  • 09/05/2017 at 02:25
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    Hi Guys
    I have downloaded Kontakt 5 demo version to my PC with a 3.50 Ghz 6 core processor which I have connected via USB my Groovestation Midi controller keyboard and after working on it for about 4 hours I have finally got the audio working.
    I must say at this stage I am very disappointed with the audio quality of the instrument samples, I am running reasonable quality external active speakers which produce very acceptable results from other input sources.
    The audio also sounds very mono but I have left and right audio outputs selected

    I have played with lots of different settings, are there any settings for improving the audio quality?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • 09/05/2017 at 03:27
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      Hi Ross
      Are you using the standalone version or via a VST Host? (The audio setup will be similar on both)
      Go into settings, audio and locate your sound card in the drop down list and make sure it is selected, (Preferably via ASIO) and the audio is now done.
      Do the same for the Midi input and select your controller, and then save all the settings, (It shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes)
      To reduce latency you may need to adjust the ASIO Buffer size to get a balance between the delay and CPU use. (256 samples is usually a good starting point)
      If you do not have an ASIO driver download ASIO4all https://asio4all.en.softonic.com/ and use this. (If you have Windows 10 the included WASAPI is also good to use)
      If it took you 4 hours to get working then there is something seriously amiss, so reset everything to default and follow the instructions above.
      Note: The soundcard used will also make a big difference in sound quality.
      Hope this helps
      Bill

      Reply
    • 09/05/2017 at 06:59
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      I would agree that the set of samples that you can download for free are nothing special. Nothing wrong with them but they are no better or worse than many sounds already in the organ.

      Where things start to get interesting is when you work with some of the higher end sample libraries. Of course those start to cost $ up to $$$$. Just about all the vendors offer some demo tracks you can listen to and we have uploaded a few that you can listen to. The first 4-5 tracks over on our Soundcloud account were all done using Kontakt and some the samples that we purchased. – https://soundcloud.com/immusic

      Reply
  • 09/02/2017 at 10:13
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    Hi Ross,

    Many thanks for the second monitor information. I don’t actually have a problem with displaying VSTs as they’re all run on a second processor linked to a 23″ monitor. All the additional VST software that I use (Hauptwerk, VB3, Kontakt etc.) is displayed full size. Also since there is no interconnection between the second processor and the Wersi processor, the two displays are completely separate, OAS on the one and VSTs on the other, so no display manipulation is necessary and there aren’t any display conflict issues. This is the ideal, optimum setup and is the reason why my discussions with Curt and others are orientated towards seeing how we might implement something like this on the Sonic.

    Any or all of the VST software packages I use can be activated automatically at startup, (on the Mac it’s simply a case of entering the required packages onto a startup menu, or specifying them in the startup file for a PC). I have two menus permanently on display, one for the VST software and one for the sheet music. The former provides for the execution and exiting of the software for those users who prefer to start and stop specific packages manually. The latter is a list of song titles which when selected allow a particular piece of sheet music to be displayed. It’s not as sophisticated as the packages you and Chris are describing, but it does the job well. I’m using ‘Keynote’ for this purpose, which is a free Powerpoint like presentation package and is bundled in with the Mac OS. Basically two sheets of music are assembled side by side into a slide and the Mac trackpad then used to swipe forwards or backwards to transition through the sheets.

    I’m conscious that I haven’t given much prominence to this aspect of the system. Currently I’m recording some demos for the next section of the Wersi Organ Showcase, so when that’s completed I’ll plan to produce a couple of videos showing just how all of this works. It’s a very simple, easy system. I was going to say that it’s so simple a child of seven could do it, but knowing the IT skills of a child of that age, that’s not saying a great deal !!

    Jeff

    Reply
  • 09/01/2017 at 09:23
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    Hi Ross and Curt,

    As I understand it, the monitor configuration that you are describing allows for the display of the OAX on one monitor (typically the instrument’s touchscreen) and the Windows environment on a second monitor. However, Chris was expressing a desire to have whatever VST was running in the OAX displayed on a larger screen. I can see three ways in which we could do this.

    1) Configure the second monitor in single display mode so that we display on it a replica of what’s being displayed on the instrument’s touchscreen. This has the advantage of providing a larger display for the VST but it doesn’t allow for the independent adjustment of the OAX menus and the VST controls, which is the optimum and most convenient way of using this software.

    2) Configure the second monitor in dual display mode and run the VST as a stand-alone item in the Windows environment. This enables us to both display the VST as a larger image and also achieve independent operation of the OAX and VST controls. Not all VSTs however can run in stand-alone mode, and for those that can it’s possible that by adopting this approach we may lose some of the advantages of running them in the VST host. And of course this defeats the object of having a VST host on the instrument.

    3) Configure the second monitor in dual display mode and set up the system such that we can display only the OAX on the instrument’s touchscreen and only the VST on the second monitor. This is the best solution because it provides a larger display for the VST whilst at the same time allowing for the independent operation of the OAX and VST controls and also utilises the VST host. This was the option I was speculating on in my previous post.

    So my question was, is option 3) possible, and if so, how might we do it.

    Over to you guys.

    Jeff

    Reply
    • 09/01/2017 at 11:38
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      I need to dust off my old monitor and connect it back up to the Sonic. I want to say “Yes” to option 3 but seeing is believing. Let me get the monitor connected, try it and report back.

      Reply
      • 09/01/2017 at 14:26
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        Hi Curt
        If you go for option 3, then when you open the VST edit screen in the host you should be able to move it to the 2nd screen, and then continue as normal on the organ screen. (This feature works on the OAS VST Host (Which is positively antique compared to the OAX Host) and all DAWs, so should work on the Sonic)
        Bill

        Reply
    • 09/01/2017 at 18:08
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      Hi Jeff, Curt
      For my 2nd monitor I am running a 24″ touch screen in dual display mode. When I open programs like Music Reader and some other programs they default to the Wersi monitor, but you can then minimize them and slide them up to the 24″ monitor and max to the full size of the screen. With the few free VST’s I have played with, the VST work station remains small and can not be expanded, so remains a pain in the butt from an operating point of view.
      I can only play from sheet music so with Music Reader (which is the only decent PDF sheet music reader I have found and I am interested if there is anything else out there – please let me know), I can swipe the screen to change pages, which works most of the time. All my files – about 300 tunes are stored on the Wersi HD.
      I also enjoy internet exploring – tunes on Youtube and searching for sheet music on the large monitor

      I leave the Wersi touch screen for handling all the Wersi registrations etc.

      I am organless at the moment, waiting for my OAX800 to be built and delivered, so today I am going to download the free version of Kontact and see what results I can achieve using my Groovestation Midi controller keyboard on my office PC..

      Jeff if you email me on roscopeko47@gmail.com I will send you the instructions for setting up a second monitor.
      Cheers.

      Reply
      • 09/01/2017 at 19:20
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        Hi Ross

        A number of VSTs are of a fixed size (Like OAS/OAX) however Kontakt can be extended to a fair size. (You will see a broken arrow bottom right which will allow you to alter the size)

        Have fun

        Bill

        Reply
      • 09/02/2017 at 06:04
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        Hi Ross

        like you I can only play from sheet music and can 100% recommend Power Music Professional, they have full video tutorials on all aspects of its use, which you can watch first and you can also download a free copy to trial which is limited to the number of pieces of music stored.
        It integrates directly with your desktop scanner or you can import PDF files directly.

        In my view this is the best music display software on the market at present and is less than £50 for a two user license. Have a look at their website https://powermusicsoftware.com

        kind regards
        Chris

        Reply
  • 08/30/2017 at 15:41
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    Hi Chris,

    Good to hear from you, I was wondering how you were getting on. Here are my thoughts on the issues you raised.

    1) Kontakt Multi
    My first implementation of Kontakt (before I discovered Instrument Banks) was exactly how you described it, and it all worked fine. However, my ‘Reference Standard for Usability’ that I posted a little while ago requires all HD sounds to be treated in exactly the same way as OAS/X sounds. This means that when in playing mode everything has to be specified directly in the OAS/X menus. Setting up additional instrument layering/presets in multis doesn’t meet this criteria, but employing Instrument Banks does. It’s just a personal thing but I wanted everything to be as easy and convenient to operate as possible.

    2) Screen Size
    Yes I agree, trying to run this sort of software on a screen that size is ridiculous. Nobody who uses this software uses a screen that small. Now it may be possible to configure a second monitor in dual display mode so that we can see the OAX on the normal display and the new software on a bigger display, but so far we’ve seen no evidence that this is possible. Another interesting project for you there Curt!

    3) Warranty Issues
    I wouldn’t have thought this would be a problem unless you take the view that the provision of a VST host on the instrument is not there for the user’s benefit, but rather a mechanism for Wersi to extract even more money from us by selling us Wersi customised VSTs. We did have this story of a Sonic owner who asked a dealer for advice on installing Hauptwerk and was told in no uncertain terms that he shouldn’t be doing that sort of thing. He should be buying the approved Wersi Hauptwerk product.

    4) Resources
    During my working life I’ve had considerable responsibility for specifying and procuring a number of complex, high performance networked computer systems suitable for running high end integrated circuit design software. The approach was always the same. Decide on the lifetime of the required system, assess the demands of the software, double this and then add the number you first thought of to allow for the ever increasing demands of future software, construct a specification then go off and buy the equipment. This is the proper professional way to do it. On the Sonic we are obliged to handle resources entirely the wrong way round. We start with a received specification then we’re into having to enhance this in order to make the software work. It’s fortunate that computer systems have this inherent capacity for expansion, but already we’re on that point of the upgrade curve that we wouldn’t reach for years with a properly specified external system.

    All credit to Curt though for his tenacity and perseverance in attempting to get these VSTs to work. A lesser man would have given up long ago. I picture him as a nineteen century explorer hacking through the undergrowth of a jungle in some far off undiscovered country with a machette, clearing a path for others to follow. My problem with all of this is that this process will have to be repeated again and again for each new software application we wish to use. There are still outstanding issues relating to Hauptwerk and VB3 that we have yet to resolve. I’ve had none of this hassle with an external processor.

    Now of course there’s an initial overhead relating to specifying and procurring the processor (but as we’ve seen, this is an advantage not a disadvantage) and also in setting up the external interface. But it’s not rocket science and some bloke has gone to the trouble of documenting how to do it. From that point onwards there’s absolutely no advantage in having all of this stuff running on the instrument. In both cases we have to install and configure the new software (much easier externally because we have an Internet connection isolated from the rest of the instrument) and in player mode the Usability Reference Standard ensures that the only thing happening on the second monitor is either a sheet music display in electronic format in actual size, or pretty pictures to entertain you whilst you’re playing !!

    Jeff

    Reply
    • 08/31/2017 at 05:35
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      Hi Jeff

      Thanks for your comments, I agree that the Multi Bank method is the simplest option to implement however my PC hasn’t the “Huff and Puff” to utilise this at present, whereas the Multi doesn’t require so much system resources as you are only loading those sounds required.

      Just going to wait now and see what develops and save up the pennies for a new PC.
      Also thank you for your recent article on the different types of libraries, again something I hadn’t considered when listening to demo’s.

      Chris

      Reply
    • 08/31/2017 at 05:41
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      Hi Jeff,

      You are certainly a man who knows what he is doing with Wersi and Computers and just
      the chap we Wersi idiots ! I mean fans need, I like you go back to the building days of
      Wersi having built two Helios and the Bass Synthesizer, my enjoyment is playing the
      instrument, not spending time trying to get this that and the other installed/working, I
      have the Abacus Duo Pro and a vast library of top quality sounds thanks to the Roland
      Integra 7, over 6000 in total, I also have the Roland BK7 which I have not yet connected
      to the Abacus, this is another project I will get round to when I finish writing software for
      Yamaha, Korg, Roland and Orla via my software business Total Transformation Technology,
      I would like to supply sampled Wurlitzer software for OAX but as of yet can find no way of
      creating a VST 3 which is a requirement of that O.S. I will for the moment supply sample
      software for OAS which loads without a problem, thank you once again for being this mine
      of information, I and others will look forward to your next article.

      Dave.

      Reply
    • 08/31/2017 at 17:46
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      Hi Guys
      It is possible to run a 2nd monitor on the OAX. I run a 24″ Dell as my 2nd monitor, mainly to display my PDF sheet music, search YouTube- source sheet music etc. The OAX monitor is dedicated to the organ settings.

      Reply
  • 08/30/2017 at 11:15
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    Hi All

    Thought I would give you a update on my progress with integrating Kontakt on the Sonic and as a Standalone on the PC.

    Following issues with system errors I reverted to an earlier backup and re-installed Kontakt and after checking all the points raised in earlier discussions, everything worked fine in both Bank and Multi mode with small samples loaded, however once I began building multiple banks or large Multi’s I was again experiencing system errors, either freezing or musicstation not responding, necessitating a forced shutdown & restart. At this point I was beginning to get a little concerned as using the Sonic without the VST was very stable and error free, I was also concerned about invalidating the Warranty – Is Kontakt a Wersi approved VST?

    Determined not to give up on the project I returned to the Standalone version on my PC, again I got everything working just fine, and after reading Jeff & Bill’s comments about using the OAX Sound Editing Midi features got those working fine too. Because the PC is old and slow it’s not really practical to try and play live but has allowed me to learn more about using the features of OAX and Kontakt.

    I discovered that one way of using a Multi was to load all the instruments required for a particular piece of music and manually assign the channels, for example if I wanted Strings and Woodwind to play together assign both to Channel 1, say if I wanted to bring Brass in assign to channel 2 etc.,
    Then on OAX manually assign Selector 1 to channel 1, Selector 2 to channel 2 and so forth, saving the OAX Preset saved any edited settings and the Midi Channels assigned. Thus different combinations of sounds can either be saved in multiple OAX Presets, or in a single Preset and turning on/off Selectors on the touch screen.

    Looking to the Pro’s & Con’s of both systems I am coming to the conclusion that I will probably progress along the Standalone route for the following reasons.

    1. I have great difficulty reading and working with the “relatively” small Kontakt screen on the Sonic, although it is possible to use the touch screen it’s much easier to use a mouse, and if you are using a mouse anyway you might as well use it on a full size monitor on the PC.
    2. No warranty issues with Wersi regarding adding using other parties Software.
    3. I believe that the Memory would need upgrading if going down VST integration, might as well put that money towards new custom PC.
    4. Custom PC can be built to current system requirements, with provision to add additional Memory, SSD Drives as needed and to keep updated.

    In any case I intend to wait to see what the next software version update brings, and receipt of a proper English Manual which I understand has now been completed and due to be sent out to OAX owners shortly.

    I will be pleased to receive any comments/suggestions or points I may have missed on the above.

    Chris

    Reply
    • 08/30/2017 at 12:51
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      Good feedback Chris. Now, I’m just crazy enough to continue moving forward and running within OAX. I suspect I will be one of the few that ever attempt it, but you never know. Might just get folks interested enough to give it a go! – 🙂

      Having said that, we also run Kontakt completely outside of OAX for other purposes. I have started a video showing what I see for load times on OAX although I’m not loading as much as you are. So far, I have not run into the issue you mentioned. I’m still at the default 8 GB of RAM on the Sonic but I do intend on bumping that up to the 32GB max.

      I’m distracted this afternoon working on something else (actually with Kontakt but on our “non-OAX” setup). I’m planning on finishing up that video on Thursday. I suspect it may open up a discussion of the various ways you could implement VST’s and map to User sounds / MIDI Channels.

      Don’t think there is a “right” way. I think we will find there are multiple ways and they will fit each owner and how they use the sounds.

      Reply
  • 08/28/2017 at 09:41
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    What a lucky person I am ! Having a WERSI Sonic organ in my home and being in the company of “Professional Amateurs” friends like you are ! I am sure I will progress nicely in time with my knowledge of this huge beast .

    Reply
  • 08/28/2017 at 09:16
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    Hi Curt

    Standalone default and Plugin default are not the same, so save your multi (Give it a suitable name NOT default) and close the standalone program.
    Open the VST in OAX and load in the multi, and resave it as default, then resave the VST configuration. (You can leave the name and storage position the same) Close OAX and re-start it. (It should now load fine)
    NOTE: You only need to do this if you are changing the default between Standalone and Plugin. (And vice versa)

    Hope this helps

    Bill

    Reply
    • 08/28/2017 at 10:05
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      Thanks Bill! Let give that a shot. I’ll report back shortly.

      Reply
      • 08/28/2017 at 10:45
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        Yep – That works with the most important being the “Re-Save the VST” step. I wasn’t doing that. I would only save as the default, even checked and could see the timestamp updated on the file so “assumed” on the next open the changes to default would take place.

        Next, I tried this. Added another instrument to the rack, DIDN’T save the default but DID SAVE the VST Preset. Exited OAX. Checked the file timestamp to be sure and it didn’t change, nor did I expect it to.

        Re-start OAX and sure enough, the additional instrument was in there.

        So for Bill, two questions:
        1. Would you expect the last behaviour regarding not saving the default to work?
        2. I searched but haven’t found info on the difference between using the default between the two Kontakt modes. Can you point me to any doc’s where I could read more about that.

        At least now we can get back to Jeff’s comments on comparing starting OAX without a VST and starting OAX and Kontakt with a couple of our bigger samples loading at startup. I’ll get on that and create a new post showing what I learn…

        THANKS BILL!

        Reply
        • 08/28/2017 at 13:04
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          Maybe I can answer my own question from my comment above. So, we are using Kontakt two ways. One is on the Sonic as a VST and as we do that we are passing along to you guys how that is going and what we are learning. The second way is 100% within a DAW application running on a PC. Kinda the same but different. We are using both Logic Pro (for Mac folks) and Sonar Professional (if you’re a Windows person).

          In the case of a working with a DAW, we are saving whatever tune we are working on in the native format of the DAW and the next time we open that “project”, all the various settings, samples, VST’s, etc. are loaded exactly as they were left.

          On the OAX side, at least from I’m seeing right now, it’s similar BUT the step I didn’t expect was the need to “re-save” the VST preset if we make changes to instruments banks or multi’s.

          OK, At this point I’ve probably lost everyone except for the folks that are or have actually used Kontakt.

          Let me mess around a bit more and we will come back in a totally separate post and try to explain the steps in a 1-2-3 format (hopefully easier and with less mumbo-jumbo!)

          DAMN – This is fun, isn’t it! 🙂

          Reply
          • 08/28/2017 at 13:42
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            Hi Curt

            Good, it looks like Wersi have implemented the full save features that you get in a DAW, which is good to know as it makes things a lot easier.

            The default is explained in the Kontakt manual, (Although I can’t remember which page number) but it also applies to most VST’s out there.

            Have fun, and don’t forget to keep the Real Ale flowing

            Bill

  • 08/28/2017 at 09:00
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    Spent the past day or so working on “Initialization of the Kontakt Multi”. Ran into an issue that we haven’t quite got figured out yet.

    The short version of the story:

    We can run Kontakt in stand-alone mode on the Sonic. If you not sure what that means – We are starting it at the Windows level of the Sonic vs. “inside” of OAX. That works as expected and we can create a “multi”, save it and also make it the default configuration when Kontakt starts.

    Now, when we launch Kontakt as a VST running “inside” of OAX. That same default multi isn’t loading. We can manually load it, create a new one and even see that it saves the file in the expected location yet it never loads as part of the VST.

    Hmm…

    Reply

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