This article features free Kontakt libraries for Kontakt Player by Native Instruments. If you’re new to Native Instruments Kontakt and Kontakt Player, read our Kontakt Player Demo Timeout article first.
As explained in that article, most Kontakt libraries will only work in demo mode in the free Kontakt Player plugin.
However, several free Kontakt Player libraries are fully compatible with Kontakt Player. These libraries are listed below for your convenience. There are eight of them in total – three from Native Instruments and five from third-party vendors.
If you’ve just installed the Kontakt Player plugin, this page is the best place to find free Kontakt libraries to download.
The libraries listed here will not work in demo mode in Kontakt Player, and there is no fifteen-minute time limit. You can use them for as long as you need, completely free of charge.
Free Kontakt Libraries (2023 Update)
Here is the list of free libraries for Kontakt Player:
- Kontakt Factory Selection by Native Instruments
- Twenty Five by Native Instruments
- Play Series Selection by Native Instruments
- Kinetic Treats by Native Instruments
- Foundations by Heavyocity
- The 88E by Impact Soundworks
- The Free Orchestra by ProjectSAM
- Free Stuff by Soniccouture
- Free Stuff by Cinesamples
- Ferrum – Free Edition by Keepforest
- EMP Mark II by Sonokinetic
- Hurdy Gurdy by Sonokinetic
- Diamond Jazz Trio by Strezov Sampling
- Arcane by Embertone
Find more information about each Kontakt library below. You can also learn how to install third-party Kontakt libraries and how to get a Kontakt crossgrade.
Kontakt Factory Selection (Native Instruments)
I’m stating the obvious here, but you can’t write about free Kontakt libraries without mentioning the Kontakt Factory Selection.
If you’re just starting out with music production, this (in tandem with the Kontakt Player plugin) is one of the first items to add to your digital audio workstation. Available for free download from Native Instruments as part of the Komplete Start bundle, it delivers a versatile set of sampled instrument sounds.
Kontakt Factory Selection provides a valuable starter kit of acoustic and electronic instruments.
You’ll get the bread-and-butter stuff like acoustic pianos, organs, acoustic drums, electric guitars, and even some decent-sounding bass guitars. You’ll also find a handy set of synthesizer samples, drum machine loops, and electric pianos, as well as a collection of sampled world and ethnic instruments.
Actually, my favorite part of the Kontakt Factory Selection is the African percussion patch that is perfect for building percussive loops.
To get your free copy of the Kontakt Factory Selection library, simply add Komplete Start to your Native Instruments account. The free Komplete Start bundle contains Kontakt Player, Kontakt Factory Selection, Play Series Selection, and other music production software goodies.
More info: Komplete Start
Twenty Five (Native Instruments)
Twenty Five is an epic free Kontakt library that Native Instruments released in celebration of their 25th anniversary. The library includes 150 unique presets sampled from some of the company’s most iconic products like FM8, Absynth, Massive, and others.
The library is perfect if you’re looking for synthesized sounds, cinematic tones, and sampled instruments. It covers everything from bass sounds to pianos and soundscapes.
The instrument’s front panel lets you adjust the filter, saturation, delay, and reverb. Access the advanced control panel to control the built-in sequencer and manage the macro controls.
Twenty Five is a rather large 2.5 GB download, but that’s understandable since it contains over 100 multi-sampled instrument patches.
More info: Twenty Five
Kontakt Play Selection (Native Instruments)
Kontakt Play Selection is another free Kontakt library from Native Instruments. It is based on a selection of presets from three different libraries: Analog Dreams, Ethereal Earth, and Hybrid Keys. Kontakt Play Selection contains 10 presets from each library.
As we already mentioned, the easiest way to get Kontakt Play Selection is to add the Komplete Start bundle to your Native Instruments account. You can then use the Native Access license manager to download and install the library.
More info: Komplete Start
Kinetic Treats (Native Instruments)
The third free Kontakt library by Native Instruments is called Kinetic Treats. It is based on a collection of toy samples. The sampled source sounds were used to create more complex patches with the help of some clever processing powered by the Kontakt engine.
The product page on Native Instruments’ website describes it as a tool to “Create evolving sounds and textures from a library of carefully sampled children’s toys.”
Kinetic Treats comes with three instrument patches: Electric Train Set, Record Player Music Box, and Xylo Polyphones. It is included in the Komplete Start bundle along with Kontakt Player, Kontakt Factory Selection, and Kontakt Play Selection.
More info: Komplete Start
Foundations Piano (Heavyocity)
Foundations is a series of free Kontakt libraries by Heavyocity. It includes multiple patches that cover bass, choirs, keys, strings, and other instruments.
Our favorite is the Foundations Piano, based on a Kawai grand piano. Heavyocity combined the grand piano samples with a sound design layer called a creative texture. The result is a lush, cinematic piano that will add an epic mood to any piece of music.
Of course, you can freely adjust the volume of each layer and apply effects to customize the sound.
If that sounds interesting, be sure to check out all Foundations libraries by Heavyocity. Each instrument has a unique twist and will add versatility to your cinematic sound collection.
More info: Foundations
The 88E (Impact Soundworks)
The 88E is a free experimental piano library for Kontakt Player. It is based on an idea by Mattias Krantz, who tuned every piano note to E and then used a giant cover to press all piano keys at the same time (playing the same note).
Impact Soundworks used a similar concept for The 88E library but with a more flexible approach. This virtual piano can play other notes, too, and comes with various adjustments. You can customize the envelope, transpose the keys, apply pitch bending, change the microphone position, and more.
This free Kontakt library comes with a variety of snapshots that showcase the instrument’s versatility. Impact Soundworks provided a wide range of options, from short plucks and keys to huge atmospheric soundscapes.
More info: The 88E
The Free Orchestra (ProjectSAM)
The Free Orchestra is a collection of cinematic orchestral samples for the free Kontakt Player plugin. The sounds were handpicked directly from ProjectSAM’s best-selling orchestra libraries.
ProjectSAM’s free Kontakt library includes fourteen patches packed into a 1 GB download. It covers a range of orchestra sounds, from string staccatos to brass clusters and symphonic percussion.
The library was free for a while, but a recent update introduced Kontakt Player compatibility. This means that you can simply install it and use it with the free Kontakt Player plugin without any workflow restrictions.
ProjectSAM states that composers are welcome to use The Free Orchestra in commercial projects, too.
The Free Orchestra comes with a customized user interface for Kontakt Player. It provides a limited set of on-screen controls for the most essential sound engine parameters and performance options.
You can quickly fine-tune the volume envelope, the filter, the sample reverse, and the built-in effects. The user can also choose whether the dynamics are controlled by the modulation wheel or note velocity.
More info: The Free Orchestra
Free Stuff (Soniccouture)
Soniccouture is offering a selection of free Kontakt libraries in the Free Stuff section of their website. After signing up for a free Soniccouture account, new users will receive the serial numbers required for library activation in Native Access.
At the moment, Sonniccouture is offering six free Kontakt libraries: Choir Horns, RMI Rocksichord, Thunder Drum, Music Boxes, Tube Drum, and Tape Choir. Each library comes with a customized interface for fine-tuning and manipulating the sampled sounds.
The cool thing about Soniccouture freebies for Kontakt Player is their focus on unusual sound sources.
The sampled instruments sound very musical but also quite odd and original. Soniccouture’s free Kontakt libraries are a great way to expand your existing sonic arsenal with unique and inspiring new sounds.
More info: Soniccouture
Free Stuff (Cinesamples)
Cinesamples currently offers five free Kontakt libraries, including a kalimba, a toy xylophone, a tongue drum, a piano, and a psaltery.
The libraries don’t include advanced user interfaces, but all five freebies sound good enough to make them worth your attention. The kalimba and the xylophone will work great in laid-back music and indie tracks.
The piano accents and the psaltery are perfect for use in cinematic tracks, especially if you’re looking to create a spooky atmosphere.
More info: Cinesamples
DrumMic’a is a free acoustic drum kit library for Kontakt Player. The library contains over 13,000 individual drum kits, with multiple round-robin variations and dynamic layers for each sampled drum. You also get a fully customized user interface for Kontakt Player.
The interface features a fully-fledged virtual mixer with volume, pan, and FX controls for each drum channel. Additionally, the user can customize the instrument’s velocity response and the MIDI mapping for easy integration into any controller setup.
As for the sampled drum kit, it’s a highly versatile acoustic drum that can be used for various rock and pop music styles. The drums were recorded using state-of-the-art studio gear, including a range of Neumann microphones. Some of the drum elements offer a choice between multiple microphone models. Hover the mouse over the drum kit photo on the interface to access the microphone selection menu.
In addition to the single drum hits, DrumMic’a also offers a selection of recorded drum grooves. The instrument comes with over 1,300 original drum grooves, including a range of rhythms, fills, and intros. The drum loops are organized into music genre categories for easy browsing.
As far as virtual drum kits go, DrumMic’a is one of the must-have free Kontakt libraries.
UPDATE: The free Kontakt Player version of DrumMic’a by Sennheiser is NO LONGER AVAILABLE.
More info: DrumMic’a
Jay Maas Signature Series Drums LE (Room Audio)
Another free drum kit for Kontakt Player comes from Room Audio. Maas Signature Series Drums LE is the free, lightweight version of Room Audio’s premium acoustic drum collection. Thanks to its modern sound, the recorded drum kit is perfect for use in pop-rock tracks.
The free library contains seven kit pieces (one kick, one snare, two toms, one crash, one ride, and one pair of hats) from the full version of the product.
The Kontakt interface features a twelve-channel virtual mixer with a selection of audio effects. Also, the user can adjust the individual kit piece tunings, sustain, volume envelopes, MIDI mappings, and several other performance controls.
Keep in mind that the free version of the Jay Maas signature kit only features seven drum kit pieces from the full library. The kit elements that aren’t included are greyed out on the interface. You get one kick, one snare, two toms, and three cymbals. The free library also doesn’t have multi-out support, microphone bleed, and the groove library that comes with the full version of the kit.
UPDATE: The free LE version of Jay Maas Signature Series Drums is NO LONGER AVAILABLE.
More info: Jay Maas Signature Series Drums LE
Ferrum – Free Edition (Keepforest)
Ferrum – Free Edition is the freely downloadable version of Keepforests epic Ferrum sound library. It features a collection of modern trailer percussion sounds, including impacts, metal foley, cymbals, and more. It is an excellent instrument for creating cinematic percussion loops.
Even though the free edition of Ferrum contains a smaller set of samples compared to the full library, it’s still worth the download. You’re getting six octaves of free cinematic percussion sounds and a bunch of tools to help you create trailer percussion loops with ease.
One of Ferrum’s most remarkable features is the built-in step sequencer. It can be used to modulate the filter, pan, and pitch for each note, adding interest and groove to the generated loops.
More info: Ferrum – Free Edition
EMP Mark II (Sonokinetic)
Sonokinetic offers EMP Mark II, a free vintage Rhodes electric piano sample library for Kontakt Player.
EMP Mark II is a must-have if you’re looking for a great-sounding electric piano for Kontakt Player. It is expertly sampled and comes with a range of effects that let you customize the piano’s vibe. You can make it sound lush with the built-in chorus or make it bite with added saturation.
Before downloading, though, keep in mind that EMP Mark II requires Kontakt Player 7.
More info: EMP Mark II
Hurdy Gurdy (Sonokinetic)
Every once in a while, you need to spice up a song with an unusual sound or an obscure instrument. Hurdy Gurdy by Sonokinetic is exactly that, a free Kontakt library that provides a unique sonic texture.
The library was made by sampling a Dutch-made “DRAAILIER” Hurdy Gurdy. Coming from Sonokinetic, the sampling is top-notch, and the user interface offers plenty of controls for customizing the sounds.
More info: Hurdy Gurdy
Diamond Jazz Trio (Strezov Sampling)
Diamond Jazz Trio is a free Kontakt library that consists of a piano, alto saxophone, and double bass. It is a stripped-down version of the Diamond Jazz Orchestra library which features an entire orchestra.
The included instruments work well together, especially the piano and the double bass. They were originally intended for use in an orchestral context, but they sound just as well in jazz, rock, or even a pop setting.
The library also includes two alto saxophone patches. First is an experimental patch with a loopable sustain and a crescendo triggered upon key release. The second features four reverb types and nice legato transitions.
More info: Diamond Jazz Trio
Arcane by Embertone is both a game and a sound library. Fully compatible with Kontakt Player, Arcane will require you to play a puzzle game before accessing its sounds. There are five instruments to unlock, and one bonus instrument is offered as a prize after all the puzzles have been solved. This bonus instrument is a beautiful alto vocal legato patch that is well worth unlocking.
Don’t be discouraged by Arcane’s unconventional interface design. While it doesn’t look like an instrument on the inside, the library actually features a massive 2 GB+ collection of high-quality samples. Some of the sounds were sourced from Embertone’s commercial products, and some aren’t available anywhere else.
Also, register Arcane to your Native Instruments account, and you will qualify for the Kontakt crossgrade offer (more on later in this article).
SPOILER ALERT: The entire game segment of Arcane can be bypassed by accessing the Individual Patches folder from the Library browser.
More info: Arcane
Which Are The Best Free Kontakt Libraries?
If you don’t want to install all Kontakt libraries listed here, the free Factory Selection by Native Instruments should be your first choice. It contains a variety of sampled instruments, from pianos and synthesizers to drums and orchestras.
And if you’re looking for orchestra samples, The Free Orchestra is the first Kontakt library you should download. It offers an abundance of sampled instruments for composers of all skill levels.
Installing Free Kontakt Libraries
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to install Kontakt libraries. The process will vary depending on the library vendor. Regardless you should be able to add free libraries to Kontakt Player by following the steps listed below.
- Download the Kontakt Player installation files (valid email address required).
- Run the Kontakt Player installer. During the installation process, you will also download the Native Access license manager.
- Download any third-party Kontakt library you’d like to install. Extract the contents to a folder on your hard drive.
- The third-party library vendor will also provide a serial number. Copy that serial number to the clipboard.
- Launch the Native Access license manager. Log in to your Native Instruments user account.
- Click the Add A Serial button.
- Paste the serial number in the box and click Add Serial. Wait for the registration process to complete.
- Locate the library in the Not Instaled tab and click the Add Library button.
- Navigate to the downloaded Kontakt library folder (the folder containing the .NICNT file) and select it.
- Click the Install button to complete the installation process.
- Return to step 3 to install and activate additional libraries.
You’re good to go! The installed library should be activated and ready for use in Kontakt Player.
Kontakt Crossgrade Offer Instructions
We’ve listed the free Kontakt Player libraries on this page, but there are many other libraries that you can use with the full version of Kontakt.
However, many users stick to the free Kontakt Player because the full version of the software is expensive. Kontakt is priced at €399, and you can usually get a 50% OFF deal during Native Instruments’ annual sales (usually around Christmas and during summer).
Luckily, there’s a way to save even more cash when purchasing the full version of Kontakt.
Native Instruments have a Kontakt crossgrade offer in place for users who own a third-party Kontakt library in their account. The crossgrade price is €249, and that can be combined with the 50% OFF deal during a sale. So, with the crossgrade offer and the 50% OFF discount combined, you can get a sweet €125 deal.
And yes, free third-party libraries also qualify for the crossgrade offer, as long as the library is registered correctly and activated using a valid serial number.
The crossgrade method reportedly works with the Arcane library by Embertone. Multiple users have reported that they could access the Kontakt crossgrade offer as soon as Arcane was added to their Native Instruments account.
That said, the crossgrade should work, in theory, when you register and activate any of the third-party libraries listed on this page. To check if your Native Instrument account qualifies for the Kontakt crossgrade offer, visit the Kontakt 6 pricing page and verify the price.
More info: Kontakt Player (free) / Kontakt (€399)
Worth to mention that only 3 out of 6 instruments from Soniccouture are free. Others are free with any purchase (one instrument per buying).
Also you forgot about Kinetic Treats from NI.
Not true, all six are free. They used to be “free with any purchase” but now they’re free for all. Just register, login to your account and they are there waiting for you :)
Wow, good to know. On their website they are still marked as “free with any purchase” so I didn’t know they are all free now.
They’re all free – log in to your account and click the Activate button on the library page to get your free copy. Good point about Kinetic Treats, I’ll add it to the article. Thanks!
Finally someone made that list! :) Hope there will be more Kontakt Player freebies in the future
Indeed, I remember that DrumMic’a was the only third-party Kontakt Player freebie until a few years ago. More such libraries coming soon, hopefully!
Drummica is still available. Just follow the link
Oh man, thank you for this link
Thanks for the tip!
Yes, very relevant list
Fruit Shake by In Session Audio is also free and compatible with Kontakt Player:
Yes, a great free library, but it was available for a limited time only. Copied from the product page: “This promotion has ended. This library is no longer available.”
Ah, you’re right. I did a quick double check to see if it was still available, but apparently I was looking in the wrong place. Sorry about that.
It was available for free again this year just a few month ago. It seems that this offer is repeated again. Very very nice instrument.
I know, I think I got it when they offered for free again. Either way, I’ll keep my eyes open in case they make it available once again.
Francisco Miguel Gómez de Leónon
Thanks for this list, i follow the steps, so i now are elegible to kontakt crossgrade!
Thanks for this! I had a couple of the Soniccouture freebies from when they were regular nki libraries.
I didn’t know they had been released as Player-compatible. So I logged in and picked up all the freebies.
Well worth downloading!
Great Tomislav, thanks!
I wish NI would update their policy on free libraries. The kontakt player should be able to play all free libraries. I don’t even see the point in the supporting the player version when there’s only 8 instruments available. They’re also getting beat out by other offerings like Labs.
These are many commercial (paid) libraries that use Kontakt Player. Its not primarily intended as a playback engine for free libraries – many get that confused.
With that being said – I wish more developers of free libraries would use either the free Halion Sonic / SE or the free SFZ format, as an alternative, if they cannot afford the extra licensing cost that NI demands for a Kontakt Player ready library.
I guess there’s also a way to make libraries for IK Multimedia Sampletank (including free Custom Shop version), at least guys from ORCHESTOOLS did it.
Yes, Halion Sonic, Plogue Sforzando, and even IK Multimedia SampeTank (as Kirill mentioned) are all potentially good alternatives to Kontakt Player. There’s also LABS, but only Spitfire Audio can develop libraries for it.
This list is way overdue. Every other list bunches all free libraries together which is tedious to find the gems.
You’re welcome! Glad to hear that the article is useful.
Thank you SO MUCH for this! I was getting sick of seeing so many amazing free instruments released but only for full Kontakt.
On a side note, I browse mostly only your website weekly, could you update us the moment the next sale (or any other special deal) hits for this? :D
Also, is there a price required to upgrade for future Kontakt versions? If so then would it be wise to purchase V6 this year?
Glad to help! Native Instruments usually have a Summer sale and yes, I’ll certainly mention it on BPB. I believe that the upgrade price to Kontakt 6 is €99 if you have Kontakt 5.
Thanks for the reply! Seeing as Kontakt v6 released 7 years after Kontakt v5, hopefully i won’t be forced to pay for an upgrade anytime soon if i purchase v6 this year.
It’s hard to predict these things, but Native Instruments do seem to steadily keep a multi-year period between major versions of their software.
Drum mica is no longer working in kontakt player, since moving to native access. It is clearly stated in drum Mica page.
Gais! Kontakt is $124.50 right now if you own Arcane!!!!!
Yeah, definitely the best time to upgrade!
I own Arcane, it’s registered/installed on my Native Access, but when I look at the crossgrade offer for Kontakt 6 it says “None of the qualifying products are registered to your account” – help!
Are you logged in to your NI account? Did you also install the free Kontakt Player?
that drummic’a is not supported anymore
Oh, that’s sad. It was available for ages and I last checked a month ago. Oh well, I will update the article to indicate that DrumMic’a is gone. Thanks for your comment
DrumMic’a! Still Works!
Hi Tomislav. Neil from http://www.howtoprogramdrums.com here after a long break! Thank you for your awesome information regarding the half price Kontakt crossgrade and Arcane. I got Kontakt 6 just before the sale ended for under a third of the normal price, so I am pretty chuffed with that. I also just managed to get DrumMic’a! to work in Kontakt 6. There’s no serial number anymore so the Native Access installation route is no longer viable, but you can still find the DrumMic’a! V1_0 en.nki file under the instruments folder and then do a repair (ask it to resolve automatically) as it tries to find the nkr file to go with it. I have it working right now in Reason 10. Then it will load.
Hi Neil, good to hear from you! And thanks for sharing the info, that’s good to know. DrumMic’a! is an excellent library.
Jay Mas Library seems to not have the light version anymore. I went throught the checkout, no option for lite anywhere… It’s sad. Drumica is gone, Jay Mas is gone… bummer.
Yeah, sad to see that they’re gone. I’ll update the article to reflect this. Hopefully, some new free Kontakt Player libraries will be released in the future, too.
Tomislav, thanks a lot for your advices! These libraries together with Spitfire’s LABS and BBC Orchestra Discover are great (and free) good-to-go at the beginning of the professional musical composition!
I agree – that’s a great starter kit.
Things used to be like that, unfortunately different elements made sure they wouldnt stay that way. Congrats on the article ;)
Hello, are you referring to the crossgrade offer?
I have Embertone Arcane activated in Native Access and I can see Arcane in my NI account, but I still have no Upgrade option for Kontakt 6 – it’s still at 199€ – which is still a good price, but it doesn’t seem to be possible to combine the current -50% sale with the Upgrade deal if you don’t have any of the previous versions of Kontakt.
Unfortunately, the crossgrade offer can’t be combined with other sales. :(
I combined it with the 50% off on Kontakt 6 in Summer 21
Kontakt cross grade available right now for $125 if you have installed Arcane! Seriously tempted 😊
Hi, I just found a new free Kontakt librarie for Kontakt Player : Evolution Devastator Warzone ⚔ Try it out 😉
Thanks so much for all this info OP and peeps!
that is soo cool! i was just looking at purchase konktakt 6 and with this crossgrade i will pay only 125 dollars yuppie!
I downloaded Arkane, but I didn’t receive a serial number from Embertone.So the library is loading in demo mode.Any idea?
It’s time to update the list! =) One of my favorite company, Strezov Sampling, made a free felt piano with cool additional features.
Also i noticed that in Soniccouture wasn’t mentioned the free version of there grand piano (Hammersmith Free). Like all other free stuff from them, it’s not always available, but still.
Hey Kirill, thanks for the tip! That’s great news. I’ll update the article this week.
Sorry for the possible duplicate post. Internet/computer issues. Here are a couple more to add to the new list.
Thanks for the tips! I’ll add these to the list.
Is Sonokinetic Carousel 100% free as they ask for PayPal, Credit Card and/or Credit Card by Bank info?
It’s definitely free using the above link. It’s been a while since I downloaded it, but I just had to make a free account. You shouldn’t have to put any payment info in as I refuse to do that for any free plugin/library/samples/etc. I also refuse to give my real address/info except for an email if it’s free. That email is strictly for free music sign-ups so it doesn’t clog my regular email.
Thanks for the info!
Soniccouture’s Hammersmith Free is available again :)
juez de londres apoya el divorcio de un abogado estadounidense y lucha por un piano de media colaon
la mejor herramienta gratuita de investigacion juridica creo
A free piano library that works in the free Kontakt Player…
Interesting, thank you! Will feature this on BPB soon.
Thank you! https://bedroomproducersblog.com/2022/10/21/real-piano-kontakt/#comment-300955
Sonokinetic now has 5 permanent freebies for Kontakt Player 7 under the “Legacy” category: Vivace Legacy, EMP, Sleigh bells, Hurdy Gurdy & Carousel :)
This is not truly