In this tutorial I'll go through the steps I recommend when converting computer-based sample libraries to the Kronos.
THREE WAYS TO GET LIBRARIES INTO THE KRONOS
1) If the sample library is in SoundFont2 (SF2) format, you can of course directly import it. As a side note, there are a lot of funky SF files out there and it’s not unusual to run into issues when converting them. Just be aware of this, it can be hit and miss.
2) If you have soft synths like Synthogy Ivory, East West Quantum Leap, or products for Kontakt that run in the Kontakt player or show up in the library tab in the full version of Kontakt, you can bring these into the Kronos only if you re-sample them. Because you don’t have access to the actual WAV samples, you cannot simply convert them into another format like SF2 and bring them into the Kronos. They need to be re-sampled. You would use software like Sample Robot or Extreme Sample Converter to accomplish this. These products, through an automated process, go and re-sample your libraries. You could also use this approach sample hardware. In this tutorial I’m not going to be covering re-sampling.
3) What I will be covering are the steps I would recommend when converting standard sample libraries, and specifically Kontakt libraries, into the Kronos. What I mean by standard libraries are those that don’t have copy protection and give you access to actual WAV samples. If you have a library which REQUIRES the full version of Kontakt in order to run, then it’s a standard library and doesn’t typically have copy protection. Some examples include:
- Cinesamples – Piano in Blue
- Sampletekk libraries
- SoundIron – libraries such as Emotional Piano
- Hollow Sun
- and lots more
NOTE: There are a few libraries that DO require the full version of Kontakt but where the WAVs were saved using compression (.NCW). You will need to re-save them without compression to get access to the waves.
CLEANUP PRIOR TO CONVERSION
One problem with converting these large libraries to the Kronos is that they can be very detailed and include things like release samples, noises, and other layers that add to the sound. Now I would argue, that while these sounds do add detail, these components are considerably less critical than the overall sustain sound. So my recommendation is to edit the library to eliminate everything but the base sounds, in order to guarantee a successful conversion to the Kronos. If you want to, you can add detail sounds later. It’s up to you as to how much detail you think is necessary and how much work you want to put into it.
So one aspect of the clean up of the library is removing everything but the essential sounds and another is to make sure the layers are lined up nicely in order to create multisamples in the Kronos.
While I’m going to be using Kontakt, if you have libraries in other formats such as EXS24 in Logic or Halion, you should be able to use their editors to do the same cleanup or prep that I’m going to show you in Kontakt.
Open Kontakt (standalone mode is preferred). I use version 3 because it’s supported by all of the conversion utilities (Translator, ESC, CDxtract). Only Translator 6 supports Kontakt 4 and none support Kontakt version 5.
CONVERT KONTAKT TO SF2
In order to convert these libraries into the Kronos, you’re going to have to first convert them to Soundfont 2 (SF2) format, which the Kronos can then directly import. There are several conversion utilities that can do this:
- Chicken Systems Translator (Mac & Windows)
- Extreme Sample Converter (Windows)
- CDXtract (Mac and Windows).
I have found these conversions, especially after one has gone through the cleanup process described above, to work very well. I use Translator 6 (Mac). The process of conversion is simple. Open the .nki file, right-click on it and choose "Convert As..." Then Choose "Soundfont" and select a destination. After the conversion is done, use FTP or copy the file to a USB stick and bring it into the Kronos. You should find that the SF2-Kronos conversion creates a single program with a mapping just like the clean version in Kontakt (or other software sampler).
I hope this helps you in converting some of your sample libraries into the Kronos. The process might seem a bit complicated at first, but once you get the hang of it you'll find it's really not bad. Spending a little more time up front leads to a better conversion in the end.