Music Tips

How To Install Kontakt In Ableton Live

Kontakt by Native Instruments is one of the most widely used samplers in the world. Tons of musicians of all levels in the industry depend on it every day for providing high quality, unique sounds not found anywhere else.

It comes with a really wide range of sounds in its core library alone, let alone taking into account all the fantastic third party offerings, which is the main selling point. There are absolutely thousands of Kontakt libraries available, some of which are even free, which is always nice. Kontakt works brilliantly with Ableton. I have been using it within Ableton Live 11 for quite some time now, and the experience is excellent.

The one and only issue I personally have experienced with Kontakt by NI was the difficulty I had in getting it installed in Ableton Live 11. I don’t exactly know why, but no other plugin had been as tricky to get working as this one. That’s why today I’m going to show you how to get Kontakt up and running in Ableton Live 11 as quickly as possible. So what are we going to cover in this tutorial on how to download and install Kontakt? We will be covering:

  • How to download Kontakt and Native Access
  • Where to enter your serial key
  • How to install Kontakt in Ableton
  • Where to get Kontakt Libraries

In summary, the steps are as follows for installing Kontakt in Ableton:

  • Install Native Access
  • Log Into Native Access
  • Redeem Serial Key For Kontakt
  • Download Kontakt Through Native Access
  • Move Kontakt.vst3 to custom VST folder in Ableton
  • Rescan Plugins in Ableton
  • Done!

1) How Do I Install Native Access?

To install kontakt to your device, you will need to first get Native Access. It’s available for free on the Native Instruments website and is simply a piece of software used to manage all of your Native Instruments software that you have. Especially if you have bought Komplete, and have hundreds of different packs, libraries and instruments, this thing is great.

You can download Native Access Here. Next, go ahead and follow the installation process you are used to going through with any other software download. Extract the zip folder and run the setup file.

2) Installing Kontakt Through Native Access

Now that you have set up Native Access, go ahead and run it. Once you have it open, you will need to either create a new account or log in. Now that you are logged in, assuming you have the full version of Kontakt, click on the “Add a serial” button in the top left corner of Native Access. Now, go to wherever your serial key has been sent to after purchase, and enter it here.

Add a serial key to Native Access

You should now see “Kontakt” as one of the available options under the “not installed” tab in Native Access. Simply click on install, and Kontakt will be downloaded to your device. Whilst you’re downloading this, you may wish to also download the “Kontakt Factory Selection”, which is next to it in the “not installed” tab.

The Kontakt factory selection provides you with a bunch of instruments to get started, and is a good way to ensure Kontakt is up and running as expected. Now that you have downloaded these, take a look at the “installed products” tab. If it’s all going to plan, you should see Kontakt here.

3) Locate Your File Path Where Kontakt is Downloaded

Native Access Download Location

To check where you have downloaded Kontakt to, go ahead and click on the profile picture in the top right hand corner of Native Access, and then click “preferences”.

4) Move Kontakt.vst3 to Ableton Live Custom Plugin Folder

Now that we know where Kontakt is installed, make sure that it is also in your custom VST3 folder on Ableton.

To check where your VST3 files need to be for Ableton Live 11, open Ableton and click options -> preferences -> plugins:

Ableton Plugins Folder

As you can see, my VST3 Plug-in custom folder is set to C:/Program Files/Common Files/VST3. What you are going to need to do is make sure that your Kontakt VST3 file is in your custom plug-in folder specified in Ableton Live 11, as you can see below:

Custom VST3 Folder in Ableton

Once you have Kontakt.vst3 in the folder you need, click on “rescan” in Ableton’s plug-in preferences tab. This will go ahead and rescan in your folders to see if there are any new plug-ins to add. Assuming Kontakt has been put in the correct folder, you should now be able to find it in Ableton by looking in the plug-ins section of the Ableton Browser:

Kontakt in Ableton Plug Ins

5) Open Kontakt In Ableton Live

Now that you are able to see Kontakt in your plug-ins list in Ableton Live 11, how do you open it? Simply Drag Kontakt from the plugins list over to the rack section, where it says “Drop Files and Devices Here”. You can then open up Kontakt like any other plugin, by double clicking it in the mixer. If it is all working as expected, you should be able to see a window pop up similar to the picture below.

Open Kontakt In Ableton

Conclusion – Installing Plugins In Ableton Is Easy When You Know How!

Hopefully this tutorial has showed you how to quickly and easily get Kontakt working in your version of Ableton. If you are still having some issues with getting Kontakt to work, I highly recommend you watch this video. It’s a few years old but the same still applies today.

Set Up Kontakt In Ableton Live

And there you have it. That’s exactly how to install Kontakt in Ableton Live 11. If you have found this useful and have finished making a track in Ableton, why not release it? Releasing music to all major digital streaming services can be very rewarding. It’s a great sense of achievement when your first song is out on Spotify, and you can even get paid! If you want to learn exactly how to release your music to Spotify quickly and cheaply, why not check out my post on that here.