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  1. Music & Audio
  2. Piano
Music

Upgrade the Sounds on a Living Room Keyboard With Kontakt!

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:ShortLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In this tutorial I'll show you what you need to seriously upgrade the sounds on your living room keyboard with Kontakt! 

If you're not going to buy a piano, this is the next best thing. Check out the video to see what you will need to put it together.

Screencast

What You'll Need

Software

This project focuses on piano sounds and I have not found anything that compares to the piano sample libraries I have for Kontakt. My favorite is Alicia's Keys. It is a beautiful sounding piano with excellent dynamics and it works for all kinds of music. Alicia's Keys will set you back $100 but it works with the Kontakt Player, and that is free. 

There are other options like True Pianos, PianoTEQ, and many others. They all sound good, but I prefer the dynamic range of the larger piano instruments that use Kontakt! 

Interface

For best performance, an audio interface with MIDI is your best bet. You won't need anything fancy; just MIDI in and stereo outputs. Most of what you will see will have many more inputs and outputs. 

I went with a Behringer UMC204HD. It has more than I need, but I was confident that this would give me good performance with low latency. There's no point in a cheap interface that has lag.

Computer

A basic computer will be required to run the sounds. Depending on what software you choose the requirements will vary. 

I found a cheap Dell that works really well and it was only $140. Most of the new laptops around $200 won't have the horse power to run Kontakt! so this was perfect.

Speakers

A nice set of speakers is a great addition to your piano rig. I have a few sets of studio monitors, but I wanted something smaller for this application. 

I ran across these Micca PB42x powered bookshelf speakers a few months before I started this project and I thought this was a good fit for them. They sound quite good, especially for the price. 

I don't think there is much for the same price that sounds better. If you don't like the idea of these budget bookshelfs, grab a set of studio monitors.

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