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.
What You'll Need
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!
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.
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.
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.