Why you should not use the rack view for libraries in Kontakt

Why you should not use the rack view for libraries in Kontakt
Why you should not use the rack view for libraries in Kontakt

If you are familiar with Kontakt from Native Instruments and have some official libraries you are probably also familiar with the “rack” list of Kontakt. You know, the left pane of the window with the list of all your libraries….?

Although the rack list looks cool and is nice to have, there are two reasons why you shouldn’t use it.

First of all, although the rack list looks pretty cool it does use some of your computers resources. Especially RAM. An easy test I did today showed that Kontakt uses about 130 Mb of RAM on it’s own though this might depend slightly on your settings.

The instrument rack in kontakt 5
The instrument rack in kontakt 5

I tested the difference today between having Kontakt with and without libraries loaded into the rack list. As soon as I added a library Kontakt, in this case Studio Drummer from Native Instruments, Kontakt added an additional 70 mb to the RAM. This might not seem like much, but if you have 40+ different libraries all added to the rack list you will risk adding 2-3 GB to the RAM.

Comparation of Kontakt with and without an instrument in the rack
Comparation of Kontakt with and without an instrument in the rack

One of the most important things for professional music producers and technicians is to conserve as much system resources as possible so that these can be used for what really matters, making music. Keep in mind that you actually have to load the library into the RAM too, which in this case I haven’t done.

Reason number two for not using the rack list in Kontakt is that if you have a conciderable amount of libraries it will get confusing and tedious to scroll down the rack to find the instrument you are looking for. Although you might easily find the library itself, you will also have to find the actual instrument. In this case I strongly recommend that you use the quick-load function instead. This allows you to sort, group and make folders for your instruments exactly the way you want without using a lot of system resources. Alternatively you can use the file explorer in windows to drag and drop libraries or just use the browser inside Kontakt.

Update 07.29.2015: Running Kontakt in a virtual machine without any software and a clean installation of Kontakt we could see that Kontakt used approx 79mb of Ram.

  1. Have you done tests with having more than one library added to the racks?
    Your post inspired me to clean up my own library racks and make better use of quick-load.
    However, in my case I had roughly 100 libraries in my rack view, yet as far as I can tell Kontakt’s memory footprint didn’t exceed 220mb. (??)

    1. I recall testing this a while back. I do not remember the exact numbers but I have had Kontakt well over 300 mb, although in later versions of Kontakt this number has been lower. I am not sure what is causing this yet. It might be that Kontakt has been updated. The important thing to remember here is that RAM is rarely increasing in a linear progression but an exponential progression. Still, 220mb seems quite low (and that is a good thing).

      1. Thanks for your reply.
        After a library clean-up, the memory footprint is closer to 140-150mb now. So it does make a difference, albeit a small one.

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