Kontakt's CPU overhead protection is turned on
When you don't have any round-robins to use the previous technique, there is an old trick to thicken the sound a little using the tuning and transpose options available within Kontakt.
With the power of modern-day CPUs and the trend moving towards offline-rendering, I'd recommend setting these to disabled. Unless you're using an instrument with unoptimised code or an excess of groups and zones you shouldn't experience much in terms of CPU overheads. Simply click the Options button on the Kontakt toolbar, select the Engine page and look for the 'CPU Overhead protection' option.
Kontakt's buffer is set too low
When an instrument is utilising the Direct-from-disk (DFD) streaming, Kontakt will load a tiny portion of each sample into memory. This pre-load buffer gives Kontakt a little bit of data in RAM that it can play while it's streaming in data from the disk. Kontakt allows you to configure how big this buffer is on an instrument or global level so that users can optimise for SSDs or other fast data storage.
If you have a fast solid-state drive you can get away with setting the buffer as low as 6KB most of the time with no problems or streaming issues. However, there is a quirky bug in Kontakt that affects loop points when using a low DFD value. Sometimes a sample will begin to drop just as it reaches the loop point (usually related to increased data-stress during cross-fades between the start/end of the loop region). When this happens you may see a little red light flicker on the toolbar where it shows the Disk status ( ) and it will continue to drop on this exact same sample at exactly the same point in time.
There are a couple workarounds for this issue:
- Completely restart Kontakt. 99% of the time this will solve the problem until it happens again
- Set your DFD preload buffer to a slightly larger value. This may work better in the long run
Personally I tend to just keep it at 6KB and restart when I experience the problem. It happens very rarely (and randomly) and I would rather have that little bit extra RAM from using a lower preload buffer.
Running out of voices
Spitfire libraries are huge projects developed by human beings. Sometimes we simply make a mistake (or Kontakt decides to make one for us) that we either didn't spot, or are preparing for an update. One of the more common ones is to leave the voice limit count on its default setting of 32. While this may have been a considerable amount of voices a few years back, with multi-mic libraries and extensive all-in-ones, it's easy to soar past this limit now.
If you've spotted an instrument that seems to have a low Voices Max value, it's easy to change.
- Double click on the number to the right of Max:
- Type in a new number (256, 512, etc. as you see fit)
- Hit enter to save changes
You can then save this new patch if you don't want to update it every time you load (as always, remember to keep a backup of the original instrument files). Feel free to ping an email to Spitfire if you encounter any issues like this so that they can be addressed and fixed in official updates.