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Native Instruments Announces Audio Software Upgrades

New versions of Kontakt, Intakt, Traktor DJ Studio due out this year By Dave Nagel
Native Instruments has announced new versions of two of its audio applications--Traktor DJ Studio 2.5 and Kontakt 1.5--as well as an entirely new application called Intakt. The company has also launched a new software bundle called Komplete: The Native Instruments Collection. All are expected by the end of the year for Mac OS 9, Mac OS X and Windows.

Kontakt is a sampler that supports up to 256 stereo voices, 16-part multitimbral and 32 outputs per plugin, 16 per standalone instance. It offers real-time granular time-stretching and resynthesis; drag and drop sample management; graphical display for sample mapping and setting of key ranges; integrated EQ, delay, reverb and waveshaper effects; 17 different filter types; tempo-synced step-modulators, LFOs and multi-stage envelopes; integrated loop editor with waveform display; and support for eight loop points. The new 1.5 version adds support for Mac OS X, RTAS and VST automation. Other new features include the integration of a Beat Machine for slicing and tempo-synching loops, new Time Machine II and expanded file format support. It's expected to be available this month for Mac OS 9, Mac OS X and Windows as a $29 upgrade for the download version.

Traktor DJ Studio is a standalone program that allows independent DJ mixing without the need for turntables or an external mixer. It offers offers automatic beat sync, precise loop and cue points, filters, mixfile recording and other features. Traktor DJ Studio 2.1 offers a number of performance enhancements, as well as additional functionality. This includes Core Audio multi-device support; drag and drop from external folders; saving of loops, cue-points and beat grids in MP3 tags; and automatic import of iTunes songs and playlists. The new 2.5 release offers 15 new and improved features, including time stretching with separate pitch and tempo controls; an optimized control surface; new waveform display for previewing the entire track; synchronization with other applications via OSC and MIDI clock; enhanced support for Traktor FS and other features. The update will be available in November for $49 for users of Traktor DJ Studio 2.x. (Users who purchased the software after Sept. 1 will be able to update for free via electronic download.) It supports Mac OS 9, Mac OS X and Windows.

The new application, Intakt, is a sampler designed specifically for rhythmic loop playback and manipulation. Based on the Kontakt sampling engine, it supports up to 128 voices and offers three modes of operation: Beat Machine, Time Machine and Sampler. It ships with 1.2 GB worth of samples from Zero-G and East-West and also imports Kontakt, REX, AKAI S-1000/S-3000, EXS24/24P/24mkII, Battery, SDII, LM4, AIFF and Wave files with support for sample rates of 44.1 kHz to 96 kHz. The software also includes a full media browser and modulation and effects capabilities, such as envelopes, envelope follower, tempo-synched LFOs and a variety of filters. For interfaces, it supports VST 2.0, ASIO, SoundManager, FreeMIDI, OMS, Audio Units, Core Audio, RTAS and others. (See NI's site for details and system requirements for interface support.) It's expected to be available in November for Mac OS 9, Mac OS X and Windows

Finally, Native has also introduced Komplete: The Native Instruments Collection. This bundle includes full versions of Reaktor Session, Battery, Absynth 2, Vokator, NI-Spektral Delay, FM7, B4 Organ and Pro-53. All of the software is available for Mac OS 9 and Windows. Mac OS X versions of most of the software are also available, except Pro-53, which will be available as a free update for OS X users, and Battery and NI-Spektral Delay, both of which are still in development for Mac OS X. The full package runs $850.

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Contact the author: Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Mac OS, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at [email protected].

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