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Using Group Switching in Native Instrument’s Kontakt

Instruments can be played in different ways. For instance, on a guitar you can pluck the strings individually or strum an entire chord. With KONTAKT you can easily imitate this musical freedom using Group Switching. Group Switching lets you switch between sample groups using a MIDI controller or an assigned keyboard key.

Let’s take it in steps: To continue with the example of a guitar we will first need two different samples: in the first sample a chord is played, in the second an individual string is plucked. Next select the first group in the group editor and select “Start On Key,” which is next to the Tracking Button in the drop-down menu of the source module.

In the value field next to the group you can input which key will activate it. Choose C1.

Follow the same steps for the group “plucked.” Instead of C1 you should select C0 as the activation key. Now you can switch between playing the two guitar samples with C0 and C1.

A MIDI controller can also be used to switch between groups. In order to do this you must first go to the now familiar drop-down menu and choose “Start on Controller” instead of “Start on Key.”

Three new value fields appear. Input the following numbers: 1, 0, and 64. Group 1 will only be used when MIDI controller 1 has a value between 0 and 64.

Repeat this procedure with the second group. The numerical values here should be 1, 65, and 127. Now you can switch between the two groups using the MIDI controller. If the occasion should arise you can also insert additional groups: with a MIDI controller you could ultimately – in theory – switch among up to 127 groups.

Another interesting aspect of group switching is that only the voices of the active group are computed. This results in very resource-efficient performance.

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