It features a large sample library containing samples of a range of acoustic and electronic instruments, and a number of performance controls. It also allows the user's own patches to be created and samples mapped across the keyboard using a basic drag-and-drop technique, however there is no capability for editing patches - as such Kompakt is best-suited as a performance instrument for playing predefined sample libraries. Kompakt is not compatible with Intel Macs.
Kompakt is a sampler-based synthesis application developed by Native Instruments company. Like Kontakt, it allows a user to load software instruments (or patches) into memory to be played back through a MIDI controller. Each instance of Kompakt can load up to eight instruments at a time. Instrument patches can be modified and saved for use later. Kompakt similarly allows the user to work with multis, which are files defining a group of instrument patches. Kompakt allows the user control over the sound of the instrument by means of a set of controls. Some of these include envelopes, LFOs, filters and effects, and other such controls.
Many third-party manufacturers program software sample libraries. Through Native Instruments, one can buy sample libraries that include a special version of Kompakt, called the "Kompakt Player," to work with the sample libraries. An obvious advantage of this is that one need not buy a full sampler in order to play the samples, but instead has the full capabilities of playing the sample library through the Kompakt player once the library is installed. Third-party sample manufacturers normally bundle their libraries with a customized version of a sample player optimized for that library. For example, the EastWest company develops libraries in which it wants users to have Kompakt-like control over the samples, so it will ship its sample library with a version of the Kompakt player which contains a special GUI and is optimized for use of that library.