Should I base my library on Hise instead of Kontakt?

  • Hi, I've been looking into Hise a little bit since I recently heard
    about it, and I am considering whether it will be a better alternative
    for my library which is currently built in Kontakt. Since I am just
    about to do a major rewrite, now might be a good time for me to
    consider switching.

    I've already found many advantages with Hise, such as clever key
    mapping of samples, xml-based configuration of almost everything,
    javascript engine for scripting, support custom fonts etc. So the
    next question is: Does it support everything we need for our library?

    In kontakt a sample always lives in a 'group' which has its own settings
    for many things, and I haven't seen if this is also the case for Hise.

    The library is basically an electronic drumkit with 56 different
    sounds across 56 keys.

    Here are some of the more advanced features:
    Each sound has its own gain envelope
    Each sound has its own settings such as:

    • output selection
    • lfo-to-pitch
    • velocity-to-sample-start
    • velocity-to-gain

    Some sounds will consist of two osc's (such tone and noise for a
    snare). For these I can crossfade between osc-1 and osc-2.
    Also, osc-1 and osc-2 each have their own gain envelope.

    In some cases, we've even sampled osc-2 through some hardware with
    32 different settings, which results in a 'color' parameter that
    switches between the different samples for osc-2 using a knob.

    Every single sample in the library is sampled with 5 round-robin
    variants and an accent variant, so for the most advanced scenario
    we have a snare drum with a tone osc and a noise osc, the noise has
    32 different variations, all with accent and RR variations - so a
    total of 330 samples for just one key.

    Is Hise able to support these features without too much trickyness?


  • I think the only thing Kontakt can do that HISE can't is time stretching (time machine/beat machine), and possibly there are some effects in Kontakt that aren't in HISE.

    In HISE there is the sampler component, each sampler gives you essentially everything you get in a single Kontakt instrument - groups, envelopes, effects, scripts etc. and you can have many samplers in a single HISE instrument. So to come from Kontakt to HISE you have to try not to compare the two platforms too much, HISE mostly does things differently to Kontakt but there are also many places that crossover. Have a read through the documentation and start by building a simple instrument before you try to convert your drumkit entirely. If you have any issues just ask on the forum or do a search to see if it has come up already. 🙂

  • Thanks - I also got that impression. I am generally very impressed with everything I've seen so far 🙂

    I've depicted the general concept of our advanced snares here:

    In Kontakt we have a group for each sample (= each of the RR-X cells), but I haven't found out how to create such entities in Hise. I've only been able to assign samples directly to keys, with velocity ranges and round robin groups.

    Then, I noticed there is a table view of the samples, and this table has an ID column. Following my schematic, I would have samples 0-329 per key. For each key I need two independent gain envelopes, so: Can this be accomplished in a single sampler module, or are two sampler modules per key required in this case?

    Thanks 🙂

  • Seriously, build a much simpler instrument first then tackle this larger project, you will learn a lot.

    Samplers have groups but you can't assign FX at the group level like you can in Kontakt, however you could use a key modulator to change the parameters of the FX for each key press (although I guess this won't work for multiple key presses at once). You'd probably need a sampler for each key.

  • Hi Henrik,

    welcome to the forum. As David said, the way how HISE is organized differs a bit from KONTAKT, but I agree with you that you want to check the feasibility of your current instrument architecture in HISE before diving into the gory details.

    The most important difference is that instead of one list of groups, HISE is designed to use a more nested tree structure which allows huge performance benefits if you can change your instrument layout to follow this paradigm which is the case in almost every scenario I've come across so far. On the other hand, this nested structure comes with a performance overhead if you just "clone" the flat group structure from KONTAKT.

    So the most naive approach would be to use 56+x samplers, but this might create performance issues (and your use case would be the first that really benefits from a flat KONTAKT-like group hierarchy). You can test this by adding 56 sampler modules (make sure you decrease the voice-amount per sampler or it will eat up your memory), and check if the performance stays within reasonable limits.

  • Thanks a lot, guys. I'll see if I can think of a way to reorganize the instrument to better fit a tree-like structure. Looking forward to play more with this 🙂