What is the normal loading time for big projects? 15+ min for me

I recently saw some people complaining that their project was taking longer than 1 minute to load.
But my template loading time is 15 minutes (250 Kontakt 7 + plugins)

So, I decided to do some tests:
Empty project, only 40 Kontakt7 instances with one Cinematic Studio Strings patch inside each, all samples purged.

Library location: HDD 250mb/s
Loading time: 60 seconds

Library location: SSD sata 550mb/s
Loading time: 60 seconds

Library location: SSD m.2 3500mb/s
Loading time: 72 seconds

It seems that SSD doesn’t improve project loading time at all, or even makes it longer. Is this normal? What is your loading time?

My other specs are:
Ryzen 9 3900x
64gb 3200 RAM
All drivers up to date, Defender turned off.

Already how is the preload buffer size set?
With an M2 SSD and enough RAM
the best is to set it to a minimum or at least reduce it well compared to the original setting which is 60 kB
I am at 6 kB my vst instruments are on 2 M2 PCIe 4.0 SSDs and I have 128 GB of ram with a 5950x and an RTX3070
I also previously had a 3900x with 64GB of RAM and I already set Kontakt to 6kB

Thanks for the answer. Like I said, I purged all samples before testing, so Preload buffer size doesn’t affect the results.

By the way, what is your loading time in similar projects?

What makes you think it’s a Cubase issue, rather than a Kontakt issue?

Nothing. However, I’m still not sure if there is a problem or if this is normal.

But then, how can it be a Kontakt issue? My system is very clean.
I also tested a project with 40 empty Kontakt instances - it loads in just 10 seconds!


That is a pretty huge number of Kontakt Instances!

I don’t know what “normal” is, and it may depend heavily on the system, but I can relate a scenario in the past where my time to load Kontakt the first time after rebooting my (Windows 10) system was horrendously long – way more than 15 minutes (I’m thinking closer to half an hour), and my projects would never have anywhere near as many Kontakt instances as you. (In fact, most of my projects tend to be under 40 tracks total, and vocals would typically make up a significant portion of those tracks, with submix group tracks and FX tracks also being contributors.)

At the time I had my Kontakt libraries on a dedicated hard drive for sample libraries, but what I eventually found to be the problem was the speed of my system disk (also a hard drive). It was aging, and apparently in the early stages of its eventual end of life.

The thing I’d noted was that the slow load time was only on the first time after booting up. Thus, it was my suspicion that times after that, system disk cache would speed things up. I could also see (e.g. from Resource Monitor) that the system disk was the bottleneck, despite my libraries all being on another disk. (Booting up my system at the time also took an unbearably long time.) I was in contact with NI tech support regarding this (Guitar Rig 5 and 6 also had similar issues), and they had me try a bunch of things, but to no avail. It was only in hindsight later, when the system disk actually did fail, and I replaced it with an SSD, that it became absolutely clear that it was something related to Kontakt’s looking for something (library pointers perhaps???) on the system disk that had been the bottleneck, and now the improved speed there meant “normal” start times (definitely under a minute, but probably way less). (My booting up time also went way down, sufficiently so that I could even sit and watch it if I wanted to, whereas before I had to spend a whole bunch of time doing other things to avoid just wasting a bunch of time.)

Anyway, the reason I mention this here is that, despite having libraries on other disks, there is something about Kontakt’s startup that also has a dependency on the system disk. So, if that happens to be slow, for whatever reason, that could drag things out on loading time, at least the first time after booting up. (Whether it does on subsequent loads would likely depend on whether disk cache is large enough to keep whatever Kontakt is putting in there over time.)

Did you ever compare your tests with Kontakt 6? K6 used to load great. I bought K7 and once installed, I noticed even K6 was loading slow.

There is a very well known issue with K7 and loading times.
8 pages here:

More links at another forum website, but the content gets a bit spicy even though it’s mostly from composers.

For my scenario, the horrendously long loading times had started with Kontakt 6 and continued into Kontakt 7 (I remember hoping K7 would address the issue, but no such luck). Guitar Rig Pro (6, I think) also had the issue I was seeing (see above), but I didn’t find that to be the case with other NI plugins I’d checked (e.g. Massive/Massive X).

250 or more tracks? wtf? I´d love to hear that song

This sounds like NI’s problem.

I bought K7 over BF 2023. It could very easily be that a update happened around this period that adversely effected both as well as others in the product line. I was trying to work in K7, so K6 was sort of temporarily ignored. Fwiw, my K7 load times with 1 instance or stand alone is about 17 seconds.

If you have Battery4 it will load slow too. However discontinued Battery3 loads instantly.

I have read of slow loading for Guitar Rig too.

Im gradually migrating away from NI. The company is nothing like it used to be. Obviously Kontakt keeps me until…?

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This is actually quite common for media composers, many people have even more, sometimes by the thousands. But in that case, most tracks are disabled, of course.

I also remember something like that when I had a system HDD, but right now I have almost everything on SSD m.2 and the loading time is always the same, so this is not the issue.

Kontakt 6 vs Kontakt 7 comparison.

  • 40 Kontakt instances
    – 1 Cinematic Studio Brass patch inside each
    – All samples purged
    Kontakt 7 = 77 seconds
    Kontakt 6 = 31 seconds

  • 10 Kontakt instances
    – 4 Cinematic Studio Brass patches inside each
    – All samples purged
    Kontakt 7 = 60 seconds
    Kontakt 6 = 29 seconds

Indeed, it seems that the problem is in Kontakt, and not in Cubase, and this is sad, given the attitude of NI towards their products.
And I can’t just drop Kontakt because 80% of my libs are there with no alternative…

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I think NI have lost the plot. With all the problems I’ve had installing their programs lately, I’d like to give up on using their products. I’ve been a customer of theirs since Generator in 1998. Their tech support is abysmal. Innovation is low. Tired of having to reinstall programs like Maschine after their crappy service app screws it up the first time. The NTKDeamon uses way too many resources, and is a constant headache. At one time they were the pinnacle of stability.

Most likely the problem is with NI. They do very little right these days.


Little question
Are you on the latest version of Kontakt 7?

Yes, the latest.
Almost no change in loading speed from all these updates.

It’s still at least 2 times slower than K6.

Ill assume then you are updating all NI products via Native Access 2? I dont think you could have the latest versions via the original Native Access. At least i don’t.

But there are also issues using Native Access 2. Im staying away for now.

By the way, i forgot to confirm that once you initially load Kontakt, all subsequent loadings should be fast. But once you restart Cubase or restart your PC, you will have to experience the slow load time again.

Typical pop productions from Dr. Luke is well over 100, so 250 would not be really surprising. However, keep in mind that a single track may contain little significance. For example, it could be a 1-shot or just the 1 second reverb of a high tom for an effect emphasis.

Iirc, Katy Perrys Teenage Dream, or Wide Awake is close to 200 as shared at an ASCAP meeting long ago. Vocals alone take a lot of those tracks.

sure, but you won´t have a Kontakt instance for a 1 shot sample track…
IMHO it´s not a wise workflow to have 250 kontakt instances, it´s just an opinion, I know it´s not the point of the thread…

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I agree.

In the composer game, film, trailer, commercials world, i think many over the years migrated to VE pro with Cubase because of some persistent midi issues that prohibited or messed up large templates/tracks and may or may not be fixed today.

Staying with Kontakt in this scenario i dont know of too many. I only read about it mostly at VI control.

I’ve been reading threads on other forums and it seems like a lot of people are having the same problem as me - each new instance of Kontakt is loading slowly.

As you can see from my tests, there is not much difference in load times between multiple K6 instances and multiple patches within a single instance.

Times change. This workflow would have been unusual 5 years ago, but today more and more top composers are reworking their templates this way, without VEPro or anything.

Look at Blakus’s template for example - he was one of the first to do this. Typically it has about 400 active tracks (Kontakt and other samplers) + synths and audio FX + hundreds more disabled tracks. Not just one track per instrument, but one track per articulation.
Today it is a matter of preference - it may be very convenient to work on one PC and be able to disable/enable pre-mixed tracks.