Why Is My Disk Peaking/Distorting in Kontakt?

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If you are experiencing the 'red disk' indicator in Kontakt and the sound is distorting, one likely possibility is that the library is not retrieving data fast enough from your hard drives. 

There are a few possibilities for why this may be:

    1. The speed of the drive is too slow.

    2. The connection type of the drive may not have sufficient bandwidth. 

    3. The format of the drive may be ExFat or FAT32, which do not stream data efficiently. 


Drive Speed

If you are using a non-solid state drive, it could be possible that you're actually being 'bottlenecked' at the speed in which the drive spins at. This is common with HDD's run at anything lower than 7200rpm.

To relieve some of the pressure on the drive, we can load more content into RAM:

In your Kontakt preferences, go to Memory > Instrument Preload Buffer Size, and increase this value. These results will vary depending on your system, so it is often a good idea to test out different values and find what works for you.

If this doesn't help as expected, you can also consider increasing the latency, as described here.

Perhaps the best option here would be to invest in a SSD (Solid State Drive). These are highly recommended as the drive speed is significantly higher than anything else available on the market.


Connection Type

A common issue for Mac users: If your drive is USB3 compatible, but your Mac is quite old, the ports it is plugged into may be USB2, and have a smaller bandwidth.  

A solution to this issue is to look at upgrading your connection types. One potential example is the "OWC Thunderbolt dock".

For Windows users, make sure that you're using any USB3 ports that are available. These can usually be distinguished by the 'blue' plastic inside the port.


Disk Format

Most hard drives come pre formatted as ExFAT  or FAT32. As a result, your drive will not stream data efficiently. We have an article available here that will give you more information on this.

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  • Avatar
    Richard Clark-Varma

    Hello, Im getting this same problem on my PC. I am using an SSD (850 EVO 1TB) and I have 24GB ram, Intel I7 4790k OC 5Ghz and Im getting sound clips (red) at random times when my Logeria strings play short notes. I even increased the buffer size more on my audio interface, but that didn't help. There is only 1 midi track and 1 audio track. it will go red at any percentage 1%, 5% or 10%. Do you know what the issue could be? Its fine playing long notes with the "long" setting. but short notes played with the "long" setting causes it.

  • Avatar
    patricio manriquez

    I have the same problem, and I am using an IMAC PRO with 32GBRAM and with the libraries loaded on the 1TB SSD Disk
    What is the best configuration in the Kontakt to use the SpitfireAudio libraries?

  • Avatar

    Patricio, Richard, I would advise contacting our support team to see if they can help you optimise your system. You can contact them at spitfireaudio.com/support

  • Avatar
    patricio manriquez

    Thanks Ben