Kontakt 6 to Kontakt 5 requires a manual build as there is no conversion software (that I know of) that can do this automatically. It helps if you have both versions so you can manually copy the settings with both open side-by-side.
Kontakt 5 (and K4) will import EXS instruments (after a few hoops have been jumped through – see below). I’ve had some good results doing this, although it’s not always a completely perfect conversion. It still usually requires further careful tweaking to ensure the sound is faithful to the original EXS version.
Unfortunately, I have read that due to a bug in a key software component this feature broke in about Kontakt version 5.2 and it will crash K5 and/or your DAW if you try to import EXS files in K5.2 to 5.8.
Fortunately there is still a way (Mac instructions only):
In order to enable the EXS24 to Kontakt conversion feature again you will need an older “kconvert.bundle” file. This is the file that does the converting and in later Kontakt versions it contains a bug.
If you have Kontakt 4 then you can find a working “kconvert.bundle” file in:
Just login and type Kontakt in the search field, then find “KONTAKT 5.1.0 Mac OS X Update”.
Once downloaded do this:
1. Expand the “Kontakt_5_510U_Mac.dmg”.
2. Right-click on “Kontakt 5 5.1.0 Installer Mac.mpkg” and choose “Show Package Contents”.
3. Navigate to Content>Packages, Right-click on “Kontakt 5 System Extensions.pkg” and choose “Show Package Contents”.
4. Double-click on “Archive.pax.gz”
5. A new Finder window should open up (in your Downloads folder) with folder “Native Instruments” and in that folder is a Kontakt 5 folder. In there is the file you need called “kconvert.bundle”.
6. Navigate to: HD>Library>Application Support>Native Instruments>Kontakt 5 and back up the newer “kconvert.bundle” (version 188.8.131.52) by copying it somewhere else.
7. Copy/replace the older “kconvert.bundle” (version 184.108.40.206) into HD>Library>Application Support>Native Instruments>Kontakt 5
Then it is simply a matter of dragging the EXS file from the Kontakt browser window into the Multi window. It should load and then you can save it as Kontakt instrument.
Going from K5/6 to EXS is more problematic especially if heavy scripting and effects have been applied.
There is also a format conversion app called Translator 7 by Chicken Systems, but this costs $150.
There are a few guys that are starting the long process of converting these cool instruments for wider use in the community. Bob Ellis has done a great job, as has Keith Theodosiou. I have started to look at doing some myself over the last few weeks and got a bit too bogged down in fine details. It’s harder than it first seems.
But yes, I’d encourage more help with this. I’m sure many people would be grateful.