nki 

Opening NKI files

Have a problem opening a .NKI file? We collect information about file formats and can explain what NKI files are. Additionally we recommend software suitable for opening or converting such files.

What is the .NKI file type?

The .nki filename extension stands for the National Instruments Kontakt Instrument (.nki) file type and format. National Instruments (NI) is an established developer of digital sound synthesis and studio solutions, and Kontakt is the brand name of NI's sampler software.

The .nki file represents a single digital musical instrument. NKI instruments normally reference external sample files (WAV or AIFF), or incorporate them if saved in the "monolith" mode. Instruments can be combined into instrument banks (.nkb) or multi-instrument files (.nkm). Since Kontakt 4.2, the NKI format has been changed to incorporate modulators, effects, and filters. Commercial instrument libraries are delivered in the .nki/.nkx copy-protected (encrypted) format.



Besides Kontakt itself, NKI instruments are used in other NI products such as Battery. They can also be opened and played in NI Kontakt Player as well as directly imported into other digital studio software such as Ableton Live. There are also sample converters that can work with .nki files of the "older" format (< Kontakt 4.2), except for protected commercial sets (.nki/.nkx).

Software to open or convert NKI files

You can open NKI files with the following programs: 

Popular formats