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Kontakt and outputs - Mattias Westlund - 05-11-2020

Any Kontakt user who'd be willing to shed some light on how Kontakt outputs work? Maybe it's the way plugin outputs are handled in Reaper that complicates things, I dunno, but this makes no damn sense to me at all.

[Image: kontakt.png]

Even though I load up a multi-out version of Kontakt, there aren't actually any outputs created inside the plugin except the stereo one, right? But when I create outputs and try to route them to the outside world (at least that's what I think I'm doing) I'm greeted with this incomprehensible little box.

And then there's the aux channels to boot, which I can't seem to get rid of even though I have no intention of using them.

Could someone please explain this to me like I'm a child? I know I have done this before but I don't remember how I did it. And it begs the question, why can't Kontakt just load up with all available outs configured by default?


RE: Kontakt and outputs - Terry93D - 05-11-2020

It's possible that stuff is configured differently on your computer then it is on mine, but here's what I do.
  • "Insert virtual instrument on new track"
  • "Kontakt (Native Instruments GmbH) (64 Out)"
  • "OK"
  • prompt: "Do you want to add the following outputs for this effect? [...]"
  • "No"
  • w/in the FX window, right-click "VSTi: Kontakt [...]"
  • "Build 16 channels of MIDI routing to this track"
And voila. 16 channels ready to use. Drag an instrument into Kontakt, and done. MIDI note data goes into a MIDI item for 'Kontakt MIDI 1' (or 2 or 5 or 16 or whatever), and Kontakt will spit out the sounds for you. (I will note that it may be different if you're using Kontakt Player. I truly can't remember.) You can also change which routed-channel the instrument is linked to (I don't know the technical language for this, so I hope it's clear enough to understand regardless) by navigating yourself to the "MIDI Ch. [A] 7" (as in your screenshot w/ the oboe) and selecting, say, 9 or 10. (Just make sure you're still working with A. I don't know how B or C or D work, and a couple times I had brief panics from accidentally routing "[A] X" to "[B] Y" when I wanted "[A] Y.")


RE: Kontakt and outputs - Mattias Westlund - 05-11-2020

Thanks Terry, but I'm not talking about MIDI Smile I'm talking about separate audio outs from Kontakt (which you declined when answering "no" in the above example). Don't get me wrong, I fully understand how to set up multi in/out plugins in Reaper, been doing that for years. I just can't seem to wrap my head around how this works inside Kontakt. Why does a plugin with up to 32 stereo outputs not come preconfigured for using said outputs? If I wanted only a single stereo out... I would just use the single stereo out version of Kontakt.


RE: Kontakt and outputs - Samulis - 05-12-2020

Kontakt loads up with 16 outs by default in most DAWs I believe. You can route those outputs generally in the plugin settings window or a pinout view. For example, in Mixbus and Audition, surround-sound tracks are allowed, in which case you can use a hypothetical surround-sound virtual instrument with 6 channel audio.

With regards to getting the audio from a plugin into multiple audio tracks, it may be a matter of using sends, or perhaps they appear as Audio Inputs. I think it differs for every DAW.


RE: Kontakt and outputs - Mattias Westlund - 05-13-2020

Thanks Sam. I managed to get it working with a little help from Chris Spyratos. I still don't fully understand why Kontakt is set up the way it is though. Is it Reaper making a mess of things? Check this out:

[Image: kontakt_outs.png]

This is right after I loaded up a fresh instance of Kontakt in an empty project, letting Reaper create and configure the plugin's 32 stereo outs when it asked me. As you can clearly see, there are NO 32 outputs within Kontakt configured. It's like, you know, the plumbing is there (otherwise Reaper wouldn't ask me about setting up multiple outs) but the drains to get the water through aren't.

Also, I don't understand the naming scheme and routing of stereo pairs.

Kt. st. 1 -- 1/2

Ok, so far I'm following, but...

Kt. aux. 1 -- 11/12
Kt. aux. 2 -- 13/14
Kt. aux. 3 -- 15/16
Kt. aux. 4 -- 17/18

Why those stereo pairs?!

Furthermore, after aux 4 Kontakt gives up and labels everything unassigned [#]. Why not st. 2, st. 3, st. 4 and so on?

Is this how it looks for everyone or is this just Reaper?


RE: Kontakt and outputs - Chris Spyratos - 05-13-2020

(05-13-2020, 12:04 PM)Mattias Westlund Wrote: This is right after I loaded up a fresh instance of Kontakt in an empty project, letting Reaper create and configure the plugin's 32 stereo outs when it asked me.

Funny that you get a 32 output option. I only have 8, 16 and 64 on the full Kontakt and only 64 on the Player version. No stereo version either.


RE: Kontakt and outputs - Mattias Westlund - 05-13-2020

Well, I meant 32 stereo outs. Reaper calls it 64 channels but I said 32 to minimize confusion if other hosts don't treat stereo pairs as discrete channels Smile


RE: Kontakt and outputs - Samulis - 05-14-2020

The stereo pairs each get two channels, like stereo audio inputs on a multi-channel interface, so st1 = channels 1 and 2 of output, while another stereo pair should occupy channels 3 & 4, and another 5 & 6, etc.

I think looking at it from Standalone Kontakt first makes it a little easier to understand. When I add a new output in Standalone mode (running Kontakt as an app rather than a plugin), which is done by clicking the '+' icon next to 'Output', I can set it up to send to any number of output channels. For example, I can set up a new stereo (2-channel) output by specifying I want 1 output, with 2 channels, starting in this case on channel 13 of my audio interface's outputs, which happens to be ADAT 1. Kontakt thus creates a stereo output that feeds to the ADAT out, channels 1 and 2, on my interface. I could alternately set it up to output to ADAT 1-4 if I wanted quadraphonic or ambisonic sound or something, or set up 5.1 to take outputs 1-6 on my computer if needed.
[attachment=75]

If you select 'Create separate Master Output Channel' from the output dropdown of a patch, you can instead get a unique output for that particular instrument. It appears you can have multiple outputs routed to the same physical or plugin output, and they are assumedly just summed:
[attachment=76]

I don't know exactly what happens to those outputs in your DAW, but I would assume the pairs are routed in order as outputs of Kontakt.

There are some options under 'Presets / Batch Configuration' which will map each instrument to its own output, if that's at all practical.

I did manage to find the documentation (it's in English):
https://www.native-instruments.com/fileadmin/ni_media/downloads/manuals/kontakt/KONTAKT_6.2_Manual_English.pdf
see Page 84, section 16. See in particular 16.2, 16.3, and most relevantly 16.4.

I believe the Aux are fed from send effects inside instruments, so like, you could send the wet signal from the reverb to a separate aux output, and feed that into a separate track in your DAW or something, or maybe in some even more sophisticated scenario, feed a certain mic position out separately for processing separately from other mics.