Creating a VST Instrument Track vs VST Instrument Panel

Hello all,

Trying to ascertain the differences and between using f11 to open the VST instruments Panel and create an instrument (which I have set to auto create a midi track) vs. using the right-click “add instrument track”(or Project->add track->instrument track) and selecting the vst instrument you want to use.

What would be the usefulness of the former over the latter or vice versa? How would I create multiple outputs if went the “add instrument track route”


Page 207 on provides the information you require.

An Instrument track is a combination of instrument, miditrack and vst instrument channel, you cannot define more outputs for it, ie it’s Stereo only.

Thanks. Is there a difference with regards to the memory either uses?

No difference with a single instance.

However, each instrument track will create a new instance.

In short, use the VST Rack to insert instances of a synth with multiple outputs for individual processing of each single output, and use Instrument Tracks when a single stereo output is all you need. I personally tend to use the VST Rack for drum synths exclusively. 90% of the time I’m using Instrument Tracks though.


I think I’m understanding. Apologies to keep belaboring the point though. If, say I want to run sixteen different “instrument tracks” with a single Kontakt on each one creating a small orchestral pallette, will that use the same amount of memory as sixteen seperate instances of Kontakt in the VST rack even though each is only using one output and one Midi Channel?

Same amount of memory.

I don’t own Kontakt (I use EWQL), so I may be off. But I assume that the memory usage will be the same with either method. The difference will be in CPU consumption. Believe it or not, it is better to spread the load over several instances of Kontakt/PLAY than it is to use a single instance for all of your samples. This is because the load is being spread more evenly over several threads as opposed to giving it all to one thread.

NOTE: Shinta beat me to it :slight_smile:

Thanks for clearing that up. So the Memory usage is the same. As far as CPU usage goes, that’s very very interesting. Thanks for the info.

Based on what I have seen on the Kontakt forum, (I have not tested it myself, though) they say it is more efficient to use the VST instrument rack with multi-outs. Of course, there are many factors involved.

I guess this could be different in Kontakt. But I know for sure, that with PLAY, having multiple instances is more efficient on the CPU. My understanding is that most DAWs (if not all) assign one thread per track/bus/instrument, which makes sense with the argument that having multiple instances is more efficient. Please someone correct me if I’m wrong.