I recently got Kontakt 5 and am having a problem configuring it for multiple stereo output channels to Cubase.
I understand how to create new stereo channels in Kontakt 5 and have them assigned to consecutive outputs. However these only seem to be available as mono outputs so when the outputs appear in Cubase 7.5 they show up as dual-mono channels. I can’t figure out how to make them appear as a stereo pair like the default st.1 channel in Kontakt.
There is a section in the Kontakt manual that explains this. The plug-in must tell Cubase, upon instantiation, how many and what type of outputs it has. After, you modify the outputs in Kontakt, you must save that as one of the configurations (in Kontakt) and then re-create the instance of Kontakt. I think re-opening the project will suffice but if it doesn’t, try removing the instrument and then creating a new instance.
I thought I was following the instructions in the manual but I was missing a crucial step. I was saving the configuration as a preset, but not the default. Once I did that, the additional stereo outputs appeared in Cubase.
However one weird thing did happen. In Kontakt I created 7 new stereo outputs, so I’d have 8 total and during the creation set it to use the first unassigned output channel and to use successive ascending channels for the rest of the outputs. When I restarted Kontakt there were now 8 stereo outputs in Cubase. But strangely the stereo 2 output channel inside Kontakt was mapped to stereo 6 in Cubase, with stereo 3 in Kontakt going to stereo 7 in Cubase, etc. So I had to remap all of the new stereo outputs to the correct channels and save that as the default to get it all working right.
Since the key is to save the configuration as the default I guess the best strategy is to build as many stereo outs as I can imagine ever needing and set that as the default. Then only use however many I actually need. Also it seems I can freely add mono outputs on the fly as all the mono outputs show up in Cubase.
It is a good discussion because I used to like to use Kontakt and HALion instruments in “multi-timbral” setups. I have since changed my preference to using a separate instance for each type of instrument, (i.e. one instance for the piano, one instance for the strings, one for the bass, etc.) BECAUSE of the way the Freeze and ASIO Guard functions work. So, I don’t usually use a Kontakt configuration with a lot of outputs. A couple stereo outputs is enough because I might have two or three tracks of the same type of instrument using that instance at most.
Bottom line is that this is the reason why NI gives us the three configurations to start with (2,8,16, I think…) which we can change to suit our needs.
I find it less CPU intensive BECAUSE I end up freezing most of the tracks that I am not working on. If I were to leave them unfrozen, I imagine it would be more CPU intensive but I can not speak for certain. I have seen discussions that using more instances forces the VST instruments to be spread out over the multiple cores. And I also believe that NI and Steinberg (HALion and Kontakt) recommends using one multi-timbral instance over multiple instances but, of course, when freezing is involved, the considerations change. When I was using the C7 trial with ASIO Guard, I could tell a difference because it automatically “pre-calculates” (sort of like a freeze) the tracks IF they are not multi-timbral. I found that instruments like HALion 5 and NI Razor were putting a heavy strain on the CPU but freezing them or letting ASIO Guard “pre-calculate” them did seem to lower the CPU usage.