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How to Mix Kontakt Drums on Separate Tracks

Updated: Jan 12

Set Up Kontakt Multiple Outputs in Logic Pro X


Here we'll walk through how to mix your Kontakt drums as separate tracks in Logic Pro. Some reasons you might want to do this would be to:

  1. Mix each drum sound separately (EQ, reverb, compression, etc.)

  2. Export/bounce individual drum sounds on their own stem (kick, snare, hihat, etc.)

  3. Less CPU intensive than simply duplication each Kontakt track/instance in Logic Pro and separating the drum sounds (which is what I used to do lol)

In addition to this written summary, here's the video tutorial walking through it:


Summary:

We'll need to do a few things to get this all setup. First, we'll setup Kontakt so it can send separate outputs for each sound. This also involves setting the track in Logic Pro to be able to receive all these separate outputs. Second, we need to properly route those individual Kontakt outputs to the corresponding Logic channels. And third, we need to create Tracks in the timeline view for each of our Logic channels.


Setup Kontakt as a multi-out software instrument track

Here you'll want to add your Kontakt instance as a multi-out software instrument track. To do this, click on Add track > Software Instrument > AU Instruments > Native Instruments > Kontakt 5/6/etc. > Multi-Output (8xStereo, 8xMono). Label it something like "Kontakt", or "Drums", or whatever.


Next, bring up your mixer window (hotkey "x"), and find your newly created software instrument track. You should see a little "+" plus button toward the bottom of the track's channel strip. You need to click this plus button 15 times to get all you channels (8 mono channels, 8 stereo channels).


Once you've done this, you should have your main instrument track you started with, and a bunch of generically labeled channel tracks next to it. Toward the top of the channel strip, these should have the Input labeled as "Kontakt 5" (for the main track), and then "Konta3-4", "Kont5-6", "Kont7-8",..., "Kont23","Kont24" (see image below). These represent the various mono and stereo channels of the multi-output software instrument we've just setup.

After setting up these channels, bring up you Kontakt instrument, and then select the drum kit you want to use. I'm using Studio Drummer here, so the setup may be slightly different with out choices. I've chosen Studio Drummer > Session Kit - Full. Then, within the Kontakt window, click the "Mixer" tab, and then "Settings".


Toward the bottom of this window, you'll see the small mixing pane within the Kontakt instance (beneath the main part that actually looks like a mixing board). Here, you need to click the "+" button next to "Outputs". First, add 8 stereo outputs by entering the following info in the popup:




Quantity: 8

Number of channels: 2

Standard / Host output: st 1[1]

Ascending output assignment: checked yes

Delete existing channels before creating new ones: checked yes

Make this your default configuration: unchecked no


Then, click OK. After that, add the 8 mono channels by clicking the "+" button again next to "Outputs", and then entering the following info:

Quantity: 8

Number of channels: 1

Standard / Host output: aux 4[1] (whatever is the 17th channel, because 1-16 are used by the 8 stereo outputs)

Ascending output assignment: checked yes

Delete existing channels before creating new ones: unchecked no (we already did this in the previous step, and we don't want to delete our stereo outputs)

Make this your default configuration: unchecked no


Click OK, and now you should see all your stereo and mono outputs within the Kontakt window.

Next, for ease of use, go ahead and re-label each of these outputs for what we'll actually use in the drum kit. I've used:

st.1 >> MAIN

st.2 >> TOMS

st.3 >> OH ST

st.4 >> RM ST

mo.9 >> KICK

mo.10 >> SNARE

mo.11 >> HIHAT

mo.12 >> WB

mo.13 >> TAMB

mo.14 >>OH M


Route Kontakt outputs to channels in Logic Pro X

First, we need to force Kontakt to refresh its Output names. Click the "!" exclamation point / panic button in the upper right corner of the window. Then, when you go to select "Output" options, you'll see all you newly labeled output tracks.


Next, click through each of the channels on the larger mixing board console in the middle of the Kontakt window, and then select the corresponding Output in the botton right corner. For example, click on "Kick" on the main Kontakt mixing console board, then select "KICK" from the Output options in the lower right of the window. Do the same for Snare, HiHat, etc.


Voila! Now when you start hitting drum sounds, you'll see the levels of each of the channel outputs in the Kontakt window and Logic mixing window start to show sound coming through (instead of all sound going through 1 track. You can begin mixing each track here, but for easier visuals in Timeline view, automation in timeline view, and easier export, I'd suggest making tracks for each of these channels in Logic.


Create Tracks in Logic Pro for timeline view

In your mixer view of Logic, first re-label the channels we created earlier to match the ones we labeled in Kontakt. the main track should be "MAIN", the track with input "Kont3-4" should be "TOMS", "Kont5-6" should be "OH ST", etc.


After re-labeling, select all your channels (hold CMD and click), and then right click > "Create Track" (hotkey "^T). This will create tracks for each of these channels that you can now see in the Timeline view of Logic Pro.

Thanks for reading! I hope you found this article helpful. It took me forever to figure this out initially, so hopefully this save you some time. For more content, please subscribe to my email list or follow me on YouTube or Instagram.


#mixing #Kontakt #musicproduction #audioengineer