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How do YOU use Kontakt drums?


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What i want to do is create my drum track with midi

then record those tracks to  Cakewalk and then process some more.


I know , i know, Kontakt has all the fx /mixer etc.

but im old school i like having them printed.

so with that out of the way

How would you do it...bounce out to stereo or mono trax.?

is there anything i should be mindful of?

will they sound the same once recorded.

what about recording the Kontakt room and overheads...

cant get my head around that..

anyway any insight /instructio will be helpful.

PS    im pretty sur of got them coming out to seperate DAW racks OK

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I too, am waaayyy old school (from the days of 4 track tape being the biggest machine in the building) so here's how I treat all my drum tracks (Kontakt, IRL, or other):

I split the consolidated MIDI drum track into individual MIDI data tracks using a CAL script, then group the MIDI data tracks by instrument: Kick(s), Snare(s), Hat(s), Tom(s), and Overheads.
After carefully examining and editing (if necessary) the note data, I will print each track to audio. Usually [but not always]; Kick (mono), Snare (mono), Hat (mono), Toms (stereo), and OH (stereo). I will always print the audio dry & without effects from the VSTi, as there are far better EFX chains available post facto. This, of course, is only when I'm attempting to create "standard" or "acoustic" or "real" drums. If I'm wandering into a more adventurous genre, then everything is in the blender.

Been doing it this way since 1976, and it hasn't screwed up my sounds yet.

Note, however, that when I'm sketching things out just for reference, I WILL use the monolithic VSTi inboard mix & effects for convenience & speed.

Edited by OutrageProductions
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Caveat; none of this is fast or easy, but I'm a stickler for detail.

I will either solo the MIDI track (and associated VSTi) to be printed to audio and bounce to a new mono track using the Export dialog, usually IRT. so that I can listen as it bounces. Sometimes I will mute all unrelated tracks for safety too.
Stereo toms/OH are printed using the preordained stereo mix in the Kontakt VSTi to a stereo audio track via same procedure. I also pay attention to the panning of the toms & cymbals, as a lot of times they are panned from the drummers POV, not the audience POV, altho that may be prejudiced against left handed drummers, LOL. Whether or not I use the VSTi "room" mics depends on what my final product needs.

Edited by OutrageProductions
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This topic can apply to a lot of VSTi production work, and everyone really will mix down the instrument(s) in the sampler playback according to personal preferences. But I did also have some of the same thought process, regarding overhead, room, and even bleed sounds that these types of samplers offer - as in how do you decide where to "place" all that in your mixdown stems, if you indeed do that type of thing?

For me, with Kontakt Drum series kits, it can be hard to decide, and sometimes even find the "additional" mix items that aren't given a direct fader in the inline mixer section. And, using some of the extra sample variations they have buried in the note mappings, it can get real confusing as to what inline fader they actually route to, and I have spent some time using a MIDI source & watching the visual response shown in the audio levels of each hit, for instance, just to find the most direct output from Kontakt itself. Then there's "deconstructing" some of the inline mix settings of the kits, as I often want some of the fx in the inline mix, but not others, for instance. In my experience, it's a mixed bag, as the Kontakt drum kits are mainly aimed at quickly using those built-in mixes, as opposed to single instrument samples. -But it can be done.

Lately I have been mixing some of my projects using Kontak drums, and indeed "printing" some of the various parts of the kit to audio stems. As mentioned here by others, it pays to separate the MIDI source to separate instruments or groups, and then output each part and export to file as you find comfortable. I will usually make sure the kit inline mix is sounding reasonably balanced overall, and especially take care to watch the stereo or mono states of both the samples, and the way you see them routed thru the inline mixer - Kontakt does at least include various steps at which you can define the "width" and stereo placement of most samples, and that is especially important on things like the room and overhead output. -Like many samplers, the cymbals & such usually only route through the overheads in the inline mixer, and to make sure you wind up with a sonically cohesive overall sound (if you want that of course), that has to be considered before you "print" your stems.

I usually find it comfortable to mix Kontakt drum kits in simple stereo tracking of the primary playback of say, the kick, the snare, and usually for me just the overall kit minus those two, and then a separate tracking for any of the added samples, such as percussion, that may or may not have their own level in the inline mix of the kit. And generally, if I liked the overall inline mix in stereo (including overheads, room mix, bleed, etc.), [-P.S. the dryer the better usually-] then I have some options for changing some balance & mixing post fx to taste going forwards, -as well as of course then also not needing the VSTi to be online during every playback. -Again though, everyone has their preferences & goals, so just try a few methods, listen, and see what works, see where the items you want come out in the playback channels, etc.


One odd thing - I recently noticed there was a slight, but important difference to me, in the stereo field and some of the EQ, when I exported a few parts I had created using Kontakt drums directly in Cakewalk, on my particular system. -So, since I have the option of recording directly to USB from the output of my playback on my audio interface (RME UFX), I just recorded exactly what I was hearing that way - and integrated that back into my mix! Took some work, but I got the sound I wanted.  And that, of course, is what it really is all about - right?

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