This article explains how to route audio from each Instrument loaded in KONTAKT's Rack to separate channels of the Cubase mixer. Each of the channels can then be processed and mixed in Cubase individually. You will be guided through the required steps to achieve this:
- Loading KONTAKT in Cubase
- Configuring KONTAKT's Outputs Section
- Creating Instrument Output Channels for KONTAKT in Cubase
- Routing the Instruments to Separate Outputs in KONTAKT
Note: These instructions apply to all recent versions of KONTAKT. If using KONTAKT 6, simply choose the plug-in labeled "Kontakt" and follow this guide.
Loading KONTAKT in Cubase
- Click on Studio in the Cubase menu bar and choose VST Instruments to display the VST Instruments Rack. In Cubase versions prior to 9.5, you will find VST Instruments in the Devices menu.
- In the appearing VST Instruments window, click on Rack and select Kontakt 5, Kontakt 5 16out or Kontakt 8out, depending on the number of audio channels you want to use.
Note: The Kontakt 5 instance offers a total amount of 64 output channels, Kontakt 5 16out a total of 16 output channels, and Kontakt 8out a total of 8 output channels.
- Before loading KONTAKT as a plug-in, Cubase will ask you if you want to create a MIDI track assigned to KONTAKT. Select Cancel to skip this, or Create to add the MIDI track.
Configuring KONTAKT's Outputs Section
Important note: Kontakt 5, Kontakt 16 out and Kontakt 8 out are considered as three separate plug-ins by Cubase. You will have to configure the Output section separately for each of these VST versions of KONTAKT 5.
- Once KONTAKT's GUI is displayed in Cubase, tick Outputs in KONTAKT's Workspace menu to display the Outputs section.
- The Outputs section is now displayed at the bottom of KONTAKT's GUI, in the lower half of the Rack space. Click the '+' button to display the Outputs options dialog.
- Select the Quantity of new master channels you want to add by clicking the Quantity field and dragging the mouse up or down. Number of channels lets you choose the channel configuration of all new Outputs, e.g. 1 for a mono configuration, or 2 for a stereo configuration. In our example, we want to route KONTAKT to a total of 8 stereo output channels, so we choose a Quantity of 7 and a Number of channels of 2.
- In the Soundcard / Host output drop-down menu, select the first unused output. If this is the first time you configure Kontakt for multiple outputs in Cubase, the first unused output will be named Kt. aux 1  (Kt. st. 1  and  are used by the existing default stereo Output).
- Once selected, tick the Ascending output assignment box in order to automatically assign each new channel to the next available output.
- Ensure the box Make this your default configuration is ticked.
Important Note: This step is crucial if you want Cubase to correctly display the Output names from KONTAKT's Output Section. Cubase uses the plug-in's default configuration to name the instrument output channels in the mixer.
- Click on OK to confirm your configuration and close the Outputs dialog.
- If the steps above have been carried out correctly, you will now receive a message confirming the Output Configuration was saved as default. Press the OK button to proceed.
KONTAKT's Outputs Section now shows the 8 Master Channel Outputs, each routed to a different stereo output of Cubase.
Creating Instrument Output Channels for KONTAKT in Cubase
- If it is the first time you use KONTAKT with a new Output configuration, remove KONTAKT from Cubase's VST Instrument Rack and reload it. Do this by clicking its name in the VST Instrument Rack and selecting No VST Instrument in the context menu. If you have already used KONTAKT with this Output configuration, you can skip this step.
Note: This is necessary since Cubase will name the instrument output channels in the mixer according to KONTAKT's default Output configuration when loading the plug-in.
- Click on the Activate Outputs button to open the drop-down menu displaying the available outputs.
- In the Activate Outputs drop-down menu, select all the stereo outputs you wish to activate. In our example, we want to select all eight stereo outputs; we select Kt. st.2 [Stereo] to Kt. st.8 [Stereo].
- As you select additional Outputs, they will show up in the KONTAKT folder track within Cubase, below KONTAKT's main stereo output Track Kt St. 1.
Routing the Instruments to Separate Outputs in KONTAKT
Finally, you can route all Instruments loaded in KONTAKT's Instrument Rack to separate Outputs. When loading Instruments in the Rack, they are routed to the first stereo output St.1 by default. Select the desired Output for each Instrument from the Instrument's Header. In this example, we route a Retro Machines Instrument to the second stereo output named st.2 [2 ch. routed 3|4]. Repeat this procedure for all Instruments loaded in the Rack, choosing one available stereo output after the other.