Kontakt 7 output levels are lower with multi-output

mothershout
mothershout Member Posts: 4 Member

Hi all

I'm setting up some projects in Logic, and using Kontakt 7 as a host for Abbey Road Drummer. Normally I split out the outputs from virtual drums into separate aux channels, because I prefer to handle compression and EQ in Logic. But when I try that with Kontakt 7, the summed output levels from the multi-output instance are around 10dB lower than a stereo instance.

My test setup is:

  • A Kontakt 7 hosting AR Drummer's 70s Tight Kit, on a single Logic channel with a stereo output, routed to Bus 12, where I'm metering. The kick and snare levels both peak at about -4dB (RMS -21dB).
  • A separate Kontakt 7 with the exact same kit, using 16xStereo multi-outputs in Kontakt, and with each of those Kontakt outputs routed to a separate Logic aux channel strip, all routed to Bus 12. The kick and snare both peak at -14dB (RMS -33dB).

All of the multi-output strips are routed to Bus 12, none are muted - in other words, this shouldn't be anything to do with muting the room or overhead channels, or muting a tom mic that gets kick or snare spill. It just looks like the multi-output Kontakt setup is 10dB quieter.

I can work around this; if I boost the multi-output Kontakt by 10dB it sounds exactly the same as the stereo output instance, but a 10dB boost just feels wrong! And I'd like to understand what's happening rather than just work around it. I'm guessing I'm missing something obvious, which is kinda embarrassing, but I'd rather know what!

Any ideas?

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Best Answer

  • mothershout
    mothershout Member Posts: 4 Member
    edited January 3 Answer ✓

    Thanks for the suggestion, @EvilDragon - that was very helpful.

    I took a look at the Master bus for the Abbey Road Drummer. There's an EQ on it, which has the output knob turned way up.

    (The compressor is also enabled and adds a little makeup gain, but it's not significant). When I boost the multi-output tracks by the same amount (using their EQs), the levels in my DAW are now usable.

    This does seem like an odd way to configure this instrument, because it means a lot more work to set up a multi-output drum set, and drums are probably one of the most likely instruments to need multi-output.

    What I also found is that this isn't the way that all the patches are set up. The 70s Tight Key Progressive Rock patch that I happened to have picked as a starting point is this way, but the Funk patch for the same kit is much more balanced. I'm not sure why NI chose to set things up this way.

    Thanks also for your suggestions, @Milos .

Answers

  • Milos
    Milos Member Posts: 1,864 Pro

    Why do you think adding the 10db to the instrument is wrong?

    Is it distorted when you do that?

    If it is, maybe you are mixing with the wrong main volume.


    If it is not, it is better to use the volume effect always add more volume if it feels quiter.

    Volume effect for a missing sound is just like a filling for a tooth.

  • mothershout
    mothershout Member Posts: 4 Member

    My question is about why this is happening, not how to fix it. And no, adding volume is not just like “a filling”.

  • Milos
    Milos Member Posts: 1,864 Pro

    Adding gain is not like filling, but adding volume is.

    Google 'volume and gain difference'

    Speaking from experience as well.

    And about the issue, maybe you should check your sound settings in Kontakt of you are using it as a standalone, or check audio settings inside the DAW if you are using it for playing Kontakt.

    Let me know if any of these helped, good sir.

  • mothershout
    mothershout Member Posts: 4 Member

    I've checked all the sound settings (I've been doing this kind of thing for many years; I also have experience). I appreciate your answer, but I'm not asking for guidance on how to do basic gain staging or levels. I'm asking whether anyone else has observed this behaviour in Kontakt 7.

  • Milos
    Milos Member Posts: 1,864 Pro

    Oh...

    When it comes to that, I don't really know.

    I tried...

    Happy Holidays and God bless you, sir!

  • EvilDragon
    EvilDragon Moderator Posts: 1,021 mod
    edited December 2023

    When you route an instrument bus to an individual output, you're not getting the global effects and/or volume adjustments that are applied AFTER the bus. This can result in lower output volume, which is entirely expected.

  • mothershout
    mothershout Member Posts: 4 Member
    edited January 3 Answer ✓

    Thanks for the suggestion, @EvilDragon - that was very helpful.

    I took a look at the Master bus for the Abbey Road Drummer. There's an EQ on it, which has the output knob turned way up.

    (The compressor is also enabled and adds a little makeup gain, but it's not significant). When I boost the multi-output tracks by the same amount (using their EQs), the levels in my DAW are now usable.

    This does seem like an odd way to configure this instrument, because it means a lot more work to set up a multi-output drum set, and drums are probably one of the most likely instruments to need multi-output.

    What I also found is that this isn't the way that all the patches are set up. The 70s Tight Key Progressive Rock patch that I happened to have picked as a starting point is this way, but the Funk patch for the same kit is much more balanced. I'm not sure why NI chose to set things up this way.

    Thanks also for your suggestions, @Milos .

  • Milos
    Milos Member Posts: 1,864 Pro

    No problem, sir.

    What matters is the issue is solved.

    Have a nice day and God bless you!

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