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How To Set Up Kontakt In FL Studio

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Screenshots Soon

I. The First Load

When you first install Kontakt on the path to sampled stardom you may realize that some things aren't going well. “Why isn't FL Studio displaying Kontakt in the channel list?” (if it is, skip this section.) The simple answer is that FL Studio needs to be told to rescan your VST folder in order for it to recognize your new VST's as channels to load.

First, go to Channel → Add One → More...

You'll see a big list. You search for Kontakt. If you see it (you shouldn't), then great. Check mark it and skip the rest of this section. If you don't see it, look for Refresh on the bottom right corner of the list. Click it and hit “Fast Scan” (Scan & Verify is just a dumb thing that separates instruments from effects, it takes a while and throws over 9000 error messages at you. Never use this unless you're bored.) Now look at the list again. If you see three different Kontakt names in red, you done good. Check them off. Now, add Kontakt 4 (or 5) as a channel in FL Studio.

II. Wrapper Settings

Now it's time to connect Kontakt to FL Studio after adding it as a channel. Open the Kontakt window (click Kontakt 4 or 5 in the step sequencer). At the top left you'll see FL Studio's options for the VST, along with a gear icon. The gear icon is wrapper settings. Go ahead and click that, then Kontakt will disappear and FL greets you with wrapper settings. Set Input Port to 0 in the MIDI section.

Next, click the processing tab. Hit “automap outputs”. This will take Kontakt's separate insert outputs and send them to FL's mixer tracks. The first Kontakt insert goes to the mixer track that Kontakt is on, the second insert will always go to the one next to it. We'll see how in the next section. Alternatively, you can set the numbers yourself, but remember the numbers are relative position to the track Kontakt is on. Whatever output you put for “3” will go three mixer tracks to the right of the Kontakt mixer track. If you move the one 3 to the right, Kontakt will ignore that and still send it to whatever mixer track is 3 to the right of itself. So moving the mixer tracks in FL's mixer will not change what number FL mixer track Kontakt instruments go to.

III. Output Configuration

This is the most annoying part if you don't understand. Take a deep breath, maybe get a snack because this'll take some intense direction following. Go ahead and hit the “Outputs” button at the top of Kontakt (IN the Kontakt window, pull it up by clicking the Kontakt channel in the step sequencer)

Hit Add Channels. Punch in 8 or however many mixer tracks you think you need for the quantity and, of course, 2 for number of channels. Set Host Output to Kt. St. 1 or whatever the first thing on the list is. Check Ascending Output Assignment.

Check both of the next check boxes and hit OK. Now you'll never have to do this again.

The following method is outdated. Don't use it if you hate pain:

You see a mixer. If you see “st. 1”, you're doing it right. If there's anything else there besides the four aux. tracks and “st. 1”, select them and delete them. Go to add channels, then punch in whatever number you want. I recommend adding 7 (for a total of st. 1-8 ). Where it says “Soundcard/Host Output”, select whatever the third option is and make sure “Ascending Output Assignment” is selected. Go ahead and check “make this your default configuration”.

Now if you did that right, you'll see 8 (or whatever #) Kontakt inserts (st. 1-8 ). At the bottom, of st. 1, you'll see “1|2” If they go up sequentially already so that st. 2 is “3|4” and so on, then you're done. Move on to the last paragraph in this section if you're done. If not...

Click on the first one of those blank ones you see. Click on the “Not Connected” (there should be two, left and right) and you'll get a little dropdown menu. Select the second pair of channels, whatever they are named. They should be “Kt. Aux 1 [1]” and “Kt. Aux 1 [2]”. If they're not, it doesn't matter. Select them anyway. Then for the third Kontakt insert, select the third pair of channels. You should be seeing “3|4” and “5|6” respectfully. Do this for all of them.

When you're done, go to the dropdown menu at the top between “Outputs” and “Add Channels”. Save the current state as default for all formats. Now you'll never have to go through this nightmare again.

Whenever you add an instrument in Kontakt, you'll see its name and some options under it, like “Output” and “MIDI Ch.” For every instrument you add, “MIDI Ch.” will go up sequentially. However, “Output” will remain St. 1 for all of them. For every instrument after the first, set the output to whatever st. # you want them to go to. Remember when we auto mapped outputs in the last section? St. 2 will send the instrument's audio to the St. 2 Kontakt insert, and Kontakt will send the audio of the St. 2 insert to the FL mixer track next to the first one to the right.

IV. MIDI Outs (and how they work)

All right, Neblix. That's cool. But how do I play multiple instruments loaded in Kontakt separately? Some will say to change the color of the notes in the piano roll. That's fun, but it won't give you as much control access. So we'll use MIDI Outs.

MIDI Outs are channels in FL's channel list then will take piano roll or MIDI data and send it to the assigned channel in the assigned port. Remember when we set Kontakt's input port in Section II? That comes into play here. Add a few MIDI Outs (one for each instrument in Kontakt that you have open or want to open). Now look at their channel settings. You'll notice they have “channel” and “port”. Port should be 0 like what you set Kontakt to in Section II. The channel of that MIDI out should match the “MIDI Ch.” number of the instrument in Kontakt that you want to send piano roll or MIDI data to.

EXAMPLE:

Let's say I have Violins and they have “MIDI Ch. : [A] 2”. A MIDI Out in FL Studio will send piano roll data to play the Violins AS LONG AS the channel in the MIDI Out is set to “2” and the port matches what I set the Kontakt input port to in the Wrapper Settings.

Hooray! Now why did we use MIDI Outs? Kontrol. (c wut I did thar) You see the knobs in the MIDI Out channel? Those can be assigned to CC controls in Kontakt. For instance, I can set the first knob to CC#1 to control the mod wheel. This is useful because you can control these knobs with FL automation clips/edit events. In Kontakt, you can not simply right click the Mod Wheel and hit edit with automation clips.

V. Template Saving

After you've done this, congratulate yourself. You've done a fine job. But who wants to do all of THAT for new projects time and time again? You don't have to. Do this in a blank, empty FL Studio project (it won't be as much work to redo if you had done this in a project with other stuff, since we saved our work in Section III as default.). Save the flp file in:

...\Image-Line\FL Studio 10\Data\Projects\Templates\[Whatever Category]\[Folder With Same Name As Template]

Exit FL, then reopen it again. Go to File → New From Template → Whatever Category → Your Template. Now every time you load FL Studio, it will load the template for you as default. ALL OF THAT WORK.

SAVED.

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Once again thanks for a great guide Neblix!

This works well for single instruments, since you'd normally use the piano roll for them anyway, but what to do with Kontakt drums? Step sequencer is more comfortable for drums, but with Kontakt's drum kits, to have one percussion instrument on each channel would require turning all drum channels into MIDI outs, routing all of them to one drum kit in Kontakt and setting a different note for each channel using the keyboard editor in step sequencer (which is much less convenient than just flipping the "switches"). Is that what you normally do for drums? What would you recommend?

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Once again thanks for a great guide Neblix!

This works well for single instruments, since you'd normally use the piano roll for them anyway, but what to do with Kontakt drums? Step sequencer is more comfortable for drums, but with Kontakt's drum kits, to have one percussion instrument on each channel would require turning all drum channels into MIDI outs, routing all of them to one drum kit in Kontakt and setting a different note for each channel using the keyboard editor in step sequencer (which is much less convenient than just flipping the "switches"). Is that what you normally do for drums? What would you recommend?

Just get used to using the piano roll. It's much more flexible than the step sequencer. I use step sequencer for one shots (single wav files like kicks and snares) and the piano roll for slicex'd loops and VST drumkits.

If you really wanted the step sequencer control, you would simply just put multiple MIDI outs to the same MIDI channel (whatever the drum kit is on in Kontakt) and have their default notes set differently. For instance, I have drum kit on MIDI channel three in Kontakt, have four MIDI outs set to channel 3, then set each default note so that each one triggers a different note (trial and error to find the drum sound you have to match the note to). If you look in the channel settings window for each MIDI out you'll see an orange square above the piano. Step sequencers always play C5. If you move the default note to B4 (by RIGHT CLICKING NOT LEFT CLICKING), for example, the step sequencer will play C#5. The distance traveled left with the orange square will be the distance traveled right (pitchwise up) with the sound and the actual trigger. Another example, setting the orange square to A4 will move the triggered note 3 half steps up (because C5 is 3 to the right of the orange square) so it will actually be playing Eb.

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Thanks! That's probably worth adding to the guide btw.

Man, you really know FL Studio well! I didn't think of setting the default note that way, that's much better than keyboard editor. I could use the piano roll, although it has two annoyances:

- it's useful to be able to change volume/pan for each instrument in the kit - on piano roll there is no way of setting volume per pitch, unless I'm not aware of something; technically I could use velocity, but that would be per each individual note and if two instruments play on the same beat you can't change velocity separately for each

- no note names (i.e. drum names) instead of note names (pitch) in piano roll; heard some plugins do export them to FL Studio, but not Kontakt; and I see no option of "renaming" a note manually, which surprised me; but this is minor, can live without it.

I guess I'm nitpicking though... I'll probably be using both solutions like you.

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, but that would be per each individual note and if two instruments play on the same beat you can't change velocity separately for each

Wrong. Control+click note. Edit velocity. Done.

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In the plugins folder for Kontakt, there is Kontakt 5.dll, Kontakt 5 8out.dll, and Kontakt 5 16out.dll

Does it matter which one I use?

I currently have Kontakt 5.dll in my FL Studio plugins folder.

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Depends how many outputs you want. I'm pretty sure that Kontakt 5.dll is just two outputs (one stereo pair), while the 8 and 16-output versions obviously give you more. The advantage is that you can use one instance of Kontakt (and thus use less memory) for multiple instruments, but send the outgoing audio to different tracks in FL Studio so you can apply different effects to them.

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Depends how many outputs you want. I'm pretty sure that Kontakt 5.dll is just two outputs (one stereo pair), while the 8 and 16-output versions obviously give you more. The advantage is that you can use one instance of Kontakt (and thus use less memory) for multiple instruments, but send the outgoing audio to different tracks in FL Studio so you can apply different effects to them.

I was thinking it was something like that, but wasn't sure. Thanks for clearing that up!

And thanks for the guide Neblix!

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Depends how many outputs you want. I'm pretty sure that Kontakt 5.dll is just two outputs (one stereo pair), while the 8 and 16-output versions obviously give you more. The advantage is that you can use one instance of Kontakt (and thus use less memory) for multiple instruments, but send the outgoing audio to different tracks in FL Studio so you can apply different effects to them.

Nope. The Kontakt 5.dll matches how many outputs you make in the kontakt output mixer while 8out and 16out limit you to 8 and 16 respectively.

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What's the fastest way to automate Expression & Modulation without a controller (in FL with Kontakt 5).

The modulation wheel is CC1. Set one of the knobs in your MIDI Outs to CC1 so that you can control that knob via automation/Edit events.

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I'm having trouble adjusting the volume of Kontakt instruments in FL Studio. When I bring up the volume of a given instrument in the Kontakt wrapper window, the volume goes back down when I try to record into the MIDI out channel. I brought the channel volume up all the way, but the instrument is still too quiet. Does anyone have any solutions?

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I'm having trouble adjusting the volume of Kontakt instruments in FL Studio. When I bring up the volume of a given instrument in the Kontakt wrapper window, the volume goes back down when I try to record into the MIDI out channel. I brought the channel volume up all the way, but the instrument is still too quite. Does anyone have any solutions?

Quiet and quite are two different words. RAWR

Anyways, if it's still too quiet I would just bring up the mixer track volume. Still too quiet? Use something to boost gain. Like FL Limiter (with an unreachable ceiling so no compression)

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Quiet and quite are two different words. RAWR

Anyways, if it's still too quiet I would just bring up the mixer track volume. Still too quiet? Use something to boost gain. Like FL Limiter (with an unreachable ceiling so no compression)

The mixer track volume works. Still though, when I increase the volume on the instrument itself, it goes back every time I click somewhere else. Is there any way to avoid that?

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The mixer track volume works. Still though, when I increase the volume on the instrument itself, it goes back every time I click somewhere else. Is there any way to avoid that?

Access the instrument options (hit the wrench icon on your loaded instrument then click Instrument Options directly under it) and decheck accept standard controllers for volume and pan.

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Hooray! Now why did we use MIDI Outs? Kontrol. (c wut I did thar) You see the knobs in the MIDI Out channel? Those can be assigned to CC controls in Kontakt. For instance, I can set the first knob to CC#1 to control the mod wheel. This is useful because you can control these knobs with FL automation clips/edit events. In Kontakt, you can not simply right click the Mod Wheel and hit edit with automation clips.

This is a tutorial topic. It isn't wrong to revive this topic, right? :P

You serious? That's awesome. I've always wanted to finally be able to modulate the mod wheel in Kontakt. You CAN also do it with the pitch wheel... right?

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The pitch wheel is not a CC, but any and every channel (VST, Sampler, Synth) loaded in FL Studio has one of these:

Pitch%20Wheel%20Modulation.png

And Kontakt does indeed respond to it.

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Oh, that corresponds to the pitch wheel for Kontakt-only instances? That works out great. :D

...Huh?

No, the pitch wheel is MIDI data. Editing the pitch on the MIDI Out sends pitch data along that MIDI Channel. So it controls the pitch of whatever instrument is on that MIDI channel.

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...Huh?

No, the pitch wheel is MIDI data. Editing the pitch on the MIDI Out sends pitch data along that MIDI Channel. So it controls the pitch of whatever instrument is on that MIDI channel.

Oh, so it's basically using the MIDI Out as a way to bypass the pitch bend limits and allow a MIDI CC edit? Alright then.

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