One plugin instance with multiple stereo outs vs. multiple plugin instances with one stereo out

Hi guys!

I am re-thinking my design approach for my songs. Right now, I do not use racks very often. I
try to explain my intention for this with an example:


I use a kontakt plugin with 5x stereo outs. My song needs a piano, organ, strings, brass and a
guitar. I setup kontakt with all the needed instruments, every single one routed to a separate stereo out, i.e. piano = stereo out 1, organ = stereo out 2 and so on. In cantabile, I can adjust every level individually and additionally can send the guitar to a guitar rig plugin.

Everything is fine right now. The BIG disadvantage of this method is, that I always have
to create new instruments for a new song, I have no “reuse” possibilities.

I am thinking about this new approach:

With the example above, I create five different racks with a kontakt plugin with only
one stereo out inside and setup the instrument in it. Inside the rack with the guitar I also add my guitar rig plugin.

Then I get the following racks: Piano Rack, Organ Rack…etc. I can load them all to my song
and have the same abilities as before plus reuse capability for similar songs (and some other advantages of course :wink: )

Okay, now the point: Does anyone have some experience with the load differences between these approaches?

First approach: 1x kontakt with 5x stereo outs, 1x guitar rig

Second approach: 5x kontakt with each 1x stereo out and 1x guitar rig.

I started out using the first approach, but then moved to the second approach, and I find it far more flexible. The extra instances of Kontakt don’t appear to cause any significant overhead. But the flexibility of having separate racks is great. Not only can you choose which sounds you want for a given song, without having to load in a load of samples you don’t need, but also with separate racks you have separate Cantabile faders, so you can control relative levels on a song state basis easier, without having to tweak levels within Kontakt itself.

I’ve used this approach elsewhere too, especially for sample-based plugins that have a load time when selecting sounds, such as M-Tron Pro. I have separate racks for the most commonly-used M-Tron Pro sounds I use, so I can mix and match them easily based on what I need, and since Cantabile will pre-load everything I need the samples are all loaded in advance, and song switching is instant.