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Is there an easy way to record from Kontakt? #2387682
02/17/15 09:12 PM
02/17/15 09:12 PM
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MacMacMac Offline OP
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I'm back to my recording conundrum ...

I'm still looking for a good and easy way to record from my software pianos.
I have a solution, posted in an earlier thread: USB audio interfaces (usual suspects) and stereo recording?
But it's kludgy and annoying.

So I posted the following on another forum. Please have a look ...
Code
Q: Is there a way to record audio from Kontakt?

A: The best/easiest way is to use Kontakt as a plug-in within a DAW.

Q: I use Kontakt in standalone mode because I don't need a VST host. I shun complexity.
   When playing, I normally feed Kontakt's audio into my Presonus audio interface.
   But Audacity cannot "see" that.
 
   I could instead feed Kontakt's audio into the PC's internal sound card.
   That gets duplicated into the PC Stereo Mix device.
   Audacity can see that and can record it.

   But as I'm playing in that mode I can only hear the sound on the cheap PC speakers.
   What's worse, the latency through that audio channel is quite bad.
   Latency is no issue for the recording, but it makes playing nearly impossible.

   So I opted to ...

   1. Run Kontakt standalone, feeding sound through the Presonus box as usual.
      That's what I listen to. Sound quality is high and latency is low.

   2. Run another instance of Kontakt, this time using the Minihost Modular VST
      host with Kontakt attached as a plugin. I can feed that VST host's sound
      into the PC sound device, and I can record that as described above. (I would
      just turn down the volume on the now-useless PC speakers.)

   But all of this is annoying. I assumed there would be a cleaner solution.

A: You can route audio in and out of a sound card or audio interface. Check
   the hardware buffer settings to get latency as low as possible.

   If all this is absolutely not for you, there are probably PC utilities that
   can route audio from one program to another. I'm not a PC guy so I don't know
   exactly what they are. On the Mac, we have free extensions like Soundflower
   that can do this.

Q: Your proposed solution works well on a Mac. But not on a PC.
   Yes, I can use an audio routing program for the PC.
   I have one: Voicemeeter. I can send Kontakt's output to that.
   And I can have Audacity read from that.
   But I'm stuck with the latency, and I can only listen through the PC speakers.

   To get good latency, I have to use an external sound card (the Presonus).
   But Audacity cannot see that output (unless I route the Presonus analog output
   back into its analog input). Audacity can see that, but it suffers from
   digtai-to-analog-to-digital reconversion.

A: Why so opposed to using a DAW? It is MEANT to be used for recording.
   Audacity, while having some recording features, is really more of a waveform
   editor tool, with multitrack recording and plugin support bolted on afterwards.

   There's the very small SAVIhost you could also use for hosting Kontakt as
   a plugin (it's really just a standalone plugin wrapper), and it has rudimentary
   recording features, as well as support for ASIO.

Q: Tried that. I was using Presonus Studio One. But it's much too complicated.
   What I want is one button for record, one for stop, and one for saving the audio file.

   Studio One has a one-button record and a one-button stop. Easy. But when I try to
   save, it tells me "Nothing to export. Please set Loop or Markers first."
   What would I "loop" and why would I "mark"? It's not clear how or why.

   I just want to save everything from when I pushed record until I pushed stop, just
   like any other recording device.

   So, is there something else that fits? I've not yet found it.

A: Download Reaper.

Q: OK, tried Reaper.

   For me, unfortunately, it's a big step in the wrong direction. It's way more complicated
   than Studio One, which in turn is more complicated than Minihost Modular. Too many buttons.

   I only want the three controls I mentioned earlier: record, stop, and save.
I gather that was the wrong forum for this question. Those folks want all the features and complexity of a DAW. But I don't!

Can you guys understand my needs and suggest a simple solution?

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Re: Is there an easy way to record from Kontakt? [Re: MacMacMac] #2387695
02/17/15 09:54 PM
02/17/15 09:54 PM
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emenelton Offline
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Just get a drill down for the presonus daw you have. Once you have it setup, you don't have to do anything the next time you use it. You save your setup as a preset.
You're 3/4's of the way there.

Re: Is there an easy way to record from Kontakt? [Re: MacMacMac] #2387700
02/17/15 10:10 PM
02/17/15 10:10 PM
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toddy Offline
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Macmacmac - try as I might, it is impossible to think of an easier workround than this very simple advice from your correspondent in other forum you consulted:

Quote
Macmacmac: Is there a way to record audio from Kontakt?......... I shun complexity.

Answer: The best/easiest way is to use Kontakt as a plug-in within a DAW.


..after all, this is exactly what they (and NOT Audacity) were designed to do - record incoming signals and VSTi plug-ins, with no fuss.


Roland HP 302 / Samson Graphite 49 / Akai EWI

Reaper / Native Instruments K9 ult / ESQL MOR2 Symph Orchestra & Choirs / Lucato & Parravicini , trumpets & saxes / Garritan CFX lite / Production Voices C7 & Steinway D compact

Focusrite Saffire 24 / W7, i7 4770, 16GB / MXL V67g / Yamaha HS7s / HD598
Re: Is there an easy way to record from Kontakt? [Re: MacMacMac] #2387720
02/17/15 11:50 PM
02/17/15 11:50 PM
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Scott Hamlin Offline
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac

Can you guys understand my needs and suggest a simple solution?


hmmm.. Maybe get a hardware digital audio recorder with and run the output from the computer into the line in? Tascam makes such a DAR for $100.

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Re: Is there an easy way to record from Kontakt? [Re: Scott Hamlin] #2387723
02/17/15 11:59 PM
02/17/15 11:59 PM
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emenelton Offline
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That's a good suggestion. It would be important that the recorder be connected digitally to the interface.

Re: Is there an easy way to record from Kontakt? [Re: MacMacMac] #2387732
02/18/15 12:46 AM
02/18/15 12:46 AM
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lolatu Offline
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So how did you get on with SAVIhost as suggested above, and VST Host as suggested in the other thread?

I tried VST Host with Pianoteq and it worked flawlessly.

I've ordered Vintage D which should arrive today, so later on I'll be able to try it with that too!


Kawai CA95 / Steinberg UR22 / Sony MDR-7506 / Pianoteq Stage + Grotrian / Galaxy Vintage D / CFX Lite
In the loft: Roland FP3 / Tannoy Reveal Active / K&M 18810
Re: Is there an easy way to record from Kontakt? [Re: MacMacMac] #2387749
02/18/15 03:45 AM
02/18/15 03:45 AM
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sullivang Offline
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FWIW, here's a free audio recorder plugin that should work with even very simple VST hosts, such as Cantabile Lite etc:
http://www.voxengo.com/product/recorder/

Personally I just use a DAW. I don't "record" the audio - I record the MIDI, and once I'm happy, I hit the Render button. Dead simple.

Greg.


Middle-aged Jeremy Clarkson acolyte.
Re: Is there an easy way to record from Kontakt? [Re: sullivang] #2387750
02/18/15 03:51 AM
02/18/15 03:51 AM
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Reaper is what I use


[Linked Image] [Linked Image]
Re: Is there an easy way to record from Kontakt? [Re: MacMacMac] #2388025
02/18/15 04:07 PM
02/18/15 04:07 PM
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I guess I could do this:
Originally Posted by emenelton
Just get a drill down for the Presonus DAW you have. Once you have it setup, you don't have to do anything the next time you use it. You save your setup as a preset. You're 3/4's of the way there.
But I really cannot deal with the screen/keyboard/mouse. There are several reasons: 1) Aging eyesight, 2) Difficulty shifting focus from piano to computer screen, and 3) Inconvenience of reaching the keyboard/mouse while seated at the piano.

So I think this is the ticket:
Originally Posted by Scott Hamlin
Maybe get a hardware digital audio recorder with and run the output from the computer into the line in? Tascam makes such a DAR for $100.
I've not yet looked at one of these, but I imagine it has the simplicity of a conventional tape recorder. Push one button to record, and another button to stop. Simple! smile If that's how they work, that will fulfill 100% of my UI requirements.

Not sure whether I'll be able to do this:
Originally Posted by emenelton
It would be important that the recorder be connected digitally to the interface.
I don't think I have a digital output jack. The computer shows two audio output devices: Realtek Hi-Def Audio/Speakers and Realtek Digital Output. But I'm not sure the latter is available as an output jack on this computer. I might have to dig inside and plug into the sound card itself.

Desktop computers have had a digital connection for many years, but I've always seen it stop at a multi-pin connector on the sound card itself ... with no cable leading to a front- or back-panel jack. So this might require some small adventure in hardware. But I think it's possible.

I tried SAVIhost years ago, along with about a dozen other simple (as in: NON-DAW) hosts, as part of my early foray into piano software ...
Originally Posted by lolatu
So how did you get on with SAVIhost as suggested above, and VST Host as suggested in the other thread? I tried VST Host with Pianoteq and it worked flawlessly
I can't remember why I tossed out SAVIhost, though I do remember preferring MiniHost for its simplicity. So I used that for a long time under Win XP. But I later had to abandon it when I moved to Win 7 64-bit because it's not compatible.

Eventually I got GAS and bought Kontakt full-version. That was the end of it for a while.

Last year I later spent some time with Presonus Studio One. But neither it (nor any other product) was as easy and satisfying as Kontakt standalone.

Kontakt is so easy! Run it. Drag a piano from the library list on the left to the open window on the right. And play. Done! All done! Nothing more! Couldn't be easier. That leaves my hands where the belong ... on the piano, not on the computer.

But it won't RECORD! frown So once I decided I wanted to record, I "invented" a Rube Goldberg solution by running Kontakt for playing/listening, and then simultaneously running Kontakt-inside-Minihost Modular plus Audacity for recording. It works. (Minihost Modular is just about the simplest host imaginable.) But running a second piece of software seemed ... well, very Rube Goldberg-ish.

I started this thread after having my recording requirements ignored on another board. There, the responders insisted that I need to use Reaper. Not even a low- to medium-complexity VST host. No, a full-blown DAW, with a control panel that I find suitable for the cockpit of a 747, and not suitable for piano use. That's where it stands now, pending a full consideration of all your fine suggestions here ... for which, thank you.

Finally ... this part is tantalizing. I'll have to take a look.
Originally Posted by sullivang
Here's a free audio recorder plugin that should work with even very simple VST hosts ... http://www.voxengo.com/product/recorder


Thanks for all the suggestions.

BTW, I'll have to put this on hold for the rest of the week. I don't have a digital output jack, but I do have a grandson Jack visiting this week.

Re: Is there an easy way to record from Kontakt? [Re: MacMacMac] #2388029
02/18/15 04:47 PM
02/18/15 04:47 PM
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emenelton Offline
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The reason I called out a recorder with digital input is for quality reasons, however your Presonus AudioBox does not have a digital output.

You can quickly become frustrated with how your audio sounds with an external recorder using analogue.

You can just set the DAW to record for however long you want and forget about it.

If you were able to get your rube goldberg construct on it's feet, might be worth it to get a daw going.

Every time you want to play the piano open your daw and load your saved program, that is no different than opening Kontakt, then when you decide you want to record, press record and let it run, for hours if you want. It's only a single extra mouse click(maybe 2).

Re: Is there an easy way to record from Kontakt? [Re: MacMacMac] #2388059
02/18/15 06:29 PM
02/18/15 06:29 PM
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Here's my ideal PC-based recorder.
[Linked Image]

That almost exists. The standard Windows SoundRecorder.exe is pretty much that, with just a bit more fluff. But I cannot capture that from the piano software while simultaneously sending the same audio to the Presonus box.

I need the piano software to feed two ways: to the Presonus audio channel AND to this (or any) sound recorder.

Re: Is there an easy way to record from Kontakt? [Re: MacMacMac] #2388081
02/18/15 08:08 PM
02/18/15 08:08 PM
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Mac, now I've got Vintage D, I've tried it with SAVIhost. It works, is free, simple to use, and does exactly what you want. I have highlighted the record button below.

[Linked Image]

To install:

1. Google "SAVIhost", click the top link, download the file (the first one: here is is)
2. Open the zip and copy the file savihost.exe to your VST plugins folder (probably at "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steinberg\VSTPlugins") where you should have a file called "Kontakt 5.dll"
3. Rename the savihost.exe file to "Kontakt 5.exe"
4. Right click on it and select "Create shortcut", then put the shortcut somewhere obvious like in the Start menu or on your Desktop

The first time you open the app you will want to select your MIDI and Audio devices in the Devices menu. You can also get it to remember your last program by selecting "Autosave plugin bank" in the File menu.

That sounded more complicated than it is. Now you are all set up, whenever you want to record, you can just click your shortcut, hit record, and start playing.


Kawai CA95 / Steinberg UR22 / Sony MDR-7506 / Pianoteq Stage + Grotrian / Galaxy Vintage D / CFX Lite
In the loft: Roland FP3 / Tannoy Reveal Active / K&M 18810
Re: Is there an easy way to record from Kontakt? [Re: MacMacMac] #2388091
02/18/15 08:37 PM
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emenelton Offline
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you can do eeeeeeettt!!!

Re: Is there an easy way to record from Kontakt? [Re: MacMacMac] #2388105
02/18/15 09:28 PM
02/18/15 09:28 PM
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lolatu:

Holy s***, Batman! It works. And it's simple. And there's very little clutter.

And, using the View > Toolbar menu item I can even eliminate what little clutter is there.
(Notice that I now have one less toolbar beneath the File menu, compared to your earlier picture, above.)
[Linked Image]

About 95% of this screen is the same old Kontakt that I want ... and you've added 5% of stuff at the top to handle recording.

Superb! Thanks.

Re: Is there an easy way to record from Kontakt? [Re: MacMacMac] #2388106
02/18/15 09:49 PM
02/18/15 09:49 PM
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Great stuff. wink


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
Re: Is there an easy way to record from Kontakt? [Re: MacMacMac] #2388250
02/19/15 10:08 AM
02/19/15 10:08 AM
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Alexander Borro Offline
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
But I really cannot deal with the screen/keyboard/mouse. There are several reasons: 1) Aging eyesight, 2) Difficulty shifting focus from piano to computer screen, and 3) Inconvenience of reaching the keyboard/mouse while seated at the piano.


I notice in your screenshot you appear to be running a standard font size and setup in windows. This can be configured for users that have problem such as you describe. You could use a larger font for menus and so on, a higher contrast theme. Use the magnifier to highlight an area where the mouse is focussed.

There is a whole section under control panel or personalisation in windows to tweaks things for helping with issues like this, it may be worth for you having a look at those things.

Last edited by Alexander Borro; 02/19/15 10:09 AM.

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Re: Is there an easy way to record from Kontakt? [Re: MacMacMac] #2388251
02/19/15 10:17 AM
02/19/15 10:17 AM
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Re: Is there an easy way to record from Kontakt? [Re: MacMacMac] #2388404
02/19/15 07:20 PM
02/19/15 07:20 PM
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Great pic of one of my childhood heroes! wink


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.
Re: Is there an easy way to record from Kontakt? [Re: MacMacMac] #2389275
02/21/15 06:36 PM
02/21/15 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
But I really cannot deal with the screen/keyboard/mouse. There are several reasons: 1) Aging eyesight, 2) Difficulty shifting focus from piano to computer screen, and 3) Inconvenience of reaching the keyboard/mouse while seated at the piano.

If you don't mind laying out some cash, you can get controllers like this, which you could sit beside / on top of your keyboard (assuming your keyboard doesn't have such things built in... the old "MIDI master keyboards" certainly would have done):

[Linked Image]

I don't think SAVIhost supports Remote Control, but its big brother VSThost does. (As well as tons of other stuff. I made a setup where I could flick between my DP's internal sounds, Vintage D, and Pianoteq using the MIDI channel control on my DP, no need to touch the mouse.)


Kawai CA95 / Steinberg UR22 / Sony MDR-7506 / Pianoteq Stage + Grotrian / Galaxy Vintage D / CFX Lite
In the loft: Roland FP3 / Tannoy Reveal Active / K&M 18810
Re: Is there an easy way to record from Kontakt? [Re: MacMacMac] #2389330
02/21/15 08:23 PM
02/21/15 08:23 PM
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I was close to buying hardware for this purpose, but SaviHost saved the day.

As for the other things you speak of (changing pianos from the piano keyboard) ... I handle that with scripting in Kontakt and in Bomes MIDI Translator.


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