...for the 5 hours I spent with tutorials on ableton, kontakt, audio output/inputs, showing how to get the correct audio stream through the 16 stereo outputs of each plug-in into audio tracks...
Thanks for the indirect motivation to get it done, Randy! All sorted now.
I now have an audio output track for every single midi track. Each audio track has all the mixing plug ins adjusted, and when it comes time I can simply record all the tracks at once in one pass to those tracks, switch off the MIDI and mix away.
Oh happy day!! :-)