I recently started running K2 as a standalone while using DP. I have found the benefits to be worth it. I typically use about 4-5 instances of K2 while using it as an instrument within DP, but can now run one standalone.
Im not sure if it is easier on the processor while running it as a standalone though.
I've never used it, but I know someone who does and likes it. Looks promising but it's not free.
I like Sean's method, but have some questions regarding it's results and method. Are you just setting up interapplication MIDI in/outs in DP?
On my system I run out of processor long before I run out of RAM - usually...As you both have probably experienced, opening multiple K2 instances brings a computer to its knees quickly. Running 4 instances of K2 in DP gives the same MIDI ch. results as one standalone (16 x 4). You couldn't play more instruments with K2, but the difference should freeing up processor to run more FX and/or other VIs, right? Can you open another K2 in DP while running that standalone K2? Thanks.
I would say, 1 stand alone instance of Kontakt loaded with 64 instruments is more RAM saving then 4 AU instances in DP.
I tried it now. Having 4 'empty' Kontakt plug-ins in DP eats up more than a giga byte of RAM just like that. (with MY current dfd settings)
1 empty stand alone Kontakt consumes only aprox 350MB of RAM.
And of course you can run K as AU while also running it in stand alone.
As for processor hit I don't know if one way is better than the other (in stand alone you'll have to up the latency as much as you can to gain CPU headroom or you wont have enough voices) but when K is out side of DP, DP can do what it's doing with out pain.
And yes, DP talks to K (and back) through Inter-Application midi. Very simple and straight forward. You can even change the default "DP output/input" to your own names.