I don't care for orchestral templates... Your view?

Do you like working with orchestral template?

  • Yes

    Votes: 124 69.7%
  • No

    Votes: 54 30.3%

  • Total voters
    178

EgM

Game music!
I think due to reading a lot from fellow composers and here on vi-control a few years back I got drawn into the whole idea of having templates either on Vienna Ensemble Pro or disabled tracks on Cubase Pro 9.5 which is my main DAW.

I have tried both, a mega template on VEP using so many tracks it became unbearable to maintain, I mean if I wanted to change Cubase Expression maps or such. As of now, I haven't used VEP in like a year since Cubase disabled tracks make it so much easier to keep everything inside the project for future reference.

I have a few gripes against VEP in that it doesn't ask you for the missing IP of the machine you're trying to connect to in the event that it was years ago and you forgot it or changed machines.

In this instance, I had an old project that had VEP tracks that were looking for 192.168.0.205 (a static IP I had at the time for the slave) but VEP never told me it was looking for the .205 host. It just failed loading. Kinda scary if you ask me, I change my slave/machines every 2 years or so and I want my tracks to be accessible if a client asks for a revisit... VSL, make your errors verbose!

I kinda came to the realization that I already know how all my instruments sound, I know their strengths, their weaknesses so why should I care if I take ~10 seconds creating the track, loading the VSTi/AUi and loading the instrument preset?

The other thing that annoys me with templates is the scrolling between tracks, even if everything is in folders. If I write music on the fly and create tracks as I need them, it's much easier to edit many tracks at once without all the scrolling and dealing with visibility.

I hope this wasn't too much of a wall of text, haha.

I'd love your take on this, how you work with templates or not and point to flaws in my thinking, etc.
 
Last edited:

Jeremy Gillam

Active Member
I'm experimenting with both approaches. What I like about not having a template is the painterly aspect of mixing a new color when you make a new track -- maybe throw a couple plugins on it, a different reverb as an insert that you might not normally use, pan it a certain way... There's an element of sonic experimentation that for me can lead to the notes. There's something static and dead about having thousands of predetermined tracks that I find uninspiring, but I do think it can be really useful especially for "the orchestra" which is a fairly set thing.
 
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EgM

EgM

Game music!
I'm experimenting with both approaches. What I like about not having a template is the painterly aspect of mixing a new color when you make a new track -- maybe throw a couple plugins on it, a different reverb as an insert that you might not normally use, pan it a certain way... There's an element of sonic experimentation that for me can lead to the notes. There's something static and dead about having thousands of predetermined tracks that I find uninspiring, but I do think it can be really useful especially for "the orchestra" which is a fairly set thing.
Thank you for your comment Jeremy, I kinda feel the same way. Although I keep an empty template for fx sends such as reverbs.
 
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EgM

EgM

Game music!
I felt the same way about this. Kind of a way to remind me to use every member of the orchestra (they're there, paid, use them, haha) But in the end, the orchestra sections aren't that huge a thing to remember so I'm thinking I don't need it...
 
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EgM

EgM

Game music!
I always forget about the violas even with a template.
Hahaha, Not my case! For some reason I love the forgotten instruments of the orchestra :D I love the viola tone.

I make sure that I always use 5 tracks for my strings, v1/v2/va/vc/db so that helps in not forgetting :)
 
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EgM

EgM

Game music!
The most negative aspect is that it ties you down to one set of sounds. But I think that is outweighed by the ability to balance and conform different libraries to each other ahead of time.
Glad you replied to this @NoamL I read many of your replies and appreciate them. Regarding balancing, I can use track instrument presets that I made which are already balanced I guess? If using different libraries that require additional balancing, I guess it's not too much of an issue if you like dealing with such things :)
 
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EgM

EgM

Game music!
I use track templates rather than project templates. The track templates are triggered by TouchOSC. If I'm in the mood for violins, I touch VIOLINS and go from there.
I work kinda the same way, if I want chamber v1s I hit my L&S Chamber Orchestra or VSL Chamber violins presets in Cubase. I also use TouchOSC but mostly for controlling dynamics and keyswitches. Doesn't really value the idea of hosting 300-400 tracks in my project though :)
 
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EgM

EgM

Game music!
@robgb Yeah, I know you use Reaper and it has kickass action scripting. I was amongst the firsts to use Reaper when it didn't even have midi, check my join date in the forums :D

While I love Reaper and its ability to load presets through OSC, its piano roll is where I don't feel at home. But this is for another thread dedicated to choice of DAWs which this is not. :)
 

tmhuud

Brown Belt
I have Track Multis ready to go in an instant. I cant live without them. So If I want all of SCS or half of it or just the FX portion I call it in. I haven't used whole templates in years as it stunted my creativity.

The most fun part of each project is sitting down for a day or two and putting together custom sounds and bringing those into their own separate track templates for a project to bring character to that project. We have a lot of solo instruments on a current project and each one sounds nothing like they did in our previous films. The channel strip is stacked with effects to give each instrument its own unique sound. This wouldn't work with global templates. It would take too much futzing to force the template into doing what we want.
 
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EgM

EgM

Game music!
I have Track Multis ready to go in an instant. I cant live without them. So If I want all of SCS or half of it or just the FX portion I call it in. I haven't used whole templates in years as it stunted my creativity.

The most fun part of each project is sitting down for a day or two and putting together custom sounds and bringing those into their own separate track templates for a project to bring character to that project. We have a lot of solo instruments on a current project and each one sounds nothing like they did in our previous films. The channel strip is stacked with effects to give each instrument its own unique sound. This wouldn't work with global templates. It would take too much futzing to force the template into doing what we want.
I feel the same exact way, it went against my creativity. I constantly modify parameters in each of my instruments depending on the song so to me it was counterproductive.

Thanks for your reply!
 

Garry

Senior Member
Can TouchOSC be used to select patches in Logic? I love the idea of 'hitting violins', and there they are, but I haven't seen a way to do this in Logic (only Cubase and Reaper).
 
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EgM

EgM

Game music!
Can TouchOSC be used to select patches in Logic? I love the idea of 'hitting violins', and there they are, but I haven't seen a way to do this in Logic (only Cubase and Reaper).
Kinda OT, but "hitting violins" would mean what? Violins have sooo many articulations, I'm not sure that would help anything in a template/workflow situation...
 

Garry

Senior Member
Kinda OT, but "hitting violins" would mean what? Violins have sooo many articulations, I'm not sure that would help anything in a template/workflow situation...
Sorry, I was paraphrasing robgp's earlier comment: so, in more detail: I too avoid using templates, and in Logic have found QuickLoad to be a great way to organise all my instruments in a very flexible way, such that I can access them quickly, and organise them according to different groupings. However, I've seen jononotbono's use of MetaGrid in Cubase, and it's incredibly flexible, but relies on scripting features within Cubase, that don't exist in Logic. So, given Robgp's comment, I'm wondering if by 'hit violins', I can have a button that will load up specific libraries and/or articulations, that I can then select from within TouchOSC, rather than having to go into QuickLoad. Is that possible? Manaberry has a kontakt script for selecting articulations, but if I understand correctly, it doesn't load the specific instrument from TouchOSC.
 
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EgM

EgM

Game music!
I'm kinda sceptical of a button that would be "hitting violins" to be honest. When I load a violin patch, I want it to be either legato/port/shorts/trem/mes-trem/pizz/sfz/dyn/trills/etc.

If hitting that one key loads all the articulations of v1, it's not really more different than having a full template which is what I cannot work with...

If I don't need trills, mes-trem, port or such, I would prefer not having them in my track list.
 

whinecellar

Jim Daneker
Man, I totally get the downsides mentioned, and I couldn’t agree more about the VEP gripes - especially the hanging when looking for slave IPs that aren’t present at the moment. I would love to be able to open a cue on my laptop while traveling away from my big studio rig, but it takes ages while looking for VEP servers that aren’t there.

Anyway, I still couldn’t live without my big scoring template because it only consists of my orchestra, which doesn’t change… it only gets added to with new libraries.

That said, I do have a bunch of my go-to orchestral patches on a travel SSD when I want to write with my laptop; in that case it’s a simple matter of loading Logic channel strips as I go...
 

muziksculp

Senior Member
Hi,

This is an interesting, and important topic.

I have yet to decide which way to go.

I'm thinking about setting up a standard orchestral template on my two slave PCs, that I view as a launching pad for getting a project up and running, fast ! I would then use my master PC, to house many disabled instrument tracks (I use Studio One Pro 4) on an as needed basis, and if I need something that's not disabled, I just load it.

I think having a standard orchestral template on slave PCs is not a bad thing, it is just there to get things started, and does not utilize any of your Master PCs CPU, and Memory resources. But, then again, I might end up not liking this approach, given the workflow is bit less direct, but I can't tell yet, anyways.. It is very helpful to read the posts, and different views, and approaches on this topic.

Thanks,
Muziksculp