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

Do you like working with orchestral template?

  • Yes

    Votes: 123 69.5%
  • No

    Votes: 54 30.5%

  • Total voters
    177

Brian Nowak

Active Member
I made up a template for the project I'm working on, which is an orchestral action cues album. I just decided on which pool of instruments I was going to use and that's that.

I tried making a massive template up and that really didn't work for me (or my slowly aging computer).

Aside from that, I've set up a blank template with all my routing configurations, so when it's time to start fresh I can just go into that template and build another one for the next project.

I am not sure I'll ever build a super massive template unless I have a really kicking machine and my workflow calls for it. I know a lot of working composers use them because they have deadlines to meet. If they started from scratch every time they needed to write a cue in sometimes as little as a few hours, they'd never keep up with their work needs.
 

Akarin

pragsound.com
I made a template with the things I need regularly. After starting a project, I remove all VEP instances that I know are not needed (the VEP instances are loaded disabled in my template). And if I need something that is missing in my template, I just add it quickly. Works for me.

I'd like to see this instrument dragging feature from StudioOne 4 in VEP. This would be awsome.

Regarding Cubase: It's my favorite DAW. Sure, there's room for improvement. But 10 is going in the right direction.
(I make orchestral music, virtual instruments mixed with recordings)
If only S1 had a proper articulation management feature, I could switch from Cubase.
 

Architekton

Active Member
I absolutely hate large templates! I load VIs/libraries on fly, as I know them very well and I know what I need at the moment. With templates, 400 tracks, puts unnecessary load on pc, 75% of tracks are never used...so they just sit there doint nothing but taxing performance. Not to mention scrolling up and down all the time, than zoom
In, zoom out. I am glad I got rid of my template!
 

Akarin

pragsound.com
I absolutely hate large templates! I load VIs/libraries on fly, as I know them very well and I know what I need at the moment. With templates, 400 tracks, puts unnecessary load on pc, 75% of tracks are never used...so they just sit there doint nothing but taxing performance. Not to mention scrolling up and down all the time, than zoom
In, zoom out. I am glad I got rid of my template!
Disabled tracks don't consume resources. As for scrolling, I built a set of macros to navigate/hide/show specific tracks. Really fast, I barely need to touch my mouse :)
 
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mikeh-375

old school
Saving software instrument set ups (including routing, effects etc) is a neat function in Logic. I have pre-made kontakt set ups which I can load at the click of a button. If I need SFA's full strings for example, it's there in the blink of an eye and in the correct space and with the correct routings.
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
If only S1 had a proper articulation management feature, I could switch from Cubase.
I wish I could edit midi in S1 without the zoom arbitrarily and automatically resizing the view when I’m editing. Or the view in the piano roll moves to the beginning of the song and automatically turns off follow play when I change instruments. It’s annoying and I’ve found no way to lock the zoom or force it to go to the current playhead position when changing instruments. (Please correct me if I’m wrong. Maybe there’s a way around these irritations but the manual is at best rudimentary, it gives no guidance on these issues, and shift Z, which is supposed to fix the zoom, only lasts until the next time S1 automatically resizes the zoom.) it’s these little irritations in midi editing that prevent me from using it more, even though I love its arranging functions and its sketchpad.
 
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EgM

EgM

Game music!
I wish I could edit midi in S1 without the zoom arbitrarily and automatically resizing the view when I’m editing. Or the view in the piano roll moves to the beginning of the song and automatically turns off follow play when I change instruments. It’s annoying and I’ve found no way to lock the zoom or force it to go to the current playhead position when changing instruments. (Please correct me if I’m wrong. Maybe there’s a way around these irritations but the manual is at best rudimentary, it gives no guidance on these issues, and shift Z, which is supposed to fix the zoom, only lasts until the next time S1 automatically resizes the zoom.) it’s these little irritations in midi editing that prevent me from using it more, even though I love its arranging functions and its sketchpad.
That's odd, I don't have any of those issues here with SO4 and Win10. Piano roll view is always the same zoom level and it doesn't move randomly. A setting somewhere maybe?
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
That's odd, I don't have any of those issues here with SO4 and Win10. Piano roll view is always the same zoom level and it doesn't move randomly. A setting somewhere maybe?
I'm on a Mac and it may well be related to the Magic Mouse, as the shifting of the zoom level is always correlated with some kind of mouse movement. But not every mouse movement has this effect and even the same mouse movement does not always have this effect. Maybe a setting, but where? The manual is not good for things like this...
 

Guy Rowland

Senior Member
I've spent the last few years trying different things. I'm definitely a fan of templates in theory, but many have pointed out the hurdles to be overcome. For me, the critical things to balance out are speed of getting what you need at your fingers, versus 800 troglabytes of stuff consuming resources and slowing you down that you only need 1% of. Most of my various attempts at doing this have failed, usually because of missing Cubase functionality or bugs.

I'm currently quite optimistic though as I have a shiny new approach. All orchestral instruments areehosted in VE Pro, but disabled. This loads in a handful of seconds - in fact VE Pro itself and the template are loaded before Cubase has even got to the Hub screen. The Cubase template is based round rack instruments, all connected and decoupled so autosaves are instant. The load too is pretty speedy - the orchestral part of it loads in about 15s, and there's another 15s for the rest of the stuff I want loaded in the project like Kontakt and Omnisphere. Every section of every library is in its own folder, further arranged into strings, brass etc. So its nimble, light on resources, and all the tracks are hidden away - no endless scrolling or fiddling with visibility agents that never quite do what you want.

Only slight problem - nothing yet makes any sound at all. So for my next trick, for every single track in the template I have mapped two pads on my controller to trigger note events, that in turn enable or disable the VE Pro instrument. This varies considerably in time as to how long it takes, but its usually between 2-5 seconds I'd say - totally depends on the instrument, sample player and how many instruments are grouped together in each player. I've found composing very quick, I'd rather not wait those few seconds when trying a new library, but its not a buzzkill. Finally, once I've finished work on a track or cue on my first session with it, I use Cubase's visibility agent to show only tracks with midi between the locators. On bar 3 of every track I have muted Note On events that trigger the VE Pro enables, so I unmute all those tracks that I'm actually using. Next time I load the project, everything I need is then loaded in one hit.

One of the big advantages of this system is that I can have everything ready to go, even the obscure stuff, because it takes next to no resources. About 50% of my sample libraries were going unused because I kept forgetting I even had them. There's stuff in the Kontakt Player tabs, stuff in Quick Load, stuff on Play, stuff in VSL, UVI, Engine... it's a huge plus of a big template that you can see exactly what you're options are all the time, and doing it this way means you can do it without 14 slaves or scrolling through 1,000 tracks. Its actually such an efficient way to work that most of my stuff so far has only used about 10gb of ram (I also run purged dfd patches). It's also great and simple to add stuff to the template over time. Old projects won't see the new, but all the existing instruments work just fine.

The downsides. Setting up the VE Pro automation takes FOREVER, but once its done its done. I've also very occasionally had occasional full scale deflection on additional Kontakt outputs when enabling / disabling, which is terrifying. Hasn't happened for a few days, but I have a case in with VSL.

Overall, I'm nervously pleased as punch. The thought of setting up Hollywood Strings for example every time is hellish to me - I've mapped CC modifiers as well as audio tweaks. I always ended up not using them as a result, but now its a breeze.
 

jneebz

Senior Member
for every single track in the template I have mapped two pads on my controller to trigger note events, that in turn enable or disable the VE Pro instrument.
This is where I'm getting hung up, and may just be missing something.

The only way to get the benefit of RAM/CPU savings in VE Pro is to disable the main instrument track...which in some cases (e.g. FORZO) is ~5GB with the traditional brass patches loaded, but samples purged. So in my writing session, if I want to use the "Tubas" patch, I can't just enable that patch and MIDI track in my DAW...I must enable the entire instrument which now adds 5GB to my project, correct?
 

Guy Rowland

Senior Member
This is where I'm getting hung up, and may just be missing something.

The only way to get the benefit of RAM/CPU savings in VE Pro is to disable the main instrument track...which in some cases (e.g. FORZO) is ~5GB with the traditional brass patches loaded, but samples purged. So in my writing session, if I want to use the "Tubas" patch, I can't just enable that patch and MIDI track in my DAW...I must enable the entire instrument which now adds 5GB to my project, correct?
If there's a patch that's 5GB purged, I'm steering well clear of it. That's crazy bonkers.
 

Tice

Active Member
For me, templates are a great way to get projects to sound consistent. I strive to create a new one for each large scale project to ensure it gets it's own consistent 'feel'. I won't add multiple libraries for the same instrument or that consistency will break.
 

Gingerbread

New Member
Saving software instrument set ups (including routing, effects etc) is a neat function in Logic. I have pre-made kontakt set ups which I can load at the click of a button. If I need SFA's full strings for example, it's there in the blink of an eye and in the correct space and with the correct routings.
Could you explain how you’re able to do that? Are you referring to just saving individual channel strips, or is there some way Logic can load in multiple pre-configured tracks (such as an entire string section) all at once?
 

kevthurman

Active Member
When I started out, I didn't. It wasn't really necessary to wait several minutes to load the entire EW hollywood orchestra to write a short cue, and was a bit less tedious to call up instruments or articulations as the voice leading calls for them. I have since changed this because the cinematic studio series is all key-switch based. It's better for workflow in the long run to have a template with some consistency to mix.
 

mikeh-375

old school
Could you explain how you’re able to do that? Are you referring to just saving individual channel strips, or is there some way Logic can load in multiple pre-configured tracks (such as an entire string section) all at once?
Yes, channel strips. Sounds like you know about them, but just in case you don't, I have fully loaded up Kontakt with (say) sfa's violin 1, added any room settings, eq, etc. then saved the strip. Everything is recalled on subsequent load ins. So in effect, Logic can load in an entire string section, depending on how you save your kontakt configurations.
 

Garry

Senior Member
Yes, channel strips. Sounds like you know about them, but just in case you don't, I have fully loaded up Kontakt with (say) sfa's violin 1, added any room settings, eq, etc. then saved the strip. Everything is recalled on subsequent load ins. So in effect, Logic can load in an entire string section, depending on how you save your kontakt configurations.
Oh wow, I didn't know about this, but just tried it out - amazing! Thanks!

Quick question (before I go and completely re-do my template!) - the way I have set my template up is as follows: I have around 200 tracks all named, color coded, EQ'ed, effects on sends, panned, etc. So, I save this as a template in Logic, but my system (i7 Mac, 32Gb, 4.2Ghz, no SSD/VEP/slave) isn't powerful enough to hold this with all instruments loaded (even purged) without overloading during use. So, I've found I can get around it by having the Kontakt instance loaded, but not loading the instrument into Kontakt, and also having each Kontakt instance switched off. So, when I want a Spitfire solo cello, let's say, I go to that specific named track, turn the Kontakt instance on and then use QuickLoad, where I've carefully catalogued all my libraries for easy access, to load the instrument. So, I can have the instrument loaded up quickly within a couple of clicks, and I get all the benefits of a large template with all settings stored and ready to use, but it's not costing me huge amounts of RAM for instruments just sitting there unused.

So, would I be better off using the channel strip method, or is what I describe getting me essentially the same via a different route?

I think if I'd have known before, I would have used the channel strip method, since both instrument and settings are stored together. However, having set it up the way I describe, I think I still get the same, but settings are stored in the overall template, rather than with the instrument - so, same outcome (instruments loaded as needed, with settings saved), or are there benefits I may be missing? I guess one benefit would be if I have several instruments on 1 track, but there I use the same method I described, but open it as a multi through quick-load, rather than as an instrument.
 
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mikeh-375

old school
Swings and roundabouts methinks Gary. Your set-up is more flexible than mine and so might suit you better. For me, these days I am only writing orchestral concert music and so once I have my sections organised, that does me until I add new samples sets and then I just make new kontakt or VSL instances, save them and they are there on standby.



Oh wow, I didn't know about this, but just tried it out - amazing! Thanks!

Quick question (before I go and completely re-do my template!) - the way I have set my template up is as follows: I have around 200 tracks all named, color coded, EQ'ed, effects on sends, panned, etc. So, I save this as a template in Logic, but my system (i7 Mac, 32Gb, 4.2Ghz, no SSD/VEP/slave) isn't powerful enough to hold this with all instruments loaded (even purged) without overloading during use. So, I've found I can get around it by having the Kontakt instance loaded, but not loading the instrument into Kontakt, and also having each Kontakt instance switched off. So, when I want a Spitfire solo cello, let's say, I go to that specific named track, turn the Kontakt instance on and then use QuickLoad, where I've carefully catalogued all my libraries for easy access, to load the instrument. So, I can have the instrument loaded up quickly within a couple of clicks, and I get all the benefits of a large template with all settings stored and ready to use, but it's not costing me huge amounts of RAM for instruments just sitting there unused.

So, would I be better off using the channel strip method, or is what I describe getting me essentially the same via a different route?

I think if I'd have known before, I would have used the channel strip method, since both instrument and settings are stored together. However, having set it up the way I describe, I think I still get the same, but settings are stored in the overall template, rather than with the instrument - so, same outcome (instruments loaded as needed, with settings saved), or are there benefits I may be missing? I guess one benefit would be if I have several instruments on 1 track, but there I use the same method I described, but open it as a multi through quick-load, rather than as an instrument.
 
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