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To use expression maps OR one articulation pr. track like A.K. Dern

David Kudell

Senior Member
Yes I also looked at A.K. Dern. Funny enough I didn't listened to anything from her DAW, but the demo of libraries, so it's a little uncertain how it actually sounds, right?
Where did you find information about Lorne Balfe?
Do you have any links?
He has posted many of his Cubase projects to his Facebook page, you just need to scroll down (or search). In return he asks for a donation to certain charities.

Projects he has posted include: Assassins Creed, Call or Duty, His Dark Materials, Mission Impossible Fallout, Pacific Rim, Penguins, Bad Boys, Lego Batman, The Crown, the Bible, Genius, and 6 Underground!

If you have the Sptifire libraries you can actually play much of it. It's a great tool to see how he orchestrates.



Senior Member
I've gone to a more hybrid approach from watching Trevor Morris's videos about his template. He has separate articulation tracks for his ensemble patches for "jamming" out parts and improvising.

Then he also has keyswitch patches for adding in the details and and creating more musical phrases which can overlay and/or replace the ensemble patches.

The shorts and the longs are routed to separate reverbs which are the same room, but differing amounts i.e., less reverb on the shorts. He also has separate stems for Orchestra Shorts & Orchestra Longs. This results in better clarity in my opinion.

On the keyswitch tracks, you can load 2 of the same instrument, and route the longs & shorts to a separate stereo outs in Kontakt, which are bussed to shorts & longs groups. So one instrument and one Expression map. Easy to do in Spitfire & Orchestral Tools libraries.

So Strings High Long, Strings High Short, Strings Low Long, Strings Low Short. You send to reverbs for the groups so you have plenty of control and tweakability.


My thoughts on this, bare in mind this will vary depending on how you build your templates. I'm basing this on Instrument tracks only (for split) and Instrument + MIDI for KeySwitches:

Pros - Split templates give you total control over routing, mixing and RAM management per patch. Also much easier to recall pre-created setups in certain DAWs.

Cons - Uses more CPU, take longer to set up, higher track counts.

KeySwitch Templates (Expression Maps):

Pros - Quicker to set up, lower track count, more CPU friendly, ability to mass purge multiple patches hosted inside the sampler (if your sampler supports it). Can program some nice lines using the articulation switches.

Cons - Audio routing can vary in annoyance depending on the sampler and take A LOT of time to set up if you want to split mic positions. Also, you're limited to the outputs in the sampler and how many patches you can load, can get confusing quite easily when you're trying to pinpoint something.

Sometimes you only want to use one or two patches loaded inside a Sampler, so you can't really disabled the entire sampler or freeze the independent patches loaded inside of it when using MIDI tracks to control patches. Always found this a little grating.


Personally prefer split templates (using individual instrument tracks per patch), much more control over every area from writing, mixing to mastering. Workflow wise they're slightly quicker in some respects, granted you need to spend more time building them. I've jumped between a number of different methods for a while and always end up coming back to split templates, purely because they let you do everything but mainly... the workflow is better overall IMO.

Keyswitch templates using 1 patch per instrument track are really good for sketching something out quickly. But It's also good to have some KS patches in your split template anyway, for when you need to create interesting lines for an instrument.
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Inspiration is for amateurs
Hybrid approach for me. I use an articulation manager on one track with multiple articulations for an instrument. But I've also saved individual articulations to track templates. So I do the basic line using the articulation manager, but if I need something extra, I can load up a separate track with a specific articulation in an instant. That keeps the template clean and simple.


Active Member
I'm sitting here installing Berlin Woodwinds Revive.
I have been using articulations maps for many years and just lately I have been aware about the problems with track delays. So many comments about this problem suggest to combine a pr. track/art solution with a articulation switch based. But I fear that this will leave me with the worst of both solutions. Also, how can I combine this set-up with a Kontakt set-up in my VEPro frame?

Orchestral Tools "shines" with leaving all this "boring" set-up work to their customers, claiming that there are not one solution that fits al, I suppose, and they might be right. But I must say that a selling point for companies producing libraries, is ease of set-up. And in this regard OT is behind.

When I buy a library for around 650€ I just WANT ALL the articulations in my set-up. So how is this possible in Berlin WW?
I can load all the piccolo articulations into Kontakt separate, this will give me 13 separate articulations, addressed by 13 midi channels, and with 12 instruments in the library it will take up 12 midi ports!
The other way is to combine some of the articulation in a multi. This will give you fewer slots in Kontakt, but you will have to create the set-up your self. :eek:

I have 4 or 5 woodwinds libraries and if each of these articulations will take up a midi port, I will need around 50 ports!
I also use VSL string libraries, Spitfire string libraries, LASS string libraries and so on. They have so many MORE articulations, it's simply not a viable solution to address each of their articulations with a separate track.
So if anyone have a WORKING set-up, that combines these two ways it really would be nice to have details.


Active Member
Honestly, I feel conflicted. I feel like I should be a multi-articulation in a single track guy, as that allows me to perform more of it all at once.. and I do prefer performing as much of a piece or part of a piece live all at once as possible.. but I actually don't like using key switches, and like the organization of articulation per track a lot.

So I've wound up doing the articulation per track thing and only rarely doing it differently. And now I am redoing a gigantic orchestral template because the old one was Kontakt 5.. and now I have Kontakt 6. I don't have the patience to do it all in one go, so I just do it piece by piece, make some music, then do some more when my patience recharges. Add a Kontakt instance, find the single articulation, apply the KSP script, click the wrench and fix some things, get the volume right.. rinse and repeat. I'm tired just thinking about it.


Active Member
Oh it's just one to correct a bug with one of my MIDI controllers, that sends zero modwheel values occassionally, I have it set to remove those. Nothing interesting. There are no doubt some interesting KSP scripts out there I should probably consider adding in the future.

Nick Weathers

New Member
I’m going to feature request that Steinberg add an option in the Expression Maps window to have a negative track delay for each art. On/Off and a neg value for when On is selected. That’s where it should be. Top right section.
I made this feature request as well! It would work. Until then, I’m just lassoing notes and shifting them on the grid until it sounds right.

Nick Weathers

New Member
Is there a way to have our cake and eat it too? As in sketch ideas with longs, draw in articulations with map, and finally split the midi event into separate midi tracks per articulation? Seems like the Cubase logical editor could do this. Any power users care to chime in? Then, one could mix each articulation separately at the mixing stage. Until per articulation pre delay is a reality, and should be, this would satisfy both needs. I’ll see if a midi event can be split by articulation and report back. I’ll also note that writing articulation per track out of the gate messes with the flow and timing, as I am playing in specific notes and trying to re feel the previous passage. Not good unless you quantize everything(yuck).

Nick Weathers

New Member
Lastly, use the Cubase logical editor to move all notes of a specific articulation by an exact amount. That works too. Create a preset for each articulation and library, assign it to a key command and bam you have each articulation with its own predelay. Granted, it will be off the grid, but on the grid is for robots!


Senior Member
Thread starter
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The implementation of VST expressions in Cubase doesn't allow to select specific notes by their vst articulations. I think this feature is present in Studio One though! So you have to do the selection of ex. all legatos manually!


Luke Johnson
I’m creating an Articulation System in my touch screen controller. I still use separate arts on separate tracks for some things but if the timings for arts are equal, having a contextual window showing all arts is very nice. It’s also soooo many less tracks in a template. Definitely a Hybrid approach for me now.
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