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Logic Users: Do you use templates for starting projects?
Old 25th September 2012
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Logic Users: Do you use templates for starting projects?

I've been thinking of creating some templates so that when I have an idea I can just open up logic to a pre-made template and i'll already have eq'd drums and synths ready to go and record my ideas. Then after the ideas are out I figure i can arrange and switch the drums/synths as i please.

Does anyone here do this?What does your layout for the template look like? Any other tips that would make my workflow quicker so that I'm more productive?

Thanks much

MB
Old 25th September 2012
  #2
Gear Nut
 
quiztones's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
It's not a bad idea, especially if you find yourself doing the same routing every time you start a session. You can save time with a template, and also avoid interrupting your creative flow when you just want to get going quickly.

It's all preference though. Your production template would probably differ from your mixing or recording template, etc.

Sometimes I like having virtual instruments set up and ready to go as well as aux groups so I can process things quickly as a group (e.g. drums, synths, guitars).
Old 25th September 2012
  #3
msl
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msl's Avatar
Of course, templates are a must to save time.

Mine consists of all my midi and audio channels preconfigured, so I can just hit record and track any of my hardware. I also have 10 busses set up with my favourite effects, the ones I use all the time, I just leave them deactivated till I need them. I also have a channel set up with a kick drum on every 4/4 just for side chaining. I also have channels set up for rewire, Reason and Ableton, and I have a mic channel set up and ready to go also.



.
Old 25th September 2012
  #4
Deleted User
Guest
nope... would be a time saver if I was doing some band or live sessions.. but I am just tracking and don't have more than 3 projects going on at once .. i label as I go

r
Old 25th September 2012
  #5
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
yep, autoload.lso has all my midi instruments named, connected to the midi interface by port and channel #, and available at once, etc.. just a blank template not geared toward any particular style.. couldn't get by without it.
Old 26th September 2012
  #6
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Mefistophelees's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I use a template but it's fairly basic. 16 audio channels hooked to the mixer, 2 free and 8 MIDI channels.

I also have it set for 88.2 KHz audio rate and I've disabled MIDI chase (which was driving me nuts).

It's really just a way of setting Logic up with the defaults I use.
Old 26th September 2012
  #7
Old 26th September 2012
  #8
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djshire's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Using templates is kind of against my music creation policy.
Old 26th September 2012
  #9
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The Beatsmith's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Yeah - although i thought it would be really cool to put a load of bypassed plugins on channels and also on the master, but they add latency even when bypassed, so be aware of that. I have to get rid of them.

It's simple/easy for me because i don't have too many options (i don't really use VIs other than sample based stuff like kontakt/battery/maschine/bfd), i have three hardware synths, then just 'real' instruments. So having an autoload template for production isn't really going to box me in.

No 'sounds' are loaded into any of those samplers either, just the plugins themselves.

It allows me to get ideas down quicker.

Cheers
Old 26th September 2012
  #10
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
ive got one that I made with a few groove templates ready so I can put my nice swing in & I also wired up the arpegiator in the environment so I dont have to piss about with it for ages if i wanna use it
Old 26th September 2012
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I almost always use sampled drums so I have a bunch of templates with different types of 'kits' ready to go so I don't have to spend time setting up the routing and stuff. Plus like a few others have said I have defaults for my various inputs and midi gear. I start out basically with everything so I can just start using something if the mood hits and after the project starts taking shape I start removing stuff. I have some very generic ones as well that just set up routing to the patch bays and stuff. Most of what I have setup is so when I have an idea I can basically just hit record.
Old 26th September 2012
  #12
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Thanks for the replies, it's much appreciated
Old 26th September 2012
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
Amber_tron's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I used to start everything with templates, it often resulted in my projects sounding very alike. This isn't because I was using the same sounds, just a similar order. I found by adding as I go, I was more likely to get something pleasing.
Old 26th September 2012
  #14
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mike vee's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I use cubase, but, ABSOLUTELY!!!

It would take me an hour to setup each time with all of my external instruments, buses, FX tracks setup with multiple reverbs and delays, external gear delay compensation, midi tracks, VST synth editors, etc.

My start-up template has to be LEGIT as hell, which it is.
Old 26th September 2012
  #15
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
No, but I should LOL

I always start with an empty project cuz I figure it will inspire more creativity, but TBH after using Logic Pro 9 for so long I've found that I use a lot of the same softies and plugs in the same configs on the busses, but I keep trying to experiment with different stuff cuz I've been in a SERIOUS creative rut for quite some time now...
Old 26th September 2012
  #16
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Yes! Anything to make the musical creative phase as simple and easy as possible. Nothing worse than being inspired and having to set up the basics before you can do much.
Old 26th September 2012
  #17
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🎧 10 years
Just an audio and midi track for each piece of hardware, an 8 in/out for Maschine, and reverb and delay bus.
Old 26th September 2012
  #18
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
as discussed in some posts above...
templates don't mean you have all your usual instruments up, it means you set up a starting point where you can start making music straight away.

i have a template in logic set up so my outboard fx units are already set up as FX sends, i have 10 audio channels ready to go, i've got my sample rate set as 24/16, i've got a some instrument channels ready to go (but empty), i've got 4 channels coming in from rewire if i want to fire up Reason, i've got 8 x fx sends ready to go on each channel strip etc.

you wouldn't want to get in your car to go the supermarket and first have to put the wheels on?!
Old 26th September 2012
  #19
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The Beatsmith's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by razorblade ➑️
Just an audio and midi track for each piece of hardware, an 8 in/out for Maschine, and reverb and delay bus.
Yeah, that's kind of what I was trying to say, just not very succinctly!
Old 27th September 2012
  #20
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charlieclouser's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
If you're one of those folks who use any external MIDI devices, complex fx and subgroup routings, or complain about the hassle of re-ordering tracks in the Arrange or Mixer views, then using templates is a must.

My templates have the following:

- 24 stem submasters (Aux objects whose inputs are busses) that have mastering compressors already configured and sends from these submasters to feed final mix busses.

- 12 FX Auxes which are fed from FX sends on individual channels and which then feed into the stem submasters.

- 256 Instrument objects with compressors and eqs already up and set to default presets, as well as FX sends already feeding the correct set of reverb and delays.

- 64 Audio tracks, also with compressor and eq waiting and also feeding the correct set of reverb and delays.

- Aux objects to bring in ReWire feeds and route them directly to the final stereo pair (NOT going through stem submasters) so that I can easily bounce ReWire audio without needing to bypass the mastering compressors on the stem submasters.

- MIDI objects that are pre-configured to send MIDI to various synths and slave machines.

I started using Logic before "automatic management of channel strip objects" was available, back when you HAD TO go into the Environment and set up all of the Audio and MIDI objects you needed for a song. This got me into the habit of creating all of this stuff ahead of time and then saving it as a template (before the "Templates" feature was available, you'd just save it as an empty song and then load that up and do a "Save As" when starting a new song). From experience, I know I'll need all of those stem submasters and FX auxes, as well as 16 objects for drums, 16 for synths, 16 for strings, etc. - so I have all that stuff laid out in advance in a nice, neat, easy to look at Environment window. I keep the Envrionment window up on a second monitor, so I never need to use the Mixer view at the bottom of the Arrange - in fact I have never used that view, not even once.

In my templates, the objects in the Environment are all laid out in blocks of 16 with gaps between each block, and the objects are all named things like 01-Drums to 16-Drums and then 17-Synth to 32-Synth, etc. so it's easy to see where you are and what's going on. I put everything into two rows, Instruments in the top row and Audio tracks in the bottom row, and the stem submasters are all the way to the left of the Environment in the top row, with the FX Auxes underneath them. If you click the little link icon at the top of the Environment, whenever you select a track in the Arrange the Environment will scroll and highlight the object which that track is assigned to automatically - so no need to manually scroll around my huge Environment looking for an object. This isn't that hard anyway, as each object is named, color coded, and has helpful icons assigned in advance.

I also lay out empty tracks in the Arrange window, with "Empty Objects" between each brick of 16 so that it's easy to see what's going on. Then I hide all but the first four in each brick so that I'm not always looking at 16 tracks in each brick. I always put certain instruments in the same slot so that I'm not scrolling up and down looking for "where did I put that synth bass" - I know it's going to be on 17-Synth or whatever.

Most of the time I'll put up empty EXS24 samplers in all 256 slots and then save that as a blank template, and then when I start a scoring project I'll start with that template, spend some time selecting all the instruments I'll need for the whole score and putting them into those empty EXS slots and selecting compression and eq for the sounds (actually I use channel strip presets a lot of the time for this, so recalling an EXS sampler brings the appropriate eq and compressor with it). Then I save THIS as a template for the project at hand so that when I'm doing 60 pieces of music for one project I can start with a template that has all of the sounds (with their eq and compression) as well as all of the send-based reverb and delays, all the complex 512-into-24-into-5.1-into-stereo routings, and everything all configured. This means that when I switch between Logic songs the EXS samplers don't need to unload and reload each time - Logic has an EXS feature called "keep common samples in memory when switching songs" that will save the unload-reload time if two songs have the same EXS instruments loaded into the same slots.

If you're just starting with a truly empty song and then letting Logic automatically create channel strip objects for you one at a time as you create tracks then you are wasting a HUGE amount of time and effort... and probably creating a hard-to-navigate mess as the tracks are ordered according to what order they were created. If you start with a shedload of tracks already laid out, named, and configured then you can record into them in whatever order you wish without having that order dictate the visual layout - and of course you don't need to use them all, just hide the ones that are empty if you don't like looking at 256 empty tracks.

I have templates for various configurations of scoring projects as well as electro and rock songs with various Instrument and Audio track layouts, and pre-configured stem submasters and FX Auxes for each type of project, as well as other "utility" templates for when I'm just editing EXS instruments, converting Kontakt instruments, mastering stereo mixes, etc. HUGE saving of time and effort, and I'm never scrolling up and down the Arrange looking for "where did I put that high percussion track?". I never need to "Create MIDI Object" and assign ports, and I also never need to open the Mixer view and scroll back and forth looking for something as my Environment is clear and easy to understand.

I like being able to boot up, hit "New", choose a Template, and get right to work in an incredibly complex setup with 256 EXS samplers ready to go - mix levels, eq and compression, reverbs, delays, and mastering compressors all good to go so that when I record the first kick drum note it peaks at -.1db and hits the mastering compressor just right. Flip to track 97 and my slow-attack-strings are there, already eq'd, routed to the "Strings Stem" submaster and hitting the reverbs just right. Between Templates and using keycommands to flip to next/previous plugin/EXS/channelstrip setting, it's ridiculous how fast you can get in Logic if you do a little pre-production preparation...

You can take it as far as you want it - use Templates to just pre-configure your MIDI objects and stem routings, or go all the way with setting up a whole empty song with all of your sounds in place and ready to go... Templates are not necessarily just for having a rack of stock sounds waiting - although they are great for this if you like to work that way.

I put up some screenshots to illustrate what an "empty" song looks like for me - in the first one you can see my Arrange window with four empty Audio tracks at the top (if I want more I select the last one and then use my keycommand for "new track with next instrument" and then an "Audio-05" will appear underneath Audio-04), and you can see the first 100 or so Instrument tracks, broken up into groups of 16 by type of sound, with the "No Output" tracks functioning as breaks to clean up the visual clutter. You can also see that I've assigned icons to indicate what type of sounds go in each group, and the objects are also color coded to indicate which stem submaster they are routed to.

In the Environment view you can see that the top row has (from left to right):

- Stereo 1+2 object (hit the "Bnce" button to quickly bounce a stereo mix).

- Master fader (adjusting this will trim the output levels of ALL of the outputs, stem outs AND mix outs).

- 5.1 Surround final mix submasters (L+R front, L+R rear, mono Center, and mono LFE). These are Aux objects whose inputs are busses, and are grouped so adjusting one fader adjusts them all, and are fed from SENDS on the next bunch of objects.

- 5.1 Surround stem submasters for three stems - drums, keys, and orch. These are also grouped in the same manner as above. Individual Instruments and Audio tracks are ALWAYS routed to the busses that feed these Auxes (never directly to the final 5.1 objects above), and the sends in the top send slot route these to the busses that feed the final 5.1 master objects to the left. I use sends because these stem submasters ALSO feed hardware outputs.

With this configuration, when a sequence plays, each set of the stem submasters feeds audio directly out of a set of hardware outputs, and the final mix (which is just a straight summing of the stem submasters by way of those sends at the top of the stem submasters) feeds its own set of hardware outputs. The final 5.1 mix goes out of outputs 1-6, the drums out of 7-12, the keys out of 13-18, and the orch out of 19-24. So in one pass I can print 24 tracks over to ProTools running on a second machine as one 5.1 Mix, and three 5.1 stems. You can see that I've got MasterX5 on the front stereo pair of each stem - that gives me the squash and insures that each stem will be limited to -6db so that when they all combine at the final 5.1 submasters nothing is clipping. This works like a charm.

To the right of all these stem submasters you can see the first few Instrument tracks, whose outputs are assigned to the appropriate bus (drums L/R in this case) and which have eq and compression already in place, and FX sends already feeding the appropriate FX busses.

In the bottom row, from left to right:

- Auxes to bring in the feeds from ReWire programs. These route directly to the Stereo outs 1+2 for quick bouncing.

- Click object.

- Pre-configured MIDI objects to drive the few hardware synths still in use.

- Auxes for reverb and delay. There are three sets, one set for each stem, located directly underneath the stem in question. There are three sets so that a drum sound would get sent to the reverb and delay which then feed into the drum stem submaster, whereas the strings would go into the ones that then feed into the orch stem submaster - otherwise the reverb from the strings would appear in the drum stem submaster and we wouldn't want that. You can see Space Designer and a Delay Designer for the front speakers, and another one of each for the rear speakers - times three representing the three stems. So each stem (drums, keys, orch) has its own set of front and rear reverb and delay. These are also grouped so that they fade together.

- To the right of the FX Auxes you can see the first few of the 64 empty Audio tracks I have pre-configured. Oops, these should NOT be assigned to "Stereo Out" - they are supposed to feed the individual stem submaster busses.

(oops. I noticed that the names for the FX Aux objects got borked somehow. They should read "DrumVerb-front, DrumDelay-front, DrumVerb-rear, DrumDelay-rear, KeysVerb-front, etc.)

I have gone into the "I/O Labels" window and renamed all of my busses and outputs - that is why the labels on the i-o of the various Auxes shows things like "ORCH-surr". I use the first 32 busses as the stem submaster busses and the next 12 as the feeds to the FX Auxes.

Imagine setting all this junk up each time I wanted to get started?!?!?! Insanity! I set up this template 10 years ago when I was on a G4 and it's remained virtually unchanged all these years.
Attached Thumbnails
Logic Users: Do you use templates for starting projects?-logic-arrange-screenshot.jpg   Logic Users: Do you use templates for starting projects?-logic-environment-screenshot.jpg  
Old 30th September 2012
  #21
Gear Addict
 
Little David's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I have a very basic template, with bypassed instances of Pro-Q on every audio and instrument, as well as the busses and master track. I don't do routing or have pre-loaded instruments though, because it would create as much to undo as it would save me from doing. Having saved eq presets etc. Helps save time without pushing me in any particular direction.
Old 30th September 2012
  #22
Nig
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
I'm usually shocked when I call to people and they don't use templates, I just find it such a time saver. I usually insist on setting them up one too

I have my go to instruments ready as well as some I like but mightn't use and also a few empty instruments tracks. External midi instruments ready too. Any multi out instruments (ie Geist) is setup with the pads assigned to the aux channels. Few buses setup and groove templates preloaded also. A 4/4 kick in there too for quick side chaining. Browser on the side with my samples folder open ready to go. Oh, and screen shots setup too.
Old 1st October 2012
  #23
Moderator
 
Reptil's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
nice post CharlieClouser thanks!
Old 1st October 2012
  #24
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Indeed ! Thanks a lot charlieclouser for your time.

Really interesting.

PS. Would it be too much asking if, by any chance, you could share this template ? I would be happy to look closer at your environment settings...
Thanks in advance.
Old 1st October 2012
  #25
Lives for gear
 
the donal's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Yep. Using Reaper but as I'm using mainly hardware synth's, I have a template with all the audio ins set up, a few midi routings and a reverb.

The less you have to do when setting up a project the better.
Old 1st October 2012
  #26
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lain2097's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Yes but not 'musical ideas'. My template is basically to get off and ready to start recording tracks, MIDI or Audio. Since I use Logic my template only has my MIDI 'environment' instruments, audio bit rate and depth (96k/24) and MIDI synchronisation.

One of the most annoying things about Logic is the way it forces you to go into the environment to add external midi devices. since I have a fair number of hardware midi devices this can be very much a buzzkill.
Old 2nd October 2012
  #27
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Another thanks to charlieclouser, that was very helpful. Perhaps another thread on 'Saving time in DAW's' could happen, and we could cross our fingers that Charlie has time to post some more wisdom!

I've only used a couple of the preset templates with Logic. Some of them are a good starting point for a custom template.

I intend to put Charlie's ideas to work - at a slightly smaller scale. :-)
Old 2nd October 2012
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Boschen's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
CharlieC's template is insane!
I would love to get a copy of it; not because I would ever use it the way he does, but because I think it would be useful to see how someone else is implementing this workflow. Just getting my head around his routing is dizzying.

I use templates simply to save time. I have one each for;
tracking projects
mixing songs
composing soundscapes & audio collages
composing EDM
mastering. - don't have the chain to master properly, but I have this stereo template to check out final mixes, or work with several stereo files at once.
Old 6th October 2012 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlieclouser ➑️
From experience, I know I'll need all of those stem submasters and FX auxes, as well as 16 objects for drums, 16 for synths, 16 for strings, etc. - so I have all that stuff laid out in advance in a nice, neat, easy to look at Environment window. I keep the Envrionment window up on a second monitor, so I never need to use the Mixer view at the bottom of the Arrange - in fact I have never used that view, not even once.

In my templates, the objects in the Environment are all laid out in blocks of 16 with gaps between each block, and the objects are all named things like 01-Drums to 16-Drums and then 17-Synth to 32-Synth, etc. so it's easy to see where you are and what's going on. I put everything into two rows, Instruments in the top row and Audio tracks in the bottom row, and the stem submasters are all the way to the left of the Environment in the top row, with the FX Auxes underneath them. If you click the little link icon at the top of the Environment, whenever you select a track in the Arrange the Environment will scroll and highlight the object which that track is assigned to automatically - so no need to manually scroll around my huge Environment looking for an object. This isn't that hard anyway, as each object is named, color coded, and has helpful icons assigned in advance.
Thank you Charlie for this fantastic post!
The infos you're sharing are pure gold...
I have a couple of questions for you: how do you distribute exs24 instruments between electronic/orchestral/rock elements?
So far I know (from pictures and from what you wrote) that in your template there are:
16 exs for drums
16 exs for synths
16 exs for strings long
16 exs for strings short
16 exs for strings fx
What other instruments families do you have in your template?
And I want to take the time to investigate your technique of using Channel Strips for recalling every patch but I don't understand the volume thing: you set the "right" volume fader for a channel strip and then recall it later, but I suppose when mixing then you'll probably have to move your faders again, or am I wrong?
Thank you
Old 6th October 2012
  #30
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Osc1lfo ➑️
Another thanks to charlieclouser, that was very helpful. Perhaps another thread on 'Saving time in DAW's' could happen, and we could cross our fingers that Charlie has time to post some more wisdom!

I've only used a couple of the preset templates with Logic. Some of them are a good starting point for a custom template.

I intend to put Charlie's ideas to work - at a slightly smaller scale. :-)
I'm also incorporating Charlie's ideas in my template, for me he's the real Logic guru...
:-)
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