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  1. #1
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    Default Do you use production templates?



    I get a bit annoyed sometimes, that every track I make sounds a little bit different to everything else I do.

    But this sort of makes sense, because I start every project from scratch, and build all the sounds, synths, FX, processing chains up from sratch, and so the end results end up being fairly different.

    Have just made a slightly awkward, painful but exciting move to using ableton, and now have dedicated FX chains and drum kits etc all set up. Which made me ponder - do people recycle templates for tracks?

    So lets say I've got a whole track laid out, and its sounds nice. All my compressors are playing nicely together, my EQ balance is tight, the mix sounds good. Technically, I could reuse the template I've got by changing a few of the drums about, playing with the synths, making a few tweaks to EQ to get the mix right and then boom, I've got a new track out of the skeleton of an old track.

    Makes sense? Maybe I'm just being epically slow to cotton on to something that everyone else has been doing for donkeys years as a matter of course, but it to me it explains how lots of producers can be so prolific, and have a very defined sound. Am quite excited by the prospect of saving time and getting to write a little bit more, and not waste so much time building everything from scratch every time I start a project. But maybe I'm not considering some of the limitations of this approach.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Ultimate Freak
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    Default

    i usually do this with my battrey drum machine but not much else but yea i think im going to have to make that painfull aproach to abelton soon jay im so used to cubase now its hard to leave its like getting devorced after 10 years of marige or summit ? i keep putting it off will have to do it soon because ive seen a few people working wonders with that software.

  3. #3
    It is inevitable.
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    Default

    ive never even heard of one! As in your own template?
    Bás Ar An Impireacht

  4. #4
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    I have always started every track from the ground up aswell, and all mine sound totally diffrent. The reason i tell my self that I do this is because you improve with pratice, the more times I set up a compressor , EQ, synth patch or other process the better at it i fell I am getting it. To me it is all about the learning, and experimenting, that is what i enjoy most about producing.

    Having said that, a template could be much like using hardware. where you wire up your gear in a certain way, ie a specific compressor on a drum machine for example, a certain verb on a synth ect. all going to a desk in the same place for every tune.

    If I were writting for a set purpose like a label I can see that templates could be the way forward.

    Im not sure if i am thinking correctly, and maybe my production would improve with the use of templates. I have a bit of time on my hands at the moment so maybe i might give it a go. (sorta thinking out loud there).
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  5. #5
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    @jon - hehe same move mate. Am a cubase guy, slowly making baby steps towards ableton. Its frustrating and exciting in equal measures.

    Yeah - was thinking of templates in terms of how you wire up hardware - like a giant routing map with everything synched in and ready to go. Then you just have to play about with midi files, sound design and do the necessary balancing act with EQs to get things to fit together.

    Think I might go with the idea of templates for EPs - try and get a consistent sound and feel for 3 to 4 tracks, then move on and build another template.

    Need to do something to save time... driving me nuts how long its taking to finish work.

  6. #6
    Junior Freak
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    I too have always taken the ground up approach.

    The really cool thing I have found about ableton is that everyone I know has their own creative way of using it and adapting it to their style. I produce and have live sets in ableton and absolutely love it! I'm current figuring out a live tec step D&B set taking a less loop orientated approach. Learning much still.
    Techno. Drum and Bass.

  7. #7
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    i created my default template by preparing blank canvas where i have got 4midi chanels, 4 audio chanels, 2group channels, 1 channel with sidechain compressor prepared. also i have got loaded 3 reverbs (plate, room, hall), and nyc style compressor for adding loads of punch in my send chanels.

    not using templates for creating content of the track, but just bunch of send fx which i would have to load there manually. this saves time... indeed their settings can slightly change, but regarding reverbs, each one has its purpose so i know what each must do, and do not change their settings too much.
    "Computer games don't affect kids, I mean if Pac Man affected us as kids, we'd all run around in a darkened room munching pills and listening to repetitive music."
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  8. #8
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    I used to always start each track from scratch and still do but have a modified starting point which is basically 8 bus tracks - VOX / ATMOS / KICK / BASS / DRUMS / PERC / FX / SYNTH

    Then a bunch of fx on sends with some of my favourite presets eg couple of reverbs I like on synths, couple of plugs for kicks and drums, saturator and comps etc

    I load the template and start from scratch but as soon as I start to get a bit of a vibe going on I route everything to the busses and focus on how the track sounds as just 8 components

    Makes it easier for controlling stuff live as well, my brain only works in 8s, 16's and 32's anway so if I have song with 22 tracks or whatever it doesnt make sense to me

    I find I can make really complex arrangements and play around with subtle differences on each individual track but still easy for me to understand what fits in where tonally

    All on Ableton
    Last edited by morbid; 28-05-2010 at 11:27 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by morbid View Post
    ...as I start to get a bit of a vibe going on I route everything to the busses and focus on how the track sounds as just 8 components
    +1

    this is good when track is finished and you must cut the parts into 8channells tracks live pa set. much easier when you have your track sorted since begining and you keep similar structures from track to track...
    "Computer games don't affect kids, I mean if Pac Man affected us as kids, we'd all run around in a darkened room munching pills and listening to repetitive music."
    -Kristian Wilson, Nintendo Inc

  10. #10
    The Demon Beast
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    I say nay to templates.
    That's how people get stuck in a sound.
    Like a canvas being used repeatedly with the same background.
    Wetworks
    Compound, Punish Blue, Mastertraxx

  11. #11
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    Hmmmm. I get what you mean, and definitely need to avoid cookie cutter production. But the way I'm envisaging it, is like having a stable hardware studio. You have your favourite synths, your mixing desk with EQs, your favourite reverbs, compressors etc all wired up on the busses. That way when you start messing about you are using your studio as a tool as the template for your sound. Your machines, and the way you route them help define your sound and speed up your workflow.

    The way I'm working at the moment is equivalent to building a new studio for scratch every time I start a project. Choosing all the gear, setting it up, plugging it in, then burning it to the ground at the end of each track and starting afresh. Which is nice I guess, but its a lot of wasted time, and it means that every track sounds different, through use of different plugins, different routing and sometimes different DAWs for each project.

 

 

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