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  • Templates & Composing Approaches

    Hello everyone,

    I just wanted to get a quick survey of how each of you approaches your composing.

    I am running Opus on only one Giga machine, thus I am restricted on the number of instruments I can have at my disposal at any one time. I have tried creating different templates but none seem to suit my composing needs. So I've decided to reevaluate my approach - It's safe to say that I don't really know what I want to write, or what instruments I want to use, until I sit down and start playing with them. I usually just have a general idea and a melody, than I start playing with different instruments, textures, etc. until I find something that works. Given the above restrictions on instrument loads, this is a bit of a problem.

    So, what's your approach? Do you have templates? Is there something I could do to eleviate this conundrum? Any input would be most appreciated.


  • Hello,

    I am currently running my VSL instruments off of one Giga Computer like you are. I have had the VSL since the First Edition came out and I have never used templates nor wanted to. Depending on time as well as the nature of the project, I will either score the music as a sketch on manuscript and/or score it in to the computer as a piano score. This “midi sketch” is the nuts and bolts of what comes next.

    After I have my midi sketch in the computer I begin orchestrating. This is where I play around with the orchestra, sometimes what I had thought would work does, while other times I have to re-evaluate the instrumentation; for a variety of reasons. This method has been the only way for me to streamline my work because I don’t have enough computers to keep the VSL all afloat all at once – (and I’m not sure I want more computers.) Also, I don’t know how a person could create a template on one computer that gave you the kind of immediacy one would want in having a template.

    For instance, the other day I spent more time in the brass folder then I had in months. It just so happened that what I have been working on involved a smaller sound, woodwinds, strings, some brass; mainly horns – not the upbeats and dynamics of a full brass section. For this reason, if what a person is doing is varied, I don’t know how a template scenario can be helpful. That said if any one knows, they are bumping around this forum.

    All the best.


  • Thank you very much for your insight Jordan.

    I tend to agree with your assessment re templates - they haven't been working well for me at all. I recently upgraded my keyboard to a Kurzweil PC1x which comes with an orchestral rom. I think I'll do all my sketches using these patches and then switch the sounds in later from VSL.

    Hope that works better.



  • I am a big fan of templates. For me, I want my orchestra right in front of me 'sitting on their chairs' waiting for me to write them a part. [:)] I don't want to 'wait' until they come back into the studio from their 'break' (I think you know where I am going with this.)

    I have a Main Daw and four slaves BUT still wonder how I will set up the new VI's to have all instruments - online - all the time.

    Anyone done some serious pre-planning on this issue - be interested to hear your approach.


  • I have done some planning, and I think that it will work out with the gradual release of SC. I have 3 GS slaves to run VSL ATM; Strings, Wind/Brass and Brass/Percussion. I am going to load the Strings only, even when the rest of the packages arrive in order to check RAM use and the like. Assuming that everything works as expected I am going to upgrade the other 2 machines from 2Gb to either 3 or 4Gb RAM and then take it from there. Finally I may well upgrade the Strings PC RAM, if I need to. If I find I need more PCs then I have about 3 extras around the house somewhere that I can press into service via FX-Teleport, as I am not intending to buy another PC until Vista is well and truly established. When this happens I may transfer my current DAW into a slave and use the new PC for the DAW.

    Of course the arrival of MIR could seriously skew things, but I have plans for that as well.

    Are you sorry that you asked now?

    Gawd, I really should get a life [:O]ops:


  • I do much the same as Jordan. Initial sketches (melodies, chord progressions) on a grand piano, then I use Cubase with a sound module which allows me to move quickly and generate the orchestral sketches. Once I'm happy I upload to Sibelius and then use VSL libraries to produce a polished version for performers and to listen to.

    Templates. Well I tend to use a fixed orchestra 2-2-2 3-2-2 Perc, Timp Strings and Pizz DB, so I have a Gigastudio templates set up for it. I don't use templates for musical structure though.