For the past few months, I have been hard at work creating a full-blown course. I'm happy to announce it to the Composing Tips community first... ...and to offer you all a 10% discount on top of the intro price, just because you are awesome. Simply use coupon code COMPOSINGTIPS10 at checkout. The course is available at https://digitalcomposing.com So? What is this course all about? Here it goes:
Learn how to build templates, blend sample libraries, write a cue and mix it
Take your productivity to the next level with over 7 hours of video content! In this course, you will learn how to build two professional templates in your DAW: one for composing and one for mixing. We will look at a vast variety of topics such as routing, articulation switching mechanisms, blending strings libraries from different vendors, and everything in between.
To illustrate the concepts, we will write a track from scratch based on the 3 acts of a film trailer structure. At the end of the course, we will also spend some time mixing it.
Why build templates?
Templates are a big subject when it comes to composing with a DAW and sample libraries. Some people absolutely hate it (although I have yet to hear a compelling reason as to why), some others swear by them. Personally, I have 3 main reasons for building templates:
Approaching the computer as a musical instrument
First and foremost, I am using a computer, a DAW, and sample libraries to write music. Not because I like to spend hours on technical problems, or importing virtual instruments, balancing them and routing them. I use these tools to write music.
When I sit in front of my computer, writing music is all that I want to be doing. Do you know the "plug and play" paradigm? I want to "sit and play". A well organized template allows me to do just that.
Boosting my productivity
As most media composers know, time is often a very scarce resource. By not having to deal with technical things, I can start writing as soon as a new project comes in. But not only! It also helps me to get new projects.
For example, I've read an ad recently by a director looking for a composer. The ad mentioned the genre that they were looking for. Instead of just sending a link to my portfolio like probably dozens of other composers, I took two hours to sit at my workstation and I wrote a custom 2 minutes cue to add with my application. I didn't have to worry about the technical aspects as everything was already handled by my template. I got a call two days later, and got the job.
Creating a palette
I don't believe in having one template for each and every situation, though. At the start of every new project, I build myself a new template (or adapt an existing one). This is why knowing how to build them fast is an asset for the working composer. By having a project-based template, I know that my orchestrations are repeatable throughout the project, be it 10 tracks for a production library album or for several film cues.
Some say that using templates smother your creativity because you are forced into a box. I don't believe in this as it is not because you've already prepared yourself a sound palette that you can't add to it as necessary. In fact, it's the exact opposite: you are able to experiment faster as your foundation is already in place. Your routings, your articulation switching mechanisms, your virtual hall, etc.
These are 3 of the situations that this course will prepare you for.