When you have to work hard and fast on a project that has its deadline, templates are a valuable tool for the composer. You know what you have to do and you simply start doing it, without searching for the correct samples, because you've selected them before. In this quick tip I'll try to explain how to create templates with PLAY, developed by East West.
Templates – are they good or are they bad? To be really honest, I seldom use templates. Even when I'm working on a deadline (I was told once or twice to make 50-60 minutes of music in one week) I prefer to sweep through my samples and VST instruments and to get the most suitable sound for the music.
Still, sometimes the instruments in PLAY are just not that good alone and they surely would need some layering. I'll explain the trick by building up a drum template.
Why Build a Drum Template?
Well, first of all – I'm a drum maniac. I want all my drum sounds to sound correct and please my ear. For example most of the drum instruments in Goliath (a virtual instrument by Quantum Leap) have great sounds, but still there is always something that is not right.
I load the “Metal Kit” because I very much like that tight kick sound and the snare sound but I don't like the hats and the cymbals. Therefore I'll use another instrument bank's cymbals and hats. Let's see how to do that.
Step 1: Load Different Instrument Banks
In order to create the ultimate drum sound, we'll have to take the best out of each instrument bank. So, after some listening and thinking, I've selected:
- Metal Kit for the kick sound
- Funk Kit 1 for the snare sound
- Jazz Kit (sticks) for the hats
- Stage Kit for the toms
- Studio Kit for the cymbals
Step 2: Optimize the Memory
This step is very important, because is:
- removes the unwanted samples and therefore speeds up our machine, and
- allows us to combine everything in one MIDI channel.
How do we remove the samples? It's very easy. In the bottom right corner of the PLAY Player interface (just above the keyboard) you'll see the articulations panel. I typed “Player” interface, because as you probably know PLAY has two main interfaces – Player and Browser. In the Player window we can alter the sounds, add effects and etc.
So we've found the articulations panel. Now each unnecessary sample should be removed. This means that we must deactivate snare, hats, toms and cymbals from the Metal Kit, then we must deactivate kick, hats, toms and cymbals from the Funk Kit and so on.
You should press both buttons – Activated and Loaded – to properly deactivate it and to unload it from your system's memory.
Step 3: Assign MIDI Channels and Outputs
This is the most important part. First of all, we'll need to use all of the above samples on a single MIDI track for our own convenience. And secondly, we must send each sample to its own FX channel. How to do that?
In the browser panel you'll see all five kits together in the top left corner. You'll see three buttons bellow them → MIDI Ch., Outputs and Delete.
Assign each sample to MIDI Channel 1. This means that when you play MIDI channel 1, it will combine all five samples together.
As for outputs, set a unique output for each sample. In our case – Metal Kit should be 1/2, Funk Kit – 3/4, Jazz Kit – 5/6, Stage Kit – 7/8, Studio Kit – 9/10. This will send each sample to its own mixer FX track.
Now just one clarification – to properly use the multiple outputs, you should have set that in your browser. For example in FL Studio you should enable multiple outputs and set the instrument settings. In Samplitude you'll have to load the VST with the Multi-Channel setting.
Step 4: SAVE, SAVE, SAVE
Now we have our ultimate drum kit and we will like to save it. This can be done very easily – click on the huge button, labeled “Main menu”, after that click “Save As” and then use a unique name for the template!
The default name would be the name of the first loaded instrument (in our case – Metal Kit). Don't overwrite the instrument packs, because you'll surely need to use them again.
Well, that's it for now. In the next tutorials I'll explain how to create unique instrument sets by using templates and combining different samples.