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I'm thinking specifically for pro tools but feel free to chime in if you use another DAW.

I'm curious to see how many and what kinds of templates you all have set up for day to day work. Any info or comments you have along these lines are welcome. I find track organization to be crucial for efficiency and resources.

I'm using:

  • Surround mix template: DX, FX, BG, MX all in one template to take to the mix stage.
  • Stereo mix template
  • Backgrounds template: Groups of mono, stereo, and quad tracks for building up backgrounds (with guide track for reference).
  • FX: Groups of FX tracks for editing.
  • ADR record template
  • Foley record session template
  • Sound design: This is my sandbox template with VIs and plugins to try weird and wonderful things before moving them over to another session.

These templates are set up with EQs in the places I need them, reverb sends, etc...

As a side note, I've been using memory locations as shortcuts too. Here are a few that my templates are usually set up with:

.1. = all tracks micro

.2. .3. .4. .5. = group X small, others micro (so I can focus on editing for a group of tracks)

.6. = all tracks small

.7. .8. .9. = various edit/mix groups enabled

.10. = full session zoom

.11. = default window configuration

.33. = scopes and meters window configuration.

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@glenn, I'm impressed! Thoughtful, productive templates and workflow. By the looks of things, I assume you are focused mostly on film work? –  Jay Jennings Aug 6 '11 at 19:30

4 Answers 4

Hi Glenn,

Something that I have found extremely useful in my FX template is to have window configurations for all my most-used audiosuite plugins. Also, and this is mainly because I only have two computer monitors (with one playing the quicktime) I'll have configs that open up program-specific folders or catalogs, resizing my quicktime temporarily as they use the second screen as a browser window. I usually import these window configs in to every new project now because it makes printing audiosuite's so fast.

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That's a fantastic idea. I'll definitely look into that for things like reverse, signal generator, and iZotope RX. –  glenn eanes May 18 '10 at 23:04
    
I'll try this for sure in my next project. always wrestling with the quicktime movie and workspace windows and some plugins for screen area (i'm with only two monitor). Thanks –  Davide Favargiotti May 18 '10 at 23:31

I have (mainly) two ProTools templates.

one is for dialogue editing: work tracks (where i do edits and import files), production tracks, adr tracks, pd fx and special fx tracks and tracks for junk and bits that I don't want to see and listen but I may need during the mix. I also set up some memory locations for zooming tracks, see only some of them, etc.

the other is for sound sfx design. lots of plugins, routing to/from kyma, tracks ready for recording the sound fx after processing, etc.

I have some other small session that have memory location that I can import, or tracks already named that i can import and duplicate.

I have some I/O setups that I re-use a lot

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Interesting topic Glenn. Templating is how my world goes around and stays organized. Most of my templates are for internal usage when doing in-house work, however I have been also keeping on hand templates supplied by specific studios I work with so that when I do a show for them, I use their preferred template. So I guess in that regard, I do use templates yet its a very fluid case-by-case scenario. Color coding and track naming tend to be the chief usage of templates for me and staying organized. Over time, it helps me work quickly when I always know my printmaster track is baby blue, stems are yellow, submasters are lime green, FX LFE/Boom is hotrod red, etc. And I like to color tracks based on the visual association I have to the track name (e.g. air/wind = pale blue, insects = green, traffic = brown, crowd/walla = orange, etc). In all my templates I prefer to set the Region colors to match the Track colors so that its extremely easy to follow the layout, especially in intricate edit sessions. All naming of tracks intended for the final mix are spelled in caps (e.g. DESIGN 1), whereas I use all lowercase for work/temp tracks not intended to go to the final mix (e.g. work 1, junk 1, etc). That way, if I dig back into a show that has come back after, say 4 years, the session isn't alien to me.

And for complex edits consisting of more than 3-5 sound elements, I like to make my edits on a series of work tracks, comp the edits appropriately to 'splits' as needed, and then drag them up to the main FX tracks. the worktracks will always live in my master edit session. However, when the session is prepped for the stage, the stage version has all the work tracks blown out. It keeps the session tidy, clean, and sexy to look at - and it's less of an edit-density-eyesore for the mixer. A mixer is not going to want to look forward to a flamethrower that's 30 tracks wide. So, I'll comp it down to 6 tracks so that they have my intention, yet still have control over the mix and don't have to dread an obscene amount of edits (most of which would not need to be individually tweaked anyway, so giving all 30 tracks would be a moot point). Another example is comp'ing a car engine/driving sequence separate from the skids separate from the tire grit separate from the suspension hits/sweeteners. Give the stage options but don't flood them with spam. In the end it doesn't matter how many sound edits were needed or how it had to be comp'd... just as long as the correct sound is achieved. I only recently was turned on to this method of sound editorial, however I am quickly warming up to it.

I have separate editorial templates for BGz, FX, MX, and DX/ADR - usually prepared with what I feel is the max amount of tracks needed for a dense show (e.g. 96 Hard FX tracks for an action show) - from there I can trim down on a show-by-show basis, especially on walk-n-talks where 32-48 Hard FX tracks are usually sufficient. My opinion is that's always easier to remove what's not needed from the template standard on a case by case basis rather than trying to add to and distort the organization and layout of the session. Additionally I have mix templates with pre-bussed submasters and stem/printmaster print tracks ready to go. And then beyond that are specific editorial templates provided by particular studios as to what they want for a layout.

Templates are funny in this way. They're so rigidly vital, in my opinion, yet so malleable because of each shows differing needs.

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I use 2 templates. I have 2 PT sessions with tone setup for PAL, NTSC and HD. Easy to drop tone into a mix session and not have to worry about any levels, routing or generating tone all the time.

The other template I have is for the large mix sessions for animation. With the sheer amount of tracks and plugins needs, not to mention all the signal routing it'd take far too long to set it up. It's evolved over the years as I've changed how I mix and got better, but the basics are the same.

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