After completing my template for VSL’s SE library (the light one), and while building a template for the big one (VI, plus other libraries), I can see how templates work in Dorico with the tools I’m using. Here are my considerations.
Loading the full VI template in VEPRO (Vienna Ensemble Pro) takes a long time. With no instruments added, creating 50+ VEPRO instances takes time. When I’ll add instruments, it will take forever. People using a fixed template, maybe on a dedicated machine, will not find it problematic. I work with variable ensembles, and on a single machine, so this is relevant for me.
When creating a new player in Dorico, the full instance is recalled in VEPRO. If I want a flute, the whole Woodwinds VEPRO instance is reloaded. I will only use a fute, but have to live with all the other instruments of the section.
I like to work with sort of a ‘snowflake’ method: make the piece grow from a cell. Develop the idea. Add instruments as needed. Calling all the players on the scene before the play begins is not in my ‘minimal’ style. I prefer to work with a small ensemble, rather than with all the actors booked.
Cubase has a Track Preset feature, and Logic a Track Settings one. These are presets of all the settings needed for a track/stave to play. In Logic, you get the names, the sounds, the effects. The equivalent of expression maps are not saved, but this has been requested.
For how I work, I would prefer something like a Track Preset than a Playback Template. It would be more modular, and be open to unconventional instrument setups. Each Track Preset could include a different sound for the same type of instrument (for example, one could have a ‘Violin Halion’ and a ‘Violin VSL’, as well as a ‘Chamber Violins’ and an ‘Orchestra Violins’).
Each instrument will carry the needed playing techniques and playback techniques with it (so, for example, the peculiar shaking of an angklung will have its techniques associated, without overlapping other types of shaking). Loading a project and the associated files would be much faster.
Are there already alternatives to do something like what I’m trying to achieve, by using the current features?