Cubase 6 and orchestral templates

Ah! my brain has started hurting again! :wink:

I have been away from my Daw for 5 years or so (playing piano mostly) and I want to get back into music production again. I have had Cubase for 20 years or so, but never really used Cubase 5 - wonderful though it was (no sarcasm intended its a great production tool no question). I dont really know media bay well, or expression maps (though I took an in depth look 5 years ago). I am now on C6. When I last seriously worked with Cubase it was within the limitations of 32 bit. I now work in Win 7 64bit with core i7 920 and 12 gig, so RAM is not a problem.

I want to set up an orchestral template for work on a (very large) film score type piece. The piece with also contain synth stuff. What with all the changes, and me getting VERY rusty, I forget which method of operation to use to create a proper template.

I dont want to go through a lot of work and then have to change it! :confused:

Here is my current stuff:

East West P orchestra, EWChoirs
The Halion Orchestra SE trial with C6
Kontakt 5 (with the great VSL cutdown orchestra)
Vienna Strings (only)
Garritan Stradivarius, Goffrilla Cello
Omnisphere, Absynth 5, Trillian, RMX
Various single instrument VSts such as True Pianos and B4II

I can handle the mixer set up, ie. use a single quality reverb set up through prefaders, use panning also for placement of orchestral sections. I will put the instruments in various folders to cut down on screen clutter.

Cut here are the 4 issues I am struggling with:

1] Whether to use instrument tracks or not, especially with the question of using VSTs like Play which can use more than one MIDI channel (there seems no access to the channel in an instrument track).

2] A second consideration is the new expression maps (should be called articulation maps I think?). I took a look at these with early Cubase 5 found a few bugs - have they been updated? Are they useable?
On the assumption they are useable, do I set up an instance of a multi channel VST ( such as PLAY, Kontakt), load the different articulations and dedicate one instance of the mutlichannel VST to a single library instrument? Using this method involves the instrument rack which will get very, very long.

3] Note Expression As I understand it, this new tech only works with Halion Symphonic orchestra. I suppose this has little impact on the design of templates? It seems to me this is going to be very powerful, so I am wondering whether to purchase Halion Symphonic for Halion Sonic SE, but it seems this only comes in 16 bit at present, though Halion full did have 24bit samples. Opinions anyone?

4] This is a bit subjective, but I am wondering if i should just go for a single massive template with all instruments loaded from all libraries (seems to be overkill, but would you miss out by not doing this?) . Is there a way to use Media Bay to good effect - maybe set up some kind of custom preset track library that you can load>

If anyone can help with the above it would be great!


Hey, Vic are you there? :wink:

Well, it is, as you say, rather subjective (and qualitative, when you ask things like “is it o.k.?” :wink: ), but…

  1. For any serious work, you are better off using regular MIDI channels plus the VSTi rack, rather than Instrument tracks (no MIDI routing, MIDI sends, single (stereo) audio output, etc.).
  2. You need only one instance of the multitimbral VSTi… you place an appropriate Expression Map on each MIDI track… so long as the MIDI tracks are on different MIDI channels, there is no conflict. (caveat… there could be a problem if the Expression Map is set up to access articulations via MIDI channel changes… e.g. legato in slot #1 of Kontakt, and staccato in slot #2).
  3. Note Expression… yes, it is as you say as regards HALion Symphonic. But it is still early days, and I don’t think you really need to let it affect your decisions as to a basic template.
  4. Unless you are certain that all the loaded instruments are going to be the ones you want for the Project, I’d recommend having the VSTis present in your template, but empty. (As for MediaBay and Track Presets… I’m not sure whether that wouldn’t defeat the purpose of creating your template in the first place!)

I dont want to go through a lot of work and then have to change it! > > :confused:

If you have the time, I would say, on the contrary… there is no better way to learn!
Maybe build a trial… smaller… template, and try out different stuff (e.g. a template just set up for Kontakt 5… try out the possibilities of VST Expression, like I suggested above :wink: )

thanks Vic getting over some hurdles now, with the help of my personal friend TonyB of Pottering’s bar