For a while now, I've kind of struggled with the idea of DAW templates.

I understand the draw of it; the ability to load everything at once and then pick an instrumental color on the fly as you're working.

But, I hate clutter. And, I don't always want to wait for huge templates to load when inspiration (or a deadline) hits.

So what are the other options?

What I've usually done to date, is start with a blank slate, and I then add my instruments as needed.

Obviously this type of workflow requires at least some semblance of foresight or musical need, as you are sort of making-it-up-as-you-go. The advantage to this approach is that you have your basic set of instrumental colors established and in place for subsequent cues/songs/etc for a given project. This can help keep within a nice set of aural boundaries when working on a linear project that could otherwise sway towards disparate elements, even if accidentally.

So here's an idea using Logic X User Patches.

This is an approach to creating a template in Logic X that can be as complex or simplistic as you need/desire. I'm sure I am not the first to think of this or to implement this type of system, but in the event anyone reading this has struggled with the concepts or process of "templating"...

I hope this helps.

First, select a new instrument. Check the multi-timbral box as to use one instance of Kontakt to load up to  16 patches.

As above, make sure to select Multi-timbral - 1 part and 1 track.

Next, instantiate an instance of the Multi Output Kontakt plugin.

After adding Kontakt, look in the mixer. You should now have a little "+" button on your newly creating multi-timbral instrument track.

As seen with additional plus-iness.

Click the "+" button on the mixer channel strip shown above and create 15 Aux channels. Then, select all of those tracks you've just created and right click, then select Create Track.

You should now have a track available for each of the 16 Kontakt patch slots like below:

Here, you can see the tracks we've created for the 16 Kontakt patches we will now add.

Alright, now add the Kontakt patches you want in this particular instrument. In this example, I'm creating this Kontakt instance as my default Albion 1 Synth Pads.

Here you can see the 16 patches I've loaded for this particular Kontakt instance.

In order to send the audio from each Kontakt patch to the appropriate Logic channel, on each Kontakt patch, select subsequent output pairs as below.

Notice how each patch is routed to sequential stereo pairs.

Next, in the Output menu of Kontakt, select the first option to "Clear output selection and create one individual channel..." (you can go back and select the second option afterward if you want the output names to match the patch names).

Changing Kontakt patch outputs.

Alright, now name your tracks in the Logic arrange window if you'd like. After naming, I like to create a Summing Track Stack and name it accordingly (in this case - Albion 1 Pads).

Tracks in Logic named and Track Stacked.

So that's the hard part.

Now for the more rewarding part of this.

You can now select your Track Stack and open the library drawer in Logic. Click the Save... button in the bottom right corner and name it accordingly (in this case - Albion 1 Pads - again. See a pattern here?).

Saving this Kontakt instance as a user patch in Logic X.

Now, anytime I want to bring in my Albion 1 Pads into a Logic project, I can just select this User Patch within the Logic X library.

To do this, you just create a new software instrument (it doesn't need to be multi-timbral) in Logic X, and then select your user patch in the library pane.

You sexy beast. Step 10 - profit?

As you can see with this approach, it takes a bit to set up up front. But, once you've created all of your user patches for all the most commonly used aspects of what would be your larger overall template, you can pick and choose them as needed. Thus, the modular aspect of this whole thing.

These steps I've illustrated are just the basics, but the sky is limit, as while you are creating your user patches, you can route various sends and instantiate whatever plugins you'd like on each instrument aux channel (or the summing stack as a whole). You can also purge your Kontakt patches if you wish to create an even more speedy recall when loading user patches.

These methods can also be used with Vienna Ensemble, etc. for other instrument families, or I even have one for a blank instance of Kontakt, just because it's faster to load this way than selecting from the plugin list.

The settings will all be remembered when saving and recalling the user patch in Logic X.

I know, right!? Awesome.

Anyone else got any interesting alternative template methods?