The Fastest Way to Set Up a Recording Session to Capture that Idea
What ever tool you are utilizing for recording your projects, having a template that is ready made for the way you work is important. Stock templates are great but if they don’t have the tools you commonly use you will waste your time fiddling with the project setting it up and hope you don’t loose that musical idea. All DAWs of any significance offer a ways to setup a recording template.
The procedure is different from DAW to DAW but all have ways to allow you to set up a template that is recall-able at an instant featuring your primary tools. This will then allow you to transfer these ideas as scratch tracks to more fully develop your concept. Please note that this is not the case with GarageBand. But there is a great article on creating GarageBand templates on MacWorld which can be found here.
What I will detail here is how to make a template in Logic Pro 9. I will follow in a few days with how to create a template in Reason 6.5. And if I have time I will follow with how to create a template in Sonar X1 Producer. But essentially this is what I did to make sure that getting my ideas down quickly and effortlessly would be enabled without having to recreate the wheel each time.
Firstly, before we start, make sure that you have your audio interface plugged in. For me this comes down to using my TonePort GX. It is my quick grab audio interface for recording ideas. I utilize a TonPort KB37 and a pair of Focusrite Saffire Pro 40s in the project studio which is elsewhere. So the GX gets the ideas down for me.
To set up a template in Logic we start with an empty Project. You should know how to do that if you have fiddled around with Logic. But if not here is how.
- Open Logic
- Select File > New
- Select Explore, Compose or Produce
- Select Empty Project
Logic will load and prompt you for new tracks. In my case I will be recording a single guitar and bass using said instruments. Your primary instrument to compose on might be keyboards or some other instrument.
So I’ll select 2 audio tracks. Then I will set the Format to Mono with the input being from line input 3 and my outputs going to output 1-2. Your audio inputs and outputs will vary depending on the audio interface you are using. Click Create and this will create two audio tracks in your mixer and arrange area.
Set up the amp model you prefer to use and any effects that you commonly use. In my case I use Line 6 Pod Farm 2.5. So I load this a s a default with a Marshal JCM 800. Happens to be similar to what I play through anyway. I set all the Amp settings before hand to my usual recording tone so I won.t have to mess with it. I’ll usually add another track that I’ll track the guitar to simultaneously as a dry track with no modeling or effects.
Next add any soft synths by selecting Track>New or Option +Command +N. This will bring up the New Tracks Dialog Box again. This time select Software Instrument and make sure that the open library box is checked if your intent is to use a Soft synth that is included with Logic Pro.
In my case since I use EZDrummer as part of my tools, once the new track is created, I go to the inspector view and select the grayed out button under I/O. Igo to the bottom of the pop-up and select AU Instruments, Toontrack, EZDrummer with stereo output and set up the appropriate kit.
Now I select File from the menu, then select Save as Template Appropriately name the template. Next select File >New. Select My Templates and you will see your new template there.
The process is similar but different for each DAW. So you may need to do some digging around on the internet. Here some online video resources for you: