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Orchestral templates

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Writing orchestral music can be a massive pain in the ass from an infrastructure point of view, so I figure we could talk shop. This is an open-ended thread; any questions, comments, or tips about setting up an effective orchestral template are great. I'm curious how other people go about this.

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Well, a long time ago I posted a free template I created when I was doing orchestral mixes with free sounds/samples. It's yonder if you're curious. Wow, can't believe I first posted that over 5 years ago now.

My current template is a bit more organized, with 4 instances of EWQLSO grouped by sections on the mixer: Strings, Brass, Woodwinds, Percussion. I've saved each of the 4 groups of multi's in EWQLSO for quick loading on other projects or in case I accidentally delete something. For example, the Strings Multi has 4 legato patches and 4 staccato patches for violins, violas, cellos, & basses.

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I keep a standard template for orchestral pieces, and remove tracks I don't need once the basic composition is done. My standard template uses 5 16 out instances of kontakt:

1 Percussion (4 frequently used patches loaded, 4 empty slots)

2 Strings (fully loaded)

3 Brass (3 albion brass patches loaded 5 empty slots)

4 Woodwinds/Piano (Albion woodwinds hi/lo plus a piano, 5 empty slots)

5 Synth (8 empty slots)

In this template, all empty slots already have their midi tracks and outputs enabled and routed. This makes it fast and easy to add new sounds with minimal hassle. I also have all tracks going prefader to a reverb bus so I can get a basic feel as I am writing.

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I've been tweaking my template for awhile now, it's pretty good though I still need to balance the volume for everything. Certain libraries seem to be louder than others.

Reaper has very flexible track routing. It's a snap to route MIDI from one track to multiple other tracks. I'm thinking this might be useful to set up impromptu sections for unison playing. Then you have the choice of triggering instruments separately, or play one of the group tracks. IDK, maybe it's just a novelty idea with little value.

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I have a template for MSO, it's the essential instruments and some more. I load different articulations in the same kontakt and use midi channels 1-5-9-13 (ease of visibility in FL).

Works for MSO because I can put the separate articulations in, otherwise I like to use keyswitches.

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