Why Templates? By Mikas, the founder of www.wemakedancemusic.com What are music production DAW templates? Templates are projects created in a music production software or DAW (digital audio workstation). They vary greatly depending on the creator’s technique and his/her intended purpose. With today’s ever expanding electronic music genres, the possibilities for templates are infinite. Having a complete song created by an experienced producer offers valuable insight into the production process. Templates can be easily packaged and sold. I believe that ideas should be shared and the internet is the perfect vehicle for that. Some templates are simple beats, others are complex tracks with complete arrangements. Most are completely produced songs in a specific genre, some are covers or remakes of popular songs. Below you will find some of the popular categories of templates. Complete Songs Templates With today’s technology it is possible to compose, arrange, mix and produce complete songs using specialised software and a personal computer. Many radio hits started this way and it seems to be the way music production is moving forward these days. Complete Songs templates are usually original pieces of music created by a producer or a group. They include the complete elements that are used to create a song, some channels and MIDI with virtual instruments. Some other channels can include audio samples. Most projects also use plugins to process the audio and/or virtual instrument channels. The benefit of having all the elements separated including the notes in midi and complete processes gives the user a bird-eye view on how the song has been produced. Cover Song / Remakes Templates Cover songs / remakes are reproductions of popular songs. This trend has been popular with a generation of producers and doesn’t involve heavy equipment and costly studio sessions. Remaking a song is a perfect practice to learn a DAW. The freedom to produce music anywhere and at any time can lead to impressive results. There are also cover templates. These are complete sessions including vocals and sometimes live instruments with the goal to remake the original song as accurately as possible. These template are very valuable for anyone looking to create mashups, remix the original song adding their own twist, use the vocals and create a new piece completely indistinguishable from the original. Audio Mastering Templates Mastering engineers also enjoy creating specific mastering templates. Most of today’s mastering happens strictly in the box using software. Professional quality results can be achieved with these templates requiring minimal input from the user. Certain suite of plugins can accurately recreate expensive hardware. I believe that genre-oriented templates with guidance from the producer can lead to very good results at a minimal cost. Mixing / Mix Engineering Templates Another type of templates is created by mix engineers as a starting point to a recording session. They can be genre dedicated templates with pre loaded instruments, plugins and possibly send busses and FX channels. Some musical genres have a certain standard that can be applied as a basis for a project. Some engineers will have certain techniques that can also be explained in the project notes. The DAWs (Digital Audio Workstation or Sequencers) Computers are getting more powerful every year. For a few hundred dollars almost anyone can get their hands on a powerful PC or a laptop. As the computers evolved, the software to produce music also got better and much easier to use. Just a few years ago programs and PCs still had reliability issues. However, we are now experiencing unprecedented stability, which is playing a big role in the explosion of independent producers and the general output of electronic music these days. Here are the four most used DAWs that can deliver a complete music production experience in the box. Ableton Live (MAC / PC) Cool mix between a sequencer and a creative live performance engine Logic Pro X (MAC only) Professional program that resulted in many platinum records, offering a mix of recording and composition in the box FL Studio (MAC (V20 only & PC) One of the most used sequencers, easy to use, with an array of tools to compose and arrange Cubase (MAC / PC) The grandfather of all DAWs, high audio quality, expandable to hardware, now owned by Yamaha! The Templates phenomenon The last few years have seen the emergence of many sites selling templates. We have experienced it first-hand as we were dedicating all of our time building a platform to share the templates.