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Matthew Sorrels

Spitfire BBCSO Template for CbB

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I've packaged up my starter template for the BBCSO sample library https://www.spitfireaudio.com/shop/a-z/bbc-symphony-orchestra/

It's not exactly a clone of their Logic template, more like a starter version with all the hard coloring/naming/icon setup work done.  It's something
you can start with though.  Download it here

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1l6By35cP4b4rvejEab6WdbESi5mGX-iE

Here's the readme for the template

BBC Symphony Orchestra template for Cakewalk by Bandlab
11/21/2019

This is my take on a template for CbB for Spitfire Audio's BBC Symphony Orchestra.  It's based on the templates they
provide for Logic and the Cubase conversions done by Alex Watson.  You can find all of their templates at The Page
https://www.spitfireaudiothepage.com/  

To use this template with CbB you need to have installed the BBC plugin as well as the library.   You will need to copy
the track icons (which are mainly from the Cubase version, which seem to be slightly altered versions of the Logic version) into your
Cakewalk Track Icons folder.  You can find this by opening the CbB preferences and selecting File->Folder Locations.  The default is usually your
Cakewalk content directory then Cakewalk Core\Track Icons.  But it's best to just check the preferences to get the correct path.  Copy
the whole BBCSO folder included in this zip to that directory.  

On that same folder preferences panel is a Templates entry.  Copy the "BBCSO Basic.cwt" file to that directory.  Now when you do a new
in CbB you should have the BBCSO Basic as a project template choice.

The template is created using single instrument tracks of the VST3 version of the plugin.  All the instrument tracks are disconnected synths.  This
allows CbB to load the entire template nearly instantly.  With a disconnected synth you must first find the instrument in the Synth Rack,
select it and at the top of the Synth Rack click the small drop arrow and choose "Synth Connected".  This will
cause the instrument to load.  All the instruments are setup with all the articulations loaded and the Mix 1 mic set to full volume.  Pretty
much the default settings on the plugin for any instrument you load.  Feel free to load the template and alter those settings to
whatever you'd like.  I don't believe there is any way to go directly from the instrument track in the trackview to the entry in the Synth Rack nor
is there anyway to do the "Synth Connected" operation from the track itself.  If I find some better solution to this I'll update this readme.

There are a number of differences between this basic template and the templates Spitfire is providing.  The big ones are:

Only one basic, all articulations, template -- not the 4 Spitfire is planning.
No sync plop, Pre roll, Count and Cue Start markers (so no pre-created offset to start on bar 5)
No effect tracks, effect sends, or extra stem tracks

The basic structure of the template is as follows.  Each major group (Woodwinds, Brass, Keys, Perc, Strings) has a color coded track folder.  The percussion has two track folders, since CbB doesn't support nested track folders.  One percussion folder is for tuned percussion and the
other is each of the single hit articulations (like Bass Drum 1, etc)  This Untuned Percussion folder also has a track at the top with all the articulations loaded as well as separate tracks for each separate untuned percussion articulation.  This is the only articulation breakout in the template.

All of these tracks have a synth tied to them in the Synth Rack.  The output of each of these is sent to a Aux Track in the STEMS track folder
at the bottom of the template.  These aux tracks are then routed into a FULL MIX aux track which is sent to the Master audio bus.

At the bottom of the template is an additional PRINT track folder which contains clones of the STEMS aux tracks that are setup to be armed
for recording and would allow you to save the resulting audio.  If you don't print raw stems you can delete this entire folder with no effect.

There are a number of ways you can setup this "after the track" routing to support all sorts of mixing and effect chains.  I've built
none of that into this starter template but there is nothing stopping you from adding another set of Aux tracks to receive effect versions
of the stems and or bus tracks for feeding headphones and applying whole project level effects.  Starting with this should save you
a bit of time naming synths and tracks, loading icons, coloring tracks.

Feel free to contact me if you find issues, the easiest way is via email or on the Cakewalk forum.

Changelog

11/21/2019   First public release

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Thanks for posting this Matthew!

I too bought BBCSO and am trying to come to terms with it.  I started a similar but smaller-scale template, and edited each instrument to unload all but the bread-and-butter articulations so as to improve the memory/loading time/performance issues.  So far I've used ~30 instances which is working acceptably well at 256 samples. (I'm running the latest version (1.0.5) , and "optimized" the samples, which are all on one SSD.  My templates loads in under 3 minutes on my 7 year-old DAW.  I just loaded yours and will study it further to see what I can learn.  I see why you chose to "disconnect" all the instances in the synth rack, but it looks like a major pain to "connect" 60+ instances one by one. Not to mention the way CbB seems to hang while each instance loads.  I did a quick search but found no keyboard shortcuts or workarounds to connect multiple instances.  

I've been using Cakewalk forever. When Sonar died, I bought Cubase Pro, but so far haven't been able to make the switch. I like the sound of BBCSO, and will keep trying to make it work with CbB.  (I also follow VI-Control, and see you posted there too.)

Oh, BTW, I'm also wrestling with the BBCSO key switches which at C-1 are too low for my 88 note controller. Cubase expression maps solves that riddle- here's hoping CbB will add that feature!

Thanks again,

Randy

 

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1 hour ago, R Henn said:

I just loaded yours and will study it further to see what I can learn.  I see why you chose to "disconnect" all the instances in the synth rack, but it looks like a major pain to "connect" 60+ instances one by one. Not to mention the way CbB seems to hang while each instance loads.

That was what I was missing 🤣

I could not figure out why things did not play and never thought that the synth was disconnected; I will have to go back and check that again.

Last night I did the update and optimization and actually things seem to be a little better. Now that I see what my initial misunderstanding was I can better explore the template.

@Matthew Sorrels, thanks again for your tremendous contribution here and elsewhere in the forum. It is thoughtfulness such as yours that make this community so special.

The BBCSO adventure continues!

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The disconnected synths are the Cakewalk version of Cubase's disabled track.  In an ideal world you'd find the instrument track you want to use (say Trumpets A3) and then enable it and start writing.  Then you'd do more tracks, only enabling the instruments you need, rather than every instrument.  Because the template has everything rigged and routed but disabled you start with a very flexible base.

The problem of course is that in Cubase you can right click a track and pick Enable Track, but Cakewalk doesn't really seem to have any connection at all from the instrument track to the disconnected synth.  There is a connection going the other way though.  If you select a synth in the synth rack, the track it's connected does does get selected in the trackview.  You can tell which synths are connected because the disconnected ones will have parenthesis around the name in the Synth Rack.  There are a handful of features that could be added to Cakewalk that would make this whole process so much better, but I'm not sure how exactly to get that on the development roadmap.

To be honest I've never bothered using a full template like this, so I may be missing huge CbB workflow tricks.  I always hand build projects to match what I'm doing.  I've never bothered with the fully setup template (I have a couple of starter templates that rig up multi audio outs on Kontakt and some buses but that's it).  This every track you might ever want but disabled style seems to be much more common with most orchestral composers these days though.  I can see the appeal for using it as a starting point.  But it would be so nice if you could multi select tracks and just enable them all at once/etc.  If I could add two features to CbB they would be connect synth as a right click on instrument tracks and a multi-select connect synth.  The whole synth rack itself could really use a multi-select feature to be honest.

Enabling all 56 tracks in the template with all the articulations takes a bit over 1 minute (1:08) for my computer to open, but then if you open one of the instances you will see it's still loading the sample data.  This continues for a while.  Total time (for me) from open to the last blinking LED light is 5:38.  This can vary based on your Spitfire plugin settings.  I'm using 999 voices, 12128 Preload Size and 65536 Stream Buffer Size (defaults except for voices),

It also takes a crazy long time (45 seconds) to close the project/exit Cakewalk once everything is loaded.  This is actually more bothersome since Cakewalk looks like it has exited but is still clearing memory in the background and can't be restarted until it's done.

When the full enabled template is fully loaded it eats about 30gigs of ram.

A stripped down version with a reasonable set of articulations is definitely on my list (post what you think should be included).  I could also make a version with everything enabled -- but with a 5+ minute load time I'm not sure that will be very useful.  Perhaps the two features together would be more reasonable.  While I don't really like the key switching they have setup by default, I've never been fond of the a track for each articulation style template.  That is another possibility.  But it would be a lot of tracks and CbB doesn't let you nest track folders which I think would be necessary to make that manageable.

I'm certainly willing to setup more complex versions of the template.  I avoided most of the mixing/effects stuff since CbB included effects are kind of weak with the switch from SONAR.  But tracks could be setup with those if that made sense as well

The biggest problem with using a template like this is you can't mass direct the instrument settings very easily.  Changing 56 plugins settings one at a time is a bit painful.

I still have some hope Spitfire will work through some of their Windows issues and get the load times and playback to be a bit smoother.  As long as you are only using a handful of instruments I don't think it's so bad, but when you try to scale up to 56 things start to fall apart.

I see these templates as kind of a work in progress.  Spitfire spent a long time building their Logic template, I've only spent a few hours on this.  More feedback would help.  Ideally I'd like this to be so you could just start a new project and jump right into being productive.

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I've put up an update of the template with three additional versions that might prove helpful.  The download URL is still the same

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1l6By35cP4b4rvejEab6WdbESi5mGX-iE

11/23/2019
Added three more versions of the basic template
BBCSO Basic-AllEnabled                   The full template but with every synth instrument connected.  This takes a long time to fully load.
BBCSO Basic-CoreArt                       Only 3 articulations per instrument, long, short and a legato.  Everything disconnected.
BBCSO Basic-CoreArt-AllEnabled         Just the 3 core articulations with every instrument connected/enabled.

The all enabled versions take longer to load of course and even once the template opens the samples will be loading the in background.  The CoreArt All Enabled version takes about 51 seconds to open and around 3 minutes to fully load for me.  It uses around 15 gigs of ram (reports 6.96GB).

 

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Matthew, 

Thank you for the templates! I'm just starting with film. Just using Rapture and some other samples to get started before committing monies to libraries so the templates and your notes above are most helpful!

Very grateful indeed! Thank you.

Gary

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Thanks. I'll take a look tomorrow, just got the free version.

Sounds great, but I can't seem to get different sections on different midi channels, only midi 1 plays. For my current project I only need violins1, violas and cello. Do I need three instances?

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BBCSO/Spitfire's plugin isn't a multi-instrument/multi-channel system.  So yes, you need a separate instance of it for every instrument.  It's not like Kontakt where you can load once copy of Kontakt and it can contain multiple instruments.

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On 11/23/2019 at 2:40 AM, R Henn said:

Oh, BTW, I'm also wrestling with the BBCSO key switches which at C-1 are too low for my 88 note controller.

 

If you put the keyswitches on their own track (a good idea so that you can use different orchestras if needs be) then you can create a DrumMap that changes the pitch of the note it outputs, so you can easily Make C2 output a C1, etc.

You do need to create one for each instrument, because they get routed to a specific Synth. but Save as, Save as, Save as.

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Thanks for that work on the template.

 

You have all the instruments loaded wihin the "LABS orchestra"  am I correct?

Is there a way to combine various VST's ie GPO, E/W and spitfire into one templete and then disable loading into ram a particular patch or an entire synth, yet retain the possibilities of adding later?

 

Willard

 

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5 hours ago, willard cottrell said:

Matthew,

 

As I study your templates more, I realize that you do what I am looking to do when you 'enable' the synth and the instrument.  How do I accomplish this?

 

Willard

It's pretty simple really.  Load up the synth (GPO, EW Play, whatever) load the instrument/preset inside it you want to use.  Get everything setup the way you want it (Name the track, name the synth, load icons, etc).  Then go to the synth rack.  Select the instrument and up at the top of the Synth Rack use the drop down and uncheck Synth Connected.  Assuming you have "unload synth on disconnect "checked (option further down the Synth Rack drop down) it will unload your synth and change it to disconnected (will add parentheses around the name).  Now go to the file menu and choose Save As.  In the Save As dialog change the "Save as type" to Template.  And just below use the "Go To Folder" drop down to go to the templates folder.  Then save your template.

This is exactly how I built the BBC template.  I loaded the BBC synth 56 times.  Each time I chose a different instrument.  I named the tracks and synth instances, I loaded icons.  I put things into folders and color coded them.  Then I disconnected them and saved the whole thing as a template.

You can also load templates (to edit them).  Start with something simple and see how it works, then work up to a larger template.  There really isn't any limit to what you can setup in advance.  What ever will make you the most productive really.

Now that Cakewalk supports articulations I guess I need to go back and add them to the BBC templates.  Might be able to convert Cubase articulation maps over but it's still a lot of work to organize all of that.  But those maps will save with the template so you can just load and start.

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34 minutes ago, Matthew Sorrels said:

.  Might be able to convert Cubase articulation maps over but it's still a lot of work to organize all of that.  But those maps will save with the template so you can just load and start.

Most, but not all, convert by using Import in the articulation map editor. When you import it even asks you where to store the converted articulation map before it imports it.😀

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also, wondering out loud, if maybe track templates are a better option for this effort - small groups, single instrument, etc in 50 or so (well-named) track templates and a single master template they could plug into with the associated aux and/or busses. this way the initial template is very light, and you're only adding tracks as you need them which can include an enabled synth instance (also named).

as a note, this is how i construct my own templates - i make a large "source project", but then i save the individual tracks (or groups like drums) as track templates. this also exports all the related aux tracks and busses. to validate, in reverse, i then start with a blank project and drag in the track templates to verify the new file matches the large "source" project. it's very nice that the track templates build the aux's and busses as well.

the only caveat i have so far - the buss colors for some busses (like my reverbs or delay busses) have generic colors, and sometimes the instrument groups as well. for my templates (only 70-80 tracks and busses) reapplying the colors is only a few minutes, but would be nice to have retention of colors...

people could then construct their own templates from there, for example, if you do a lot of string quartet with a french horn and oboe accompanist, so your "personalized" template would contain the track templates for each of the strings and the horns. no need to remove/disable/archive a bunch of instruments i would not need to get to that template 🙂 instead construct by addition...

edit:

another thought - with track template approach, other people could use the master template and create track templates and share them to build up the orchestral product "library"...

 

Edited by Glenn Stanton

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12 hours ago, Glenn Stanton said:

also, wondering out loud, if maybe track templates are a better option for this effort

 

Track templates are certainly an option.  Having no experience with them, I decided to give it a try.  I made templates out of 3 Brass and 3 Woodwind instruments.  Then I made a empty project and inserted the track templates.  Saving the templates was very slow.  Loading the first one was pretty slow but after that the load time wasn't so bad.  But the real problem is the track template doesn't keep the organization.  Here's what 2 brass and 2 woodwind instruments look like when brought in from templates:

LTtp4W.jpg

The same named group folders don't collect together.  Those folders also don't keep their colors (but do keep their icons).  I also didn't get any aux or stem tracks (but some of the routing was put in) like in the template (you might be able to design around that).  The insert template drop down did seem to handle my folder structured version though.  I'd say it's not a very good solution without Cakewalk doing some more work to make track templates and aux tracks/patch points work better.  But I wouldn't rule it out completely either.  My patch point oriented template might not be a good candidate for this.  Using buses might be better for track templates.

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I just picked up BBCSO CORE. I will probably not be inclined to load an entire 55 plus template and will instead be using sectionals catered to. I would like to have all articulations on hand just in case.

Shouldn't this be easier using the new articulations manager? I wondered if anyone else has already done a per section setup? If not and I can find the time, I'll be looking at this. Would be super nice to drop in a section and simply pull the associated articulation off of the list. A real time saver.

Thoughts?

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