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 inputfrom 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.
Synths & Plugins
Most of today’s producers are using virtual instruments synthesizers that are not included in the main DAW used to produce the templates. For seasoned producers, plugins are very common with hundreds on offer. DAWs now include very high quality virtual synthesizers and also audio processing tools that easily rival the paid offering. Templates often include external plugins. While these are helpful in reproducing the intended sounds, they are not as beneficial for someone who is not ready to invest hundreds of dollars on untested software. The alternative would be to use a demo version to be able to recreate the original template sounds.
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!
Digital Assets Piracy
Piracy is a ubiquitous reality for any digital assets provider these days. I believe there is a good and a bad side to this. Early exposure to products and software through piracy can lead to future sales. Without that first point of contact, users may have never known of the products’ existence. There is very little data on this but some sources say that only 3% – 5% of users were paying for their digital music before streaming services. Music production software are also heavily pirated. Will early exposure and the possibility to create music at low or no cost result in more sales for manufacturers? I surely think so. I do not endorse or condemn piracy as our products have been largely distributed for free. I do believe creators should be paid for their work. With the right amount of effort, this can lead to them making a living of their passion which is the idealistic goal of any creative today.
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.
When I had the idea to create www.wemakedancemusic.com in 2012, I simply thought about sharing my own projects. Then I thought, would people buy those? Would I buy those? The answer was a strong YES. As a music producer with over 10 years of experience back then, I understood the high value of having a music project from someone else in a genre I want to produce.
I felt that years of experience and countless amount of knowledge can be shared through the music projects. The software is only the framework in which the ideas are laid out. Then everyone has their own processes, tricks and techniques. Modern DAWs have now very similar functions. You can use internal instruments or easily edit MIDI. You can record and process audio, apply effects to individual channels or to send busses and write unlimited number of automations. Those functions are key to creating your own process and developing your own sound. The creative process will be different for everyone. While techniques are important, everyone will have their own views and will apply them in their own ways.
Remixing, a long-standing trend in Electronic Music
Most of early dance music and a lot of today’s music was created using samples and loops from other music. I strongly believe that templates are the next step within this concept. No one has ever created music without having listened to some before. The creative possibilities are endless. You can pick a project only because you like the bass and drums and inject your own sound into it to create your very own style. Sound design and engineering are also key to new music trends. With templates, you get “that sound” instantly and it is ready for you musical input.
Today’s musical genres are so vast. The ultimate question is what makes you tick as a producer? At the heart of creativity there is a need to share emotions through music. These will always get interpreted on a personal level. Not everyone will feel the same music the same way. Inspiration works in a similar fashion. If you feel it, you can add to it, mold it, reformulate it with your input.
I believe project templates contain a great deal of music production techniques, sound design insights, composition ideas, arrangements layouts and synth application in the context of a completed song.
The possibilities of templates are endless. If you are looking to understand how a specific music genre is produced, study the basic arrangements principles, get a starting point to a recording or mixing session, templates will reveal many secrets to anyone taking the time to look into it and reverse engineer them. In the music production field there are many ways to achieve great results. I strongly believe that templates can be a unique catalyst to creativity. There are multiple benefits for both the creator and the user to complete this musical lifecycle.
Top 9 sites that provide the best Project Templates:
Our main site, Over 3000 DAW Templates, 1000+ Sound Packs, Audio Stems,
Our Logic Pro Templates Dedicated Site
Our Ableton Templates Dedicated Site
Our FL Studio Templates Dedicated Site
Our Cubase Templates Dedicated Site
Quality Ableton Templates + Courses from inspired producers
Ableton Templates, Logic Pro X Templates, FL Studio Templates + Sounds
Quality Ableton Live Templates from Abletunes
Mostly Trance Templates For Ableton, Logic Pro, FL Studio, Cubase, Bitwig & Studio One