Templates are a very useful feature in FL Studio that I feel many producers overlook when producing. Templates are an amazing tool to use to start producing or mixing right away without the hassle. That is, if you set them up right.
Why use templates?
When you load up a new project in FL Studio, you’ll either get an empty project, or the Club Basic. Which comes with a kick, snare, hat, and clap sample. It’s a very simple set up. But as you produce, you’ll add more samples, plug ins, synths, and effects onto your channel rack and mixer. Which over time will become more and more of a burden to have to reload all these effects every time you produce a song. Creating your own template will allow you to have all your mixer tracks, samples, and plug-ins preloaded for you. This will make the startup much easier. If you know you’re going to need drum samples, a bass, lead, EQ, etc; why not have them preloaded?
In the image above is the mixer track set up I currently use in my own personal template. The first 8 busses are main elements to all my tracks. I also use a Novation Control XL which gives me hands on control to all 8 of them. In red, I have all my drum samples routed directly to my Drums bus. In blue, I have my 3 bass parts routed to the Bass buss. Then in light blue, I have all my FX. Which aren’t routed to any of my main 8 as they don’t have a very active role as everything else does.
Along with these busses, I have EQ, Filters, and compressors. Why? When I start a new project, I don’t have to load all these plug-ins every single time. I also know I’ll be using these plug-ins anyway. So it saves me a lot of time.
On my channel rack I have 8 drum samples already pre-loaded. They are already linked to mixer tracks as to make choosing samples and dropping them in easy and fast. I never use these samples so it doesn’t matter what I use in my template.
How do I use a template?
The use of a template is only as useful as you make it. Every producer is different and there are many genres out there we make. While my template is good for me, it may not suit someone else. It may have too little or too much but for me it’s perfect. Your template will change over time as you figure out what would be easier and better for your work flow. The template I use now was a work in progress and still is. It’s not the first one and won’t be the last.
How do I make a template?
Making a template is easy and simple. It’s all up to you how you make it and route everything. But here are the steps I would take to go about making one.
- Load an empty FL Studio template.
File > New from template > Minimal > Empty
- Load your drum samples onto your channel rack.
Kick, Snare, Hats, etc. As many as you think you’ll need. I have 4 hats. (2 for open 2 for closed) I’m guaranteed to use 2 of them and the extra are for extra samples I might use.
- Assign, color, and organize your mixer tracks.
In the example of my mixer, I have all the major parts first. Kick, Bass, Drums, Leads, Melodies, etc. They’re all labeled and colored.
- Link all your drum samples to individual busses then route them all to your drum buss.
Link all your drum samples to their own tracks then route them to a single drum buss. This will allow you to have all your drums go into one single place for compression and etc. Just like I did on my mixer.
- Load EQ and compression plug-ins onto your tracks.
Put your EQ and compression plug-ins on the busses that need them. Keep them at default or keep them off so you don’t start a project with an already active effect. You won’t need them yet. They’re only there for easy access later on.
- Create a Delay and Reverb send.
On your sends, create a reverb and delay send. This will allow you to send your tracks into them for a touch of reverb and delay. This will allow you to use them without having to load a new one onto all your tracks. Of course there are times when you’ll need a different kind of reverb or delay, but if you need a simple reverb or delay for your tracks, this will work.
- Create one extra buss for external inputs.
If you use a microphone or an external soundcard/mixer, then you can create a input buss for them that’s ready to go. One thing to note is to keep it off, as I’ve had problems starting FL Studio only to have noise blaring from my microphone into FL Studio and back out through my speakers.
- Extra details.
Create buss tracks for FX. Change the tempo to a base tempo you’ll probably use the most. Create groups on your mixer. Whatever you want to add, go for it.
- Save your template.
Save as > Templates > Save. Then close FL Studio and reload it. Your template should load and be ready to go. If not, go to New From Template then find yours and load it up.
Now you’re ready to go! Just keep in your mind your needs and workflow will change so don’t be shy about updating your template every now and then. The goal is to make production easier and faster.
Have any questions or concerns? Comment below or email me at Jesse@Jessekaymusic.com