Logic Pro and VE Pro 5 Tutorial 2.0 released!

Orchestral Templates with VE Pro 5

When first discovering Vienna Ensemble Pro some time back, I would never have imagined how important this software would become for me. Not only in my work as composer, as I rely daily on my templates hosted by VE Pro, but also with my VE Pro tutorial. Over the course of the last two years, I have had tremendous feedback to the tutorial, released several new versions and help a ton of people setting up their templates.

Vienna Ensemble Pro 5 brought a host of new features, so an update was due. Without further ado, I present to you the brand new and updated version 2.0 of Orchestral Templates with VE Pro 5! Offering updated screenshots, information about the new features and a completely revised text, I think you will like this new version.

2.0 also marks two special new „features“, so to speak:
- On www.orchestraltemplates.com, you will not only find the tutorial, but also additional information about this part of my work.
- You asked, I deliver: Now there is an ePub version of the tutorial available for you enjoyment. It works on basically any reading device and has chapter markings, a nice cover image and all the other goodies we have come to expect of eBooks.

Download Orchestral Templates with VE Pro 5 now on its brand-new website, www.orchestraltemplates.com!


Logic Pro and VE Pro Tutorial 1.3 Update

Using Vienna Ensemble Pro for setting up my composing rig has proven again and again to be one of the best decisions I ever made.
With my VE Pro Orchestral Template Tutorial, featured on the VSL website, I have had the chance to help lots of people use this software for their business. Helping people set VE Pro up and building their templates has become an important and fulfilling part of my work. With great pleasure I present version 1.3, an updated version of the tutorial.
The new version is live on the VSL website as well as on my Tutorials site.

Without all of you this tutorial would not be what it is today, so please keep the feedback coming! An extensive rewrite of the VE Pro setup process is already planned for the next version, so stay tuned!

VE Pro and Logic tutorial at the VSL website

I told you there would be exciting news on the tutorial front in early 2011: I’m happy to announce that my tutorial about Setting up an Orchestral Template with VE Pro and Logic Pro 9 is now also available on the VSL website.
VSL product manager Paul Steinbauer was so kind to put it up there for anyones benefit. I’m at work on a new update to the tutorial, so there’s a lot to come.
I will continue to host the tutorial on my site, too and provide regular updates both here and on the VSL site.

And this is just the start! There is tons of new stuff in the pipeline, so stay stuned.

Logic Pro and VE Pro Tutorial 1.2 Update

I got great feedback for 1.1 of my VE Pro and Logic tutorial, many thanks to all of you!
Here’s 1.2 with a lot of new things. I revised the whole text, added new information pertaining to updated application versions and incorportated some new parts about track naming and many more things.
I hope you like it and find it useful. Please keep the feedback coming!

So here you go: Setting up an Orchestral Template in Logic Pro 9.

Logic Pro and VE Pro Tutorial 1.1 Update

The first bigger update to my tutorial about setting up an orchestral template in Logic Pro 9 with Vienna Ensemble Pro is here!

I added some new sections and revised a lot of the content. As usual, feedback is highly appreciated. Tell me what you are missing in the tutorial and I will do my best to incorporate it into the next version! If you use this tutorial, please give me feedback. I don’t do this for me - I do it for you, so you have to work with me (sounding like a cop right now). Reader feedback greatly greatly helped in shaping this new version and I am confident this will be the case for the next version, too.

So here you go: Setting up an Orchestral Template in Logic Pro 9. (Updated 11/20/2010)

VE Pro and Logic Tutorial

Today we are starting off our tutorial series. The plan is to give you detailed instruction on specific topics.

As you might have read, our orchestral template runs with Vienna Ensemble Pro. In this tutorial you will learn how to plan your template, what you need to put it into reality and how you do it in Logic Pro 9. If you are using another sequencer, this tutorial will be beneficial to you, too, as most things also apply to other applications.

Please give us feedback on this! The tutorial is intended to be extended according to your feedback, so keep it coming!

Now, without further ado: Setting up an Orchestral Template in Logic Pro 9.


Harrison Mixbus

Just a very quick software tip for those of you that are interested in mixing.
Harrison Consoles, makers of those large postpro-consoles have recently teamed up with the open source DAW Ardour to make a version of the application with their proprietary mixing engine built in. The application feels really god and allows you to do very organic mixes. So if you are looking for a nice DAW to mix your tracks in, this might be for you.
Check it out on their website.


Pro Tools Rig for Cheap

Since the original post, Avid has released Pro Tools 9, which no longer requires a Digidesign/M-Audio interface! You can now use any audio interface with PT, so some of the information in this post is outdated. The general way of using your slave with a second audio interface still holds true, though, only you can now choose whichever interface you like.

This is sort of an idea for all those monetary challenged people out there (like me), who nonetheless want to have a Pro Tools rig at their disposal.
As you might know, we use Logic Pro as our Main DAW, a choice which we are pretty happy with, but which sometimes leads to format problems, i.e. when we need to work on films for making the soundmix. The industry standard in this area is Pro Tools. But Pro Tools is sooooooooo expensive. No, it isn’t. Pro Tools HD is. But there’s more.

If you have your project ready as a Pro Tools file, with a certain certainty everyone can open it. You might know that there are cut-down versions of PT, namely LE and M-Powered. Besides the name, there is _no_ difference between LE and M-Powered and with Version 8 the differences to Pro Tools HD have shrunk, too. For most projects, an LE or M-Powered rig is absolutely sufficient. LE only runs with Digidesign audio interfaces, M-Powered only runs with M-Audio interfaces (hence the name).

The really cool thing is that LE or M-Powered can open PT HD projects and vice versa! That means, for most projects you can easily use a LE rig (i.e. for sound mixing and film post pro) and then give the whole thing to a large mastering house for the final touch.

LE and M-Powered are both very affordable and are a very good way into the world of Pro Tools. While we firmly believe in Logic for composing and recording, for post-production there’s just nothing better than PT.

Ok, so now we know that PT can be pretty affordable, but it gets even better!
You need a computer to run it on, right? Well, what about a nice slave PC that sits around in the corner if you are not composing with your template right at the moment? Right!!!
We fortunately had an old M-Audio interface lying around unused, so what we did was to hook it up to our Dell Slave which usually hosts our composing template and installed PT M-Powered. That way, when the Slave PC is not used for its slave labour, it serves as a PT rig.

To make this kind of „second DAW“ as pleasant to use as possible, there are a few nice things you can do:
- The PT rig can use the big studio monitors by connecting the audio interface’s SPDIF Out with a SPDIF In of the interface of the main machine. No sound quality is lost and you can additionally use the DSP power of your main machine! And you don’t need any additional gear.
- Master keyboards usually have both an USB output as well as a MIDI output. One of these can be hooked up to the slave = you can use PT to record MIDI data.
- Euphonix Artist controllers can control several workstations at the same time. If your main DAW is a Mac (as in our case) you can use it as a EuCon server, even if your second computer runs Windows. This is undocumented, but it works. Just install the Windows workstation drivers from the Euphonix website and make sure there’s a network connection between the Mac and the PC (there will be automatically one if you are using VE Pro on the slave). Then you can use the controller to control Pro Tools or any other DAW on the PC.
- If you log into the slave with Microsoft Remote Desktop or another RDC client (we use CORD), then you don’t even need a keyboard and mouse on the slave. Just tuck it somewhere safe where it is out of the way and noone will ever see there’s _yet_ another rig there :)

All this gives you a perfect Pro Tools rig, which can use all your studio hardware, including MIDI keyboards and hardware controllers!
And all you need to invest in is an audio interface (if you don’t already have one) and a license for PT.

Hope this helps :)


As mentioned before in Of Masters And Slaves, the main function of VE Pro is to host my large orchestral template. As promised in this blog post, here I will describe the contents of the template and how I work with it. In a future post, I will also post a tutorial how to setup tracks in Logic so that they can control instruments within VE Pro.


Of Masters And Slaves

The technical side of composing music for media has become ever more complicated. Never before have the options to choose from been so rich.
Music technology allows composers to create very realistic renditions of their tracks that only a few years back would have been plain impossible in this level of quality.
This blog post sets out to explain how here at Novatlan Sound we have set up all this technology to provide for a stable and versatile working environment. In the future, more post like this will follow to explain other aspects of studio work.