Mixing templates?

Do you use template?

I was messing around last night trying to create a general starting point for pro tools. I love the idea of having a set flow and it really helps me think about efficiency in mixing.

I had some general print and master bus, a rear bus, busses for all the groups laid out, VCAs, some general verb sends, and some parallel drum studf. And then I loaded all the plugs up.

What do you guys think about templates as a starting point? And also… whats in yours?! What daw?

Figured it would be fun to share

I use Studio One, and YES to templates! I’ve spent a while working on mine - it’s a work in progress and I haven’t updated it for awhile. But it’s always a good starting point for me when I start a mix. It helps to get the mundane minutia that you do on every single mix out of the way so you can get to the good stuff quicker. I’m happy to share mine if anyone cares. But yes, I’m a huge fan of templates!

I know Andrew Scheps has his template for ProTools on the Mix With The Masters site. It may be worth looking into…

Also, you may likely find a template tutorial or two on this site:

I have seen his template pretty involved. I really don’t think I would use all that!

Its an art trying to give yourself the best starting point with out sort of sub consciously suggesting things to yourself just because its “there” ya know?

I want to be totally open and respond to the raw tracks not my template, but I want to have some foundation in place too.

is yours as crazy and Andrew Scheps? @miked

I haven’t actually seen his, but I’m certain mine is nowhere close to as complicated as his. Basically, I have all of my tracks, routing, and FX setup. If a mix doesn’t use all the tracks, I simply delete the extras during my mix set up phase. It’s a lot easier to delete them then add new ones with routing, etc.

That is my goal too. I’m still playing with different parallel bus setups and have way too many plugins though. Those always seem to be in flux… But as I mix more, I’m settling on some “go-tos” which wind up with a place in my template.

I think templates are very subjective because everyone’s workflow is different. As you do more mixes, you figure out the pieces that you repeatedly do, then work those into your template. I try to take notes of changes I want to make to my template each time I mix something.

+1000 to templates… I have what may be considered a moderately complex routing setup so having a template cuts down prep time considerably. I’ve also got my most commonly used processing on all the buses which again moves things along a bit quicker.

I have tried to use them because - in theory - they should speed up workflow. In practice, they don’t, so I don’t bother with them.

I do have my own ‘channel strip’ pre-set series of effects that I put on most channels. This definitely saves time. I also have a 2-bus pre-set.


I’m in the same boat with AJ. I tried templates but it didn’t really gain me much. Instead, I have lots of presets that correspond to the instruments I own and for my and my wife’s vocal tracks. Also like AJ, I use the Mixcraft DAW, and it has a feature where you can save a preset that captures all the plugins and their settings on a track, so it’s just a couple of mouse clicks to instantiate them on new tracks. (I assume other DAWs have a similar feature? I have no experience with others.) For example, on my main acoustic 6-string, I’ve got an EQ and compressor pair that I’ve found the right settings for to make the guitar sound great (wish there was a preset for the playing!). So once I choose my instruments for a piece, I drop those into place even before I start tracking.

Once I’ve got the performances, then I start deciding what else each instrument needs to fit the bill. This works for my stuff, which is rarely very busy, and I rarely need complicated routing.

There was a bit of discussion about templates in this thread. Go to post 9 or so. My template is in post 13 Responses and comments follow.

I keep telling myself to use them, but I don’t. It would make a lot of sense to at least set one up with 12 or 16 labeled tracks; 4 guitars, 2 bass, 4 vocals, etc. to avoid having to add tracks one at a time as I go. If you’re always going to use a limiter on your output, or a specific eq curve for your monitors that makes sense too. In the face of logic I always end up doing it the hard way.