I agree with Mikael. Huge templates are overkill and can negatively impact productivity. I want to focus on writing good music instead of sound searching and scrolling forever. I would recommend building a smaller template that covers the orchestra and sticking to 1 or 2 libraries per family to have a consistent sound and to make your mixing easier. (especially on a laptop)
Limiting the libraries you use will help you gain speed in mixing too. By the end of the day, a good flute is a good flute.
My current template has a bit over 280 tracks by default (Articulations are on separate tracks and I also have divisi patches). The way I manage it is as follows;
- Instruments in orchestral order
- Color coding per family
- Everything is organized in folders to make the architecture easy to use
My DAW (Nuendo) has features that save tons of time:
- Track search by name
- Show/Hide tracks preset to show Strings only or Brass only for example
- Macros to hide all unused tracks or show tracks that are currently playing at the play head
If you need something specific, you can simply load it. Also: You can have multiple templates depending on your needs. I have a template for a big band, another one for jazz trio, another one for a TV show that I work on, etc.
Also: To keep the mix organized, I send my instrument tracks into group tracks organized by their frequency range and type (Strings High, Strings Low, Strings Solo, Strings Ens) so I can have control over their overall volume and audio treatment.
Group tracks also serve as stems when I’m exporting, so you’re killing 2 birds in 1 stone.
Group tracks then go to a VCA track to control their overall volume, this way, I can lower all the string groups without affecting their automation, for example.
Here’s a diagram attached that better illustrate my signal flow