So I'm working on a template. Below are some observations, discoveries, and a question.
Having combined every single instrument in opus 1 to what I believed was the best possible combination for load capacity and musicallity, I set about using the thing. Ex: Violin ensemble-Combined the 3 staccato variations, sustain, tremolo and pizzicato. To avoid excessive load, I bypassed the crescendo and diminuendo patches by creating modwheel dynamic blends. All these were combined via keyswitch. I now had realtime-controllable sus and trem combined with a velocity-only sus and trem, together with all the short notes.
The problem is that when you combine a layered patch with a non-layered patch in the editor, the resulting instrument will impose layers on the on the standard (velocity-only) articulation. All these layers are identical, so GS crossfades between them according to the crossfade editor settings used to control the mod-blend articulation, and the resulting sound is not problematic-velocity response is unaffected. However, the simple stereo sounds in the standard articulations end up eating a truckload of polyphony! In essence, GS Edit makes all combined instruments "share" dimensions, regardless of the user's intent for which articulation is to use which dimension. And that renders an orchestral tutti impossible for my system to perform
Seeking a way to use all the articulations I had created without the dreaded patch-change message or ridiculous polyphony, I began experimenting with the workstation's channel-stacking capabilities. What I found was that when one stacks instruments using GS as opposed to the editor, all dimension settings are preverved in each instrument! This means that you can keyswitch between a simple patch, using a polyphony of 2 per note (in stereo), and a modwheel patch, which will only use heavier polyphony until you switch back. Save as a gsi, and away you go!!
I am left, however, with one question that I cannot suss out for myself: How does one change the stack order in GS3?? Other than detaching all instruments and re-stacking (which hasn't proven all that effective, as GS seems to decide the order for itself) I can't seem to find any way to control the stack order myself. This is important, as I am striving for consistency across the entire template.
Hope this gives someone out there some useful ideas, and please let me know if you have the solution to my problem.
As I was reading your post, I was hoping that stacking keyswitches to combine layered and non-layered instruments would be the solution. Good to hear that it works!
Regarding stack ordering, I believe that you are right that once stacked, you can't change the order. In my experience if you stack the instruments one at a time, that reliably sets the order. Then you can apply the keyswitch or other control to select the instruments.
I really like the ability to create my own stacks on the fly. It's efficient and can be setup according to personal tastes. That allows consistent keyswitch models across libs, which really simplifies things.