Consider saving templates with favorite parts and other MIDI data. For example, you might want to use that perfect samba groove as an inspiration for your next samba. You can always program another drum part later; the point is that your groove will surely provide more inspiration than a click track when you are sketching out the new parts. Digital Performer provides a Clippings folder that lets you store your favorite sequencer information. All versions of Cakewalk's sequencers contain Session Drummer, a drag-and-drop collection of MIDI drum grooves to get you started (see Fig. A). Cakewalk's sequencers and Digital Performer all let you capture MIDI grooves for quantizing templates — it's a good idea to capture and store them for your next project and easy recall.
Those who use MIDI controllers other than keyboards will need to shape their templates in different ways. If you're a MIDI guitarist, for example, you'll want to take advantage of the independent MIDI output of each string. If your sequencer can't record discrete multiple MIDI channels onto a single track, you'll have to create a track for each string, assign each track's output to a different MIDI channel, and give each track an input based on the MIDI output of a corresponding string (first string to channel 1, second string to channel 2, and so on). To make the most of your controller in that setup, it's best to embed Pitch Bend Change messages in each track so that you can quickly set them all up for a Pitch Bend range that matches your controller's output. Embedding preferred Pitch Bend ranges in tracks is a good idea for keyboardists, too.
Consider embedding other types of data in your tracks as well. Pan Position, MIDI Volume, Expression levels, and Control Change messages that adjust filter cutoff settings, for example, can get you off to a good start. You can even store your favorite curves for MIDI Volume messages if you need to revisit that perfect sforzando volume curve. Make sure to save these in a Clippings folder or a muted track so that they don't affect your sequence in the wrong place at the time.