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Multitrack editing improvements - Extended edit groups (drums etc.) Issue Tools
issueid=843 08-05-2009 03:23 AM
Human being with feelings
Multitrack editing improvements - Extended edit groups (drums etc.)
Making it easier to handle material which consists of several tracks (drums, multi-mic'ed guitars, etc.): You want all the tracks/elements to be treated as one coherent unit - edits/moves/copying should be applied to every single element once a group

The whole FR in one term:

ProTools-style cascadeable recallable track-based EDIT groups, attached to the current track-grouping-system.
Not a replacement of the current item grouping, but an augmentation ! Fully maintaining backwards compatibility.

A short mockup video for you to see what this is all about - not complete, just the basic idea of grouping tracks for edits:

Situations where this FR might be useful
  • Drum Recordings with - let's say - 14 mics (or more). Kick, Snare, Toms, Overheads, Rooms etc.
  • Guitar Recordings with several mics (Acoustic guitar with 2x MS-micing and 1 DI-pickup; Electric guitar amp cabs miced with 2 SM57, a few ribbons and other mics to have a choice afterwards; etc. etc.)
  • Synth Recording: MIDI-Out, Synths Line Output (Stereo), Synth Output fed through a guitar amp/physical reverb chamber/fisher price my 1st stereo/stomp FX/WHATEVER
  • Mixing - especially concerning group-editing several envelopes across tracks at once

Valid examples of multitrack-recordings which are generally supposed to be treated as one coherent unit.
However, there are situations where you have to temporarily suspend the general link and just link a subset of the elements:
  • You want the 3rd and 4th guitar mic to be muted in the verses and to kick in at the corus.
  • You want the Snare-Top and the Snare-Bottom mic to be grouped for edits (alright, THAT hit was too loud...lower volume/copy-paste different hit etc.). Same goes for drum overheads and room mics.
While some of the above single tasks can be done with Reapers current item-based grouping one at a time, it's not possible to have several different overlapping grouping-situations easily accessible and/or recallable. Yes, you can currently (item-)group Snare-Top and Snare-Bottom and do edits, but then you loose those items' group assignments to the general drum edit group.

How Edit Groups should behave
Edit groups are an entirely different approach than item grouping. There are things which can be handled with both systems, but they're not necessarily mutually exclusive. Working with an active track-based edit group means every editing operation you perform on one track is applied to any other member of the group ON THAT SPOT or within the current time selection:
  • You split one item, all other items on the other tracks in group are split too, at the same position. Accordingly with Shift-S/time selection based splices.
  • You select one item, all other items on the other tracks in the group WHICH ARE ENTIRELY ENCLOSED BY THE DURATION OF THE SELECTED ITEM or of identical length are selected too. Items which begin earlier or end later are NOT selected.
  • You move one item, all the other - previously automatically selected - items on the other tracks in the group are moved accordingly, creating auto-crossfades etc.
  • You delete one item, all the other - previously automatically selected - items on the other tracks in the group are deleted accordingly.
  • You copy one item, all the other - previously automatically selected - items on the other tracks in the group are copied accordingly.
  • You paste one item, all the other items are pasted too of course - maintaining the correct track-assignment. So if you work with only Snare-Top in your view (and in your mind), all the others hidden, and you just copied a Snare Hit, you want that Snare Hit to be pasted on THAT track, all the others accordingly on theirs, ALTHOUGH Snare Top is track number 2 in your group (that's different to Reapers current behaviour !) Pasting over other existing items is handled according to the item mix behaviour (project/item based)
  • You switch take on one item, all the other - previously automatically selected - items on the other tracks in the group switch take to the one with the same timestamp - if the have one, otherwise don't switch take. This should work EVEN FOR MOUSECLICKS !
  • You modify item properties (lower volume, time stretch, change fade-ins/-outs), all the other - previously automatically selected - items on the other tracks in the group are treated accordingly.
  • You insert envelope points in an automation envelope, all the other - previously automatically shown and selected - envelopes on the other tracks in the group are treated accordingly. Lower volume on one track, lower volume on every track in the group. Copying and pasting works accordingly.
That was it already !
I should add that Dynamic Split should be working quite well with it (it already does with item grouped items, no problem in that department) and it will be an optimum basis for every kind of Groove-quantization FR to come. Same goes for tab-to transient

And what's the strength of the current item-based grouping then ? How come they're not mutually exclusive ?

In Short: Item based grouping is a lot more straight forward for people without special interest in track based edit groups. What you see is what you group. Another aspect is, that item based grouping is a lot more unobtrusive: Only splitting or moving is applied accordingly all the time, deleting or other things only via Strg-G ("select all items in group").
And: With Item-based grouping you can group 2 items which are on the same track !
  • Group Synth-Intro and -ending.
  • Group these Shakers which are quite difficult to fit into the groove of the chorus. If you nudge it later for a more laid-back-feeling, you might want exactly the same feeling in the 2nd chorus.
How Edit Groups should be accessible

Just add another checkbox to the Track grouping dialog called "edit group". 32 track- and/or edit groups are really enough.
Then, make the current Grouping-enabled-Icon a 3-way icon (just like the current ripple mode icon !), so the user has the choice between NO grouping at all, item-based edit grouping, and track-based edit grouping.
No problem with the tiny item-group icons in the items itself, they still refer to item based grouping, and everyone who's only using track-based edit grouping already has the choice to hide those little indicators.

Funny side-effect: If you activate track-based edit grouping AND track-based ripple editing, you get the famous "ripple editing just for some tracks"-mode which has been a FR for years and makes every ex-PT-guy having wet dreams (well, sort of.) ;-)

One might even think about group masters and master-slave-relationships (like in track groups) within the track-based edit groups in which case we wouldn't even have to switch around groups for priority reasons.

I chose priority 1 because it is my #1 feature missing. The rest is perfect for me.
Issue Details
Issue Type Elevated FR
Project Deprecated REAPER issue tracker
Category Editing behavior
Status Popular Request
Priority 1 - Highest
Suggested Version 3.07
Implemented Version (none)
Users who would use this feature 467
Users who would not use this feature 3
Assigned Users (none)
Tags (none)

09-22-2009 11:26 AM
Human being with feelings
Aboslutely my no.1 requset for Reaper. This is a make-or-break feature to me. Surely essential for any one recording multiple source audio (e.g. drums, acoustic guitar with multiple mics and DIs). Without it, I'm finding editing extremely time consuming to the point of unusability.

Thanks for posting such a clear explanation.
11-21-2009 01:00 PM
Human being with feelings
Excellent description, and I must agree that it seems like it should have higher priority.

Time for an Elevated FR, maybe?
12-05-2009 03:19 PM
Human being with feelings
if you will put descriptive pictures it can catch the attention from people who usually don't have time to read so much unless they know that this could be useful for them (especially when English is not their native language)...

discussion thread + mockup ?

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