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Old 11-11-2017, 12:13 PM   #1
thevisi0nary
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Default Volume automation management, is it always tedious or am I doing something wrong?

I just want to know if there is an easier way to manage volume automation and overall volume in general, right now I can't seem to handle this without banging my head into the wall every time.

Say you are working with several midi orchestral tracks. Would you be automating the standard volume envelope (hitting V on the highlighted track), or is it better to automate the fader itself?

How do you handle automation in relation to overall volume? Sorry if this is a basic question.
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Old 11-11-2017, 12:29 PM   #2
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Personally I do most of my volume editing using the Pre FX volume.
This means my FX get a constant level in (at least I hope this is how it works)
I can then adjust the overall volume with the "Volume" automation or the
"Trim Volume".
Having the trim volume is handy if you have a track say for lead guitar for example and you wish to have segments increased in volume say for the lead break and you
also have licks in there you need to have less volume for.
Then you can use the "Volume automation) for the levels you need it the mix and
leave the "Trim Volume" for adjusting the level of the whole track in a mix.

My two cents worth.

Grinder
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Old 11-11-2017, 03:16 PM   #3
thevisi0nary
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grinder View Post
Personally I do most of my volume editing using the Pre FX volume.
This means my FX get a constant level in (at least I hope this is how it works)
I can then adjust the overall volume with the "Volume" automation or the
"Trim Volume".
Having the trim volume is handy if you have a track say for lead guitar for example and you wish to have segments increased in volume say for the lead break and you
also have licks in there you need to have less volume for.
Then you can use the "Volume automation) for the levels you need it the mix and
leave the "Trim Volume" for adjusting the level of the whole track in a mix.

My two cents worth.

Grinder
Keep in mind I am mainly working with midi, so splitting up items into many small items would not be the most efficient for volume control.

My main issue with the pre fx is that sometimes my base volume line is very low, and when it’s that low doing meticulous editing gets very tedious. Is there a basic work around for this?
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Old 11-11-2017, 06:09 PM   #4
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What about increasing the volume of the sampler output?
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Old 11-11-2017, 06:45 PM   #5
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Yeah, midi instruments shouldn't be causing such headaches.

Set the desired output level from the instrument plugin interface. Get the dynamics you want with velocity and expression. If you've programmed the part as you want it, automating the channel level should only occasionally be necessary, generally speaking.
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Old 11-11-2017, 07:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judders View Post
Yeah, midi instruments shouldn't be causing such headaches.

Set the desired output level from the instrument plugin interface. Get the dynamics you want with velocity and expression. If you've programmed the part as you want it, automating the channel level should only occasionally be necessary, generally speaking.
This is something I was thinking about. I there may be instances of trying to automate volume when I should really be automating dynamics / expression. Thank you.
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Old 11-11-2017, 07:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by endorka View Post
What about increasing the volume of the sampler output?
I am talking about automating volume changes.
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Old 11-11-2017, 08:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thevisi0nary View Post
Say you are working with several midi orchestral tracks. Would you be automating the standard volume envelope (hitting V on the highlighted track), or is it better to automate the fader itself?
Automating midi is not the same as audio. Well, I guess that's up to who's doing it. And actually it is similar, just different controllers.

With audio you have several ways to control volume, and you can also have several ways to control midi volume, it really depends on the VSTi programs you're using.

Personally I would never try to automate midi with audio envelopes, I use the CC controllers, in there own lanes. Many orchestra libraries will have at least 2 controllers for volume, but many will have 3 or more. CC11, known as "Expression" is just another volume control and is available on nearly any library. Some, maybe most will also have CC01 for dynamic crossfades, and it also generally acts as a volume control as well as for using the dynamics of the samples.

Then you have CC07 as the overall volume control.

Most of my orchestra libraries have both CC01 and CC11. What I do for say, a Violin track, is setup CC07=90 and CC11=85. Then I use CC01 to adjust the dynamics as well as the volume. Of course that depends on whether the samples have been recorded and edited to do that, and many of mine have been.

Also there is another factor, "velocity". For many, if not most midi instruments that have CC01 for dynamics, they will also have the velocity intensity at 0%, which means that velocity is ineffective as a volume controller. What that indicates is that the various sample levels, p, mf, f, ff, have been recorded and left at their original recorded levels (meaning they probably haven't been normalized).

Using CC controllers you have everything you need to conduct an orchestra.

But of course it's not that simple. Using midi to make orchestra music has two important factors, at least that I know of. #1, you have to understand the music you're trying to create, #2 you have to know how to use midi to achieve that. Learning and using the controllers for your particular libraries is very important, at least I think so.

I don't think there's a shortcut, but if you think you've got one, good for you. For me creating midi arrangements, whether it's orchestral or what ever, has always been a challenge and not easy, but I know if I put the time and work into it, I'll at least end up satisfied.
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Old 11-12-2017, 10:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tod View Post
CC11, known as "Expression" is just another volume control and is available on nearly any library.
Great stuff in your post Tod, even though expression started out as a level control some libraries switch/blend velocity layers with it. It all depends on the library. I'm sure you know that, but was just being complete for anyone reading
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Old 11-12-2017, 10:30 AM   #10
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make sure this selected when copying items.
"envelope points move with media items"

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Old 11-14-2017, 10:52 AM   #11
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Seriously thanks for all of the help here.
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Old 11-15-2017, 11:45 AM   #12
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Tod - reminded me of the wonderful assignable sub-mixer in bars n pipes pro.

8 mix faders that you could assign to whatever CC you liked, pan, volume expression etc, and have each one doing something different, also freely assignable to whatever MIDI channels you wanted to affect.
I know nobody else would vote for it but I would LOVE to see something like this implemented in Reaper.

(grin) And now the obligatory dumbass part:
"I mean, how hard could it be to program that?)



I'll get me coat, then....

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