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Old 12-12-2009, 06:33 PM   #1
airon
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Default [IID #1736] Volume Envelope display scale for better use (DONE)

Posted here: http://forum.cockos.com/project.php?issueid=1736

The volume envelope is presented in such a way that it squeezes a small range of dB values unevenly in to the available vertical space of an envelope lane or track. Reaper has not provided much choice here and the default can be improved a great deal.

The volume envelope is presenting logarithmic scale values in a non-linear fashion. It doesn't need to entirely, but a little better than this would go a long way to solving the bad accuracy problems of editing volume automation by hand at values lower the -12 dB.

Let's take a closer look here and see what we've got.

50% of the track height is used for 0 to +6 dB of gain
Of the remaining 50%, 87% is used for -18 to 0 dB

More than a year ago I collected some data to see how Protools and Reaper compare in this regard, and here's what I found(pixel measurements are a slight bit inaccurate, judging by the wobble in the graphs ):

[img]http://img8.**************/img8/1993/datacapture.png[/img]

From my experience, the Protools scale of presenting a volume envelope is better for hands-on editing. The zero dB value on the volume envelope does NOT sit in the middle of the item, but then again it doesn't need to. Anyone uncomfortable with having the item gain showing up at the zero dB line can simply put it at the top of the item so it won't get in the way. Like I said, from my experience that linear scale of dB values is more efficient.

For simplicity's sake, I suggest dB value be limited to 0.1dB steps for non-finetune mode, and xx.x5 steps for finetune mode. It's a little easier to read and won't sacrifice too much detail. Maybe some folks will like 0.01dB steps for finetune mode.

In the end this is about choice and efficiency. And we do have that choice for volume faders already.
This is the discussion thread for it.
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Old 12-13-2009, 02:14 AM   #2
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Personally I would use the envelope in linear mode, I find the fine tuning ability
for values between -12 to +6 mostly not needed as a scaled display, enough would
be the modifier mode for fine tuning (as command drag on volume faders), or at least
an option in Envelope preferences for double-click to display input value, instead
of resetting the point to 0 VU. There are cases however when it is needed on most
extreme values:

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricM
I was adjusting the ratio parameter on ReaComp last time,
and the only area I was interested in was between 1:1 and 2:1,
you can imagine how insignificant that looks on the envelope
that goes from 1 to 100 (inf.).
http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=42357
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Old 12-19-2009, 04:39 AM   #3
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Does anyone here edit the volume envelopes by hand below -12 dB ?
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Old 12-19-2009, 07:48 AM   #4
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I try to automate above 0 to 6dB with various controllers and it becomes extremely difficult. The whole thing needs the same adjust control we have with standard fader ranges and linearity
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Old 02-14-2010, 10:34 AM   #5
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I completely second that FR. I often use very low volumes and have a lot of difficulties automating them.
+1 !
Attached Images
File Type: png enveloppe.png (28.3 KB, 558 views)
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Old 04-06-2010, 09:10 AM   #6
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A slight bump for this issue. Please go and vote if this even remotely affects you.

The volume envelope could really do a lot better.
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Old 05-20-2010, 09:04 AM   #7
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I've struggled today, automating reacomps threshold; even with the envelope lane maximized to fill the screen! really hard to make fine adjustments..

You got my vote!

but, i was thinking.. wouldn't it also be handy to be able to just zoom in independently of the tracks? Maybe even, zoom the marquee selection?
That would make it possible to simply zoom in on the lower register of the automation lane.

hmm how do you guys get around this?

cheers, wakka.
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Old 05-20-2010, 02:23 PM   #8
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I don't get around it. I do not use Reaper for mixing work(but some mixing fun).

While Reaper can finetune a section up or down by creating a time selection and then using the envelope lane slider(hold CTRL to finetune) to bring a section up or down in values. Trouble is, that thing uses percentage values, which IMO is less the heroically smart. Whoever thought this up, miscalculated for the volume envelope at the very least. dB is the parameters name, and the sooner some poor beginner gets the hang of this, the better. -6dB -> -50%.

Reaper also has some very nasty habits, not allowing you to write to any envelope unless it's visible, which practically eliminates most quick mixing workflows, because you do need to see your material on tracks, and not 20 parameter lanes per track cluttering up the screen.

The above method may give you what you want. It can be used on any envelope points covered by a time selection.

The alternative is to bitch and moan, with good reasons.

I can't fathom why the volume envelope hasn't been touched yet. It's inefficient so far for the tasks I need to do in the sub -12 dB range.
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Last edited by airon; 05-21-2010 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 06-10-2010, 02:55 PM   #9
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Vote +1!!!

Right now I can't (and don't) mix in Reaper. This would be great
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:01 AM   #10
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This current enveloppe curve makes me crazy !

It is unbelievable that Cockos has made a lot improvements in all domains but lets this major problem unsolved for such a long time...

http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=20673
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Old 08-09-2010, 03:49 PM   #11
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Hey folks, we have 99 votes here. Can we get another to cross that threshold to make it a hundred ?
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Old 08-09-2010, 04:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airon View Post
Hey folks, we have 99 votes here. Can we get another to cross that threshold to make it a hundred ?
Sure

How come I didn't vote for this before?
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Old 08-09-2010, 05:30 PM   #13
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100 it is.

Nice round number that says "Please build this ASAP." instead of "Uuh. Could we have something... uuuh... huhuh... better?"[/Beavis]
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Old 08-20-2010, 07:56 AM   #14
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Bumped. This stands at 105 votes now.

Has everyone who edits volume envelopes by hand or wants to see what's going on for the volume envelopes taken a hard look at this ? It takes 2 minutes folks.
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Old 08-30-2010, 09:51 AM   #15
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yeah, +1 here and please give us the option of automating beyond +6dB

i bumped into this limit today and it is quite confusing if you can move the fader up to +24db but not the automation
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:01 AM   #16
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i must correct myself, it is possible to automate, but only by moving the fader while recording automation, but not editing with the mouse. all the recorded automation points above +6db are shown at the top regardless of their value. i consider this a point where improvement is necessary. if you do so, it will be a great enhancement in workflow.

Last edited by ytiralugnis; 08-30-2010 at 11:02 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 03-20-2011, 10:26 PM   #17
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I've prepared another small illustration, this time with Reaper (v4a58) and Protools (9.02) composited on top of each other with dB values attached to the envelope points.

Click on the small image to get the big one(60kB).



The worst part about this is that Reaper doesn't even use the fader curve settings as a reference, which the user can set up. I find editing the volume automation in Reaper absolutely ridiculous because of these shortcomings.

121 votes. Maybe this will get fixed in the bug automation advance. That would be the latest at which to do that too.
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Old 03-21-2011, 01:38 AM   #18
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thanks for the graph!
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Old 04-19-2011, 02:57 AM   #19
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bump now that the taper faders are available in R4 alpha
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Old 04-20-2011, 02:06 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airon View Post
The worst part about this is that Reaper doesn't even use the fader curve settings as a reference, which the user can set up. I find editing the volume automation in Reaper absolutely ridiculous because of these shortcomings.
121 votes. Maybe this will get fixed in the bug automation advance. That would be the latest at which to do that too.
Some thoughts about it from Justin or Shwa would help to wait and keep hope...
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Old 10-16-2011, 06:08 PM   #21
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Friendly bump.

Please Put the legacy envelopes to "Deprecated" as soon as possible. You'd be doing all of us manual envelope editors a big favour.
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Old 10-16-2011, 11:45 PM   #22
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yep, can't wait!
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Old 11-30-2011, 03:41 PM   #23
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I'm going to bump this as well. As a new user, this is one of the most troublesome issues I have come across. I have to stretch the volume tracks VERY wide just to be able to do some slight adjustments, and thats just silly.
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:45 AM   #24
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BUMP BUMP BUMP



The above is with prefs set to "-inf to +6dB".

It's just insane. Come on Cockos, 2 years and 170 votes later this is still a fairly serious deficiency.

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Old 02-26-2012, 07:54 AM   #25
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Absolutely ridiculous, needs a change. ASAP!
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:33 AM   #26
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Yeah Cockos should have fixed for V4 :

Look at Localhost post here :
http://forum.cockos.com/showpost.php...3&postcount=24

For V4, there was already new pan modes, incompatibles with V3 projects, new fader mode, why didn't they put a new optionnal per project Volume envelope handling ?

There seems a very long time to wait for V5 since those kind of things is supposed to be integrated only in big version number.

For now, I must say it's quite painfull, frustrating and irritating to edit volume envelope.
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Old 02-26-2012, 03:05 PM   #27
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yes, please!!
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Old 02-26-2012, 03:21 PM   #28
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I have to agree
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:36 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mim View Post
Yeah Cockos should have fixed for V4 :

Look at Localhost post here :
http://forum.cockos.com/showpost.php...3&postcount=24

For V4, there was already new pan modes, incompatibles with V3 projects, new fader mode, why didn't they put a new optionnal per project Volume envelope handling ?

There seems a very long time to wait for V5 since those kind of things is supposed to be integrated only in big version number.

For now, I must say it's quite painfull, frustrating and irritating to edit volume envelope.
Yes, this really should have been included in V4 IMO. Volume envelope + fader as a project setting!
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:40 AM   #30
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I hope I'm not getting on anyone's nerves when I say I still want user-definable ranges for ALL envelopes. Would solve (or at least help with!) this and a bunch of other problems

Last edited by k235; 02-27-2012 at 02:54 AM.
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:59 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k235 View Post
I hope I'm not getting on anyone's nerves when I say I still want user-definable ranges for ALL envelopes. Would solve (or at least help with!) this and a bunch of other problems
This isn't only about the range but about the shape. And for VSTs a user-definable range makes little sense (or rather none at all)
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Old 02-27-2012, 03:04 AM   #32
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I understand the shape issue. I don't understand how a definable range does not make sense? I explained it a little more clearly here: http://forum.cockos.com/project.php?issueid=3943
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Old 02-27-2012, 03:08 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k235 View Post
I understand the shape issue. I don't understand how a definable range does not make sense? I explained it a little more clearly here: http://forum.cockos.com/project.php?issueid=3943
Because the maximum range is always fixed and you can only reduce it. Furthermore VST envelopes are in normalized 0-1 space.
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Old 02-27-2012, 03:12 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l0calh05t View Post
Because the maximum range is always fixed and you can only reduce it. Furthermore VST envelopes are in normalized 0-1 space.
Well, but it doesn't help if the screen resolution and lack of mouse precision also get in the way, right? When editing photos, you zoom in, because it gives you better (editing) precision, even if it doesn't actually increase the number of pixels. That's the thinking behind this. I'm afraid I can't explain what I mean very well apparently.
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Old 02-27-2012, 03:16 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k235 View Post
Well, but i doesn't help if the screen resolution and lack of mouse precision also get in the way, right? When editing photos, you zoom in, because it gives you better (editing) precision, even if it doesn't actually increase the number of pixels. That's the thinking behind this. I'm afraid I can't explain what I mean very well apparently.
In that case envelope zoom might be more interesting (although you can already do that partially by resizing the envelope lane). But this is all quite OT wrt to this thread.
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Old 02-27-2012, 03:18 AM   #36
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well, if I define the [display!] range for an envelope, it's the same as an envelope zoom, I agree.

Sorry for the OT, I thought this whole issue was sorta in the same vein. I'll quit now. If some moderator wants to move this discussion to my feature request thread, feel free to do so!
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Old 03-04-2012, 01:17 PM   #37
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Here's an interesting read on logarithmic vs. linear implementation of volume controls in software >> http://www.dr-lex.be/info-stuff/volumecontrols.html

It seems like reaper's volume envelope uses a linear volume slider (pulling the envelope line up or down is essentially just a volume slider). Like the article discusses, with linear volume controls equal sized moves throughout the slider range will cover different sized ranges of the volume scale depending on which end of the volume scale you are adjusting. On the lower end of the scale you will be affecting a larger volume range causing large amplitude changes, while on the top end of the scale you will be affecting a smaller volume range causing small amplitude changes. This pretty much matches reaper's volume envelope where you have -inf to -6dB occupying 1/4 of the scale, -6dB to 0dB taking up the next 1/4, while 0dB to +6dB practically occupies the whole top half of the scale.

On the other hand, reaper's mixer faders seem to have the volume control implemented in the correct logarithmic method thus distributing the values more evenly across the volume slider giving a perceived linearity to the movement of the control and the amplitude change.

Could this issue not be addressed by reusing the code from the faders and applying it to the volume envelope?

I hope they fix this for v5 (or sooner)
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:13 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ned View Post
I hope they fix this for v5 (or sooner)
v5? That is FAR TOO LONG a wait. It should definitely be done sooner. Like, very soon. It's really irritating as it is now.
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Old 03-04-2012, 05:28 PM   #39
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Indeed
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:24 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
v5? That is FAR TOO LONG a wait. It should definitely be done sooner. Like, very soon. It's really irritating as it is now.
Yes, however maybe there is still some work on the drawing bench ::

- What will happend to take envelope volume ?
- What will happend to Pre FX volume envelope ?
- Will Item's fade behave differently ?
- What will happend to send volume envelope ?

Just thought, it's worth thinking about what a new project preference will change in Reaper's general behavior, because a change like this should be integrated exhaustively and properly in one time. (You can't add fix for different volume related scale in different version of Reaper because your project will sound different in each version, although there will be only 1 preference)

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