Old 01-14-2015, 11:45 AM   #81
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If we're being completely honest
If I were to be so honest, I'd have to agree with Kenny (I think) and know that what I'm doing has a potential non-visible effect when doing things like trim/vca etc. because I "know what I am doing". Just let me know that it is doing that thing (aka it is enabled) and I can likely handle the rest. The only exception being my poorly worded initial idea of some modifier that does nothing but give me a quick view of the "net result" of those things but that would only be for sanity reasons really.

In other words, it doesn't matter which things I did that could affect my net volume (trim,vca etc), the modifier would just display that net volume had I just set the fader there to begin with but I don't really need it, just thinking out loud. Hope that makes sense.

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Old 01-14-2015, 11:48 AM   #82
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Hmmm...what about "fader layers"?...possibly with a toggle view mode, both local and global.
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Old 01-14-2015, 11:54 AM   #83
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If I were to be so honest, I'd have to agree with Kenny (I think) and know that what I'm doing has a potential non-visible effect when doing things like trim/vca etc. because I "know what I am doing". Just let me know that it is doing that thing (aka it is enabled) and I can likely handle the rest. The only exception being my poorly worded initial idea of some modifier that does nothing but give me a quick view of the "net result" of those things but that would only be for sanity reasons really.
I don't disagree with Kenny.

I was only pointing out the obvious, that Ghost Caps made a big impact on people when they first showed up even though nobody here had ever actually even used them, or could use them, because Sequoia is like $3k and there is no demo.

So at least part of the fascination (for some) was due to it just looking really cool, not necessarily that most (or anyone) here had actually used them and found them to be a better working method.

That's all I was getting at there... while also coming to the realization that I hadn't either and that they might actually suck in practice.

At least I can actually try it now in Samp so I'll do that just out of sheer curiosity.
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:09 PM   #84
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I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with this option but what confuses me (and it's my biggest problem with Reaper's automation structure) is that you guys seem hell bent on seeing everything that's going on. And that's fine. But why is it OK to NOT see what's going on with Trim automation while in Read mode or what's going on with Read automation (your volume envelope) while you're in Trim mode?

How is that acceptable to leave out such an important part of mixing but suddenly it's a problem in VCAs?

Where are the cries for Ghost Caps in those instances?
I didn't even know there is such a thing as "trim automation" in Reaper. But I do remember requests for some visuals to indicate the trim fader's setting in automation read mode, which I support.
(EDIT: ) Since the option to reset the trim fader to zero (when a volume automation envelope is created) got implemented I don't find it really important anymore, though.

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Old 01-14-2015, 12:11 PM   #85
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Actually, the whole point of a VCA is to route audio through it and then control the level of that audio with a control voltage, hence: Voltage Controlled Amplifier. Basically, the amplifier gain (usually 0 through to unity) is controlled by a voltage.
However, the way planetnine used the term here, it seems that he isn't referring to the VCA itself, but to the CV (control voltage) signal(s) going into it. In that sense, he's correct: you don't route audio from the master track *to* slave tracks, you route a control signal from master to slave.
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:18 PM   #86
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I don't disagree with Kenny.
Oops, I wasn't disagreeing with you either, just thinking out loud and referencing comments for clarity.
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:19 PM   #87
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@ Banned: I wonder - and I'm just asking, I'm not that deep of a low level tech geek guy who knows that stuff - does that even apply in digital?

I guess the question is, in a true VCA where the V literally means "voltage", does that even apply in digital or is it more just one code bit telling another code bit to link up and track and follow some gain changes?
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:22 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by Lawrence View Post
I wonder - and I'm just asking, I'm not that deep of a low level tech geek guy who knows that stuff - does that even apply in digital?

I guess the question is, in a true VCA where the V literally means "voltage", does that even apply in digital or is it more just one code bit telling another code bit to follow some gain changes?
That's why DCA is the real term in digital but IMHO (though I'm no expert) it should/can be considered like a voltage because it shouldn't be confused with piping a signal as banned explained in the other thread. It's the reason they chose VCA to begin with instead of routing in the analog world for example IIRC. Because that's what it is under the covers. You are turning something up down with a voltage not piping something correct?
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:23 PM   #89
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Oops, I wasn't disagreeing with you either, just thinking out loud and referencing comments for clarity.
Thanks. Yeah, I was actually kinda smacking myself there for discussing the potential benefits of something that I've never actually even used.

So I thought it might be a good idea to shut up about it at least until I actually do try it.
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:25 PM   #90
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So I thought it might be a good idea to shut up about it at least until I actually do try it.
Same here but too interesting to shut me trap just yet.
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:26 PM   #91
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That's why DCA is the real term in digital but IMHO (though I'm no expert) it should/can be considered like a voltage because it shouldn't be confused with piping a signal as banned explained in the other thread. It's the reason they chose VCA to begin with instead of routing in the analog world for example IIRC. Because that's what it is under the covers. You are turning something up down with a voltage not piping something correct?
No idea tbh. How does normal grouping work to track volume across channels (channel A following channel B) in a daw, does it literally pipe some kind of control signal or does it just simply "link" digital amplifiers?

I obviously can't answer that question with any authority because I've never coded anything like that.
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:27 PM   #92
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I didn't even know there is such a thing as "trim automation" in Reaper. But I do remember requests for some visuals to indicate the trim fader's setting in automation read mode, which I support.
(EDIT: ) Since the option to reset the trim fader to zero (when a volume automation envelope is created) got implemented I don't find it really important anymore, though.
My apologies. I meant "Trim Mode".

Which brings up another point. We should really have Trim Automation mode as well.

Trim Mode has no way to be "locked" so it's hard to call a mix a mix when faders can still be adjusted. IMHO of course.

I'd like to see Trim Mode named something completely different with the option of a Trim/Write, Trim/Touch and Trim/Latch mode for writing Trim moves.

Then the other "old" Trim mode could be an optional level that could be used by people who still need or want it.
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:28 PM   #93
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Which brings up another point. We should really have Trim Automation mode as well.
Trim, fills, preview and maybe a few others that escape me at the moment.
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:28 PM   #94
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No idea tbh. How does normal grouping work to track volume across channels (channel A following channel B) in a daw, does it literally pipe some kind of control signal or does it just simply "link" digital amplifiers?

I obviously can't answer that question with any authority because I've never coded anything like that.
I thought (soon to be corrected as needed) it was literally a voltage controlled amplifier. IOW, I could have a fader way over "there" that simply tells some other fader/channel to turn up down via a control voltage.
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:29 PM   #95
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No idea tbh. How does normal grouping work to track volume across channels (channel A following channel B) in a daw, does it literally pipe some kind of control signal or does it just simply "link" digital amplifiers?

I obviously can't answer that question with any authority because I've never coded anything like that.
Have you used VCAs in Pro Tools?

I'm guessing that many haven't simply because it's only in the HD version of Pro Tools.
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:29 PM   #96
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I just watched that video of Cubase 8 and now I can visualize something good to work with. I think that Kenny already pointed that out: move the actual faders instead of having ghost caps. That makes sense to me now.
I disagree strongly. A major downside to having slaved 'faders' move along with the master, is that you can't use those slaved 'faders' on the slave tracks anymore to adjust automation. They would maintain their function as a visual indicator only, while losing much of their function as control element. So it makes much more sense to add another visual indicator (such as a ghost fader or GP's suggestion), or even to do nothing, than to sacrifice this important functionality.
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:32 PM   #97
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Have you used VCAs in Pro Tools?

I'm guessing that many haven't simply because it's only in the HD version of Pro Tools.
Yes I have. The last time was in the HD 11 demo. Before that I worked part time (like once a week) in an HD home studio here engineering for a guy who also did these one man live shows, I'd run his sessions while he was out singing at the piano bar or whatever.

And of course, I also own a d8b which can replicate some of that behavior.
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:36 PM   #98
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@ Banned: I wonder - and I'm just asking, I'm not that deep of a low level tech geek guy who knows that stuff - does that even apply in digital?

I guess the question is, in a true VCA where the V literally means "voltage", does that even apply in digital or is it more just one code bit telling another code bit to link up and track and follow some gain changes?
Well, no. In the digital domain, "control voltage" is simply used here as an analogy for "control signal". The cool thing about control voltages is that you can mix them (as you would mix audio signals), which may in part explain the popularity of this analogy. You can also see a similar paradigm in applications like Reason or Numerology, where you would drag virtual 'CV' cables between various control sources/targets.
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:37 PM   #99
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I disagree strongly. A major downside to having slaved 'faders' move along with the master, is that you can't use those slaved 'faders' on the slave tracks anymore to adjust automation. They would maintain their function as a visual indicator only, while losing much of their function as control element. So it makes much more sense to add another visual indicator (such as a ghost fader or GP's suggestion), or even to do nothing, than to sacrifice this important functionality.
Are you saying that it can't be done or it can't be done in Reaper?

Because I do it all the time in Pro Tools without any issues.

The slaves simply add what the VCA is doing to the mix but I can still automate the slaves.
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:46 PM   #100
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I'm saying that it conceptually makes no sense to do things in such a clumsy way.
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The slaves simply add what the VCA is doing to the mix but I can still automate the slaves.
The point is: can you still automate the slaves by means of adjusting those faders, even though their faders may be moving all over the place as a result of automation from one or more VCA masters?

For example: set up a LFO-like automation envelope for volume on the VCA master track, and start playback. The result would be that the volume 'fader' on the VCA slave tracks would move along with the 'fader' on the master track, following the same automation curve, correct? Now try grabbing it and moving it to draw a slow fade-in on the automation envelope for the slave track track volume parameter. Possible? Perhaps. Clumsy? Very likely.
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:47 PM   #101
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Anyway, here's one thing to consider doing it the way Reaper currently does it, the relationship of the fader to the scale.

1. You trim a VCA Master by 10db.
2. You remove but coalese that to the channel (without automation, just static, since the automation bit isn't there yet)

If the fader doesn't ever move and that gain adjustment happens somewhere else it's now kinda permanently working away it's normal scale or range. No idea how that might apply to the scale in general in good or bad ways with the scale being logarithmic.

Just observing. In the above case unity on the channel is no longer unity. +10 is unity? (I think)

Of course, if you coalese with track automation, which of course always moves the fader, none of that applies.
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:47 PM   #102
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The slaves simply add what the VCA is doing to the mix but I can still automate the slaves.
I would think that's as it should be. But what happens then if the slave envelope is used as a visual? Does the slave envelope then reflect the programmed envelope with the VCA offset applied to it?

Or, heh heh, maybe a ghost envelope?
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:48 PM   #103
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Anyway, here's one thing to consider doing it the way Reaper currently does it, the relationship of the fader to the scale.

1. You trim a VCA Master by 10db.
2. You remove but coalese that to the channel (without automation, just static, since the automation bit isn't there yet)

If the fader doesn't ever move and that gain adjustment happens somewhere else it's now kinda permanently working away it's normal scale or range. No idea how that might apply to the scale in general in good or bad ways with the scale being logarithmic.

Just observing. In the above case unity on the channel is no longer unity. +10 is unity? (I think)
The fader has to move then!!!

Otherwise you have a hidden volume adjustment you can't get back to.

Which is my issue with Trim mode BTW.
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:51 PM   #104
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I would think that's as it should be. But what happens then if the slave envelope is used as a visual? Does the slave envelope then reflect the programmed envelope with the VCA offset applied to it?

Or, heh heh, maybe a ghost envelope?
In Pro Tools, you don't have Ghost Caps but you do have another visual envelope. I believe it's blue to seperate it from the tracks automation and it represents what you're actually hearing.

Upon coalescing that VCA, the blue envelope becomes the individual tracks envelope and you have one again.
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:55 PM   #105
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The fader has to move then!!!
I would think so in that what may be not the best hypothetical, yes.

These are the things that make you go "hmmmm....".

But yeah, the fader has to move at some point, even if it doesn't move while under direct VCA control it still has to move at some point.
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Old 01-14-2015, 01:14 PM   #106
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However, the way planetnine used the term here, it seems that he isn't referring to the VCA itself, but to the CV (control voltage) signal(s) going into it. In that sense, he's correct: you don't route audio from the master track *to* slave tracks, you route a control signal from master to slave.
No matter what the console guys say, me and you have discussed this before and in DAW terms this is simply a multiplier
x=signal
y=DCA
z=level

So xyz is pre fade
and xzy is post fade

So in reality it is routed through the A part of the DCA/VCA
That aside i do understand the need to pander to guys who grew up with equipment pre DAWs, however i dont agree that that pander should hold back people more used to DAWs, it is becoming very obvious that a vast array of visualising and routing options would be best.
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Old 01-14-2015, 01:22 PM   #107
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...it is becoming very obvious that a vast array of visualising and routing options would be best.
didn't someone mention a 'can of worms' (cow) sometime back? pass the can-opener, please.

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Old 01-14-2015, 01:27 PM   #108
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Well... Samp X2.

- The ghost caps are wireframe and you can't even really see them very well unless the track is selected so, almost invisible otherwise.

- Deleting the VCA Master just throws everything out, doesn't coalese anything which isn't good.

- On the bright side, the assignments for VCA's are all right on the mixer channels and they multi-switch, which is pretty easy and direct.

I can only assume they saved most of the good stuff for Sequoia and to really get a feel for that (or the full implementation) probably requires trying Sequoia.

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Old 01-14-2015, 01:35 PM   #109
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- The ghost caps are wireframe and you can't even really see them very well unless the track is selected so, almost invisible otherwise.
skinning may help with that.
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Old 01-14-2015, 01:37 PM   #110
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No matter what the console guys say, me and you have discussed this before and in DAW terms this is simply a multiplier
Yeah, it's all pretty "simple multiplication" underneath.
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x=signal
y=DCA
z=level

So xyz is pre fade
and xzy is post fade
... but I don't quite follow this explanation, since with multiplication, order is irrelevant: xyz = xzy. But pre fade != post fade.

I think you left out one of the important variables there, in fact the most important one when it comes to the difference between pre/post fader, namely the 'fader' itself (or, phrased more generally: the GUI control element and automation envelope corresponding to a parameter, such as track volume).
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Old 01-14-2015, 01:40 PM   #111
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skinning may help with that.
Dunno. It was all rather anti-climatic.

No clue about Seqouia but PT and Pyramix's VCA's are way better than what I see here in Samp. I have a suspicion that when VCA's hit Nuendo they'll be a good bit better than what Cubase has too.

That was a relative waste of time and bandwidth.
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Old 01-14-2015, 03:31 PM   #112
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No clue about Seqouia but PT and Pyramix's VCA's are way better than what I see here in Samp.
I had a look into Pyramix' demo version. Hadn't thought they would offer one!

I like the easy routing inside the mixer and the color flags on the fader caps. But this is only possible because of different track types... So, no option for REAPER, I guess?

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Old 01-14-2015, 04:32 PM   #113
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Yeah, it's all pretty "simple multiplication" underneath.

... but I don't quite follow this explanation, since with multiplication, order is irrelevant: xyz = xzy. But pre fade != post fade.

I think you left out one of the important variables there, in fact the most important one when it comes to the difference between pre/post fader, namely the 'fader' itself (or, phrased more generally: the GUI control element and automation envelope corresponding to a parameter, such as track volume).
Fader is level, the math is correct
I have built a sh*tload of mixers in software haha

Although i did simplify it too much i guess
x(yz)
x(zy)
Those are actual simple pre and post DCA/VCA in math

EDIT* As stillwell points out this is nonsense, i put the parenthese in to seperate in to make it visually clear what was the signal vs the modifiers, and kept all three in the pre to show the entire chain, should have been clearer on that, my bad.
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Old 01-14-2015, 04:43 PM   #114
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Fader is level, the math is correct
I have built a sh*tload of mixers in software haha
Ah, but then I guess you used one variable too much for the pre fade line, where you'd leave out the fader/level:

So xy is pre fade
and xyz is post fade

That makes more sense, right?
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Although i did simplify it too much i guess
x(yz)
x(zy)
Those are actual simple pre and post DCA/VCA in math
That still does not compute here (since order of multiplication is irrelevant, the parentheses don't change anything?)

But I think I get what you mean, and hate discussing maths (I really suck at it). Let's get back to discussing important GUI stuff.
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Old 01-14-2015, 06:01 PM   #115
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I disagree strongly. A major downside to having slaved 'faders' move along with the master, is that you can't use those slaved 'faders' on the slave tracks anymore to adjust automation. They would maintain their function as a visual indicator only, while losing much of their function as control element. So it makes much more sense to add another visual indicator (such as a ghost fader or GP's suggestion), or even to do nothing, than to sacrifice this important functionality.
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I'm saying that it conceptually makes no sense to do things in such a clumsy way.
The point is: can you still automate the slaves by means of adjusting those faders, even though their faders may be moving all over the place as a result of automation from one or more VCA masters?

For example: set up a LFO-like automation envelope for volume on the VCA master track, and start playback. The result would be that the volume 'fader' on the VCA slave tracks would move along with the 'fader' on the master track, following the same automation curve, correct? Now try grabbing it and moving it to draw a slow fade-in on the automation envelope for the slave track track volume parameter. Possible? Perhaps. Clumsy? Very likely.
Slaves' faders/knobs aren't supposed to move when there's automation on the VCA Master.
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Old 01-14-2015, 06:13 PM   #116
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BTW, today, while mixing a song, I realized that if I lived all these years with children faders not moving when I move the parent folder fader (which is completely OK and expected) I can live with slaves faders not moving either. Changes on the VCA Master are supposed to be heard, not seen (like it happens with folders).

Anyways, I can work with VCAs as is and they seem fine to me but of course, these ghost caps, original faders moving, coaslecing automation, etc., stuff would be nice bonuses.
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Old 01-14-2015, 06:18 PM   #117
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Slaves' faders/knobs aren't supposed to move when there's automation on the VCA Master.
Yeah, that was my point.

But I wonder, are you perhaps also implying that slaves' faders/knobs are supposed to follow the VCA master when there is no automation on the VCA master, i.e. when adjusting the master fader manually? (Since in that simpler case, my objection above does not apply, obviously... I guess it could still be confusing, though.)
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Old 01-14-2015, 06:53 PM   #118
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Fader is level, the math is correct
I have built a sh*tload of mixers in software haha

Although i did simplify it too much i guess
x(yz)
x(zy)
Those are actual simple pre and post DCA/VCA in math
Banned is correct. If you've got pre and post fader, then pre-fader doesn't include fader by definition. 2 terms (pre-fader) vs 3 terms (post-fader). Math is math - multiplication doesn't depend on order of operands, nor on grouping of operands with parentheses. Google "commutative property of multiplication".

0.2 * 0.9 * 0.75
0.9 * 0.75 * 0.2
0.2 * (0.9 * 0.75)
(0.2 * 0.9) * 0.75

All have the same result, 0.135.

I think you know (and we mostly know) what you're trying to say, but you're choosing the wrong terms to do it or just using phrasing it less clearly than you could.

Scott
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Old 01-14-2015, 07:20 PM   #119
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Yeah, that was my point.

But I wonder, are you perhaps also implying that slaves' faders/knobs are supposed to follow the VCA master when there is no automation on the VCA master, i.e. when adjusting the master fader manually? (Since in that simpler case, my objection above does not apply, obviously... I guess it could still be confusing, though.)
Yeah, they'd move only if I move the VCA Master fader/knob with my mouse/controller. I can't see how that would be confusing, it's like grouping after all.
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Old 01-14-2015, 07:58 PM   #120
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Yeah, they'd move only if I move the VCA Master fader/knob with my mouse/controller. I can't see how that would be confusing, it's like grouping after all.
Well, I think it could be confusing when controls move 'groupwise' at first, before you use automation, and then stop doing so as soon as you add automation. VCA groups are indeed much like 'regular' grouping, but then again, grouping doesn't support automation.
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