Automation Editor Window

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Automation Editor Window

Postby suntower » Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:07 am

I'm sure this has been suggested before but I was thinking today it might be good to have an Automation Editor Window.

The current automation lanes kinda remind me of the in-place midi editpr. It's -OK- but it's often too small... I think this is a big part of all the complaints.

To complete the metaphor, I was thinking it might be cool to have a full-size Automation Editor... akin to the Key Editor. Basically just a full-screen way to do exactly the same stuff you do now in a tiny lane that you could pop up when needed. It would simply be a ruler and then the automation bits underneath.
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Re: Automation Editor Window

Postby mpayne0 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:42 pm

Elegant solution suntower.

So we would open up this editor, maybe a drop down list, or a sidebar like the other editors have where we can choose between the used automation tracks for that part. Maybe all automation parameters can be accessed from that bar ( I hate the separate small automation options window) Maybe we can layer a few automation lanes for reference (or maybe we can then group edit selected nodes of several tracks this way. And perhaps there are ghost indicators for the audio or midi part that we can snap to.

Section at the bottom for typing in exact values...

Yeah I like this a lot, they would not have to reimagine the entire arrangement page framework. Man I REALLY like this.
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Re: Automation Editor Window

Postby suntower » Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:29 pm

You want -details-?

You're askin' the wrong guy. :D

It just seems like it would be consistent with the UI metaphor: tiny lanes that can be edited (with a tweezers) in-place, but usually have a way to open a big window for easier editing. All seem to have common objects as you say: a ruler at top, an inspector of sorts on the left.

All I know for sure is that most of the grouses about 'I wish the automation worked like PT' or -whatever- would be solved if the damned thing were -bigger-. I mean that's the main reason I use 'parts' or the key editor instead of editing or slicing/dicing in-line.

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Re: Automation Editor Window

Postby mpayne0 » Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:11 pm

Actually I think this is better than what I have wanted, which was to basically reiterate what other DAWs do regarding automation.

Somehow moving into a separate window makes me think I'd focus more, take my time while automating... I see editors as a place to do deliberate micro focus work, I tend to rush aurtomation and the way it's currently built, doesn't quite lend itself to being detailed and accurate. Zooming being a factor, I'm more likely/comfy zooming and detailing in an editor than I am with my entire arrangement.

No one else likes this one? :idea:
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Re: Automation Editor Window

Postby marQs » Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:03 pm

Don't intend to compromise this excellent feature request but - at least basically - it is given in the current version.

The visibility management, paired with some simple viewing keycommands allow the user to focus on details.

An example:
- select the track you want to work on
- fire up your keyco for 'show selected tracks only'
- as an option save your visibility setting to come back later even quicker
- open automation lanes if not already done
- do your job
- fire up your keyco for 'show all tracks'

That's easy and quick for me. Though I could imagine having an automation editor with tools (easier access to different curves and tools like that) in the editors inspector.

As usual, it would be cool to have both possibilities. From reading through the forums for years, it seems some people hate extra windows like editors and would be able to do everything in the project window. Which I can understand as well - how cool will it be when can do warp, variaudio, hitpoint edits etc. in context just like Cubase allows midi in context.
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Re: Automation Editor Window

Postby SteveInChicago » Sat Mar 08, 2014 5:38 pm

I'm with marQs on this one. An additional editing window would add complexity and not be more useful than the current system.
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Re: Automation Editor Window

Postby suntower » Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:20 pm

Those who disagree have better eyesight than me. I think a lot of the complaints about automation have to do with how teensy the points are.

And I can't see how something that one can simply ignore if it doesn't fit with one's 'workflow' (a mongrel word) is a bad thing.

This has the benefits of being: easy to code and a lot of bang for buck for those of us with Harry Tuttle eyesight. The # of complaints about automation speak for themselves.
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Re: Automation Editor Window

Postby SteveInChicago » Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:30 pm

suntower wrote:Those who disagree have better eyesight than me. I think a lot of the complaints about automation have to do with how teensy the points are.


The points get larger if you enlarge the lane, and you must know that.

suntower wrote:This has the benefits of being: easy to code
How could you possibly know this?
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Re: Automation Editor Window

Postby suntower » Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:48 pm

In the broad strokes a developer with the proper background can 'see' the construction details, in the same way an engineer/contractor can look at a house and understand the outlines of the construction without seeing the drawings or the materials list. Just walking around is often adequate.

I don't want to stretch that analogy too far. Developers are as different as OB/GYNS from psychiatrists... though both are MDs. But all developers tend to use similar tools and 'parts'... like bits from Home Depot... and if you've used them before at a job site, you can spot 'em a mile away and make pretty educated guesses as to how things were done and what it would take to add that new 1/2 bath.

One can always be dead wrong, but in this case, it's unlikely.


SteveInChicago wrote:
suntower wrote:Those who disagree have better eyesight than me. I think a lot of the complaints about automation have to do with how teensy the points are.


The points get larger if you enlarge the lane, and you must know that.

suntower wrote:This has the benefits of being: easy to code
How could you possibly know this?
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Re: Automation Editor Window

Postby SteveInChicago » Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:54 pm

So you're saying it's likely you are familiar with the tools and frameworks SB uses, even if they have created their own, is that it?
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Re: Automation Editor Window

Postby marQs » Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:18 am

Really - no idea here how complicated it would be to code this. So no point for me to say anything about it.

What has helped me a lot with automation (and even more since Steinberg has decided for an incomprehensable reason to make the automation points nearly invisible unless at least one is selected... :| ) is that I've discovered that automation lanes can be colored independently from the track color (shift + mouse wheel, as usual in the project window). With bright colored tracks (yellow, bright green etc.) you don't need to have poor eyesight to see next to nothing. Changing the automation lanes to dark colors gives a much better contrast. (Embarrasing that I've realized this just recently, after 10+ years of Cubase... :lol: )

Well, saying I'm ok with the current methods does not mean, I would'nt use an advanced editor for the same job. As stated above, all of the track/event/part features should have double end possibilities - everything in a 'big' editor with superspecial convinience tools plus a basic version of the same thing in a context editor in the project window, please! :mrgreen:
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Re: Automation Editor Window

Postby suntower » Sun Mar 09, 2014 2:16 am

Well... assuming yer not just taking the *quiz* again... the answer to the question is.

Yes. It's really not rocket science. That doesn't take away from their achievements at all. But all professionals can 'look' at a program and get some idea of how it's put together.

Perhaps it seems like the height of arrogance... (Hey Doc... just sew my arm back on... what could be so feckin' HARD, dude?) But it's not like that at all. Most programming is a lot like plumbing. It requires skill, attention to detail, etc. but stuff like windowing is definitely not space magic.

Now the audio engine? That sort of thing is space magic to me. :D

---JC


SteveInChicago wrote:So you're saying it's likely you are familiar with the tools and frameworks SB uses, even if they have created their own, is that it?
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Re: Automation Editor Window

Postby Audiocave » Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:35 am

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Re: Automation Editor Window

Postby Weasel » Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:04 am

Audiocave's pic is that of the Mix Editor for the Mackie D8B. Almost 20 year old technology. Pretty much what Suntower is looking for as a new Cubase editor.

I've posted another look at this with some lanes containing data. I think Audiocave's pic was from v3 software. This was from v5.1 software. A bit more feature rich. I still use this console and this editor has been invaluable.

There's one little detail in there which is incredibly useful. Those two buttons that are labeled "Page" and "Back". That lets you superimpose another channels automation under the one you're editing. Makes matching moves a breeze.

Yeah, sure, I'd love something like this in Cubase.
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Re: Automation Editor Window

Postby jaslan » Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:27 am

I will say that I find it a little strange that the Tempo Track gets it's own editor and automation tracks do not. There can only be one Tempo Track and the data on it is not likely to be nearly as complex as an automation track.
Just saying...
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Re: Automation Editor Window

Postby suntower » Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:37 am

jaslan wrote:I will say that I find it a little strange that the Tempo Track gets it's own editor and automation tracks do not. There can only be one Tempo Track and the data on it is not likely to be nearly as complex as an automation track.
Just saying...
J.L.


That is history. The tempo window came before the tempo track. Only one tempo window. Only one tempo track.

But yeah... I almost NEVER use the tempo track because it's just too hard for me to make fine grained edits. I ALWAYS use the Tempo Window instead.

And that's only one line of data. So I'd probably appreciate an Automation Window about 10x more. :)

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Re: Automation Editor Window

Postby mpayne0 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:52 pm

I haven't upgraded to 7.5 yet, so I'm sure there are a lot of things that visibility puts a tidy bandaid on, or push you further into doing things that are intuitively wrong, but hey it's the Cubase way.

Personally the ability to just click a staple button, without scrolling 20 feet under the sea to find my bass reverb send, would be so nice.

Leave the button on the inspector, it always opens up the automation window, the options on the left sidebar determine how it works for ya. You have your ruler, tempo bar, signature, swing infos up top, you have your audio/midi track selectors on the side, etc. Visibility stays as is. I'm not a programmer, but it kinda seems that this is just a reinterpretation of things that Cubase should already be able to do. If not, well I don't want Steinberg adding an addition to my kitchen. :lol:

I am not sure how this feature goes unnoticed with all the years of people complaining about automation.
So really? Did visibility really fix it all up, automation is there in 7.5 now?
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Re: Automation Editor Window

Postby suntower » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:38 pm

Visibility is absolutely great for some things. ESPECIALLY now that you can make PLE presets for various groups of tracks.

-However- it's a workaround (and I don't mean that in a good way) for what I've been ranting about for a loooong time: Projects are just too hard to navigate sometimes.

IOW: Every time you need to 'zoom in' on automation, you'd need a Visibility preset which matches the track you want and you'd then need a macro to expand the automation and -then- you might need a macro to stttttretch it to a readable size and -then- you'd need the same # of steps to reverse the process and get back to where you were.

OR: you could have an Automation Window. :D
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Re: Automation Editor Window

Postby suntower » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:40 pm

Audiocave wrote:http://c1.zzounds.com/media/quality,85/fig26big-665826adcc5b36672c0760a21bb4adf6.gif


Thanks. The REALLY great thing about that... I have blinders on so I didn't even think about it. There's no reason why an Automation Editor couldn't display MULTIPLE tracks in one go. Woo hoo!

I would LOVE to edit the automation on several tracks at once! I -often- will do fades on a whole group of tracks... some are fading in whilst others are fading out. Doing them all at once would be GREAT!

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Re: Automation Editor Window

Postby Audiocave » Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:33 pm

suntower wrote:I would LOVE to edit the automation on several tracks at once! I -often- will do fades on a whole group of tracks... some are fading in whilst others are fading out. Doing them all at once would be GREAT!

---JC

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OH6muWrdag

That ^^^ also works for envelopes in track lanes but the current naming convention for envelope lanes makes it more problematic for doing that without a reference, at least until they're able to be renamed, so the video is using the automation track class.
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Re: Automation Editor Window

Postby suntower » Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:43 pm

Schweet. Although... It's still more work than a dedicated Audio Editor.

IOW: If there's a programmer in Hamburg right now with a few hours of free time, I'd much rather he devote it to an Automation Editor Window than to emulating a 'show only automation for selected tracks' button like this.

At first glance, the Presonus idea looks great... it's a very -general- tool. But most of the time, I would MUCH rather have a tool that does one task elegantly rather than a more generalised tool that does a lot of things, but all of them in a clunkier manner. There's already a bunch of stuff like that in Cubase.

---JC




Audiocave wrote:
suntower wrote:I would LOVE to edit the automation on several tracks at once! I -often- will do fades on a whole group of tracks... some are fading in whilst others are fading out. Doing them all at once would be GREAT!

---JC

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OH6muWrdag

That also works for envelopes in track lanes.
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Re: Automation Editor Window

Postby Audiocave » Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:51 pm

For sure. I did a lot of mixing on my old d8b and software doesn't really come that close overall, the snapshots which can capture all kinds of things like plugs and scenes that you can drop onto and fire from the automation editor, etc, etc. so yeah, that really old automation editor is still a very powerful tool compared to software workstations.

Nothing really even comes close to a good digital console for automation. PT and Nuendo are about as close as you'll get in software.

In many ways, starting to mix in the box was a few steps backwards for me... automation wise.

Anyway, good FR.
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Re: Automation Editor Window

Postby suntower » Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:01 pm

Just curious: got any screencaps of Nuendo?


---JC

Audiocave wrote:For sure. I did a lot of mixing on my old d8b and software doesn't really come that close overall, the snapshots which can capture all kinds of things like plugs and scenes that you can drop onto and fire from the automation editor, etc, etc. so yeah, that really old automation editor is still a very powerful tool compared to software workstations.

Nothing really even comes close to a good digital console for automation. PT and Nuendo are about as close as you'll get in software.

In many ways, starting to mix in the box was a few steps backwards for me... automation wise.

Anyway, good FR.
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