Audio mix down using Arranger track

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Musicmind
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Audio mix down using Arranger track

Post by Musicmind » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:41 am

Hi
I'm using the arranger track in some projects. And I want to create a Audio mix down that follows the arranger track settings.
But this is a bit "convoluted", because I have to calculate the playing-time of the arrangement and set the locators to fit the length of the track myself, but even then, the resulting audio file always has a bit of audio in the end.
Say I have a piece with Intro - A - B - A - C - End, I create the arranger chain in the edit window, but where do I tell Cubase to use the arranger track as a guide, during the audio mix down?
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Re: Audio mix down using Arranger track

Post by valsolim » Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:14 am

Unfortunately, Arranger Track doesn't work realibly during the audio export - that's a matter of fact... Apparently, this feature hasn't been designed with the audio export in mind. The best workaround is to linearize ("flatten") the arranger chain before the mixdown. Alternatively, you can playback the arrangement with a recording utility (plugin) hooked on the master bus (https://www.meldaproduction.com/MRecorder).

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Re: Audio mix down using Arranger track

Post by Puma0382 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:28 am

Musicmind wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:41 am
...but where do I tell Cubase to use the arranger track as a guide, during the audio mix down?
You must ensure the Arranger Track is Active (enabled) before mixdown. See the manual; it is quite helpful on this...

Also, yes - you have to do some calculation to set your locators correctly, to allow for all the repeats etc to actually play out. And to allow for any reverb/delay tails at the end. It won't take you long to experiment a little, to find the length that's best.

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Re: Audio mix down using Arranger track

Post by Musicmind » Fri May 18, 2018 11:02 am

Since I posted this question I have been using the Arranger Track a lot. Actually the ONLY way to be sure, that Cubase will produce a mix down that will "include" the arrangement as I have designed it, is to have a 4 bar long empty arranger event in the end of the arrangement. And the set the cycle to fit the arrangement. Sometimes Cubase will start over again when the arrangement has finished playing, but the 4 bar event in the end will allow you space to edit it out.
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Re: Audio mix down using Arranger track

Post by Stephen57 » Fri May 18, 2018 8:44 pm

Musicmind wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 11:02 am
Since I posted this question I have been using the Arranger Track a lot. Actually the ONLY way to be sure, that Cubase will produce a mix down that will "include" the arrangement as I have designed it, is to have a 4 bar long empty arranger event in the end of the arrangement. And the set the cycle to fit the arrangement. Sometimes Cubase will start over again when the arrangement has finished playing, but the 4 bar event in the end will allow you space to edit it out.
Interesting usage. I'm wondering if including a blank "ring out" section of empty bars at the very end of the arrangement would help? A final blank arrange segment could include fades and gates if needed.

I usually flatten arrangements and then export from that. I often add extra measures at the end of a flattened project to activate any final gates and/or put in a Mix Bus fade.
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Re: Audio mix down using Arranger track

Post by Musicmind » Fri May 18, 2018 9:45 pm

Yes I know I could use the flatten function, but when I do that, there are two problems: The function will position the "flattened" sequence in the very first bar in my arrangement, and I often use to have at least 3 bars up front of my arrangements. The second problem is that if the client suddenly would like to have another order of the segments it very fast becomes a mess, so I prefer to use the arranger track without flatten the sequence.
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Re: Audio mix down using Arranger track

Post by -steve- » Fri May 18, 2018 11:34 pm

This function is pretty opaque, as functions in Cubase go, and I don't know if this is actually documented. So I thought I'd experiment with it to find a decent workflow.

Note:
- The output will start at the left locator
- The length of time of the output will be equal to time between the locators
- aside from those two points, the locators have no other relevance or function.

This should be a effective workflow:
  1. In the Arranger Editor>Current Arranger Chain, observe the song time listed in the very last arranger part in the list.
  2. Using the range tool, double click on the first Arranger Part that plays.
  3. In the info line edit the Range Length to match the song time, plus any extra time needed for reverb tails, etc.,
  4. execute the command, Locators to Selection. (now the time between locators matches the length of the Arrangement Chain)
  5. Do the Export Audio Mixdown, non-real-time (with Import into Project>Audio Track activated if you want to end up with the audio inside your project.
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Re: Audio mix down using Arranger track

Post by Stephen57 » Sat May 19, 2018 5:27 pm

Musicmind wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 9:45 pm
Yes I know I could use the flatten function, but when I do that, there are two problems: The function will position the "flattened" sequence in the very first bar in my arrangement, and I often use to have at least 3 bars up front of my arrangements. The second problem is that if the client suddenly would like to have another order of the segments it very fast becomes a mess, so I prefer to use the arranger track without flatten the sequence.
I'm not sure I understand the first of the two problems, but that's probably because I need to work with this a bit more. The second I totally get.
FWIW, my pattern is:
1. Create/Record Project (import tracks, etc).
2. Flatten Arrangement (New Project, Real Event copies, Keep Arranger Track)
3. Edit Project, Start Mix
4. Flatten Again (optional)
5. Mix/Finish

I like your way of working and I'll give Steve's idea a try. My brain keeps saying, "just add arranger chain segments as needed," but I may not fully understand the actual issue here. I'll work on it and post if I find anything possibly useful. Hope it gets worked out.
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DAW: Cubase Pro 9.0.40; PC: HP Z230, i5 CPU quad-core 3.5 Ghz, 16 Gigs RAM; OS: Win 7 Pro 64-bit; Audio Converter, Scarlett 2I4; USB MIDI Controller, Akai Advance 49. VST Instruments: Steinberg: HSSE, Retrologue 2, Groove Agent SE, Padshop, Mystic, Prologue, Spector; Air Music: Hybrid, Transfuser 2, Vacuum Pro, Velvet, Xpand2; Novation: Bass Station; Sonovox Grand Piano; Rack: Proteus 2000, Korg 03R/W, Yamaha TG 33. Monitoring with KRK Rokit 8/G3.

Help with Cubase:
Documentation: https://steinberg.help/
Generic Remote setups: viewtopic.php?f=226&t=102993
Location/file paths of presets in Cubase and Nuendo: https://helpcenter.steinberg.de/hc/en-u ... nd-Nuendo-
Preferences: https://helpcenter.steinberg.de/hc/en-u ... and-Nuendo

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Re: Audio mix down using Arranger track

Post by mbira » Sat May 19, 2018 5:41 pm

Musicmind wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 9:45 pm
The function will position the "flattened" sequence in the very first bar in my arrangement, and I often use to have at least 3 bars up front of my arrangements. The second problem is that if the client suddenly would like to have another order of the segments it very fast becomes a mess, so I prefer to use the arranger track without flatten the sequence.
I usually have "blank" arrangement sections that I put at the beginning and end of my arrangement. That gives me those parts at the top or end if I need to throw clips, etc, in to those areas so that the flatten doesn't get rid of them.

For me it's faster to just open the bounced stereo wave in a new project and do final fades to get the length exact. You can even just have Cubase open the finished bounce in a new project automatically.
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