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VCA BUG?

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:30 am
by fatstudio
Im having a strange VCA bug.

I had 2 faders zero out after the VCA was at infinity.
I remember this from a previous version, is this back?

Thanks

Re: VCA BUG?

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:34 am
by stingray
The bug is not clear from your description. Please outline in precise step-by-step detail and I'll gladly test this.

Re: VCA BUG?

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:42 pm
by fatstudio
OK

So:
step 1 track to -10
step 2 track to vca
step 3 automate vca so it gets to -infinity.
step 4 put playhead at the point the vca is at -infinity
step 5 save and close
step 6 open session, track now is at 0db not -10.

Re: VCA BUG?

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 2:59 pm
by twelvetwelve
VCAs are unfortunately still broken. They produce a variety of unintended results when paired with automation.

Re: VCA BUG?

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:37 pm
by Tajika
Writing an initial automation point to the track's automation lane solves the problem.

Re: VCA BUG?

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:15 pm
by twelvetwelve
Unfortunately not an option for a lot of workflows. VCAs and automation are fundamentally broken.

Re: VCA BUG?

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:38 pm
by Oliver.Lucas
They skipped version 9, so now VCAs have been broken from version 7-10 :lol:

Re: VCA BUG?

Posted: Wed May 01, 2019 1:10 pm
by fatstudio
Tajika wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:37 pm
Writing an initial automation point to the track's automation lane solves the problem.
Thanks, I can use this for now.

Hope they fix it soon, i love VCA.

Re: VCA BUG?

Posted: Thu May 16, 2019 6:49 pm
by MattiasNYC
I just tried this in v8 and I couldn't reproduce. Did anybody reproduce this in v10?

Re: VCA BUG?

Posted: Fri May 17, 2019 9:49 pm
by HughH
MattiasNYC wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 6:49 pm
I just tried this in v8 and I couldn't reproduce. Did anybody reproduce this in v10?
Yes. I could repro it in 10. Sort of.

No automation on the Audio Track.
Audio Track initially at -10. Linked to VCA.
Roll Project, VCA automated to -infinity.
Save with Playhead at -infinity position.
Reopen and Audio Track is at -infinity (as it should be).
However . . . move Playhead to start of project and the track is at 0, not -10. It forgets its initial value.
If you save with the playhead at 0 - the initial -10 is recalled correctly. If you save somewhere in automation but prior to -infinity the track is also recalled correctly, even if you roll back to 0.

It seems the problem is that Nuendo is saving the static value of the non automated track at the save position.
So if that value is anything greater than -infinity it can be recalculated (for other song positions) based on any other automation affecting it.
However, if it's saved static value is -infinity, well . . . we're kind of lost.

It also seems that Nuendo must have some kind of buffer for the un-automated track that stores this initial value because as long as the Project stays open everything is fine. It's only when you save and reopen that the issue occurs. Perhaps this buffer needs to be saved with the project?

All of my speculation may be fine, but I found another issue I can't explain:

Touch Mode. Virg Terr off.
Audio Track. VCA. Link to VCA.
Set Audio Track to -10.
Start rolling and write some Automation on AUDIO Track starting a few seconds in. Little up, little down. Doesn't matter.
Stop and return to start.
Track is now at 0, not -10.
Play and Track will slowly descend to -10 at exactly the point automation started.
Freaky.

No saving. No -infinity. Just Bad Funk.

This is not a "Bug".
"Bugs" are where some strange and perhaps rare combination of actions produce an undesired result.

This is a blatant and easily demonstrated malfunction of a common and much used feature.
It really needs to be addressed.

Hugh

Re: VCA BUG?

Posted: Sat May 18, 2019 1:39 am
by MattiasNYC
First one I can't repro in v8.

2nd; Yep. Fked.

Again: Starting automation nodes at the beginning of the timeline solves this problem. But it shouldn't be there in the first place I think.

Re: VCA BUG?

Posted: Sat May 18, 2019 2:36 am
by twelvetwelve
Whoever is in charge of VCAs @ Steinberg doesn't seem to understand how they should work. Just embarrassing that they've never worked properly since their introduction.

Re: VCA BUG?

Posted: Sat May 18, 2019 3:02 pm
by Getalife2
I posted a fairly epic rant about the lack of understanding on the part of the Steinberg VCA programmers YEARS ago now.

So weird.....deja vu in 2019. It really is embarrassing. I worked on 160+ input latge format Euphonix System 5 post consoles for years. The VCA and Automation in Nuendo is taken almost directly from the System 5.

I don't use the VCAs in Nuendo. Pretty much says it all.

Re: VCA BUG?

Posted: Sat May 18, 2019 4:24 pm
by MattiasNYC
Well, the issues go back to the very first version of VCAs back in, what... July 2015?!

In addition to that I stand by what I've said before, which is that part of the frustration with development is that they leave feature sets "unfinished", or "not all they could be". When it comes to VCAs it's not just fixing bugs and probably rethinking some of the design, it's also 'finishing' the design in a logical way. Like, can we nest links or VCAs yet? Can we trigger solo, mute, rec, input monitoring etc via VCAs?

It seems like not that many more features to add to finish off the functionality, yet not only don't we see it happen, we don't even hear if it's on the roadmap.

And it goes back to 2015.

Re: VCA BUG?

Posted: Sat May 18, 2019 5:09 pm
by Graveley
Mattias, all your hard work is much appreciated in trying to get VCA’s sorted. I’m very sad to hear that even you are not hopeful, or seeing any effort from Steinberg to get VCA’s to a usable state. If I recall correctly, you were testing and troubleshooting for the the devs at one point... Where did your collaboration with them on fixing this end up?

Re: VCA BUG?

Posted: Sat May 18, 2019 6:00 pm
by MattiasNYC
Well, just to be fair and clear here;

- I am not hopeful that it'll all get fixed soon, because I think Steinberg's priorities just aren't VCAs. To me they're a really valuable tool and they'd benefit me greatly. But I'm just one person out of a subset of users that use VCAs, and a lot of other people don't. So that's why I think they're not prioritizing it and that's why I don't think we'll see a lot of change, and not even smaller changes, any time soon.

Like I said; to me it makes more sense to develop new functionality (which is what VCAs were for v7) fully before moving on. To me that means setting goals for how it should all work, and not just a version with the basics, but a nice full version with what is logical to include. Then those goals should be on the roadmap and get executed. If there's a hiccup then deal with the hiccup. Leaving things unfinished and partially broken just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Philosophically I just disagree with their approach. And this isn't the only area where I've seen this.

- The question of whether or not it's "usable" is really a matter of how you work I think. Last time I used VCAs I could use them but with some caveats. I decided for example to always use automation points on my channels at the very beginning of the timeline. That seems to have solved a lot of problems. Of course, if I had cared about virgin territory - which sounds good in principle but has a flaw that makes it meaningless to me - then I would not have been able to use this workaround, because it would have defeated the purpose of virgin territory (or VT would have made it impossible as a workaround).

So, it's sort of usable for me, it's just that if I work in Nuendo I have to make sure I know that what I do with the VCA is working properly, and that shouldn't be the case. I shouldn't have to test this out to make sure it works and then stay away from any other part of a normal workflow just to avoid running into a situation where I get screwed by a bug or faulty design. Sort of usable? Yes. "Comfortable"? Not really.

- The testing I did was with specific issues in mind. I unfortunately didn't have the time to test everything that's involved in a VCA workflow, and so there were apparently things that I didn't test that slipped into the next releases. I wish I could have done more testing but I just didn't have time. So my tests were limited to a few cases with clear reproductions in threads on the forum. Not all cases.

The people I had contact with at Steinberg were very polite, very professional, and very easy to discuss this with. So I absolutely can't say that I did testing that showed problems that they ignored. The things I had brought up and the things I tested that I was aware of were all addressed by the Steinberg development team.

That last part is very important to me.

Re: VCA BUG?

Posted: Sat May 18, 2019 6:56 pm
by Getalife2
MattiasNYC wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 6:00 pm

The people I had contact with at Steinberg were very polite, very professional, and very easy to discuss this with. So I absolutely can't say that I did testing that showed problems that they ignored. The things I had brought up and the things I tested that I was aware of were all addressed by the Steinberg development team.

That last part is very important to me.
You know, the internet is so mystical. In my first couple of interactions with you a couple of years ago, you seemed like a bit of a jerk (to me). I actually toggled the option to hide your posts.

Then, over time, I figured out you're just intense about things that matter to you, possibly a bit like myself. So I un-hid you and started appreciating you're logic and desire to get it right and began encouraging you to go for it. I might have even been a guy who recommended SB turn you loose to test VCAs for them. If I remember correctly, Timo said "Why not?"

Your quote above is great! I love it. Thanks for your time spent testing and keeping it classy. And here's to happy endings on the internet during times where it's too often a place of ugliness.

Re: VCA BUG?

Posted: Sat May 18, 2019 6:59 pm
by MattiasNYC
I probably was a bit of a jerk to be honest.

Re: VCA BUG?

Posted: Sun May 19, 2019 12:57 am
by fenderchris
MattiasNYC wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 4:24 pm
Well, the issues go back to the very first version of VCAs back in, what... July 2015?!

In addition to that I stand by what I've said before, which is that part of the frustration with development is that they leave feature sets "unfinished", or "not all they could be". When it comes to VCAs it's not just fixing bugs and probably rethinking some of the design, it's also 'finishing' the design in a logical way. Like, can we nest links or VCAs yet? Can we trigger solo, mute, rec, input monitoring etc via VCAs?

It seems like not that many more features to add to finish off the functionality, yet not only don't we see it happen, we don't even hear if it's on the roadmap.

And it goes back to 2015.
I actually made a similar post to this before you this morning but deleted it two minutes later because I thought it might be too inflammatory.

Essentially, I said that it was disgraceful that Steinberg had advertised and sold N7 with the big new VCA feature, and taken money for it, but as of now, 4 years later, had still not made it function in a useable manner.

Re: VCA BUG?

Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 4:44 am
by Timeline
This is interesting. I can understand ways in which there may be some value in VCA and its sad to read that there still is a problem here. However this isn't at all a showstopper for us. We've been mixing for Film, commercials + games, and music production for over a decade close to two now and never once felt we absolutely needed the use of a VCA. I believe many Cubase/Nuendo users don't use them and may have shifted priority. Is unclear. Hope it gets resolved none the less for those that do.

Re: VCA BUG?

Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:26 pm
by fuzzydude
Timeline wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 4:44 am
This is interesting. I can understand ways in which there may be some value in VCA and its sad to read that there still is a problem here. However this isn't at all a showstopper for us. We've been mixing for Film, commercials + games, and music production for over a decade close to two now and never once felt we absolutely needed the use of a VCA. I believe many Cubase/Nuendo users don't use them and may have shifted priority. Is unclear. Hope it gets resolved none the less for those that do.
:roll:

Re: VCA BUG?

Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:49 pm
by MattiasNYC
Timeline wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 4:44 am
This is interesting. I can understand ways in which there may be some value in VCA
"some value"? I'd say there's more than just "some" value.
Timeline wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 4:44 am
and its sad to read that there still is a problem here. However this isn't at all a showstopper for us. We've been mixing for Film, commercials + games, and music production for over a decade close to two now and never once felt we absolutely needed the use of a VCA.
Good for you.
Timeline wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 4:44 am
I believe many Cubase/Nuendo users don't use them and may have shifted priority. Is unclear. Hope it gets resolved none the less for those that do.
I bet you that the vast majority of Cubase and Nuendo users that don't use it never used VCAs in the first place. In other words, they never used it on either consoles or Pro Tools or similar. So as with a lot of other functionality they might not "get" the need for or benefit of using them.

Re: VCA BUG?

Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 4:52 pm
by HughH
It might be nice if there were a thread here that detailed specific problems people were having with VCAs, and possible workarounds, if any.

There seems to be a lot of "VCAs are broken" with few specifics.

Such a thread would give those of us who use them things to look out for and temp fixes - until such time as Steinberg works out the issues . . . which I'm certain will be the VERY NEXT maintenance update cause they're so on it . . . :roll:

Who knows, it might even light a bigger fire.

If such a thread exists please direct me . . .

Hugh

Re: VCA BUG?

Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 5:49 pm
by twelvetwelve
In a nutshell, Steinberg don't seem to understand how VCAs work and while they are aware of the issues, they are obviously not a priority considering they've never worked properly since their introduction. If you use VCAs by themselves without any automation you might assume things are okay but as soon as you add automation into the equation, good luck!

Here's a really simple example:

- Create one audio track and 1 VCA fader (both at unity)
- Link the audio track to the VCA (both faders still at unity)
- Reduce the level of the VCA by -12dB (both faders now at -12dB)

Now, what if you want to add 3dB of level to a particular section on your audio track with some automation? Logically you'd expect that your audio track should be at -9dB for that section with the rest of the track still at -12dB. What happens is your actual level is now at -24dB with -21dB (for the +3dB section) as Nuendo compounds the VCA and track offsets before applying automation. You can see how this can destroy a mix if you're not aware of how buggy it is.

The fundamental misunderstanding on Steinberg's side is that VCAs should simply provide an offset. In the above example, if I disconnect the VCA my fader should jump back up to where it was originally (unity) as the offset is not being applied anymore but of course that won't be the case. There are other examples but that one is easiest to see just how fundamentally broken they are. Pro Tools of course works exactly how you would expect.

Re: VCA BUG?

Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 6:29 pm
by Iftekharul Anam
HughH wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 4:52 pm
It might be nice if there were a thread here that detailed specific problems people were having with VCAs, and possible workarounds, if any.

There seems to be a lot of "VCAs are broken" with few specifics.

Such a thread would give those of us who use them things to look out for and temp fixes - until such time as Steinberg works out the issues . . . which I'm certain will be the VERY NEXT maintenance update cause they're so on it . . . :roll:

Who knows, it might even light a bigger fire.

If such a thread exists please direct me . . .

Hugh
Could not agree more. Thank you for bringing this up. Looking forward to it.