Auto-Return Positioning Seriously Needs Rethinking

When editing MIDI velocity or CC data in the MIDI editor or automation data in the project track area, there’s a maddening behavior that is deeply counterproductive. It has to do with the use of auto-return in conjunction with auto-scroll.

Suppose you are editing measures 16 thru 21 of a project. You might set your view up such that the first measure displayed is 15, the last 22, and you’d set the cursor at the start of 16. Do your edits and press play to hear the results. Since this process is likely to be iterative, you’d want auto-return to be enabled. Auto-return returns the cursor to the start of measure 16 after the quick audition, and you’re efficiently set up for the next iteration.

Now, this is all straight-forward as long as you don’t have auto-scroll enabled. If auto-scroll is on and the playback goes beyond the end of measure 22, scrolling does indeed occur. When you stop playback, we return to a view where the cursor is at the start of measure 16, but there’s a major problem. The view is now such that the first displayed measure is 9 and the last is 16. So most of the measures you want to work on (17 thru 21) are now off screen. This cannot possibly be useful behavior in any context.

It turns out there’s a clunky word-around. If you now press play, playback starts, but first the view is readjusted to be what you set up in the first place: measures 15 thru 22 displayed. Stop playback before scrolling kicks in and you’re back to where you need to be. In other words, press the space bar twice and you don’t have to mess with adjusting your start positioning. But you shouldn’t have to contend with this kind of needless fiddling.

This is so frustrating that I’m forced to keep auto-scroll disabled when doing this kind of editing. That’s a shame because auto-scroll really is an extremely helpful feature. Please, please fix this.