Automation Join... how does it work?

Hi Folks,
Anyone care to explain how does the Join section works, in the automation panel?

Why is it useful? In what situations is it handy? What problems does it solve? Why do you use it?

The manual says: “The Join options help you to resume write automation. This is useful if several editors work on the same project simultaneously, and running automation passes are interrupted.”

What does it mean when it says “several editors work on the same project simultaneously”?

Does this mean that “join” is only available when sharing a project via the network features? Or does it work when in sync via VST System Link?


Join works for a single user as well, technically.

However, the problem I see for single-user scenarios is that the write function isn’t partially “localized” the way it is in Pro Tools (I’ll add this as a feature request in the N8 forum).

So the way it works in Pro Tools is that you can first of all set join to automatic and you won’t have to specifically engage it after you press play. It’s similar to the “lock” that shows up in the fill options for example. Anyway, imagine that you have three basic groups of sounds, spoken word (dialog/narration), fx and music. You put those three groups in latch and start writing automation. The spoken word is barely touched because you leveled it before and really all of the rest sits at a lower level.

You get to a point and realize that about 5 seconds ago the fx got too loud. You press stop. You move back 10 seconds and press play again. When you get to that spot IN PRO TOOLS you can simply adjust the fx group, and when you get to the point you stopped playback the music group will go back into automation write again. You don’t have to do anything, it’ll just pick up (join) where it left off.

This might seem like a minor thing but it’s pretty useful if you want to ride levels on several channels using latch and at the same time, and don’t want to have to go back and physically touch the faders again when you’ve started playback again to get them to start writing again.

So this to me seems like an oversight from Steinberg, in my opinion.

Of course it sort of works exactly in the case the manual suggests: If you’re several mixers and someone needs to go back and change something then you can on your computer/workstation choose auto join and just wait until you roll back over the point you stopped earlier.

But for a single user it seems a bit under-developed…

Did that make sense?

Hi MattiasNYC,

I’m struggling to understand the concept of “Join”. Do keep in mind I´m a “music mixer” with little to no experience in the movie mixing side of things.

I do understand what you say about the Join function being underdeveloped for a single user kind of scenario.

But my question remains.

In what practical scenarios does the Join function become useful?

Do you have to be working with a shared project via Network for it to be relevant?

Thanks again!

I think I answered both questions. I don’t know how else to say it.

If you’re in music instead of post then just substitute the type of sound with another type of sound. Instead of adjusting “fx” you might be adjusting “strings” or “pads”.

I’m not sure how my answer was unclear…?

The thing is, you explained how the Join function works in protools, so I´m not sure how it works in Nuendo. Its not clear to me, Where do you start talking about Nuendo in the explanation?

In Nuendo the join behavior is the same? This is what I understood: after stopping, going back 10 seconds and fixing the FX automation, the cursor continues playback and reaches the point where it was stopped, and then automation write gets activated automatically thanks to the Join function.

Is that how it works?

Im not even sure how to test this with a single user.

So… lets say Im just automating a single fader.

  1. Activate Latch or Crossover (Join doesnt work in Touch mode)
  2. Create some automations
  3. Punch out or stop playback
  4. The join buttons get enabled
  5. I don´t understand what the buttons do

Feeling confused here… :blush: :slight_smile:

Sorry, I thought you were asking why one would use it, not how it functions specifically in Nuendo. I think you’re rightfully getting confused because the Nuendo implementation is pretty limited. Anyway…

  1. You set automation mode to “Auto Latch”.
  2. You start playback at 01:00:00:00.
  3. You start writing automation, lowering volume to -10dB and release the fader.
  4. You let Nuendo keep playing, auto writing at -10dB still, then stop at 01:00:30:00.

So now you have automation written at -10dB until exactly 01:00:30:00.

  1. You choose “Auto Join”, not “Join Now”.
  2. You start playback at 01:00:00:00.

At this point Nuendo will wait for

EITHER: NO automation at all, in which case once you reach 01:00:30:00 that volume will start writing again in latch mode at -10dB. You don’t have to touch the fader or do anything. As soon as it rolls over the point where you stopped it will starting automation there again. This applies to ALL tracks/parameters as far as I know.

OR: ANY writing of automation on ANY track of ANY parameter will defeat the “join” function on ALL tracks / parameters.

So as you can see what you quoted in your first post is right. Let’s say you and I are both mixing a film on a mix stage. We have our own separate Nuendo systems playing back together in sync. Now I have to stop because I made a mistake. We stop playback. Let’s say that when and where we stopped you were writing volume automation on 5 different channels. You can now engage “Auto Join” on your Nuendo and just wait until we roll back to where we stopped. I can still do my changes, and you don’t have to do anything because once we get to where we stopped your channels jump back into latch write exactly where they were, at the level they were.

BUT, for a single user this is borderline meaningless. I was talking about Pro Tools because explaining the difference probably explains part of the confusion. In Pro Tools the second option above is limited to the track you touch. In other words, having 5 tracks writing in “latch” you can stop and with “auto join” enabled you can still change just one of the 5 and the other 4 will go back to recording where they were. You can’t do that in Nuendo. And that’s an unfortunate limitation.

Does that make more sense?

That DOES make sense, thank you so much MattiasNYC! :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

However, I´m not understanding what you mean by “you cant do that in Nuendo”… what is “that”? (I highlighted it on the quote above)

Lets say, we were both writing automation on syncronised stations. You did your pass perfectly, and I made a mistake on one of the 4 parameters I was working with. We hit stop and set the cursor back a few bars so I can fix my one parameter. When I start write automation to fix the one parameter, Auto Join will be defeated and wont start writing on my other 3 parameters?

Is that the limitation?

Thanks again for your time. You´re a lifesaver!!

That’s the limitation as far as I can see, yes. And that is a big limitation in my opinion.

When I mix full shows or films by myself I typically go through different ‘stages’. Typically I’ll have each type of sound pretty much where I want it and then do a pass on VCAs for example. So I might be writing on the Dialog, FX and Music VCAs simultaneously. And now in Nuendo if I want to go back and tweak one the others won’t join automatically.

I doubt this will be redone any time soon, sadly. It’s a great feature.

I see your point, of course and I hope Steinberg DOES address it in the near future. Thanks for taking your time to explain it!

Nuendo is my go to solution for everything, from scoring, to producing, to recording, to live mixing, to syncing music and video, to SFX and foley production, to… well you name it. Its huge and powerful. No matter where you decide to take your career in the entertainment industry, Nuendo can be your tool of choice if you´re in the audio department.

It is sad to find shortcomings such as this one.

Well, I think there unfortunately are several things that are half-baked, and it’s odd that they are, considering it’s 2018. Linking channels is half-baked as well. To me it too falls into a category of “Just rip off Pro Tools and be done with it”. It’s another ‘small’ type of feature where improving it can make users save a fair amount of time actually.

The argument I’ve heard a few times is ‘Well, we should try to do better than PT’ which is a good argument, yet I prefer to get what PT has soon rather than wait for years and years for something ‘better’. I don’t really know what it is, but sometimes there seems to be this stubbornness to do things the Steinberg way instead of just copying the competition.

Anyway… yeah, let’s hope it improves…

Its true!

I don´t know about the US, but here in Latin America, Pro Tools is the norm and very few people realize the huge potential in Cubase and Nuendo, so I have to swim against the tide most of the time, and most of the time its worth it, until some PT fanboy comes in and brags about some little silly feature that really makes your life easier and I realize Steinberg could just incorporate them! Hell, if the do it, crossgrading would be more friendly.

Thanks for your time again Mattias!

Among my little pond of contacts, I´m the one people come to when they have questions with Steinberg products, and when I don´t know the answer, its the assistance of humble friends like you, that make the difference.

I remember the lack of response in Digidesign’s DUC and it makes me want to vomit. Iuck.

Anyways, thanks again!