Before I make this a feature request I’d like to hear if there are any opinions on it.
When we enter “latch” automation mode our “join” options appear once we’ve written automation and then stopped recording it. The options;
- “Auto join”
When this is engaged before we reach the point where we stopped playback/auto write the last time; automation will “pick up where it left off”. It’s pretty self explanatory, visually obvious, and logical… it seems.
- “Punch out”
When the above has happened, meaning when we have re-started playback, engaged “auto join”, and automation has resumed hitting this button will “punch out” of that latch record pass manually. Good. Logical.
- "Join now"
This one I have a problem with. When we press “auto join” we’re telling the automation system that we want to “pick up where we left off”. By that we’re intending to keep writing the value at the time we stopped. I think the good thing about this is that the fader will move automatically according to the automation that’s written, and therefore at the point of “auto join” it will be at the correct position automatically, where we left off, which is where we want to pick up writing.
I would expect the system to ‘join’ whatever value is at the current location - wherever that is - when we press “Join now”. But that’s not what the system does. Instead it recalls the automation node where we stopped and begins writing that value instead.
Why is this a problem? Well, it’s obviously not a problem if that’s what you want, but if you wrote -10 consistently for 10 seconds, then dropped to -20 for 5 seconds, pressed stop, went back to that starting point again, pressed play and engaged “join now” after 3 seconds you would have an instantaneous drop from -10 to -20. I just don’t see how this is desired behavior in most situations. It seems that the only way to make this function useful is to only engage this if you know that your faders are “matched” to the stored automation node at the end of the previous pass.
And it seems as a misnomer to me because we’re actually not “joining” our fader with the underlying automation.
Multiple tracks writing at the same time.
But getting back to “Auto join” which works as expected if all you’re doing is re-starting playback as described earlier and simply reaching the point where we stopped writing. All tracks resume writing where they left off. Entirely logical. However, there are a few cases where I don’t think the “join” system works the way at least I would expect it to work:
If I enable “Auto join” then I would actually expect that to be on a per-track basis. In other words, when enabled ANY track that is untouched should pick where it left off, regardless of what happens to other tracks.
Why is this a “thing”? Because when I work by myself I will very frequently do my final mix passes riding multiple group channels. It has to be that way because of delivery requirements. So I’ll ride for example an FX and a Music group channel at the same time, balancing against dialog. If I reach a point where I feel I need to go back and adjust only the music group I would be able to do this in Pro Tools. I would simply have “auto join” permanently enabled, go back, manually pick up the music automation write whenever I touch that fader, and the FX channel will simply continue to read back automation until it reaches the “auto join” point when it would continue writing where it left off.
In Nuendo however whenever I touch one of the two faders the other channel drops out of automation record!
This means I have to not only re-touch to re-enable the other channel, but I have to do it at the right time as well. The only alternative is to re-write automation on both. This does not seem logical and at least to me it is not convenient.
So I’d love it if you could let me know if I’ve missed anything or if I’m just insane.