Comping mystery

Right after comping multiple events to wind up with a comped track, the tracks that I didn’t use immediately disappear and wind up in the pool. But this is aggravating, because if, later, I want to use a different track, I have retrieve it from the pool. Is moving the unused tracks to the pool a standard Cubase function?

A couple of points

It’s not really moving anything to the Pool. The Audio file those events are based should already be in the Pool from the initial recording.

Tracks are never stored in the Pool - only Audio (and Video) files. The Audio on a Track will be in the Pool, but not the Track itself.

If you delete the Audio from a Track it gets removed from the Track, so naturally you’d need to go to the Pool to put that Audio on the Track again, just like if you wanted to use the Audio on a new empty Track.

Cubase is designed to use Lanes not Tracks for comping. You can of course use Tracks to comp, but it will be much more cumbersome than Lanes - as you’ve discovered. If you use the same Track to record your various takes it will automatically create the Lanes.

I thought there is a way to create Lanes from Tracks (because you can easily convert Lanes to Tracks) but I can’t find it. Hopefully someone will chime in on that.

I’d recommend you adjust your workflow to use Lanes for stuff you want to comp. It will save you a bunch of pain in the future.

You might also find it useful to explore Track Versions which can be converted to Lanes (Project>Track Versions>Create Lanes From Versions)

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Of course, I meant lanes for comping, not tracks. My mistake. But it’s puzzling why sometimes the lanes disappear…and sometimes they don’t.

Can you post some before & after screenshots showing this?

So I just comped this track. Here’s what I started with and what happened just after comping.

What are you doing between the 2 pics - what actions are you taking when you “comp” something?

When I comp something it looks pretty different

Raino, it seems you’ve done something different in setting up this screen result? In the video the completed comp part does not appear on top of the lanes along with all the lanes displayed below. Is this because you are doing audio and not MIDI? Your layout looks like exactly what I would love to see when I comp. What are you doing, what boxes are you checking? Thanks.

I do exactly as you do: use the hand icon and select what I want to use.

The first pic shows BEFORE I comp. The second pic shows AFTER I comp.

Yeah, I get that but I suspect that what we mean by the word “comp” is not really the same. When I comp I perform a series of tasks, none of which ever results in Audio Events disappearing. However when you comp, some of the steps you are making do result in Audio Events disappearing. So the key is to figure out what those differences are.

The gif below shows a quick comp of some Audio without anything disappearing. How does this differ from what you do?

comp audio

Probably, but not sure. I never comp MIDI, only Audio.

Thanks Raino. I haven’t used the comping process that much in the past but this is now changing. When I say that your comp screen looks great, I mean to say it looks very straight ahead and exactly what someone using the comp process should want it to look like. As I recall the previous sessions in my mind (nothing saved), I don’t think my work looked like yours. So tomorrow I will try a session and see what I end up with. If I run into something different (my results vs. yours) I will definitely circle back and ask you a few more questions if you don’t mind? The video you linked was helpful even if it was for MIDI comping, thanks!

Hi Raino. Alright, my process does look like your screen shot, so I guess things are good here. Q: when finishing the completed comped track, do you choose to edit each crossfade or do it as a ‘group’? Any other tricks that have served you well here?

Honestly I mostly ignore crossfades unless there is something audible that needs attention. But a lot of that is because the source material is amiable to that approach. Probably 2/3+ of what I comp are vocals which I prefer to cut on the phrase - so there is generally at least a breath’s worth of space between phrases. Most of the time butt cutting from one take to another within that space ends up sounding fine, even soloed. Of course sometimes the edits are way more surgical and likely require some crossfades (but not always). So basically I assume I won’t need any crossfades and when my ears tell me I do, then I’ll deal with them on a one off basis.

Electric guitars are the 2nd most common thing I comp. They are a bit different because even when there is a natural pause between phrases there can still be a ton of sound playing from the pedal board. In that case your cut is gonna happen while there is ongoing sound playing. Even if the cut is clearly audible it might sound fine in context of the guitar’s effects. Or maybe you do need to crossfade - case by case decision. You can also minimize/disguise the cut by doing it right at the start of a note’s attack; or do the cut when something else, for example a snare hit, occurs that will mask the edit.

Oh, and always edit on a duplicated Track Version so you can get back to the start if needed.

Roger this Raino, and thanks.

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I have this discussion a lot with my friend John who edits his audio differently to me as I work just like raino. If you join the tracks you have comped double clicking on this track will produce the Audio Part Editor window with all the parts laid out in your original comp. I suppose the advantage of this is no accidental change can happen to your comp.

Highlight the main lane above the audio clips you have chosen to work together, use the glue tool to join the main track, not the audio clips. All the unused audio parts disappear. Double click on the remaining audio part and the Audio Part Editor window appears with all the audio parts in their original location. Alternatively highlight joined audio and use Ctrl + E.

I guess that since the introduction of the lane comping tools a while ago many people don’t use the Audio Part Editor.

Most of the time when the comp is done I’ll do a Render In Place to lock in all the edits.

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I do have another question here. In my Preferences I have set up a two bar count in the metronome for the start of track recording. Using the lanes this doesn’t seem to exist, right? Is there a way to incorporate this as the lanes start record-looping?

Just as I do. However locking it this way allows you to go back in if you ever need to tweak something and it acts just the same as rendering in place with no extra fuss. However, one caveat is that if you want to perform a tempo edit you would have to render as this does not work with loop recording.

I am not quite sure I understand you. If you want to add another lane you simply start to record as usual.

Let’s say it’s a guitar part and the guy has crap timing…such that he needs a count in?

An alternative to using the Count In is to just put your cursor a few bars before the Loop Start. Then either start recording from there or do a punch-in where the loop starts.

Another thing I started doing awhile back is using multiple .cpr files to construct a single song/project. One of the areas this is most useful for is tracking & comping.

For example say I have a Project named GoodSong.cpr and it needs a guitar solo recorded. I don’t record that guitar in GoodSong.cpr instead I’ll use Save As… to create a Project named GoodSong - Guitar.cpr. Then in this new task oriented Project I’ll Record, Comp and Render the guitar solo. After that I’ll either Import the Audio or the Track into the original GoodSong Project. Similar for vocals.

The advantage of doing this is I can take the Guitar’s Project and change it around to meet the specific needs of Recording & Comping the solo (or whatever) - for example inserting extra measures so a singer has some time to sip water between takes (or for a guitarist a beer). In the main version of the Project it pays to keep things tidy & not have unused stuff littering the Project. While in these specialty versions it is useful to leave all the clutter intact, so you can easily go back and tweak the solo a month later…