FIXED! - [BUGs] VCA

For tests the starting repro state is as follows:

  • One audio track slaving to one VCA track.
  • Neither track has any automation written,
  • Both tracks have automation Read and Write enabled.
  • Inspector panel is open
  • Set audio track to “global” for automation mode
  • Open an automation lane to see what happens.
  • If it helps, instantiate the test generator on the audio track to hear changes


    Trim is either broken or behavior is questionably designed

Repro: (clear auto from previous if you haven’t yet)

  1. On the VCA, start writing automation at 01:00:00:00, moving down slowly to -20dB, hold for 5 seconds, move slowly back up to zero.

– The automation of the VCA is now reflected on the automation lane on the audio track.
– The fader of the audio track moves corresponding to this automation.

  1. Switch global automation to “trim” (remain in “touch”)

– VCA tracks fader drops down to the unity gain position that faders should occupy (in Nuendo) when in “Trim”
– Audio track fader does NOT move!

  1. On the VCA track, play back and once it has reached -20dB (which you were holding), do a pretty quick increase and let go of the fader. You should get a short peak at the beginning of this plateau.

– VCA fader remains at unity, which is how “Trim” usually works.
– Looking at the audio track you can see how the fader starts out at unity (good), and follows the “summed” automation perfectly (i.e. only the VCA automation, since that’s the only thing we’ve written so far) including that little spike.

  1. On the audio track, play back, and once you are AFTER the peak you created, on this little plateau, wait a couple of seconds and then write another short “bump” on the audio track.

  2. Deselect “Trim” on the global automation panel.

– VCA channel is as it was

BUT

----- The entire audio channel’s fader now STARTS at -20dB, NOT zero!
----- Before the first bump, it is roughly -40dB
----- Between the two bumps, level is slowly ramping upwards to -30dB right before bump #2
----- After the second bump, level does not drop back to where it was before, but to -28dB.

Combining auto again will make this easier to see.

For reference:

In Pro Tools, when you work with tracks that belong to a VCA, enabling Trim mode on those audio tracks will reset the fader to unity gain after which it works as is intuitive.

It seems as if Nuendo reads “current” fader position as trim value, and since the “current” position was the previous automation (none) + VCA automation (-20dB at the beginning) that’s what it begins to write.

Work-around: Place an automation point at any point on the automation timeline before engaging trim mode, either manually or by writing automation.




This second “issue” may on second thought actually be as intended, and appropriate. Confirm if you feel like it, or ignore it…
Behavior is inconsistent depending on order of automation passes.

Repro:

  1. Make sure global automation is set to “Touch”.

  2. On your audio track, start at 01:00:00:00 and write about 10 seconds automation. Write - specifically - a “narrow wiggly” line, what should look as essentially a sine wave of medium frequency and low amplitude after you’re done. The reason for exactly that type of automation is because by using a very different automation curve on the VCA track we will be able to clearly see if it works as it should.

  3. On your VCA, start at 01:00:00:00 let it roll for a couple of seconds after pressing play, then over about 3 seconds lower fader to about -15, hold for a few seconds, and then slowly over 3 seconds raise to zero gain again.

— At this point, on your audio track, you will see the “summation” line resulting from adding the VCA automation to the track automation. It will be an equally “wiggly” line that follows your VCA automation line. In other words it’ll be wiggly along the original wiggly line for the first few sections and then drop, hold while still wiggling, then go back up.

  1. On your VCA, range-select your automation and copy it. Go to 01:00:20:00 and paste that automation.

  2. On your audio track, start playback at 01:00:15:00, and start writing your wiggly automation line again.

— At this point you should see a clear difference. In the first case, at 00 minutes 00 seconds, the wiggly SUM line drops according to your VCA automation. BUT, at the second spot, the sum line INCREASES!

— As you play back both spots, look at how the fader moves on your audio track;
------ After step 3 the fader wiggles up and down centered around zero first, then around -15dB, then back.
------ After step 5 the fader wiggles up and down around zero. Period. No other change.

  1. Switch to the mixer view and select “Combine VCA Automation”

— The difference seen above is now seen clearly with the sum line wiggling, but only around zero in the second instance.

Thank you for this detailled repro. We will have a look into it.

Thanks,
Timo

Can you confirm this please?

Bump. It’s a 1-year anniversary of the Nuendo 7 release announcement. Seems appropriate to bump this.

it is staggering that they’ve had the money for a year and still haven’t got it working properly.

However, I have been led to believe that there will be another maintenance update before the end of this month. Seeing is believing.

Before the end of this month? That’s the next 3 days?

I know, but one day is enough.

I have not been told that it is not going to happen (yet).

…downloading…

It doesn’t say that it was fixed… then again, it wasn’t confirmed either… it better be fixed…

Bug is still there. Will test again later. Got crash on quit…

So I’m working on a commercial for ESPN / Budweiser right now, and this VCA managed to drop the level of all my music tracks to the point of being barely audible, throughout the timeline.

Clearly this appears to be yet another bug, because I did go through the workaround above for my template tracks.

So, are you going to acknowledge this at all or what? It’s been exactly 370 days of VCAs not working and I’m sitting in the middle of a paid project for a client and this happens.

YOU’VE HAD OVER A MONTH TO VERIFY AND COMMENT ON THIS SPECIFIC BUG AND 370 DAYS WITH MY MONEY TO FIX ALL OF IT!

Phu, this must be so frustrating. Sorry to hear that. I cannot do anything but I, too, think it would be time to quickly drop a note here. Especially because Timo said he’d look into it. Sitting in a paid project and then this is horrible. I’m lucky I don’t have to use VCA faders.

https://youtu.be/_i50wPBRF4I

You should be able to see and understand what the issues are by just looking at the screen and follow the mouse clicks which are indicated. But either way, here are the items that seem to be just plain wrong to me:


— VCA Slave tracks with automation set to “global” never adjust faders to “+/-0dB” default when enabling TRIM in the automation panel.


— That breaks trim automation because those faders then appear to be writing a trim value based on the “automation read” value, which in turn is given by the VCA. This is in direct contrast to Pro Tools where the individual tracks are quasi-independent. We are able to change those tracks in PT independently of the VCA, including applying trim automation. The VCAs merely modify whatever the automation is on the tracks.


— Not only do these tracks (in my opinion) incorrectly write automation when it does write automation, it also does it in the wrong place. The automation written by me on the first two tracks were two short bursts of attenuation. In any logical implementation this would write automation where I touched the fader, not anywhere else. Instead the beginning of each track is now lower than the original 0dB. As you can also see clearly on the first track, despite me ONLY lowering the fader, there is a gradual ramp upwards before that short drop.


— It’s curious that the “TOUCH” track and the “TRIM” track behave entirely differently after automation has been combined. The first track no longer plays back automation after it has been written on it, whereas the second does.


— After “combine automation” has been undone, the first track (“TOUCH”) now plays back automation and appears to be behaving like the second. BUT, as you can see the “release” values are now entirely different. Despite all three tracks starting at 0dB, the first track now correctly ends at 0dB which is where no automation was ever written, whereas the second ends on roughly -8.5dB.


— Lastly, the third track, which had absolutely no automation written directly to it, and behaved as expected, is now at maximum gain at the beginning and end after having undone “combine automation”.


Let me know if the above behavior is all as planned. It would seem to me that if the “Version History” document specifically states that “Automation Trim mode can now be used on VCA Slaves” (B-12537) then it should be able to be used… in a predictable and logical manner.

So, am I misunderstanding what to expect here or what? I don’t have a problem being corrected here if you think that the above behavior is logical, intended, intuitive and more importantly industry standard.

It gets worse though:

I was saying earlier in the thread that placing an automation point in the automation lane would solve the problem - however - during my last job on Nuendo I used a template in which I had created automation points by default to deal with this. I did something during the mix, and all of a sudden I saw a similar behavior but different. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what I did wrong, because the automation points were clearly there.

Well, I just tried to break it again using automation points and I think I succeeded. This time I’m using a signal generator to illustrate part of the problem further. When watching playback keep an eye on both the fader and the meter showing the output of the track.

https://youtu.be/stW5ZAAGr0g

As you can see there are three different scenarios here;

  • After combining automation the fader moves, but the output level doesn’t move.

  • After then turning off trim neither moves.

  • Apparently combining after turning write off yields a different (correct?) result!



    Now let’s add to that what Guillermo has to say about it:


I had a talk with the some of the product planners about this, and you are not going to like it; In other words > they just mentioned it works the way it supposed to work and what you do is not the way you should do it… > So I am going to be brutally honest with you,> it is not going to be “fixed” because there is nothing there to be fixed.

I will try to get a more elaborate reply and translate it to english, but that’s it > either you re-adapt your workflow or maybe look for something else > as this relationship doesn’t seem to be going the way you think it should be going.

Best regards,
GN

So again:

The “Version History” document states clearly that trim on slave tracks now works. So, how is it supposed to work?

And now you have two more “detailed repros” in the form of easy-to-understand videos.

Have you watched them? Have the people in charge of design / programming watched them? What’s the status here?

Like I said, over a year it’s been…

Happy 13-month anniversary:

Still broken…

This is a problematic situation, given the ongoing issues with VCA, combined with the fact that the actual designer(s) is not known publicly, and therefore, Timo and Guillermo are left to do their best at intermediating between upset users and the Invisible Man (or Men, or Woman or Women).

Steinberg, I’m sorry to say, this is now a serious mess. There are videos online illustrating serious dysfunction in a 13 month old heavily advertised and marketed, key feature. I’ve spent decades mixing on SSL, Neve and Euphonix (2000, 3000 and System 5) automation. This is not how VCA Automation is supposed to work.

If Steinberg has rethought and reinvented how VCA Automation is supposed to work, and it’s better, great. Since experienced and successful mixers who are longtime Nuendo users (and even promoter/advocates) can’t figure out how to successfully use the current VCAs, there is an easy fix, if VCAs are working as you intended.

Please post a video showing us how to successfully write, trim and edit VCA and slave fader automation using Nuendo 7.1.0. It would be much appreciated.

Thanks!

Any news?

Stopped using my VCAs - way too erratic

It’s been 16 months now!

Can we get an update on when the issues will be addressed finally? Don’t we at least deserve that?