Groove Agent One :: Sample volume has a mind of its own

I just bought Cubase a few days ago and am still getting used to everything. One small issue that I can’t seem to wrap my head around is how the “Sample Volume” is set in Groove Agent One.

Just as a test, I loaded one of the preinstalled kick samples into a blank patch. I hit my keyboard a bit at different velocities and find it to be too loud. Under the “Voice” tab, I vary the “Vol” slider above the waveform to bring the sample volume down. I trigger the sample from my keyboard and it sounds fine, reduced in volume. However, if I use my mouse to click on the pad to more precisely test the different velocities, the volume randomly jumps to a different value and it is too loud again. Even stranger thing is that when I change the volume level again to lower it back to where I first set it, and then click to a different tab (filter or amplifier) for the pad, the volume jumps to a completely DIFFERENT level. So weird.

I tried a few different samples, and no matter what I do, it seems that the trend is that each pad wants to be as loud as possible.

I do not have this problem when using the “Volume” knob on the “Play” and “Amplifier” tabs. When I set that, it stays. I read through the (extremely brief) section on Groove Agent One in the plug-in reference and the only hint it provides is:

By default, the parameters of the selected samples are adjusted in relation to their previous settings. If you want to set a specific value for all selected samples, Ctrl-click the quick control to set an initial value, release ctrl-click and adjust the value.

I tried this, and it looks different while I am setting the value but then the same trouble persists. Am I missing something here?

Are you aware that clicking on the lower part of the GAO cell will give a low velocity and the further up the cell you click will increase the velocity?
Sounds like this might possibly be your problem.
The vol slider you mention is for the global vol level… there is also a vol pot/knob directly above the play button in the pad edit section to control individual pad levels… i generally drop the global level to between -10 and -12db as i find it waaaaaaaaay too hot otherwise.

Hope that helps!

Thanks for the reply. I know about how to test the different velocities on the cell by clicking higher or lower. That is one of a few variables in the equation that is my current confusion. Also, according to the manual that Vol slider “Sets the sample volume.” It states that the volume knob under the LCD display for the Play and Amplifier tab is “The volume of the pad currently selected for editing”. I am not touching the Master slider in the lower left of the plugin-window. For all of what I am describing, it is left at 0.

Here is my test, step for step:

  1. Add instrument track. Choose GAO, no preset. Default blank patch. As a side note, I will mention that I have repeated all of the following steps using the VST Instruments panel (with separate midi track) to create GAO. Does not change anything.

  2. Open loop browser. Grab a few arbitrary hits and drop them each onto their own cell. For this specific test, I chose the first kick, hihat, and snare on the list (001 Construction Kit 01 SK.wav, 003 Construction Kit 01 SK.wav, 005 Construction Kit 01 SK.wav … mapped to the first three cells on the bottom row). The details of which samples I use or where they are mapped makes no difference obviously, but I like to remove all possible variables in this sort of thing.

  3. Select the “voice” tab in order to see the sample waveform and, most importantly, the grey “Vol” slider above the waveform. Click on the kick drum cell at the top and repeat down to the bottom to verify the velocity curve. Repeat with the other 2 samples. At this point, everything works completely fine. That “Vol” slider stays put no matter how i trigger the sample. Also, even when I play the kick drum sample at the highest velocity, it does not clip out the meter.

  4. Click on the cell with the kick sample on it. Drag the “Vol” slider down to -12 dB. Use a midi controller to trigger all three samples individually (without clicking ANYthing else after making the adjustment to Vol). The kick doesnt sound like it has any reduction in gain, but everything still plays at appropriate levels.

  5. Click on the cell for the hi-hat cell a few times. I have found that it really doesn’t matter where on the cell you click, just as long as you click on it 2-3 times. After clicking on the cell, the “Vol” bar jumps to a new value (for me it jumps up to max). Do the same thing with snare sample on the third cell. Its Vol bar jumps after a few clicks as well. Finish it off by clicking a few clicks on the kick drum cell and see its Vol value change for no reason.

  6. Try triggering the cells (by clicking or via midi keyboard) at different velocities and you will hear (and see) that the volumes are wayyyy overcranked for each cell. ( I first thought it was just a cosmetic/visual error).

  7. Ok so now things get weird. If I try to fix the volumes, values don’t seem to hold (consistently, that is). Since all of the Vol levels are maxed out, try lowering Vol for the kick drum. Pull it back down to -12dB, then try triggering by midi keyboard. It seems that the volume is adjusted back to where it should be. Click on the kick cell, and the bar jumps again. Move around to each cell and try to adjust the values back to stable levels (so that they dont change around each time you click on it). It turns into a game of wacka-mole.

Occasionally, I am able to get everything back to an almost stable state, and then one of them will start jumping around again if I click on it. Is that Vol slider just there as a prank? Is this how it is designed to behave? What purpose could this actually serve? Has anyone else noticed this?

The problem does not occur when I dont touch that particular Vol slider and since there is another volume knob for each pad, I am not limited at all by this problem (since I can just use the knobs instead of the sliders). I just get annoyed when I don’t understand why something is not behaving the way it seems like it should be.

Has anybody found a fix/workaround for this (what I assume is a) bug? Unfortunately, I can’t use the Vol knob above the “play” tab because this is for the individual pads, I need to adjust the individual layer volumes which can only be done with the problematic slider in the lcd screen. Thanks.

I hope this isn’t considered “hijacking” a thread but I’d like to put my “how I knackered it” walkthrough in the hope of finding some confirmation on this issue.

1- Open an empty instance of Groove Agent One.
2- Drag 4 different .wav’s onto ONE of the pads so you have 4 layers on a single pad.
3- Increase the layer volume slider* for layer 3.
4- Then click alternately between the tabs “layer 2” and “layer 3” a couple of times.
5- The layer 2 volume slider changes (as well as other layer volume inconsistencies which make setting accurate and consistent layer volumes impossible).

  • Just to clarify, I am refering to the “vol” slider in the GAO lcd display (which is shown when you select either “voice”, “filter” or “amplifier” tabs). Not the “master” volume or the “Volume” knob.

I have got the same issue in Cubase Elements 7. Is there any workaround? How can I force layers in GAO to remember its volume?