After working with C6’s redesigned lanes for a couple weeks, I’m beginning to get it. It’s different, but - in many common situations, like vocal comping - it’s more efficient than the old way (IMO). Just takes getting used to.
I’ve also been able to use the lanes feature with more “complicated” comps where I create whole new arrangements by copying/pasting existing audio clips. It works - differently, but it works. [Although I do wish I could drag-copy audio clips onto a new lane (at the bottom). That should be fixed - otherwise, we’re forced to drop clips onto existing lanes which causes the lanes to shift, a visually jarring experience which many users will likely find confusing.]
However, there is one problem with this new system that REALLY worries me, and has kept me from using C6 thus far with paying clients. It’s so problematic, that I can’t believe it wasn’t addressed during C6’s internal design phase. Specifically, after I’ve completed comping a track (or group of tracks) with lanes, HOW DO I RECORD ADDITIONAL TAKE(S) WITHOUT INSTANTLY LOSING MY COMP (and all that hard work)?
[Edit for clarity’s sake: The audio takes themselves are not gone, rather the highlighted choices of which sections of audio I’ve carefully chosen for playback by clicking on them - e.g. the comp itself - are no longer visible).
Here’s a recent example:
I’ve finished comping a complicated set of drum takes. This kind of stuff can take hours… thankfully now with Group Edit, it’s easier - but it’s still often painstaking work. Before the client signs off on the drums, the drummer wants to try playing “just one last take!” before we settle on the final performance. I hit record, the drummer plays the tune one last time. When he’s done, MY ENTIRE COMP - which took hours to create - is GONE, replaced by the drummer’s new take at the bottom of the lanes. [Edit, again for clarity: Just to be clear - the earlier takes are still shown (they haven’t disappeared), rather they have all become transparent again. All evidence of the comp choices I made - that is, the comp work I did earlier by clicking on various audio segments in the various lanes - is gone.]
This is unusable for me. I need to be able to comp, record some more, comp those new takes, and then - perhaps - record more and comp again, all the while building and refining my comp. The old lanes behavior allowed this. C6 does not. And I simply cannot wait until all client recording is done before creating comps. It’s not how things work here in the real world with clients, where we often comp as we go (and then record again - as most engineers know, it’s often the process of comping that reveals what areas need to be re-recorded). Yes, I know there are workarounds- creating an entire set of new tracks for recording the post-comp takes sort of works. But that creates other frustrating problems, which aren’t even worth mentioning as they are obviously just workarounds.
Steinberg’s products have always been known for their industry-leading non-destructive editing. So this new lanes design - where recording a new take instantly removes the entire comp, with no undo available - is a real head scratcher. What say you, Steinberg? Every pro audio engineer I know works this way. I’d say this problem is a high priority to fix.