Is anyone using VCAs successfully?

Title says it all. Anybody? Can you elaborate on how you’re making it work? Automation, etc?


Select some channels > add VCA > VCA controls all connected channels’ level. Instead of automating several volumes the VCA automation does it with a single automation lane if you like. If you send stuff into groups this is of course prefader which can but must not be a difference, depending on what insert or send processing you might have going there. The relations of the channels keeps intact.

There might be some elements you want to control dynamically, in-/decreasing in level while the song progresses. VCAs enable you to combine those elements and make them controllable with a single fader. This is completely independent from the bus structure those channels might be fed into and way more handy than messing with a lot of automations.

There’s not much more to it. I’d recommend to introduce VCAs into a project in the mixing stage. Record enable gets linked too until you press the SUSpend button on top of the mix console which is not so handy.

Use it every day, without problems.

If you don’t know where to start, just start to experiment with it.
It’s actually simple. A VCA controls a selection of other faders, so if you move the VCA, all faders will follow.
But at the same time, you can still adjust any individual fader without affecting the others in the group.

I.e. VCA-link all drum tracks, and the VCA controls all faders of the drum track.
But you still can push the Kick-fader without affecting the others.

Once you get the concept, you can do anything you want.
If you use it in an automation environment, always write initial parameters.

Good luck!

Amazing how you advocate using this despite it being so broken. Someone can get into a bunch of trouble by not being aware of the bugs that VCAs have 15 months after release.

I think it’s straight up irresponsible and misleading by you. The very least you could do is tell people to read up on the current bugs so they don’t all of a sudden get screwed in the middle of a paying project like some of us did.



Still not true.


I am not totally “right” in saying that there aren’t any issues with VCA’s. You have proved that issues can be encountered.

You are not totally “right” in saying that it is a bunch of crap and that VCA’s don’t work at all.

In response to the OP, I am saying that I and the way I work, I have no issues whatsoever with VCA’s.
And even if I would bump into them, I would put some effort in it to avoid them.

So, don,'t point at me. I do not represent Steinberg, and I am not advocating anything at all.
I’m just saying that it works for me, and if you write initial parameters -which is standard procedure in Post- you will hardly get into big trouble.

Now let me go back to work.


And when I say “VCA’s don’t work at all” you can criticize me for saying that. So, herr moderator; is that what I just said???

You should have warned the user, and users reading this thread, of the BIG trouble they can get into because of these bugs. But you did not. That’s not good for the user base.

Is it also standard procedure to trim automation?
Is it also standard procedure to coalesce automation?

You know it is.

Thanks for the responses. I know how VCAs work and how to implement them in Nuendo, but I appreciate the info, nonetheless.

My point was if people were using them successfully and practically in the real world. Looks like some are. I will have a look in my setting. I’ve been holding off waiting to see how it was going and thinking a patch would come. Since that doesn’t appear likely, I’ll take a stab and see.

Thanks again for the info and thanks MattiasNYC for pointing out issues elsewhere. Should help steer me clear of some trial and error.

I’m too scared to use it. If something bad happens to my system I don’t want to have to start fighting Steinberg for compensation.

I think it is usable and it works for me on a basic level. The more complex the mix, the more frequently I coalesce to avoid surprises. It kinda suits my workflow as I don’t like to use too complex commands while concentrating on the mix.

As I said earlier, if people are going to recommend using this they should clearly state the pitfalls of using it.

So, fine, you like to coalesce/combine automation to avoid surprises: Don’t forget to inform people that if trim is enabled/used on the slave track you’ll hit a really nasty bug.

You are right. I never face the bug because I never use trim.

The question was what works not what it doesn’t. Other than that you are right of course.

And “combine automation” doesn’t always work.

Imagine someone asking you “Does combine automation work in N7.1”. Your answer the way you’re talking about it above would be “Yes”. They can then run into the bug that exists and be left with the impression that you weren’t telling the truth.

Remember that part of the problem here from a user’s perspective has absolutely nothing to do with combine automation. You use it once and it works. You use it again and all of a sudden it doesn’t. What was different with combine automation? Nothing. What was different was that you were using “Trim”. Two functions that appear to be separate and thus not something one intuitively connects.

So “Combine automation” doesn’t always work. It’s better for people to say that they use it frequently “to avoid surprises” or whatever, but that there are caveats to their usage of it.

I have a request, if I may.

I hope SB will address any bugs remaining in the VCAs soon. But until they do, MattiasNYC, could you list the things NOT to do with VCAs in a 1., 2., 3., style list? That would be very helpful to those who have not spent as much time as you sorting this out (I’m pretty sure that would be everybody, including SB). And I would certainly appreciate having the benefit of the time you have invested in sorting this through.


If I understand correctly there is no bug when:

a. you don’t use trim and
b. create an initial parameter


I think getalife2 is right in pointing out that some users (me included) here don’t actually want to spend time digging deeper into the scenarios when they need to use workarounds.

As a result I simply don’t use the function at all, running against a wall when schedules are tight is just too dangerous for my business.

Works fantastic over here, and I use it a lot. And thankfully, my workflow doesn’t appear to be causing any bugs.
The fact that I can now link faders that feed different group channel tracks while leaving them individually automatable is a game changer for me.

So do you create initial parameters and don’t use trim?

That’s what I thought too. Unfortunately they’re not “individually automatable” if your normal workflow includes using trim, which, for a lot of people is the case. It doesn’t take much to run into these issues because the bugs are not intuitive.

I’m not sure if that solves the issue of combining automation. It might. I’m too tired to remember right now.

Same for me. I just spent the time because I got so sick of Steinberg telling people there’s this nice shiny new function yet telling nobody how it isn’t working. And now I can include moderators to that list. So I made videos to show how it isn’t working and isn’t intuitive.

We paid for this to work. Over 15 months later it’s still not working correctly.