I use Melodyne Studio exactly as you suggest. That is, through ARA, I add it as an extension on a clip (or set of clips since, for example in tuning background vocals, I like to have all the parts able to be worked on at once, especially due to doubling of parts, but also just so I can work out any kinks in the harmonies in parallel). I then tweak as needed, then when I’m done, I bounce the clips I’ve just processed, replacing the original clips.
With respect to the no note display/silent clip issue you mentioned, I don’t think I’ve encountered that in Melodyne to date, but I did encounter a similar issue the other day with VocAlign Ultra, which is another ARA extension. Specifically, I’d chopped a lead vocal into a clip the same length as the background vocals sections I was wanting to tighten against the lead, and, no matter what I did, I could not get the lead vocal to register with VocAlign as the reference track. I ended up bouncing the clip I’d cut from the lead overall lead vocal clip, and then it worked after that. This happened two or three times in the course of working on the project (I think it would have been in Cubase Pro 12.0.51 at that point).
I never did figure out why the clips that had the issue were different from the others that didn’t. One thought I had was if maybe the clips they were cut from were long and ARA was somehow referencing the invisible parts of those clips (i.e. since the underlying audio would have the parts before and after the clips I’d cut out from the original clip) and maybe there was some weird issue relating to the boundaries, perhaps overwhelming some sort of length parameter or something. But the other clips that didn’t have the problem were also cut from longer lead vocal clips.
I guess the bottom line is that, if you have this issue, maybe try bouncing the clip you are trying to tune then adding the Melodyne extension again to see if that makes it work.
Early days for me with Melodyne after 25 years with Autotune. There are some things I’m loving about it. The level of control over the target note compared with the actual note is awesome. And I got a useable result creating a harmony vocal.
I get the feeling there’s a lot going on behind the scenes with Melodyne under ARA in Cubase, after editing a long file in Melodyne, doing further edits in the project (cuts, level changes in clips) is less fluent than usual, the whole GUI slows down.
This seems to happen even after bouncing the file (or making the extension permanent) which I find a bit odd. Maybe Melodyne is still there in the background in case I want to undo? It seems to become more normal after closing the project and re opening, so that would make sense.
I don’t know what is going on behind the scenes, but I’d guess you’re right that there is still a need to preserve some things due to Undo history needs until such point as the project is saved, closed, and reopened. I suspect this would mainly affect memory consumption, as opposed to CPU consumption. I haven’t really noticed issues there with Melodyne, but I’m pretty much never running tight on my 16 GB of memory. (CPU is another thing altogether when it comes to modern plugins and my 2014 vintage computer build.)
I have seen issues with Synchro Arts’ RePitch, a new ARA tuning plugin when using it in the mode that stores the ARA data in the Cubase project. This is especially evident when Cubase does its automatic backup file creation, interrupting workflow for quite a while, and the size of the CPR and BAK files, which might go from a few MB to upwards of 100 MB with even one track’s worth of RePitch data and changes. This remains the case after bouncing until the project is saved, closed, and reopened, assumedly due to history needs. But the slowdowns on automatic backups can happen with any sorts of plugins that make project files significantly larger than they were prior to adding them.