Mix console snapshots and automation

PLEASE allow some sort of system so we can A/B mixes with automation. I do a lot of mix automation and would LOVE to be able to quickly try different ideas with automation. I thought Mix console snapshots was the answer, but apparently it simply ignores any mix automation, making true A/B mix comparisons impossible! How many people mix a song without automation?! Seriously!

If this is not possible with mix console snapshots, then consider updating track versions to include automation & Mixer data. You would need to add track version capabilities to bus & FX tracks as well in this option. This way you could then assign all tracks to a single track version ID (Mix A), duplicate the track version (Mix B), make your mix changes, and switch between A/B.

Mix Console snapshots ignoring automation seems like either a huge oversight, or too difficult to implement for this release. This thread is created to make sure its not an oversight and to prove that its worth the effort to implement.

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I think there’s likely reason automation is not part of snapshots, and that is if you’ve properly gainstaged your mix there wouldn’t really be a point in snapshoting different automations, infact if you have properly gainstaged your mix, having automation tied to snapshots would be very annoying because you want to a/b “the sound of your mix”, not the levels. ie, if you have automation on all your tracks, and you go to a snapshot where all your inserts are off… your levels shouldn’t change. You want to snapshot A/B your mix within your automation - not A/B your automation on your mix.

This is why I’ve started destructive gainstaging my tracks and events before I start mixing and adding processing inserts so that everything is peaking around -6db, using RMS to level as well, instead of using inserts to do this work I now use Direct Offline Process so that none of this initial gain is part of my mix. As the mix goes on, I tend to use a lot more RMS metering because of compression being used in which case my -6db peak target becomes irrelevant and rely on RMS and my ears to properly gainstage my insert mixing.

Working this way, I wouldn’t want automation to be part of my mixconsole snapshots because I would just be A/Bing my automation changes on the fly and crafting what I want, and then saving ‘New Version’ of the project and titling it (mix rev4, etc, etc) and exporting stereo mixes as I go.


Maybe automation panel could have its own automation snapshot history.

It might look as an oversight, but automation was of course considered and has been much discussed during the internal presentation of the new features.
The problem is that automation is time-based and relative to the project, MixConsole snapshots are relative to, well, the MixConsole, where this is information is not present. It is and will be looked into.

At first: include automation lanes in track versions:
https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=252&t=122844

Then tie track versions to mix snapshots and call these new objects „project versions“ or similar, introduced in Cubase 10.5

I would imagine keeping the logistics of such a thing uncluttered for the user in practice could be complicated - if they have a lot of automation if they are automating inserts for example automating compressor controls and they have many automation practices like this in one project - that is a lot of information as Fabio said, not part of the MixConsole. What is it exactly that a user would be A/B’ing in Snapshots?

Better off having Track Versions for automation I would think. It would be difficult or not possible to A/B automation across the entire project this way, but I’m not sure being able to do that would be totally necessary. Usually when I A/B automation, it’s passage by passage like a filter sweep, or inconsistent dynamics in a section and I simpy edit-undo/redo to A/B. And if it’s a project where this is lots to think about level mix wise, I save ‘New Version’ and print mixes as I go.

Which brings up a new idea, ‘Save New Version’ could be more directly integrated into Cubase, where instead of only saving these as essentially separate projects that use the same project directory… Cubase could keep track of these ‘New Versions’ in a history list that the user could switch to without loading them in as an additional project. Almost like, entire project snapshot.

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I think having the “track version” on automations is a “must”.

Let me explain why this feature would be useful for me. I make interactive music and very often, I need to make derivative versions of the same track (ex: exploration vs combat, danger levels, etc). I use track versions a lot for MIDI data, it is quick and effective for switching from one version to the other (you keep the same timeline, markers, etc.) But as mentionned in this post, if I change automations on a version (which I do a lot!), I ruin the other version’s mix, which is not convenient at all. Most of the time, I end up saving the different versions as different files, to be safe. It means that if I need to go back to the previous version, I need to close my session and reopen the other, and so on. I would like to keep it all in the same session without copying everything horizontaly (duplicate all data on the timeline).

Is there anything I’m missing? Any thoughts?

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+1 about track versions, but also snapshots should be more elastic to needs.