Network collaboration -experienceses and issues

I thought I should share some of my experiences using the network function in Nuendo 7.1 after using it a couple of days.

At the moment we are working on a film at our studios, and we have split the project work flow on four different users. (Dialogue editing, atmos, FX/foley and music editing.)

The network function is, if i have understood correctly, aimed towards editing existing clips and providing the owner of the project new material for mixing.(Dialogue station being the owner of the project.) That means no routing, automation, inserts or channel settings are transferred between the individual participants. I understand why that is the case, and it is not a single one of those function i really miss at the moment.

The good thing is that editing fades, clip gain, clip volume automation and crossfades transfers exactly as it is to all participants.

The main issue I am having at the moment is offline processing transfer.

-Some times it works well, and other times it does not work at all. It seems to be really inconsistent. When it works there is really no problem. I can see in offline process what plugins that are used on all computers, but i cannot remove or deactivate the plugins used without loosing the original audio. The clip goes completely silent.

-Other times the clip is transferred without any effects working at all. I can still see what plugins that are used in offline process history on all participants project, but the effect is nonexistent. If i remove the plugins, the clip audio disappears completely again.

One possibility is to bounce a selection or the entire track, but that is not an option when editing thousands of individual clips. One should be able to edit individual clips throughout the mixing process.

So, my question, is offline processing issues a known bug or a feature that is not supported?

best,
Jørgen
http://www.amboltaudio.no

bump

My experiences with it is that it can’t be relied on in any serious way IMHO.
I’ve had similar experiences as you, in that sometimes it works well and other times it doesn’t at all.

I don’t think offline processing is supported. Or ever was.
I think you should always have the option “create new clip” activated as a default.
I have no knowledge as if the Networking Collaboration feature set also shares the offline processing history of a clip.
The “History” and “offline history” is part of the workstation, not part of the clip. It is remembered within the DAW that executed the process. If all DAW’s within the Networking setup would also share their individual “History”, it would become a complete mess.

The Networking feature set is IMO absolutely great.
The single biggest problem is that users expect too much out of it, and want it to have more features.
They however don’t realize that any feature that you would want to add to the function, brings a multitude of problems which will make the Networking Collaboration an extremely dangerous tool.

Just an example about Routing & Mixing.
Is there any Post facility which has identical room setups?
Is there any mixer who would allow a collegue in another room to change something to the mix?

I fully agree that the feature can use some improvement, but if you use it with care, it is an extremely powerful tool.


Fredo

It’s a strange feature, indeed.
I remember trying it out many years ago with a friend and then later when I built my own studio.
In both cases we somehow decided that it would just be easier to track/export/import and just get on with the work rather than trying to figure out what it was we did not understand.
While I understand that limitations and unusual workflows need to be there for a reason, most likely user’s rights, I think it was too complicated for me.
And it’s the same with all the hype about collaboration features in DAWs. I just don’t care and send a mixdown via dropbox/ftp.

Oliver,

That is one of the other “porblems” with the Network Collaboration feature: Everybody has other needs, everybody want’s to use it in his/her own specific way.

When you stick to what it’s build for, it is extremely powerfull.
The idea is simple.

One master, who decides who (which slave) can add/change content and submit it to the Master session.
The Slaves are adding/editing content and send it to the Master.
Point Period.

We mostly use it when things need to go fast.
For example, at one point, we were recording a Dubbing session in our main recording room, while another room was editing/cleaning up the freshly recorded voice tracks, while yet in another room the project was mixed.
After we finished the dubbing session, we sat down with the client for a coffee, and right after we went listening to the finished mix. Needles to say that the client was impressed.

For any project that runs over a longer time, we indeed export/import tracks.
That is by far the easiest way.


Fredo

Thanks for advertising this to me again.
I’ve got enormous workload coming up, so now might be the time to look into this once more.

The only thing to keep in mind is that you are always transferring a complete track.
In other words, everything that is present (or isn’t) (Schrödinger’s Cat is peeking around the corner here) on that track get’s transferred.
The DAW’s can’t possibly know what is ment to be left untouched, versus what has been changed.
So, only one person can work at a particular track at the same time.

Say you are recording a 1 hour radioplay in Room 1, and halfway at 30 minutes, you are transferring the track to the edit room.
While you are recording the second half our of that track, your collegue is editing the first half hour.
This will result in disater.
Because, when you will load his edits, you will lose the second half hour track that you have recorded. (His -half full, but edited- track will be transferred to you. On the other hand, when he thinks to load the rest of your 30 minutes, he will lose his earlier edits.
So in this case, we always work with a “transfer” track. That is one (or two) tracks that are only used for transferring things from one room to another. As soon as someone has send or received something through that transfer track, first thing he/she needs to do is move the content to one of the regular tracks. That way you won’t lose any work.


Fredo