I feature I wish for for a long time is part-based automation.
In the moment all VST automations are track based, which makes sense for overall volume-automation and such, but in many cases the automation is more tied to the events in a part than on its position in the timeline. Think of filter-sweeps, or a reverb automation on the last snare hit before the chorus, or a delay that sets in when the singers stops to sing.
All this is possible with the current track based automation, I know, but if we are honest it is a workaround. In all these examples (and many more) the right time when the auomation should start and end is more tied to the position within a part and not to the overall position in the song. The problem becomes more prominent when you start moving parts around in your project. Of course there is this option to move automation data whenever you move a part. Another lazy compromise for automation-data that should have been IN the part from the outset.
So what happens when you move that parts around (maybe even temporarily overlapping)? Your automation data is destroyed
What happens when you move a part to a different track? Automation is lost and has to be copied manually.
So my proposal would be:
Add an additional automation lane that is saved within the part. It would be handy if it would be editable directly on the part (just like the volume envelope right now, just for all automatable data) and / or within the part (maybe where also midi-CC automation is drawn)
_I see two problems that would need to be solved:
- How does part-based automation interact with track based automation. It could be a simple addition of both values, or something more advanced.
- What happens when I move the part to another track that does not have the automatable parameter (maybe because the respective plugin is not inserted on that channel). Easiest solution: Just leave the automation data as it is, with an “unassigned automation” target, that you can manually set to anything available on that new channel. Nice side effect: you could triy around different targets with one and the same automation curve…_