Saving automation lane view presets

Hey, guys.

As a preface, I’m using the DMXIS vst pluging to control lighting. In addition to other features, it exposes all 512 DMX channels via the plugin / insert automation lanes. While this gives me a lot of power to do things like controlling pan & tilt over time, it’s a bit clumsy to work with and I’m trying to streamline my workflow.

For example, I have 10 moving heads - 5 on the front truss, 5 on the back. If I want to automation the Pan parameter for all the front truss lights, I have to add an automation lane for each (with non intuitive numbers, e.g. 101, 123, etc. depending on which DMX channel the fixture & property lives at).

There are two things I’d like to accomplish.

First, it would be great if I could set up track presets that would, for instance, automatically expand those 5 automation lanes (front truss Pan). However, in saving and recalling a track preset, it doesn’t appear to persist the view state of the automation lanes. That means I have to manually add them one at a time, which gets tedious in a hurry.

The second thing I’d love to figure out is a way to “group” automation much as you’d send the 4 backup singers to one group so that you could raise / lower the harmonies with one slider. At present, if I want to automate all 5 front truss Pan lanes, I have to create the automation in one, then copy / paste it to the other four. If I make a change, I have to first delete the data in the other four, then paste. Again, tedious.

DMXIS is an excellent little plugin for automating lighting. That said, if you want to do anything but recall a preset scene, the programming is cumbersome. If anyone knows how to accomplish either of these two things, or has other workflow suggestions for automation, I’d be most grateful for your insights.



What I do for automation (instruments/effects, not lighting!) is to set the channel automation to record, twiddle the knob and then ‘show all used automation’. There’s also an automation preference to reveal automation lanes as they’re recorded to save the show step. I also use ‘hide all automation’. This sort of thing might help to keep the lanes tidy.

As for grouping the automation data for mass editing, it’s a pita. It’d be nice if Steinberg implemented that so you could rubber band multiple lanes and edit all points, and even click points and they’re added to multiply-selected tracks. But no, that doesn’t work.

One thing that does edit multiple lanes is to use the info line and edit the number in there. For example, if you have multiple automation points on different lanes selected and you use the mouse wheel over this field it will effect all selected points. Typing in a number will also work, and the points are moved relative to their original position. Holding Ctrl and pressing Enter in this box will set all points to the typed-in value.


Hey, Mike.

Thanks for the help. Putting an automation event in the lanes so I can show only those with automation will be a good approach for a new project template. I have around 40 songs I’m currently working on so I’d hoped that the track preset would work but of course that was a no go.

Didn’t know that about the info line, though, so that’s going to be handy.

No matter what you design software to do, someone will come up with something you hadn’t anticipated. :slight_smile:

As a followup for any Dmxis users who might stumble upon this thread, here’s the workflow I ended up with.

  1. In Dmxis, I plan on setting up macros to select the given fixtures and attributes that I want to automate, e.g. Front Truss Pan Tilt, and then setting the value of each to 128.

  2. In Cubase, enable write automation for the track, then play the macro from the Dmxis. This will drop a single automation event in the vertical middle of the lane, making it easy to select and delete.

  3. Show automation for that channel, delete the setup events and begin work.

It’s not as elegant a solution as I’d prefer, but it beats going through a list of 255 numbers, remembering which ones to pick, and doing it one at a time for ten selections (5 fixtures * pan + tilt).

As they say in the aviation industry, any landing you can walk away from is a good one. Of course, you get bonus points if you can reuse the craft. :slight_smile: