Tried the Blue Cat Gain Setup for VCA Faders

I just followed the instructions from the SOS article on creating VCA Faders ( ). While a little confusing, I managed to get a VCA Fader Test Setup for my drums and the master VCA is controlling all of my drum tracks.

However, I’m not getting the independent level option I was expecting for the individual channels. They’re just acting like linked channels. The channels all stay in their relative positions. But when I move ANY channel, they all move. I’m not sure what I missed. But my current results could’ve been achieved by just linking the drum tracks without adding the BCG plugs and MIDI channels. The VCA Master is supposed to move the entire group and I should be able to adjust any individual channel in the group without effecting the other channels, right?

Has anyone else tried this? How’d it work for you? Could you talk me through the process?

Okay, I know I’m going to take a raft of crap for not getting this. But, so be it.

I have a starting template that has my similar tracks (drums, guitars, keys, brass, strings etc.) already routed to group tracks.
If I need to link tracks, I can and if I need to adjust a single track in the linked group without effecting the other tracks, I just press ALT and adjust the track in question.

So, what big time saving benefit am I supposed to achieve with the VCA faders? I get the “FX on a group track” issue, where the source signal gets “wetter” when I adjust the individual track within the group. But beyond that, I don’t get what all the fuss is about. The VCA test didn’t offer me anything that I couldn’t already do in Nuendo without the BCG plugs.

I CAN use the gain plug for other stuff, like FX gain control. But I’m not seeing the earth shattering advantage regarding the VCA Emulation. Anybody care to enlighten me (keeping in mind that not knowing is NOT a capital offense!)? :question:

One advantage is if you have automation on the source tracks then you can simply use a VCA to offset all tracks attached to the VCA. Not possible with link.

How does the VCA not interfere with the automation? Are you splitting the gain output?

As mentioned, VCA provides an offset. If you have automation on track 1 and set your VCA to -1 then all automation will now have 1 subtracted from it.

One thing you can do is organize your layout more efficiently. If you have a very large session, like people in post often do, then you can assign VCAs to “food groups” and then have the VCAs sit next to each other in one location. So that way there’s less banking to do to get from point A to point B. Imagine having a bunch of foley and backgrounds to bank through before you get to your sfx tracks for example.

Then there’s nesting. You can have your gunshots on one VCA, your impacts on another, bullets whooshing by on a third etc, and all of those go to a dedicated VCA for all of that, whereas next to it you can have a vehicles VCA, which in turn may do the same (i.e. nested within it is one for tires, engines, etc).

Then, if Steinberg does this right (who knows, right?!), we’'d be able to select a VCA, and then show “connected” channels. If we can do that, then it would mean that you can have a default collapsed view in your mixer, looking at your VCAs and groups perhaps (no audio tracks), and when you need to access individual audio tracks for your gunshots you’ll select the appropriate VCA and show those connected tracks. Not even a need for banking.

My impression is actually that the biggest advantages of VCAs isn’t necessarily processing, but organization.

Thanks a lot for the explanation. I don’t do any post work. I’m on the composing side of the equation, hence the confusion. My sessions usually stay around 100 tracks or less and my templates are very well organized, including track visibility pre-sets. So this new feature probably won’t be that big of a deal for me. But, you never know. IF, as you said, SB get’s it right, I might end up wondering how I worked all of this time without it. It never takes long to get used to something that genuinely helps! :wink:

I hear you.

I could imagine that within a 100-track music session you might have ‘groups’ of instruments that musically and logically ‘fit together’, including nesting.