Im having a strange VCA bug.

I had 2 faders zero out after the VCA was at infinity.
I remember this from a previous version, is this back?


The bug is not clear from your description. Please outline in precise step-by-step detail and I’ll gladly test this.


step 1 track to -10
step 2 track to vca
step 3 automate vca so it gets to -infinity.
step 4 put playhead at the point the vca is at -infinity
step 5 save and close
step 6 open session, track now is at 0db not -10.

VCAs are unfortunately still broken. They produce a variety of unintended results when paired with automation.

Writing an initial automation point to the track’s automation lane solves the problem.

Unfortunately not an option for a lot of workflows. VCAs and automation are fundamentally broken.

They skipped version 9, so now VCAs have been broken from version 7-10 :laughing:

Thanks, I can use this for now.

Hope they fix it soon, i love VCA.

I just tried this in v8 and I couldn’t reproduce. Did anybody reproduce this in v10?

Yes. I could repro it in 10. Sort of.

No automation on the Audio Track.
Audio Track initially at -10. Linked to VCA.
Roll Project, VCA automated to -infinity.
Save with Playhead at -infinity position.
Reopen and Audio Track is at -infinity (as it should be).
However . . . move Playhead to start of project and the track is at 0, not -10. It forgets its initial value.
If you save with the playhead at 0 - the initial -10 is recalled correctly. If you save somewhere in automation but prior to -infinity the track is also recalled correctly, even if you roll back to 0.

It seems the problem is that Nuendo is saving the static value of the non automated track at the save position.
So if that value is anything greater than -infinity it can be recalculated (for other song positions) based on any other automation affecting it.
However, if it’s saved static value is -infinity, well . . . we’re kind of lost.

It also seems that Nuendo must have some kind of buffer for the un-automated track that stores this initial value because as long as the Project stays open everything is fine. It’s only when you save and reopen that the issue occurs. Perhaps this buffer needs to be saved with the project?

All of my speculation may be fine, but I found another issue I can’t explain:

Touch Mode. Virg Terr off.
Audio Track. VCA. Link to VCA.
Set Audio Track to -10.
Start rolling and write some Automation on AUDIO Track starting a few seconds in. Little up, little down. Doesn’t matter.
Stop and return to start.
Track is now at 0, not -10.
Play and Track will slowly descend to -10 at exactly the point automation started.

No saving. No -infinity. Just Bad Funk.

This is not a “Bug”.
“Bugs” are where some strange and perhaps rare combination of actions produce an undesired result.

This is a blatant and easily demonstrated malfunction of a common and much used feature.
It really needs to be addressed.


First one I can’t repro in v8.

2nd; Yep. Fked.

Again: Starting automation nodes at the beginning of the timeline solves this problem. But it shouldn’t be there in the first place I think.

Whoever is in charge of VCAs @ Steinberg doesn’t seem to understand how they should work. Just embarrassing that they’ve never worked properly since their introduction.

I posted a fairly epic rant about the lack of understanding on the part of the Steinberg VCA programmers YEARS ago now.

So weird…deja vu in 2019. It really is embarrassing. I worked on 160+ input latge format Euphonix System 5 post consoles for years. The VCA and Automation in Nuendo is taken almost directly from the System 5.

I don’t use the VCAs in Nuendo. Pretty much says it all.

Well, the issues go back to the very first version of VCAs back in, what… July 2015?!

In addition to that I stand by what I’ve said before, which is that part of the frustration with development is that they leave feature sets “unfinished”, or “not all they could be”. When it comes to VCAs it’s not just fixing bugs and probably rethinking some of the design, it’s also ‘finishing’ the design in a logical way. Like, can we nest links or VCAs yet? Can we trigger solo, mute, rec, input monitoring etc via VCAs?

It seems like not that many more features to add to finish off the functionality, yet not only don’t we see it happen, we don’t even hear if it’s on the roadmap.

And it goes back to 2015.

Mattias, all your hard work is much appreciated in trying to get VCA’s sorted. I’m very sad to hear that even you are not hopeful, or seeing any effort from Steinberg to get VCA’s to a usable state. If I recall correctly, you were testing and troubleshooting for the the devs at one point… Where did your collaboration with them on fixing this end up?

Well, just to be fair and clear here;

  • I am not hopeful that it’ll all get fixed soon, because I think Steinberg’s priorities just aren’t VCAs. To me they’re a really valuable tool and they’d benefit me greatly. But I’m just one person out of a subset of users that use VCAs, and a lot of other people don’t. So that’s why I think they’re not prioritizing it and that’s why I don’t think we’ll see a lot of change, and not even smaller changes, any time soon.

Like I said; to me it makes more sense to develop new functionality (which is what VCAs were for v7) fully before moving on. To me that means setting goals for how it should all work, and not just a version with the basics, but a nice full version with what is logical to include. Then those goals should be on the roadmap and get executed. If there’s a hiccup then deal with the hiccup. Leaving things unfinished and partially broken just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Philosophically I just disagree with their approach. And this isn’t the only area where I’ve seen this.

  • The question of whether or not it’s “usable” is really a matter of how you work I think. Last time I used VCAs I could use them but with some caveats. I decided for example to always use automation points on my channels at the very beginning of the timeline. That seems to have solved a lot of problems. Of course, if I had cared about virgin territory - which sounds good in principle but has a flaw that makes it meaningless to me - then I would not have been able to use this workaround, because it would have defeated the purpose of virgin territory (or VT would have made it impossible as a workaround).

So, it’s sort of usable for me, it’s just that if I work in Nuendo I have to make sure I know that what I do with the VCA is working properly, and that shouldn’t be the case. I shouldn’t have to test this out to make sure it works and then stay away from any other part of a normal workflow just to avoid running into a situation where I get screwed by a bug or faulty design. Sort of usable? Yes. “Comfortable”? Not really.

  • The testing I did was with specific issues in mind. I unfortunately didn’t have the time to test everything that’s involved in a VCA workflow, and so there were apparently things that I didn’t test that slipped into the next releases. I wish I could have done more testing but I just didn’t have time. So my tests were limited to a few cases with clear reproductions in threads on the forum. Not all cases.

The people I had contact with at Steinberg were very polite, very professional, and very easy to discuss this with. So I absolutely can’t say that I did testing that showed problems that they ignored. The things I had brought up and the things I tested that I was aware of were all addressed by the Steinberg development team.

That last part is very important to me.

You know, the internet is so mystical. In my first couple of interactions with you a couple of years ago, you seemed like a bit of a jerk (to me). I actually toggled the option to hide your posts.

Then, over time, I figured out you’re just intense about things that matter to you, possibly a bit like myself. So I un-hid you and started appreciating you’re logic and desire to get it right and began encouraging you to go for it. I might have even been a guy who recommended SB turn you loose to test VCAs for them. If I remember correctly, Timo said “Why not?”

Your quote above is great! I love it. Thanks for your time spent testing and keeping it classy. And here’s to happy endings on the internet during times where it’s too often a place of ugliness.

I probably was a bit of a jerk to be honest.

I actually made a similar post to this before you this morning but deleted it two minutes later because I thought it might be too inflammatory.

Essentially, I said that it was disgraceful that Steinberg had advertised and sold N7 with the big new VCA feature, and taken money for it, but as of now, 4 years later, had still not made it function in a useable manner.

This is interesting. I can understand ways in which there may be some value in VCA and its sad to read that there still is a problem here. However this isn’t at all a showstopper for us. We’ve been mixing for Film, commercials + games, and music production for over a decade close to two now and never once felt we absolutely needed the use of a VCA. I believe many Cubase/Nuendo users don’t use them and may have shifted priority. Is unclear. Hope it gets resolved none the less for those that do.