VCA Mute & Modes

Nuendo 11 has fixed most of the issues that bothered me and added many great features, but … how is it possible that there is still no working mute button on a VCA?
I’d rather see a plugin or two less than not having such a basic function. Pretty much any console, even analog, has mutes on the VCAs.
This should be so easy to implement. I don’t even care if it would actually mute all the VCA members or just behave as pulling the VCA fader all the way down without actually moving the fader. Ideally you would have an option to choose between the two modes, but anything would be waaay better than not having a mute.
If programmers need a hint for a simple solution, write the VCA fader position as a variable 1 and and use variable 2 as the VCA master value that controls the channels. If mute is on, variable 2 equals 0 (or -inf), else variable 2 equals variable 1.
Even better solution would be to just mute the assigned channels like a folder track does.

While not so critical, it would be nice to be able to choose between the current mode of behaviour (which on some consoles would be called moving faders) where the faders of the assigned channels move when you move the VCA master and what some consoles call “VCA style” where channel faders don’t move when you move the VCA master, but the level of each channel is calculated by summing the level of the channel fader and VCA master. This way you can keep a bunch of tracks near unity and don’t loose the fader resolution on channels if you have the VCA master low. This way of working also allows you to increase the level of several tracks without changing their balance even if some channels are already above unity - maximum gain is not limited by the maximum travel of a single fader - a channel at +12 and VCA master at +12 would give 24 dB of gain.

Definitely don’t have a VCA mute trigger a level drop. That seems both counter-intuitive and ‘dangerous’. Suppose you are like me and never allow for mute automation but always have level automation on and then press mute on the VCA?

Of course I don’t mind having mute/solo work as expected on VCA channels. Not urgent, but great if it works.

Well, this is the way it works on most consoles, including the ones from Yamaha. On PM5D you can set the preferences so that the VCA mutes behave as a mute group, but by default only postfader sends get muted. On most analog consoles, VCA mute puts the VCA bus to the lowest possible voltage. There is no separate control bus for the VCA mute. If you want to switch on the mutes on several channels that also cut the prefader sends, you have mute groups. Channel faders don’t move, when the VCA master is moved, though.

I don’t see the problem. Moving a VCA master doesn’t change the automation of the channels.
If I consider that the VCA master curently moves channel faders, slamming them down may not be the best solution but IMO VCA shouldn’t move the channel faders by default. Current mode of operation should be an option.

If Nuendo Live is supposedly so well integrated with Yamaha consoles, I’d expect being able to remix a live show on Nuage/Nuendo workstation without loosing some pretty basic functionality.

To me the lack VCA mutes is pretty annoying and probably the only reason why I don’t see Nuendo as a suitable console replacement yet. When mixing on a console, I’d usually have all the main mix elements spread across the VCAs. Want to listen to the mix without the vocals? Mute the vocal VCA. I can use folder tracks for something similar but this is very impractical on a control surface.


I understand what you’re saying. I think it’s potentially dangerous simply because we’ve had issues with the VCA implementation in Nuendo for a long time, and having VCAs “mute” target channels by lowering VCA volume to -infinity seems like asking for problems. By contrast it seems it’d be much ‘safer’ to simply code the function to execute a mute command on the target channels. What I wouldn’t want to happen is have write auto enabled on target channels, press ‘mute’ on a VCA, and have the target channel write that as a level drop on that fader level lane. I understand that it shouldn’t be like that, but it makes me worry.

I don’t at all disagree that it’d be great to have the mute feature work on VCAs though. I’m all for that.

This. I need mutes on VCAs. And solos already work fine. It makes no sense to me to not include this. I see no danger at all. Quite the opposite.

And C12 supports mutes in VCAs. So at this point, it’s just an odd disparity between Cubendo.

Unless Cubase VCAs changed at some point they’re really more like an additional fader in a set of linked faders, so if you can mute all tracks that are linked it’s easy to see why it’d be “automatically” included in Cubase and not in Nuendo.

It’s easy to see why it’d be “automatically” included in Cubase. It isn’t easy to see why such a basic function isn’t included in Nuendo even if the operation of the VCA masters is different.

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At the end of the day, and I mean this with the utmost respect, I don’t really care why one has it and the other doesn’t. Other than it’s more interesting than anything else.

Even if they work entirely different under the hood (which is weird, because a VCA == VCA == DCA or whatever in a non hardware restricted DAW), I expect VCAs to have a functioning mute button that mutes all the tracks the VCA controls, including cascades.

Again, I say this complete respectfully.

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i dont know about others, but i have been using vca on consoles (studio and live) for as long as i am in this business.
and i can tell you that THE MOST USSED BUTTON ON VCA IS THE MUTE BUTTON. (sorry for caps, not yelling.)
and that is a fact.
the way steinberg implemented vca is not bad, just too manny bugs, issues, not reliable (personal and forum user feedback).
i would suggest to steinberg to keep vca"s as simple as it is possible. we do not need any fancy vca operation features, we need the basic stuff for our work. and by basic i mean “connect, volume controll, mute”. and make that rock sollid for start.


I’d appreciate VCA mute as well.

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To work around this, I basically just created more sub groups and am using those to control the groups, which is just kind of silly. And of course this has semantical differences from VCAs, but for the most part, it gets the job done.