Virgin Territory: Thoughts / Reactions

Hey all,

There’s been practically no chatter on the forum about the much-vaunted, new, “Virgin Territories” (VT) automation feature.

I briefly experimented with it and was horrified by the results!

In one project, I had a vocal that needed a quarter-note delay on a single word. I automated that, then engaged VT to test it out. I played around, eventually completing my mix, bouncing, and sending to client.
The client got back to me, asking why there was insane delay on the entire track. I was speechless when I listened to it.
During playback, and again when I reopened the project, delay happened only where I had automated it on the one word. I bounced the mix again and it was fine this time.

On another project, a second vocal track, that had some automation on it, did not bounce out at all (as if it were muted) even though it was playing correctly when I mixed and when I reopened it to check.

VT is a neat idea, but seems like a crap-shoot.

Please share your experiences! Perhaps some light can be shed on a mistake I had made.

I suspect I have run into something similar. I was automating an effect and suddenly I was using VT. Not sure how I activated it (key command by accident?). Upon export however, the automation acted as regular, hence the effect was not properly disabled and ran throughout till the end of the song.

I have not been testing this behaviour in depth yet, but your description does ring a bell.

It seems like an interesting concept but I haven’t messed with it yet. The idea is that you automate and it then returns to the “preset value” the parameter was at previously?

If I remember correctly, you can specify if it returns to a certain value, or the last-input. But I have no way of knowing what the result will be, especially since digital bounce seems to act different than playback

Well it sounds great, I’ll dig into it soon. If it works correctly it could almost completely replace normal automation for me I think.

i’m not using it on nuendo so i do not expect to be using it with c8. it’s a bit confusing, another layer of things to worry about when arranging stuff. i am however sure that if automation had been designed as virgin territories from the off, i would similarly dislike the now ‘standard’ way of automating.

all in all, automation as such is in need of an overhaul. automation clips are long overdue.

I’ve tried playing around with this for a while… mostly with MIDI CC. Not really sure if i’m getting all the benefits as there is an option to continue the last value until the next point is detected, which was what i did.

Perhaps the major benefit comes when working on the Volume Fader; change the part required, leave it at that and then on to the next parts.

still need more practice on this…

It is intended to be no more complicated than this…
Areas of the track that are currently innoccupied, are not forced to the last-recorded automation value (so, if you then record a new section… say, a cue for a film, that you had temporarily left blank… you can do so without having to worry about it being tied to previous (or indeed, later) automation values. It shouldn’t make any difference at all during automation itself.

That was my take on it, too. But those strange mixdowns I had seemed tied into the VT. But, my experience with C8 has been buggy so far, so those anomalies might have had nothing to do with VT. Time will tell.

EDIT: I missed an important detail so I changed the posts on this. Sorry if I confused anyone. I put that new stuff in a different color.

Whatever parameter you are automating is moving ONLY during areas where you have written automation (if you are using Virgin Territories) AND when you stop playback OR when you return to the first locator in cycle playback. So for example:

  1. After auditioning the song you realize that you want a delay effect on the choruses only. You pick a chorus, set up your delay effect, and automate UNmute for that section, and copy that automation over to all choruses.

  2. You start playback of the song and if you hear a delay, you manually turn it off. Your project has still not read any automation, so you don’t hear delay now.

  3. You get to the first chorus, it reads automation, and delay begins.

  4. You get to after the first chorus, and if you have NOT written automation to turn the delay off, there is no automation to read regarding delay, so it will remain ON during the next verse (or whatever).

  5. The following sections all the project reads is delay “ON” because that’s all you wrote for the choruses.

End result: A track with no delay at the top (because you manually turned it off) and then delay from the first chorus to the end (because you didn’t manually turn it off, and because there was no automation to turn it off). This is all as it is intended to work. BUT, if you play back from the top again, without touching anything, the first part will have delay OFF. When you wrote automation for the first time the very first value gets written to the very start of the timeline (as a single point - not line). If this is a toggle, from OFF to ON, then the first value written will be “OFF”.

Thanks, what you’ve outlined sounds logical. That’s what I expected from VT. I don’t think I’m misunderstanding anything. I am open to finding out that I am not using it correctly, because I think this could be a very useful feature.

The section in which I had automated a delay send for, was automated to be bypassed, sent and then bypassed again.
So i didn’t leave the automation in the “on” state at the start or end. Furthermore, it added delay to the entire track, most of which was way before the automation point.

It played back dozens of times as expected, only adding in delay to the entire track on the bounced mix.
When I reopened the project to check what went wrong, it, again, played the automation as expected and bounced it properly.

None of this jibes with any way I can imagine VT being useful.

I think it would be more useful if the automation happened with VT and the parameter returned to the state it was at previously. This way you could do a static mix and just automate the parts when need be. The current way it works doesn’t seem much different from the normal way except that you don’t visually have a line and there isn’t some kind of really long fade between automation parts. In some ways it’s helpful but it’s a lot less different from normal automation than I thought it was going to be.

Based on that last post it sounds like a bug. I think you should report it as such.

You can just use “touch” (and no VT) to make that happen. You have no parameter at the start and then when you touch automate it writes automation data points from punch-in to punch-out. It should then go back to whatever value you had before/after that section. Sounds like exactly what you want. Set the mix statically (not VT), and if you need automation you touch automate it.

(edited to take out incorrect info)

I’m getting funky results with VT and automating toggle switches. They write fine but then they don’t read allways when playing back. Manually tweaking the automation you can make them playback consistently.

As this is a function copied over from Nuendo, is there perhaps more information on how it should work in the Nuendo Manual?

I think I explained how it should work. What’s unclear?

If what is described is what happens then the functionality is broken - or it is significantly different from Nuendo’s to the point where it probably shouldn’t be called “Virgin Territory” at all.

the issue for me for complex mixes is I need to have a visual overview of where each patameter sits throughout the mix, VT just open up for too many mistakes.

Also, to really boost the automation power, the ‘automation passes’ function would have to have been brought over from nuendo imho.

It just looks too much as a case of “c pro 8 doesnt look exciting enough, let’s port over a piece of code so there’s one more item on the new features list.”

If that’s how you are thinking about VT then I think you’re thinking about it the wrong way.

Because it doesn’t recall parameters it is by definition not to be trusted. If you want a specific value for specific parameters then you need to write those values as automation. It’s just that simple. VT is by definition no automation, so you either have to not use it, or write automation in those areas.

i understand; but i am sceptical about how often the circustances fit for VT actually arise. the confusion involved in figuring out where a certain parameter will end up after VT passed is just too much for me personally.