Volume automation curve changes: JUMP feature?

Yep, had to find out that Cubase is better than I knew… Below is my post that I wrote earlier, but yep, you have to use the DRAW TOOL with the Automation Panel :slight_smile: Don’t even have to have to TRIM enabled. Some very nice features the combining the To Punch/Start/End and Loop options. Got all my problems solved now just by trying and learning. So if you have same kind of problems that I had, don’t hesitate to reply here.

Cubase ROCKS!


Hi all.

I have been scratching my head for hundred times with this issue, but haven’t found the answer. below is the post that I mailed to the Tech Support but they haven’t answered me earlier so I’ll also post it here. Can you help?

Hello, Steinberg.

First off, I have been very satisfied with Cubase 5 and almost everyday I learn something new about this very diverse software.

However, I was wondering about THREE things concerning the volume (or pan or whatever) automation editing:

1. Is it anyhow possible to change the volume automation curve statically (not by playing and ‘recording’ the automation, but when the playback is paused) so that if there exists automation points ahead, then the time position where you would like to make a, say, volume level change, so that the volume would stay at constant value from that point on, until the next automation change? I mean as long as I know, it always makes a RAMP with the volume linearly changing to the value of the next automation point and I think most of the people wouldn’t like that. Well, not me, anyways :slight_smile:

It would be great if there were a kind of a choice like with a tempo track to either use JUMP or RAMP feature but I haven’t found that. And I find it very displeasing to manually always make extra automation points ahead the timeline if and (most often) when I want to maintain the volume level.

2. Is it possible to “record” automation statically (when playback is INactive)? I mean like if I put the “cursor” (I mean that vertical time position line) to a certain position that I would like to make an immediate volume automation change on (5dB down, for example) then how can I use the volume slider to kind of “record” that change to that certain point in time only (in a particular track, or even multiple tracks)? It’s not always so nice idea to do it by mouse since the mouse tends to be moving easily vertically and horizontally and even if the change isn’t so huge, I still would like it to be EXACTLY in a certain position and growing and lowering the volume EXACTLY as much as I like, by using SHIFT+left mouse button to do it more precisely. Is that possible? I have tried putting WRITE MODE on and changing volume, but it won’t change. And yeah, also the SHIFT+left mouse button manuver doesn’t seem to apply when changing the automation points’ values by mouse. Of course one could enter the correct value in the info line but it’s not always the most preferable way…

3. How can one edit MULTIPLE volume automation points on MULTIPLE tracks simultaneously, like for example, lowering the volume value by 5dB on all points at the same time? I guess that using TRIM only affects certain selected area, but what if the automation points are very dispersed in the timeline and not vertically “in line” at all on different tracks? I tried by selecting multiple volume automation points on two tracks and then snapped one of the points with the left mouse button and tried to move it with SHIRT, CTRL and ALT and all the combinations but it wouldn’t work - the other automation points stayed intact. Any ideas?

Just an additional note that volume JUMP feature is very suitable like if you have a part on some track(s) that are on a lower volume for, say, 10 seconds, then you wouldn’t have to choose the two edit points first and do it that way. And that kind of volume editing principle also exists in MIDI editing (+ tempo track) so it would be great to have that choice on the other automation editing environments also.

I hope you understood what I tried to say and that you can answer.

Yours, Tommi Tiihonen

For #1, you can try to use a square wave shape when drawing the envelope. I’m not at Cubase now but maybe that might work.

For #2, you can trim (change) automation while the transport is stopped. I think it works on the loop range.

For number 3, editing automation like you describe, use the Project Logical Editor. It’s not all that intuitive at first but it does things like that pretty well… although IIRC there are no db values, only percentages, so maybe not what you want.

I’m sure others will offer more detailed input. As a side note, S1’s ‘automation transformer’ works wonders on some of the things you talk about above, a really great feature for editing automation envelopes.

Thanks for the advices! I, for the first time, tried out the envelope stuff and yes, I can somewhat get what I want. Lot’s of differences also with the SHIFT and/or CTRL keys pressed so one can have also “under-half-wavelength” long volume change - meaning the JUMP change for automation for only one direction (up or down) and of course you can have different wavelengths for the waveform etc. etc.

But that STILL feels and it is quite far-fetched method. I tried the TRIM function for the second time in my life and it does indeed make an automation change between the left and right locator (with the LOOP & TRIM buttons activated from the Automation Panel and WRITE enabled on the track…) but I got two questions still:

  1. Is it possible to use the AREA SELECTION TOOL to select the Loop or do I really have to “ruin” my locator positions on the mix? I couldn’t get Trimming working with Area tool anyhow.

  2. What the heck is that TO PUNCH option on the Automation Panel? Haven’t got the manual here nor have the energy to browse the PDF-file :slight_smile: but I tried just about everything and I couldn’t figure out that TO PUNCH option, that what it means and does.

Yep, I actually have been trying out the Logical Editor and done some algorithms for myself also, but… yes, I’ll try AP on that issue also :slight_smile: Just didn’t pop on my mind for some reason, heh.

But ANYWAY that JUMP feature would be sooo great to have on the automation. It should be there at least for choice, for God’s sake! :slight_smile: I’m pretty sure that the minority of the users of the automation would like their t.eg. Volume to fade in and out; I’m sure that the constant value is merely that is wanted to be used. And again, there should be a way of choice there - just like with the Tempo track. Well, it’s not your fault, but hope to have some Cubase engineers reading this :wink:

Also what bugs the hell out of me is that there is not a button named t.eg. OFFSET on the mixer/inspector. Meaning that it being activated the automation would GLOBALLY set to a kind of a Trimming mode, so that you could quickly and easily change the “offset volume” (or pan, or send routing volume etc.), meaning the over-all volume of a track - had it automation entries or not. Currently one has to do it with a frustratingly complex way.

Moreover, that OFFSET-mode should be the only mode for changing the over-all volume (+ sends, inserts etc.) even if that parameter being edited didn’t even have any automation entries. And with the OFFSET-button being not on, the volume slider would be doing the automation by default. To that exact point (and retaining that new value from that on until the next automation entry value) where the cursor is when you change the volume.

Also, when the OFFSET mode is off and you would have the area selected by the Area Tool, the automation change would apply only to that area. And yeah, still one idea: The OFFSET button could have the sub-choices like there are in the automation panel (to start, to end, to punch - whatever that is…) available for choice if one wants to use them. The default area for OFFSET-button (without the options activated) would be the whole d*mn track. Well… actually the Automation Panel with TRIM enabled would do the trick mostly, but so that you wouldn’t have to enable WRITE + select areas and all that junk at all if you want to change the overall volume level of the track(s).

OK, got “a bit” carried away here :smiley: Maybe I should write these comments to Steinberg, but don’t know the way to give the development ideas. Anyways, those features that I told here were on the tiny, little software named SawPlus32 with which I did all my work until year 2006. That piece of software is only 1,2MB in size but believe me, it has its benefits. Like 8 supported sound interfaces all available at once. For what I wager C5 only supports ONE sound interface at one time.

Thanks for reading through \m/

-Tommy Dee