Workflow for Creating Dozens of Individual Sound Effects?

Agree. This puts a spanner in the works.

I read through most of your suggested workflow, which seems to make sense. In my opinion some kind of similar hierachical structure within Nuendo might be helpful but, of course, it remains to be seen how such a structure could be succesfully implemented. Where would it live within Nuendo? Do you see it as an extension to Media Bay?

Some might say we already have some of this within Media Bay and also if a project is organised logically and uses multiple marker tracks and other functions. IMO it would still be better to work in one large project for ease of access to all sounds.

It might also be valuable to know how you can get closer to your requirements using the functions Nuendo already has.

What gets loaded when is a technicality. I’m sure there’s a way of making this very efficient.

That’s for sure, implementation is key. My idea isn’t worth a penny, only a clever real implementation of this is. I think the structure DAWs are built upon can only go so far. Working in timelines has become so streamlined and good, there’s not a lot to get out of it anymore. I believe the big opportunities to save time is with all the tasks you do outside your timeline. I would like Nuendo to help me with the management of tracks, projects, naming, and keeping overview.

It would need to be a new part of the software. That’s the point. As our projects get more complex, organization gets more time-consuming while delivery times get shorter and budgets smaller. It HAS to be a new part of the software that re-thinks the paradigm of having a “single timeline with hundreds of tracks” where you have to manage track visibility, group channels, VCAs, mutes, solos and marker tracks manually. Companies concentrate on making the timeline a bit more efficient (Cubase 8.5 window layout hover zones, names of copied tracks are better). But I’m feeling as if this paradigm comes to its limits and doesn’t allow us to work any faster in the future (unless layout hover zones are saving you a lot of time?). We’ve hit a wall. DAWs are like work-horse spinning hard drives, they just physically cannot get any faster. SSD technology needs to come along for the next boost in speed.

I don’t know. I saw the videos Tim Heinrich linked, about James Mather’s Masterclass Sounddesign. I don’t know when he last worked on the Mission Impossible project, but to me he doesn’t seem have the overview over his project. He’s scrolling an awful lot around in his demo project searching for the thing he wants to show the class.

James said the he perfected his template over multiple years. His technique is having a huge template with 12 tracks per sound, 1 group and 1 VCA for control. 10 sounds and you’re at 140 tracks. That’s a LOT of scrolling for 10 sounds. My node idea would get rid of all that. He’d click on a sound node that has a proper, readable name, and could show the class how this one sound was built. And not explain in 2 videos how his audio flows through the channels, group tracks and busses because it’s so complicated.

I don’t want to bend what’s there with force to make it something it isn’t. DAWs don’t allow higher level organization and hierarchy of projects. I believe that, to cope with future project requirements, shorter timelines and competitive budgets, we don’t need new features within the timeline, but outside the timeline.

I think we need to evolve the management part of projects: dividing projects into logical pieces, better overview and search, intelligent and automatic creation of tracks, groups, folders, and visibility presets for game / FX library workflows, a hierarchical structure of projects that makes overview far easier than a single, linear timeline.

In Pyramix not every track is a channel (like with a fader, eq and stuff), you can have multiple track going to one channel (like if it was a group, but in fact, its not a group), and you can close and open those tracks in the channel with a single click as far as i remember. thats pretty cool and a real help for sounddesign purposes.

And there is another feature thats pretty cool too and would help you i think: you can select multiple clips/events and drag and drop them to the library, give it a name and save it. everytime you take this FX from the library your events are loaded in the timeline with all the events and the fades, trim, automation etc…

i hope one day nuendo will get those features! it really improves the daily workflow of sounddesigners.

It reminds me of the time of hardware. Analog tape machines, compressors… You had one wire, and you had to plug that wire into here and that was is. The connection was occupied. You could not just make up new connections or plugs and hardware was limited. And although we live in a software world where almost anything goes - I mean we can split and sum signals on the fly and add inputs and outputs - you see where the strong ties to the past in the software we use today.

I know a few examples from Logic, where you can route a channel to a new bus and Logic instantly creates one for you dynamically. It does all the necessary stuff in the background automatically (channel creation, routing). In Nuendo you have to open the VST Connections window and add a Group/FX bus as if you manually had to plug a new hardware channel to the software before you can use it :wink:. In Logic it’s 1 click. I Nuendo it’s 7 clicks.

Or in Logic you can just change mono channels to stereo or surround with one click. Something that’s certainly possible in software, yet in Nuendo it’s completely locked and you have to decide beforehand if you want to work in mono or stereo for that track. This then leads to huge templates with hundreds of tracks like the one of James Mather, where he has 8 mono and 4 stereo tracks per single sound he does. When in fact he could just have a few and then decide, based on the sound he does, what’s needed and with a click switch the configuration of the channel.

I feel like we’re still too much tied to a hardware world in our thinking, although we live in a dynamic, much more flexible software environment.

In Nuendo you have ‘Add Group Channel to Selected Channels’, 'Add Fx channel to selected channels and ‘Add VCA channel to selected channels’ in the mixer which adds group/fx bus automatically.

100% agree. IMO Steinberg could perhaps consider doing an overhaul of the project browser window in order to create a more structured overview with elaborate search functions and visibility presets. In it’s current form I’d hazard a guess that the project browser doesn’t get used a lot, but if it was re-structured it would probably get used all the time. If they could add more vertical columns so you can see all nested data simultaneously and also include search and visibility tools on the toolbar they could come probably come close to some of your requirements.

:blush: Oh gosh, I’m still caught in my Logic past. The menu options are only visible in the mixer, maybe that’s why I haven’t found it in the timeline view. Anyway, I quickly defined shortcuts for that now. Have I missed something for the mono/stereo thing too?

I don’t think so. That might still be needed. Cubase used to have that a long time ago but it got removed.

Interesting. What (technical) reason was there to remove this I wonder?

Not sure there was a reason. Guessing the function got lost as a function of the re-write of the track / channel design.

Well, as apparently there hasn’t been an outcry, nobody seems to be missing it but me. Fair enough.

There’s been quite a few threads on the subject… it would seem there must be a technical reason for its removal (guessing only steinberg can answer that).

Interesting concept Chris.

I’m sure you could build it today if you had time to spend. The wwise and perforce connection ought to be how to be used together with Msp max or the open source alternative.

Your concept as shown above for sure wouldn’t be for me, but I could fully see the usage for some.
But then otoh you are trying to push a node based system onto a timeline. It’s sounds like a less than optimal concept.
If you look at Nuke VFX software it does not at all try to be a linear video editing software. The two different concepts don’t match that well. But then otoh you touch a few brilliant conceptual ideas IMHO.

Clip packages. If clippackages could easily be opened, edited, duplicated etc then you could use a totally different workflow slightly similar to the setup you explained but within the context and User experience of what nuendo already is. And clip packages do contain automation and inserts. It depends on how you “recall” them.
But they do not contain groups and fx channels and would need to do that for this to happen.

Thanks for taking the time to read through all this, ErikG! :slight_smile:

Yeah, in the further idea section I mentioned having the signal flow represented by the node system. I’m not using node based VFX systems myself. I can imagine they’re complex if one’s not used to working with them. But when kept simple they work pretty well.

On the Mac I’m using Audio Hijack from Rogue Amoeba for some things. And they switched to a simple node based interface with their latest version. It’s brilliant and simple I think, check out the video and screenshots.

But let’s say we wouldn’t go that far. In general, my concept is targeted to organise lots of small projects if working on games / FX libs / SFX for movies.

I think it could all work if we could embed a project file as a clip into a project. Nesting projects so to speak. It could look like this. Like folder track data.

Imagine the selected clip was a sub-project inside my current project file. Double click on a sub-project clip and the project opens without re-loading, because it’s not a separate project but it’s embedded. It’s a way to nest projects. Keep it all together while keeping sanity and not juggle hundreds of tracks.

While I think some of the concepts are interesting and useful some of them, like nesting projects are inviting trouble. We still don’t have you know what working properly so imagine all complex routing when nesting, not to mention syncing.

I could see how some “easy additions” could greatly improve it for you though and I wholeheartedly support those.

Thanks. Yeah, as I said. Those are just ideas and concepts. Those are cheap.

I’m just saying there’s currently no good solution for people working with hundreds of SFX for games, film, FX libs right now in any DAW and I was offering a constructive suggestion / providing my perspective how this could work. Bringing in new ideas, maybe it’s a spark that starts something off. You never know. Let’s hope.

I’ve just seen Avid’s IBC announcements for Pro Tools 12.6 and thought a little bit about that.

Trying to increase efficiency in the UI and all, I think the Clip Effects they introduced as well as the new fade tool helps to speed up work.

The Case For Clip Effects
I went on in this thread about how it’s hard keeping the overview when creating lots of individual sounds for a game. Because for every layer in a sound effect you usually create a single track, ending up with hundreds of them, which is hard to manage.

I think Clip Effects could drastically reduce that number. The most used effects are Compressor and EQ anyway. So instead of creating a new track for each sample, you could have a couple of tracks with no plugin inserts, and share these tracks for many sound effects together. If you had to low cut or EQ a clip, one could do those standard operations individually on a per clip basis. Take a look at Clip Effects.

I’m not sure if in PT you can only use EQ, Filter and Compressor, or also other inserts. To me it looks like you can just use these on a per clip basis. I know that in Studio One you can add whatever plugin you like to any clip individually, but I guess PT keeps it simple and standardized, which is OK. To me, the PT way looks fast and efficient, even better than Studio One.

In PT 12.6 it’s currently essentially the processing of a ‘channel-strip’ plugin that’s done on the clip. So no 3rd party plugins can be used, and it can’t be automated. From what I can see it’s close to what we can do with offline processing on events in Nuendo. If we dialed up a channel-strip plugin in Nuendo and applied it offline it’d be pretty much the same thing, except one could arguably go further because of 3rd party support and batch processing and key-commands.

So out of curiosity I’d love to know if you’ve used offline processing and batch processing and what your thoughts are on it.

Beside…this feature is added only in 12.6 HD …if I’m reading correctly. :question: There are and will be a few different ways around this, might take a bit more time ( I am invoicing by the clock ) so …?

I used it from time to time when I called RX for noise reduction. It’s true that it would probably work. But in my opinion it’s not suited to quickly add EQ or anything to a clip, move on, do it again. It’s too slow for that. Offline Processing to me is really for deliberate editing of a clip with a plugin, not for quickly dialing in an EQ, move on, come back, tweak the setting.

And from what I’ve experienced, it only takes 1 clip at a time. So when I want to process a selection of multiple clips quickly, I’d first need to RIP them first, correct?

@lemix Sure there are ways around it. I could even do a mixdown of this clip, take it to another software, do EQ and bring the clip back. But this would be tremendously annoying. I don’t really bill by the clock, so everything I can save time on is welcome. Besides, I like to work efficiently. The quicker I get things done, the better. I hate workarounds, clicking 7 times, and opening 4 dialog windows. I’d rather click 3 times and have the result I want. That’s just my way of working.

I agree that PT’s implementation seems faster at first glace at least, but I’m not 100% sure we’re losing that much time compared to offline processing or automation writing.

No, you can select multiple events and process them in one go. Each clip then has its own process history if I remember correctly.

I totally see where you’re coming from. I’ve set up a macro that I use all the time for automation. I start by highlighting the event(s) I want to EQ (for example), then click this one macro-key;

  • set locators to event(s)
  • enable preview
  • enable punch to loop
  • enable loop/cycle
  • start playback

I can then tweak settings and press “punch” when I’m done. So it’s essentially a two-click process to get that done. I find it to be quite quick.