You can use this on anything but I'll use acoustic guitar and compression as an example because that's where I first found it to be useful.
Scenario: Acoustic Guitar--Light picking during the intro and verses, hard strumming during the bridge and choruses.
Note: This assumes you don't have dynamic automation present in the Mix Editor for the channel's compressor parameters (which I don't know any reason for having, other than maybe automating a ramp for makeup gain or threshold). Maybe though, you've been using
the dreaded and despised "ALL" button and automation was written to the compressor (and other places) without you knowing it. In that case, this tip will not work unless you first delete any dynamic automation from the channel's compressor tracks.
Dynamic automation always overrides static (event) automation.
First, set the compressor for the light picking part. Save that compressor to disk as a user preset (Song - A-Gtr comp-1). Now set the compressor for the hard strumming part and save that to disk (Song - A-Gtr comp-2). It's always good to preface the preset name with the name of the song, just to help keep things straight.
You can use the Event Track window for this but I like using the Mix Editor because it's easier
to see where I am in the song and to move things around as needed (though if you have a lot
of cues in the way, it can be kind of a pain. I wish there were a Hide Cues feature in the Mix
We want comp-1 at the very beginning of the song.
- Place the timeline cursor near the beginning of the song by single clicking in the time bar (you don't need perfect placement right now).
- Click on Insert New Event in the upper right-hand corner of the Mix Editor window or right-click on the time bar and select Insert New Event from the drop-down menu.
- In the New Event Window: for Type, choose Load Comp.
- Choose the channel you want the comp to load to from the Load Target menu.
- Click the Browse button. It should bring you straight to the Comp's user preset folder. Double-click on comp-1 to open it.
- Enter "A-Gtr comp-1" in the description field.
If you want to enter the Event Time now, you can, but it's much easier to grab the Event Marker and move it after it's created.
- Click OK. The window will close and a green Event Marker will appear in the time bar
near to where the timeline cursor was positioned or exactly where you entered the time
in the Event Window. Grab the marker and move it to zero, or 1:1:0 if set to BBT view.
- Repeat the process for comp-2. Move it to just before the first chorus or bridge where the hard strumming starts.
- Repeat the process as needed for the rest of the song.
If you make a mistake, no need to worry. Right-click on the Event Marker to delete or edit it. You can change which channel it's loaded to or change presets or descriptions, whatever. You can also do this from the Event Track window.
Okay but... what if you decide that the compressor during the verses still needs some
tweaking? Easy! Once an event has been passed on the timeline, you can take control and
change the settings of the comp without a problem. But as soon as the next event hits, the
comp will jump to that event's settings. And, if you hit STOP, the comp will jump back to the settings of the last event passed. I guarantee this will make you mad. The thing to do is to let it pass the event you want to change, then hit mute all events. That way you can tweak away without any worries that the settings are going to change on you. Once you find the settings you like, write over the preset by saving it with the same exact name. An overwrite warning will come up. Select OK. Another dialog box will come up asking, "Synchronize patch events
(reload) to match drive?". I've read about this in the manual, but to tell you the truth I don't understand it. I just say “YES” to it and I've never had a problem. I know if you say “NO” to it, the event isn't updated to the new preset. Now, unmute the events and you're good to go.
When you're messing around with this, look at all the events you can create--Snapshot, Load EQ, Load Comp, Load Gate, Load Channel, Load plugin (that's a real good one). Think of all the things you can use those for.
Hope this helps some of you out. For a lot of you this is old news, I know, but I'm surprised by how many people--even those who have had a d8b for years--don't use the automation which, in my opinion, is the best thing about the d8b.
No d8b owner's arsenal is complete without Frolicking Faders.
Just for fun, you can also charge your glasses with champagne, re-live the big race day and watch bugsbunny34 (No. 11) scrape home by a hare Galloping Faders.
Just download, copy to a DOS floppy or FTP it to the d8b and follow the instructions as for FF.
(Which should be called “ALL OTHER”)
I don't usually like using “Autotouch” when I'm automating a mix, because I often grab the wrong fader or v-pot or hit the wrong mute button and enter data that is not meant to be entered.
However, using Autotouch in conjunction with the ALL button is really the only way to go and here's why:
Using ALL without Autotouch:
If you activate the ALL button without Autotouch and put channels into Write mode, automation will be written to ALL the parameters (with the exception of fader, mute & pan), even if you're just trying to write a level change to Aux-3. So, if at a later stage, you try to move the comp threshold, change the EQ or change the level of aux 9 & 10 (whatever), you can't, because they're all under the control of the automation engine. Huge PITA.
Using ALL with Autotouch:
No Automation is written to a parameter until you touch it. And then it's only written to that parameter. No extraneous automation data is written anywhere else.
Using ALL in conjunction with Autotouch is the way to go. So go ahead and automate those auxiliary send changes to your outboard or internal FXs or do the hundred of other things you can do. magna consequat molestie.
Let's say you have fader automation written to some channels, but you or the producer want to try out different levels on one of those channels. (We're only using one channel as an example to keep it simple. You can put as many channels in punch-run mode as you like in V 5.1).
You can't just grab the fader and move it because it's under the control of the automation engine and hitting the Bypass button in the Automation section bypasses all the automation on all channels and putting the channel in Write mode will overwrite the automation you have already written (which you could undo later but that's for another story.)
Instead, put the channel in punch-run mode by hitting the Control button and the channel's Select button*.Now the automation is only bypassed for that channel. If you find a level that you like better than the one you previously had, check to make sure the Faders parameter is selected in the Automation section and hit the Write button on that channel when you want the new level to be punched/recorded into the automation. If you have ‘Write Flyback’ on (Options menu>Automation>Write Flyback), as soon as you go out of Write the fader will go back to its original position (hence you punched in and out). If you don't have ‘Write Flyback’ on, the new fader position will be written to the end of the timeline (hence you only punched in). It's the combination of each feature that makes it so flexible. And, of course, it works with more than just the faders. It works with anything you can write automation to.
- Existing automation has the fader at unity
- Place the channel in punch-run mode (Control+Channel Select)*
- Move the fader to -20dB
- Rewind to just before where you want to punch-in the new value
- Make sure the Fader parameter in the Automation section is selected to receive automation
- Set ‘Write Flyback’ the way you want it to behave
- Hit play
- Hit the Write button where you want the new fader value punched in
- Hit the Write or Stop button where you want to punch out
If you need to make additional dynamic moves, you can, of course, move the fader after you punch in. But there is no need to move it for the new value to be written into automation.
* Punch-Run can also be selected for each channel by setting it in the Channel List Window under the Playback parameter (Channel menu>Channel List). Control+B on the keyboard also reveals the Channel List window.
It's important to know that there are two completely different automation engines in the d8b.
- Mix Editor Dynamic automation, which we all know about. Move a fader, punch a mute,
rotate a pan while writing automation (or draw the moves in) and the board will play it
back dynamically just as you did.
- Static Event Track automation, which is much less known about.
With Event Track automation, you can load in patches for EQ, Comp, Gate, Channel and Plug-ins to be recalled at specific times. These can be factory patches or patches you have saved as user patches, it doesn't matter which. It is a breeze to use and has many practical and creative uses. For recalling all those Comp, EQ, Gate and Plug-in settings, it's much more effective (most times) and easier to use than Dynamic automation.
Let's say for a lead vocal track you like an EQ setting that is more mellow and rich during the bridges, but on the verses and choruses you want it to have a bit more bite. You wouldn't want to write changes like that into dynamic automation, there's no reason for it and it makes things a big hassle later on if you want to change something. So, what you should do is save both EQ patches. One patch for the verses and choruses and one patch for the bridges. Then load those patches into the Event Track to be recalled at the times needed.
Here’s how to deal with both stock channel EQ and MDW plug-in patches.
- For each section of the song, set up and save the EQ settings as patches from the channel EQ menu or from the MDW plug-in menu. Name them something you'll remember years later. Let's say we're doing one of the greatest rock 'n' roll songs of all time, "Back In The USSR." Name the patches something like "BITUSSR vrs chr EQ" and "BITUSSR brdg EQ"
- Locate to the beginning of the song, before the jet engine.
- Open the Event Track (Windows menu > Event Track) or (Control+9)
- Click and hold on Edit and select New Event
- For Stock Channel EQ, select load EQ in the Type field. Select the lead vox channel in the Load Target field. Browse to the "BITUSSR vrs chr EQ" patch and open it. Check to make sure the time is correct in the time box. The time box always follows where you're located in the timeline. You can change it manually. Hit OK.
- For MDW EQ, select Load plug-in in the Type field. Make sure it's loading to MDW slot in the Load Target field. Browse to the "BITUSSR vrs chr EQ" patch and open it. Check to make sure the time is correct in the time box. The time box always follows where you're located in the timeline. You can change it manually. Hit OK.
- Locate to just between the second chorus and the first bridge, "Well, the Ukraine girls..." Load the "BITUSSR brdg EQ" just as you did the verse patch.
- Continue on through the song loading the patches as needed. For this song you would load four patches.
If you make a mistake, no worries. You can edit any event at any time by double clicking on it and changing its time or patch or path or deleting it.
You can load Snapshots, Comps, Gates, Channels and other plug-ins the same way.
You can also insert events from the Mix Editor by right-click-holding on the time ruler and selecting Insert Event. You will see the event markers in the timeline. You can also commit static events to dynamic automation if needed.
Remember, dynamic automation takes priority over static automation and it's on a channel-by-channel, parameter-by-parameter basis. For example, if you have dynamic fader automation written to channels 25-32 and you load a snapshot in the Event Track that includes fader information for channels 25-32, channels 25-32 faders will not respond to the fader part of the snapshot but all other channel faders that don't have dynamic automation and all the other parameters on channels 25-32 will follow the snapshot event.
To manually edit plug-in parameters in the mix editor, make sure that "Channel" is selected (Channel/Params) and none of the six blue function buttons are selected in the top left corner of the window (EQ/Comp/Gate/F-M-P/Busses/Auxes).
Under "Page", select the plug you wish to edit (P01 - P16) from the pop-up menu. The plug's parameters will appear down the left of the window as usual. If you've already written automation to some parameters, you will see data, if not, the lane will be empty and you can enter data as you wish.
If you select any of the six blue function buttons in the top left corner of the window (EQ/Comp/Gate/F-M-P/Busses/Auxes), the plug's parameters will disappear.
The Punch-Run facility in the d8b’s automation is arguably its most delightful and useful feature for making amendments to your mix. If you’re working with single channel fader or parameter moves, then this function works flawlessly.
If, however, you have 2 channels linked and use the Punch-Run facility to update levels (or any parameter, for that matter), the newly input data is only written to the fader or parameter you move and not its companion fader or parameter.
The following two workaround methods can be applied to all channel parameters, even though the reference is to faders.
Copy the data from the correctly updated fader and paste it to the other. This is OK if the faders are to function as a stereo pair of equal value but can become a serious PITA when you have two channels linked but offset by any amount. eg., if you had a string sound made up of two patches with one set at a lower level to the other and you needed to maintain the ratio between the two.
Set the faders’ new positions in Punch–Run ready mode, release the channels from linked mode, make the punch on both channels and then re-link them. Lots of actions required here for the desired result and it doesn’t really allow for accurate synchronous tracking of the two faders’ movements, if there happen to be any.
The following applies to faders only.
There is another method that allows you to achieve the desired result with fader moves and changes without generating too much perspiration.
- Leave the channels linked.
- Assign them to a group fader that is set to ‘0’.
- Start playback and write the Group’s auto at ‘0’ (only takes a second).
- Make all of your level changes and fader moves using Punch-Run on the group fader.
- When you are happy with the changes you have made, save your session with an appropriate suffix (the next step is not un-doable)
- Select the two linked faders, choose <UnGroup> from the Channel menu and then click <Coalesce> from the options that are presented. This will amalgamate the automation moves you have made on the Group fader into the linked channels’ data. If you want to disregard the changes you have made with the Group fader, choose <Dissolve>.
- If, at a later stage, you need to make further adjustments, just go through the abovementioned motions again.
This method works fine if the linked faders are within a range that allows adjustment up and down. In other words, as an extreme example, if your linked faders are at maximum, the Group fader won’t have any effect if you try to increase its level. Similarly, if the range of the linked faders is exceeded by moving the Group fader too far, up or down, unpredictable results will ensue.Dan Worley & anyhorizon