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Easier Parameter Activation and Automation Issue Tools
issueid=2360 04-22-2010 04:47 PM
Human being with feelings
Easier Parameter Activation and Automation
Shortcutting through checkbox-land with simple standard means

Discussion thread for this request is here

Update on March 20th 2012. I'll boil this down to essentials here and now.

Fast activation of all parameters of a plugin, track and sends for automation
  • Envelope window
    A checkbox per section that activates and arms the track envelopes, sends, the parameters of a plugin and all parameters of all plugins on the track.

    Click and drag method used in the track manager for quicker arming of a selected few parameters.

    Shift+click for fast range activation.


  • MCP
    Modifier+click on insert slot and send slot.

    Context menu commands to activate and arm, clear and remove all envelopes.


  • Automation panel buttons for selected track and global control
    This of course points to the Modern Automation Recording request, in which this panel is shows(horizontal version).


No envelopes showing up(show by default though)


GUI access to a particular envelope being shown on the track itself
Protools-style. It has envelope lanes too you know, but if I want to see the send envelope on all tracks that have that particualar send, it's just not practical to do in Reaper. In Protools it's literally two clicks. One to access a dropdown menu, and another to pick which envelope to show on all tracks(ALT+click on the dropdown activator, without modifier it shows the envelope for one track).

That way, and with area selection, I can select, erase, copy and paste the same envelope across many tracks, or check the volume on all track(possible but layout-destroyingly fucked up right now), or inspect the pre-fx-volume envelope on all tracks.

It was pretty sobering when I compared what I could do with Protools in this regard, compared to how slow and clumsy Reaper allowed me access to envelopes, whether that's activation, automation or just plain showing them to me without cluttering the screen with endless lanes, wasting space and sending me on merry searches.


Multi-track editing of the same envelope type (filter frequency of an EQ for example)is not practical with the current method. But just showing the envelope on the current track is. Protools has the more practical UI methods here. Users won't do a lot of things in Reaper because they're not practical to do, but they still want to do them.



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The Problems
Each plugin parameter needs to be activated by hand
While it's true that you can achieve this via moving all parameters, this is cumbersome at best. For one, Reaper does not treat loading of a preset as 'moving the knobs and sliders'.
Parameter Active and arming status lost when copying plugins
Reaper also does not copy the activation status and automation data when you copy a plugin either within its own track in the FX chain window, or in the insert area of the Mix Control Panel(MCP). The only way to copy the parameter-active status and their automation is to duplicate the track.
Parameter Active & Arming status NOT saved with track template or fx chain
This prevents the user from prearranging the automation status for plugins in advance. The result is a long laberous process of activating and arming parmaeters for automation every time for every plugin on every track.
Lane for parameter needs to be visible to record automation for it
Useful to some, a serious workflow impediment for any mixer relying on quick and easy automation recording for mixing.

Needs
Activation
Mixers often need to activate parameters quickly and write a complete pass across the entire session before they start their work. When you're mixing 50 tracks with EQs you've set up, this is a time consuming affair in Reaper, constricting you to using session templates and moving your audio in to that for mixing, because track templates do not contain parameter activation statuses.
Arming and Disarming across tracks
Mixers often need to work only on one of the plugins, or just the volume and pan, and need to write this across a range, leaving other parameters untouched by the writing functions. This is also a domain of the preview function found in many consoles and other DAWs.
Envelope visibility
The mixers don't need to see envelopes until they're editing them hands-on, which does not happen as often as you may think. Envelopes are often used to check and correct. In fact, recording automation without having it displayed is the first choice when recording plugin autoamtion. Arm, set, write, next.
Plugin Management
Copying plugins usually means the parameters that were active will need to be kept active, and its automation copied along with it. It's easier to delete automation than to copy it from track to track.
Solutions
Activation 1
The envelope window only allows the user to click on one parameter checkbox at a time, be it for activation, arming or others. The simple solution is to let the user SHIFT+click the parameter names to choose a range, and CTRL+click to add to or remove from a selection of parameters. Only clicking on the names will change the parameter selection. This should even be possible across all plugins in the envelope window. Selection of parameters in the envelope window could also happen via click and drag, to select a range. This would in fact be quicker than SHIFT+click as it requires one key and one mouse click less.
Activation 2
CTRL+clicking on the plugins name, which is next to the collapse/expand control, activate and arms all parameters of that plugin.
Activation 3
Having certain plugins have all their parameters activated by default, which includes ReaEQ for example as it can add and delete parameters on the fly.
Arming and Disarming across tracks
Arming and disarming of groups of parameters across selected tracks and globally is a basic shortcut around doing it to every checkbox in every envelope window in every track. It has already been posted as a feature request for the SWS extension, but this ought to be possible natively, globally and for selected tracks.
The actions:
Quote:
Arm all active
Disarm all active

Toggle Arming of Volume
Toggle Arming of Pan
Toggle Arming of Mute
Toggle Arming of Send Level
Toggle Arming of Send Pan
Toggle Arming of Send Mute
Toggle Arming of Plugins All

Toggle Arming of Plugin 1
Toggle Arming of Plugin 2
Toggle Arming of Plugin 3
Toggle Arming of Plugin 4
Toggle Arming of Plugin 5
Toggle Arming of Plugin 6
Toggle Arming of Plugin 7
Toggle Arming of Plugin 8
Toggle Arming of Plugin 9
Toggle Arming of Plugin 10
Toggle Arming of Plugin 11
Toggle Arming of Plugin 12
Toggle Arming of Plugin 13
Toggle Arming of Plugin 14
Toggle Arming of Plugin 15
Toggle Arming of Plugin 16
Envelope visibility
Envelopes should not need to be visible to be automatable. A simple illustration of why this is not good by default, is to think of 50 tracks, each with some plugins on them the mixer is automating. With just ten parameters per track(a very low estimate) that's 500 lanes, because these parameters have to be automatable at the drop of a hat and with minimal preparation. Forced visibility of the envelopes is a hindrance in this case and severely compromises the efficiency of the mixing workflow, as the mixer is usually interested in seeing the material if anything, not hundreds of envelope lanes. We already have actions to show and hide all active envelopes. If need be, that's what the mixer will invoke.

Context menu entries to show all envelopes of a particular plugin would be another welcome shortcut. It's often not necessary to see all activated plugin parameters on a track. The envelope window with the suggested enhancements suggested above could be used, but seeing as we can make individual lanes visible with the context menu of the envelope button on a track, adding a 'All active'(shows all active) and 'All'(activates and shows all plugin parameters) will help.
Plugin Management
Have automation activity and arming status saved in track templates and fx chains.

Have automation status and content copied along with plugins by default.
Issue Details
Issue Type Elevated FR
Project Deprecated REAPER issue tracker
Category GUI and graphics
Status Popular Request
Priority 1 - Highest
Suggested Version 3.4
Implemented Version (none)
Users who would use this feature 200
Users who would not use this feature 1
Assigned Users (none)
Tags (none)

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