Old 03-06-2019, 01:39 AM   #1
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Default VCA controlling another VCA

I'd like to suggest it would be great if Reaper allowed VCAs within other VCAs.
An example of a resulting workflow:
A few VCA faders for different sections of instruments and a master VCA fader controlling those VCA faders.

This is a typical workflow for people coming from Pro Tools or analogue SSL consoles.
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Old 03-06-2019, 02:22 AM   #2
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Did you try it? Unless I misunderstand, it's easy to do. A track can be VCA master and slave at the same time.
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Old 03-06-2019, 11:47 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxAsteria View Post
Did you try it? Unless I misunderstand, it's easy to do. A track can be VCA master and slave at the same time.
After I tried it and after I realised it didn't work, I decided to post this in the Feature Request section of the forum. I think this would be a nice feature to have.
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Old 03-06-2019, 12:23 PM   #4
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After some testing I see the problem. You're right, VCA cannot control another VCA directly.

However, you can still achieve the same result by slaving your tracks to multiple VCA masters.

I think it's actually more convenient this way because the setup is less complex and you don't run the risk of multiplying volume adjustments by controlling a track and its VCA master simultaneously from another VCA.
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Old 03-06-2019, 12:42 PM   #5
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VCA layering is often used for organization as well as mixing.

FX-Transformers Klang 1-16
FX Transformers Motors 1-8
FX Transformers Footsteps 1-16
FX Transformers Other 1-16
vca FX Transformers Klang
vca FX Transformers Motors
vca FX Transformers Footsteps
vca FX Transformers Other
vca FX Transformers
vca FX mechanical characters
vca FX All

You drill down through the different vca masters to get to tracks really quickly. Lay out all vca masters on the control surface, select one, select Show Only All Slaves of Selected Master, and go down the chain like that.


That's a really simple bunch of layers. You'd have the same for 2-3 dialogue groups, 2-3 dozen fx groups, a bunch of music groups, ambience groups. We're talking not just hundreds of tracks but in the thousands sometimes.


So there are reasons to have vcas be controlled by other vcas. Reaper probably has technical and design reasons it didn't do it, because it certainly cannot be workflow reasons.


I hope they figure it out one day, and design it in such a way that it is as easy to use as possible.
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Old 03-08-2019, 02:14 PM   #6
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I would argue that this isn't a feature request, rather a bug.

Mute and Solo VCA's chain fine. Volume does not.

One of the key features of VCAs is chaining, and this is possible in most every other product (except Mixbus...).
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Old 03-08-2019, 02:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Just so nobody is confused, those are fader groups, NOT VCAs.

They don't achieve the same thing.
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Old 03-08-2019, 04:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
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those are fader groups, NOT VCAs. They don't achieve the same thing.
Can you explain difference please?
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Old 03-08-2019, 10:37 PM   #9
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VCA affects the result, Groups affects (or link) the parameter. Using either could achieve a similar result, but it is a very different approach. VCA is somewhat non-destructive in terms of if you mute/remove the master VCA, the slave will remain as it is.

For more complex routing/gain staging, VCA is the best approach. Because for example you can control Volume for a “group” of tracks from a master VCA without affecting its slave post-fader sends to another track. With a group track (non-VCA master-slave), that would make a different result.
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Old 03-09-2019, 12:43 AM   #10
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Thanks, surprisingly didn't ever dig deeper into VCAs yet after many years.
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Old 03-14-2019, 06:20 AM   #11
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This is actually intended -- gives more flexibility because a track can be a VCA master on multiple groups (which if I remember correctly wasn't typically available elsewhere).

If you have group 1 master+slaves, and group 2 with a master and group1master as a slave, might as well just make group 2 master a group 1 master too.
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:05 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin View Post
This is actually intended -- gives more flexibility because a track can be a VCA master on multiple groups (which if I remember correctly wasn't typically available elsewhere).

If you have group 1 master+slaves, and group 2 with a master and group1master as a slave, might as well just make group 2 master a group 1 master too.
That's really nice. I like the fact that one group can have multiple VCA masters.
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Old 03-14-2019, 05:41 PM   #13
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To help users construct VCA nesting, maybe aome functions to copy groups betweens each other would be helpful.

For example copzing group 1 stuff to group 2. Or copy the slave stuff only. Or copy all masters and slaves of one group and paste them to a new group as slaves. Or copy only the masters and paste as masters.

That way the user has to do less setup work to do „nesting“.
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:37 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airon View Post
To help users construct VCA nesting, maybe aome functions to copy groups betweens each other would be helpful.

For example copzing group 1 stuff to group 2. Or copy the slave stuff only. Or copy all masters and slaves of one group and paste them to a new group as slaves. Or copy only the masters and paste as masters.

That way the user has to do less setup work to do „nesting“.
There's really no setup work involved, it's just a matter of adding the master to the additional group.
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Old 03-15-2019, 12:05 PM   #15
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Is there life without VCA?
Who needs for what VCA? What is the difference to folders? Why not simply using folders? Just because ProTools and AmateurTools had it or SSL? Do they have folders as well?
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Old 03-15-2019, 12:07 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airon View Post
VCA layering is often used for organization as well as mixing.

FX-Transformers Klang 1-16
FX Transformers Motors 1-8
FX Transformers Footsteps 1-16
FX Transformers Other 1-16
vca FX Transformers Klang
vca FX Transformers Motors
vca FX Transformers Footsteps
vca FX Transformers Other
vca FX Transformers
vca FX mechanical characters
vca FX All
You could easily manage this using folders or not?
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Old 03-15-2019, 12:48 PM   #17
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With folders you have the send issue. That's why folders can't be used universally in that case.
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Old 03-15-2019, 02:09 PM   #18
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With folders you have the send issue. That's why folders can't be used universally in that case.
If folders are so bad, Reaper should remove them again.
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Old 03-15-2019, 02:30 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonE View Post
If folders are so bad, Reaper should remove them again.
They're not bad. Just not the same as VCA, which is why we have both. They're great for a lot of things.
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Old 03-15-2019, 02:33 PM   #20
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Quote:
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If folders are so bad, Reaper should remove them again.
No, folders can still be used as visual device, by just unchecking folder parent send.
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Old 03-15-2019, 03:06 PM   #21
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Unchecking parent send is removing its most useful part.

Just as visual device I do not need folders, adding fx on folder, applying on all children, this is great. Fx on folder, put 20 children with midi, for example. Same with audio and you can do it on multi levels. See folderify https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=213883

Or do we need additionally vcaify, if I would know who needs it why.
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Old 03-16-2019, 12:34 AM   #22
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If you don't understand their use case, just stop posting nonsense.
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Old 03-17-2019, 04:26 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackmilas View Post
I'd like to suggest it would be great if Reaper allowed VCAs within other VCAs.
An example of a resulting workflow:
A few VCA faders for different sections of instruments and a master VCA fader controlling those VCA faders.

This is a typical workflow for people coming from Pro Tools or analogue SSL consoles.
There is also parameter linking, so the difference to VCA seems to be parameter linking can not control a parameter from another track? And VCA is only for volume and not any fx parameter?
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Old 03-17-2019, 04:28 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by _Stevie_ View Post
With folders you have the send issue. That's why folders can't be used universally in that case.
Sends I am using from the folder, still issues then? Just asking.
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Old 03-17-2019, 04:33 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
If you don't understand their use case, just stop posting nonsense.

lolz-- 'apparent' nonsense to you,makes total sense the others-- who,tfk are you anyway? some1 special?
you insult and talkdown a lot of peoples postings-but get away with it_trying to be brown nosed teachers pet all the time? ...lolz you do not work @ cockos m8? =get over yourself..quicktime.
know it all's know very little of what is to be known-let that be known now.
**duck for cover_coz here comes the biggunz__the mob,the crew** to backup the weakness.
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Old 03-17-2019, 05:16 AM   #26
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It is nonsense if you cannot discern why VCAs are different than folders in Reaper.

I'm nobody special, but I know the difference between VCAs and folders in Reaper. TonE apparently doesn't, and I'm not sure if you know it either, or do you just enjoy posting unreadable crap all the time.
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Old 03-17-2019, 05:25 AM   #27
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Quote:
TonE apparently doesn't, and I'm not sure if you know it either, or do you just enjoy posting unreadable crap all the time.

lolz-see,there ya go again-your exposing yourself buddy...
vca's do not have to be 'your way',my way or anybody elses way--it can be all ways,because it is part of the all..
seems like your stuck in thinking with a closed mind- "impossible" being a regular comment..but.. maybe your just not allowing the infinite to reveal itself..fully.
try not to be so mechanical,actual factual m8-- coz with infinite possibilities available at any moment- that soon goes out the window when another 'way' is revealed to the seeker.
=)
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:30 AM   #28
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So yeah more unrelated babble from you, nothing surprising. VCAs have a defined function so yes they DO have to behave a certain way. If you don't know, just admit it and stop posting more unrelated crap .
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:42 AM   #29
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Old 03-17-2019, 09:28 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonE View Post
Sends I am using from the folder, still issues then? Just asking.
The "send issue" is this:

You have several tracks inside a folder. All tracks are sending to reverb track OUTSIDE that folder. When you change the overall volume of the folder, the send level isn't adjusted accordingly, because the volume of the reverb is not controlled via the same volume slider (= it's outside of the folder). As result you change the dry/wet ratio, because you are only changing the dry signal (of the folder, not of each instrument individually). The reverb stays at the same level.

The only solutions to this:

1. move the reverb in the same folder, which is a waste of resources, if you want to use that reverb for more than a bunch of tracks

2. use VCA, because a VCA will change the OUTPUT volume of each instrument, and therefore less signal goes into the reverb track = dry/wet ratio is maintained.
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Old 03-17-2019, 09:47 AM   #31
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Stevie, you quoted my question but ignored its content. But no problem, I am not evil, also not dragon.
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Old 03-17-2019, 09:49 AM   #32
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How did I not answer your question? I just explained it a bit more indepth, so that everyone can follow. But the answer lies within:

If you are putting the reverb inside the folder, then you don't have a "send issue".
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Old 03-17-2019, 11:14 AM   #33
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There's also
3) "Stealth Sends". Individual tracks send to extra channels on the folder track which are then sent on to the verb. Some people like to have a track in the folder that they send to which then passes up on extra channels, but it either way it actually works better than vcas in a lot of ways. If you have any non-linear processing (compression et al) on the folder track, vcas are the wrong answer.
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Old 03-17-2019, 11:18 AM   #34
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True, forgot about that one!

But this one gets really complex, when working on a huge orchestral template.
A lot of routing has to be done and dare you if something goes wrong.
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Old 03-17-2019, 11:34 AM   #35
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I'm not really trying to argue either way. I actually never use either of these methods because it just never really comes up the way I work. I know VCA is important for some people. I'm not sure I see stealth sends as a lot more complicated than setting up and linking a bunch of VCAs, though. If we could get track channel aliasing (be able to name track channels), things could be much more clear.

I do kind of resent the name VCA because it implies that there is some kind of control "voltage" involved. I'd love to see an implemtation of voltage control for parameter automation, modulation, and linking, but this isn't actually that.
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Old 03-17-2019, 11:37 AM   #36
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Sorry, don't get me wrong. Wasn't arguing against it.
It's definitely a valid wa to do this.
Maybe I need to dive into it again, when I'm working on my template.
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Old 03-17-2019, 01:18 PM   #37
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Quote:
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How did I not answer your question?
No problem, with "Sends I am using from the folder, still issues then?" I meant if I am sending from the folder track itself, not from one of its children, would there be still issues, asked out of interest? Just to understand the possible problem space a little better, as one can not think of all cases alone.
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Old 03-17-2019, 02:30 PM   #38
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Quote:
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I meant if I am sending from the folder track itself, not from one of its children, would there be still issues,
The problem is only when using sends from inside a folder, so, no issue there.

Changing volume of the folder does not affect the send levels of its children. So if you have child sends and use the volume of the folder, you alter only the dry level of the child tracks while their wet send levels stay the same, thereby upsetting the wet/dry balance.

Of course, you can get around this problem by using VCA for controlling the track levels.

I use both, but never use the folder tracks for audio processing or volume; just organization and MIDI.
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Old 03-17-2019, 09:50 PM   #39
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It is true that VCAs are much less important in Reaper than they are in Pro Tools due to how folders help to organise sessions in a tidy manner. But I still use them as additional automation layers. Thank you everyone for all your ideas and suggestions.
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Old 03-17-2019, 10:56 PM   #40
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Quote:
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It is true that VCAs are much less important in Reaper than they are in Pro Tools due to how folders help to organise sessions in a tidy manner. But I still use them as additional automation layers. Thank you everyone for all your ideas and suggestions.
Folder is summing. VCA is remote control.

In REAPER both should be co-exist, because in some workflow both could be equally important. Different horses for different courses.
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