Old 08-15-2019, 04:47 PM   #1
SoundGuyDave
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 12
Default "Stacking" VCA groups?

Id did the search, using the term "VCA" and actually NOTHING came up in the entire forum!!

I also perused the manual, and couldn't find anything on stacking groups, so...

I have a fairly complicated mix project that I'm working on right now, and for the sake of sanity, I want to arrange the mix layout like a live desk, with 10 VCA groups, like a Midas Heritage 3000 or Digico SD10. Easily accomplished. I was also able to assign the various tracks to the various groups without issue. I run into problems, though, if I want to assign a given track (or groups of tracks) to more than one VCA at a time... Say, for example, that I want VCA control over the rhythm section, guitars, keys, etc., but ALSO want to assign them to a "mix-minus" VCA to give me one-fader control over everything EXCEPT vocals. As soon as I make that assignment, the "solo" function (for example) bleeds over all the rest of the tracks. In other words, pressing "solo" on the guitars VCA (or any of them, really) will cause ALL instrument tracks to solo. Kind of defeats the purpose, really.

What am I missing here?
SoundGuyDave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2019, 05:59 PM   #2
SoundGuyDave
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 12
Default Never mind!

Figured it out...
Can't "just" assign a channel to a VCA group, you have to tailor the exact parameters it will respond to, and you have to ensure it's in slave mode. Seems to me that should be a default, to be honest.
SoundGuyDave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2019, 07:25 PM   #3
hopi
Human being with feelings
 
hopi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Right Hear
Posts: 14,939
Default

glad you found how it works.... IMO should not be a default, reaper is all about options and a 'default for you' might not be a 'default for me'... right?
__________________
...should be fixed for the next build... http://tinyurl.com/cr7o7yl
https://soundcloud.com/hopikiva/angel-rain
hopi is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2019, 04:09 PM   #4
SoundGuyDave
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 12
Default

I'll have to respectfully disagree with you on this particular point... VCA control is a pure master/slave relationship, and there can (should) be only one master for a given VCA group. There can be MANY "slave" channels for a given master, though. So, to me it only makes sense that the default when checking "VCA" should be to put a given channel in slave mode.

Also, think of it this way: if you accidentally have multiple strips as masters, and adjust ONE of them, then you'll get behaviour that you won't be expecting, and that's kind of the definition of "bug."
On an analog VCA console (or the digital version, DCA), you can ONLY assign channel strips as slaves to a dedicated hardware (or software) master. They also, predictably, control ONLY the post-fade volume, solo and mute functions, as that is all a hardware Voltage Controlled Amplifier circuit can do in those designs. Nice, simple, predictable. Having the ABILITY to do other things (like control pan, or stereo width, or whatever) is very cool, and what helps set Reaper apart from other DAWs. However I think (assume?) that 99% of users would expect a VCA to act like, well, a VCA. Not a full-blown remote automation interface. It would be akin to having an EQ that requires you to tailor dynamic response parameters, sidechain sourcing, gating thresholds, saturation, MS width, and de-link it from every other instance of that plug-in just to cut 2dB at 1kHz with a Q of 2.3. It's cool that the EQ is capable of all those things, and useful at points for some of the features other than just pure static equalisation, but is it the right thing to do to have all of them enabled by default? That's all I'm really saying.

Maybe the best thing would be to have a separate “View” menu option for “VCA Matrix?” Right now it doesn’t feel flexible, it feels kludge-y. A VCA group is a very specific thing with a pretty well-understood behavior (see above). Folding that into a “universal group” format where it doesn’t behave as expected is problematic.

If you would want to keep the single menu entry, then perhaps some tailoring of the behavour of the grouping matrix might be in order. Intuitively, I would expect that IF you have designated a channel as a VCA master in a given group, then that group becomes, by definition, a VCA group. Then adding any other channel or folder to that group would set that channel (or folder) as a slave for the volume, mute and solo functions. Period. There’s no reason that channel couldn’t be part of ANOTHER group that does pan automation, or sets record-arm, or whatever. As it stands now, you have to go into the "details" portion of the group and triple-click the VCA, the mute and solo boxes for each strip that you want as a slave. In the project mentioned above, I have over sixty slave members of one VCA group, and my forefinger is worn out from all the clicking. That's over 600 mouse clicks just to set up that one group! IF you click once in the "Group" box on the non-expanded group matrix, it automatically toggles on a host of other parameters, like record arm, automation mode, etc. by default, yet NOT the VCA function! That is not only inconvenient, but it's potentially dangerous as well, if you didn't notice that the record functions came on for a whole bunch of tracks you weren't expecting. To me it's a fairly simple logic chain: IF a "group" has a designated VCA master, then any other members added would be simple slaves. I cannot for the life of me see needing to use "Group 2" as a VCA master/slave setup for a handful of tracks, but simultaneously control the record-arm, pan-invert and width controls of a DIFFERENT handful of tracks with yet another track. If it defaults to VCA-slave for volume, mute and solo, it would be dead simple to add additional functions to that group, if you would so desire, but that doesn’t mean that is should be set that way by default.
SoundGuyDave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2019, 06:57 PM   #5
vdubreeze
Human being with feelings
 
vdubreeze's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 1,749
Default

As far as the search issue, that's because entering three characters or less will do that. I just tried, it returned none and then added an s. VCAs got a lot of hits : )
__________________
The reason rain dances work is because they don't stop dancing until it rains.
vdubreeze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2019, 02:13 PM   #6
SoundGuyDave
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 12
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by vdubreeze View Post
As far as the search issue, that's because entering three characters or less will do that. I just tried, it returned none and then added an s. VCAs got a lot of hits : )
Great tip, thanks!
SoundGuyDave is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:52 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions Inc.