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tedannemann
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Automation and PDC is just broken (still in Logic Pro 10.6)

Fri Jan 10, 2020 4:51 pm

(Link to petition for Apple to fix this bug: http://chng.it/bfczxYTh9g)

1. Automation in Logic (Pro X 10.4.8) is not plug-in delay compensated on audio/instruments tracks (but on aux tracks/summing stacks).
In other words, once you're working with latency-intensive plug-ins, even instruments (e.g. VPS Avenger) or just being an UAD user, your automation is basically out of order. This is also true for Logic's own Linear Phase EQ for example, no additional 3rd party plug-ins needed. Just automate a low or hi-cut, the automation will be nearly around 100 ms out of time in this case.

2. Plug-ins that depend on beat-time information (MIDI synced to the host) are simply not compensated on aux tracks/summing stacks (but on audio/instrument tracks)
In other words, if you are using something like Output's Movement, LFO Tool, Pumper, Effectrix, Cableguys plug-ins... , you name it, on an aux track/summing stack - timing of the beat-time based plug-ins will be out of order. I know several producers using a ducking or gate-effect bus for such effects - timing won't be correct then. This is also true for Logic's own Phat and Step FX for example.

3. Side chain signals aren't compensated correctly
The external side chain signal isn't compensated when introducing latency generating plug-ins after the side chain receiving plug-in on audio/instrument tracks (e.g. limiter after compressor with external side chain).
The external side chain signal isn't compensated when introducing latency generating plug-ins before the side chain receiving plug-in on aux tracks/summing stacks (e.g. tape simulation plug-in before compressor with external side chain).
If you are using the FabFilter Pro-L 2 with external side chain triggering for stem mastering for example, the side chaining will be completely out of time moreso when using one of the oversampling options. This is also true when working with Logic's own Linear Phase EQ and Compressor on one track using external side chaining.

4. Bounce in Place is not compensated correctly at all
Bounce in Place does not take automation and plug-in delay compensation correctly into account especially when bouncing aux tracks/summing stacks (see above). Pure chaos, depending on what is going on on your tracks and busses. External side chaining is ignored when using Bounce in Place as well. So you have to use the export track or bounce to disk function and drag your files back again into Logic, cubersome.

The typical pop/EDM producer who uses ducking plug-ins or classic side chain compression in combination with latency intensive plug-ins basically gets a fuzzy timing. Also every UAD user pretty much is in trouble when using automation in Logic because the workarounds to avoid these issues are almost impossible - or you just don't use automation / side chaining at all. If you add multiple bussing and sends to the equation, it's clear that big mixes in Logic go completely off the rails.

This reminds me a lot of Ableton Live from 10 years ago. That was an absolute pain in the ass to work with for complex professional mixdowns at that time. Anyway, all of the above works perfectly in Cubase or Bitwig, for example. Even in Ableton Live (except for the MIDI synced plug-ins), everything is now in time, even if you are working with several hundreds of ms introduced latency in complex routed projects.

I think that Logic (Pro X 10.4.8) is by far the worst DAW on the market today in terms of automation timing and plug-in delay compensation.

Any thoughts, insider knowledge or solutions on these?
Last edited by tedannemann on Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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logness
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Re: Automation and PDC is just broken

Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:53 am

Thanks for summing up those issues! Let's hope that Apple will sort out its priorities a bit. Otherwise I'll just have to change my DAW.
 
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ted_manzie
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Re: Automation and PDC is just broken

Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:29 am

This seems to be a pretty shocking situation. There’s been a thread on Gearslutz about some of these issues for years, why are Apple not resolving it?
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pmarmignon
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Re: Automation and PDC is just broken

Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:37 am

I've been in touch with Apple today about the sidechain signal compensation issue and also linked this post and all related issues as they might be all linked to the same code change (adding delay compensation in a code function). They should follow up within a few days I'll let you keep you updated.
 
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tedannemann
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Re: Automation and PDC is just broken

Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:36 pm

Many thanks. Keep us informed if you get any feedback from Apple.
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lanski
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Re: Automation and PDC is just broken

Tue Feb 04, 2020 4:06 am

Been running into the same issues and my conclusion is that right now it's impossible to produce in logic. The workarounds are cumbersome even if you're just mixing, but downright unusable when producing. Looking forward to the fixes.
 
rfpm
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Re: Automation and PDC is just broken

Tue Feb 04, 2020 6:26 am

I agree with the above, is nearly makes Logic downright unusable for the full scale producing of a project start to finish. Is there any indication from Apple that this will be addressed anytime soon? Is there anything we can do to speed along Apple addressing this issue?

Also maybe off topic but are there other major bugs like this in LPX that I should be aware of that I'm currently not? Thanks.
 
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Kiriel
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Re: Automation and PDC is just broken

Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:58 pm

Just wanted to chime in about PDC. Really having a hard time with it messing up the timing of my tracks. I've just spent the last few hours exploring this issue and it's just really weird. It seems dependent on PDC being set to all "All", which, if it works properly, why wouldn't you want it on "All"??

I'm including a file that should make the issue very clear, but I'll try to explain: So you have a multi-output instrument (like Ultrabeat) and you put a latency inducing plugin (like EnVerb) on one of it's output Auxes (let's say it's receiving the kick). Then give that output aux a send to another aux so you can sidechain to it elsewhere, let's say you're sidechaining a noiseGate on a bass track. Even when there is no signal flow whatsoever to that noiseGate's sidechain, the bass track is now pushed out of time. How do I know? I duplicated the bass track (without the sidechain noiseGate) and flipped it's phase and it doesn't cancel.
If you're with me this far, try adding another instance of EnVerb to the original multi-output instrument's track. BAM, bass is back in time. Phase: cancelled.

It's just a bug and it probably shouldn't be a big deal to fix, but it is a pretty serious one if you're doing professional work. Let's hope Apple acts expediently.
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ValliSoftware
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Re: Automation and PDC is just broken

Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:27 pm

Kiriel wrote:
Just wanted to chime in about PDC. Really having a hard time with it messing up the timing of my tracks. I've just spent the last few hours exploring this issue and it's just really weird. It seems dependent on PDC being set to all "All", which, if it works properly, why wouldn't you want it on "All"??

I'm including a file that should make the issue very clear, but I'll try to explain: So you have a multi-output instrument (like Ultrabeat) and you put a latency inducing plugin (like EnVerb) on one of it's output Auxes (let's say it's receiving the kick). Then give that output aux a send to another aux so you can sidechain to it elsewhere, let's say you're sidechaining a noiseGate on a bass track. Even when there is no signal flow whatsoever to that noiseGate's sidechain, the bass track is now pushed out of time. How do I know? I duplicated the bass track (without the sidechain noiseGate) and flipped it's phase and it doesn't cancel.
If you're with me this far, try adding another instance of EnVerb to the original multi-output instrument's track. BAM, bass is back in time. Phase: cancelled.

It's just a bug and it probably shouldn't be a big deal to fix, but it is a pretty serious one if you're doing professional work. Let's hope Apple acts expediently.


I just ran your Logic Pro X project here.



I
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David Nahmani
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Re: Automation and PDC is just broken

Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:32 pm

ValliSoftware wrote:
I just ran your Logic Pro X project here.

Open the Mixer and click Ultrabeat to make it active.
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ValliSoftware
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Re: Automation and PDC is just broken

Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:11 pm

David Nahmani wrote:
ValliSoftware wrote:
I just ran your Logic Pro X project here.

Open the Mixer and click Ultrabeat to make it active.


Okay :idea: :mrgreen:
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ValliSoftware
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Re: Automation and PDC is just broken

Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:23 pm

David Nahmani wrote:
ValliSoftware wrote:
I just ran your Logic Pro X project here.

Open the Mixer and click Ultrabeat to make it active.


I understand that everyone's configuration is different but usually a little troubleshooting can find several work arounds.

By just taking the GATE plug-in off the bass track, everything works without having to bounce in place the tracks.
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David Nahmani
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Re: Automation and PDC is just broken

Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:35 am

ValliSoftware wrote:
David Nahmani wrote:
Open the Mixer and click Ultrabeat to make it active.


Okay :idea: :mrgreen:

No.

1) Open the original project.
2) Open the Mixer.
3) Click Ultrabeat. An alert pops-up.
4) Click ok.
5) Press play.
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ValliSoftware
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Re: Automation and PDC is just broken

Fri Feb 07, 2020 7:09 am

David Nahmani wrote:
ValliSoftware wrote:

Okay :idea: :mrgreen:

No.

1) Open the original project.
2) Open the Mixer.
3) Click Ultrabeat. An alert pops-up.
4) Click ok.
5) Press play.


1) Open the original project.
2) Open the Mixer.
3) Click Ultrabeat. An alert pops-up.
3a) Take GATE plug-in off first bass track (see last video I just posted)
4) Click ok.
5) Press play, then smile. :mrgreen:
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David Nahmani
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Re: Automation and PDC is just broken

Fri Feb 07, 2020 7:33 am

ValliSoftware wrote:
3a) Take GATE plug-in off first bass track (see last video I just posted)

Do you realize you keep changing the test conditions? The original test describes a flaw when UB is on, and side chained to a gate on the bass track.

You replied with a video where UB is inactive. When I pointed out that you need to make UB active, you make it active but mute one of the bass tracks. When I suggest you go back to the original project without modifying anything, you remove the gate. I'm not sure what your point is but it doesn't seem to be in line with the original test.
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Kiriel
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Re: Automation and PDC is just broken

Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:32 am

Thank you David.

Valli, I really do appreciate you taking the time to check things out. Unfortunately, taking the gate off the track is not a solution for being unable to sidechain with PDC enabled for "All". The gate is just a stock Logic stand-in for any plugin you might want to sidechain to an output from a Multi-output instrument, in this case UB, but this could be any Multi-out. I made the test project to demonstrate the simplest way to reproduce the bug, so that hopefully someone can report this to apple and they'll fix it.

It's pretty standard to sidechain a compressor on your bass to your kick so you get a little ducking for kick clarity. It's also pretty standard to use a multi-out for your drums so you can mix each drum separately. Combining these two techniques should definitely not break. Any workaround or solution that isn't just 'Apple fixes the problem' is ludicrous for such a standard set up.

Interesting aside, PDC seems to actively re-time the affected tracks moment to moment, instead of just using a static time offset. I say this because I am unable to set a delay value on the affected region's settings that will make the test audio cancel again. So there's one potential "workaround" for this that we can scratch off the list of things we definitely shouldn't have to do in the first place.

Edit: I may be wrong about the active re-timing. Setting a delay in ticks is just not accurate enough. Moving the region's anchor by samples gets me much closer.
Last edited by Kiriel on Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Kiriel
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Re: Automation and PDC is just broken

Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:56 am

...Found a dumb workaround by the way: add an audio track with it's input set to the bus with the signal you want to sidechain, then point your sidechain plugin to the audio track. Essentially, audio tracks instead of auxes. Fine.


---------------------------------------------

Edit: Nevermind.
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Dewdman42
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Re: Automation and PDC is just broken

Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:19 am

Can any of the above be reduced down to one or two fundamental design flaws that need to be fixed? It seems to me this issue keeps coming up related specifically to automation and side chaining.
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Kiriel
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Re: Automation and PDC is just broken

Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:08 am

I mean, it seems like it's just a goofy bug in how Logic is set to handle PDC on downstream audio channels. Just an, "oops, forgot to account for that scenario" thing. It appears to be trying to intelligently PDC the audio signal of any track that receives it's audio from an (aux) track with latency plugins, instead of just of just bumping that audio signal back at the aux itself before it's sent anywhere. Just a guess.

In the course of trying to work around this, I just ran into the "Bounce In Place" flavor of this issue too. Ugh. So, I can't just bounce-in-place my kick for sidechaining, I have to record it to another track, in real time. This brings your workflow to a grinding halt any time you need to rework your kick track, or whatever signal you're sidechaining. Frustrating.
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Dewdman42
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Re: Automation and PDC is just broken

Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:14 am

not sure what you mean by
instead of just of just bumping that audio signal back at the aux itself before it's sent anywhere


But anyway, AUX channels are treated kind of like a live channel. They are not directly associated with any particular track region. So Logic can only take delay found in AUX channels and delay everything else to match up with it. audio tracks and instrument tracks are handled by feeding the region data earlier to it.

Now when you start getting into complex routing with multiple audio tracks feeding into aux channels or chains of aux channels or side chains, etc.. things can start to get rather complicated quickly and it might even be that its entirely not possible to perform PDC with certain kinds of routing...its just an outcome of digital audio and plugin latency. But we'd need to look at some very specific scenarios in a very detailed way to try to see what if anything Apple could do, if it isn't already doing everything it can do.

I'm not debating the fact that there might be problems related to a automation and side chaining in particular that perhaps could be fixed, but I also think lots of times people try to do some complex routing and at some point, LogicPro literally can't correct the PDC, hypothetically of course..
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