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Simplifying Real-time Automation Nodes


eclectic

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Hey,

 

I just have a quick question about automation. I started using realtime automation (touch and latch mode) recently, and it creates a lot of automation nodes. More than when you draw them in yourself.

 

I seem to remember reading about a function, quite a while back, that allowed you to simplify or decrease the amount of nodes, with minimal change in the actual effect of the automation.

 

Is there such a thing, or is this just wishful thinking? As, it would be easier to manipulate the automation if there were less nodes.

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I seem to remember reading about a function, quite a while back, that allowed you to simplify or decrease the amount of nodes, with minimal change in the actual effect of the automation.

 

The only function that I know of that relates to what you want is: Track>Track Automation>Delete Redundant Nodes

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The only function that I know of that relates to what you want is: Track>Track Automation>Delete Redundant Nodes

 

That function only delete's the notes which lay next to each other and have the same value, doesn't it. I was looking more for a function, which could for example simplify the automation shape. e.g. if a load of nodes look like a circle, it could estimate that circle with a lot fewer nodes.

 

It probably doesn't exist then, because I couldn't find it in the Logic manual before I posted the question. Anyway thanks for your help.

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That function only delete's the notes which lay next to each other and have the same value, doesn't it. I was looking more for a function, which could for example simplify the automation shape. e.g. if a load of nodes look like a circle, it could estimate that circle with a lot fewer nodes.

 

I know, that's why I said...

 

The only function that I know of that relates to what you want is: Track>Track Automation>Delete Redundant Nodes

 

I agree, it would definitely be a very useful feature.

 

You should post your suggestion in the 'Logic Studio New Feature Suggestions' forum on this site.

 

It's a good suggestion!

 

Anyway thanks for your help.

 

You're welcome.

Edited by Scott Jackson
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Why would you want to simplify the shape of your automation? If you wrote in that automation and it sounds good, I'd be curious to know why what it looks like is a problem.

 

I don't think it's an issue of what the automation looks like but perhaps more an issue with the mechanics of mice and controllers. It's very difficult to be subtle with either device.

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Why would you want to simplify the shape of your automation? If you wrote in that automation and it sounds good, I'd be curious to know why what it looks like is a problem.

 

Like Scott Jackson said, the way it looks isn't a problem, but is more about the flexibility of being able to change it.

 

Say I've put in some automation and a week later i've added some parts and made some adaptions. It's very hard to make small alterations to the nodes, cause there are so many. It would be easier in that situation to have a simplified shape of the automation, which I could tweak easily.(It's also very hard to be subtle with the controller or mouse, so Tweak-ability afterwards would be much appreciated.)

 

I'll post this idea on the suggestion forum. Maybe I'm not the only who has had this problem.... or maybe I am.

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Like Scott Jackson said, the way it looks isn't a problem, but is more about the flexibility of being able to change it.

 

Say I've put in some automation and a week later i've added some parts and made some adaptions. It's very hard to make small alterations to the nodes, cause there are so many. It would be easier in that situation to have a simplified shape of the automation, which I could tweak easily.(It's also very hard to be subtle with the controller or mouse, so Tweak-ability afterwards would be much appreciated.)

 

It would be nice if there were functions for Automation called 'Convert to Curve' and 'Convert to Straight Line' which would take the selected nodes between two peaks and smooth everything out in between those peaks.

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It would be nice if there were functions for Automation called 'Convert to Curve' and 'Convert to Straight Line' which would take the selected nodes between two peaks and smooth everything out in between those peaks.

 

Yeah functions like that would be great, and it probably wouldn't be super hard to implement, as there is tons of mathematical software which can map lines and curves of best fit.

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Like Scott Jackson said, the way it looks isn't a problem, but is more about the flexibility of being able to change it.

 

Automation is totally flexible. You have options:

 

• just re-do it

• select a section to move it up or down in volume (automation select and move tools)

• manually select, delete, or move nodes to simply the shape of the curve so it can be further edited

 

It would be easier in that situation to have a simplified shape of the automation, which I could tweak easily.(It's also very hard to be subtle with the controller or mouse, so Tweak-ability afterwards would be much appreciated.)

 

So basically you're looking for the machine to interpret what you've done, with the hopes that the simplified shape it comes up maintains the essence of your original automation moves. Not to knock your idea, but I think there's a 50/50 chance that what the machine came up with would (or wouldn't) be to your liking. I'd say your best bet would be to re-do the automation. That's what I do.

 

I do a tremendous amount of automation and don't have trouble finessing levels, parameters, etc., so I'm suggesting this from experience: if you're finding that it's difficult to control automation with the mouse, try changing your mouse tracking settings so that the speed and tracking is better suited for doing this kind of thing.

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Not to knock your idea, but I think there's a 50/50 chance that what the machine came up with would (or wouldn't) be to your liking.

I think ski pointed out a VERY important concept here. I'd like to add my voice to it. I am STUNNED at how many people I see work visually now that we have nice large displays. I remember working on the tiny monochrome LCD 2" x 3" or so of the AKAI DD1000 before DAWs existed.... quite a different experience.

 

http://www.dancetech.com/aa_dt_new/hardware/images/akai_DD1000_recorder_main.jpg

 

Now don't get me wrong: editing audio on that machine was a nightmare, and I absolutely LOVE my 28" display. However I realize that to many people who never worked with gear that did not have or had little visual feedback, they attach more importance to the visual aspect as to the sound. I mean many people record live automation that kinda looks like a sloped line going up, then quickly "clean it up" by erasing all the nodes and drawing a straight line. It LOOKS much better - but it no longer sounds the same.

 

But even more importantly, many think that if a volume crescendo looks like a straight line, it will sound perfectly smooth and linear, whereas if it looks like a bunch of nodes it doesn't. Well sometimes it's exactly the opposite! Sometimes the jagged-looking one will sound much smoother than the perfect line one.

 

I believe that ideally, automation should be recorded live and with automation view turned off. After all, you don't look at the waveform while recording your vocals, adjusting your mic technique or your voice's volume to make the waveform nice and consistent. You just stare away from the screen or close your eyes (hopefully) and start singing and listening. Recording live automation should be the same: a job for your fingers and your ears - not your eyes.

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It think that David and Ski made a very interesting point, that you should use your ears and finger. It's made me realize I should start to play my DAW more like I play the piano or sing, using the automation as an instrument. I've haven't really been doing this.

 

I just thought if you wanted to simplify your automation

• manually select, delete, or move nodes to simply the shape of the curve so it can be further edited

 

This is the kind of thing that a mathematical estimating function could be useful for, as it could probably shape/estimate the curve a lot more accurately than a human could and it would probably save time. It could like you said also produce a slightly different curve, but it definitely would be an interesting option to consider if you wanted to save time. I've posted a suggestion in the Logic Suggestion forum viewtopic.php?f=24&t=84287, who knows it might be an interesting idea.

 

Thanks a lot for taking the time to respond, it's really interesting to get great feedback.

 

I remember, not so long ago, reading a quote by Bob Shaw quoting someone else which said "I'm am engin-ear, not an engin-eye!", I thought this was a cool one. Forgive me if I'm using a massive cliche, I'm quite new to this stuff.

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  • 6 years later...

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