New features for DAWs based on our workflow

Discussion in 'Software' started by WhiteMidnightProductions, Mar 27, 2020.

  1. WhiteMidnightProductions

    WhiteMidnightProductions Ultrasonic

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    So, been working on alot of new stuff and my mixing style has changed to being very minimalistic yet meticulous. Like I'll try my best to start 'mixing' at the source which means recording things how I want it to sound and I try to stay true to the source but I'll do some mangling to the foundation when need be. All that being said I've recently become a fan of top down mixing and I've developed my own unique way of implementing it without doing much at the higher levels. Anyway, I've been thinking of cool little features that would work mainly in Ableton Live 10 but other DAWs as well. So here goes.
    1)Ableton Exclusive Feature: Allow Return tracks to be detached from the bottom of the track list and placed anywhere, like in Studio One. This would make the way I currently mix, way less confusing. I know I could just use a normal track as an input and place them next to each other because the input routing allows for pre FX, post FX and post fader but this is a simple thing that I'd be really grateful for and I really wish they would add it sooner than later.
    2) Channel Undo: This is something I wish all DAWs would implement. Again, yes, one could use different saves to mitigate this and nearly all DAWs have this now but I'd like to see this feature added because it'd be great to just start undoing track settings at the click of a button. Things like pan and volume could be left out of this feature though. The main reason I want this added is because I did some major EQ moves to a guitar yesterday to prevent it from moving inward. It was planned left and kept jumping inwards on one specific note. See, I have tilted tweeters so I assumed that the frequency range was causing that. So as I listened last night and this morning on my trusty crappy earbuds I remembered that I actually had that guitar sharing a washy reverb with a mono guitar. Believe you me I laughed at myself because last night I made huge dips and even added a dynamic EQ and thought I was solving the problem. Adding undo history and selective undos would be nice too. Selective undo meaning the ability to chose a specific undo and just undo that one parameter instead of undoing everything else.
    3) A native gain matching plugin in every DAW. I know, I know. People are gonna scream plugins that already do so in the comments below but this is something that when I was early in the process of learning would have really helped and I feel like DAWs should have implemented this a long time ago.
    4) Global MIDI banks. Now this is gonna be a bit of a controversial one. So, I know some of you may have controllers right? Some of them come with software that let's you customize to your hearts content. Some of you aren't so lucky. I have an old Tascam US224 that's got lots of neat buttons and five faders, one of which being a master fader and the other four can be banked which gives me a total of nine faders. Now it took alot of creative nonsense words being typed into google before I got any semblance of success with finding something that breathe new life into my controller. With a little program called MIDIox for parameter reprogramming and another one called LoopMIDI so I could create a virtual MIDI port because it never worked straight out the MIDIox program for me, I now had unlimited faders. Now MIDIox is a little complicated but I'm tech savvy and was using another program called Virtual MIDI Sliders which helped show me CC numbers on my controller so I knew which numbers to change in MIDIox. May make a new thread about this but message me till then and I'll gladly walk you through it. Now the reason I say this is controversial is because alot of controllers don't allow you to do this and in theory it could be frowned upon by controller manufacturers. Why would you wanna buy the eight fader version if the four fader version works just fine? It's just a thought though and I'd buy a 16 fader version of a controller anyway so maybe it's a thought without merit but everyone has different needs and mixing styles.

    Thoughts. Am I crazy? Am I onto to something. Do you have any ideas like this? Am I the only person who thinks about these things?

     
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  3. Lock it down

    Lock it down Ultrasonic

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    You mean something like http://www.midiox.com/
    [​IMG]
    (ancient, but first one that comes to mind). Many DAWs have something similar built in, like settings->Debug tab in FL, but if Live sees your controller, why can't you just [​IMG] & tweak knobs to assign? Or are you talking something like https://help.ableton.com/hc/en-us/articles/206240184-Creating-your-own-Control-Surface-script ? I just make a template project, map everything, load the VSTs I typically use & save it as the default project Live opens (Preferences->File folder->Save current set as default). Sorry if I'm not getting it.
    I don't think so. The more things their controllers are compatible with, the more people will buy them. I know nothing about Tascam US224, but their site still has all the docs and even (dated) software/drivers (all under firmware/software). Do those help?

    Edit: Duh, forgot the link https://tascam.com/us/product/us-224/download
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
  4. odelay

    odelay Ultrasonic

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    1) In Cockos Reaper, all tracks are essentially the same and you can, as you say, use them as bus tracks, send/return tracks, etc. You can even make them invisible or visible again either in your track panel or mixer channel, or both - You use the Track Manager for that.
    2) In Cockos Reaper, you have a quite simple workaround for this: duplicate your track. The duplicate has the same contents, FXs, sends, etc. Then mute one of them and hide it using the Track Manager. The muted track does not have any CPU consumption. Make your changes in the other. If you're not pleased with your changes, then delete the duplicate track and make visible the original muted track again and everything will be back to the way it was.
    3) In Cockos Reaper, your "FX" window has an almost hidden knob at the top right corner. It works as a gain control for each VSTi, or FX in that channel's list. I have not found a reference for it in the manual, but it works...
    4) You can use Reaper's "MIDI / CC Note Names" feature in Reaper. Whenever you open a MIDI editor window in Reaper, you can set up a MIDI note name list quite easily by double right-clicking on the note and typing the name. When you're finished, you can save the MIDI / CC note name list in a folder for each VSTi of your choice. It's useful, for instance, to name keyswitches or drum sounds for each key. You can also add your customized MIDI CC's NAMES to that Midi Note list, but you have to edit the .txt file from outside Reaper and add lines to it. The format is the following: The MIDI CC / Note name list txt files are saved in Reaper's folder within your AppData / Roaming / Reaper / MIDINoteNames folder (if you own a PC. I don't know the path for Mac). Open the TXT file in Windows Notepad (for instance and add whatever MIDI note name or CC name you need to the list. Just this way:
    Type the MIDI Note Number and after a space add the note name you need. Example: 60 Middle C
    Type CC# and after a space add your customized CC name for it. Example: CC7 Loudness
    Save your TXT file for your VSTi and load it up in your MIDI editor window whenever you need it. The note names will be displayed on the piano roll (you can choose to view the keys or just the slots with the names). In the CC lanes below the note editor, you can choose your MIDI CC and the lane will display your customized name.

    That's all, man. Hope I've been of some help to you.

    P.S. (Added) Just read your post again and perhaps you would also need Reaper's MIDI CC Mapper, a JS script plugin which can be loaded as an input FX for each track (you can add as many instances as you like). Within MIDI CC Mapper, you choose a "source" CC and a "target" CC. Any incoming MIDI CC message from the source will be recorded and sent to your track's VSTi as the target CC. If you need to add many instances for, say, a specific VSTi, after you have created all of them, you can save it as a MIDI FX chain and load it again whenever you need it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
  5. lancexx

    lancexx Kapellmeister

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    If FL let me change color themes (dark mode/black theme) I would never use another DAW for writing music. Mixing is a different story lol.
     
  6. Lock it down

    Lock it down Ultrasonic

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    Nah, what you want is *more* gray.[​IMG]
     
  7. WhiteMidnightProductions

    WhiteMidnightProductions Ultrasonic

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    Because that means having to reassign everything when I want to move to another group of faders. Whereas with MIDIox I can simply make files for each virtual bank and I'm two clicks away from another eight faders.
    That's not simple. And that's not something I'd wanna do every single move I make. I know it's wishful thinking but the idea arised from making a mistake. Also, to answer everything else you said. I have Reaper. Yes, Reaper is great but you're not helping (me) here. (Thanks for taking time to tell us anyway really and I'll check to see if it's worth the trouble) MIDIox also makes those things easier to do anyway. Reaper isn't my production platform. I prefer to produce in Ableton because of the themes ironically. ->
    This guy knows what I'm talking about. I prefer to mix in Studio One and Reaper but if I start a piece in Ableton I tend to finish it there if it's a personal project. Ableton is pretty good at mixing but not all the time for me due to the sends being locked in a certain place. If I don't organize my session and I start doing some complex routing, which is what my mixing style entails now, it can get very confusing. So much so that it forces me to organize my tracks which I wouldn't do early in a mix because I have a specific order and general colour code I'd use and that's only useful to me if the sounds are already right. I know, I know. I'm a picky, prissy one. I know. I change my themes in Ableton depending on what I'm working on too.
    I was also trying to escape the utilitarian gray because I'M AN INDIVIDUAL. *throws tantrum in millennial* Which is why, given the chance, I err towards using Ableton to produce. Reaper is great to mix in when I want a no frills, high performance mixing experience. I tested some of my CPU hogging plugins in Reaper and it didn't even break a sweat. Great themes too. The API theme is beautiful and gets even better if you customize it. All that being said, Studio One just checks all the boxes for me when it comes to a recording, comping and mixing workflow. The Remote App just makes sessions way more efficient for clients. And recording drums without an assistant when the workstation isn't close to the drumset can be very difficult. Now I can use the app to do everything my DAW can do (except change plugin parameters unless I set them up first). This is a godsend as I'm about to do my first solo album and recording drums would have been a nightmare without a good remote solution.

    P.S. Since reaper guy started flexing his DAW I decided to flex all my current DAWs :v
     
  8. junh1024

    junh1024 Rock Star

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    REAPER can save undo history & load alternate undo history, so this should be enough for most purposes. You miss a lot by not looking at preferences. Alternate history has saved my ass a few times.

    TBPA has made a JSFX for Reaper, or you can use it with ReaJS VST for other DAWs https://www.tb-software.com/TBProAudio/ab_lmjsfx.html

    I believe this is a wet knob, NOT gain knob. But you can abuse it as a gain knob if you FX changes the gain.
     
  9. Lock it down

    Lock it down Ultrasonic

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    You're running a commercial studio, with clients and assistants? and this
    [​IMG]
    is your controller of choice? Are these
    [​IMG] your drum room mics?
     
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  10. WhiteMidnightProductions

    WhiteMidnightProductions Ultrasonic

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    Now we're talking! Thanks dude.
    Two for two mah man. Thanks.
    Ironically I forget to mention that every DAW should also have a wet knob for the parallel mixing enthusiasts and purists.
    Now look here man, I work for a studio with a huge console, shiny interfaces, controllers and so on. I'm head producer there. That interface was my first buy and it's served me well. They're worth the $40 for the MIDI inputs and the faders alone. Not motorised but definitely made mixing much more fun. Don't be a (curseword). The studio I work for rarely does drums. I however own a drumset and this interface is gonna get me through my debut album. Just the two inputs too. Yh, I wanna upgrade but I don't have the funds to yet. So I ask you the proverbial question. Where are your thumbs? I fucking swear. People like you freaking urk me on this site. That's the most productive thing you could do? Judge me on my rig? Thumbs man. Thumbs. Get them out your ass.
     
  11. tun

    tun Rock Star

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    i only have opinions on 2 and 3.

    2.
    this would be great. i could definitely see me making good use of this. i often dart around my mix when i need to make quick changes to other elements to make things fit while primarily focussing on another.

    typically my solution here is to make a backup version constantly. if things go too bad i can fall back on it for individual tracks easily. usually i can do basic "repairs" without needing to fall back on them, but a channel undo would save so much time and allow us to really hear if things were better.


    3.
    gain matching is really useful for many reasons. i use third party solutions or just the oldskool method, so a native solution would always be welcome.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
  12. junh1024

    junh1024 Rock Star

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    The DAWs that don't have it may have problems with PDC (ahem Live8-). REAPER has per-FX wet, but Audition has whole-chain wet. Which is better? Depenz how you work. but a pitch-shift at 50% wet isn't the same as half the shift. Also, may FX create modifications that create artefacts (e.g, combing on delay) when they're damp. A wet knob is a small convenience, but its utility is debateable since its effect can probably be recreated by other sliders, and many VST have an internal wet anyway.

    Please see my reply #7 about REAPER's excellent time-travelling capabilities.

    You can choose the time & place to execute REAPER auto-save function. But if you don't have that, you have OS-level functions like WIndows Previous Versions or OSX TIme machine. In REAPER, You can have multiple copies of FX instances and RENAME them to give them clarity & purpose. You can have disabled FX. In REAPER, disabled FX cost no CPU (& do not show audio). But in Audition, disabled FX cost SOME CPU (but DO show audio). What's better? UCHOOSE40. But CPU is prolly more valuable.

    You can save FX, chain, and project templates in REAPER, and copypasta tracks between projects.

    About Channel-based history

    Suppose you had this feature. At some point in the past you moved 2 clips across different tracks by some amount. You the dip into the past and un-move only one clip. What should happen to the clip in the other track? Should it stay? Now the tracks are inconsistent because this state never existed, as a whole in the past. Should this be disallowed? Maybe channel-based history is a bad idea & definitely complicated, and probably won't be implemented. Some changes you obsess over this week you may totally discount nekweek.

    Most apps, including REAPER, has a GLOBAL undo history (not part-wise). If you change the past, future steps are erased or a new path recorded. This makes sense. I remember in 2009 I used PTC pro/ desktop. It's a CAD software, where you carve out the shape you want over successive steps. Sometimes you can rearrange the steps & change the past, but mostly you can't do this, esp. if it's further in the past, and you probably need to redo history from that point.

    We already have a lot of tools now. All that's limiting us is time & this arbitrary human construct called money. Anyway, Just SHUT UP & MAKE MUSIC already.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
  13. Olymoon

    Olymoon MODERATOR Staff Member

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    I've cleaned all thing and off topic.
    @WhiteMidnightProductions and @Lock it down , you both calm down.
     
  14. tun

    tun Rock Star

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    the way i am picturing channel history in my head would be to have a unique history for each channel. they all sit parallel and you have the option to step all, a selection, or one of the channels back or forwards. that way you can have a classic undo by undoing all channels, or you can select which ones to undo.
    i can definitely make use of that.
     
  15. Mr.Weird

    Mr.Weird Noisemaker

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    I have this Mics FLXUR-10.jpg_q50.jpg
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
  16. WhiteMidnightProductions

    WhiteMidnightProductions Ultrasonic

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    I actually just meant effects. If you're moving clips around that's on you. And ofcourse I do think that being able to undo a single thing instead of everything at that point would be a much appreciated feature.
    Not gonna lie, was working on an ambient track in Live 10 and my buffer was 512 right? And for the life of me, idk what I changed but my next export which had waaaaaay more tracks and effects on it, the delay wasn't synced to the grid anymore. I literally spent over an hour exporting over and over trying to fix it because in the project it played just fine. Even tried different drivers. You know the (curseword) problem was? I had to put the buffer at 2048 during export. So much for drivers not affecting exports.
    Something like that yeah. The kicker for me would be to be able to undo one specific thing as well too without affecting everything I did after. That goes for global undo as well. Like a huge dip in guitar track per se.
     
  17. WhiteMidnightProductions

    WhiteMidnightProductions Ultrasonic

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    Btw, in terms of backing up channels. I decided to give it a whirl. Definitely a viable solution when you wanna change something but you don't wanna screw up the base tone you already have. Used to do it before too. It's weird how something as simple as that could escape one's mind in the first place. Even with my last system I'd already stopped duping tracks when I needed to make changes.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
  18. peezy666

    peezy666 Member

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    Sequoia undoes everything changed in the channels. It has saved me plenty headaches before.
     
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  19. tun

    tun Rock Star

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    Best Answer
    that would be awesome too. even without being able to do that with individual channels that would still be an extremely powrful feature. in fact i cant see any need for individual channel undos if you have the ability to undo an action without undoing the things after that action.

    i assume each action after the undo point would need to be re-"rendered" each time a history point was removed or recovered, which could cost resources temporarily, but it would only be temporary, so would be worth it. simple undo /redo actions would still be quick.
     
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  20. tun

    tun Rock Star

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    @Freakmaster do you not think it would be powerful?
    i often have happy accidents in the middle of working on something else. if that happens and i need to undo what i am working on i end up having to work around undoing the happy accident.
     
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