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Cubase Fader, Group and MIDI tracks

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Cubase Fader, Group and MIDI tracks

Postby OneWorld » Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:50 pm

Is there any particular reason I cannot send MIDI tracks to either a VCA Fader Track or Group Track?

Yes I know I can link MIDI tracks so I can alter several channels at once, but that means I have to unlink to alter the volume on one of the MIDI tracks then have to re-link them again
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Re: Cubase Fader, Group and MIDI tracks

Postby The Elf » Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:26 pm

What you're trying to do doesn't make sense.

A VCA Track acts as link fader for a number of other tracks. You don't 'send' anything to it, because it isn't a track of its own. I don't use VCA faders personally - linking channels does exactly the same thing without a separate fader.

And you can't send MIDI to a Group Track, because a Group Track only takes audio signals - and MIDI isn't audio.

Tell us a bit more about what you're actually trying to do and I'll try to help more, but at the moment you're barking up the wrong tree!

OneWorld wrote:Yes I know I can link MIDI tracks so I can alter several channels at once, but that means I have to unlink to alter the volume on one of the MIDI tracks then have to re-link them again
No you don't. Just hold down 'Alt' as you move a fader in a linked set and it will move alone.
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Re: Cubase Fader, Group and MIDI tracks

Postby OneWorld » Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:41 pm

The Elf wrote:What you're trying to do doesn't make sense.

A VCA Track acts as link fader for a number of other tracks. You don't 'send' anything to it, because it isn't a track of its own. I don't use VCA faders personally - linking channels does exactly the same thing without a separate fader.

And you can't send MIDI to a Group Track, because a Group Track only takes audio signals - and MIDI isn't audio.

Tell us a bit more about what you're actually trying to do and I 'll try to help more, but at the moment you're barking up the wrong tree!

OneWorld wrote:Yes I know I can link MIDI tracks so I can alter several channels at once, but that means I have to unlink to alter the volume on one of the MIDI tracks then have to re-link them again
No you don't. Just hold down 'Alt' as you move a fader in a linked set and it will move alone.

Well it makes sense to me - I want to control the volume n several tracks simultaneously - seems pretty straightforward ask. But there are occasions when within that group, I might want to for example notch the kick drum up a tad, with a fader channel I can go to the 'source' alter the volume and then go back to the fader channel fader and alter the volume of the group as a whole.

But now by using the ALT key in linked MIDI tracks, and just alter the fader on that track, that'll do the trick - same difference. Thanks.
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Re: Cubase Fader, Group and MIDI tracks

Postby The Elf » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:07 pm

I think it's your use of the word 'Group' that threw me. What you're actually doing is 'Linking' channels. I understand now! :headbang: And then there are 'VCA Groups'... Ayayayyyy... :lol:

Yes, that should work for you now. Personally I'd still steer away from VCA Tracks - they don't add much of anything useful, unless you really do feel happier with an extra fader in the mixer (you could create a VCAs-only mixer), or you want to 'nest' VCAs.
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Re: Cubase Fader, Group and MIDI tracks

Postby ore_terra » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:32 am

I like using VCA’s for volume automation. Other than that agreed
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Re: Cubase Fader, Group and MIDI tracks

Postby The Elf » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:42 am

ore_terra wrote:I like using VCA’s for volume automation. Other than that agreed
Yes, it's just a matter of choice. I can see that they might make things clearer in some circumstances, particularly to simplify automation - and nesting is a plus, of course.

When VCAs were introduced there was this hug gasp of amazement that they were something completely new, but it was simply existing Channel Linking with an extra fader.
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Re: Cubase Fader, Group and MIDI tracks

Postby Mixedup » Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:42 am

The Elf wrote:When VCAs were introduced there was this hug gasp of amazement that they were something completely new, but it was simply existing Channel Linking with an extra fader.

I suspect that the main reason you have that impression is because VCAs haven't been implemented properly in Cubase — notably, no track can slave to more than one VCA fader at a time in Cubase, whereas in some other DAWs they can.

Nonetheless, even with Cubase's implementation, VCA Faders can be more useful than basic channel linking in several scenarios...

For one thing, you can automate VCA faders and edit that automation later, without impacting on any automation already written to the slave tracks.

For another you can preview the channels with/without the VCA automation simply by putting the VCA fader in/out of Read mode.

For another you can nest VCA faders and put them in a folder at the top of your project... and that allows you to break a big mix down for use with a Mackie-type control surface really easily, without forcing you to route the audio through group busses, and it still allows you to place your tracks and groups where you want in the mixer.

For another, all the other channel controls such as record enable, mute and solo remain separately controllable on the slave tracks if you wish, without having to set that all up separately.

For another, you don't have to keep creating and dispensing with different group selections to do your linking.

So I see why you think they're similar. But they are not the same. And if Steinberg pulled their finger out and revamped this system, it could be a lot more powerful than linking...
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Re: Cubase Fader, Group and MIDI tracks

Postby OneWorld » Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:03 pm

The Elf wrote:I think it's your use of the word 'Group' that threw me. What you're actually doing is 'Linking' channels. I understand now! :headbang: And then there are 'VCA Groups'... Ayayayyyy... :lol:

Yes, that should work for you now. Personally I'd still steer away from VCA Tracks - they don't add much of anything useful, unless you really do feel happier with an extra fader in the mixer (you could create a VCAs-only mixer), or you want to 'nest' VCAs.

Yes I wanted to link a group of faders together. I suppose it's like a BUS on a hardware mixer, say for example all the drums - kick, snare, HiHats etc all having their respective faders, but all of them can be controlled by a single fader to, to raise or lower all of the levels relative to each other, but there may be the occasion where once the overall level is established, you might decide to bring the snares up a tad. If I use my synth for drums, and as such a MIDI track, I can link the tracks, but I can't send them to a group or VCA.

However the use of the ALT key in a linked MIDI group fixes the problem.
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Re: Cubase Fader, Group and MIDI tracks

Postby OneWorld » Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:24 pm

Mixedup wrote:
The Elf wrote:When VCAs were introduced there was this hug gasp of amazement that they were something completely new, but it was simply existing Channel Linking with an extra fader.

I suspect that the main reason you have that impression is because VCAs haven't been implemented properly in Cubase — notably, no track can slave to more than one VCA fader at a time in Cubase, whereas in some other DAWs they can.

Nonetheless, even with Cubase's implementation, VCA Faders can be more useful than basic channel linking in several scenarios...

For one thing, you can automate VCA faders and edit that automation later, without impacting on any automation already written to the slave tracks.

For another you can preview the channels with/without the VCA automation simply by putting the VCA fader in/out of Read mode.

For another you can nest VCA faders and put them in a folder at the top of your project... and that allows you to break a big mix down for use with a Mackie-type control surface really easily, without forcing you to route the audio through group busses, and it still allows you to place your tracks and groups where you want in the mixer.

For another, all the other channel controls such as record enable, mute and solo remain separately controllable on the slave tracks if you wish, without having to set that all up separately.

For another, you don't have to keep creating and dispensing with different group selections to do your linking.

So I see why you think they're similar. But they are not the same. And if Steinberg pulled their finger out and revamped this system, it could be a lot more powerful than linking...

My control surface works in banks of 8, in common with almost any control surface I know (with 8+ faders)

But you get the situation where, for example I have a drum VST (or the drums from my hardware synth whatever) and my drums consists of....


Trk 01 - kick
Trk 02 - snare
Trk 03 - Side Stick
Trk 04 - HIHat Open
Trk 05 - HiHat Open
Trk 06 - Cymbals
Trk 07 - Crash

and on Trk 08 I have Vocals 01, but I have 4 vocal tracks

Trk 08 - Vocs 01
Trk 09 - Vocs 02
Trk 10 - Vocs 03
Trk 11 - Vocs 04

So if I want to alter a value on say Trk 05, and then I want to alter Trk 10

Because of the way control surfaces are it all goes out of kilter. So I tend to construct things in groups of 8 (even if I have to create some epsilon tracks. So, when I go from bank to bank, Fader Number One on the control surface is always the first in the group.

Which is fine, but say I have 32 tracks/channels, I am altering the level of whatever is on track 29, for example. If I want alter the level of one of the drums, or indeed all, I have to Bank, Bank, Bank left till my control surface displays tracks/channels 1-8 (where my drums live)

But if I have groups/linked channels for example

Group 01 (tracks 1-8) - drums
Group 02 (tracks 9-16) - vocals
Group 03 (tracks 17-24) - VSTis

and so on, then in one bank on my control surface, I can control drums, vocals etc without banking left and right.

But of course that only allows me to alter the value of all the faders subsumed by the respective group fader, that's the point of it all, but I might get all the levels right in respect of each other but I might want to change the level of just one of the levels in that group. If I Group or send them to a VCA fader, I can still change the value of a single track/channel i that group, but if those tracks/channels are hardware MIDI channels, yes I can link several tracks/channels but I cannot change an individual level - move one fader in that group of faders, then all faders move.

Or they did until Elf told me about using the ALT key, in other words over-ride the default setting, so job done, problem solved. The other alternative is to go out and buy a mixer with say 64 faders!

I once used an 01v96, 16 faders and DAW control layer -great I thought, but when for example working on a project with more than 16 tracks, I would select the bank button, but even with 16 faders, it only banked across in jumps of 8
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