Dummy tracks vs automated return tracks (Isotonik)

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Stromkraft
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Dummy tracks vs automated return tracks (Isotonik)

Post by Stromkraft » Fri Apr 03, 2015 9:18 pm

Isotonik Studios have "Return" in the Modular Series that allows you to modulate up to 8 parameters of a specific effects device on a Return track from existing tracks or dummy clips. Which would be lovely, wouldn't it?

The existing alternative is to place a return effect you want to automate on an audio track as some kind of fake return and use dummy clips to automate the effects. It's a little more involved than just sending audio to a return, but not by much.

Return tracks are tidy and can be hidden away from sight and are very straightforward to setup, but you're limited to 12 maximum (which is enough for me).

What do you prefer and why? Are you using "Return" and if so what are the advantages you feel are important to you?
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TomViolenz
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Re: Dummy tracks vs automated return tracks (Isotonik)

Post by TomViolenz » Sat Apr 04, 2015 9:46 am

I'm not using Return (or M4L), but if you want a free option (which I assume this isn't) try Macrobats Receiver Racks. They pretty much do the same thing.

I noticed issues with them though (and maybe the same issues exist with M4L/Return). The most annoying one was that at times, since you basically get two times the automation lanes, the parameter hung. So when playing back a recording and reseting the parameter to try out some new amount of it, it still reverted back to the automated amounts because it read the automation on the other track. So you usually had to reset both automations before you could continue. It was a bit of a hassle.

Generally though, I'm not a big fan of using returns with automation (except the send amount obviously). It just seems wrong to me. :lol:
For me Returns are like spices in cooking, you add a little here, and a lot there, but you don't try to "cook" up the spices themselves.

If the screen real estate issue is the most important one you have, you should consider that you can a.) make each track VERY small and b.) you can group a bunch of them and then just open and close the group. In the group they can then even be wide again. So the only wasted space is less than 5mm.

The advantages of these buses are in principle manyfold (IMO) you can have Dummy clips with a lot more than 8 parameters AND you can even save these Dummy clips.

BUT, may I ask how you make Dummy clips on Audio tracks? It's an issue that bugs the hell out of me. How can a clip on an Audio track only have automation and no audio in it?

S4racen
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Re: Dummy tracks vs automated return tracks (Isotonik)

Post by S4racen » Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:06 am

[quote="TomViolenz"

BUT, may I ask how you make Dummy clips on Audio tracks? It's an issue that bugs the hell out of me. How can a clip on an Audio track only have automation and no audio in it?[/quote]

You reduce the gain to -inf ;-)

Cheers
D

TomViolenz
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Re: Dummy tracks vs automated return tracks (Isotonik)

Post by TomViolenz » Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:21 am

S4racen wrote:
TomViolenz wrote:
BUT, may I ask how you make Dummy clips on Audio tracks? It's an issue that bugs the hell out of me. How can a clip on an Audio track only have automation and no audio in it?
You reduce the gain to -inf ;-)

Cheers
D
Sure, but doesn't that still save a whole audio file for every bus track I have at the bit depth and resolution of my set in the length of the clip? Silence takes the same amount of storage space as other audio. This is A LOT of totally unnecessary data that clogs up my SSD.

S4racen
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Re: Dummy tracks vs automated return tracks (Isotonik)

Post by S4racen » Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:24 am

Not if you use the same Audio file as far as I'm aware?

I still use a Covert Operators White Noise sample, have done for years....

Cheers
D

TomViolenz
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Re: Dummy tracks vs automated return tracks (Isotonik)

Post by TomViolenz » Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:45 am

S4racen wrote:Not if you use the same Audio file as far as I'm aware?

I still use a Covert Operators White Noise sample, have done for years....

Cheers
D
So I just tried it.

Made a short audio clip, dragged it out to 128 bars, drew in new automation, cropped clip, looked at the storage need. Same as original. (less than 2MB). So far so good......


.....BUT: turned on arrangement record, let the clip play with the automation, it recorded for 128 bars. Selected Arrangement clip, chose make to new session scene, checked the new clip in Session view, show in Finder: 247 MB :(

So, close, but no cigar...

Edit: the weird thing is, if I just select the Arrangement clip and drag it manually to Session, your prediction is correct it stayed under 2MB. But if I go to my browser and drag the clip to the track again, it's short again and has no automation in it!!!!
AND! the long clip I got from making the new scene, has NO automation in it either. This is in NO way how I use Dummy clips. This is totally useless :x
What am I missing?!

Stromkraft
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Re: Dummy tracks vs automated return tracks (Isotonik)

Post by Stromkraft » Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:53 am

TomViolenz wrote: BUT, may I ask how you make Dummy clips on Audio tracks? It's an issue that bugs the hell out of me. How can a clip on an Audio track only have automation and no audio in it?
I make a clip of silence in Session, unlink the envelope, change to the desired length and copy this to Arrangement.

The drawback is what you describe, that if you record this track to Arrangement from Session the audio is recorded over and over again. This is one reason why I'm looking at other solutions.
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Jekblad
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Re: Dummy tracks vs automated return tracks (Isotonik)

Post by Jekblad » Mon Apr 06, 2015 8:43 pm

my solution is to never go into arrange view or finish any tracks...

...single tear.
2.4 ghz Macbook Pro 8gb RAM, SSD, Live 9 Suite, Puremagnetik, Minimal Talent

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