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Another automation question

My previous question "Automation of a group of tracks" seems to have generated great creativity, which I attempt to follow although it has all got a bit beyond me.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I have another, hopefully simpler question.

Automation can be set to "Hold" or "Linear". (There are also "Spline" and "Logarithmic", but for my simple purposes I don't need those.) Most of my automation is for changing the volume of a note whilst it is already sounding, so I use "Linear" mode. Occasionally I need a quick change in volume. Unfortunately, I find that if I move a node too close (in time) to another one, the first one suddenly disappears completely. Yet there doesn't seem to be any necessity for this behaviour.

Logically I should be able to mimic in "Linear" mode the instantaneous changes that "Hold" mode gives us, by having nodes for old and new values spaced in time by the minimum fraction of a beat. Suppose there are 4 nodes: I accept that you can't have the 2nd and 3rd nodes at exactly the same point in time, otherwise qtractor wouldn't know which should be linearly connected to the 1st and which to the 4th. But why does node 2 disappear when I move node 3 horizontally back towards it?

Could this apparently unnecessary behaviour be removed, or is there some reason for it that I haven't thought of?


If we are talking about midi notes, I think the right tool for your purpose is not automation, but the midi editor.

Select the volume controller (CC 7) and draw the changes.

File attachments: 

Well, I confess I didn't even know it could be done like that - it just shows how little I know! It will be very useful in future.

All the same, I still feel that automation of volume, using the "Linear" setting, is ideal for most of what I want to do (e.g. fp dim., or pp poco cresc. followed by a molto cresc. - ff, etc.). These can be achieved with just 3 or four points plotted on an automation "curve". But there is this problem: that points just disappear when you move one close to another.

rncbc's picture


automation points disappear when they are redundant: for instance a point that intersects a line between two other points is linearly redundant and thus automatically removed.

and no, this said behavior is not an option: it applies to the Linear and Spline modes; but not to Hold, so you may edit the points while in Hold mode and then switch to Linear or Spline later, taking note that if you touch the points later on they might disappear on the spot :)

hth.. cheers

Suppose I have a point on beat 1 of a bar, and I add another point later in the bar. If I then move the new point earlier (i.e. to the left) past the first beat of the bar, then I agree that the original point is now redundant. This is not a problem. The trouble is that at present, the old point actually disappears well before the new one reaches beat 1, which is very frustrating and seems quite unnecessary. I haven't been able to establish what the minimum allowed separation is, but it seems to be somewhere around 1/16 second.

Perhaps a more user-friendly behaviour would be to allow points to be moved freely in either direction, but not, of course, past each other. I think that this would be suitable for all of the automation modes, and it certainly would for Linear. If the user tries to move a point horizontally past another, the moving point would simply stick vertically above or below the other (or perhaps separated from it by one time unit). There is then no need for any points to disappear spontaneously, and the user can take full control of such matters.

I don't understand the necessity for an already established point to disappear when there is no conflict with a new one.

rncbc's picture

hi, also forgot to mention that yes, when drag-moving a node-point horizontally, all the adjacent points are cleared if overrun to the left or right; regardless of Hold, Linear and Spline modes.

ps. remember that you can always undo the changes and start over to a less desired impact (of mysterious disappearance ;)).

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