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VCA Faders planned for the next release of Samplitude and Sequoia

Discussion in 'Sequoia' started by audiokid, Dec 7, 2014.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    From Sequoia's website:

    VCA Faders
    Tim touched a bit on it here:

    People are pretty excited about this new release. I'd love to talk about VCA Faders more. Anyone else want to share something about VCA Faders?
    Looks like Avid is the only game on this right now. After reading more on them, I'm pretty happy about it too!. I'm guessing its the ideal way to lower volumes without effecting related Aux, level sensitive etc.

    Sound on Sound has some info here:
    One of the major additions in Pro Tools HD version 7.2, which appeared two years ago, was the addition of VCA grouping. In a large–format analog mixer, a VCA, or Voltage Controlled Amplifier, is a channel gain control that can be adjusted by varying a DC voltage on the control input. This makes it possible to 'move' a raft of faders together, maintaining any offsets within them, by moving a single control fader.

    I found a Pro Tools video which is is somewhat helpful.

  2. Makzimia

    Makzimia Active Member

    Cubase 8 just shipped with VCA too.
  3. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I suppose its why some of us unconsciously prefer a console or never quite adapted to ITB mixing. Each year the DAW gets closer to more things we forgot about, or are some new and improved feature.
    With luck digital audio will surpass everything the best console made possible, on a beer budget. Perhaps that time is already here. VCA Faders never seemed missed until now. I've been adjusting my aux and not even thinking how cool VCA faders are going to be now.
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I've been thinking about buying cubase for about 16 years. I had it around 1999, then completely left it for Pro Tools. Around the time Motif came out, I entertained getting it again.
    I have a feeling Cubase its the best Production DAW on the market.
    Followed by Pro Tools the most popular and Samplitude as the best coded mixing and mastering DAW.
    Now they will all have VCA Faders. How cool is that.
  5. Makzimia

    Makzimia Active Member

    I had issues with Cubase with the Orion, which apparently they fixed in 7.5, but, I didn't get into it. Now they want $99.00 to go to 8.0 not sure if I'll bother or not this time.. Not sure I want to fiddle, lots of nice features other DAWs don't have in it too. As for Samplitude, if they ever make it OSX useable, we'll see ;).
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Apple is meant to become obsolete. Magix will never go that way. It was attempted last year but they dropped it. You can use Samplitude on Apple using Bootcamp. Many do it. They aren't happy about it but they do it.

    They last time I had to pay for un upgrade was 18 months ago. And I really don't need to upgrade. The DAW works on its own. I need no extra plug-ins. Nothing. Its all updated together. tracking, mixing and mastering all in once package. No extra cards. Simple. But, you need RAM , a good CPU and well made machine for large track counts.
    I also use a laptop for mobile work and its never failed me once. Not once. FW and record.
  7. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    so what does this VCA thing do?

    does it mimic within a DAW, how a VCA auto system on a L/F console works, or does it actually send info to a VCA automation system on a L/F console?if it's the later, then imo that's pretty cool although i don't see why. if it's the former .... i see no reason for it.

    re; Cubase .... have it ... don't like how it sounds. it works fine but i just hate what the 2-bus sounds like. i was never really happy with any mix i did in Cubase. it does sound better when i sum otb.
  8. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I've had as many as 48 tracks running in Samplitude, with around 14 or so of them being VSTi's (Independance, Garritan, NI, Siperiror Drummer, etc.) with 8 buses, 8 Auggies/with FX assigned to each, and track level processing (GR, EQ) on every track, all working effortlessly on an HP w/ 8 gig of RAM, an AMD quad-core 3.5ghz processor, with buffer settings for tracking at 128-256, and mixing buffers at 1024 -2048... with no glitches.

    I suppose I could reach the limit and eventually have drop outs, freeze ups or the "Rice Crispies problem" ( snap-crackle-pop LOL)

    Disabling some background tasks running resident in W 8 will also help, some of those functions can be a right PITA... in my own experience, virus protection has always been the main resource sucker, but there are others too.. this link is for W7, but I'm betting that much of it would apply to W8 as well...


    Back to Samp and VCA... I'm glad they have implemented it in the new version, if for no other reason than for the scenario that Tim gave:

    "...Buses work as you know at the end of the line, so if yo bring a bus full of vocals down, the reverb sends back at the channels kepts sending and you still hear verb. If you control the vocals' channels via VCA, you can ride all the vocals just like you do with a bus but the channel faders move, thus the reverb sends are effected to since they are post fader. That's just one example of uses for VCAs and and one I use daily, you'll see..."

    Chris... have you heard word yet of the price of the upgrade from Pro X Suite to the newest version?
  9. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Haven't heard Donny. But I know I want the EQ instead of the stock one right now. Somethings goofy with the HPF on it. The replacement is going to be super cool.

    Thats good to hear how well your DAW is performing. My Mastering DAW which has Sequoia 13 on it as well, is AMD and I swear its a better processor than Intel i7. Not that I'm complaining but it seems smoother.
  10. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Anything that has to be run through bootcamp always seems buggy and slow. There are solutions but you have to be able to configure the Mac to do things they don't tell you about down at the apple store. Thank goodness I know people that do these things. Most Macs are already built to the hilt so-to-speak. If they will run the latest software then they should. Anything built after the intel chips were started has the possibility of being a big fast badass machine. even though you never hear much about it, the architecture of these things is really a lot more open than they'd have you believe.

    PT HD has had VCA for quite a while now.
  11. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    It certainly makes sense. Takes another bite out of hybrid mixing. If I'm understanding the relationship of volume and effects , One of the poorest parts of a DAW is how the Aux's don't play well with overall volume and automation during a mix . I'm surprised it took the other DAW's this long to get on board.
  12. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    i still don't get this .... what's the problem? i never have problems returning effects and getting them to follow fader moves. you just have to return the effects to a channel or the sub group you are using to bring the track into the 2 mix ...

    this is what DAW is doing to us .... a lot of us have no imagination on how to get things done when issues arise. all it takes is thinking outside of the envelope.
  13. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I agree, thats how I have been doing it too Kurt. But, even in Samplitude, the overall automation doesn't follow the effects the way it could with VCA faders. I will say this though, I hardly use automation like people do in Pro Tools. When I first left Pro Tools there were things I missed. But once I saw how cool object Based Editing was, I never looked back. Its really one of the best part of ITB. It gets you on the band wagon of "less is more".

    Pro Tools is all about creating drain on your CP. So they can sell DSP. Its a marketing system designed to keep us drinking their stupid technology. So, this is why I left Pro Tools and migrated back to analog. I'm sure this is how you think too. In fact, I remember your early posts here. While I was on Pro Tools, I thought you simply didn't know enough about Pro tools. My apologies for that one.

    So, this is a helpful way to keep the complete mix automated i think. Am I wrong?
  14. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    i had the good fortune of living in the community where both Apple and Avid have their campus's and i have know people who worked for both of them as well. also i had the chance to visit said locations a few times. what i gleaned from all that was there was a collusion between Avid and Apple where they timed their releases / updates so the end user was forced to upgrade every 8 months. New computer, 8 months later a new PT system, 8 months later a new OS, 8 months later PT upgrades, 8 months later a new computer again ad infinitum .... not good imo.

    it's a simple thing to route effects to follow fader moves. simply assign the effects and sources to the same bus. then your effects will follow .... i jst don't see a need for VCA emulation. and let's not confuse this ... it's an emulation not really a VCA.
  15. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Agree on Apple and Avid.

    One of the biggest "wow's" experienced from my hybrid rig has definitely been Aux stems sent to Bricasti's via the analog outs. They sit between the DA and console path having their own channels OTB. I use the Bricastis' to emulate space and it is hard to beat how they sound in that particular way of routing. I controlled their outputs from the DAW but once my mix was close enough ITB, I would tweak them OTB on the console fader.
    No matter which way I look at it, the effects are part of the track(s) aux bus's. Changing volumes won't sync with the effect.
    VCA Faders will get this now, yes?
  16. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    i think the problem arises because you are adjusting a track from the bus instead of from the track itself. if you are sending to a verb from the track post fade, the verb will follow all fader moves. if you tweak the bus but you have the reverb returning to the 2-bus in the daw, then yes the track will fade but the reverb will remain. but why would you do that? just tweak levels from the track. if you must tweak the bus levels then return the reverb to the same bus the track is assigned to. it's simple.

    i think the VCA feature you are discussing is more of an offering to those who are used to working LFC's with real VCA automation. ...
  17. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I agree. Its not an issue for me because thats what I do too! I simply turn the track send down which is what we all are doing. So, on that mark, I agree, whats the big deal?
    I still don't quite get this VCA thing and wanted to know if it was because Pro Tools bleeds aux or have a hard time when you are doing volume automation with effects that need to follow it ?

    Sequoia doesn't follow the aux together. You need to do this step separately which is a PITA to say the least. Maybe someone will elaborate more? I'm guessing because Sequoia doesn't have it yet.
  18. dprimary

    dprimary Active Member

    Does VCA mean something different in a DAW. On SSL's we tried to avoid using them if at all possible since they degraded the sound.

  19. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Well, yes and no. On a console, whether it's an SSL - or a Neotek or even a Tascam, VCA's - or Voltage Control Amplifiers - are actual components that change the voltage on a channel, and in a sense, they actually lengthen the channels' audio path, which is where there can be a chance for degradation.

    In a DAW, things are done using code to emulate electronics, so there is a difference - in that you aren't relying on actual components (amplifiers) to change the voltage. The term "VCA" - when used to describe a DAW's automation, is more about describing the style, and not the actual electronics resident on a real desk.

    Although, I think it's important to note that when describing SSL - the term "degrade" is kinda relative, in that their standards were much higher than say, well, a Tascam or other "Prosumer" grade desk. And, the integrated software had a lot to do with the quality, too - SSL automation, whether VCA or MFA, still required a computer to "tell" the electronics in each channel what to do.

    MFA improved upon some of the potential shortcomings of VCA, but there were still many, many great sounding records recorded on SSL desks that used VCA- based automation.


  20. dprimary

    dprimary Active Member

    It seems like a strange thing to want to emulate. I can see the uses on a live digital console,but on a DAW it is completely automated anyway. I don't remember VCA's having a noticable response time to moves but maybe they did. It has been 18-20 years since I last used a SSL with VCA's

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