New member to the forums here but I've been lurking a bit and am already learning a lot. I'm sort of new to this and it seems like this forum is made up of people who definitely know what they're doing so just let me know if I'm out of place.
I'm using cubase 5 and am noticing some weird trends. When the parts that I've recorded through a a presonus firestudio mobile and some VST plugins are playing the volume changes by itself. If I try to change it manually before I even start the song they will just snap back to whatever setting they were on. The same happens if I try to pan the sound from left to right. I really hope this isn't something really simple that I've screwed up but I appreciate any light you guys can shed on this. It's driving me crazy.
Edit: One thing I noticed, if I'm listening to a section of something I've recorded, and click the volume around while it's playing and stop a go back to relisten to the part that I just heard, the volume will fluctuate according to how I clicked while listening the first time. Sorry if that's an awful description, it's pretty tough to describe haha.
Sounds like you depressed "write" automation buttons at some point, and then changed the volume as you monitored the mix. Then when you play back the mix, the automation reads the changes you had made in real time (but didn't know you were making at the time) I did this many times in my earliest tracking. Sometimes one makes changes that are really small, and one gropes around looking for where this micro defect came from. It is usually having write automation buttons engaged when monitoring (or rather listening back). You basically need to brush up on "automation functions" and for the short term, make sure they are disengaged for all tracks.
You can confirm this by right clicking on the track and then selecting show automation (or show all automation). A duplicate track of sorts will pop down below your existing track. On that track should be two buttons, an R and a W (at least this is the way it is on Cubase LE4). Right beside these two buttons will be a description of the particular automation being shown. If you left click on it, it will give you a list of choices (volume, pan etc.) Select volume. After you do, if indeed this was the problem, you will see a line running all the way through the grey track that is not straight, but instead with dips and rises that indicate the changes in level you are hearing. You could then press play and follow these changes in real time. But again, the main thing to do first off is make sure all read and write automation buttons are off.
Automation is used to automatically control functions in a song or mix. For example, one might use it to pan a certain track to the far right for a one segment of a song, and then over to the left at some other point. You can write automation in real time (which is what you likely did) or you can use the cursor and adjustment points on that line in the Automation track.
But I am still new too, and perhaps others might have a better answer.
+1. JMM, you're coming along fast!
Somewhere will be an option to delete or clear or remove the automation points. Once you've cleared the automation info it won't matter if the read button is activated.
Thanks, but one really has no choice but to quickly acquire the basics, if one wants to actually record, today. Of necessity, one must figure out the workings of several key areas to produce anything of substance. What I find remarkable is just how sophisticated these programs are. I mean there appears to be no limit on what programs like Cubase can do. It really is food for thought that the vast majority of better music was recorded without all of the tools and advantages offered to the modern recording engineer or enthousiast. In a way, it's a shame that most people do not have the opportunity to also learn how to record with older analog equipment and methods.
Ahh, but there was a boatload of knowledge required that the current batch of engineers don't know anything about.
-maintenance and engineering of all the equipment including cleaning, alignment, biasing, tape preservation, etc for every session
-how FX were going to affect things on the way in since there were no non-destructive DAW FX (if it got jacked up you had to re track the whole thing)
-how to plan the tracks out since many times there were less than eight tracks and maybe as few as four
-many times all the vocalists were all standing around a single mic
-many times the whole band was in the same room playing as an ensemble
Basically a whole lot of craftsmanship on the engineer's part, and a whole lot of competency on the instruments and vocals on the musicians' part. Oh, and reading a bunch of manuals and wiring schematics!
Man this is an awesome place, but it's pretty overwhelming haha.
I'm at work right now but I'm pretty sure that you've solved my problem jmm, and it's actually a good thing I stumbled across this because I was wanting to pan certain sections of my track to the left or right, but keep some parts centered so I don't lose the depth of the song. It seems like automations should allow me to do that. Mistakes really are the best way to learn.
Thanks again guys, it's really appreciated.