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Rick Paul

Updates to audio scale zooming in track lanes

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When working with  audio take lanes, especially when the number of lanes grows large (e.g. when tracking a lead vocal, I will often do 6-12 takes, allowing for comping doubles from the same pool of takes as the main vocal,  often while still learning a new song), it can become important to zoom in on the vertical scale of each take (see attached screen shot).  This allows more clearly seeing where good cut points for comping may be (e.g. vocal phrase boundaries, areas with similar volume and phrasing,  clear breaks between words, etc.).  Currently, there are two issues that impact the usability of the existing ability to Ctrl-drag-up/down to zoom in on the scale:

1) As best I've been able to determine, there is no way to do the same zooming on multiple take lanes within a track at the same time.  Thus, it is necessary to do the same zooming on each lane individually.  Since the goal is generally to have the scale on all lanes be identical (i.e. to be able to compare "apples to apples" in visual examinations for cut points), the best one can do is watch where the scale numbers (circled in  one lane of the screen shot) end up to try and get them to be the same.  However, this can be challenging, especially with lots of takes as the numbers can be very small and are sometimes covered up by the mouse.  And, of course, it takes N times the effort  where N is the number of takes (i.e. compared to being able to do it once for all takes within a track or for selected takes, where N is the number of lanes selected).

2)  The most recent setting does not persist across project saves, closes, and re-opens.  Thus, if your comping session has to span more than one Cakewalk project session (a very common thing for me), you have to make the scale changes all over again in  any subsequent sessions.  This can happen not only intentionally (e.g. closing things up at the end of a night, then opening the project fresh  the next day), but also unintentionally (e.g. when Cakewalk crashes or hangs).

My feature suggestion is thus two-fold:

1) Provide a way to scale all take lanes within a track, or at least all selected takes, with one operation.  This could either be the default for zooming on the audio scale within a track or via a different modifier key from zooming on a single lane.  Bonus points: Allow doing the same for all take lanes of selected tracks.  (This would be useful when comping multiple background vocal tracks where each harmony part has its own track, but it might be useful to be comping those in parallel for a song section.)

2) Make the most recently used settings for any given track(s) persistent across project saves and re-opens.

While my main concern here is for comping audio, these changes might also be useful for MIDI.  (#1 may be more questionable, though, as playing different notes on different takes  may make the optimal scale needed for each lane different, and any clear phrase boundaries are likely to be most evident by having all  vertical notes within a given take as zoomed in as possible to contain all those notes.  This may argue for being able to continue using the current method in addition to the suggested additional method. #2 would still be useful for MIDI in all cases, though.)

Capture.JPG

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Rick Paul said:

When working with  audio take lanes, especially when the number of lanes grows large  . . .  it can become important to zoom in on the vertical scale of each take (see attached screen shot).  [snip]

1) As best I've been able to determine, there is no way to do the same zooming on multiple take lanes within a track at the same time.  [snip]

2)  The most recent setting does not persist across project saves, closes, and re-opens.  Thus, if your comping session has to span more than one Cakewalk project session (a very common thing for me), you have to make the scale changes all over again in  any subsequent sessions.  [snip]

My feature suggestion is thus two-fold:

1) Provide a way to scale all take lanes within a track, or at least all selected takes, with one operation.  [snip]

2) Make the most recently used settings for any given track(s) persistent across project saves and re-opens. [snip]

Thanks for the detailed explanation of the issues, your methods, and your rationale for having these abilities.  I don't use Cakewalk in this way, but I might some day and I learned a lot from the explanations of your workflow.    

I found the key and key + mouse combinations to make all audio tracks increase and decrease waveform height / zoom setting en masse.

Unfortunately, as you pointed out there doesn't seem to be a way to do this with Take Lanes.  In fact, with Take Lanes expanded, (1) the Take Lanes aren't scaled with the above method and (2) the track itself is no longer scaled along with the others until the Take Lanes are collapsed.

image.png.41680a9f192a6d852e753faa4dcd865a.png

 

Edited by User 905133
To simplify reply
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Absolutely +1 to this. 

A big problem of all DAWs is that they default to show all the 24 bits worth of dynamic range, with the double whammy of tricking inexperienced people into overcooking their levels (because they think if they can't see the waveform well there must be a problem) and for the others, having well-recorded takes look very small unless you zoom in to a more sensible range.

Having to zoom take lanes one by one manually is an unnecessary pain in the bottom.

Even more, it'd be great to have the option to configure the default size of each track or take lane, separately from buses where it may make more sense to see the full scale.

 

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