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John Deacon

Track input (echo?)

Question

I've decided I need to make better use of templates, as there's a pattern to my typical libraries and tracks. So I've been watching a few tutorials. Unfortunately none of the tutorials so far has been using Cakewalk. They are typically using Cubase.

I have what may be a very basic question. Some of these tutorials have templates with hundreds of tracks. Listening to them, they'll say, for example, 'here are the LASS  legato violas' and play a few notes, and 'here by contrast are the BBC SO 1st violins', and play a few more notes, etc. Maybe if the tutor is on camera they might be seen to press a button here or there.

If I want to do this kind of thing, I have to check that I've got Echo Input OFF for the tracks that were previously on, and set Echo Input ON for the track whose instument I want to play. (If I only have a few tracks and instruments then maybe I can set my three MIDI keyboard controllers to different channels and use one channel per track; but that's not going to work for hundreds of tracks. Perhaps I could figure out how to quickly flip my MIDI keyboard controller through the different channels; but that would only get me up to 16 tracks.

Now, I'm not aiming at hundreds of tracks, but with the different articuations, etc. that I might want loaded I might get up to fifty or so.

I don't think I can have Automatically Echo Selected Track enabled. When I've done that in the past and selected a track whose input had been set to None, Cakewalk sets that track's input to All Inputs/Omni, which I don't want.

Can anyone help me with what I'm missing? How do these producers with hundreds of track easily select which track they inputting to?

 

Edited by John Deacon

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Not sure if this is the kind of thing you are looking for, but last summer I set up a personal template for a bunch of sound modules, each with up to two ports of 16 midi channels each. I ended up not using it because it was too massive to deal with and my workflow was better when I just setup gear, ports, and channels as needed.

My plan was to have a basic template so I could enter parts from a single usb/midi keyboard--a digital orchestration template with one instrument [patch/preset] on each channel much like orchestral staff paper.

Each track [arranged in folders by module] was forced to a single midi channel [midi Output widget].  I will have to double check, but I think in one version of the template-in-progress I had each track set to Omni [midi Input widget].  I think I also had a version where each track accepted input only from one channel. IIRC that way, I had echo on all tracks feeding a single module and just changed the output channel on my usb controller.

If this is the kind of thing you care trying to set up, I can find my templates and double check my memory, compare with your scenario, etc.

Also, I remember testing midi learn with echo on/off as a test of concept.  I didn't try this, but if you have a controller with buttons, perhaps they could be used to toggle echo input (as opposed to using a mouse).  

Another thought (which I haven't tried yet) is to make use of Workspaces for selecting sets of echoed tracks.  Not sure if its possible, but perhaps there could be identical looking Workspaces just with the different sets of input echos on.  Now that I am thinking of my old templates in connection with your post, I might try that at some point. 

Not sure if Track Groups can be used. The manual says, "Note: If you set up remote control for a grouped control, the remote control works all controls in the group." I have not used this yet, but assume it works.

If any of this this sounds like it might be useful to you, I can dig out my orchestration templates and do some testing as I might get back into that workflow modality. 

 

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You can always ask in the comments in these tutorials. Especially as many of the posters use multiple DAWS and they might be familiar with Cakewalk.

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Thanks for the replies. I did try applying remote control to a couple of Echo Input buttons. I used a controller with a bunch of buttons that send MIDI notes. I could see that the button had learned correctly but it didn't change state when the note was sent. (I know that remote control from that controller works because one of its sliders is remotely controlling the master output volume in a template that I do use.)

There is one thing I missed. I'm used to seeing Solo or Mute lit up in the Mix Module of the control bar, which is very handy for those Oops I've left a track soloed moments. I'd forgotten that Echo Input is up there. At least I can turn off all the Echo Inputs with one click (well, two clicks as the first click typically sets them all on*).

With that button and track folders, I can see the light - well a glimmer anyway. Can track folders contain track folders? A quick search and a look at the documentation seems to say no.

* That may have been because I was trying that on another machine where Always Echo Current Track was on and one track was on Auto.

Edited by John Deacon

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6 hours ago, John Deacon said:

Thanks for the replies. I did try applying remote control to a couple of Echo Input buttons. I used a controller with a bunch of buttons that send MIDI notes. I could see that the button had learned correctly but it didn't change state when the note was sent. (I know that remote control from that controller works because one of its sliders is remotely controlling the master output volume in a template that I do use.)

Apologies if I steered you in the wrong direction.  I did not retest this method before suggesting it to make sure it still works.  I will do that shortly.

UPDATE: I just tested with (1) with both a midi track and an instrument track [TTS-1] and (2) with a CC [knob] and a note [C12]. It worked.  I did not yet test with external gear.  I will do that shortly.

UPDATE 2: I just tested with a midi track pointing to a port on a 2x2 MIDI interface usb device which is connected via 5-pin din to a sound module.  It work with both a CC and a note.

Note sure what settings might make mine work and yours not.  Maybe the MIDI In track widget?  In all my tests, I used "All" /Omni.  

I see a flaw in my original logic--Remote Control works on single channels.  So, it worked only if my keyboard/controller was sending on the same channel as all the learned MIDI Remote Control.

Edited by User 905133
to update the reply with additional information

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Couldn't the folks in the video clips also have already created some midi data for the different instruments shown in the clips?  Then, simply playing the project, would let you hear the different sounds from their template.

Just a thought :)

Bob Bone

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3 hours ago, Robert Bone said:

Couldn't the folks in the video clips also have already created some midi data for the different instruments shown in the clips?  Then, simply playing the project, would let you hear the different sounds from their template.

You might be right--is it live or is it a pre-planned project?  Or maybe it was done via video editing?

On 6/28/2020 at 11:32 AM, John Deacon said:

Some of these tutorials have templates with hundreds of tracks. Listening to them, they'll say, for example, 'here are the LASS  legato violas' and play a few notes, and 'here by contrast are the BBC SO 1st violins', and play a few more notes, etc. Maybe if the tutor is on camera they might be seen to press a button here or there.

If I want to do this kind of thing . . . .

Can anyone help me with what I'm missing? How do these producers with hundreds of track easily select which track they inputting to?

 

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20 minutes ago, User 905133 said:

You might be right--is it live or is it a pre-planned project?  Or maybe it was done via video editing?

 

I dunno - I have a separate midi track for each instrument, and I keep my midi tracks together, in my projects, so if I wanted to play a few ones from a solo violin instrument, I just have to click on that midi track and play my midi controller, and then if I click on the next midi track down, it might be the midi track for a solo cello, or whatever.  some folks group their orchestral instrument midi tracks by section, such as Woodwinds, Brass, Strings, etc, plus, they often use templates with all of that stuff set up already, and because they use that template in many/most of their projects, they get used to knowing where the different kinds of midi tracks for certain instruments, or entire sections, are located, and that makes it easy for them to locate those tracks.

I do not happen to do orchestral projects, at this point, but even with what I tend to use, I get pretty good at knowing which tracks are where.  It likely boils down to how consistent tracks are grouped from project to project, as to how well someone could get a really good bead on which tracks are where.

Bob Bone

 

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23 hours ago, User 905133 said:

I see a flaw in my original logic--Remote Control works on single channels.  So, it worked only if my keyboard/controller was sending on the same channel as all the learned MIDI Remote Control.

Thanks for checking that. That does explain it and means that remote control of Echo Input isn't all that useful in this situation.

I had a quick look to see if the Echo Input button of the Mix Module, up in the control bar, could be remote controlled but unfortunately it doesn't see to be. I've also looked to see if that button is made available to Control Surface mappings; but again, it doesn't seem to be.

Still, I've learned that with track folders and with the overall Mix Module Echo Input button large templates aren't as daunting as they first looked.

And if track folders in folders ever becomes available, then things will be easier still.

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