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Simon Wilkinson

Bulk changing automation envelope nodes from Jump to Linear

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I'm trying out using an X-Touch Mini controller to record an automation envelope for a soft synth. What I'm trying to achieve is a smooth volume envelope that moves up and down through the track. After I've done a pass with write automation enabled, what I end up with can be seen in the attached image. So basically lots of 'jump' nodes when what I really want is them all to be 'linear' for a smoother transition.

When I listen back on headphones I can hear lots of very subtle clicks each time it passes a jump node. So firstly is it possible to set default write automation nodes as 'linear' instead of 'jump'? Or is there another way to achieve this? I thought I might be able to bulk select a group of nodes and change them all to linear but that doesn't seem possible unless I've missed something.

The only workaround I've found is to kind of manually average out sections by looking for linear places and delete lots of nodes and replace them with one long linear line. But not only is it a pain to do over long tracks (and kind of defeats the purpose of the more natural method of gradually turning a physical knob or slider) but it seems quite buggy. I'll highlight an area with lots of nodes by right clicking and dragging then press delete on the keyboard only to see that it doesn't delete all the nodes I selected. Say I mass select 40 nodes and click delete, it leaves behind maybe 10 of them that I then have to highlight again and delete. 

automation.jpg

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Instead of deleting nodes to create a more linear envelope you could use the pencil tool, in freehand or line mode, to trace over your controller generated envelope.  However, as you say, it kind of defeats the purpose of using a controller.  Jumps occur when no controller data is detected, so if you stop moving the controller at any time during the recording a jump will be generated.  I'm not aware of a setting that will change this behaviour, however I don't use a controller so I could be wrong, someone with more experience may have a workaround.  Good luck.

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55 minutes ago, tonemangler said:

Jumps occur when no controller data is detected, so if you stop moving the controller at any time during the recording a jump will be generated.

If you look you will see that there are sections which are straight lines.

Until you get better advice you can use the CAL script Thin Controller Data. Process -> Run CAL. You select the range, run the script and enter the controller number. It will reduce the number of steps. A bit easier to fix.

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3 hours ago, Nigel Mackay said:

If you look you will see that there are sections which are straight lines.

Until you get better advice you can use the CAL script Thin Controller Data. Process -> Run CAL. You select the range, run the script and enter the controller number. It will reduce the number of steps. A bit easier to fix.

Thanks for the suggestion Nigel. I haven't used CAL scripts much before and I tried your suggestion but couldn't get it to do anything. The envelope is a volume envelope so I selected the active track, ran the CAL script and entered channel 7 then tried a variety of values for 'Delete every Nth event' but it didn't make any changes to the envelope at all. The envelope in question is just a write automated volume envelope for that track so I'm not even sure that it is channel 7 as it's not MIDI information. The Event view for that track shows 'n/a' under the Channel heading for all envelope nodes so maybe CAL is no use in this instance?

 

4 hours ago, tonemangler said:

Instead of deleting nodes to create a more linear envelope you could use the pencil tool, in freehand or line mode, to trace over your controller generated envelope.  However, as you say, it kind of defeats the purpose of using a controller.  Jumps occur when no controller data is detected, so if you stop moving the controller at any time during the recording a jump will be generated.  I'm not aware of a setting that will change this behaviour, however I don't use a controller so I could be wrong, someone with more experience may have a workaround.  Good luck.

This method I had more success with. Although I've used Cakewalk/Sonar for years I guess I've become accustomed to a certain workflow and never really used the draw tool before! So it looks like the best way for me to do this is to do a write automated pass using my X-Touch Mini to get a basic idea of where the changes in the envelope need to be, then use the draw tool to manually draw over it all and smooth it out by hand. I'll need to make sure I get rid of every node in the original envelope as even leaving a small jump in the original envelope will cause a click in the audio. Seems a bit of a hack but at least it should achieve a result!

Thanks for the ideas :)

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2 hours ago, Simon Wilkinson said:

 

 The envelope in question is just a write automated volume envelope for that track    .......    so maybe CAL is no use in this instance?

100% correct

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I'm pretty sure CAL doesn't support Shape events... Shape events came along long after CAL was deprecated.

CAL was primarily designed to manipulate MIDI data.

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14 minutes ago, msmcleod said:

I'm pretty sure CAL doesn't support Shape events... Shape events came along long after CAL was deprecated.

CAL was primarily designed to manipulate MIDI data.

I checked up on the CAL reference page. CAL can write track data, but it can't read it. So you could use CAL to write a nice volume slope, but it doesn't know that there is one to modify/fix.

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On 10/7/2020 at 3:48 PM, Nigel Mackay said:

Until you get better advice you can use the CAL script Thin Controller Data. Process -> Run CAL.

CAL scripts only work with actual MIDI events, not automation nodes.

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