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Starship Krupa

What are these lines doing on my clips?

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As much as I like Cakewalk, I really do, from the start of our relationship it's been my experience that although recording and (especially) mixing give me pretty much what I ask for, when we get around to editing and comping, things get....non-consensual. Because of this I have over the years spent more time trying to figure out how to get Cakewalk not to do things than I have figuring out how to get it to do things.

It's always had this tendency to do stuff that I never asked it to or gave it permission to. Being able to change the Smart Tool helped, and there was a bug involving closed take lanes that got fixed, but it still has that weird quirk where it puts a spurious edit in all of my takes if I happen to record one that's shorter than the others. I know how to clean up after it, but I wish I didn't have to. I just accept that Cakewalk does that, there's no way to turn it off, nobody has an explanation why it does it, so it's best that I get used to it, and I have.

Recently Cakewalk has taken to drawing lines on my clips, again with no provocation on my part. As shown in the screenshot below, I have a set of drum takes that are grouped for easy editing and comping. The first thing I wanted to do was to clip out some silence and warmup noise from the start of the first take, so I clicked on its left edge, held down my shift key so that Cakewalk wouldn't move all of the clip edges for all of the takes in the track (also no idea why its default behavior is to do that. Am I to believe there are people who want the edges of all of their clips to move simultaneously if they happen to line up with each other vertically? Perhaps they are in a vast majority, and I should just be happy that I have the option to bypass the behavior with a modifier key), and dragged it a few seconds worth. All was fine until I took a look at the other tracks and saw that there were now diagonal lines on two of the clips in all of the other tracks. The grouped clip I meant to shorten had a diagonal line superimposed on it, and the last take in the stack had one too, but going in the other direction. All three of my other tracks exhibit similar lines:

image.thumb.png.7602230e2da671a99e0e60a1b9014303.png

The lines seem harmless enough, but I didn't have "View>Show Spurious Lines On Random Clips" checked and I can't seem to do anything to get rid of them, even with Undo. They'd look okay from a style standpoint, but they're not on all of the clips, so they just look weird, and it does worry me a bit that given Cakewalk's propensities, it may have marked them for some later, unrequested operation.

Anyone have any idea what these lines signify? Is it okay to ignore them?

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Posted (edited)

Hey, we have a winner (unfortunately we also have a loser, who at this point is me)!

You must have also noticed the flattening of the waveform display, which escaped me in my advanced state of bemusement.

I guess I somehow accessed a feature of Cakewalk that adds really gradual complementary fades to the beginning of the first take and end of the last take in your lanes, and does so only on the tracks you're not directly editing.

Now at least I know how to make them go away. Maybe they're something that Cakewalk just does, and I need to get used to removing them like with the spurious clip splits.

Edited by Starship Krupa
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I'm sure @Starship Krupayou're so experienced user than me, but it seems that these kind of things can happen even with the most experienced ones. 

And after reading @martsave martin s reply, it reminded that I have a strange issue with the Cakewalk, maybe someone knows the answer, Cakewalk creates little wave files, just like mentioned in this old topic:

http://forum.cakewalk.com/Platinum-creating-tiny-4-KB-wav-files-m3411992.aspx

It was always happening with the synths in the Cakewalk after I updated the latest version of the Cakewalk.

I've solved this issue by deleting and replacing defaults with this registry key: 

Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Cakewalk Music Software\Cakewalk\Core

I was working without problem but it happened once yesterday.

When it's happening you hear the wave files with the MIDI files. Even if you delete the MIDI you hear the wave files when playing. 

I couldn't find the reason but it seems it's related to a setting in that registry key.

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I can replicate this when I set record mode to Sound On Sound and have auto crossfade engaged. Is it possible that you had two clips deeply overlapped and then you moved one of them onto another take lane?

2 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

Because of this I have over the years spent more time trying to figure out how to get Cakewalk not to do things than I have figuring out how to get it to do things.

😂 it's like playing a game 'who'll get tricked the most'... I won't be lying on you, I win most the time... but not every time lol

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Nah, this is just after finishing up recording. I came up with something I liked fiddling with a synth pad and a stepped filter. I started hearing beats in my head so I set up to loop record my drum kit, 4 minute takes and played for 20 minutes.

All I did before performing the slip edit on Take 1 was the obligatory Healing Of The Clips ritual, which must be done every time I record drums in loop mode. This must be done due to Cakewalk's unfathomable practice (as mentioned above) of splitting all the clips in a track at the endpoint of the shortest (usually last) take.

The weirdest part is that the takes/clips are the first and last, not adjacent ones, and that the fades were created only on the tracks I didn't actually click on (the clips were all grouped, however). The clips in the first drum track were left alone, fade-wise.

Cakewalk does weird things, no doubt. Some of them are known and accepted, others are not. First I need to make sure this is not in the former category.

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5 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

As much as I like Cakewalk, I really do, from the start of our relationship it's been my experience that although recording and (especially) mixing give me pretty much what I ask for, when we get around to editing and comping, things get....non-consensual.

This is also 100% my experience! I rarely have crashes, but the weirdness with editing especially in comp lanes drives me crazy!

And there are some other great "old" features that would require some love (AudioSnap, DrumReplacer, ...). But it seems nowadays (redundant) new features have priority!

2 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

Cakewalk does weird things, no doubt. Some of them are known and accepted, others are not.

Wise words! But it's not wise to criticise, I assume!

More and more I understand one guy on the old forum called "Sharke". He brought up a lot of issues, but he was only demoralized by some fan boys and he was always requested to send in projects. Nothing happend! In the end he left for Studio One.

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3 hours ago, marled said:

the weirdness with editing especially in comp lanes drives me crazy!

A thing that helped me to understand it is that when you're using the Smart Tool, it's oriented toward the "speed" workflows, which live up to the name once you get a handle on it, but can be frustrating if you're trying to do something other than linear comping of a series of takes, using the best bits of each. When you step out of that and get into cutting, copying, and pasting sections to loop or repeat them is where things can go sideways.

The thing to do if you want to edit in that way is to turn off the Comp feature of the Smart Tool and switch over to the Edit Tool for the editing operations. It's easy to get stuck to the Smart Tool, because it usually works so well, but when you're in the Take Lanes, it can become a source of unintended results.

I use the F5-F10 shortcut keys to switch around among the tools, and upcoming changes to my custom themes will be including them in plain sight on the Tools Module.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

A thing that helped me to understand it is that when you're using the Smart Tool, it's oriented toward the "speed" workflows, which live up to the name once you get a handle on it, but can be frustrating if you're trying to do something other than linear comping of a series of takes, using the best bits of each. When you step out of that and get into cutting, copying, and pasting sections to loop or repeat them is where things can go sideways.

This is not the first thing I am thingking of. It's more the edit bugs in take lanes that annoy me. So you can't change the gain of selected regions in some circumstances, in some cases there happen weird things with x-fades on clips that have been split and whose contents has been shifted separately, and so on ...

This is the reason why I gave up to edit in lanes! Nowadays I always add a working track, move or copy the clips into it, do my edits in there and finally move the results back. But it is an elaborate way to work like that! 😟

14 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

... was the obligatory Healing Of The Clips ritual, which must be done every time I record ...

IMHO this is also a thing that lacks any sense!

14 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

The weirdest part is that the takes/clips are the first and last, not adjacent ones, and that the fades were created only on the tracks I didn't actually click on (the clips were all grouped, however). The clips in the first drum track were left alone, fade-wise.

There is another thing like that: If you split your takes all at the same positions, delete some of those (unusable) minor clips, then CbB prevents you x-fading at those positions where you still have clips on both sides!

Edited by marled

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, marled said:

More and more I understand one guy on the old forum called "Sharke". He brought up a lot of issues, but he was only demoralized by some fan boys and he was always requested to send in projects. Nothing happend! In the end he left for Studio One.

I really feel for Sharke. He was genuinely running into some serious show-stopper bugs that very few people (devs included) could reproduce, which means it just couldn't be addressed. I have to admit, if I was running into bugs that affected my workflow that badly, I would have gone elsewhere too. How he was using SONAR didn't help matters - he was really pushing the limit for how automation was used, which was likely exposing stuff more than most people wouldn't have ever seen.

The irony is that since then, quite a lot of work has been done on automation so there's a very good chance his problems have been resolved.

Not saying there's not quirks to address yet, mind you, but I really think that since Bandlab got the IP, the Bakers have really put more of a focus on fixing a lot of this stuff as compared to the Roland/Gibson days which made guys like Sharke have to look elsewhere.

Edited by Lord Tim
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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Lord Tim said:

which means it just couldn't be addressed

Only God knows! 😉

7 hours ago, Lord Tim said:

he was really pushing the limit for how automation was used, which was likely exposing stuff more than most people wouldn't have ever seen.

I am in doubt about that! 😆 In any case, the bugs that I see, using edit features in take lanes, are surely no "pushing"! It is just simple editing. But I understand that a lot of people probably only record, enter MIDI data and mix with CbB.

Edited by marled

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Posted (edited)

Here's my own recent, somehow strange experience on the automation, with regards to Tempo Track (but not only). When I decided to give the most recent Early Access a spin, I've found out oddities that I couldn't explain. I asked for some clarification whether it's a bug or feature, or my own user error - because I realize I might be missing an fundamental detail here and there of the whole envelopes conception, or anything really. But all I've got in response from the devs was just a silence.

On the old forum for the most time I was just a lurker mainly for the lack of confidence when it comes to the language. Yes I can write and read in English but my most concerns that I have are with the underlying tone that always come with the message - here's where I might fail, and more than once, if putting words together the wrong way. But I decided to give myself a second chance for a fresh start here on the new forum and when I saw the EA thread I thought I might be useful by giving a feedback from the user perspective and specifically with decades of experience in working with midi in Cakewalk. 

So when I saw odd things, where I did something I theoretically shouldn't do as a user, like for example double-clicking in the tempo track while in the shelf tool, and Cakewalk did things it theoretically shouldn't do as a DAW, ie. corrupting the envelope (or as in an yet earlier EA - some funky stuff going with MIDI clip content when editing song parts in the arranger track with the new event overlap option enabled and getting weird results) - I thought that Cakewalk simply should't allow it happen at all. Then I posted about it but got no reaction, nothing. And now I'm left with no clue whether it's something wrong with Cakewalk or with me 😂.

Now here's the thing. I saw a recent thread about that more young people should try Cakewalk. Imagine a newcomer wants to get started and is checking out first if it's something right for him or not, without any patience nor passion - no emotions whatsoever. Imagine him making a rachitic move, or be it a muscle memory from another DAW, or even failing mouse - and getting strange output. Will he start with wondering if it's something wrong he's doing or it's the software to blame for being buggy? And I'm not going to even start on the take lanes/clips :D.

Ok, I'll better get my coat...

Edited by chris.r
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, marled said:

Only God knows! 😉

I am in doubt about that! 😆 In any case, the bugs that I see, using edit features in take lanes, are surely no "pushing"! It is just simple editing. But I understand that a lot of people probably only record, enter MIDI data and mix with CbB.

Yeah, I'm not talking about this thing, I'm talking about that particular case. The facts remain, if the Devs can't find and reproduce an issue, they can't fix it, and that case was an outlier. No need for snark here.

If we're seeing stuff like in this thread, possibly it means something in a project is getting corrupted over time. I'm not seeing every second person reporting this on the forum, so it must be specific to either the app use, the environment or user error made by a misunderstanding about how a feature should work. All of these things should be reported, even the misunderstanding thing. If it's the former 2 things, sending in a project file could get the problem fixed once and for all rather than "oh yeah, this DAW is weird and broken lolollolll" - why put up with that? Report it. And if it's the last thing, maybe the documentation needs fixing? Maybe the tool itself needs a tweak even if it is working as designed? 

This is a user forum and a great place to start by bringing stuff up to see if anyone else has seen something similar as a sanity check. But as users we can only do so much with advice - sometimes the Devs themselves need a project to work out why these specific weird things are happening. I'd rather stuff got fixed and the hell out of my way so I could get my job done.

Edited by Lord Tim

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, chris.r said:

So when I saw odd things, where I did something I theoretically shouldn't do as a user, like for example double-clicking in the tempo track while in the shelf tool, and Cakewalk did things it theoretically shouldn't do as a DAW, corrupting the envelope (or in an earlier EA - some funky stuff going with MIDI clip content when editing song parts in the arranger track with the new event overlap option enabled and getting weird results) - I think Cakewalk simply should't allow it happen at all. I posted about it but got no reaction, nothing. And now I'm left with no clue whether it's something wrong with Cakewalk or with me 😂.

 

This is kind of what I was getting at with my last post.

Every user is going to do something a little differently with how they use an app. The Devs/beta team/people who use Early Access can only anticipate so much before someone comes along with a certain workflow or certain combination of hardware or software to utterly break things. Even if the app is working as designed, if people are getting so completely tangled up with a tool, maybe that tool needs changing? Or indeed it could be a hole that needs plugging. Just because everyone uses a tool in a certain way and you don't doesn't mean it's not a bug that you've uncovered that needs to be fixed.

Erik is a great example of this. He came from Mixcraft and started asking "but why?" to a lot of stuff ancient users like myself just went "because that's how it is" without thinking about it too much. Some stuff was learning the tools more, but a lot of stuff really could be better and fresh eyes and perspective can really be useful for all of us.

But those EA threads can get a bit nuts sometimes with reports, things can get missed. If it's something which is a problem, definitely report it.

Edited by Lord Tim

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1 hour ago, Lord Tim said:

Erik is a great example of this. He came from Mixcraft and started asking "but why?" to a lot of stuff ancient users like myself just went "because that's how it is" without thinking about it too much. Some stuff was learning the tools more, but a lot of stuff really could be better and fresh eyes and perspective can really be useful for all of us.

Thank you so much for saying this. Really. I've always felt that my bringing fresh eyes was my best asset, considering I had almost zero experience with SONAR. 3 years of using CbB, I still feel like a n00b.

Some features I've never touched except to experiment with them, like Audiosnap and even the Step Sequencer. I've never edited in Staff View, only used it to print out sheet music. Poked at Matrix View and had a hilarious experience with not being able to figure out how to turn it off, it was like an I Love Lucy bit where my loop was blasting over and over and I couldn't find the stop button anywhere. Never tried Drum Replacer. So Cakewalk is like this huge building with rooms I never go into. I'm all about the big 3: Track View, Console View, and Piano Roll.

I was afraid of coming off like a hothead, but in retrospect, I think some of my flailing and expressed frustration may have influenced the change to the Smart Tool and the attention given to enabling a simpler editing workflow. The devs never said this, but I was blowing up the forum for a while with my consternation about trying to perform what are basic editing tasks in most DAW's I've tried. Cakewalk just kept getting in my way. It's so much better now, but from time to time I do trip over things like this weird cross-take fade (which I can repro, BTW, so fingers crossed).

Many of the issues I've had come up because as a drummer, I am in love with Cakewalk's clip grouping feature (sorely lacking in Mixcraft, and one of the main features that pushed Mixcraft to 2nd DAW status in my studio) for editing and comping 4 track drum recordings. So every move I make has to propagate across 3 other tracks in perfect sync. One bug I uncovered with this only happened when my other 3 tracks had their lanes collapsed. The devs had a hell of a time reproducing it because they usually work with lanes open, not surprising because they're trying to observe what's going on. But I work with lanes closed to avoid screen clutter. After months of back and forth and sending them my messed up projects, someone noticed that mine were being sent in with my lanes closed. It was a nasty mother of a bug, too, causing major portions of takes not to appear in clips. The worst part was I had a friend tracking drums at my place who has a Pro Tools studio at home and though he liked Cakewalk, he was shaking his head at the clip weirdness. It was fairly easily remedied, but scary at first.

Maybe nobody else works with closed lanes, or they noticed that things went sideways when they did and stopped doing it, or whatever. Anyway, pretty sure this current thing with the long fades is a bug, and one I can repro. I suspect it has to do with the fact that my takes were all recorded in one continuous loop with no stopping, so it's one big audio file. Maybe the devs record their takes mostly one at a time rather than sitting down and bashing into 4 audio tracks for 20 minutes on a 4-minute song. But that's the way drums are recorded here at Glitchseason....

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16 hours ago, Lord Tim said:

I really feel for Sharke. He was genuinely running into some serious show-stopper bugs that very few people (devs included) could reproduce, which means it just couldn't be addressed. I have to admit, if I was running into bugs that affected my workflow that badly, I would have gone elsewhere too. How he was using SONAR didn't help matters - he was really pushing the limit for how automation was used, which was likely exposing stuff more than most people wouldn't have ever seen.d 

The irony is that since then, quite a lot of work has been done on automation so there's a very good chance his problems have been resolved.

Not saying there's not quirks to address yet, mind you, but I really think that since Bandlab got the IP, the Bakers have really put more of a focus on fixing a lot of this stuff as compared to the Roland/Gibson days which made guys like Sharke have to look elsewhere.

His main issue was fixed in 2019 when I reworked automation to address some reports of lost settings with certain plugins. Of course he isn’t around anymore to attest it. Some issues when not reproducible readily can be infernally difficult to isolate. It took working with several users offline and running tests before I was able to resolve it.

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10 hours ago, Lord Tim said:

Yeah, I'm not talking about this thing, I'm talking about that particular case. The facts remain, if the Devs can't find and reproduce an issue, they can't fix it, and that case was an outlier. No need for snark here.

If we're seeing stuff like in this thread, possibly it means something in a project is getting corrupted over time. I'm not seeing every second person reporting this on the forum, so it must be specific to either the app use, the environment or user error made by a misunderstanding about how a feature should work. All of these things should be reported, even the misunderstanding thing. If it's the former 2 things, sending in a project file could get the problem fixed once and for all rather than "oh yeah, this DAW is weird and broken lolollolll" - why put up with that? Report it. And if it's the last thing, maybe the documentation needs fixing? Maybe the tool itself needs a tweak even if it is working as designed? 

This is a user forum and a great place to start by bringing stuff up to see if anyone else has seen something similar as a sanity check. But as users we can only do so much with advice - sometimes the Devs themselves need a project to work out why these specific weird things are happening. I'd rather stuff got fixed and the hell out of my way so I could get my job done.

I am tired of hearing "corrupted project", "specific to the use/environment", "misunderstanding", "sending in project", ... ! ☹️

I have done this multiple times, most times without any effect. And e.g. the "Cakewalk prevent crossfading bug" (described above) is very easy to reproduce and I have reported it more than once in detail (I think once also with a project). 😟

But instead of doing pointless bug/problem reporting (that is disliked by some) to try to improve CbB, I think I'd better invest the time to learn another Daw (Reaper), what I have already started with! I think it is the best way to have a real solution for my quantization tasks (AudioSnap), lane clip edits, clip loudness envelopes ... without any quirks! If I am missing something else there (e.g. with MIDI), then I still can use Sonar/CbB for it. We'll see!

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Posted (edited)

Update FYI: I nailed down a repro condition on it and sent in my project and it seems that it's in that odd category of "works as designed, but it's oddly designed." It's for such reasons that I posted this as a question, and yes, I didn't understand how it worked.

It actually does have to do with having auto-crossfade enabled while working with my other lanes closed. Auto crossfades will be applied to the clips in the closed lanes but not in the one you have open. Not sure why it would have been designed that way, and no doubt it will be revisited.

Moral here, especially for those of us who sometimes experience Cakewalk "getting in the way" of our preferred workflow: sure, it's fun to commiserate on the forum, but what gets the better results is to send the devs a .CWB of a project with instructions on how to duplicate your frustrating conditions. They do not want Cakewalk to feel like it's impeding your process.

Can't please everyone, but some things are just idiosyncratic, designed to a different standard, maybe under "rush to ship" conditions in a different era. What's more, they probably don't use the program exactly the same way any of us does.

If you hand them a way to spend 5 minutes and see what you're seeing, you stand a much better chance than if they have to take 30 minutes from their other duties to play with it until it breaks.

ALSO: If you reported an issue or issues 5 years ago and got fed up with the lack of response, keep in mind that the company that failed to address the issue went out of business over 3 years ago. The current owners skimmed the top developers who now have a different set of priorities. If your old bug is even still around in the database, it's very "stale." Worst that could happen if you tried again would be...nothing.

 

Edited by Starship Krupa

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