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YoshiBlade

Cubase-ists needed

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Ok so Cubase feels like the most buggy program Ive had the pleasure of working with!!! Does anyone else who uses Cubase find that ,irrespective of the automation track, the volume of a certain track will be diminished? Then by some random occurrence the track will decide to play it at normal sound level ( the ones Ive set) only to then make the track quiet randomly again? i.e. I set the level at -1.68 then I play the track and it sounds fine, no automation values can be seen effecting the sound level, no filter, no compressor, nothing. Then I'll start the track over and the track will be barely audible, so I adjust the value to 6.02 to compensate and it sounds louder, then I'll stop and play the track and play it over again and it'll be blasting loud. I sure hope that the proper use of the volume knob isn't just a case of ESTO :<

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Never had an issue like that. What version are you using and Pro or Artist?

I believe it's 7.5 pro. I have not updated it* which might be an problem, Cubase has advised users of Yosemite that there can be serious problems with Mac OS and I don't want to risk destroying my workload over something that, while irksome, isn't as bad as being out several hundred dollars and one powerful DAW. I'm jus trying to figure out if anyone else has experienced quirks or bugs in Cubase and maybe find a simple fix.

*( I'm very nervous about update, I've nearly lost entire songs over something as simple as moving flies to new folders. I've lost drum tracks or vocal sample, because [i think] Cubase stores samples outside the program and then goes looking for them when you open it, IDK I think I might have bit off more than I can chew with the version I have. Reason stores all your files in a nice compartmentalized fashion 1 song, 1 file, Cubase stores files in a strange ways, I still haven't completely figured out the method to the save system )

Edited by YoshiBlade

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Is this just a particular track in a particular project, or does it happen with different tracks across different projects?

Different Tracks different projects. I'm doing a test run to try and figure out what the trigger is...Thus far the only thing I can postulate is the more tracks played, either muted or on, the more likely it is to occur. Hmmm, I use the Halion Sonic as my go to synth, Ive alway noticed there are 16 open slots for instruments, but I usually only use the top slot so I can easy switch from the Sonic SE, Hypnotic or Triebwerk, could that have anything to do with it?

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I run Cubase 8 Pro on Windows 7 Professional, so if it's a Mac OS issue maybe that's why I haven't seen it. The file storing structure, at least on Windows, is pretty simple imo. Each of my songs has a folder with my save files, as well as a subfolders for recorded audio and frozen/bounced audio.

When you play and the volume changes, does the Read Automation button get switched off?

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I run Cubase 8 Pro on Windows 7 Professional, so if it's a Mac OS issue maybe that's why I haven't seen it. The file storing structure, at least on Windows, is pretty simple imo. Each of my songs has a folder with my save files, as well as a subfolders for recorded audio and frozen/bounced audio.

When you play and the volume changes, does the Read Automation button get switched off?

No, the automation has no identifiable impact. I click "Show used automation( selected track)" and nothing will pop up, I turn off the automation and it has no impact. Another quirk is Cubase will sometimes click off when I'm scrolling through my VST presets and I'll have to go back and retweak the preset. for instance (synth A I'm currently using)...hmmm I want to see what synth B sounds like, but don't want to lose the tweaks Ive made to synth A, so I'll temporally select synth B and see what it sounds like ( while scrolling though the presets)....hmmm i don't like so, but it goes buggy and clicks off the search menu and now I stuck with what ever preset I currently had....NO! Damn it, now I have to find Synth A( as a preset) and retweak all the settings, because for some reason, the undo command doesn't reload previous presets...(sigh) whatever.

As for the Save system, I like the back up copy idea, but I remember I sampled some audio and then thought " Well, Reason works off if you delete the Wav. it will still be in the Reason file when you open it, so I'll get rid of some of the Wav. Files I was using in Cubase and thats that...well I did that and opened the project and it said there were missing tracks. Why? Why use such an unnecessary system? In Reason when I'm done, everything I need is in the Reason file? I could delete every non-vital file on my computer and as long as I have Reason 7 and the Reason song file, I'm good to go. That having been said when Cubase is fired up and running. It. Is. A. POWERHOUSE! I feel like Im sitting on a gold mine. All i need is the right understanding.

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As for the Save system, I like the back up copy idea, but I remember I sampled some audio and then thought " Well, Reason works off if you delete the Wav. it will still be in the Reason file when you open it, so I'll get rid of some of the Wav. Files I was using in Cubase and thats that...well I did that and opened the project and it said there were missing tracks. Why? Why use such an unnecessary system? In Reason when I'm done, everything I need is in the Reason file? I could delete every non-vital file on my computer and as long as I have Reason 7 and the Reason song file, I'm good to go. That having been said when Cubase is fired up and running. It. Is. A. POWERHOUSE! I feel like Im sitting on a gold mine. All i need is the right understanding.

This is how all DAW's work (except Reason, because Propellerhead likes to be special). They're recording systems designed to replace the mixing console board you'd find in a studio. When you record in a DAW, it's the modern digital equivalent of recording a band into tape reels. The point is that you're recording into files on a hard drive instead of magnetic flux on a tape.

As for why put the files outside of the project file instead of inside... well, from a software design perspective, putting audio inside your project file makes absolutely no sense. The project file is just a list of settings, names, automation data, etc. it's the save state of the mixing console board, which in physical means was done by taking photographs while audio data is the meaty stuff that you stream from your "big storage" place. Audio data is printed to the hard drive for organized easy access, just like when you're mixing in a studio, your audio tracks are on the 8 or 16 track tape, and you can pick up the tape reel and take it somewhere else.

Your tracks are stored in neat folders so that you know where Cubase is looking for its files, and you can go edit them or copy them or whatever as you see fit.

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Yeah, don't trust that any other DAW in the world will work remotely like Reason. The longer you spend with Cubase, the more you will likely appreciate that fact. (I'm totally biased against Reason)

As for your volume dropping issue, I've never encountered it, but I'm also on a Windows machine. Is the volume difference instantaneous? Like, hitting play one time it's fine, then the next its really quiet? Or does the volume actually decrease during some playbacks?

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This is how all DAW's work (except Reason, because Propellerhead likes to be special). They're recording systems designed to replace the mixing console board you'd find in a studio. When you record in a DAW, it's the modern digital equivalent of recording a band into tape reels. The point is that you're recording into files on a hard drive instead of magnetic flux on a tape.

As for why put the files outside of the project file instead of inside... well, from a software design perspective, putting audio inside your project file makes absolutely no sense. The project file is just a list of settings, names, automation data, etc. it's the save state of the mixing console board, which in physical means was done by taking photographs while audio data is the meaty stuff that you stream from your "big storage" place. Audio data is printed to the hard drive for organized easy access, just like when you're mixing in a studio, your audio tracks are on the 8 or 16 track tape, and you can pick up the tape reel and take it somewhere else.

Your tracks are stored in neat folders so that you know where Cubase is looking for its files, and you can go edit them or copy them or whatever as you see fit.

I know Reason is an outlier in all they do and I wish I would have had comprehensive lessons in FL, Logic, Ableton or Cubase, but I still don't see the purpose of the scattered save files. If I save a Notepad file, it is so much easier to save the entirety of the document under one save file "Save file 1". Cubase seems to think " Ok, I save 70% of the file under the heading Save File 1, but the words "The" "And" and "I" I'll save in a separate location...Now there is a very large probability I'm not using Cubase as it aught be used, fully utilizing all it has to offer, but Ive got 80 folders all say Untilted-"1-80" and each of the Untiled then has a subfolder with the project name I gave it when it asked me what to save it as "Rock Beat" "WIP Trap Beat" some of the folders only have a folder called Images, and all of which have stored with them, Edits, Images and Track Pictures. I know Cubase is a Jet engine in the realm of DAWs and jet engines are precision machines, require precision it how one operates them. Sometimes it feels like I'm using a High-powered Laptop, to hammer in a nail.

So Ive asked it once and I'll ask it again...If anyone can offer some direction as to books, youtube videos ( I've had very little luck with the ones I've found) or anything, you will have my utmost thanks and this stick figure o<-< will rise to thank you!!!

Ps Thank you to everyone who's helping me understand Cubase, each of you Rock!!!

Edited by YoshiBlade

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Yeah, don't trust that any other DAW in the world will work remotely like Reason. The longer you spend with Cubase, the more you will likely appreciate that fact. (I'm totally biased against Reason)

As for your volume dropping issue, I've never encountered it, but I'm also on a Windows machine. Is the volume difference instantaneous? Like, hitting play one time it's fine, then the next its really quiet? Or does the volume actually decrease during some playbacks?

Well, this time I would go about 3/4 of the way through with the sound being diminished, then jump back to normal. I just reopened the file and it sounds fine, but it comes and goes. I'm beginning to think it's due to the lack of updates, you know patch 10.6.78 (fixes the random crashes and stabilizing issues)...something to that effect. I'm just so nervous to update, I'm going to back everything up and then give it a shot this week...I still really Love Cubase and Reason and I love joining them up Voltron Style, but of all the DAWs FL studio is just the one where I have yet to find a derisive detractor. I just want FL studio to come to Mac very soon...

When you wish upon a star

Makes no difference who you are...

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Breakthrough! Heres what I just found, there is a certain part of the song where playhead crosses that part, it will not sound the same no matter where you put the play head or even if you start the song over...It's almost like it is retain the value from where it was stopped ( in my case I would, hear the volume go down, then stop the track and start over from the beginning and wonder why it was the volume was diminished in the beginning, when just a minute ago when I first played it it was fine) I'm not sure yet, but the the tab says expression....... Yep! thats certainly it! Heres what I think is going on...it wasn't popping up under automation, for unknown reason. The value marked expression looks like a saw-tooth wave with the expression dipping down, If I paused the track at the top of the triangle It would retain the normal volume level and I wouldn't be able to notice the diminished level, however if I paused the playhead at the bottom it would retain that low value for the expression, even if I start the song over or at any other point in the song. Since the modulation for Expression was going up and down any of the valleys could be a point where if paused at, would cause the whole track to play with a lower volume or in this case lower "Expression" Why doesn't the modulation value for expression appear when I ask it to show "Used Automation"? hmmmm....

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Sounds like expression is recorded as MIDI CC data (probably on CC 11, because CC 11 is traditionally referred to as "expression"). Most DAWS treat CC data differently from track automation even though broadly speaking they have similar purposes. The overlap can be confusing and exists because the MIDI standard requires DAWs to be able to deal with CC data, but CC data isn't necessarily ideal for doing all the automation tasks that a DAW needs to be able to do. Think of CC data as automation for MIDI devices/VSTs rather than for Cubase itself and you won't be too far off.

Most of the time, CC data can be shown in the piano roll editor or, with some setup, in the track view where normal automation typically appears. I can't give specific directions because I'm not familiar with Cubase.

To fix the problem you're having, you need to put a CC data point of an appropriate value at the beginning of the track to overwrite whatever old CC data is stored from the previous playback (unlike normal automation, CC states change only when a data point is encountered by the playhead, so playing back at arbitrary points can retain incorrect values until a data point is encountered). Some DAWs have an option you can set that will look backwards for the most recent CC value behind the playhead and apply that when playback starts, so if that's the case with Cubase, this data point at the start should allow playback to begin properly at any point before the weirdness happens and not just from the start.

Regarding file structure, I can give an example from my own workflow of why you might not want to package your audio files as part of the project file. When doing heavy-duty orchestral mockups, I split everything into multiple project files on an instrument or sectional basis, bounce WAV stems from these projects to a folder, and assemble the stems in a final project file where I actually mix things. I sometimes pull stems from this folder into the isolated instrument project files just to have reference material from other instruments, and I sometimes find problems in my stems while mixing that require me to rebounce the stems in question from their respective projects. Because the stems exist outside any of the project files, overwriting one of them will change the audio for all of the projects files that use that stem -- I don't need to re-import the stem or anything; I just need to change the WAV file. This makes my convoluted multi-project-file workflow much easier and also saves disk space by not having a bunch of copies of the same WAV files in multiple projects.

Edited by Moseph

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Sounds like expression is recorded as MIDI CC data (probably on CC 11, because CC 11 is traditionally referred to as "expression").

Well dang it, this is exactly what was happening, and I knew it the moment I read it.

YoshiBlade, do you have a volume pedal connected to your midi controller or whatever? Or a volume control on a midi controller? Some of them map automatically to CC 11 when used with Cubase, so it's entirely possible you were controlling expression data without knowing it. And yes, most MIDI CC info won't show up in automation lanes because they're specific to a midi clip/region, rather than to the entire track.

Edit: One thing I do when I'm working on particularly complex projects that have a ton of MIDI CC info is to just keep certain MIDI CC windows open in the piano roll view at all times. If you go into the bottom section of the Piano Roll (Key Editor) window, you'll usually have Velocity CC messages displayed by default. If you right click on the grey area on the left side, there's an option of Create Controller Lane. I usually have three lanes at all times, one displaying velocity, one displaying Expression, and one with whatever else is useful at that moment, usually Modulation or Pitchbend. This way if you have weird behaviors, you can very quickly rule out velocity or expression as the culprit.

Also on the subject of updating, are you saying you're holding off on getting Cubase 8, or that you're avoiding getting any patches whatsoever?

Edited by MockingQuantum
added info

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Well dang it, this is exactly what was happening, and I knew it the moment I read it.

YoshiBlade, do you have a volume pedal connected to your midi controller or whatever? Or a volume control on a midi controller? Some of them map automatically to CC 11 when used with Cubase, so it's entirely possible you were controlling expression data without knowing it. And yes, most MIDI CC info won't show up in automation lanes because they're specific to a midi clip/region, rather than to the entire track.

Edit: One thing I do when I'm working on particularly complex projects that have a ton of MIDI CC info is to just keep certain MIDI CC windows open in the piano roll view at all times. If you go into the bottom section of the Piano Roll (Key Editor) window, you'll usually have Velocity CC messages displayed by default. If you right click on the grey area on the left side, there's an option of Create Controller Lane. I usually have three lanes at all times, one displaying velocity, one displaying Expression, and one with whatever else is useful at that moment, usually Modulation or Pitchbend. This way if you have weird behaviors, you can very quickly rule out velocity or expression as the culprit.

Also on the subject of updating, are you saying you're holding off on getting Cubase 8, or that you're avoiding getting any patches whatsoever?

No, the file I had had all the preset automations and I usually clean them up. I was aware of the cc value, figured out if the playhead is paused over the peak of the expression, it will retain that value, so I said" well the cc for expression doesn't seems to be the problem, cause it sound fine crossing over that area of peaks and valleys" but it was the problem I just didn't notice the minute change in expression, however if I paused it in the valley of the sawtooth CC data, then went to restart the project it was maintaing the lower value for the entire track or until it hit a CC value telling it to change, so it really was a play/pause problem more than a automation or CC problem. It's just two different languages, the quirks are not better or worse just different for each one, for instance Cubase will pick up and play all the instruments where ever the playhead starts from. Reason you need to play the whole song to get every instrument, so if a very long pad starts at 8th bar and goes to the 80th you need to start at the 8th bar or the pad will not be played, Cubase will play the pad where ever you start from.

I'm not updating the patches, here is the link https://www.steinberg.net/nc/en/support/knowledgebase_new/show_details/kb_show/steinberg-product-compatibility-info-regarding-mac-os-x-1010-yosemite.html

It makes me nervous, because I don't have Yosemite currently, but If I'm forced to update in the future I could loses instruments or data. So I'll retain the patches I current have and if I ever update there will not be a problem, as I will have none of patches that would conflict with Yosemite. TBH I'm keeping myself busy till FL studio comes to Mac, then I'm gong all in with that one.

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