October 14, 2019, 07:45:17 pm
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email
News:

Arturia Forums



Author Topic: Automation on a song level  (Read 2558 times)

Seiishu

  • Guest
Automation on a song level
« on: May 07, 2014, 03:56:02 pm »
I know I can record automation (for example, res and cutoff) for each and individual pattern. But... my questions - is there any way to record automation on a song level? Playing and recording a song from beginning, and say I have a simulated 303 base line as one of the instruments. If I want this res/cutoff parameters to slowly change over let's say 6 patterns, it appears I have to create 6 different patterns, each one with its own automation recorded.

I am talking about Spark UI, not about third party DAWs, I am not that lucky to own a full version of any DAW just yet. I'd like to create a full song in Spark UI without even touching external DAW or using Spark as VST. My SparkLE allows me a lot of freedom and in unison with Spark software, I believe possibilities are literally unlimited. Why isn't there any option to record automation on a song level? For example, I create whole song, hit record and play from beginning and use my XY pad to manipulate Res/Cutoff (or any other EFX for that matter) on one of channel. I like to play with those effects on the fly, let my feeling guide me and go with the flow. If I have to create each pattern with effect parameters automation starting at point where previous pattern left off, it's not an easy job hunting for those values when using Spark UI. Plus, if I want my base line to gradually change and evolve over the time, it could easily end up as 10-15 pattern slots wasted just in order to do that.

Any ideas please?
Thanks!
« Last Edit: May 07, 2014, 03:57:46 pm by Seiishu »

Kosmology

  • Beta-testers
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 136
  • Karma: 53
Re: Automation on a song level
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2014, 04:58:00 pm »
Hate to say it and probably not the solution you want, but that is what a DAW is for, why don't you give reaper a try? It's demo is fully functional and never expires but has a nag screen over time, and if you get on with it it's very cheap to buy ($60 I think). Using a DAW will open up a whole world of possibilities such as using other VST Instruments/Effects/Mixer Automation, plus you can switch patterns via a midi track instead of using the Song Mode and if you have it set to instant change this is very creative :) You can also assign to multiple outputs into the DAW Mixer for further processing, have the ability to automate Mutes & send effects etc.. Using Spark in a DAW you can automate every knob and even record the automations in real-time using the controller.

As far as I see the song mode isn't a replacement for a DAW, and especially in v2 it has been optimised for live jamming with the introduction of chains.

Whilst pattern based sequencing is great, using linear sequencing offers so much more such as a synth that automates and transforms over the whole track, I think that once you go down this road you will see that the Spark sequencer could never compete and appreciate Spark even more for the things it excels at :)

As for DAWs, I'm a Cubase user personally, I've used a few others over the years but it suites my workflow the best since the early 90s, but I would demo a few as they all offer different workflows which suite different people. I own Reaper and it is impressive for the dosh and has a huge fan base, it's also worth keeping an eye on Cakewalk as they offer Sonar X3 standard very cheap from time to time, last month I picked it up for $29. In fact you can still get it for $41 (using GROUP code) at jrr shop - You just need to have an existing Cakewalk Account before you register it.

Seiishu

  • Guest
Re: Automation on a song level
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2014, 01:30:35 am »
Yeah... I'm trying to avoid using it. Old generation that's coming from having everything inside my machines (couple of synths and Kawai Q-80), no unnecessary PCs, tons of super expensive programs and such. The lack of free time also doesn't help when it comes to learning how to navigate in DAWs, and starting to use it especially when you have no idea where to start, easily becomes terrifying. All those devices communicating by MIDI which in these DAWs I understood, you have to do everything manually and it gets to the point when regular Joe have no clue what's connected to what anymore... I admit it's overwhelming... or maybe I just don't have free time anymore as I used to.

I tried doing something with SparkLE and Spark software only, but more and more I am realizing I'm not going to get far this way. All those tunes I uploaded to my SoundCloud were made using my hardware equipment only. Some of them were even produced with one synth only, Korg X3 since it had fairly decent sequencer built in. I'm coming from very simple process of producing music, and realizing it's being eaten by new technologies and super complex DAWs. It looks like one has to spend more time navigating through DAWs and manipulating its options and features, than enjoying pure music and create stuff on the fly, use effects as the song flows and when one think they should fit in nicely.

While ago I purchased Novation LaunchKey Mini and got Ableton Live 9 Lite. I'm embarrassed to admit, I wasn't able to figure out how to put few tracks together and make them sync properly. Then at one point I managed to record something, put it in one of the tracks and when I would hit play to hear it, either nothing would be coming from that channel, or it would play that and something from some VST that was loaded into another track but I did not record anything from it. Even when press Stop, VST would continue playing (some random ambient notes I was testing) in the background. I lost it at that point, turned it off and never looked at it again. I know... sounds funny... and stupid... but that's my situation at this point :(

Mr. Roboto

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 71
  • Karma: 1
Re: Automation on a song level
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2014, 06:49:21 am »
This would really be a nice feature and one step on the way for Spark LE replacing my Korg EMX!
Hopefully they will have some time from end of this year working on such a feature.
Less talk, more action!

kickwizard

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 227
  • Karma: 15
    • My soundcloud
Re: Automation on a song level
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2014, 09:55:53 pm »
Don't be to deterred Ableton it might not be right for your workflow 

I find it difficult to use it has just taken me 20 min to work out how to route 3 /4 in to master 1/2 and monitor  ???

I could say try Cubase elements demo but you seem deterred from using a daw

Perhaps I or a more qualified ableton user can give you a basic project using stock instruments to look at and work on so you can see whats going on

Might be easier than starting from scratch

I learnt to use Cubase by importing midis of trance I liked and knew and tried to remix it

So this method might work for you

Kosmology

  • Beta-testers
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 136
  • Karma: 53
Re: Automation on a song level
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2014, 11:55:58 pm »
Yeah... I'm trying to avoid using it. Old generation that's coming from having everything inside my machines (couple of synths and Kawai Q-80), no unnecessary PCs, tons of super expensive programs and such. The lack of free time also doesn't help when it comes to learning how to navigate in DAWs, and starting to use it especially when you have no idea where to start, easily becomes terrifying. All those devices communicating by MIDI which in these DAWs I understood, you have to do everything manually and it gets to the point when regular Joe have no clue what's connected to what anymore... I admit it's overwhelming... or maybe I just don't have free time anymore as I used to.

I tried doing something with SparkLE and Spark software only, but more and more I am realizing I'm not going to get far this way. All those tunes I uploaded to my SoundCloud were made using my hardware equipment only. Some of them were even produced with one synth only, Korg X3 since it had fairly decent sequencer built in. I'm coming from very simple process of producing music, and realizing it's being eaten by new technologies and super complex DAWs. It looks like one has to spend more time navigating through DAWs and manipulating its options and features, than enjoying pure music and create stuff on the fly, use effects as the song flows and when one think they should fit in nicely.

While ago I purchased Novation LaunchKey Mini and got Ableton Live 9 Lite. I'm embarrassed to admit, I wasn't able to figure out how to put few tracks together and make them sync properly. Then at one point I managed to record something, put it in one of the tracks and when I would hit play to hear it, either nothing would be coming from that channel, or it would play that and something from some VST that was loaded into another track but I did not record anything from it. Even when press Stop, VST would continue playing (some random ambient notes I was testing) in the background. I lost it at that point, turned it off and never looked at it again. I know... sounds funny... and stupid... but that's my situation at this point :(

I understand completely, Live has never really gelled with me either, I'm more content with a simulation of a traditional Studio scenario with linear sequencing. But what I would say is that something like Cubase, you can use very few of it's features and it wouldn't take much learning. I only use probably 20% of it's capabilities most of the time, but the key is that once you learn the very basics you will be well on your way and you will pick up the rest over time if you need to. These days there are tons of great tutorials on Youtube, we are in the age of being spoiled :) But once you get going you will actually start to become excited and enjoy it immensely. Each time you use it, it will become more natural until eventually you will develop your workflow.

I am biased but I would also say give Cubase a try, even the Elements edition is stunning and would be more than enough for you I think. None of the important features are missing but many of the pro things such as the Control Room are and so there will be less to blind you (if you see what I mean). It's a bit pricier than all the other starter DAWs, but nowhere near as limited as others. I use elements 6 on my laptop occasionally and the only feature I actually miss is the top half of the mixer, but you can edit all of this stuff in the inspector anyway, apart from that it is a brilliant feature set.

I do feel your pain though, I've had hardware setups such as an MPC based setup driving a few synths and it is nice being away from the PC and MUCH easier to mix on an analog mixer, but in the end I came back to Cubase simply because it is truly open in what you can do and most importantly when you save a project, the next time you open it it is exactly as you left it :) With all of my hardware setups I've had to make notes on Mixer/EQ settings if I wanted to work on multiple projects and I don't miss that :) ( Having said that I still do venture back to hardware with an analog 4 and a couple of DSI synths )

It might be worth watching some of these to see if you could get along with it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3DTPL3UNk4

Seiishu

  • Guest
Re: Automation on a song level
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2014, 01:02:07 am »
@kickwizard and Kosmology - you guys are amazing. All this help offered in just two replies, incredible. You've helped more than you think. At least I'm constantly being reminded this world is not doomed, there still are amazing people, ready to help complete stranger. Thank you so much for taking your time to explain everything and trying to push me (with good intentions of course) into this DAW world. After I posted my post, I wasn't expecting that at all. The only thing I was expecting, is someone jumping in and start flaming and laughing at my DAW ignorance, or should I say stupidity?

I will look into some DAW app options and see if I can start understanding one of them. I am just a little bit disappointed 'cause I was really hoping I won't have to start learning again, and I will have everything I need in my SparkLE and Spark software. Even the fact that I have to stay tethered to my computer since SparkLE is just a controller and sequencer, not a sound generating unit, makes me little sad... I like minimalistic approach to creating songs, and no one would be happier than me if I could have something like this SparkLE, but with all sounds inside, and at least small LCD for visual reference when it comes to sequencing... I'd be all set.

Another thing that does not help me avoiding DAWs at all, is I am planning to buy Roland TB-3. Always wanted TB-303, but somehow it was always out my reach. Nowadays, even though TB-3 is not "the real" thing, I'm still reading it's by far the best emulation of the old and legendary TB-303. I've watched couple of videos how Roland scientist were actually working on bringing the best our of TB-303 to TB-3 (same goes for TR-8 and TR-808 and 909) and it's impressive to say the least. All those experts whining how that still is not real analog thing... well, you have to live with it. If I'm OK with how it sounds, then everything is fine in my books. Plus, it's super affordable, comparing to "the real" thing. I simply can't justify spending money on TB-303, since I am not doing any live, paid gigs anymore, and TB-3 helps bringing that feeling in a best possible way...

OK, I completely left my original idea and what I wanted to say... well, this idea of buying TB-3 means, I HAVE TO start using DAWS, whether I want to or not. If I want to sync it with Arturia, I don't think there is any other way, than to go through DAW. Oh my...  :'(

Thanks again, your inputs are greatly appreciated! Amazing, amazing people you are!

Kosmology

  • Beta-testers
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 136
  • Karma: 53
Re: Automation on a song level
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2014, 01:53:00 am »
You are very welcome :)

I was fortunate and introduced to Cubase in 1990 on a sound engineering course, and soon after got setup with an Atari STE and I could only afford completely dreadful external midi gear that refused to sound like anything outside of 1985 and no matter how hard I tried the slap basses just didn't sound anything like Orbital... BUT I learned to sequence in Cubase and no matter how hard I've tried to like other DAWs it just still speaks my language.

The Roland stuff looks nice, I've always wanted an 808 but the price... what first won me over with Spark VDM was the Roland Emulations, I have a few 808 emulations and my favourite is Spark by a long shot. No idea how close to the real deal it is and I don't truthfully care, it's punchy, full bodied and sits in the mix, and is the reason I now have a CDM taking up a 1/4 of my desk :)

I did wonder about a live setup with Spark and the Analog Four and thought it would be interesting to limit myself to the two for a few tracks, but with 1.7 the sync wasn't tight enough, haven't tried with v2 yet but I'm hoping it will be better. The main problem with using only Spark for me is that music really benefits from something outside of the patterns even if it's just synth noodling, or slightly fluctuating the volume levels it breaks the mold of just patterns. Although if you got the TB that would certainly help that aspect :)

As for a DAW, your time spent learning will be paid back tenfold, even if you just use it to automate Spark.

Seiishu

  • Guest
Re: Automation on a song level
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2014, 01:58:23 am »
I just realized I still have around $30 store credit left at one of the best music equipment stores in my town. Unfortunately, while they do carry software and bunch of DAWs, they don't have Cubase, I was hoping to put that credit into it and add the difference, but unfortunately, they don't carry Cubase.

Kosmology

  • Beta-testers
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 136
  • Karma: 53
Re: Automation on a song level
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2014, 02:06:22 am »
I just realized I still have around $30 store credit left at one of the best music equipment stores in my town. Unfortunately, while they do carry software and bunch of DAWs, they don't have Cubase, I was hoping to put that credit into it and add the difference, but unfortunately, they don't carry Cubase.

Definitely demo it first, you can use the full version for 30 days which will be enough time to see if you get along with it. make sure you get the elements Demo though which can use the soft elicenser, Artist and Full need a USB Dongle. Also check out reaper though, it's amazing value for money at $60 and highly rated by lots of musicians. I do personally find Cubase much easier to use though but I am very biased :)

kickwizard

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 227
  • Karma: 15
    • My soundcloud
Re: Automation on a song level
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2014, 11:47:15 am »
Definitely demo it first see if you find it easy to use

Let us know how you get on maybe share a project 

I made something basic in live le but its rough and needs checking first as I might be doing something wrong with it

I just imported a midi (I don't know how to delete the program data etc in live so I left it) assigned some basic instruments and put an audio clip in
and added an instance of spark and recorded some automation for you to see

Im totally new to ableton so it might not be right but I think with daws its the way that works for you

Heres the project file

https://www.dropbox.com/s/fsoep2jpojzms15/WORLD1%20Copy%20Project.zip

Seiishu

  • Guest
Re: Automation on a song level
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2014, 02:27:29 pm »
Thank you. I will check this as soon as I am back from work. Just to add, I managed to make something very, very simple in Ableton, but ran into million of little problems in a "oh-my-God-how-do-I-achieve-this" field. Once I start adding tracks, and then every single time I have to go back and edit manually each one of them (adding effects, or recording automation after I already recorded pattern of my choice), I lose my flow and I in most cases I don't feel my piece any more. That's why I loved all those "all-in-one" machines. They allowed me to stay on tracks and keep doing my thing without interrupting myself every 2 minutes. Maybe I can't explain that the best way possible, but sure I feel that way.

Also, another thing with these DAWS... they are in a way like Facebook and other social media sites. You can achieve million of things, and you can get yourself million of friends on Facebook... unfortunately, most of them are virtual and we won't meet them most likely, ever in our life. People are locked inside their rooms and using these DAWs, achieving wonderful musical pieces, no doubt about that, but what's lost is that beautiful interaction with your real friends, eye to eye contact and all those beautiful things that make real friendship true. I remember when I and my good friend used to have techno gigs all over the Europe back in the days... sometimes we even used to create compositions on the fly, up on the stage (live-acts). Him using his machines, and me using mine... people would get fired up even more than when we played our already pre-recorded pieces. Nothing can buy that feeling when he's going crazy on his drum machine, and me destroying my RB-303 style base line... it was so natural, it has its flow... just like water. Eh. good old days... now I sound like my grandpa some 20 years ago, lol.

@kickwizard - thank you so much for this, I will definitely check it out when I get home. Greatly appreciated!

kickwizard

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 227
  • Karma: 15
    • My soundcloud
Re: Automation on a song level
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2014, 03:54:16 pm »
Don't thank me yet and its really not that good and I don't even know if its the correct way to automate in ableton

It seems you have already grasped what I was trying to demo anyway

The important thing is you enjoy what your doing

Im told for playing live ableton is a really good tool I just cant grasp it it makes me frustrated and I give up with it

Heres some interesting videos by ableton that you might like

http://youtu.be/baMs9P50J-w

http://youtu.be/58BHEAleNHs

http://youtu.be/qgiL7lsIATA
« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 03:56:28 pm by kickwizard »

teceem

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 58
  • Karma: 4
Re: Automation on a song level
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2014, 11:51:21 pm »
Also, another thing with these DAWS... they are in a way like Facebook and other social media sites. You can achieve million of things, and you can get yourself million of friends on Facebook... unfortunately, most of them are virtual and we won't meet them most likely, ever in our life. People are locked inside their rooms and using these DAWs, achieving wonderful musical pieces, no doubt about that, but what's lost is that beautiful interaction with your real friends, eye to eye contact and all those beautiful things that make real friendship true. I remember when I and my good friend used to have techno gigs all over the Europe back in the days... sometimes we even used to create compositions on the fly, up on the stage (live-acts). Him using his machines, and me using mine... people would get fired up even more than when we played our already pre-recorded pieces. Nothing can buy that feeling when he's going crazy on his drum machine, and me destroying my RB-303 style base line... it was so natural, it has its flow... just like water. Eh. good old days... now I sound like my grandpa some 20 years ago, lol.
I agree with that last part. Going out and performing live with friends, you can do that with a DAW too. It's as musical instrument as you want it to be.
And I know all my Facebook friends in real life too!  ;)

 

Carbonate design by Bloc
SMF 2.0.13 | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines