Moving automation with notes

Hi all, a quick question - when I record a part and then record some automation (eg panning) on the same track —then if I decide to move that section left or right, the notes move but the automation doesn’t come along and stays in the same bars as it was recorded.

Is there a way to move the automation along with the notes, when moving left or right? The same goes for copy and paste/duplicating the part (the automation does not get duplicated, only the notes data).

I know of the idea about adding a sub track/‘track lane’ which only has the automation on it - and next time I’ll try to remember to do that - but I have a track already made with automation “in” the notes events and I want to move the whole thing by a few bars to the right 😂😂

So far I can only see ‘moving the notes and then going through each automation line, selecting all events and moving those by the same amount....

Any other ideas gratefully received - thank you!

Comments

  • It sounds like you've recorded track automation rather than pattern automation. Pattern automation moves with the pattern but track automation doesn't. I think the only way is to select the section you want to move and then copy it to the clipboard, delete it, move to the new position, and paste.

    Unfortunately there isn't any way to record mixer control automation into patterns.

  • edited October 14

    If you want panning automation to follow your part, you can assign OSC pan to a performance knob in Obsidian and automate that. Otherwise, what @number37 said.

    Edit: Except that copy-paste is not needed. Just select your range of track automation and move it with the handles like usual. Copy-paste might be a better fit for moves that require a lot of precision, but it’s not the only way.

  • edited October 15

    @Stiksi said:
    If you want panning automation to follow your part, you can assign OSC pan to a performance knob in Obsidian and automate that. Otherwise, what @number37 said.

    Edit: Except that copy-paste is not needed. Just select your range of track automation and move it with the handles like usual. Copy-paste might be a better fit for moves that require a lot of precision, but it’s not the only way.

    The use of handles to move elements around in NS2 is what sets it apart and makes it so much easier to use than any other iOS DAW IMHO. Tapping and dragging is not always a good way of working. I can rearrange an entire timeline in NS2 in seconds while it is playing back which is something you can’t do in any other DAW AFAIK. (I have used all of the main iOS DAWs.)

    In the case of moving the automation, you have the timeline ghosted and it’s simple to select the keyframes and move as appropriate. I think Matt’s implementation of the UX is genius.

  • Hi all - firstly sorry for the delay in replying!
    Thanks so much for your thoughts and suggestions on this - really helpful! I had been half-aware that there is a difference between 'track automation' and 'mixer automation' but not exactly sure about what goes where and how they might be different.

    @number37 and @Stiksi - I will see if I can put my mixer automation onto a performance knob - not something I would have thought of, but an interesting idea. I assume though, that only works for individual Obsidian instances, i.e. I couldn't automate the volume or pan or effects send for a 'collected' drum bus or parent track in this way. So maybe not the best option for me when mixing.

    @anickt - I TOTALLY AGREE that the handles-editing on ipad is the absolute best of all method for editing things on a grid on the ipad. I've also used all the other iPad DAWs and they seem to be built on from the 'click and drag-mouse' interaction, which I find very fiddly and inaccurate on iPad, (even with a Pencil) - My midi grid editing in Cubasis and Auria Pro is so unbelievably annoying and error-prone, I always think 'Damn why didnt they do this like NS2?" :) :)

    For the record, I completed my 'move to the right by one bar' task on my existing project the following way - I'll be honest, NS2 made this a lot easier than I thought, so another big shout out to Matt @Blip Interactive who deserves all the credit for the amazing UI implementation.

    1. Most important step! - I set the Grid resolution to 'One Bar' and 'Snap to Grid'
    2. I used Select All to get all the notes events.
    3. a simple pull to the right - everything (except the automation) moved one bar exactly.
    4. with the same grid settings, I went to the automation data on the main screen.
    5. for each track/automation data, I was able to 'select all' again and budge one bar to the right without worrying about accuracy problems ( the automation data shows the bar numbers in white and they change as you pull the data left and right)
    6. Only potential problem was being able to go through every line of automation data in one sitting, without being interrupted and losing my place ( family home haha)

    So my problem is solved, and I appreciate the replies - thank you!

    I will educate myself a bit about the two different types of automation (track vs mixer) and where they get saved/edited.

    Thanks!

  • @bobheads said:
    @Stiksi - I will see if I can put my mixer automation onto a performance knob - not something I would have thought of, but an interesting idea.

    No, you can’t control mixer automation there, you can control the pan of the Obsidian oscillators, that’s an Obsidian specific parameter. But don’t worry about it, it’s even further from what you wanted 😀

  • @bobheads said:
    I will educate myself a bit about the two different types of automation (track vs mixer) and where they get saved/edited.

    One handy tip as you explore this stuff: you can record instrument automation (from obsidian, slate...) to its own 'Track lane', separate from the lane that contains the notes. This allows you to have totally independent "note" clips and automation clips. With that, you can easily do stuff like have, say, filter automation that runs (and maybe loops at) 5 bars and note clips that run 16 bars. You can also edit/loop/mute different automations easily. Just make a new a track lane and tap the "record to this lane" button in the track header. Then, fiddle away. It's good fun and makes things very flexible.

  • Good point @Will 😎👍🏼

  • Thanks both, this is a technique I read about on this forum a while back and haven’t yet incorporated into my workflow. But it sounds like a really great technique.
    Thanks everyone!

  • edited October 28

    @bobheads - Tip:

    Regarding individual track volume and pan automation: I never automate the mixer slider values themselves - instead I always place at the end of each track’s insert FX a StereoGain effect and I automate that - this way should I decide that a track’s overall volume needs adjusting I can still manually set the track’s volume using it’s mixer slider completely independently of any volume/pan automation I may have already written for that track.

  • @TakkAtakk said:
    @bobheads - Tip:

    Regarding individual track volume and pan automation: I never automate the mixer slider values themselves - instead I always place at the end of each track’s insert FX a StereoGain effect and I automate that - this way should I decide that a track’s overall volume needs adjusting I can still manually set the track’s volume using it’s mixer slider completely independently of any volume/pan automation I may have already written for that track.

    Good trick! 😎👍🏼

  • @anickt said:

    @TakkAtakk said:
    @bobheads - Tip:

    Regarding individual track volume and pan automation: I never automate the mixer slider values themselves - instead I always place at the end of each track’s insert FX a StereoGain effect and I automate that - this way should I decide that a track’s overall volume needs adjusting I can still manually set the track’s volume using it’s mixer slider completely independently of any volume/pan automation I may have already written for that track.

    Good trick! 😎👍🏼

    It’s an old trick I’ve ported over from Cubase on desktop 😊

  • @TakkAtakk Thanks for this excellent tip, I will try it out !

    I suppose if you want a volume change only in a chorus, for example, that goes into the automation. If you find something is just too loud or too quiet overall, that is done with the fader. But an overall volume change would then affect and change the level in the chorus again..... It sounds like a lot of back and forth until you know what you're doing (which I don't ;) :) )

    thanks for the tips everyone!

  • @bobheads - where the tip is useful is where you have a lot of volume automation on a track but when mixing you notice that the track at its loudest is just too loud: if you have automated the mixer volume then you would need to modify the automation to lower the highest volume nodes individually- which can be tedious to do.

    The trick is just meant as a timesaving (and frustration saving) tip. I mean in this example you may prefer a compressor or limiter, but lets say a simple “overall” volume change is preferred here.

    Of course, there is more than one way with this trick, but in all cases the StereoGain effect is your friend. You can, for instance, automate the volume slider in the mixer if you prefer and use a StereoGain for setting the “overall” track volume. Basically the trick but working the other way around.

    The key is to decouple the volume automation from the track’s overall volume.

    Personally I have 2 StereoGain instances at the end of each track’s insert fx chain - the 1st I always use for volume automation, the 2nd for overall track volume: I always leave the mixer volume at 0db. The only reason I do this is that I just like the accuracy of the StereoGain’s text db value seen above the gain slider 😁

  • @bobheads said:
    @TakkAtakk Thanks for this excellent tip, I will try it out !

    I suppose if you want a volume change only in a chorus, for example, that goes into the automation. If you find something is just too loud or too quiet overall, that is done with the fader. But an overall volume change would then affect and change the level in the chorus again..... It sounds like a lot of back and forth until you know what you're doing (which I don't ;) :) )

    thanks for the tips everyone!

    Yep, but you can then still automate the volume for the chorus via the gain plugin instead of the volume slider. At some point in the mixing process you may end up chasing your tail a bit but it's worth it. It's especially useful earlier in the mixing/composition process so you can still use the mixer's slider as a quick and unrestrained "relative" volume adjustment as you work.

    Similar to @TakkAtakk, I learned this "trick" using ProTools ages and ages ago and basically always default to it. Indeed, my default NS user template has the GAIN effect inserted in the first position on every channel (including busses and sends). I put the GAIN effect in the first slot slot as it mimics the way a physical mixer channel works and I'm old AF :). Either position works for this task though.

  • @Will thanks for the tips

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