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New VCA Group Feature Usefulness

Discussion in 'Logic Pro X' started by paulnajar, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. paulnajar

    paulnajar Senior member

    Hi All,

    good to see a meaty 10.1 update. I notice a number of "new" features mentioned that to my knowledge were a part of earlier updates. Even so, no harm in re-highlighting good features I say.

    While it is definitely a new feature of 10.1, I wonder what the actual benefit of the VCA fader feature is? I understand in the history of analog consoles why VCA automation was a step forward but in the digital domain why is this useful over a set of functions like the pre existing Logic Groups?

    Googling only uncovered a SOS article <http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/sep08/articles/vcagroups.htm> discussing the benefits of the feature when it was introduced into Pro Tools 7.2 but AFAIU what's stated there is not true of Logic's behaviour.

    Please discuss
  3. witsend

    witsend New Member

    Hi Paul
    It is useful in that signal to sends on VCA activated faders behave in a Pre-Fade manner. e.g. I have a drum kit with multiple tracks assigned to a drum buss. On the snare I have a send to a plate reverb. If I pull down the Bus fader, the signal is still being sent to the reverb, also if i pull the snare fader down it gets "wetter" relative to the source signal. With a VCA in the mix, I can still have a drum buss for , say, putting a tape emulation over the drums in general and over other percussive elements, but when I pull down the VCA fader, the snare reverb stays relative to how I set it. The only thing I don't like is that the individual faders don't "fly" with the VCA like a fully automated desk or, for that matter, Pro Tools VCA behaviour. I've lodged a note to Apple to see if they can rectify this. I doubt it would be difficult for them if enough people complain as it is really just a graphic issue, not behavioural.
  4. Atlas

    Atlas Senior member

    VCA are pretty much what Folder Stack does but without putting the selected tracks into a folder.
    If you need to have the tracks faders moving along with the VCA's one, why not use the group track feature?
    BTW VCA could work concurrently with Summing Stack.
  5. mt100uk

    mt100uk Senior member

    My advice is to try it, pretty soon you'll figure how useful and simple it is. WRT the flying fader behaviour, I kind of like that it doesn't move like that, this way you can still use/alter individual track automation AND use the vca as a "group master fader" (or automate that as well!) certainly a godsend for mixing big projects with complicated routing (and existing TBA)
  6. paulnajar

    paulnajar Senior member

    Thanks witsend,

    I get all you say except if I have a drum group and one of the channels sending to the group is the snare channel and I have a bus send from the snare channel it would be a post fader send, therefore if I reduce the level of JUST the snare fader my reverb would be reduced since the send is post fader.

    OTOH the point you make about reducing the group (bus) level for all the drums and not maintaining wet/dry balance of any individual channels post fader sends is a good and true point in favour of VCA's so thanks!

    Ultimately I can see both behaviours (VCA and bus group) being useful in the context of drum mixing as I often have group compression over the drums as a whole and so when I'm doing that, VCA attenuation is not good since it would reduce the level hitting the group compressor.

    Thanks to all who replied!

    Kind regards

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