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Automation confusion
#1
I manage to do automation by flipping the lower buttons in the mixer from Off to Write and Read etc. However, a couple of things remain unclear to me:

1) What does 'Touch' do (as opposed to Off/Write/Read)?

2) In the top menu, what does Automation > Mixer Automation do? (It doesn't seem to do anything.)
3) What happens to the data recorded with Automation > Take Snapshot ? What is the use for this?

4) The presence of an 'Automation' column in the Arranger seems to suggest, by right-clicking, that one can choose colours to indicate the values of various parameters relevant to the track. I was hoping I would then see these values plotted on the tracks, in the chosen colours, e.g. for a global overview of volume and panning changes. But this is not the case. Is there a way to enable such a thing? Or does the Automation column have a different function altogether?
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#2
Hello again,

xiha11 Wrote:I manage to do automation by flipping the lower buttons in the mixer from Off to Write and Read etc. However, a couple of things remain unclear to me:
1) What does 'Touch' do (as opposed to Off/Write/Read)?
Touch behaves like read until you click on the control then it changes to write. I think this is the easiest mode to use.

xiha11 Wrote:2) In the top menu, what does Automation > Mixer Automation do? (It doesn't seem to do anything.)
Isn't there a checkbox on that menu line?
If Mixer Automation is unchecked there will be no automation processing. Not really sure why to disable it, it's possible anyway.

xiha11 Wrote:3) What happens to the data recorded with Automation > Take Snapshot ? What is the use for this?
Well... I think it's supposed to store a snapshot of the current automation but I can't find a way to read it back. I've never used this and didn't design it so it may be unfinished. I'll try to remember to ask Tim who added the automation.

xiha11 Wrote:4) The presence of an 'Automation' column in the Arranger seems to suggest, by right-clicking, that one can choose colours to indicate the values of various parameters
relevant to the track. I was hoping I would then see these values plotted on the tracks, in the chosen colours, e.g. for a global overview of volume and panning changes. But this is not the case. Is there a way to enable such a thing? Or does the Automation column have a different function altogether?

You've got it absolutely right. It's supposed to produce a line on the track.
To describe it in text, there is supposed to be a checkbox before the name of the control (e.g. Volume), I suspect this is missing? I think we've had some report of this..
If this doesn't seem to be the case could you try producing a screenshot of the menu? Using a snapshot tool like ksnapshot you can set a timer and then open the menu, otherwise it's very hard to capture menus...
What window manager are you using?

Regards,
Robert
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#3
Hello Robert,

I just had a chance to investigate this. For the 'Mixer Automation' menu item, the checked state icon looks only slightly different from the unchecked one - it has a very faint box shape around it. I didn't notice the difference before you pointed out that this menu item could be checked. This may be purely an issue with my Gnome theme. Should there also be a regular checkbox in front of the menu item? (There isn't.)

As for the track view, the unchecked boxes do not appear at all in front of the control names, there's just an empty space, which didn't compel me to try and check it. But it is just appearance: the boxes are actually there, the curves do show up when checking them, etc. Good <!-- s:-) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":-)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:-) -->

On consideration, it seems that the 'empty checkbox' icons do not appear anywhere in my menus in MusE... e.g. unchecking View > Arranger View results in an empty space in front of the menu item, not an empty checkbox. This is not normally the case... in most (all?) programs, the empty checkboxes do show. Perhaps it's related to Qt...

I can't seem to upload attachments here but I can mail you some screenshots if useful.

Thanks a lot for spelling it out!

xiha
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#4
xiha11 Wrote:Hello Robert,

I just had a chance to investigate this. For the 'Mixer Automation' menu item, the checked state icon looks only slightly different from the unchecked one - it has a very faint box shape around it. I didn't notice the difference before you pointed out that this menu item could be checked. This may be purely an issue with my Gnome theme. Should there also be a regular checkbox in front of the menu item? (There isn't.)

As for the track view, the unchecked boxes do not appear at all in front of the control names, there's just an empty space, which didn't compel me to try and check it. But it is just appearance: the boxes are actually there, the curves do show up when checking them, etc. Good <!-- s:-) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":-)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:-) -->

On consideration, it seems that the 'empty checkbox' icons do not appear anywhere in my menus in MusE... e.g. unchecking View > Arranger View results in an empty space in front of the menu item, not an empty checkbox. This is not normally the case... in most (all?) programs, the empty checkboxes do show. Perhaps it's related to Qt...

I can't seem to upload attachments here but I can mail you some screenshots if useful.

Thanks a lot for spelling it out!

xiha

Okay, seems there are some wierd theme issues... It would be very good for us if you could subscribe to the user mailinglist and send the screenshots there. <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://muse-sequencer.org/index.php/Muse_ml">http://muse-sequencer.org/index.php/Muse_ml</a><!-- m -->

A possible solution is to change the theme from inside MusE, there is a setting on MusE Settings->Appearance Settings->Style/Fonts

Regards,
Robert
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#5
Hello.

I can confirm that certain desktops DO NOT show menu icons or
possibly even checkboxes.

I was very surprised no icons.
I believe the desktop I found this was XFCE.
Oddly, an even "lesser" desktop OpenBox DOES show the icons.

This was also verified with Rosegarden (another Qt application).

So not our fault.

About the automation colours:
Each entry in the automation list is supposed to have a sub-menu
containing eight possible colours and some midi 'assign' entries.

It seems that this desktop issue is affecting the colours not being shown.

I think you got confused because you thought the left-hand icon was the
'colour' selector when it's really supposed to be just a checkbox showing
whether the automation graph is displayed or not.

Tim.
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#6
About the automation modes:

Both TOUCH and WRITE (being coloured red - they are red aren't they?)
obviously record automation data.

The difference is that while the transport is playing or recording,
WRITE mode begins recording as soon as you press any control and
KEEPS recording until the transport is stopped - thus overwriting
everything to the stop-point even if you didn't move the control.

TOUCH mode on the other hand, allows you to 'drop-in' and
'drop-out again'. That is, while the transport is playing or recording,
pressing a control overwrites only until you release the control -
thus preserving all data BETWEEN control presses and releases and
up to transport stop-point.

Another subtle difference is, even while the transport is stopped
TOUCH mode has immediate effect - it stores whatever you adjust.
WRITE mode on the other hand, only PREPARES the automation
recording with whatever value you set BEFORE you hit play or
record on the transport.

Obviously we should improve management of all these controllers.
Sometimes tedious to manage. A central manager window is what we need.

Automation > Mixer Automation disables ALL audio automation
playback and (I think) recording. Convenient for regaining absolute
control over MusE if things get hairy and you don't want to click OFF
for every track.

Automation > Snapshot takes a complete snapshot of all automatable
audio controls at the current cursor position (red cursor).
In other words it stores a value for every control at the current time
exactly as if you had say, clicked each control while in TOUCH mode,
or entered a value on the graph at that time point.
It would be handy for those wanting to 'cement in place' with utter
confidence, the current state of the entire audio controller system.
Although, you still have to go to each track and select READ to
make the values take effect.

Tim.
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#7
Hello Tim,

Thank you for the clarifications and for detailing the automation modes!

terminator356 Wrote:It seems that this desktop issue is affecting the colours not being shown.

I think you got confused because you thought the left-hand icon was the
'colour' selector when it's really supposed to be just a checkbox showing
whether the automation graph is displayed or not.

No, actually the colours do show, it's just that in the screenshot I sent I had not opened the colour submenu. There is no problem with the latter (with my desktop). What confused me was the invisibility of the 'unchecked checkbox' icons in front of Volume, Pan etc. In the screenshot I checked the Volume one, but left the Pan one unchecked, and you can see the blank space where a box outline should be. When the user first right-clicks to open this menu, with the boxes not showing there is no visual cue that there might be anything to check at all. I figured, wrongly, that I had to choose a colour in the colour submenu, and then activate something or other in the Settings or wherever to make the automation curves show.

terminator356 Wrote:Both TOUCH and WRITE (being coloured red - they are red aren't they?)

With the 'Keep Qt system style' setting they are not red for me. All options look the same in terms of colouring. However, when I choose the Plastique QT theme, the colours do show as intended.

If this "system style may be deficient/Plastique always works" is generalisable across users, it could be worth making Plastique the default...? The more fundamental solution may be for a user like me to change their 'Qt system style' across the board (how?). But a 'safe' default may cause less first-time-user confusion.

best regards,

xiha
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