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SMPTE lock automation workflow?

Discussion in 'Logic Pro X' started by jonperl, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. jonperl

    jonperl Member

    I'll try this again:
    What is your best way to SMPTE-lock automation for many tracks in a project, considering that:
    - the workaround has been to convert any track automation to regions then lock those regions, but
    - when you lock a MIDI region the embedded region automation/fader events get locked too, but for Audio regions this is not the case
    This one has always been puzzler for me. I have long advocated a Track Lock button which would lock all contents of a given track...
  3. EdgarRothermich

    EdgarRothermich Senior member

    In typical Logic fashion you can SMPTE-lock Automation in multiple ways:

    -1 Lock Track Automation
    My preferred method is to select the Track, open the Automation Event List (ctr+cmd+E), select all the Fader Events inside the Region (or just a selection of it), ctr+click on those selected Regions and SMPTE+lock them (Key Command cmd+PageDown) - That's it. You will see the padlock icon in the first L-column of the Event List. Repeat it for any Track you want to lock its Automation. To unlock, use the Key Command cmd+PageUp.

    -2 Lock Region Automation
    You are right that SMPTE+locking a Region will lock any Event inside, MIDI Events and Fader Events. If you want to lock the Fader Events but not the MIDI Events, just do a selection first. One way to do it is to select a Fader Event and then use the command "Select ➤ Similar", and then apply the lock command. Or you can just disable the blue "Notes" Filter button in the Event List. That hides the Note Events , leaves the Fader Event visibles, and now you can select all and lock them.

    -3 Region Automation on Audio Tracks
    That can be down too. Select the Audio Track and use the Main Menu Command "Track ➤ Other ➤ New Track with Same Channel". Now use that duplicate Audio Track to move an empty MIDI Region onto it (you can't create a MIDI Region directly on an Audio Region) and use that Region to store the Region Automation, and now you can SMPTE-lock the Region. This is really flexible, because you can split the Region to decide which section you want to lock or not. Or, you can create another duplicate Track with an additional Region for storing different types of Automation Parameter for that Track, that you can lock independently via their Region.

    I wouldn't be surprised if there was an additional way to do it.
  4. jonperl

    jonperl Member

    Hi Edgar:

    Thanks for your detailed reply. See my comments below:

    For audio tracks, this basically works as you say, though you have to select all the fader events within the Automation List window and lock from there - you can’t simply lock the selected regions (as you can with MIDI regions); but yes, you can Convert all Region Automation to Track, then do this procedure track by track.

    Sure that works, though how often do you want to have automation follow real time while the underlying MIDI follows Bars&Beats?

    I have resorted to this. It is annoying that you can’t create a MIDI region in an audio track and have to instead copy one from a MIDI track.

    There is, and it’s even more arcane and annoying! 1) Select All in Main window, 2) Convert All Region Automation to Track, 3) Open an Automation Event List, 4) Open a New Main Window and set it’s Link Mode to Same Level, 5) Click on the Leave Folder button in the Automation Event List, 6) The linked Main window now shows “track automation folders” for each track: Select All in this window and SMPTE-lock, 7) That procedure locked all track automation in the song - don’t forget to lock the actual regions in your regular Main Window.
    There was a moment when the track automation folder view was available via key command (I think in Logic 8) but now it’s hidden and not supposed to be accessed. No new user would ever be able to figure this out.

    Wouldn’t it just be much simpler to have a Track-lock button in the track headers, so that one could easily lock all the contents of a track or tracks without spending ten minutes doing it?
  5. EdgarRothermich

    EdgarRothermich Senior member

    I didn't want to mention that procedure, because it is pretty much open heart surgery. It also seems that this Automation Window is more restricted in LPX. Prior to that, you could mess with it much more.

    About the MIDI Region on Audio Tracks
    I also thought it was a bad decision to remove in LPX the capability of creating MIDI Regions on an Audio Track, but guess what - YES YOU CAN.

    Hold down the shift key while clicking on the Audio Track Lane with the Pencil Tool.
  6. jonperl

    jonperl Member

    I bow down before you! Rocking...
  7. EdgarRothermich

    EdgarRothermich Senior member

    Little tidbit:
    When I switched from Cubase to Logic in 2005, I learned the app with the video series "DMTS Inside Logic Pro 7.1" by an excellent Logic instructor named ... Jonathan Perl. Thank you.
  8. jonperl

    jonperl Member

    Wow, that is cool. Thanks for the blast-from-the-past!
  9. Beechside

    Beechside New Member

    Opening the Automation Event List

    Yes, it's quite possible to open the Automation Event List using the keyboard shortcut (Ctl-Cmd-E) but you can also do it from the normal Event List.

    Simply click on an automation node in the automation lane and the display of the Event list changes to the automation events (just don't filter the "Controller" events).

  10. jonperl

    jonperl Member

    IN 10.1 that behavior got changed - a regular Event List now only displayed automation events if they are Region Based. Track automation does not display that way. I;ve been lobbying hard to reinstate it.
  11. EdgarRothermich

    EdgarRothermich Senior member

    Not quite correct.
    Automation data are special "Fader Events" and not "MIDI Events". Those Fader Events have no blue Filter Button in the Event List. Therefore, you can disable all buttons and the Fader Events are still displayed. This is the same behavior in the Event List and the Automation Event List.

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