Editing multi-track drums is completely impossible. This needs to be addressed.

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mourningpyre
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2016/01/31 05:12:57 (permalink)
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Editing multi-track drums is completely impossible. This needs to be addressed.

Hello everybody,

First off, I've been a dedicated Cakewalk user since year 2000 when I started with Pro Audio 9.  I'm not going anywhere.  With that said, this issue desperately needs to be addressed by the Cakewalk guys because I've had to split my production process between REAPER 5 and Cakewalk Sonar.  I'd sincerely wish to keep my entire process within Sonar.  Anyway, I will explain the situation here.

I'm going to give an example with the latest session, which is just a simple rock/metal track.  No blast beats and just three sections with some double bass notes.  I don't experience any real problems using the AudioSnap pane or marking transients.  In fact, I really like this and I find it quite versatile.  

The first thing I do is export a kick/snare mono track so I can have a reference track for transient markers.  I'll go through, make adjustments, and then either add the clip to the pool or lock the track and markers to all tracks and then unlock.  This is where the real problems begin.

Once I click on "Split Clips,"  Sonar literally implodes.  Depending on the length of the song and how intracite the drum parts are, this takes 3-5 minutes just to split clips.  Absolutely unacceptable as REAPER 5 is nearly instanteous for me.  (I'm us an FX-8350 with 8GB of RAM.)

If Sonar hasn't already "Stopped Responding," the program moves at a snail's pace.  Selections are nearly impossible.  Scrolling the session is nearly impossible.  Not to mention, saving a session takes upwards to 10 full minutes.  In the case of my latest session, I was able to edit transients, split the clips, and while trying to quantize, the program locked up and crashed.  This is repeatable without fail and I'd be willing to record my desktop trying to do this.

Going on in this fashion can take hours and is simply not viable for editing multi-track drums.  This is a huge stopper for potential clients who are not using loops or creating rap beats, but are full-on metal producers that need these tools.

As it stands right now, I'm forced to do all drum editing in REAPER 5, where I think import the fixed stems to the Sonar session.  I paid for Sonar Platinum and I'd really prefer to keep my entire workflow within Sonar Platinum.

I don't think it's AudioSnap that is causing the issue, but there definitely is something wrong that doesn't allow me to take full advantage of AudioSnap.

I love Sonar, so I'd be absolutely grateful if the Cakewalk folks could at least acknowledge this problem and let us know they are working on it.  I'm not cancelling my rolling updates or anything like that, I'm committed, but this seriously needs to be addressed.

Thanks a LOT for all the AMAZING updates you guys made last year with the Style Dials and optimizations.  It's sincerely appreciated on my part. 
 
Cheers!
#1

23 Replies Related Threads

    metalfactorystudios
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    Re: Editing multi-track drums is completely impossible. This needs to be addressed. 2016/01/31 05:23:20 (permalink)
    +1 (1)
    At last someone else suffers the same nightmare like me. Not to mention that when using auto detect transient in audiosnap it almost always detects the transient late, splitting it in two so when you quantize you have to go and manually fix every kick or snare hit.....
    I´ve switched to PT for editing in general, it´s unbelievable retarted in Sonar PE
    #2
    Soulburned
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    Re: Editing multi-track drums is completely impossible. This needs to be addressed. 2016/01/31 06:58:20 (permalink)
    +1 (1)
    so let's clarify.  You're saying that after your timeline now has the drum tracks all split into clips for every "event", Sonar becomes less responsive?  Is this only once the action has been completed?  Is it the same experience upon closing and then opening the session fresh?  What is your CWP filesize difference (before and after clip separation)?

    Something tells me you may want to check your drives with HDTune or similar app, and look into the SMART status to see if there are any Reallocated Sectors Pending... This means sectors that are still marked as active and available for use by the OS are failing but the data has not been reallocated to new, undamaged sectors - likely resulting in stability problems.

    I would suggest also opening a support ticket and submitting your problem step by step if you can recreate it every time.  It would also help to know if this happens on just that particular project of if it's across "every" (multiple) projects with different material and different settings.
    #3
    mourningpyre
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    Re: Editing multi-track drums is completely impossible. This needs to be addressed. 2016/01/31 07:24:22 (permalink)
    +1 (1)
    Soulburned
    so let's clarify.  You're saying that after your timeline now has the drum tracks all split into clips for every "event", Sonar becomes less responsive?  Is this only once the action has been completed?  Is it the same experience upon closing and then opening the session fresh?  What is your CWP filesize difference (before and after clip separation)?


    I'm using AS in a 'Beat Detective' way where I split the clips at the start of the Transient marker.  (Where I would then try to quantize.)  However, the moment these clips are split (hundreds to thousands, depending on the note density of the drums), the session literally just stops being responsive.  I could liken it to a person trying to play a computer game with a GPU that is severely underpowered to play the game.  CWP filesize becomes very large after the clips are split.

    Soulburned
    Something tells me you may want to check your drives with HDTune or similar app, and look into the SMART status to see if there are any Reallocated Sectors Pending... This means sectors that are still marked as active and available for use by the OS are failing but the data has not been reallocated to new, undamaged sectors - likely resulting in stability problems.


    My drives are perfectly fine.  This behavior is only exhibited within Sonar.  As I mentioned, I can edit drums much bigger in size with more notes-per-measure nearly instantly using Reaper 5.  Pretty much every aspect of multi-drum editing in Reaper 5 is nearly instant - from clip splitting, bouncing, saving, etc.  I'm honestly quite shocked how badly Sonar runs when trying to do similiar actions.
     
    Soulburned
    I would suggest also opening a support ticket and submitting your problem step by step if you can recreate it every time.  It would also help to know if this happens on just that particular project of if it's across "every" (multiple) projects with different material and different settings.


    It's for everything.  I've even noticed these drastic slow-downs in the PRV with a lot of MIDI information.  I'm beginning to suspect it's a coding issue.  I could make a video demonstrating this.




    AMD FX-8350 / Windows 7 Home 64bit
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    Mourning Pyre (Atmospheric Doom / Melodic Blackened)

    #4
    pwalpwal
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    Re: Editing multi-track drums is completely impossible. This needs to be addressed. 2016/01/31 07:47:00 (permalink)

    just a sec

    #5
    metalfactorystudios
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    Re: Editing multi-track drums is completely impossible. This needs to be addressed. 2016/01/31 08:44:07 (permalink)
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    I can only subscribe every word Scott just said.
    I7 with SSD and 16gb RAM on my side
    post edited by metalfactorystudios - 2016/01/31 09:07:32
    #6
    scook
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    Re: Editing multi-track drums is completely impossible. This needs to be addressed. 2016/01/31 10:38:09 (permalink)
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    When I read about audiosnap and large cwp, I recall this thread http://forum.cakewalk.com/FindPost/2901079
    #7
    pwalpwal
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    Re: Editing multi-track drums is completely impossible. This needs to be addressed. 2016/01/31 11:00:59 (permalink)
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    scook
    When I read about audiosnap and large cwp, I recall this thread http://forum.cakewalk.com/FindPost/2901079


    that also looks like a history thing; saving flushes the history, hence the ctrl/s helping, but if the last history step was corrupted, also explains not being able to re-open some projects
     
    my speculation is: there's (a) bug(s) in the both the saving and recalling of history/do entries; i think it's caused by "disconnection" between "skylight" and the underlying older codebase; i'd bet a shiny euro ;-)
     
    hth

    just a sec

    #8
    Lord Tim
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    Re: Editing multi-track drums is completely impossible. This needs to be addressed. 2016/01/31 23:33:33 (permalink)
    +1 (1)
    I do a LOT of Audiosnap work with metal music, in fact I'm mid project now doing exactly that.
     
    My workflow is this:
     
    1. Record the takes (duh)
    2. Select each track, enable Audiosnap and set the threshold level to 100% to disable the transients
    3. If this is a simple drum track with no kicks playing in time with the snare (so you're getting possible flamming), I bounce kick and snare to a new track ** (see note below)
    4. On that track, enable Audiosnap, drag the threshold slider down until it detects most or all of the hits, adjust accordingly by moving transients around or inserting / deleting as necessary.
    5. On that track, right click it and choose Pool > Add Clip to Pool
    6. Select every other track, right click on one and choose Pool > Appy transient pool markers
    7. Manually tighten or quantize your guide track as you see fit.
    8. Select every other track, right click and choose Pool > Quantize to Pool
     
    No splits, no crossfades needed, no weird gaps, no endless clips. All of the phase is correct and it just works.
     
    ** Audiosnap has a BIG problem with ghost notes and weird detections. What I tend to do is put a gate on the kick and snare track and get them extremely clean sounding (to the point of them sounding bad, but so there's a definite attack to each hit, and no noise between the hits) and the bounce THAT to a new track. You can delete the gates after that. You new guide track will have super clear hits and Audiosnap will be a million times better at detecting the transients.
     
    This get a bit more complex with double kick work where things fall on the same beat, or places where you want to set your timing guide from something else (ie: you have a killer ride pattern which is a bit off but that's where everything follows.) You need to decide what is most important, quantize minus any overlapping hits, then go back a few more times and lock in those remaining transients with the rest of the group. Not ideal but I've had great results from doing that.

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    #9
    Aksuaho
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    Re: Editing multi-track drums is completely impossible. This needs to be addressed. 2016/02/01 03:12:17 (permalink)
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    Lord Tim
    ** Audiosnap has a BIG problem with ghost notes and weird detections. What I tend to do is put a gate on the kick and snare track and get them extremely clean sounding (to the point of them sounding bad, but so there's a definite attack to each hit, and no noise between the hits) and the bounce THAT to a new track. You can delete the gates after that. You new guide track will have super clear hits and Audiosnap will be a million times better at detecting the transients.

    Actually I tried gating an already clean kick track bouncing it to a new track. The detection becomes a bit better, but is still unusable for me. Too many signals are cutoff in the middle. After copying the pool transients to the other tracks the program became very slow, and saving the project took about 5-10 seconds.
    Like the others here in the thread I still have to switch to another program to do this kind editing. Fortunetaly I have both a Platinum and a Pro Tools License.
     
    Here is a screenshot of the two tracks, the original one and the bounced one. You can clearly see it's not a ghost note or poor attack problem. It's simply buggy detection.

     
    #10
    metalfactorystudios
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    Re: Editing multi-track drums is completely impossible. This needs to be addressed. 2016/02/01 06:16:15 (permalink)
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    Following closely, hope they can address this soon!
    #11
    Lord Tim
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    Re: Editing multi-track drums is completely impossible. This needs to be addressed. 2016/02/01 06:41:46 (permalink)
    +1 (1)
    I'm seeing MUCH better results than that.
     
    Here's my example:
     
    I've cloned my kick drum track. In the track you're getting snare and tom bleed, which you can clearly see. Both tracks are in view, the top one is the one I'll apply the gate to, the bottom is untouched.
     
    First, this is how I set up my gate:
     

     
    EDIT: Link to full image here so you can see the gate settings better: http://i8.photobucket.com...ample1_zpsetnoatxt.png
     
    Now bear in mind that this effected track sounds TERRIBLE. But it's only there for the detection. Essentially you're just getting pops where every kick hit is. 
     
    After you apply the effect, it looks like this:
     

     
    When I enable Audiosnap on the tracks, just leaving it as the default threshold, I get this result:
     

     
    A closer look:
     

     
    Full image here: http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a3/lordtim/SONAR/as_example4_zpsrfejr3r3.png
     
    As you can see, the bottom un-gated track is terrible. Early detections, ghost notes... you name it. Even playing with the threshold won't get you much better than that, and you'll need to do a heap of manual work to make sure everything is where it should be.
     
    On the contrary, the top track is dead on the start of each transient where it should be.
     
    As far as saving times goes, there's not a lot you can do about that. If you're making sure your multi-mic kit is all phase coherent, you'll need to apply the transients across all of the tracks at the same places anyway, so one extra guide track is negligible as far as save time goes.
     
    Now don't get me wrong, I'm not defending Audiosnap - this NEEDS to be fixed. It's a tool I've used on literally hundreds of commercial tracks over the last year or two and the less screwing around I need to do to just make it work, the better! But the gating thing REALLY helps for me and dramatically speeds my workflow up.
    post edited by Lord Tim - 2016/02/01 06:56:24

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    #12
    metalfactorystudios
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    Re: Editing multi-track drums is completely impossible. This needs to be addressed. 2016/02/01 06:46:40 (permalink)
    +1 (1)
    brOOtal explanation Lord Tim, very useful
    #13
    Lord Tim
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    Re: Editing multi-track drums is completely impossible. This needs to be addressed. 2016/02/01 06:51:24 (permalink)
    +1 (1)
    Cheers, man! 
     
    I think the other thing that needs addressing is the manual or the tutorials in using this. Cake's Dan Gonzalez did some excellent tutorials on multitrack drum stuff including a bit of Audiosnap things, and his methods - while effective - were a little confusing, and the manual made my brain hurt trying to understand the method they prefer you to use.
     
    I don't think this stuff is as hard as it appears to be, and fighting with the tools is just making the matter worse...!

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    #14
    metalfactorystudios
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    Re: Editing multi-track drums is completely impossible. This needs to be addressed. 2016/02/01 07:05:25 (permalink)
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    I´m still intrigued by how efficiently Pro Tools & Reaper manage clips compared to Sonar that begins to slows down as soon as you start cutting & moving
    post edited by metalfactorystudios - 2016/02/01 14:11:04
    #15
    dcumpian
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    Re: Editing multi-track drums is completely impossible. This needs to be addressed. 2016/02/01 08:38:30 (permalink)
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    It sounds like there are really two issues here:
     
    1) Audiosnap's transient detection could be a lot better.
    2) Sonar's clip management needs to be more robust and able to handle lots of clips without falling over or slowing down.
     
    I'm in...
     
    Regards,
    Dan
     

    Mixing is all about control.
     
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    #16
    Lord Tim
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    Re: Editing multi-track drums is completely impossible. This needs to be addressed. 2016/02/01 08:48:00 (permalink)
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    Absolutely!
     
    If you think about it when you use the Split at Transients method, you might have maybe 100 splits in a given song? 200? Then combine that over 12 tracks of drums. You now have a LOT of tiny clips to deal with, and if they all are Audiosnap enabled, that's making SONAR go "er, what?" at you. So some kind of clip caching for that kind of thing sounds really necessary.
     
    This is another reason I prefer to use the transient stretching rather than splitting because I find there's a huge performance gain, even aside from having a lot more control over fine tuning the transients/quantize after it's done and before you bounce to new clips using the higher quality offline render algorithm.
     
    But for me, just adding a gate into the pre-detection routine bypasses a lot of the bad detection right away. There's no question the detection algorithm needs work, but I think it'd need far less work if there was a pre-gate (with EQ like the Sonitus Gate has) built into Audiosnap before it hits the detection routine.

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    #17
    gbowling
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    Re: Editing multi-track drums is completely impossible. This needs to be addressed. 2016/02/01 09:06:37 (permalink)
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    I too do this many times and agree there needs to be a lot of work done on this workflow. I also agree with Lord Tim about gating the guide track and also thank him for the detailed info. 
     
    I thought I might also add a few random tips that I sometimes use that might help someone. 
     
    - I find that quantizing without splitting works pretty well if you have very minor adjustments to make. If you have larger or more difficult problems it causes problems for me, so splitting becomes necessary.
     
    - If you split and have lots of splits, yes saving and working with the data becomes really slow. As you put things back together they are not as slow any more. It would be nice to be able to select a section and work on it, but AS ONLY works on the entire track. So to work on a section, you have to split it somewhere (say at the end of the 1st verse) and copy that to another track. Then you can split/work on that section and "bounce to clips" to put them back together. Then copy that back to the original track, select the next section and do the same.
     
    - I also sometimes use melodyne to quantize. Even Melo essential does a much better job of this than sonar. However, since you don't have multitrack, you have to align everything in a track to the grid, then do the same for other tracks to maintain alignment. If you have a pretty accurate track, this actually works better for me than doing it with audiosnap.
     
    - Sometimes I'll use both. Split a group of tracks at beats 2 and 4 ONLY and align those to the grid on 2/4. This gets everything pretty close, but the beats in between are some times a bit off. Now bring those into melodyne one track at a time and quantize. Render those and bounce to  create clean tracks.
     
    - Drum replacer can also act like a gate. Use DR to replace a kick track and it eliminates all the bleed just like a gate does.
     
    - If you're not going to keep the track in the final, then don't worry about pops/clicks. Sometimes the final intent of my work is to create midi tracks from the part and trigger AD2. If I'm doing this, say for a kick track, then I can work on the original kick and not worry about the artifacts associated with splitting or moving around hits as they won't wind up triggering a note anyway.
     
    - Another thing I've posted about that I wish would be changed is the behavior of grouping when you use AS to split. If you have all your tracks in a group, split them with AS, the result is that all the clips are still in one large group. What we really need is for each vertical slice of clips to be in a separate group as that's the way we want to work with them. If you split manually that's what happens. So if I'm going to only split on the 2/4 snare hits and maybe a few other place, then I sometimes create a group of the tracks and split them manually with the split tool. It's time consuming, but more accurate and everything winds up in the correct grouping structure. 
     
     
    That's a short list of the top of my head. I'm also considering purchasing the studio version of melodyne 4 which does multitrack. Their method of working with "blobs" is better than the idea of working with transients. However, at the moment we would still be using it stand alone to edit multitrack drums and exporting/importing the finished tracks to sonar.
     
    gabo
     

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    #18
    Aksuaho
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    Re: Editing multi-track drums is completely impossible. This needs to be addressed. 2016/02/01 09:44:19 (permalink)
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    @Lord Tim, thx a lot for this very deailed and useful explanation of a possible workaround. As a matter of fact, if the detection was the only problem with Audio Snap it would be somehow ok and acceptable. But from then it is still a nightmare to edit multi track recordings. If you have ever used a software like PT or Reaper you knows there are much easier and faster ways. For instance the fact that you must copy (merge) "all" markers "before" you can start edit all tracks together. A double click should not only select all adjacent markers, it should create them on the tracks without detected markers.
    The other already mentioned problem is the performance, which maybe has to do with the hard disc driver structure. If our drummer records 16 tracks a 7 takes, you have about over 100 clips. Editing and Comping with a SSD hard disc works fine, but as soon I switch to my place or the studio (with just normal HDs) it becomes horrible slow and unstable. I could either buy a SSD or transfer the project to PT (100+ tracks is easy going there, also with moderate hardware).
    #19
    Lord Tim
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    Re: Editing multi-track drums is completely impossible. This needs to be addressed. 2016/02/01 09:52:26 (permalink)
    +1 (1)
    Once you do have the markers all quantized together, you *can* double click one and it selects all of the tracks with the markers that fall on the same beat... well, in theory. That works about 80% of the time, and other times it either selects none, partial, or grabs markers around the ones you're trying to select. Pretty annoying!
     
    One good thing about the transient smart tool is it's easy to left-mouse drag around the markers you want to select and select them all. If you've quantized the track, just turn your project snap on and you'll be able to drag them to the nearest beat quite easily.
     
    But I do agree, if you've got everything locked together, one marker should move the others by default when you drag it around.
     
    Since I don't use the split method, I don't find any slowdown at all. In fact, if you check out the specs in my signature below, you'll see I'm running a pretty low powered laptop for my recording computer, and even worse, my audio drive is a USB2 external drive. But I'm getting very acceptable performance out of it, even on really big projects.  I'd expect that to change really fast if I decided to split at each transient, though! That would likely bring my machine to its knees!

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    #20
    mourningpyre
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    Re: Editing multi-track drums is completely impossible. This needs to be addressed. 2016/02/02 04:54:55 (permalink)
    +1 (1)
    Lord Tim
    Cheers, man! 
     
    I think the other thing that needs addressing is the manual or the tutorials in using this. Cake's Dan Gonzalez did some excellent tutorials on multitrack drum stuff including a bit of Audiosnap things, and his methods - while effective - were a little confusing, and the manual made my brain hurt trying to understand the method they prefer you to use.
     
    I don't think this stuff is as hard as it appears to be, and fighting with the tools is just making the matter worse...!



    I have a channel where I'm doing Sonar tutorials for this exact reason.  My hope is that the videos I create can help bridge the gap for new users who can view a quick video instead of the the length documentation (Channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb9quoCHzUzeSG2xGAcpw0g)
     
    Let me please clarify that I'm grateful for the documentation!
     
    However, a lot of the documentation, though very thorough, is just like trying to read applied mathematics sometimes.  I was preparing an AudioSnap tutorial and become frustrated with the issues I was having, which lead to me making this thread.

    Now that I'm thinking about it, I ran into the insane slow down problems while making my slip-editing video.  I circumvented that by bouncing the slipped-clips into new clips.  Maybe this doesn't have anything to do with AudioSnap at all, but how Sonar is handling clips within a session?


    post edited by mourningpyre - 2016/02/02 05:16:41

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    #21
    metalfactorystudios
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    Re: Editing multi-track drums is completely impossible. This needs to be addressed. 2016/02/02 05:41:19 (permalink)
    +1 (1)
    Some time ago I posted some features for editing drums, maybe you agree with some of them:
     
    - Tab to transient: Works wonders with individual tracks but starts to fail when tabbing with grouped clips, that´s really annoying
    - Group clips: I wonder why when tracks are grouped if you select one track and make a split it doesn´t make a cut in all tracks, that slows a ton the workflow when cutting tracks to edit them to the grid so it doubles the steps to make a cut for all the tracks grouped.
    - Grid lines: The only way to change the resolution of the grid is by enabling SmartGrid, but everytime you change the zoom it changes its resolution. A way to set the grid lines to your prefer resolution will be a major improvement
    - AudioSnap: (This one has been address perfectly by Scott in this original post) Those who work professionaly need to speed up our editing time. Now audiosnap is the only way to edit multitrack drums ala BeatDet way. Your select your markers, merge them and cut. So far so good. Now it comes the bad part, the session begins to slow down, if you ever dare to save the session it will take maybe 10 minutes and 300mb size. That´s really bad and why I mainly switch to PT for that.
    - Strech clips only works with one track at a time. So if you´re trying to strech your 20 drums tracks for some cymbal bleed you have to do it one by one :(
    - Enable a quick quantize button that will move to the selected grid without having to set the parameters in the quantize menu, like you do on PT, just press a key and move. Bang!!
     
    post edited by metalfactorystudios - 2016/02/02 06:03:33
    #22
    brundlefly
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    Re: Editing multi-track drums is completely impossible. This needs to be addressed. 2016/02/02 21:12:15 (permalink)
    +2 (2)
    Late to the party, and haven't read the whole thread in detail, but didn't see any references to this:
     
    The main issue in the original post is that every clip created by splitting at transients is a slip-edited copy of the original with Audiosnap enabled, which basically squares the number of transient markers that SONAR has to keep track of.
     
    What you want to do is select all clips, and Apply Trimming to destructively apply the slip-edits, and then disable Audiosnap on all the clips, either using the AS Palette or the Audiosnap section of the Clip tab in the Track Inspector.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

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    #23
    mourningpyre
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    Re: Editing multi-track drums is completely impossible. This needs to be addressed. 2016/02/03 03:30:39 (permalink)
    0
    brundlefly
    What you want to do is select all clips, and Apply Trimming to destructively apply the slip-edits, and then disable Audiosnap on all the clips, either using the AS Palette or the Audiosnap section of the Clip tab in the Track Inspector.



    I'll give this a shot and see how it goes, thanks for the advice!

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    #24
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