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  • frankenstrudel
    Posts: 13
    Joined: Jun 24th, 2019
    Why won't automation move with global tempo change?
    Rhythm tracks (drums, bass, etc.) were recorded at 155 BPM at a pro studio, using Logic. The vocalist then recorded vocal tracks at home, using Logic on a different computer, and using a rough mix of the studio session as a guide, imported as Track 1. On the vocalist's home computer, a click wasn't used. The rough mix was imported with the global BPM for the file simply set to the default, 120. Many separate vocal tracks were then recorded, and volume automation was used extensively to sync up the various vocals. All of these vocal tracks, with automation, need to be sent back to the pro studio for mixing. The automation can be printed into the stems, but ideally the automation tracks could be left intact, so the studio engineer can adjust automation as needed. However, if the global BPM is changed to 155, to match the studio's file, the automation remains attached to the 120 BPM grid. That is, the volume automation does not stay with the recorded signals. A YouTube thread indicates a solution for having automation move with tempo. It is to convert track based automation (TBA) to region based automation (RBA), and/or to "unlock the automation folder." But I haven't found any instruction on how to convert TBA to RBA, nor can I find an automation folder. I've tried simply cutting-and-pasting the volume automation (copying it from track-based and pasting into region-based), but this doesn't seem to paste anything. I've never used RBA and this is all new to me. I would indeed have thought that automation would move with any global tempo change by default. Under Functions, I have locked SMPTE, but this makes no difference: the automation stays immobile on the timeline while the audio expands outward as BPM is increased. I'm guessing there's a simple solution. Hope so! Many thanks.
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  • Joe A
    Posts: 617
    Joined: Oct 1st, 2013
    Re: Why won't automation move with global tempo change?
    Hi Frankenstrudel - I may not be fully understanding your description of the evolution of this Project, but AFAICT I can't duplicate the issue here.. I recorded an audio file at 120bpm [in a session with several tracks already present], added some automation, and then changed the Global tempo to 155, and the automation data tracked the tempo change—that is, the automation moves stayed with the sped-up audio (Flex on, of course), with the moves occurring at the same places (same bars) @ either 120 or 155 bpm [which as I understand it is what you were looking for, yes?].. I'm assuming that locking SMPTE position is what's causing the Automation data to get out of sync with the music, but I guess you have to do that because of the fact that audio [vocal] tracks were recorded at the wrong tempo [120 instead of 155]. When I lock SMPTE position, the automation data does indeed get out of sync with the music when I change 120 to 155; with SMPTE *not* locked the automation stays in sync with the music [but I recorded the audio at the same tempo [120] the previous tracks were recorded at]. Converting Track automation to Region automation didn't keep the automation from getting out of sync when the Regions were SMPTE-locked (it was fine either way when they weren't locked), but if you want to try it in your Project, you could select the Region[s], and go to Mix menu > Convert Automation > Convert Visible Track Automation to Region Automation.. I'm guessing you may need to bounce down everything to audio at the tempo where everything (including the automation moves] is in proper sync, then unlock the bounced Regions, and try implementing theTempo change.. [I'd do Save A Copy As... first, and then experiment with the duplicated Project].. Btw, there is an old trick for open the mysterious hidden Automation Folder, and it actually still works, but it did crash Logic in short order [it's not really meant to be accessed], so I'd suggest not messing around with that..
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  • frankenstrudel
    Posts: 13
    Joined: Jun 24th, 2019
    Re: Why won't automation move with global tempo change?
    Joe A, what an excellent reply. THANK YOU. I'm waiting for an electrician to stop by in a few minutes, but will get on this later today. Main thing your reply clears up is what is supposed to happen. I may well have some sort of glitch. The evolution of the project does include the potential for glitches: 1) Rhythm tracks recorded in studio away from home (155 BPM, Logic, as described). 2) Vocalist imports rough mix into GARAGEBAND (sorry, I was simplifying), and records many vocal tracks. 3) I work on the file with her in GarageBand, recording more vocals and then adding lots of automation. 4) I notice limitations in GarageBand, so I bring the file over to my studio, Logic Pro X. 5) I do more automation in Logic Pro X. 6) Weird glitches, seemingly from starting in GarageBand, make me decide to reconstitute the file in a new Logic file. 7) For example, I can't monitor a synth instrument while recording it. 8) I first make stems by hand (joining regions from 1111 to the same point on every track). 9) I copy and paste the tracks into the new file. The last three steps aren't entirely relevant, except for that they show I suspect glitches from having started with the GarageBand file. They're not entirely a part of the issue I posted about because, whether I work on the new file or the one I made the stems in, the automation still doesn't expand along with the global tempo shift. Another weird thing (may just show my inexperience) is that, when I copied the stems (track by track) into the new file, you could see the automation, but it looked like it wasn't enabled. 10) When I made the new file, I specified its BPM as 155. This made me think that the automation just wouldn't copy correctly. After coming back to it a day later, I realized that if I changed that new file to 120 BPM, the automation would line up perfectly. I'll go step by step through your description, especially re: using Flex, and see if it was just that that I overlooked, or something else you specify. I've of course attempted to bring Flex into the solution, but I may have done it wrong. Thanks a ton so far! You really addressed everything in my note!
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  • frankenstrudel
    Posts: 13
    Joined: Jun 24th, 2019
    Re: Why won't automation move with global tempo change?
    Actually, I think I did all of the automation in Logic at my house, but also recorded a lot of vocal work here. (It was all recorded with 120 BPM in the background.) But the main vocal work was recorded at the vocalist's house in GarageBand. Point being, in Logic (after Garageband), different computer, both recording and automation were done. All of the recorded files (whether recorded in Garageband or Logic) have the same trouble with automation not tracking with tempo changes.
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  • frankenstrudel
    Posts: 13
    Joined: Jun 24th, 2019
    Re: Why won't automation move with global tempo change?
    Joe, I was able to get to the file today. I quickly realized there was more to the problem that I hadn't made clear. I did Flex for all of the tracks and, like you said, automation tracked any tempo changes without a hitch. But the speed of the recording increased as well. That's the complicated thing about this situation. All those vocal files I mentioned are at the right speed (right speed to the human ear) (so is the rough mix which is their guide). If you hear them, they sound right, and they sound right because they have no relation whatsoever to the project BPM. The project BPM is 120 (the "BPM" as visible in Logic), but the "real world" BPM is 155 (the BPM that we're tapping our foot to). So the best way to say the problem: We don't want the speed of the audio to change at all. We simply want to change the grid that underlies all of the audio. Automation should start and stop where it always started and stopped -- but in relation to the moments of the real-world song. But if the moments of the automation are tied to a 120 BPM grid, and the moments of the AUDIO are ALSO tied to that 120 grid (even though they're actually proceeding at 155 BPM to the human ear), now we have the problem. The programming of Logic is interpreting everything as first being at 120 and now being expanded to 155. Logic simply speeds up the audio and then the automation tracks along with it. Except, we can't allow the audio to speed up. Ideally we could lift all of that audio (tied to its automation) as if it had no tempo printed on it at all. We lift it, we stick it on a 155 BPM grid, and now we let Logic reinterpret everything with respect to that new grid. But the coding doesn't seem to work that way. The brute force solution I probably need to do is copy and paste all of the tracks into a new 155 BPM file (removing all tempo information first) and then, by hand, move the automation to be in sync. Not hard to do, but a bummer. If I do that, I still have one issue. The automation, when I paste the tracks into the new file, seems disabled. I don't know how to enable it. It looks like faint lines (out of position of course), instead of bold yellow lines with nodes. Thanks for your very clear help thus far, Joe. I did try converting track-based-automation to region-based-automation, but, as you said, it behaved the same.
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  • Joe A
    Posts: 617
    Joined: Oct 1st, 2013
    Re: Why won't automation move with global tempo change?
    Ah ok, so then you do have to SMPTE-lock the Regions and then the Automation data will apparently not translate properly to the global tempo change.. It does sound like the brute-force solution you describe is going to be necessary.. I tried what you described, created a new Project @ 155, and imported the tracks from the 120 Project using File menu->Import->Logic Projects... I checked off Automation and told it not to import tempo information from the previous Project, and the tracks came in with the Automation intact and editable, at the correct speed once I turned Flex off for the audio tracks. The Automation was active, though still in the wrong place and needing to be moved by hand, just as you expected..
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  • frankenstrudel
    Posts: 13
    Joined: Jun 24th, 2019
    Re: Why won't automation move with global tempo change?
    Joe, Thanks for guiding me through. I'm gonna use the brute force approach, as we touched base on. But I can't figure out the first obstacle. Your automation showed up perfectly yellow with nodes when you copied it, but mine is grayed out. It would seem that the automation is disabled, but no matter what I've tried, I can't get it to turn yellow with nodes. It's just a faint line. There are several discussions I've referred to online, but, as far as I can tell, Logic "thinks" that automation for the track is turned on. If I click on the track, it offers up a new yellow active line. (This doesn't erase the faint grayed-out line; it's still there.) If I go to the mixer view, all of the tracks have green "Read" buttons, not grayed out buttons which would mean automation is disabled. When I right-click the track button in the header, it gives options like "consolidate relative and absolute automation" and "delete all visible automation on track." If I select either of those, nothing happens. Truly nothing, because if I go up to the Edit menu to undo, it doesn't even show that I did anything. However, in that same right-click menu under the Track button, if I select "Delete All Automation," the gray line will in fact disappear. That's something, hallelujah.... So I know Logic thinks SOMETHING is there, SOME form of automation. Well, perhaps the volume automation is actually on? Nope. If I play the track, the volume fader does nothing. Would love your help. Frank
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  • frankenstrudel
    Posts: 13
    Joined: Jun 24th, 2019
    Re: Why won't automation move with global tempo change?
    I'd like to attach a screen shot here (showing the grayed out automation lines), but I can't figure out how. The only buttons are "Submit Post" and "Attach a video." If I drag the photo into this text space, or into the space that "Attach a video" offers, the photo expands to take up the whole screen and there are no buttons to push to send it.
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  • Joe A
    Posts: 617
    Joined: Oct 1st, 2013
    Re: Why won't automation move with global tempo change?
    Hi Frank - Unfortunately, you can't upload an image, only the Forum moderator can—sorry (it's a hedge against spam).. Re the grey lines, a thought.. Usually grey Automation lines are for Automation data that's not the currently-selected automation type; maybe check the automation display menu in the track header and see if you can suss out what Logic thinks it is.. Also, maybe it's Region automation data rather than Track automation data (or vice versa)..?
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  • frankenstrudel
    Posts: 13
    Joined: Jun 24th, 2019
    Re: Why won't automation move with global tempo change?
    Joe, thanks. I think I'm looking in the places you're saying. When I look at the main track, we see the gray, actually brownish, automation line. At 155 BPM, it's way out of place, to the left of the signals its supposed to modify. But at 120, it moves into position. We see the brownish faded line on the main track, but if I click the triangle to open up the companion automation track, there's no brownish line visible there. This is true no matter what parameter I select: Volume Absolute, Volume Relative, Pan Absolute, Pan Relative, Solo, or Mute. A new horizontal line is introduced for each of these parameters, but nothing that shows the faded brownish automation data. That line remains visible on the main track, but only there. If I select these same parameters using the button on the main track, the results are the same. New faded horizontal lines are introduced, but none of the parameters turn the brownish faded line into an active line. On the main track, if I change the Track button to Region, the brownish faded line disappears. On the main track, if I disable the Track button, the brownish faded line becomes thinner, but doesn't disappear. This would suggest that Logic does read it as Track automation. There are several other buttons in the header. If I click, I, R, S, M, or H, nothing happens to the brownish faded automation line. This file was created in order to reconstitute a file that had originated in GarageBand. The very original recordings were done in Logic in a pro studio, 155 BPM, but the singer only had GarageBand and she simply imported the engineer's rough mix as Track 1 and then recorded lots of vocals. This file was then brought over to my studio, and saved in Logic, where more vocals were recorded on it, and all of the automation, with the file still at 120 BPM. Because I couldn't monitor MIDI instruments while recording them, couldn't monitor guitar effects while recording them -- though I could hear the dry guitar -- couldn't record more than one track at once, Iet alone the problems with BPM 120 vs 155, I decided to reconstitute the track in a new Logic file. As the most effective way of dealing with the BPM problem, I made all of the tracks the same length in the converted GB file by putting dummy audio at the beginning and end of each track and Joining the regions. I then simply copy-and-pasted each track from the suspect Logic file into the fresh Logic file. The active automation, heavy yellow, with nodes, is definitely still in the suspect Logic file. Perhaps there is a more certain way of copy-and-pasting the automation from each track of that file onto the tracks of the fresh file. In any case, whatever the brownish faded automation line is being understood as by Logic, it definitely is there. It disappears if I "Delete All Automation," it becomes lighter if I disable Track automation. But it can't be selected with the mouse. If it can somehow be made active in that file, presumably it can be copied onto the correct parameter. Maybe I'm not looking in the right place. Sure do appreciate your help. Frank
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