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  • Student482835
    Posts: 20
    Joined: Jul 6th, 2021
    Visual Mixer - Can you group instruments?
    Hi, simple question - is there any way to group instruments in Visual Mixer so that we could raise the volume of just the vocal tracks or just the strings? I know I can group in my DAW, and I guess that brings me to my next question: If I change the volume on my DAW buss (I use folders since I'm using Reaper), how does that work with the volume set in Visual Mixer? Thanks!
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  • Joe A
    Posts: 1431
    Joined: Oct 1st, 2013
    Re: Visual Mixer - Can you group instruments?
    AFAIK, there's currently no way to group the track handles in the Visual Mixer (I tried selecting multiple tracks/objects there but no go) -- it looks like within the interface they'd have to be adjusted one by one. You could change levels of several Grouped tracks in the regular DAW mixer, reserving the individual level adjustments in the Visual Mixer for track-to-track balance within the Group -- both the channel strip faders and the Visual Mixer objects will affect the levels of the tracks. Combining channel strip fader level adjustments with Visual Mixer adjustments could get a little confusing, and I guess it kind of goes against the centralized concept of the Visual Mixer, but I don't see why you couldn't make overall Group offsets with Grouped channel strip faders while still making individual track mixing adjustments in the Visual Mixer interface..
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  • Student482835
    Posts: 20
    Joined: Jul 6th, 2021
    Re: Visual Mixer - Can you group instruments?
    Thanks Joe - that's great information. I use Neutron 3 as well, and I used it to make the first basic mix before I went into visual mixer to fine tune on a track by tack basis. Neutron 3 has the tracks grouped logically (Focus/lead vox, backing vox, bass, percussion, "musical"/other instruments) and I could adjust the relative levels of groups. When I had it in the best state I could get it I hit "Accept". Then I went into the visual mixer and fine tuned it, assuming I'd have a way to go back and adjust the relative level of groups again afterward with Neutron. I'm obviously new to Neutron and Visual Mixer, lol. I couldn't find the way and it seems like such a waste because they already grouped my tracks in Neutron for mixing and now I can no longer access/control that. I could start the wizard over but then it would also overwrite all the adjustments I made in Visual Mixer and I'd be back where I started, having thrown out all my fine tuning work. It's kind of a silly loop of frustration. Fair enough. Major oversight in a suite of software that works so intelligently with each other, imo. But fair enough. So if I go the grouping in DAW route, I imagine I can make sense of the effects on volume of groups in DAW vs individual objects in Visual Mixer well enough. It is counter intuitive but I don't see it as a showstopper or anything. BUT if I want to send tracks to someone else remotely so they can import and co-produce with me, let's say.... how do I save the tracks WITH the adjustments Visual Mixer and even Neutron made to them? I realize this is a much more basic and general DAW question and is not only about Visual Mixer. But even if it were only about Visual Mixer, if I wanted to save the panning and volume settings to the actual audio or MIDI itself, is rendering each track going to do this for me? I apologize for my lack of knowledge of DAWs and software, but I do make up for my technical DAW ignorance with inspiration and ideas, lol. I just need to grow in how I manage them technically. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!
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  • Joe A
    Posts: 1431
    Joined: Oct 1st, 2013
    Re: Visual Mixer - Can you group instruments?
    Hi - Visual Mixer is just adjusting the level/panning of the output sliders in the Neutron (or Relay) plug-ins in the individual channel strips, so I guess if you export audio stems of individual tracks that (normally would) include all the plug-in effects on those tracks (using whatever options the DAW provides for that*) those stems should incorporate any level adjustments you dialed up in the Visual Mixer. * Exporting stems is done a little differently in each DAW -- I don't have Reaper but I assume it'd include that function and should be easy enough to figure out..
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  • Student482835
    Posts: 20
    Joined: Jul 6th, 2021
    Re: Visual Mixer - Can you group instruments?
    Thanks again. Great info. Last two pls (I think it's the last two): If I export stems, complete with all level, panning, and fx on the track will the audio files also retain the group in DAW volume adjustments I made or only the ones made through the Visual Mixer? And if I import them back into my DAW and turn on visual mixer will it reflect the level/panning settings or will it visually show the tracks all in the centre while retaining the panning and levels in the audio? To be clearer, I'm asking if the retained fx are only retained in audio qualities or if I can also visually see them again in visual mixer when I import them I to a new session? For that matter, if I imported them into a new project, would my DAW visually show the group in DAW levels that were set in the last project and only adding Visual Mixer would show the adjustments I made in Visual Mixer in the last project? Or would my DAW show the changes made in both group in DAW in the last project as well as the adjustments made in Visual Mixer? Or would Visual Mixer in the new project reflect both sets of levels in its view? How would the levels set by grouping in DAW display vs the levels set by Visual Mixer in the first project? You've given me a good amount of your time and answers. I promise to pay it forward and give my time and expertise (in other subjects, lol, or else on this subject in the future when I have expertise) to others. I appreciate the answers. Thanks again.
    Reply
  • Joe A
    Posts: 1431
    Joined: Oct 1st, 2013
    Re: Visual Mixer - Can you group instruments?
    Ok, re question 1.. It depends on the options presented by the DAW when you export stems. Usually the audio stem for each track will be what you hear is what you get, but there may be options like include or exclude plug-ins and volume/pan settings. And if any Group level tweaks are part of any Automation data, there might also be an option to include or exclude that as well. As far as re-importing them.. Well, if your collaborator didn't change anything in the stems you gave him, then there's no need to re-import them, just import any new tracks he added to the project back into the same session you exported from -- the original tracks (including any Neutron plug-ins and the Visual Mixer) should still be there. However, if you did import the stems back into a new session, they should sound the same but all the effects (and Visual Mixer settings) would be permanently baked into the audio files themselves. Again, think of the Visual Mixer as simply a remote control interface for the individual output level/pan controls of the iZotope plug-ins in the individual channels. If you re-import the stems back into a different session, there'd be no iZotope plug-ins so no Visual Mixer, and if you did set it all up again you'd be starting from scratch -- BUT the audio files themselves would still reflect the levels you'd dialed up with either/both the channel strip faders and the Visual Mixer when they were exported. So, exporting audio stems normally renders all the effects and level settings into the new exported audio file -- again, unless the DAW offers options not to do so and you use those options. What you decide to do would depend on what you and the other person need for the collaboration. Of course, if you both can agree to work in the same DAW, then there'd be no need to render/export audio stems, you'd just exchange session files (folders), making life much easier.. ;-)
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  • Student482835
    Posts: 20
    Joined: Jul 6th, 2021
    Re: Visual Mixer - Can you group instruments?
    Thanks a ton Joe. I'm finally at a point where this all makes sense to me (I only mean all you've said) and that's a major accomplishment. I think I will use Visual Mixer for all levels and try to resist using group/folder volume adjustments in DAW altogether. But it's good to know that if I find a need to bring up a whole group the option is there for me. I'm learning so much at the outset of my journey and I guess I can only say I'm really happy this is all interesting to me. And I'm thankful for helpful guys like you along the way.
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