Effective use of playlist

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Effective use of playlist

Postby ljudatervinning » Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:21

Is there any documentation/tips/tutorials on how to effectively use playlist while editing?
My specific case is that I recorded 16ch orchestra, and in the end of the session we added percussion on 16 new channels, using playlists for different takes.
Now, how can I efficiently edit these takes? Is there a way to view and edit among the takes?

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Re: Effective use of playlist

Postby fl » Thu Apr 12, 2018 16:11

Firstly, apologies for the length of this posting, but it takes a lot of words to accurately describe the processes, which with practice, take only seconds to execute, so please bear with me.

I use Playlists extensively, and have figured out a technique, but first I need to understand a few things.

In the Pyramix Settings > Project > Record page, did you have "Create an empty Playlist for each recording" selected before you did any recording? Did you have "Increment Take Number" enabled in that same Settings page? If you did, you will have created a Playlist each time you went into record during the session, which will have the same name as the Take's Clip and Media File, and they will all have a three digit number appended to the end of their names, indicating the Take number: Percussion Overdub 001, Percussion Overdub 002, etc.

In the View Menu, did you have "Cursor Auto Return" enabled during the session, so that every Take begins at the same Time? Did the Percussionists monitor the Orchestral Take(s) while they were adding their overdubs, so that they are in time with the Orchestral performance?

If you did not have these settings enabled before you began, then you have a couple of minutes of repetitive work to do before you can proceed. I've appended instructions to the end of this message, below. If you did, and all your Takes are associated with corresponding Playlists, and everything is in time with the Orchestral recording, then you're in great shape.

You can view the Playlist that you created for each Percussion Overdub Take, by clicking on the Playlists button in any Track Header for any Percussion OD track - it's the button which looks like a series of three short horizontal lines with an arrow head to the right of them, with a single, longer horizontal line under all of them. It's in the second row of buttons, second from the left. You may have to enlarge the height of the Tracks to be able to see all the buttons. You can also see ALL the Playlists in your project in the Playlists Tab, and double-clicking on any one of them will immediately place the contents of that Playlist on its associated Tracks. I like using the button and its pop-ups better, but YMMV.

Clicking on the Playlists button brings up a pop-up menu with four options: Create New Playlist, Create Copy Playlist, View Playlist, and Merge Playlist - you want the third choice, "Recall Playlist". Click on that and a list of all the Takes you made for that Track Group, should appear. Click on one, and the Clips from that Take will replace the contents of the Tracks in the Track Group with those from the selected Take. This is how you can quickly switch from one Take to another while editing.

In order to Edit your Percussion Takes, you first need to go to the Track Groups Tab and in the second column, make the Percussion Group's Type "Source". Then, click on the Percussion Track Group to highlight it, and to to the top of the list and click on "Click here to duplicate..."

IMPORTANT: Doing this should create a new set of 16 Tracks (nos. 33 to 48) BELOW the two existing ones. It's very important that any new TracksTrack Groups you create are BELOW any existing ones - otherwise you will lose your Playlists. While it's not a huge deal to re-create them, it's best to avoid this issue.

In the Track Groups Tab, make the new Track Group a "Destination" type.

Now you can S-D edit your Percussion Overdubs into this new Track Group.

You didn't mention whether you did multiple Takes of the Orchestra, but if you did, you can set up the same kind of thing with a new Destination Track Group for the edited Orchestra. Just be sure to locate any new Track Group BELOW all of the existing ones from the session, to preserve the Playlists you created. Your final Track Groups arrangement could look like:

Orchestra Source Tracks (1 - 16)
Percussion Overdubs Source (17 - 32)
Orchestra Destination (33 - 48)
Percussion OD Destination (49 - 64)

With that many Tracks, you might want to enable the Auto-Collapse feature for each of the Track Groups in the Track Groups Tab (13th column from the left). You'll probably need to enable Auto Solo as well, but just for while you're editing.
_________________________________________________________________________

If you did not have "Create empty Playlist for each new recording..." enabled in the Settings before you started your recording session, you can still create them easily.

Position your Cursor at the beginning of any Clips which are in those tracks now. Click on the Track Header for the first (top-most) Track of the Track Group where you wish to have Playlists. Click on the Playlist button and select "Create New Playlist" > "for all Tracks in Group/Strip", and in the pop-up which appears, name this Playlist the same as your first recorded Take - something like "Percussion OD 001", or however you did it. Any clips which occupied those Tracks a moment before will disappear, but don't worry, your Clips have not been erased. Go to the Media Manager Tab, find the first Take for that Track Group, highlight it and type Control-P, and in the pop-up, select the first option, "Append to cursor sorted by name on selected Track". Now, go back to the Playlist button and once again, "Create New Playlist for all Tracks in Group/Strip, name it for the second Take, and so on for each Take.
___________________________________________________________________________________

If you made more than one Take of the Orchestra, and wish to edit those performances in addition to the Percussion Overdubs, then you need to make yet another Track Group, for the Orchestra Destination. Just make sure, as I mentioned above, that any new Track Group you create by duplicating an existing one, is positioned at the BOTTOM of the Track Group List, so that any and all Playlists that where created during your recording session are preserved. Otherwise, you'll have to recreate them using the instructions just above.

Source-Destination Editing with more than one Destination Group in a Project requires some extra care. Before you make any Auto-Edit, be sure to click on the Destination Track Group you intend. Pyramix will remember the most recent Source Track Group you were working with, but needs to be told which is the intended Destination. Apart from this caution, S-D editing will proceed as normal.

When I'm finished editing, I like to make sure that no accidental leakage from any Source Track will interfere in subsequent Mixing, so I usually create a new, empty Playlist for each of the Source Groups, to effectively mute any signal from them, and thereby insuring that anything you hear is coming from your Destination Track Groups, containing your edited assemblies. If you had enabled Auto-Solo while you were editing, disable it now, so that you can hear both the Orchestra and the Percussion OD Destination Track Groups, and proceed with mixing.
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Re: Effective use of playlist

Postby ljudatervinning » Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:51

Thank's a lot Frank for taking the time!

In the Pyramix Settings > Project > Record page, did you have "Create an empty Playlist for each recording" selected before you did any recording?

For the original orchestra recording, "no" playlist was used. All takes on the same timeline.
For the Percussion overdub I manually created new playlist for "almost" each recording.

Did you have "Increment Take Number" enabled in that same Settings page?

Yes

In the View Menu, did you have "Cursor Auto Return" enabled during the session, so that every Take begins at the same Time?

No

Did the Percussionists monitor the Orchestral Take(s) while they were adding their overdubs, so that they are in time with the Orchestral performance?

Yes
(Actually I initially had problem with this. I had prepared copies of the original recording channels, but when trying to overdub I could either listen to previous tracks OR record new tracks. Never the two simultaneously. I but got it solved by removing all overdub tracks, and then manually create new tracks, one at the time)

In order to Edit your Percussion Takes, you first need to go to the Track Groups Tab and in the second column, make the Percussion Group's Type "Source". Then, click on the Percussion Track Group to highlight it, and to to the top of the list and click on "Click here to duplicate..."

OK!

Great, many thanks! I will give it a go!
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Re: Effective use of playlist

Postby ljudatervinning » Fri Apr 13, 2018 14:42

Thank you again Frank. It works great for my purpose so far!!

After editing is done, can I just set the Overdub "Destination" group to "Free" and remove/delete the "Source" group?
Will the original playlist be gone if I remove the Source group?
An alternative could be to set the "Source" track group to Free, mute and hide?

Later I want to do Source Destination Editing with the "orchestra + percussion" tracks as one source.
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Re: Effective use of playlist

Postby fl » Fri Apr 13, 2018 15:36

ljudatervinning wrote:Thank you again Frank. It works great for my purpose so far!!

Good to hear.

After editing is done, can I just set the Overdub "Destination" group to "Free" and remove/delete the "Source" group?

You could, or you could simply Hide it (in the Track Groups Tab). I'd still recommend that you Create a New Playlist with nothing in it, just to insure that no interference from your Source Group leaks through to your mix, yet if you find you have to go back and do further editing, you have everything there waiting for you.

Will the original playlist be gone if I remove the Source group?

Yes it will, which is why I'm suggesting you Hide it rather than deleting it. I'm all for "just in case"...

An alternative could be to set the "Source" track group to Free, mute and hide?

I wouldn't worry so much about Free or remaining as Source, but Mute is a good idea, but can accidentally become Unmuted (in rare circumstances), which is why I'm suggesting the creation of a new, empty Playlist. Hiding is okay, and allows you to retain all your organizing work, just in case you need it, yet keeps it safely out of the way.

Later I want to do Source Destination Editing with the "orchestra + percussion" tracks as one source.

It's tricky to do this and keep the Orchestral Tracks' Playlists intact, but it can be done if you take some precautions. Before you do anything, make sure to save a backup copy of your Project file, just in case things go awry. Then create an empty Playlist on the Orchestral Tracks. With the Percussion Destination Tracks, create a Copy Playlist containing your Edited Assembly. Then make a Copy Playlist, which will also contain your edited assembly. Highlight all the segments of the edit - all of them, and then Render them into a single multi-track audio file, which will replace the edited segments on the Tracks, and also be stored as a single, easily retrievable file in your Media Manager. Save the Project, and save a Backup.

Now, go to the Track Groups Tab, and re-assign all the tracks in the Percussion Destination group, to the original Orchestral Tracks Source Group. Since originally, you did not make Playlists for the Orchestral Takes, you'll have to do this manually, Placing all the Clips from the first orchestral Take on the Orchestra Tracks, and the edited and Rendered Percussion edit on the Percussion Tracks. Then, "Create a Copy Playlist for all Tracks in Group/Strip", and give it a name like "Combined Orch. and Perc. 001". Next, "Create a New Empty Playlist..." and load in the second Orchestral Take, and the rendered Percussion edit, create a Copy Playlist of THIS, and name it "Combined Orch. and Perc. 002" and so on, until all your Orchestral Takes are assigned to individual Playlists, along with the edited Percussion. Finally, go to the Track Groups Tab, select the new combined Orchestral and Percussion Source Group, and Copy it - BELOW all the others, and make the result a Destination Group. While you're there, you may as well switch any other remaining Destination Groups to Free, just to make the S-D editing go a little easier. Then Save as a new Project (just to be on the safe side) and edit to your heart's content.

Of course, you may decide that all of this is just too much work for too little gain, and prefer to keep your edited Percussion Tracks in their own Track Group, and just edit the Orchestra on its own, referenced to the edited Percussion. Since you didn't record the orchestra using Playlists, you'll still have to set that up (your choice, you may decide to just S-D from your existing one-take-after-another orchestra tracks, to a newly created Orchestra Destination Track Group, synced to the edited Percussion Destination Group.


A final word about Playlists: Pyramix automatically updates the state of any Playlist to be the condition it is in when you leave it for another Playlist (of course you can undo this by simply quitting the whole Project without Saving and then re-loading it, but there are times when this is too radical an option). It's very easy to make a small adjustment, say to shift a Clip some small amount, and then to switch to another Playlist without realizing that you've now incorporated the change to the first Playlist. Usually, by the time you discover what's happened, it's far too late to be Undone by a simple Undo command - as you'll have done too much work in the interim that you don't want to lose.

In some cases, it's a very good idea to make a Copy Playlist before you change anything, so that you can still safely revert to the state of things from earlier, but the issue is that you have to do this early, before you are likely to do anything to change the layout of Clips on the Timeline. If you're like me, you'll forget to do this, which around here inspires an outpouring of tainted verbiage, and having to quit the Project without Saving, to re-load and start over.

There's another issue - it's very easy to lose track of which Playlist you have active in the Timeline. I've been asking Merging for a while for them to incorporate some feature which will identify which Playlist is currently active - say, by highlighting the current Playlist in the Playlist Button > Load Playlist pop-up listing. As things are, you just have to know, and most of the time, it's easy enough to tell by looking at the Clips, or by changing to another Playlist and then changing back to the one you suspect was most likely the one you were looking at.
It gets especially confusing when you've made Copy Playlists with the same material in them.

The point of all this is to realize that Playlists will change themselves with the slightest touch. Yes, you can always UNDO, but sometimes you only discover that you made a change to a Playlist a while back, and you don't want to lose the work you've done subsequently - or maybe going back would exceed the number of available UNDOs. Just remember that if you think you'd like to make any kinds of change to the disposition of Clips on the Timeline - MAKE A COPY PLAYLIST FIRST. In fact, make the Copy Playlist before you do anything, and then immediately go back to the original Playlist. If nothing bad happens, then great, but the worst happens, at least you have a way back.
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Re: Effective use of playlist

Postby ljudatervinning » Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:26

Thank You Frank!
Really helpful. Also replay powerful feature in Pyramix.
As I have seen commented in other threads, It would be great if it was visible what playlist was currently being used.
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