Narration volume control automation

ritsmer wrote on 2/19/2007, 12:26 AM
Having experimented with this for several hours without result I need an expert to give me the basic 1-2-3 steps of it.

I have:
An audio track with Music (called Music)
An audio track with the narration comments (called Voice)

Now: what is the basic 1-2-3 to make the Music track fade 6 db every time the narrator speaks?

The trouble is that the manual does not seem so clear - to my humble mind, that is - and there are so many "new" words (read, touch, latch, Band 1 Gain etc. etc.) that really do not mean much to me for now.

Having worked with VMS 4 to VMS 7 Platinum for several years and now experimenting with Vegas 7 I have the feeling, that the FX Automation is one of the areas where Vegas really offers great possibilities.
So - for me and other Full Vegas newbies - it would be a great help with a basic starter to this area.


John_Cline wrote on 2/19/2007, 1:00 AM
The Ultimate-S Vegas plugin from will do this for you automatically in a matter of moments. Ultimate-S has over 50 things it will do to make your life easier and more productive (Well, as far as editing goes. I'm not making any promises about any other aspect of your life.) I HIGHLY recommend it.
farss wrote on 2/19/2007, 1:34 AM
Don't be afraid to try things other than ducking.
At the simplest level you can use Eq to drop out those frequencies from the music that compete with speech. You could also try widening the stereo image to leave the middle 'channel' for the speech.
Also if you have Sonic Fire Pro it has "mood Mapping" which kind of arranges the music so when you select Narration you loose the instruments that compete with speech.
I haven't gotten far enough into Cinescore yet but I'm certain it offers this as well.

Even if you just want to duck using automation you can ride the Voice tracks volume envelope yourself. This is a good way to do it, some parts of your music might not need any ducking, other might need more than 6dB.

I'd also suggest investigating adding a little compression to the Voice track to give it just a little more punch, you might find you can leave the Music track alone altogether and have the Voice sit on top of it.

None of these ideas are magic formula and none of them will work the best all of the time, so it pays to know different techniques.

And yes, get a copy of Ultimate S, even if you decide against Ducking, any one of the tools is worth the asking price.

ritsmer wrote on 2/19/2007, 6:05 AM
I have looked at Ultimate S 2.0 from VASST - and yes, you are ceartainly right - it has many brilliant features.

However - right now My problem is on a much lower level - I would like to use this simple ducking example to get into- and get started with the FX Automation, which I have not used before, as it is not a part of VMS.

And here the few pages in the manual do not enlighten my humble mind as to the meaning of all the new "Buzz-words" like latch, touch and so on.

Therefore I thought that maybe one of the experts in the forum might give instruction - in a few simple steps - how to do this ducking exercise.

This surely will give me an idea of how FX automation works basically so that I could go on with it.
After reading the manual I must admit that I still do not have the faintest idea as how to connect the volume in one track to an automatic fader in another track.... This is no criticism to the manual - it is just me who has not grasped the idea of automation :-))
Former user wrote on 2/19/2007, 7:35 AM
Maybe I misunderstand your question, but AFAIK, Vegas does not have any Automatic Ducking of audio built in. The Automation refers to the idea of creating KEYFRAMES. If you want to Fade audio up and down, you have to create at least 4 keyframes. First at 0db (or whatever your base audio level is) Second drops the level (in your case -6db) Third continues the level drop and fourth raises back to base leve. Within these keyframes you can adjust the ramp or bezier curve.

Ultimate S 2.0 uses scripts to accomplish this automatically rather than a manual keyframe entry.

Dave T2
farss wrote on 2/19/2007, 12:35 PM
Automation lets you use external harware to write an envelope.
The envelope could be Volume, it could be controlling any paramater of any FX (even a video one) that's automatable.

The term Automation predates DAWs and NLEs and refers to the use of motorised faders on audio desks. Instead of having huge cue sheets and many hands to control fader (volume control) positions on a multitrack mix the faders are driven by motors controlled by some form of computer that stored their settings against time code or cues etc.

Modern day faders are pretty neat, they're also touch sensitive. So the fader can move based on it's defined position by the volume envelope but when you touch the fader that track goes from reading the envelope to writing the envelope. You can write automation envelopes use the mouse wheel although real faders would be much more intuitive.

Vegas supports the Mackie HUI, the Behringer one seems to work quite well with Vegas for way less costs and hopefully the Faderport from Edirol is / will soon work with Vegas.

As far as I know you cannot use the envelope from one track to control another. You can copy envelopes and invert them though. The term 'envelope' here refers to the automation envelope, this has no connection with a waveform envelope. I suspect that where the confusion comes from, so no, you cannot use the waveform 'envelope' to control another tracks volume envelope directly.

MH_Stevens wrote on 2/19/2007, 11:15 PM
Just do it manually using envolopes. If you were to automate this based on a formule i think it would become blande. Do use EQ as farss explains
JeffreyPFisher wrote on 2/24/2007, 1:21 PM
The V7 Shift+draw envelopes works nice for ducking. I find when writing automation in real-time, I end up editing the envelopes a lot anyway ...