Questions & Answers

Macro System 2.0

+17 votes
asked Feb 11, 2019 in Editing by risotto (2,250 points)
Dear Studio One community,

here is the story around my feature request of giving the macro system some more development love and attention.

I had several things which I needed for my work which are actually not implemented in Studio One... But there is the macro system which enables a lot of functionality, so I started to make myself some macros.

I wanted to have several different Crossfades on shortcut with fixed time length and crossfade type... Sounds easier than it is because there is no documentation, no option, no tooltip. So what are those options, milliseconds, seconds? How do I have to write the type? As a number or as a word? After about 1-2 hours of searching through the internet I found that I could use "logarithmic" for the type. But it didn't work, why? Because you have to type it in case-sensitive, that means, "Logarithmic" works and "logarithmic" not. A simple option menu would have saved me hours of figuring out what I'm doing wrong there.

Another example. I wanted to have a macro for settings the length of an audio event to 20ms and set a FadeOut of 5ms at the end, after that it should switch to the next event. (If it is somewhat interesting, I need it for trigger creation from drum hits)
Sounds like an easy task... but it isn't: First of all there is no way to set the length of an audio event directly so you need to get to the start of the audio event, than jump 20 seconds forward, than cut it at the cursor or just crop it to the cursor. But there is no command for saying the cursor to jump an amount of milliseconds. So here is the macro which I did an which only works correctly if snap to grid is off, in other cases not.

Create a region from the cursor (which is 1ms long when the grid is of, yeah was a little bit difficult to find out)
Move the Region (which moves it by 1 ms forward)
and 19 more Move the Region
Move the cursor to the start of the region
Crop the event
Aaaand 5 more moving the region back
create Fade Out
Goto next event

These were about 30 macro commands for settings the length of an audio event to a specific value and create a simple Fade Out.
And as you can't change the order of the macros only by the "move up" and "move down" commands it is also a little complicated to add something in the middle or a the beginning. When you want to move an added command from the end to the beginning and hit the move up by accident when the command is at the beginning the command jumps back to the end. But the opposite doesn't work so the way is every time the longest.

I don't say that it is not possible to work with macros but my very personal opinion is, that it is unnecessary difficult, especially without a detailed documentation, without a search function which perhaps reacts to multiple languages (forums can help but if you're S1 is not set to English you have to find the right translation for the command first). Also some small details, like that the macro edit window is modal, I don't get it? If you want to test your macro you have to close the edit window, test it, than look through this long list of macros to search it again because it also doesn't remember the last edited one, than open the edit window again, edit the macro, close it and so on.
And last but not least without the possibility to record macros directly from the user interface.

After the invention of the macro system it didn't get much development love. I know it's not a fancy feature where the whole audio world will give you credits for. But for people who have to work with Studio One it includes so many useful workarounds for features which are not implemented into the normal user interface but sometimes I spend several hours to figure out how a simple combination of functions can be put into a macro.
Perhaps it's me and I don't get it right, that could be absolutely possible and I misunderstand this completely. :)

Cheers, keep it up, I just wanted to head up some attention to a part of Studio One which I personal like and hate at the same time. ;)
With best greetings to the community and everyone who takes some time to read this!

3 Answers

+1 vote
answered Jun 29, 2021 by martinschdel (1,690 points)
Absolutly right.

Even a .pdf with all Commands and the Terms to insert would be a great help! PLEASEEEE!
+2 votes
answered Jun 29, 2021 by Daw Stew (12,360 points)
tI think the answer to this is that the macro feature needs to include a Macro Recorder. Hit record, perform the functions in the usual sequence and hit stop. You've just recorded a macro. Much easier than setting States and having to logically think out the sequence.
0 votes
answered Jun 29, 2021 by risotto (2,250 points)

@Daw Stew ... yes of course this would be a great addition too, but actually not every action you can do is available as a macro function and not every macro function is available as an action. But for a lot of common use cases that would be an easy way and you can edit the macro afterwards to your needs.

But as you can see on the reactions to this request, perhaps everyone else is happy with the current state. I recently switched to new DAW computer and the first thing I did after installing S1 was to delete all those pre-made macros and only added my own. This unsorted list were you can't find anything drives me nuts. laugh