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  #1  
Old 12-23-2021, 10:17 PM
Mark Ziebarth Mark Ziebarth is offline
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Default Old school vs new school VCA vs Routed Folder

I have to call myself a longtime Pro Tools user when I realize to use it more than 25 years now…but I got a few sessions the other day using routed folders for the different signal groups in a post pro session.
I asked myself what are the pros and cons of using routed folders instead of VCAs other than a well arranged edit window? Are there cons? Or is a routed folder simply the new school VCA?
I had the same question once VCAs were new in Pro Tools and I compared them with track groups and subgrouped/bussed tracks. Each practice has its advantages.
Thanks for any profound insights.
Best
Mark
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  #2  
Old 12-24-2021, 03:06 AM
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Farhoof Farhoof is offline
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Default Re: Old school vs new school VCA vs Routed Folder

Routed folders are actually auxes, only displayed differently, so both the question and the answer are similar to vca's vs auxes.

VCA's are controlling the source tracks and are limited to volume adjustments only. Routed folders have a bus input and output, inserts and can use sends, but all processing is done after the original source tracks.

If you want to use lots of sends and volume automation on the source tracks you might want to stick to vca's. If you prefer to split your tracks into (lots of) food groups and mix with auxes you can switch to routed folders.
New benefits to routed folders over auxes are the ability to finally do proper solos and vca-spill-like-features (don't know the name) which weren't available for auxes before.
Downside to routed folders are probably bugs which change each software release, and pitfalls like you can put a track into a routed folder but that doesn't mean it is routed to that folder, it can be routed to somewhere else. These things might change in future release or might have changed in the meantime already.

I prefer auxes and would switch to routed folders for the spill and solo features alone.
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  #3  
Old 12-24-2021, 07:26 AM
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K Roche K Roche is offline
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Default Re: Old school vs new school VCA vs Routed Folder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Farhoof View Post
Routed folders are actually auxes, only displayed differently, so both the question and the answer are similar to vca's vs auxes.

VCA's are controlling the source tracks and are limited to volume adjustments only. Routed folders have a bus input and output, inserts and can use sends, but all processing is done after the original source tracks.

If you want to use lots of sends and volume automation on the source tracks you might want to stick to vca's. If you prefer to split your tracks into (lots of) food groups and mix with auxes you can switch to routed folders.
New benefits to routed folders over auxes are the ability to finally do proper solos and vca-spill-like-features (don't know the name) which weren't available for auxes before.
Downside to routed folders are probably bugs which change each software release, and pitfalls like you can put a track into a routed folder but that doesn't mean it is routed to that folder, it can be routed to somewhere else. These things might change in future release or might have changed in the meantime already.

I prefer auxes and would switch to routed folders for the spill and solo features alone.
I can't answer for any body else but for my work flow I now use routing folders almost exclusive over VCA or group Aux tracks .

And to clarify (and maybe you already know this but ) if you want to put a track/s into an existing Routing folder then yes you have manually change the routing. But if you are want a New routing folder to put tracks selected tracks into And also have it auto routed to that Routing Folder's Input) than rather than drag and drop the track/s into a pre made Folder ,,,,, you can simply highlight the track/s
click for the dropdown > select "Move to" > select routing folder and in that dropdown the is a check box to auto route to that new folder
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  #4  
Old 12-24-2021, 09:43 AM
Rich Breen Rich Breen is offline
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Default Re: Old school vs new school VCA vs Routed Folder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Ziebarth View Post
...
I asked myself what are the pros and cons of using routed folders instead of VCAs other than a well arranged edit window? Are there cons? Or is a routed folder simply the new school VCA?...
I use them both all the time, and often together in large sessions, for both organization and functionality. It's often convenient to be able to control overall levels of tracks *within* the folder (say to control how hard you're hitting the bus-level processing), or to control level of tracks within multiple routing folders. It's always seemed to me that the "folder fader" for a non-routing folder should act as a VCA for tracks within the folder, but not to be...
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  #5  
Old 12-24-2021, 09:52 AM
Mark Ziebarth Mark Ziebarth is offline
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Default Re: Old school vs new school VCA vs Routed Folder

Thanks fellows for your contributions and the different views on this matter. This is what I like about the duc to get information by colleagues with different approaches.
I‘ll put them in perspective during the holidays and get my head around this feature.
I wish you all a merry christmas and stay save

Mark
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  #6  
Old 01-10-2022, 08:51 AM
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abc1mce2 abc1mce2 is offline
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Default Re: Old school vs new school VCA vs Routed Folder

Personally, after reading this thread I started using routing folders for some of the reasons Farhoof mentioned above and it has changed my workflow for the better. It's just a nice added touch for signal, solo's, track routing, and track grouping.
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Old 01-10-2022, 09:36 AM
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Default Re: Old school vs new school VCA vs Routed Folder

I used to never use VCAs, it was always Aux Submixes, and then Routing Folders. But I have started using some VCAs lately, as an additional control.

Here's a great example - I mostly do media scoring, and my template is set up is set up with instrument groups (Strings, Woodwinds, Percussion, Guitars, Drums, Basses, Synths, Keyboards, etc...) in Routing Folders. Usually this works great, because I use the routing folders for section EQ and compression, group reverb sends, and an easy "solo" to make stems with.

But sometimes I might need to do a cue (or ad) with a segment that's really different. Recently, I had to do a giant cinematic orchestral "ta-da" intro thing at the beginning of a cue. The rest of the cue was a quiet little bubbling underscore with choppy strings and clever little bits of woodwind and such going in and out. So, I was still using all of my Routing Folder for my sections, but at the top of the cue, I had Strings, Brass and Percussion that were well-balanced, but way too loud overall in comparison to the parts that followed. Instead of turning down each Routing Folder at that point (or the Master), it was easy to just assign those tracks to a VCA, and automate a volume cut on the VCA track for the louder section.
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  #8  
Old 01-10-2022, 12:28 PM
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Default Re: Old school vs new school VCA vs Routed Folder

Aux subgroups for me. Easy old-school. Visual. Shared plugs. Works. KISS.
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Old 01-10-2022, 02:42 PM
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Ben Jenssen Ben Jenssen is online now
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Default Re: Old school vs new school VCA vs Routed Folder

AUX'es and VCA's for me still.
I typically create a VCA for main sections of tracks; drums, guitars, vocals and so on, just to have quick access to them via the 'master fader' button on command8. I can quickly mute, solo or trim them, and still solo, mute and trim the individual tracks, unlike when they're grouped. Makes it great for quick fluent mixing.

Someone mentioned routing folders being buggy. I would have used them if they worked. I had troubles with them not remembering their collapsed state.
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Old 01-11-2022, 07:25 AM
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Default Re: Old school vs new school VCA vs Routed Folder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Jenssen View Post
... trim the individual tracks...
For quick over-all track trim, I either use the Trim plug or change the output gain of last plug on the track.
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