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Working with Tracks

In this article

A LUNA session consists of tracks. A track contains audio or MIDI information, and audio and MIDI control automation information. LUNA has four track types:

  • On audio tracks you can record audio, and add existing audio files such as samples or loops. 
  • On instrument tracks, you can record MIDI from external controllers or LUNA's internal keyboard, and import or paste MIDI loops or phrases. Instrument tracks can play sound from a UAD Instrument or an Audio Unit (AU) instrument plug-in.
  • On bus tracks, you can sum (mix) audio sources in the session, route audio for Aux-style plug-in processing, and use the Neve and API Summing LUNA Extensions to add punch and warmth to audio sources in your session. 
  • On the main track, you can mix all the audio, instrument, and bus tracks together to create a stereo mix. The main track is the only default track in a LUNA session.

When you create tracks, you can choose the track type, stereo or mono format, the number of tracks to add, track names, a UAD Instrument or other instrument plug-in (on an instrument track), optional Neve or API Summing (on a bus track), and optional API Vision Console Emulation extensions for all types of tracks. 

When you create a new track, a channel strip is also created. The new track appears in the Tracks browser, the Timeline, and the Mixer.

  tracks-timeline.png

Tracks in the Timeline

 

tracks-mixer.png

Tracks in the Mixer

 


 

Track controls

In LUNA, you can use many of the same track controls in multiple views. 

For example, audio tracks in the Timeline have the following controls in the Track Controls area.

timeline-audio-track-controls.png

 

Audio tracks in the Mixer and focused in the Timeline have the following controls.

mixer-focus-audio-track-controls.png 

You can make many of the same adjustments in both views. For example, in both Timeline and the Mixer/Focus channel, you can:

  • Assign inputs and outputs
  • Adjust volume and panning
  • Set the track automation mode
  • Enable Record and Input monitoring
  • Solo and mute tracks
  • Change the track name
  • Change the track color

However, there are some adjustments you can only make in the Timeline or Mixer/Focus view. 

In Timeline View only, you can:

  • Configure the Warp algorithm
  • Set a track to Time or Tempo mode
  • Edit audio and MIDI, create fades, and other editing tasks

In Mixer/Focus track view only, you can:

  • Configure plug-ins
  • Add UAD instruments
  • Add Audio Unit instruments
  • Configure the LUNA Extensions for Tape, Master Tape, API Summing, and Neve Summing
  • Configure API Vision Console Emulation extensions

Note: As with audio tracks, you can configure many settings for instrument tracks, buses, and the Main track in both the Timeline track controls and in the Mixer/Focus channel.

 


 

Selecting tracks

To select a track, click the track name in the Mixer, Timeline, or Tracks browser. 

  • To select multiple contiguous tracks, Shift-click the track names on the first and last track you want to select.

  • To select multiple non-contiguous tracks, Command-click the track names. 

  • To select all tracks, Option-click a track name.

 


 

Applying changes to multiple tracks with groups

LUNA includes a track grouping feature that allows you to change controls on multiple selected tracks without defining a specific Track Group. To enable or disable selection grouping, select or deselect Mixing > Selection Grouping from the LUNA menus, or press Control+G to toggle selection grouping. To enable or disable all track groups, press Shift+Command+G. To create a group, press Command+G.

The following items can be adjusted when selection grouping is enabled. 

  • Volume

  • Pan

  • Track View

  • Automation Mode

  • Track Follows Mode

  • Warp Algorithm

  • Track input

  • Record Enable (only for tracks that have a unique Input assigned)

  • Input Enable (only for tracks that have a unique Input assigned)

  • Solo

  • Mute

  • Tape machine and tape settings

  • API and Neve Summing assignments and settings

  • API Vision Console Emulation Extension assignment and settings

  • Inserts

  • Send assignments and controls

  • Track outputs

For more information about track groups, see Using Track Groups.

 


 

Applying changes to all tracks

To adjust items on all tracks, Option+Click the setting in the track controls or mixer channel strip. For example, Option+Click the record-enable button to record-enable all tracks that have unique input assignments.

Note: When you Option+Click a control to enable or disable the setting, tracks that are hidden in the Tracks Browser are not affected.

 


 

Creating audio tracks

You use audio tracks to record audio and to place imported audio files within a LUNA session. Audio is recorded in 24-bit depth at the current audio interface hardware sample rate. LUNA can import WAV, AIFF, AAC, FLAC, ALAC, and MP3 audio that has a valid sample rate, and play it back at the correct pitch. 

Creating an empty audio track

create-new-track.png

 

To create an empty audio track

  1. In the Tracks Focus Browser, select Audio in the Create New Tracks dialog, or click the plus (+) next to Tracks and choose Audio.

  2. Choose the number of tracks to create and the format (MONO or STEREO). You can optionally type a name for the track or tracks here if desired. 

  3. Select a tape machine to assign to the track or tracks, if desired.
  4. If you have optional API Vision Console Emulation, you can select API Vision or API 2500 from the Console row.

  5. Click OK to create the tracks, or Cancel to stop track creation. 

Track creation tips

  • You can open the New Track dialog by selecting the menu item Track > New Tracks, or typing Command+Shift+N. 
  • You can open multiple New Tracks dialogs in the Tracks Focus Browser, allowing you to create multiple types and formats of tracks at the same time.
  • If you create multiple tracks, the tracks are created with the name you specify, and a number is appended and incremented for each track. For example, if you create four tracks called Vox, the tracks Vox 1, Vox 2, Vox 3, and Vox 4 are created.

Creating a new audio track from existing audio

You can create a new track or tracks from one or more existing audio files with either of these methods:

  • Drag the audio file(s) directly from the macOS Finder to the Tracks Focus Browser, or to the empty area below any existing tracks in the Timeline.
  • Drag the audio file(s) to the Tracks Focus Browser or below the Timeline to create one or more new audio tracks containing the files, located at the start of the session.

 

Assigning inputs

input-record-controls.png

 

When you click on the input for a track, the Input Focus Browser opens, from which you can choose the input for the track. The list includes all available inputs in your system. Select an input from the Input Focus Browser. The type of input you select determines the options that appear. For example, a Unison-capable input track (Apollo mode) includes preamp controls.

Note: Unison insert and Record FX inserts are available in Apollo Mode only, when a track is record-enabled or input-enabled.

 


 

Creating instrument tracks

You can use instrument tracks to play audio from UAD instruments, a MIDI virtual instrument or a MIDI hardware device such as a synth or sampler. On an instrument track you can:

  • Insert UAD instruments or any Audio Unit (AU) virtual instrument plug-in into an Instrument track.
  • Record MIDI data from an external MIDI device. 
  • Import MIDI data.
  • Route the MIDI output from an instrument track to an external MIDI device.
  • Route the audio from a MIDI device back to the instrument track for monitoring. 
  • Edit notes directly in Notes view. 

Creating an empty instrument track

create-new-instrument-track.png

 

To create an empty instrument track

  1. In the Tracks Focus Browser, select Instrument in the Create New Tracks dialog, or click the plus (+) next to Tracks and choose Instrument.
  2. Select the number of tracks to create, the format (Mono or Stereo), and an optional name for the track or tracks if desired. 
  3. From the INST drop menu, choose the UAD Instrument or Audio Unit instrument plug-in. Choose None to create a MIDI track or MIDI tracks without instruments.
  4. Select a tape machine to assign to the track or tracks, if desired.
  5. If you have optional API Vision Console Emulation, you can select API Vision or API 2500 from the Console row.

  6. Click OK to create the tracks, or Cancel to stop track creation. 

Track creation tips

  • You can open the New Track dialog by selecting the menu item Track > New Tracks, or typing Command+Shift+N. 
  • You can open multiple New Tracks dialogs in the Tracks Focus Browser, allowing you to create multiple types and formats of tracks at the same time.
  • If you create multiple tracks, the tracks are created with the name you specify, and a number is appended and incremented for each track. For example, if you create four tracks called Synth, the tracks Synth 1, Synth 2, Synth 3, and Synth 4 are created.

Creating a new instrument track from existing MIDI

You can create a new MIDI track or tracks from one or more existing MIDI (.mid) files by dragging the file(s) directly from the macOS Finder to the Tracks Focus Browser, or to the empty area below any existing tracks in the Timeline.

Dragging MIDI files to the Tracks Focus Browser or below the Timeline creates one or more new instrument tracks containing the MIDI data, located at the start of the session. You can also drag a MIDI clip from the macOS Finder or a plug-in directly onto an existing instrument track.

Note: You will be prompted to either use the tempo from the MIDI file, or to adjust the MIDI file to the session tempo. 

import-tempo-midi.png

 


 

Using Bus tracks

You can use bus tracks to route audio through the mix system. A bus track can carry more than one signal. Use a bus to submix, or for any purpose that requires the grouping or routing of audio streams. You can create a bus track on its own, and assign sends or outputs to it, or you can select a track or tracks, and automatically assign those tracks when creating the bus.

For more information on mixing with bus sends, see Using Sends.

Use a bus:

  • to combine multiple signals that you want to submix or create "stems" (for example, a submix of the rhythm guitars or background vocals in a session), and to optionally add Neve Summing or API Summing.

  • to combine multiple signals to effect with a plug-in (for example, as a reverb bus for several vocal tracks)
  • for other mix purposes, such as parallel compression of drums
  • to route audio to separate outputs

To create a bus track from specific tracks

    1. Select the track or tracks which you want to send or route directly to a bus. You can route audio, instrument, and other bus tracks to a bus.
    2. Type Shift+Command+B or choose Mixing > Create Bus from the LUNA menus.


      create-bus-from-track.png
    3. Type a name for the bus.
    4. In the Route From Selected pulldown, select the track source for the bus. For example, if you want to route the selected track outputs directly to the bus, select Output. To use a send to route the tracks to the bus, select a send.

      create-bus.png
    5. If you have an optional API or Neve Summing LUNA Extension, you can select it from the Summing list. You can enable or disable summing after you create the track or tracks.
    6. If you have optional ATR-102 Master Tape, you can select it from the Tape list, if desired.
    7. If you have optional API Vision Console Emulation, you can select API 2500 or API Vision from the Console list.
    8. Click Create. The bus is created, with the routing you specified. 

Note: If you assign the bus source to a send that is already in use for the selected tracks, that send assignment is overwritten with the new bus assignment. If you assign the bus source to Output, the selected tracks' outputs are routed to the bus.

To create a bus track on its own

  1. In the Tracks browser, click the plus (+) next to Tracks.

    create-track-bus.png
  2. From the Type list, select Bus.

    avc-create-new-track-bus.png
  3. Select the number of tracks to create and the format (Mono or Stereo), and type a name for the bus or buses.
  4. If you have the optional Neve or API Summing LUNA Extension, you can select it here. You can enable or disable Neve Summing or API Summing after you create the bus or buses.

  5. If you have optional ATR-102 Master Tape, you can select it from the Tape list, if desired.
  6. If you have optional API Vision Console Emulation, you can select API 2500 OR API Vision from the Console row.

  7. Click OK to create the bus or buses.

Bus inputs and bus routing overview

Once you have created a bus, you can route (send) audio to it. There are two methods for busing: 

  • Direct busing routes audio directly to a bus. In this scenario, the bus functions as the track output, and the bus then outputs either to another bus, a pair of outputs, or the Main track. Use output busing to submix to a bus, or to create stem outputs. For example, you can route drums, instruments, and vocals all to separate buses to control levels, adjust effects, and apply Neve Summing, then either route those to the Main track or their own physical outputs.
  • Send busing sends audio from the track to a bus, without changing the output of the track. Send busing is useful when you want to effect the audio and mix it back in to the main mix in a controllable way. For example, you can send drums to a compressor on a bus and mix the compressed drums with the main drum tracks (parallel compression), or send instruments and vocals to 100% wet reverb bus, and mix the reverb bus in with the existing tracks.

To route audio directly to an existing bus

  1. Select the track or tracks you want to route directly to the bus. 
  2. Click Out in the Timeline or the Output in the Mixer or on the Focus channel. The Output Focus Browser opens.
    track-outputs.png
  3. Choose the bus to which you want to route the output of the track or tracks.

    outputs-routed-to-bus.png

 

The selected track or tracks are now routed to the bus outputs.The fader and pan controls on the bus track now control overall mix characteristics of the tracks, and you can assign plug-ins and Neve Summing to the bus to affect all source tracks. 

To route audio to an existing bus using a send

  1. Select the track or tracks you want to send to the bus.
  2. Click an available Send slot in the Mixer or on the Focus channel for a track. The Send Routing Focus Browser opens.

    bus-single-routing-from-send.png
  3. Select the destination bus for the send. Send destinations that you have previously created appear in the Focus Browser under Buses.
  4. The selected track or track sends are now routed to the bus. 

When a send is routed to a single bus, the destination bus name is listed in the Sends mixer row.

sends-row-single-bus-routing.png

 

To route audio to multiple existing buses using a send

  1. Select the track or tracks you want to send to the bus.

  2. Click an available Send slot in the Mixer or on the Focus channel for a track. The Send Routing Focus Browser opens.

  3. Command-click multiple non-contiguous destination buses to route the audio to those sends. Send destinations that you have previously created appear in the Focus Browser under Buses.

    bus-multiple-routing-from-send.png

  4. The selected track or track sends are now routed to the selected buses.

When a send is routed to multiple buses, the destination in the Sends mixer row is listed as Multiple.

sends-row-multiple-routing.png

Controlling send audio

You can control the send level with the Bus level control. The fader and pan controls on the bus track now control the overall characteristics of the bus track audio, and you can assign plug-ins and Summing to the bus to affect the audio from the send. 

Using Accelerated Realtime Monitoring (ARM) with bus tracks (Apollo Mode only)

When you use Accelerated Realtime Monitoring (ARM), you can configure two bus tracks to work in ARM mode. ARM allows you to use Realtime UAD Processing on these two buses, while monitoring and/or recording with indiscernible latency. 

To set ARM Mode for a bus track, enable ARM, then click the ARM button on the bus track, and select either Aux 1 or Aux 2. When LUNA is in ARM mode, all bus tracks that do not use one of the two ARM-enabled aux buses will incur some latency when processing audio.

 


 

Deactivating tracks

You can deactivate tracks in LUNA. A deactivated track does not play back audio, and does not consume any CPU or DSP resources. You can deactivate audio, instrument and bus tracks. You cannot deactivate the Main track. You cannot change controls on a deactivated track. Deactivated tracks appear in the Timeline and Mixer view with diagonal marks through them to indicate that they are deactivated.

active-deactivated-timeline.png

Deactivate tracks

  • To deactivate a single track In the Timeline or Mixer view, Control-click or right-click on the track name area, and choose Deactivate "track name".

  • To deactivate multiple tracks, select multiple tracks or a track group, then Control-click or right-click on a track name, and choose Deactivate Selected Tracks.

Activate deactivated tracks

  • To activate a single deactivated track In the Timeline or Mixer view, Control-click or right-click on the track name of a deactivated track, and choose Activate "track name".

  • To activate multiple deactivated tracks, select multiple deactivated tracks, then Control-click or right-click on a track name, and choose Activate Selected Tracks.


 

Using the Main track

The Main track is the master fader or stereo output bus channel for your LUNA session. All audio that is routed to Main runs through this bus, and is summed for listening and mixdown purposes. By default, all audio, instrument, and bus tracks are routed to the Main track.

You cannot delete the Main track, and you cannot create a new Main track. However, you can route audio to other outputs instead of the Main track.

The Main track is where you assign your master track Insert plug-ins. You can also enable Neve Summing on the Main track.

 

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