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Automation: Play Specific Recording

Started by joebear, November 18, 2023, 12:43:15 PM

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I hit a snag (though with a workaround), and I'm thinking it might be logical that a formal resolution become a feature request.

I routinely use automation to play backing trax and issue MIDI commands for my solo shows.

I am working a new band project. This band is doing some songs that I had previously (and will continue to do) solo. I am attaching 'reference' versions (original artist mp3s) to each song. So far, no problem.

"SongX" had a backing trak. By default, attaching a reference version keeps my baktrak as the default. The other users in the project are new to BH, so I want to make the reference the default. No problem...
Modify automation to Play Specific Recording rather than Play Default Recording (good)
Reorder the recordings,  so the reference is the default. I assume 'Specific Recording' should remain that to which I set it above (baktrak) .... but NO.
- Play Specific Recording now launches the default (reference) rather than the Specific baktrak.

My assumption is that 'Specific Recording' is not specific in terms of the recording itself, but rather specific in terms of an index into the list of recordings, which can be reordered at any time (?).

If I edit the Automation Event, I see that Specific Recording now points to the reference version - now at the position in the list previously occupied by the baktrak. Modifying it to point to the baktrak (now at the new location in the ordered list), and everything works as hoped.

So there is a decent workaround - as long as I don't forget that reordering the ordered list of recordings affects 'Play Specific Recording'. Though I wonder what might happen if another user reorders the list.

From this user perspective, what would be preferable is that 'Play Specific Recording' uses an actual uploaded file as the target, rather than (as I surmise as per above) some changeable relationship to that file (e.g. ordered list position). This could presumably be done by filename, or more robustly by assigning a GUID to the file consisting of a hash of its contents.

So with all that as pretext...

1) Does my description of the problem make sense? Is this indeed implemented behavior?

2) Does my analysis make sense? (i.e., is 'specific recording' actually determined by position in ordered list?)

3) I've not noticed this issue with Specific MIDI Preset. Have I just been lucky so far? Or does this employ a different algorithm for 'Specific'?

4) Does a fix for this merit a feature request?


Play Specific Recording uses a recording ID, not the position of the recording in the song.

When you replaced Play Default Recording with Play Specific Recording, did you select the specific recording you wanted it to play? It looks like if you add this event manually and don't select the recording, it will default to the first recording in the song. I'll update that so no recording plays to make it clearer what's happening.

Also, an easier way to accomplish your goal would be leaving the automation tracks as they are and leaving the backing tracks in the first position, but assigning the backing tracks only to yourself. Then when you play a recording, the backing track will play by default and when your bandmates play a recording, the reference recording will play by default.


In the new version 2023-11-22 released today, if you add a Play Specific Recording event to your automation track but don't select a recording, or if you have a Play Specific Recording event that points to a recording but you later remove that recording from the song, that event won't do anything when the automation track plays (rather than defaulting to the first recording attached to the song). This applies to documents as well.


Hmm. I'm 'pretty sure' that I did indeed select a specific recording. However, from the tenor of your reply, I am starting to let a little doubt about that creep in.

I'll move forward with doing the same for other songs. I'll be diligent to note if the 'issue' recurs.

AAR, thanks for the update that makes plain the hanging reference.