VCA Faders EXPLAINED!
Why They Are Beneficial to Use When Mixing?
When it comes to mixing, there are a variety of tools and techniques that can help you achieve the sound you're looking for. One such tool is the VCA fader. In my latest video, we explore exactly what VCA faders are, how to use them, and why they can be so beneficial when it comes to mixing.
What Are VCA Faders?
VCA stands for Voltage-Controlled Amplifier. Originally made for analog mixing consoles like the SSL, VCA faders allow engineers to control the volume levels of several channels with only one fader. In order to use VCA faders, you have to assign audio tracks to a group and then assign a VCA fader to control that group. This applies to both consoles and your DAW.
VCA’s are volume faders only, so you can't add any processing on them. They also don't have any inputs or outputs, so you don't route them anywhere. And because their function is to control the volume of an assigned group of tracks, we can also use VCA faders to write Volume automation.
How to Use VCA Faders
Using VCA faders is a straightforward process. For example, in Pro Tools, you can create a VCA fader by adding a new track and selecting "New VCA Master." Then, assign the tracks you want to be controlled by that VCA fader to a group (command G).
Once you've assigned your tracks to a group, you can control the volume of the group with just one fader. You can also solo and mute the group using the VCA fader.
Why Use VCA Faders?
So why use VCA faders when you can control assigned group tracks without taking another step to create a VCA for that group? One big advantage is that you can adjust the entire group with just one fader. Additionally, you can write volume automation with VCA faders.
You know when you write automation on an audio or bus track, and then you want to just bring up or push down everything, but you can’t because the automation won’t let you? Using VCA faders to write volume automation can save you from a ton of work and a lot of headaches.
VCA faders are a useful tool to have in your mixing arsenal. They allow you to control the volume of multiple tracks with just one fader, and you can use them to write volume automation. While they may not be necessary for every mixing session, they are definitely worth exploring if you're looking for a way to streamline your workflow and save time.
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