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VE Pro - Metaframes, Vframes, and Plug-in Saving
Last post Tue, Mar 16 2010 by john_1332, 1 replies.
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Posted on Tue, Mar 16 2010 14:24
by john_1332
Joined on Thu, Feb 13 2003, Posts 109

I recently got an email from someone asking how I saved my VE Pro data with my sessions.  I thought I would post my reply here in case it helps anyone else.  I would also be curious if anyone has any improvements to my method.   I work in Pro Tools 8 with one 32-bit server and one 64-bit server on the local machine only.

There are three ways to save in VE Pro.  The three ways correspond to the three different interface windows that VE Pro can show you.
1) The "Mixer" window -- the main grey window with all the faders.  Corresponding save feature is vframes.
2) The "Server" window.  The mid-sized one with the white center.  It comes in 64 and 32 bit flavors.  Corresponding save feature is the metaframe.
3) The plug-in interface.  The small grey square only visible in Pro Tools.  Corresponding save feature doesn't have a name, but its the one that is saved with your protools session.
My sessions all have one 32 bit and one 64 bit server on aux's in my Pro Tools session.  What I've discovered is that you should save both metaframes and vframes for each session, so in the same folder as my Pro Tools session (say cue 1M2) I create a folder named "VEP" and there I save a metaframe named "1M2" and then I save a vrame for each instance named "1m2 32" and "1m2 64."   The plug-in is saved with the pro tools session.  When I open a session, it is the plug-in info that is loaded automatically into VE Pro, not the metaframe or vframe data.  (The reason to put 32 or 64 in the vframe name is that the suffix doesn't show up in the File List.  It does through the "Open Project..." menu.)
The saving of the plug-in data is very slow, and the autosave feature of Pro Tools means that it is a workflow killer.  Therefore, when I'm working in Pro Tools I click on each plug-in window and make sure the "Decouple" button is red.  Before I close the session I have to remember to open the plug-in windows and make sure the "Decouple" is turned black.  (They really should provide a warning before closing a session "Do you want to recouple before closing?"  Maybe this is not practicable, but it sure would be nice).   If I forget to "re-couple" before I close or if my Pro Tools freezes or crashes (like it did last night), then when I open the session the VE Pro doesn't load.  Then I go to my vframes or metaframe and reload from there.  

If you're running in standalone, you miss out on the ability to open your VEP data with the session, but you can always save it as metaframes and vframes and manage it manually.  I know some people prefer standalone mode for various reasons, but I personally don't find any performance hit by using it in server mode with Pro Tools.  I use a stand-alone Play on a second machine, and this I have to manage manually, so I know that the manual concept is not too difficult.

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