Easiest way to mute multiple tracks at once - "Band Tacet"

Often I’m writing a hiphop-style track where I need to cut out most of the instruments for the last bar of a pattern – say lines 48-64 – so you get that nice breakdown feel at the end of a bar. I want to select the last bar of the pattern across multiple tracks and easily cut the volume to zero, then back up to 100% for the start of the next pattern. It’s also called a “band tacet” if you’re familiar with that term.

I know there are a lot of ways to do this, but none seems to be much more efficient than the others. I can either:

  • Use 0Mxx to set the Sample Volume to 0 on each note to silence it, and repeat for every note in each track.
  • Use 0Lxx to affect the whole track volume. This had unexpected effects on the overall track volume so I quickly abandoned this approach.
  • Select all notes in the area I want to remove and Cmd+X to cut them out of the pattern (what I usually do).
  • I thought there was a way to right-click on the track “Mute” button while in record mode and record an automation to mute the track. This hasn’t been working for me when I’ve tried it.

This is such a common move in music making, I figured the community would have some good suggestions on this. How do you handle this?

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If you organize your tracks within a group, you can use the effects in the group to mute all the tracks that contain it for a specific block of lines.

You can also use the right mouse button to automate the controls of the group’s DSP chain with effects. You can add a “Gainer” in the group and automate the “Gain” slider with the right mouse click (deactivates the third lower button of the pattern editor).

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