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Old 06-27-2012, 08:59 AM
imloggedin imloggedin is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 26
Default Automating by Section??

Is it possible to automate faders in protools based on sections of a song? For instance, you select the whole chorus and adjust the faders to get the levels right for the chorus. When you are finished it writes those automation levels for that section, then you move onto the verse, and repeat. I'm pretty sure Cubase has this feature where you can work on sections of songs and save it, even including plugin changes.

Maybe I can highlight a section of a song (with automation mode off), and get the levels I want, then switch to write mode and write the automation just for that section, and repeat for the rest of the sections. Then switch to read mode. Would that work?
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Old 06-27-2012, 09:56 AM
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cwsand cwsand is offline
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Default Re: Automating by Section??

The only way I know to do it is by entering the level of each fader as the song plays, and when it gets to the section you need the change at, press enter. You would just have to do the same thing for each track you're changing levels on. I don't know of a way to do that for all tracks at once.
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:29 AM
daeron80 daeron80 is offline
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Default Re: Automating by Section??

Yes, it's possible but it's a little more convoluted. I think what you described is about right. In detail:
  1. Get your faders right for section 1.
  2. Select the All group.
  3. Switch a track to the Volume track view (which will switch them all).
  4. Click on one of the lines at a point prior to the start of section 1 to create automation points on all tracks.
  5. Switch automation to Off.
  6. Deselect the All group.
  7. Get your faders right for section 2.
  8. Set playback to the beginning of section 2.
  9. Select the All group.
  10. Switch automation to Write and play back a little.
  11. Select an area around the point where the automation jumps back to section 1 levels and hit delete.
  12. Switch automation to Off.
  13. Deselect the All group.
  14. Get your faders right for section 3.
  15. Repeat from step 9 as needed.
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:59 PM
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jasonthurley jasonthurley is offline
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Default Re: Automating by Section??

I think the easiest way to do this is just "select" the chorus (for example) in the timeline (just the start to end of the section, you can or dont have to select actual tracks and/or regions, just the start to end of the section) Then put your transport in "loop" mode and put all your tracks into Write mode... then when you play it back you can automate the section.. it will play only that section over and over until you have all tracks the way you want them... Then do the same for the verses...

Of course you need to have the levels for the beginning of the section predetermined before writing the actual automation but that can be done by adjusting the faders before writing automation to a good start point... then looping and automating from there.

It should default to latch mode after the first pass, so any change you make after the first pass will follow where you adjust the level, you can change this in your preferences to be touch so you can just adjust certain pieces and when you "let go" of the fader it snaps back to the original automation level...

Last edited by jasonthurley; 06-27-2012 at 03:00 PM. Reason: changed "sections" to "Regions" for clarification
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Old 06-28-2012, 07:44 AM
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jasonthurley jasonthurley is offline
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Location: New York NY
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Default Re: Automating by Section??

Just to add to this topic.....

You can also select a number of bars or bets or seconds before and after each section so you can "prepare to automate" before the section starts.... That way your automation doesn't "jump" to the beginning while your still adjusting a fader at the end of the section as this would record that level to the beginning.

Another way of doing it is to select the beginning of the "section" (like the chorus) and select all.. then Cntrl E will split all the clips.. then go to the end and do the same.. now you can select all regions and tracks in that section and separate and isolate them, then loop automate the sections separately... then you have the mix set for each section you can recombine them...

a number of ways to recombine them, one would be to bounce each section and then import into a new session and place them together, or you can consolidate all track regions from the start to end of the section, put your session in "Shuffle" mode and each section (following the first one) will slide right up to the end of the section in front of it... as long as you have all the regions in that section selected.

I prefer to just do the entire song... I usually start off by turning my automation off until I get a great average level for each track by adjusting the mix screens faders... Then once Im ready to start actually mixing, I put my tracks in write mode and then write the automation from that beginning fader level without adjusting anything (If you dont want to play the whole song just write the first few seconds and the track will stay at that level -this is the same thing as doing step #4 on daeron80's post) .... then on the second pass I will switch to "Touch" automation...... I find this the best way and if I need to adjust a section of the mix, I can adjust where I need to and when I let go of a fader, either by mouse or control surface/console it goes back to the original automation level written on that first pass.... but to each there own.. I hope you figure out a good way to do this for your own workflow and hope this forum helps you achieve it...
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Old 06-30-2012, 09:38 AM
Rich Breen Rich Breen is offline
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Location: Burbank, CA USA
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Default Re: Automating by Section??

Originally Posted by imloggedin View Post
Is it possible to automate faders in protools based on sections of a song? ...
Why not just use automation Preview and Capture modes?


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