Chapter 6

Automating Your Mix


check Understanding automation

check Writing automation

check Editing automation

check Playing automated tracks

You likely won’t have a session without a single change in level, pan, EQ, or plug-in parameters somewhere in the song. Unless you have an external mixer or control surface, you’re stuck making these changes with your mouse. The problem with all this mouse-intensive work is that you can’t move more than one fader, panning knob, or plug-in setting at a time. To be honest, the only way you can really mix within Pro Tools is by using some kind of automation feature, which Pro Tools just happens to have in spades. In fact, Pro Tools has a quite powerful automation engine that allows you to control a variety of mix parameters.

Don’t like how the guitar in the second verse sits in the mix? No problem. Just fix your automation data and mix it again. You can even save multiple versions of these settings so you can create as many mixes as you want. (Be careful here, though: When asked, most mix engineers say that they finish a mix only when they run out of ...

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