Pro Tools First Tutorials

How to create Pro Tools First Panning Automation in your sessions

how to create pro tools first panning automation in your sessions

In this tutorial, we’ll learn how to create Pro Tools First panning automation. Automating the panning of tracks in your session can create an engaging and interesting mix. Its a really simple process which gives your songs a more spacious feel. So with Pro Tools First panning automation, you don’t have to commit to a track staying in one position for a whole song. You can change track’s pan positions during songs. You can even automate them so that the changes can be heard in real time during your sessions.

How to create Pro Tools First Panning Automation:

Creating Pro Tools First panning automation is a really simple process. In the Pro Tools First edit window, select ‘pan’ in the track view selector of the track that you want to automate:

track view selector

Pro Tools First Panning Automation - panningThe line that appears in the center of the track’s regions over the waveform represents the pan position of the track. The center point horizontally represents central panning. The upper portion of the track height represents panning to the left. The lower portion represents panning to the right. This allows you to control changes in the pan position of the track at any point in the song based on the changes that you make across the timeline. The changes that you make to the pan position at any point on the timeline will automatically occur at that moment in the song.

The great thing is that you’re not limited to creating Pro Tools First panning automation which is merely hard left, hard right, or central. You can pan in small amounts. You can pan in large amounts. It’s completely flexible depending on your requirements. Just the same as it would be if you were using a regular pan pot.

Creating Pro Tools First Panning Automation using the Smart Tool:

The automation itself can be entered into the regions using the smart tool. The smart tool will change its function depending on where the cursor is placed in relation to the line. Therefore, placing the cursor in the lower portion of the region enables the select tool. The select tool allows you to highlight the section of the track that you would like to automate. With your section selected, move your cursor to the upper half of the region. From here, you can change the selection’s pan position. You can drag the selection to a right position by dragging down, or a left position by dragging up.

Creating Pro Tools First Panning Automation using the Pencil tool:

If you want to create a more gradual change to a track’s pan position, then you can do this by creating Pro Tools First panning automation using the pencil tool. To enable the pencil tool, click on the pencil icon to the right of the edit tools:

Pro Tools First pencil tool

With this tool, you can draw your automation directly into the region’s panning track view. This is great if you want to create a completely custom automation move. You can also hold down on the pencil tool to change the pencil tool’s shape. This allows you to select things like ‘line’ which allows you to draw in a very consistent and even line which would create an even change in panning. You could even select something more unusual like ‘triangle’ to create an unusual, yet consistent, panning change.

Using these two methods of creating Pro Tools First panning automation, you have a great deal of control over your sessions panning. No longer is it necessary for a track’s pan position to remain the same throughout an entire song. Now, you can alter your track’s pan positions throughout a session. What’s more, you can even have your track’s pan position change in real time during the song to create interesting and engaging mixes.

Do you think that the ability to change pan position during a song is something which would benefit your music?

To download your free copy of Pro Tools First, click here.

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