Pro Tools First Tutorials

A guide to creating Pro Tools First Volume Automation

A guide to creating Pro Tools First Volume Automation

Creating Pro Tools First Volume Automation is a really useful tool. I find that it comes in handy in just about every mixing session.

It’s a process that allows you to automate volume changes in your sessions which will then automatically occur during playback. This could be because you want to create a fade out on the entire track. Or perhaps you want to change the level of specific lines in a song. Maybe you want to make the guitars louder in the choruses for more impact.

What ever the reason, it’s likely that leaving each track’s fader in a static position for an entire song will create an uninteresting mix. The good news is that creating Pro Tools First volume automation is really easy.

How to create Pro Tools First Volume Automation in your sessions:

To create volume automation, begin by opening the edit window. Select ‘volume’ from the track view selector on the track that you want to automate:

Pro Tools First Volume Automation - track view selector Pro Tools First Volume Automation - volume

A line will appear over the top of the waveform throughout the track’s regions. The line that appears represents the current position of the fader. So any changes that you make to this line will create a change to the volume level of the fader at that moment in the song.

Using the Smart Tool for Pro Tools First Volume Automation:

With the smart tool, this single tool can be used to automate volume level changes. This is because the function of the tool will change depending on where the cursor is placed in relation to the line. By placing the cursor between the center or bottom part of a region, the select tool becomes active allowing you to select the proportion of the audio that you want to turn up or down in volume level. Then, by placing the cursor in the upper portion of the track view, the trim tool becomes active, which allows you to push or pull the volume up or down in level. Now, as these points in the song are reached during playback, the fader’s position will automatically change in unison with the changes made to the volume track view.

Using the Pencil Tool for Pro Tools First Volume Automation:

Alternatively, if you want to create a more unique form of automation, then you can use the pencil tool to draw your automation:

Pro Tools First Volume Automation - pencil

Holding down on the pencil tool icon will allow you to select various shapes to use for your automation. So now, you can have the volume levels of any track automatically change at any point during your session. Most commonly, I create Pro Tools First volume automation because one level is rarely perfect for any track for an entire session. I also like to alter levels throughout the song to enhance the musicality of a song. What reasons do you think you could use Pro Tools First volume automation for? Share your thoughts below.

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