iPad Music Production: Auria
Illustration by John Hersey

Using automation


From:

iPad Music Production: Auria

with Garrick Chow

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Video: Using automation

As I've been discussing throughout this chapter, a large part of Mixing your project involves finding the right level for each track by adjusting the Faders. But you're not always going to want to have certain tracks be the same level throughout the entire project or song you are working on. There may be tracks where the sound level is uneven in certain places, where it gets too loud or too quiet. Maybe you want to bring in instrument up for a Solo and then take it back down to its original level, or maybe you just want to make a creative choice, like taking a certain instrument out of the Mix completely during a reverse, for example. Fortunately, Auria includes a powerful Automation system that lets you specify exactly where you want the Fader to move, how far it moves, and how long it stays there.
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Watch the Online Video Course iPad Music Production: Auria
2h 41m Beginner Feb 28, 2013 Updated Jul 19, 2013

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Auria is the first major digital audio workstation designed specifically for the Apple iPad, and in this course, author and professional musician Garrick Chow demonstrates how to use its recording, editing, and mixing tools to create great-sounding music. First, Garrick reviews the hardware you'll need to start capturing audio, from microphones to cables and input devices. He then demonstrates how to record anything from a single audio track to a complete multitrack capture of a live band performance, or import audio from other iPad apps with Audiobus. He also shows you how to edit your tracks by adding splits and trims, apply effects, and use automation to create a final mix. Plus, learn to take snapshots so you can save your mix in different states along the way. Last, Garrick reviews the options for exporting your project from Auria in several formats to share it with the world.

This course will be updated regularly as new features are added to Auria, so check back often. Working with a different app? Check out other installments in this series, including iPad Music Production: GarageBand and iPad Music Production: AmpliTube.

Topics include:
  • Creating a new project
  • Importing audio
  • Using external audio inputs
  • Recording tracks
  • Using Auto-Punch
  • Overdubbing a track
  • Trimming regions and adding fades
  • Using auxiliaries
  • Using automation
  • Creating snapshots
  • Exporting your project
Subject:
Audio + Music
Software:
Auria
Author:
Garrick Chow

Using automation

As I've been discussing throughout this chapter, a large part of Mixing your project involves finding the right level for each track by adjusting the Faders. But you're not always going to want to have certain tracks be the same level throughout the entire project or song you are working on. There may be tracks where the sound level is uneven in certain places, where it gets too loud or too quiet. Maybe you want to bring in instrument up for a Solo and then take it back down to its original level, or maybe you just want to make a creative choice, like taking a certain instrument out of the Mix completely during a reverse, for example. Fortunately, Auria includes a powerful Automation system that lets you specify exactly where you want the Fader to move, how far it moves, and how long it stays there.

And it's not just Volume levels that can be automated, you can automate just about every dial, any track, and even automate effects. So let's take a look at how this works. There are two ways to work with Automation in Auria. You can automate actions either in the Mix window or in the Edit window. Let's start here in the Mix window. Notice every channel has an R and W button. W stands for Write, as in to Write new Automation information, and R stands for read, as in to Read or Playback the Automation that's been written. Let's use the Dobro track as an example. I have it fairly low in the Mix for the most part, but there is a section near the end of the song where I want to highlight it a bit more, to sort of bring it to the front, and then I wanted to drop back down again.

So right around the 3-minute mark, so let's listen to it. I'm going to manually bring the Fader up when I think it should come up, and then I'll bring it back down. (music playing) So I exaggerated it there a little bit, but those are the points where I want the level to go up and down, and I want Auria to remember those moves.

So let's rewind back again. Let's drag the Playhead back to about there. So to automate that Fader action, I'm going to tap the W button on the Dobro track. Now that lights both the R and W, but that's normal, it simply indicates that I'm also going to hear the Automation moves as I'm writing them. Now once I tap Play, Auria will record the motion of any Fader or dial I move on this track, so not only can I move the Fader, but I can also play with the Pan dial, the auxiliary dials, and so on. In fact, I will move the Pan dial, so you'll be able to see multiple actions being written.

Watch the W button, and you'll see it turn red anytime Auria detects that I'm touching a dial. (music playing) Okay, I'll tap W to take it out of write mode, so I don't accidentally rewrite the Automation.

So let's rewind back to the same point. Notice R is still lit up, meaning that if I tap Play now, we'll see the Automation moves playback, which is what I want. So let's watch. (music playing) So that's how to program Automation from the Mix window, now let's switch over to the Edit window and see what's happened over there.

In each track there is an Automation Menu where you can select what aspect of the track you want to automate. I'll select Volume here on the Dobro track, and that displays the Volume Automation line which is this blue line you see. You'll see several points along the line. These are the Automation points that were written as I move the Fader. You can see where I brought the Fader up, where I adjusted it slightly up and down, and where it remained steady for a while and then came back. Now let's play little bit of that, and should be able to hear those changes.

(music playing) Now I also adjusted the Panning of the track. And if I go back to the Automation Menu, you'll see the Pan is also in white, which indicates that it contains Automation data, and there are the Pan Points. So that's what Automation looks like in the Edit window, but this isn't just for viewing the Automation you wrote in the Mix window. You can also create Automation from here.

In fact, in many cases you might find it easier to work in the Edit window, because here you can see the Waveforms and be more precise about where you want the changes to occur. You can edit existing Automation Lines, for instance, if wanted the panning to start sooner, I can grab this first point and drag it to the left. But you can also create Automation from scratch. For instance, let's go to the Fiddle track. And let's take the playhead back to the beginning of the Solo which is around 2 minutes 40 seconds.

And let's say I want to bring the Fiddle up for the first half of the Solo section before the Dobro comes up in the second half. So I'm going to choose Volume from the Menu. Now personally, I like to first add the start and end points of the area I want to automate. So I'm going to tap and hold where I want to Volume to coming up. You can see that adds a control point. Control point simply indicates a moment of change. Now I'm going to use the control points on the Dobro track to figure out where I want the section to come back to down to its original level.

So in the Dobro track I'm going to go to Volume, you can see right there is where the Volume starts to come right up, and we can even view the Playhead there. So here on the Fiddle track, I'll tap and hold to add a second control point. The reason I like to start and end points first is that it protects the rest of my track from being altered. So now tap that control point indicate how loud I want the Fiddle to get any one point in time.

And then I add a second point to specify where I want the Volume to start coming back down. And again, I am just going to exaggerate the settings a bit so the change is a little bit more obvious for this example. So you can see this is a much cleaner set of points in lines than I got using the Fader in the Mix window. Also, you can change the curve type of the lines by tapping one of the four buttons here in the upper right-hand corner. You can experiment with them to see which best suits your project. Just go to your control point and choose your curve, and let's give that a listen.

(music playing) So now I can hear the Fiddle coming up where I made those control points. Again, you can adjust them if you want to, maybe make things even a little bit louder.

Make sure we tap on the control point. Sometimes it's hard to land right on it, here we go. Now if I move the playhead back and switch over to the Mix window again, now we'll see the Fiddle Fader move. (music playing) And now we can see both the Fiddle and the Dobro Faders moving.

So that's how to use Automation from both the Mix and Edit windows. Now I mentioned that you can also automate pretty much every dial on the channel. Again, you can do that here in the Mix window by tapping the W on the track that you want to automate and then moving any of the dials, or you can do it from the Edit window by using the Track Menu to choose what aspect you want to draw Automation Lines for. You can also automate effects by tapping FX, and you can do this from either the Edit or the Mix window and then choosing the Insert And you'll find that each module has an R and W button.

So you can tap W to go into Write mode, start playing your song and record whatever changes you make to the effects in real time. Maybe you want to suddenly bring a lot of Reverb on to the track in the middle of the song and then have a drop out again. You are going to accomplish that just by doing it live and recording your actions. So that's how to work with Automation in Auria.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about iPad Music Production: Auria .


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Q: This course was updated on 7/19/2013. What changed?
A: We added new videos, and re-recorded some other ones, to reflect changes to Auria, including time stretching and the ability to take snapshots of your mixes. We also included information on how to deal with anticipated updates to Auria and make sure our training is always up to date.
 
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