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Automating plug-ins and virtual instruments

From: Pro Tools 9 Essential Training

Video: Automating plug-ins and virtual instruments

In addition to being able to automate track parameters, you can also automate any parameter in a plug-in or virtual instrument. The quickest way to enable automation on all of a plug-in's parameters is to do it automatically by choosing Setup > Preferences, and on the Mixing page, choosing Plug-in Controls Default to Auto-Enabled. So when you go to open up a plug-in for the first time, you'll see that all of the plug-in parameters are enabled to be automated.

Automating plug-ins and virtual instruments

In addition to being able to automate track parameters, you can also automate any parameter in a plug-in or virtual instrument. The quickest way to enable automation on all of a plug-in's parameters is to do it automatically by choosing Setup > Preferences, and on the Mixing page, choosing Plug-in Controls Default to Auto-Enabled. So when you go to open up a plug-in for the first time, you'll see that all of the plug-in parameters are enabled to be automated.

And you can tell in this one by all these green dots and all these green boxes. That means that all of these parameters are ready to be automated. If you don't want to use that preference, here is how to enable individual parameters on a plug-in. I am going to open up this filter gate, and then I am going to hit the Automation enable button in the Plug-in window. This window enables you to select the parameters that you want to automate for each plug-in on that track. You can select the parameter over here on the left, click the Add button, and then it will be added over on the column on the right.

Now all five of these parameters are ready to be automated. When you're done, you can click OK. To skip this step and enable all of a plug-ins parameters for automation, you can press Command+Option+Ctrl on a Mac or Ctrl+Alt+Start in Windows, and click on the Plug-in Automation enable button. Everything thing that I've shown you here regarding plug-in automation applies to virtual instruments too. Let's take a look at the Edit window here for a second and check out all the automation that I've got going to here, for both a plug-in and a virtual instrument.

You'll notice that the first two automation lines are for the Xpand2 virtual instrument, and then down further I have some parameters for the AIR filter gate. Notice that there is no difference in appearance between the types of automation for a plug-in and a virtual instrument; they're just like what they look like on an audio track. What that means is that we can actually write and edit automation on plug-ins and virtual instruments in just the same way as you've done it for say volume and mute on any other type of track. So let's hear some of this automation data on the plug-in and the virtual instrument, and we'll watch the virtual instrument and the plug-in parameters change as the track plays.

So I am going to open up Xpand, bring this down, and you'll see the plug-in parameters change here in the smart knobs. Then I want to open up this filter gate, and I need to switch this to part A in the Xpand to watch the right parameters change. Here we go. (Audio playing.) Aside from the drum loop, all you heard here in this session was two notes being held on the Xpand to plug-in routed through the filter gate plug-in.

All of the automated parameters changed the sound pretty drastically from the beginning to the end. As you get more familiar with mixing using automation, you'll see how useful each of these automation features are, and how creative you can get with them. The power you have over your music is truly incredible.

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This video is part of

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Pro Tools 9 Essential Training

106 video lessons · 11333 viewers

David Franz
Author

 
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  1. 13m 13s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Exploring the different versions of Pro Tools
      2m 30s
    3. Optimizing your computer before installing Pro Tools
      4m 6s
    4. Troubleshooting
      2m 18s
    5. Using the exercise files
      3m 3s
  2. 31m 3s
    1. Installing and authorizing Pro Tools
      1m 50s
    2. Connecting your Pro Tools system
      4m 1s
    3. Powering up and powering down
      58s
    4. Choosing the Playback Engine and Hardware settings
      4m 13s
    5. Optimizing Pro Tools performance
      5m 52s
    6. Utilizing Automatic Delay Compensation (ADC)
      1m 38s
    7. Setting essential preferences
      2m 35s
    8. Creating a Pro Tools session
      3m 43s
    9. Identifying elements in a session folder
      2m 33s
    10. Creating new tracks
      3m 40s
  3. 42m 9s
    1. Exploring the Edit window
      6m 52s
    2. Exploring the Mix window
      3m 11s
    3. Exploring the Transport and Big Counter windows
      2m 57s
    4. Using the Color palette and window arrangements
      2m 36s
    5. Investigating the menus
      3m 13s
    6. Understanding samples and ticks
      3m 34s
    7. Viewing and manipulating tracks
      4m 31s
    8. Selecting inputs, outputs, and buses
      3m 58s
    9. Selecting an I/O Settings file
      4m 12s
    10. Understanding signal paths and gain stages
      3m 46s
    11. Utilizing keyboard shortcuts and keyboard focus
      3m 19s
  4. 19m 31s
    1. Using DigiBase and the Workspace browser
      4m 22s
    2. Importing audio
      3m 1s
    3. Importing MIDI
      2m 46s
    4. Importing session data
      3m 44s
    5. Importing tracks from a CD
      2m 44s
    6. Importing video
      2m 54s
  5. 1h 0m
    1. Recording audio
      6m 14s
    2. Playing back audio
      10m 0s
    3. Creating a click track
      5m 25s
    4. Overdubbing and using the record modes
      8m 29s
    5. Recording with playlists and Loop Record
      4m 3s
    6. Punch recording and using the monitoring modes
      4m 17s
    7. Dealing with latency and ADC
      4m 58s
    8. Creating a group
      4m 52s
    9. Adding effects while recording
      5m 17s
    10. Creating a headphone (cue) mix
      4m 29s
    11. Assigning disk allocation
      2m 17s
  6. 1h 19m
    1. Understanding nondestructive editing and region types
      3m 3s
    2. Using the Selector and Grabber tools
      3m 29s
    3. Using the Trimmer and Scrubber tools
      8m 16s
    4. Using the Zoomer tool and Zoom presets
      5m 41s
    5. Using the Pencil tool
      2m 46s
    6. Using the Smart tool
      1m 28s
    7. Understanding the Edit modes
      5m 9s
    8. Arranging regions
      5m 33s
    9. Undoing an edit
      2m 8s
    10. Utilizing fades and crossfades
      7m 22s
    11. Building a comp track using playlists
      4m 50s
    12. Locking and muting regions
      2m 52s
    13. Special Edit window buttons
      6m 47s
    14. Creating an audio loop
      4m 13s
    15. Editing a voiceover
      8m 37s
    16. Using Elastic Time and Elastic Pitch
      7m 38s
  7. 19m 27s
    1. Working with region groups
      6m 39s
    2. Using time, tempo, meter, key, and chord
      5m 37s
    3. Creating memory locations
      7m 11s
  8. 30m 47s
    1. Setting up MIDI on a Mac
      4m 7s
    2. Setting up MIDI on a PC
      2m 13s
    3. Setting up MIDI in Pro Tools
      2m 37s
    4. Recording MIDI data
      3m 7s
    5. Recording multiple MIDI tracks with one virtual instrument
      2m 17s
    6. Recording options for MIDI
      5m 44s
    7. Using step input
      4m 14s
    8. Making a drum loop with MIDI Merge
      3m 36s
    9. Composing with virtual instruments
      2m 52s
  9. 54m 25s
    1. Using the edit tools for editing MIDI data
      9m 47s
    2. Editing MIDI data in the MIDI Editor
      8m 17s
    3. Working with the MIDI event list
      2m 13s
    4. Editing MIDI data with event operations
      8m 35s
    5. Quantizing MIDI tracks
      12m 16s
    6. Creating and using groove templates
      5m 35s
    7. Utilizing real-time properties
      3m 49s
    8. Using MIDI Learn
      3m 53s
  10. 17m 44s
    1. Exploring the Score Editor
      5m 56s
    2. Using the Score Editor
      5m 11s
    3. Setting up a score
      4m 48s
    4. Printing and exporting a score
      1m 49s
  11. 25m 45s
    1. Writing and editing automation
      7m 21s
    2. Drawing automation with the Pencil tool
      3m 58s
    3. Editing automation with the Trimmer and Grabber tools
      2m 26s
    4. Cutting, copying, pasting, and clearing automation
      4m 2s
    5. Turning automation on and off
      4m 0s
    6. Automating plug-ins and virtual instruments
      3m 58s
  12. 1h 33m
    1. Setting up a session for mixing
      7m 53s
    2. Setting up an effects loop
      9m 30s
    3. Working with plug-ins
      4m 33s
    4. Utilizing ADC while mixing
      9m 11s
    5. Applying EQ
      9m 25s
    6. Adding compression and limiting
      13m 27s
    7. Adding depth effects: Delay and reverb
      12m 45s
    8. Applying AudioSuite plug-ins
      4m 14s
    9. Bouncing down a mix and making an MP3
      5m 44s
    10. Setting up a session for mastering
      4m 36s
    11. Mastering a session
      7m 35s
    12. Bouncing down master recordings with Dither and Noise Shaping
      4m 52s
  13. 10m 6s
    1. Importing and displaying video files
      2m 42s
    2. Adding music, foley, ADR, and FX
      4m 32s
    3. Bouncing down video and audio together
      2m 52s
  14. 4m 22s
    1. Archiving an entire session
      4m 22s
  15. 52s
    1. Further Recommendations
      52s

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