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Pro Tools 10 Essential Training with musician and producer David Franz illuminates the process of recording, editing, mixing, and mastering in Avid Pro Tools, the industry-standard software for music and postproduction. The course covers recording live audio and adding effects on the fly, creating music with virtual instruments and plug-ins, editing for time and pitch manipulation, creating a musical score, and mixing and mastering a track.
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 the plug-in's parameters is to do it automatically, by choosing Setup > Preferences, and in the Mixing page, choosing Plug-in Controls Default to Auto-Enabled. Now when you open a plug-in for the first time--I will open up an EQ here-- you'll see that all of the parameters are ready to be automated, and that's indicated by these little green dots here.
If the parameter wasn't ready to be automated, then these dots wouldn't be lit up green. Now if you don't want use that preference and be overwhelmed with all of the parameters that you can automate, here's how to enable individual automation parameters on a plug-in. I am going to open up this Filter Gate plug-in, and now I'm in going to go up to this button right here, the Plug-In Automation Enable button, and in this window, you can choose one of the parameters here on the left, click Add, and now it's added to this list of five automatable parameters.
I will click OK and all five of these parameters would be automatable. And let's go take a look at that in the Edit window. Now everything that I have shown you here regarding plug-in automation also applies to virtual instruments too. And you can see on this track, the synth track, I have the Xpand2 virtual instrument. And there's some automation for that instrument here. So we have got three automated parameters for Xpand2 and then several more for the AIR Filter Gate down here.
And you should notice that there's no difference in appearance between the types of automation for a plug-in and a virtual instrument. They are just like what they look like on an audio track as well. And 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 have done for volume and mute and any other truck parameter on an audio track. So let's hear what some of this automation data on the plug-ins and virtual instrument sounds like. I am going to open up Xpand2 here, slide it down, and then I want to show the Smart Knobs here moving around in Part A. So watch those as I start playing this back. And I'm also going to open up the Filter Gate, so let me click the target button, so I can have multiple plug-ins open at once.
I will move that up here and watch the parameters here, the ones in green, that are automated. (Music Playing) You will see the Cutoff opening up here. (Music Playing) Modulation Depth is changing. (Music Playing) Now we are adding in the filter gate. (Music Playing) Changing the cutoff. (Music Playing) Adjusting the Gate and Release as the drums come in.
(Music Playing) Now aside from the drum loop, the only instrumentation on this track was the two notes being held on the Xpand2 plug in. All of the automated parameters changed the sounds 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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