Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Automating plug-in parameters

From: Audio for Film and Video with Pro Tools

Video: Automating plug-in parameters

Volume, panning, and send automation are not the only parameters you can automate. You will find that automating plug-in parameters such as equalizer curves and compression settings can be extremely helpful in your mix. The ability to adjust plug-in parameters over time can help you keep your track counts down and give you more control over what happens on a given track throughout the timeline. First thing you will notice when you try to automate a plug-in is that their parameters don't automatically show up in the automation playlist. So let me insert an EQ plug-in into this track. So here I have my plug-in inserted and it has a lot of parameters.

Automating plug-in parameters

Volume, panning, and send automation are not the only parameters you can automate. You will find that automating plug-in parameters such as equalizer curves and compression settings can be extremely helpful in your mix. The ability to adjust plug-in parameters over time can help you keep your track counts down and give you more control over what happens on a given track throughout the timeline. First thing you will notice when you try to automate a plug-in is that their parameters don't automatically show up in the automation playlist. So let me insert an EQ plug-in into this track. So here I have my plug-in inserted and it has a lot of parameters.

If I close the plug-in box and I go to my automation playlist, I don't see any of those parameters showing up in my automation list here. You actually have to manually set your parameters to show up. So let me take this plug-in off and I want to show you one way you can do this is through the Preferences in Pro Tools. Here under the Mix tab you can set Pro Tools to say Plug-in Controls Defaults to Auto-Enabled. If you select this box and you hit OK and I re-instantiate that EQ plug-in, you'll see a number one on the plug- in every parameter has either green box around it or a green dot below any knob.

That's a visual indicator that all of these parameters are enabled to be automated. Now in the Automation playlist pulldown menu we have a section for this plug-in and we have all of our controls. So they have been automatically added as possible automation playlists. So if I wanted to automate the High Band Gain, go here and I see that line is there. The downside to doing it this way is that you have so many parameters in here it's hard to know which one that you want to actually work on.

So the alternative to this is to manually decide which parameters as you work you want to automate. So I am going to actually take this insert off and go back to that preference and uncheck this. Click OK and I am going to re- instantiate the plug-in and here again none of these parameters have green boxes or green dots. So it's back to how we started. None of these parameters are currently set to be automated. From the plug-in itself you can choose which parameters you want to automate.

You do that in this little button right below where it says Auto, Auto standing for automation. This brings up our Plug-In Automation dialog box here and here again we have a long list of all the different parameters and we can choose which ones we want to automate. You select them and then you add them one at a time. So Low-Mid Band Gain for example, and you can add several of these and when you're done-- I added High-Pass Slope, Low-Mid Band Gain and High Band Enable and if I close this plug-in-- now in the automation parameters list I see those three automations highlighted and I can automate any of those three parameters.

This could be a useful way of doing it, but you still have that problem where you're looking at this list and are wondering, which is the control I wanted to automate, again? So I have a third way of selecting the parameters you want to automate that I want to show you and that is you actually use a key command to automate. So actually let me go back into the plug-in and I am going to take these guys, hold Shift, and select all three of them and remove them. So I am back to square one. No parameters are automated. So this third way I actually use a three-button key command.

Ctrl+Option+Command on a Mac, which would be Windows+Alt+Ctrl on the PC, all three. I call it the three finger salute because you use all three of your fingers. Then you simply hold down those three keys and you click on whatever knob you want to automate and you can enable it from there. So this is a much faster way and a much more intuitive way to enable automation parameters, because you might be working with that parameter, say you are moving this up and down and you say, oh, I like that, and you just hold down all three keys, click on it.

So that's another way to enable your parameters. Let's demonstrate how that would work in the context of a scene. So I've got this motorcycle section here and I've notice that when it plays I like the sound of this High-Mid Band frequency being moved up during the course of this region. So it sounds like this. (Engine revving) So it adds like a real nice bike in there and I like the way that sounds. So again I Ctrl+Option+Command+Click on there and I have already enabled it.

I can check if I go into that list and I see okay, it's been enabled. Hit OK. Close the plug-in and now it just shows up as any other automation parameter would in my list here and I can look at that line and I can even real-time write it in if I wanted to. Just go to Touch mode and I'll write it in on during this pass. (Engine revving) So I made an actual pretty common mistake here as I tried to write the move in Touch mode, but I did not look at my Automation Parameters window and you will notice that Plug In automation was not selected.

So again if you're automating any plug- ins you have to make sure that you've enabled it in your Automation window here which you can get from hitting Command+4 or from the Window > Automation. So now that I do have it write enabled, you notice a visual difference in the actual EQ window here and that is that little green dot is now red. So that actually tells me visually that hey, we are ready to automate this guy. So let me do one more pass of that. (Engine revving) So it just kind of enhances that bite, the kind of high-end of that motorcycle as it drives off.

Another good way to use automation for plug- ins is to actually automate the bypass button. So let's take a look at this production track here. Let's say I wanted to have a specific EQ setting on this first region, but I didn't want any EQ on the second region. So I could use a similar technique. I have an EQ already inserted here and here's my specific EQ that I want to apply to the first region but not the second. So I would use the same type of technique except it won't be one of these knobs. It'll be the actual Bypass button. So again Ctrl+Option+Command, all three keys, click on the Bypass button, enable automation for that button, and it turns green.

So it's now an enabled parameter. And here I am not going to use real- time automation, but rather I am just going draw it in with my mouse. So I will go into the automation parameters, choose the Master Bypass, which I just added. We've got a line down at the bottom and that means that it's currently not bypassed. So what I am going to do is go like this. That means it is bypassed all the time. And then I am going to select just that region where I want it to be active and I am going to take theTrimmer tool and pull that down. So what we have then is that the plug- in is bypassed until it gets to that section, then it un-bypasses so that EQ curve will last for the duration of that region, and then once I get past that region over here to the next region it's once again bypassed.

So you can automate bypass just like you can automate any of these knobs and it's really useful do that on plug- ins because now I don't have to have two separate tracks. I can use the same track and I can even use the same plug-in. The automation of bypass brings up a good point here, because not all automation parameters have similar controls. Obviously, bypass is either an on or off selection. It's not like an knob or a fader where it's got much more fine control like down here. But let's say you did want to copy and automation from one automation type like volume to a plug-in parameter.

This is possible, but you have to use a special trick to do it. So let me demonstrate here if I go up to one of our dialog tracks, for example, and I am going to hit the minus key to show and hit minus key to show that this volume track has automation. So let's say I wanted to grab this automation here. This is again volume automation and I want to copy it. So hit C to copy that to my clipboard. Now I want to paste that automation move down here to this High-Mid Band Gain. So remember I'm copying volume automation to an EQ band parameter.

So if I hit V, nothing happens because Pro Tools is saying, hey, what you are trying to do? You are trying to paste this volume setting to a different parameter. But you can force Pro Tools into doing this through a special command. It's called Paste Special > To Current Automation Type and this kind of overrides Pro Tools' will to not want to paste a different automation type to your current automation type. So Volume to EQ and the key command is also Ctrl+Command+V or Windows+Ctrl+V for a PC.

So when I hit this, ' that automation is still in our clipboard and it actually lets us paste it. So it kind of bridges the gap for us and it interpolates any different information and puts it right there in the track. This won't always work if the parameters are too different. Bypass has either an on or off. So something this fine won't really work in that case, but for most parameters, if they're close, you can use Paste Special > To Current Automation Type and it will override and let you do it. So any successful mix is helped a lot by this kind of plug-in automation.

Hopefully, some of these ideas will help you maximize what your EQs and compressors can do for you over the course of your mix.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Audio for Film and Video with Pro Tools
Audio for Film and Video with Pro Tools

51 video lessons · 8940 viewers

Scott Hirsch
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 6m 13s
    1. Welcome
      1m 3s
    2. Using the exercise files
      40s
    3. Using this course with Pro Tools 10
      1m 57s
    4. Relinking audio files
      2m 33s
  2. 18m 37s
    1. Understanding the new audio for video features in Pro Tools 9
      5m 17s
    2. Exploring the hardware requirements for Pro Tools 9
      5m 19s
    3. Understanding the audio components of a finished video
      5m 22s
    4. Understanding the audio production workflow
      2m 39s
  3. 25m 10s
    1. Understanding video formats, SMPTE timecode rates, NTSC, and PAL
      6m 21s
    2. Understanding video formats, codecs, and pull-up/pull-down
      5m 16s
    3. Setting up your Pro Tools session for video
      8m 44s
    4. Exporting OMF and AAF files
      4m 49s
  4. 32m 14s
    1. Importing OMF and AAF files
      8m 8s
    2. Importing and the DigiBase browser
      4m 0s
    3. Conforming the OMF import to your template
      6m 51s
    4. Setting up groups and windows
      6m 2s
    5. Spotting film and using markers
      7m 13s
  5. 52m 55s
    1. Organizing the dialog tracks
      5m 0s
    2. Optimizing the dialog in the first pass
      4m 30s
    3. Using room tone
      4m 10s
    4. Creating fades to smooth out audio edits
      5m 4s
    5. Understanding sound effects, ambiences, and backgrounds
      7m 12s
    6. Sweetening and hard effects
      6m 52s
    7. Processing tips for sound effects
      8m 46s
    8. Bringing emotion to the mix with music tracks
      5m 33s
    9. Leveraging clip-based gain in Pro Tools 10
      2m 51s
    10. Exploring AudioSuite enhancements in Pro Tools 10
      2m 57s
  6. 15m 29s
    1. Preparing the session for foley and ADR recording
      9m 19s
    2. Recording ADR and editing with VocALign LE
      6m 10s
  7. 45m 5s
    1. Noise-reducing hums, rumbles, and buzzes
      8m 11s
    2. Eliminating crackles and digital clicks
      5m 30s
    3. Taming plosives and sibilance
      6m 10s
    4. Reducing broadband noise
      9m 26s
    5. Conforming to video changes
      8m 36s
    6. Pitch shifting for effect or utility, TC expansion
      7m 12s
  8. 56m 19s
    1. Setting up for stereo mixing
      5m 11s
    2. Calibrating levels using an SPL meter
      7m 2s
    3. Mixing with automation
      11m 4s
    4. Advanced mix automation
      8m 0s
    5. Automating plug-in parameters
      9m 22s
    6. Mixing with reverb
      7m 20s
    7. Ducking techniques
      8m 20s
  9. 42m 4s
    1. Setting up a surround mix template
      11m 14s
    2. Calibrating for 5.1 surround mixing and bass management
      9m 2s
    3. Mixing and spatial techniques for 5.1 surround
      14m 9s
    4. Downmixing, encoding, and using Neyrinck plug-ins
      3m 38s
    5. Automating techniques for 5.1 surround mixes
      4m 1s
  10. 10m 6s
    1. Print mastering and stem mixes
      5m 47s
    2. Mastering delivery levels and dynamics
      4m 19s
  11. 5m 29s
    1. Backing up your final project
      5m 29s
  12. 18s
    1. Goodbye
      18s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Audio for Film and Video with Pro Tools.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.