Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
Having work tediously with many other types of automation systems on analog mixing boards, I think the graphical editing of automation data is one of the best features of Pro Tools. Here I'll show you how to use the Pencil tool to edit or draw a new automation data. The Pencil tool you can use any of the top five pencil shapes to draw automation. I will start with the Free Hand tool. I like to use the Free Hand tool to draw volume automation. It's great for creating long customize fade-outs at the end of a song. Let's try it on the bass track here. Just click and drag and you can create your fade-out. Let's have a listen. (Music playing.) Sounds good. Let's try out the Line shape to create a gradual pitch band.
Let's have some fun and try it on the drums. Let's have a listen to this. (Music playing.) Interesting effect there. Now let's use the Square automation in Grid mode for muting the Acoustic Guitar track. So I'll make sure we are in Grid mode. We'll go to the Square, Pencil shape and we'll check our Grid value 16th notes. We'll keep it at that. So I'll switch from waveform to mute and then when we click-and-drag since these tracks are grouped together as you can see down here. Pro Tools will automatically make the Square shaped curves for the muting data, zoom in and take a look, so let's have a listen to that. (Music playing.) That's a pretty cool effect. Now let's use the Triangle shape. Let's try it out on this Organ track. Let me open up the DB-33 plug-in here and the modulation wheel automation is actually going to affect the rotation of the rotary speaker on this organ. So what I'm going to do first is actually change the Grid value to 1 bar, and then click and draw in the triangular shape. Let's have a listen to what that does.
(Music playing.) So you can see the rotation changing and following the triangular shape of the modulation wheel automation.
Now let's try using the Random shape for creating some panning effects that will put this synthesizer track all over the stereo field. So I'm going to go up to Random and we have got the panning on the left side. I'm going to click-and-drag, and now I'll go over to the right side and in this case, I'm going to actually change the Grid value to 16th notes to create a more wild panning. Let's have a listen to that. (Music playing.) So it's kind of bouncing all over the stereo field. Drawing automation with all the shapes of the Pencil tool can be a very creative process. Have fun with it, and add some more motion and life to your mixes.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
73 Video lessons · 20574 Viewers
130 Video lessons · 20852 Viewers
110 Video lessons · 12670 Viewers
80 Video lessons · 14497 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
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.