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Drawing automation with the Pencil tool

From: Pro Tools 10 Essential Training

Video: Drawing automation with the Pencil tool

Having worked tediously with other types of automation systems on analog mixing boards, I think graphical editing of automation data is one of the best features of Pro Tools. Here I will show you how to use the Pencil tool to edit or draw new automation. Any of the top five pencil shapes can be used to draw automation. Let's start with the Freehand tool. I'm going to go down to the bass track here and draw in a fade-out. So I am just going to click and drag. And let's hear what that sounds like.

Drawing automation with the Pencil tool

Having worked tediously with other types of automation systems on analog mixing boards, I think graphical editing of automation data is one of the best features of Pro Tools. Here I will show you how to use the Pencil tool to edit or draw new automation. Any of the top five pencil shapes can be used to draw automation. Let's start with the Freehand tool. I'm going to go down to the bass track here and draw in a fade-out. So I am just going to click and drag. And let's hear what that sounds like.

(Music Playing) Yep, that's a fade-out. Now let's try the Line Pencil tool and we will draw in some automation for a gradual pitch-bend on a drum track. Pitch-bend on a drum track? Well, why not? So I am going to just click here and drag all the way up, and now let's check out what this sounds like. So I just hit Return and we will go back to the top and press Play. (Music Playing) That sounds kind of cool.

Now let's use the Square shape and draw some automation on the acoustic guitar track for muting it. So I am going to switch to Track View to mute and now I can go in and draw my automation. Now that's a lot of data going on there, so I am going to zoom in so we can see what's actually going on. So it's muting right along with the grid, and it's adding a value of a 16th note that we have set up here in the grid. Let's hear what that sounds like.

(Music Playing) Okay, cool. Let's try something different. I am going to go down to the organ track here, the DB-33 track, and I'm going to create some modulation data. So I am going to open this up, and we are going to take a look at creating some modulation automation to affect the rotation of the rotary speaker, and that's going to affect what we have down here, the Slow and Fast and Break settings.

So what I am going to first do is change the grid value to 1 bar, and then I am going to choose the Triangle pencil shape, and let me zoom out a little bit too. We've already chosen mod wheel as our continuous controller that we want to adjust, so I can just go in here and click and drag and I am creating some automation. Now let's have a listen. (Music Playing) So as you can see down here, the modulation data is affecting the rotation of the speaker.

Now let's try using the Random shape for creating some crazy panning. So I am going to choose Random and go to this synth track, and I am just going to click and drag. So we have got a lot of randomized whole-note panning on panning of the left side of this track. Let me switch the grid up just so this is a little bit more noticeable and then switch over to the panning on the right side, click and drag, and look at all that. It's a lot of random information, and now we will take a listen to what that sounds like.

So I am going to press play and take a listen. (Music Playing) So that Random shape creates panning affects that moves the synth track randomly all over the stereo field here. And hopefully you are listening in headphones, because it will be much more obvious if you are. Now drawing automation with the Pencil tool can be a very creative process as you have seen here. Have fun with it and use it to add some more motion and life to your mixes.

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This video is part of

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Pro Tools 10 Essential Training

108 video lessons · 15416 viewers

David Franz
Author

 
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  1. 13m 44s
    1. Welcome
      1m 20s
    2. Exploring the different versions of Pro Tools
      3m 22s
    3. Optimizing your computer before installing Pro Tools
      4m 18s
    4. Troubleshooting
      2m 19s
    5. Using the exercise files
      2m 25s
  2. 36m 55s
    1. Installing and authorizing Pro Tools
      1m 49s
    2. Connecting your Pro Tools system
      4m 31s
    3. Powering up and powering down
      58s
    4. Choosing the Playback Engine and Hardware settings
      5m 55s
    5. Optimizing Pro Tools' performance
      6m 26s
    6. Utilizing Automatic Delay Compensation (ADC)
      3m 36s
    7. Setting essential preferences
      2m 35s
    8. Creating a Pro Tools session
      4m 31s
    9. Identifying elements in a session folder
      2m 36s
    10. Creating new tracks
      3m 58s
  3. 42m 5s
    1. Exploring the Edit window
      6m 44s
    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 35s
    5. Investigating the menus
      3m 22s
    6. Understanding samples and ticks
      3m 34s
    7. Viewing and manipulating tracks
      4m 31s
    8. Selecting inputs, outputs, and busses
      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 15s
  4. 21m 11s
    1. Using DigiBase and the Workspace browser
      4m 14s
    2. Importing audio
      3m 0s
    3. Importing MIDI
      2m 48s
    4. Importing session data
      5m 34s
    5. Importing tracks from a CD
      2m 51s
    6. Importing video
      2m 44s
  5. 56m 46s
    1. Recording audio
      6m 13s
    2. Playing back audio and Edit window scrolling
      4m 52s
    3. Creating a click track
      5m 24s
    4. Overdubbing and using the record modes
      8m 52s
    5. Recording with playlists and Loop Record
      4m 6s
    6. Punch recording and using the monitoring modes
      4m 14s
    7. Dealing with latency and ADC
      4m 58s
    8. Creating a group
      6m 5s
    9. Adding effects while recording
      5m 16s
    10. Creating a headphone (cue) mix
      4m 29s
    11. Assigning disk allocation
      2m 17s
  6. 1h 28m
    1. Understanding nondestructive editing and region types
      3m 19s
    2. Using the Selector and Grabber tools
      3m 37s
    3. Using the Trim and Scrubber tools
      7m 5s
    4. Using the Zoomer tool and zoom presets
      5m 51s
    5. Using the Pencil tool
      3m 10s
    6. Using the Smart tool
      1m 27s
    7. Understanding the Edit modes
      5m 51s
    8. Arranging clips
      6m 40s
    9. Undoing an edit
      2m 44s
    10. Utilizing fades and crossfades
      9m 41s
    11. Building a comp track using playlists
      5m 17s
    12. Locking and muting clips
      2m 48s
    13. Special Edit window buttons
      7m 15s
    14. Creating an audio loop
      5m 19s
    15. Editing a voiceover
      9m 41s
    16. Using Elastic Time and Elastic Pitch
      9m 12s
  7. 17m 21s
    1. Working with clip groups
      4m 33s
    2. Using time, tempo, meter, key, and chord
      5m 37s
    3. Creating memory locations
      7m 11s
  8. 33m 10s
    1. Setting up MIDI on a Mac
      4m 17s
    2. Setting up MIDI on a PC
      2m 14s
    3. Setting up MIDI in Pro Tools
      2m 44s
    4. Recording MIDI data
      3m 14s
    5. Recording multiple MIDI tracks with one virtual instrument
      2m 17s
    6. Recording options for MIDI
      6m 21s
    7. Using Step Input
      4m 35s
    8. Making a drum loop with MIDI Merge
      3m 36s
    9. Composing with virtual instruments
      3m 52s
  9. 57m 1s
    1. Using the edit tools for editing MIDI data
      10m 0s
    2. Editing MIDI data in the MIDI Editor
      7m 31s
    3. Working with the MIDI Event List
      2m 12s
    4. Editing MIDI data with Event Operations
      8m 33s
    5. Quantizing MIDI tracks
      12m 16s
    6. Creating and using Groove Templates
      5m 35s
    7. Utilizing real-time properties
      5m 50s
    8. Using MIDI Learn
      5m 4s
  10. 17m 30s
    1. Exploring the Score Editor
      5m 49s
    2. Using the Score Editor
      5m 5s
    3. Setting up a score
      4m 48s
    4. Printing and exporting a score
      1m 48s
  11. 25m 39s
    1. Writing and editing automation
      6m 40s
    2. Drawing automation with the Pencil tool
      4m 2s
    3. Editing automation with the Trim and Grabber tools
      2m 58s
    4. Cutting, copying, pasting, and clearing automation
      4m 12s
    5. Turning automation on and off
      3m 52s
    6. Automating plug-ins and virtual instruments
      3m 55s
  12. 1h 49m
    1. Setting up a session for mixing
      8m 50s
    2. Setting up an effects loop
      9m 30s
    3. Working with plug-ins
      4m 33s
    4. Utilizing ADC while mixing
      9m 8s
    5. Applying EQ
      12m 43s
    6. Adding compression and limiting
      14m 25s
    7. Using delay effects
      6m 52s
    8. Applying AudioSuite plug-ins
      6m 24s
    9. Adding reverb to your mix
      6m 50s
    10. Bouncing down a mix
      4m 15s
    11. Making an MP3 for iTunes and SoundCloud
      2m 53s
    12. Setting up a session for mastering
      4m 58s
    13. Mastering a session
      10m 37s
    14. Bouncing down master recordings with Dither and Noise Shaping
      7m 24s
  13. 9m 59s
    1. Importing and displaying video files
      2m 38s
    2. Adding music, foley, ADR, and FX
      4m 29s
    3. Bouncing down video and audio together
      2m 52s
  14. 4m 0s
    1. Archiving an entire session
      4m 0s
  15. 58s
    1. Further recommendations
      58s

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