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Automation

 This article includes:

Automation Overview

Automation is the process of writing changes to parameters in your session over time that are then played back as the session is played back {when track automation is enabled). Most parameters on a track can be automated. 

This section covers:

  • Automation modes
  • Automating volume
  • Automating panning
  • Automating plug-in parameters
  • Automating MIDI Continuous Controllers for an Instrument

Automation modes

LUNA has the following automation modes.

Automation Mode

Description

Off

Do not play back automation that is written on the track.

Read

Play back all automation that is written on the track. 

Touch

Plays back the track and any written automation, but begins to write automation as soon as you touch an automatable control. For example, if you touch a volume fader that is or is not already automated, automation data is written as long as you touch or move the fader. 

Use Touch to write initial automation to a track, to write precise control automation, or to “touch up” existing automation.

Latch

Latch automation mode reads automation and writes it just as Touch. However, Latch “latches” at the point you release the control, and remains in that position until it is touched again, until playback stops, or until the loop restarts.

Use Latch when you want to write automation and then leave the control at a specific value. For example, if you want to ramp up a clip’s volume, then leave the volume at a set position for the remainder of a section, use Latch.

Trim

Use Trim when you want to preserve automation, but want to raise or lower the overall level of the automation. When you set a track to Read Trim mode, indicated on the track as Read (T), the fader changes color to indicate that it is in Trim mode. When in Trim mode, the volume fader for a track does not move to indicate track automation. The fader allows you to change the overall level, while the underlying automation is preserved. 

In Trim mode, LUNA can also still be in Touch or Latch mode. These modes are indicated as Touch (T) and Latch (T). Trim modes allow you to write level changes to the automation with Trim behavior, without completely overwriting the automation. For example, you can reduce or increase the overall level of an automation pass, while still preserving the underlying automation, by using Latch Trim or Touch Trim. Touch Trim writes the trim adjustment to the automation as long as you hold the fader, then returns to the previous Trim level when you release the fader. Latch Trim writes the trim adjustment to the automation, but continues to write automation at the trimmed level where you release the fader until playback or until the loop restarts.  

All non-trimmable controls still write control changes in either Touch or Latch mode. Trim automation is only available on Volume. You can write Trim automation using theVolume fader in the Mixer or on the Focus channel.

 

Selecting an item or items to automate

The browser for a track shows the items you can automate. For an audio track, this is volume, mute, and mono or stereo pans. For an Instrument track, this is volume, mute, and mono or stereo pans, plus all the MIDI CC parameters of the Instrument plug-in. 

UAD plug-ins on audio and Instrument tracks also have parameters that can be automated. The browser shows all automatable parameters for all plug-ins on a track.

Drawing automation

For precise editing of automation, you can draw automation. When you draw automation, the automation points you add snap to the grid if Snap is enabled. To draw automation without snapping to the grid, press Command while drawing automation.

To draw automation on an audio or Instrument clip:

  1. In Timeline view, click View, and choose the parameter for which you want to draw automation (for example, Volume). The audio or MIDI clip shows a line for the automatable parameter.

    view-setting.png


    automation-show-volume.png


    automation-lines.png
  2. To add automation points, press Control and hover over the clip. The cursor changes to the Pencil Editing Tool.

    automation-pencil-tool.png
  3. While you hold Control, click the points you want to add on the automation line. Hold Control and drag to draw automation across the track.

    automation-drawn.png
  4. To draw automation without snapping automation points to the grid, press Control+Command while drawing automation.

    automation-drawn-no-grid.png
  5. To clear an automation point, hold Control and hover over an automation point. The cursor changes to the Eraser Editing Tool (the pencil turns around). Click an automation point to remove it.

    automation-eraser-tool.png
  6. To clear a range of automation, select the range on the audio or Instrument track, and press Delete.

    automation-range-selected.png

 

Your automation changes are played back when the session plays the clip, when an Auto Mode is enabled. When Auto Mode is Off, automation is ignored.

Writing volume automation with the volume fader

You can write automation with a track control, such as a pan control or volume fader. Automatable controls do not require that you enable recording for automation. Setting a write automation mode (Touch or Latch) for a track automatically enables you to write automation for any automatable control. Automation is written from the time you touch a control until you release the control, playback stops, the loop restarts, or you switch LUNA automation modes. If you are writing Touch automation, releasing the fader stops writing automation and returns the fader to the previous level (before you started writing automation). If you are writing Latch automation, the fader remains at the release level.

Note: You can write volume automation on an audio track, an Instrument track, a bus track, or the Main track.

automation-writing-all-track-types.png

 

To write volume automation:

  1. On the Focus channel in the Timeline, or on the track in the Mixer, set the track for which you want to automate volume to either Touch or Latch mode.

    automation-enable-latch-touch.png
  2. To view the results of your automation, and to edit the automation, switch the track view to Volume. In the track control area in the Timeline, click View, then from the browser choose Volume.

    automation-set-track-volume.png
  3. Make a selection or place the playhead where you want to start playback.
  4. Press Play or the Spacebar.
  5. As the track plays, adjust the volume. Volume automation is written to the track.

    automation-writing-voume-with-fader.png
  6. To stop writing automation, press the Stop button or the Spacebar, or release the fader. Automation also stops writing when playback stops (for example, at the end of a selection). 

If you are writing Touch automation, release the fader to stop writing automation and return the fader to the previous level (before you started writing automation). If you are writing Latch automation, the fader remains at the release level.

Writing pan automation

Pan automation is represented on a horizontal line, with the center being unpanned, above the center panning increasing to the left, and below the center panning increasing to the right. 

pan-automation-panning.png

 

To write pan automation:

  1. In the Track controls on the Timeline, on the Focus channel in the Timeline, or on the track channel strip in the Mixer, set the track for which you want to automate panning to either Touch or Latch mode.

    automation-enable-latch-touch.png
  2. To view the results of your automation, and to edit the automation, switch the track view to Pan. In the track control area in the Timeline, click View, then from the browser choose Pan.

    enable-pan-automation.png
  3. Make a selection or place your cursor where you want to start playback.
  4. Press Play or the Spacebar.
  5. As the track plays, adjust the pan control in the mixer or on the track. Pan automation is written to the track.

    audio-pan-automation-writing.png
  6. To stop writing automation, press the Stop button or the Spacebar, or release the fader. Automation also stops writing when playback stops (for example, at the end of a selection). 

If you are writing Touch automation, release the fader to stop writing automation and return the fader to the previous level (before you started writing automation). If you are writing Latch automation, the fader remains at the release level.

Automating plug-in parameters

You can edit automation for any UAD plug-in assigned to a track. All automatable plug-in parameters appear in the track’s View browser.

To write plug-in automation:

  1. On the Track control area in the Timeline, click View, then from the browser choose the plug-in parameter to automate. On the track, the plug-in parameter line appears.

    enable-plug-in-automation.png
  2. To add automation points, press Control and hover over the track. The cursor changes to the Pencil Editing Tool.

    automation-pencil-tool.png
  3. While you hold Control, click the points you want to add on the automation line. Hold Control and drag to draw automation across the track.

    automation-drawn.png
  4. To draw automation without snapping automation points to the grid, press Control+Command while drawing automation.

    automation-drawn-no-grid.png
  5. To clear an automation point, hold Control and hover over an automation point. The cursor changes to the Eraser Editing Tool (the pencil turns around). Click an automation point to remove it.

    automation-eraser-tool.png
  6. To clear a range of automation, select the range on the audio or Instrument track, and press Delete.

    automation-range-selected.png

 

Your automation changes are played back when the session plays the clip and Automation is enabled. When Auto Mode is Off, automation is ignored.

Automating a MIDI Continuous Controller

You can edit automation for any MIDI Continuous Controller (CC) on an Instrument track. All automatable CC messages appear in the track’s View browser.

Note: you can edit all MIDI CCs supported by the Instrument, even if the CC is not used in a program.

To write MIDI CC automation:

  1. Enable the MIDI CC view by clicking the MIDI CC icon on a clip on the Instrument track.

    midi-cc-show.png
  2. On the Track control area in the Timeline, click the CC Controller button (this defaults to Volume), then from the browser choose the MIDI CC to automate. Below the MIDI piano roll, the MIDI CC line appears.

    enable-cc-automation.png
  3. To add automation points, press Control and hover over the CC track. The cursor changes to the Pencil Editing Tool.

    midi-cc-pencil.png
  4. While you hold Control, click the points you want to add on the automation line. Hold Control and drag to draw automation across the track.

    midi-cc-automation-drawing.png
  5. To draw automation without snapping automation points to the grid, press Control+Command while drawing automation.

    midi-cc-automation-command-ctrl.png
  6. To clear an automation point, hold Control and hover over an automation point. The cursor changes to the Eraser Editing Tool (the pencil turns around). Click an automation point to remove it.
  7. To clear a range of automation, select the range on the track, and press Delete.

    automation-range-selected.png

Your automation changes are played back when the session plays the clip and Automation is enabled. When Auto Mode is Off, automation is ignored.

Trimming automation

Trimming automation is the process of adjusting a range of automation data. You can trim a selection, a segment, or all automation on a clip. 

Show automation

Before you trim automation, you must show the automation in the Timeline that you want to trim. 

  • Click View on the track to select the automated parameter you want to adjust.

Tip: Automated parameters are highlighted in the Focus Browser. 

automation-select-volume.png

 

  • To adjust a MIDI CC, open the MIDI CC view and choose the MIDI CC from the Track controls panel.
enable-cc-automation.png

 

To trim all automation on a clip:

  1. Hover the cursor over the automation line on the clip. The Automation Trim Editing Tool appears.
  2. Click on the automation line and move the automation up or down to trim. 
automation-trim-clip.png 

Note: Automation is trimmed for the entire clip. Automation breakpoints are added at the start and end of the clip.

To trim an automation selection:

  1. Make a selection on the track or CC automation line.
  2. Hover the cursor over the automation line on the clip or CC track. The Automation Trim Editing Tool appears.
  3. Click on the automation line and move the selected automation up or down to trim. 
automation-trim-with-smart-tool.png

 

To trim an automation segment:

  1. Hover the cursor over an automation segment on the clip. The Automation Trim Editing Tool appears.
  2. Click on the automation segment and move the segment up or down to trim. 
automation-trim-segment.png

 

Tip: You may have to zoom in to trim an automation segment instead of the entire clip. You can only trim an automation segment when it has no slope (it begins and ends on the same value).

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