Allow the faders to be able to disassociate from the Volume Automation

Problem: Since the fader follows the volume automation, once a track has volume automation applied you can no longer change the fader unless you manually hold the fader at the new level – otherwise the fader will just snap back to whatever level the last automation point was set at. This of course then would override the automation points so is not really a solution, even for just a quick A/B.

Use Case: You have a track with volume automation and you want to make everything (including the automation levels) across the board a little bit louder so that you can hear it within the overall mix. Now you could move the fader and hold it manually at the new level while listening to the mix, but then the automation points wouldn’t be followed. Also, if you wanted to do this to multiple tracks there isn’t a way to hold several faders manually to new levels at the same time.

The following workarounds really break the work flow and are not viable.
(1) Use the pre-gain on the channel: This would mess up the gain staging.
(2) Use a VCA fader: Not very quick to do especially if you want to make changes to multiple channels or group channels spur of the moment during mixdown at the same time (especially if you want to hear different volume changes like one a little louder, another a lot louder, another quieter, etc.).
(3) Send to a group channel and adjust the volume of the group channel: Once again breaks the work flow and is hard to accomplish spur of the moment if you have multiple channels that you are listening to while making decisions. (4) Automate a gain plugin (at the end of the Plugin-Insert chain I assume) so that the fader itself has no automation on it so that it can be moved in real time: This is a better workaround but still not very work flow friendly.

Solution: Give the Fader a little toggle button that would disassociate it from the volume automation thus making it sort of like (3) above so that you could move the fader and it would just be adding or subtracting some amount from the POST Fader level chain of Plugin-Inserts including the Volume Automation points.

Or learn how to use Trim.


Still a kludge. Trim is a Volume Automation Write function. It works just fine but involves first turning on TRIM, then putting the track or tracks into Write Mode, and then pulling the little Square(s) up or down and then when satisfied taking the track back out of Write mode, and then turning off TRIM. This is not very work flow friendly. I think being able to quickly play around with some essentially finished track volumes during mixdown would be a good thing and is why I put this down as a Feature Suggestion.

Thanks for the info,

Gene, you really have all the tools you need already and as Steve pointed out “Trim” is really the obvious choice and is definitely not at all “a kludge”.

Look at it this way: No matter what you do you’ll have to change something to get to your desired result. You mentioned just having a button to disconnect the fader from the automation, well that’s one press then, right? And then if you’re happy with it do you want to coalesce / combine the automation or just leave it alone? If you at some point want to go back to writing automation then what happens? Do you click the button again? If so, does the previous offset become combined with existing automation as you re-connect? Or does it get deleted.

When I work I have all my tracks set to follow global automation mode. So whatever I set in the automation panel is what all tracks do. Normally my templates have everything set to Touch-Trim from the start (I do post btw). I then just write initial automation using that mode simply because it’s so easy to just go back a bit and adjust automation values using trim which is already engaged.

But more importantly - I have all the (global) automation modes mapped to keys. So whenever I want to engage “Trim” I just hit one key. That’s all. Whenever I want to switch to latch or crossover or whatever it’s again just one key. I even have a macro to set locators to range selection, enable Preview, enable Fill to Loop, start playback.

So if you feel like this is something you do frequently then I’d recommend this. Set your tracks to follow global and set automation via key commands and macros.

If tracks follow global the macro would be:

  1. Trim set
  2. Fill set to “To start” and “To end”

I think that should be it.

Also, you could right-click on your track’s volume automation lane in the project window, select all events and change the value.
But like MattiasNYC said, you’ll probably want to use Touch/Trim anyway, as for example the loudest parts may become too loud now.

I believe that was the reason somebody invented volume automation with motor faders back in the seventies. No need to hold the fader during mixdown.

Well, that’s trim. Different words, but it’s the same feature.

I have a macro to do all that assigned to a shortcut.

Hi everyone.

I’m really after being able to just temporarily (and quickly) free-form the fader levels independently from the volume automations during mock mixdown passes. Being able to do this directly from the project window would allow us to A/B sections quickly in a non-destructive way. After reading the replies I have to admit I hadn’t thought about setting up TRIM macros like MattiasNYC and others had suggested. Currently (after the initial Write automation pass) I’ll just go and modify the actual automation points themselves (which really breaks the work-flow). I recognize that I would have to do that even if the disengage button was available, so I’ll give the TRIM/macro approach a go since it lends itself to making whatever changes were made permenent if desired.

Thank you all for helping!

The automation panel comes in very handy from time to time.