Automation: what's the use of Initial Values?

How do you, fellow-Nuendo-users, use the “Initial Values”-function in the automation-system in Nuendo?
I am working on this 55 mins feature film with ±150 tracks and when I started mixing after I finished editing, I thought it was a good idea to write Initial Values at the beginning of my project.

On one hand it turned out to be very handy that every automatable parameter now has a value which it can glide to after an automation pass, but on the other hand now there are soooooooooo many parameters being automated (though static) , that it’s very difficult to distinguish which parameter I’m working on at the moment. I’m a bit overwhelmed by the list of -static- parameters which appears when I select “Show Used Automation On Selected Track”, and it’s quite time-consuming to find that particular parameter that is actually the parameter I’ve been working on…

Do you guys actually use this function? And how?
Any other views or tips on this?

Thanks in advance for sharing.
Niek/ Amsterdam

Yes it is a double edged sword that have no perfect solution.

My workaround has been to create templates that have initial parameter events on everything I want but clear out all others.

The use however is important.
I hate if I don’t have them and accidentally write a first value on a parameter that is NOT what I want as my default setting for the full length of a track.

I do the same as Erik.

I just create initial parameters for anything I want and not for anything else. I do that in a template so that I’m set once I start a new project.

Incidentally I do the same in Pro Tools for EQ for example.

Thanks for sharing your workflow gents,
what I wonder is; how do you write your initial values?
Do you use the function “Create Initial Parameter Events” in the Automation Panel ? And then delete the automation from the functions you don’t need?
Or do you manually create Initial Values , only on the functions of which you think you’re gonna automate them(in a future use of your template)?

Thanks again.
Niek/ Amsterdam

I’ve done it manually. I basically just placed automation nodes at the top on the fader/volume lane, and for EQ I’ve just written whatever preferred settings I like (i.e. Q/fq but unity gain) beginning to end. Doing it for a template doesn’t really take that long I find, and I don’t really need to do it for all that many parameters.

I do almost exclusively TV / internet on Nuendo though, not much scripted/film.

An idea could be not no write initial parameters but take a mixer snapshot with no automation yet. I dont’t know if it’s a solution.

I’ve done it manually.

So you probably know (by experience) which parameters to write initial values to and which not?

An idea could be not no write initial parameters but take a mixer snapshot with no automation yet

I don’t think in my workflow a snapshot will work. A snapshot is great when you want to recall the state of the mixer, yes, though when automating parameters it won’t let you glide back to certain values when you release this parameter…

Another question to users who use initial values a lot:
do you think all this (static) automation makes Nuendo react slower ?

I think I’m gonna experiment a little with writing initial values into my template and then deleting the parameters which I’m not gonna use in the future.

Niek/ Amsterdam


For EQ I write every parameter (depending on the EQ actually, but most likely), I then write fader position and any other plugin of value that I might automate on a per event or scene basis. In RX for example I’m likely to automate bypass (to on) and then thresholds and reduction amount for noise reduction. My last template had that only on groups since my computer couldn’t handle multiple RX instances on source tracks but when I update my template on this new computer I’ll probably change that.

Also of course - once I create something I’m happy with I duplicate it by copy/paste instead of doing it multiple times, so I’ll only do this once per channel type/content and then duplicate. In other words do it to an instantiated EQ plugin on my one dialog track and then drag-copy that over to one b-roll track, one adr track, one narration track. So I’ve now duplicated the EQ automation several times and I then duplicate my dialog track X times so my template has enough of them. And so on.

Sorry if that was obvious.

As I mentioned earlier it’s not that difficult for me to figure out and I do it to a template “once” and then I’m done. Having said that of course I’m sure previous templates have evolved over time so if I miss something it’s not the end of the world; just go back and add/tweak in the template.

Haven’t tested, but I really doubt it.

I think this also brings us to workflows and what our preferences are. I know people can end up with the “same” mix in different ways. I typically also always have my narration, dialog and b-roll tracks in touch-trim all the time for a one man job. I start with the dialog/production sound edit and EQ and level things as I go. After that’s all nice and balanced I’ll do the rest and often ride levels on group channels or VCAs for final balance. Anyway, while I do the edit/leveling I typically write automation to small regions on the timeline and I use preview/punch a lot. So I don’t normally end up with channels with parameters that are set ‘broadly’ over an entire timeline and not needing automation. I typically ‘touch’ all of those parameters at some point.

So I imagine with different workflows the impact could be different.

Sorry if that was obvious.

On the contrary: your view and workflow are a great food for my thoughts.
So thanks (again) for sharing.

Niek/ Amsterdam

Shouldn’t “Create Initial Values”-functionality be a little bit updated to today’s demands?

For instance :

  • Create Initial Values for selected tracks only
  • Create Initial Values for certain parameters only

I know Nuendo’s automation system is based on Euphonix System 5’s automation system, but nowadays it’s a bit spartan I think.

Niek/ Amsterdam

I almost always use the “Use Virgin Territory” feature in the automation settings. This way automation is only written when needed. If you are going to write automation data on a track it will automatically create initial values, or you could write them manually at the start of the track. It will keep your automation lanes clean and tidy. There is only automation data when it is needed.

I write initial values for everything. That way I am sure that whenever I open a project, it plays back as it was intended to play back. That includes presets for plugins and any other kind of automation.
If you don’t automate everything, just accidently moving a fader can screw up your project.


I almost always use “Use Virgin Territory, It will keep your automation lanes clean and tidy. There is only automation data when it is needed.”

Yeah, when I use Initial Values (I only used it once for this feature-film I’ve been working on the last couple of weeks) I desperately need some kind of viewing filter in the automation lanes in order to show the parameters which actually dó have automation (other than a static line), otherwise “show all used automation on selected track” will show me 50+ useless/static lanes -indeed- while there is only one (or 2) parameters actually automated…very “all or nothing” , which is in my view a bit old fashioned…The viewing filter inside Nuendo (the “More”-menu on an automation-lane) is also a very slow and a-5-clicks-per-parameter-sequence which may need a serious overhaul.


I write initial values for everything. That way I am sure that a project plays back as it was intended to play back

This is the only way to make sure that a project sounds the way it is intended…Initial Values is a very strong feature, but it needs some modernising I think.

So…I presented my 2 cents on some improvements on Initial Values, above in a previous post.
Here’s a 3rd (and a 4th):

  • Show only automation lanes which don’t have a static automation line
  • Show only automation lanes which don’t have their Initial Value at a default value.

Any more thoughts welcome, again.
Thanks, Niek/ Amsterdam.