can you use automation this way?

hi everyone.

i’m a total noob, and i have a question regarding cubase 8.

i’m working on a song that i want to run the vocals through certain plug-ins (like reverb and glitch effects), but not all the time.

if i want to

  1. have the vocals completely dry for 10 seconds of a song, and then
  2. have the vocals glitchy for 2 seconds via the glitch plug-in i’m using, and then
  3. have the vocals return to normal for 10 seconds, and then
  4. have the vocals glitchy, using the same plug-in, but with different settings, and then
  5. have the vocals glitch free, but then reverby

should i be using automation to do this?

is it even possible to change the settings of a plug-in/vst without opening up a second instance of what you’re using?

like with the glitch program, let’s say that i want to have the vocals autotune down two octaves, for 5 seconds, and then adjust the settings of the program so that the next time it’s used (like 30 seconds later), the vocals use the stutter functionality of the program. would i need to open up one glitch program specifically for autotuning vocals, and then open a second program specifically for stutter effects, and then send the vocal line to either instances of that program whenever i need to utilize that effect?

i’ve watching videos on automation, but i can’t seem to find any where the video does what i’m wondering is possible.

thanks for any insight!


Yes, you shoul use an automation for this. You can just switch Bypass On/Off of these plug-ins.

I would recommend you to put these plug-ins to the Group Channel, and then Bypass the Geoup Send. The result is much better.

Yes, you can change the plug-in settings via automation.

(EDIT: Martin got there first :wink: )
As regards dry vs effect, you should be able to automate the Bypass switch on the plugin (but try using the Bypass switch manually first, to make sure that the swap is “clean”).
As regards changing settings on the plugin, normally you can’t change patches or presets via automation, but maybe the plugin in question will offer some interesting ways around that. For example…
Illformed’s Glitch2 has its main settings arranged into “'Scenes”, and you can change Scenes by sending the appropriate MIDI note to it (so, you aren’t using Automation there, you are simply triggering different Scenes (one of which could be an empty one :wink: ) via MIDI notes (which you can of course record as regular MIDI data, then send the recorded MIDI out to Glitch2).
Which Glitch plugin are you using?

This video might help to simplify things a bit:

Cubase 8 Power User Tip - Quick Automation settings
In this tutorial I show you how to quickly write automation of a VST instrument, in this case UHE Zebra. This also works with anything that can be automated from insert and send effects to any parameter with the Cubase environment.

But, reading through the list of what the OP wants to achieve, those changes will require several (maybe even many) parameter changes at the same position… this suggests a new patch/preset rather than automating the individual parameters :wink:. (Now, if Cubase offered “snapshot” Automation, that would be a different story :wink: )

total noob here, but i didn’t think about doing this. i have a song that i’m working on right now that has at least 9 different vocal tracks, and all of the vocal tracks have the same 4 inserts on them. i probably could have used a group channel rather then getting my settings correct on one track, and then duplicating it every time i needed to record new vocals.

i am getting ready to purchase vps’ glitchbitch program for glitching effects ( as it seems like the easiest glitching program to use. i’ve seen some videos of other glitching programs and they look overwhelming. i wanted to hold off on getting it until i figured out if it was possible to do what i asked initially. per the youtube demo video, it looks like the different sounds are triggered using separate presets (and not keyswitches/midi notes). if i understand you correctly, i’d have to open up 8 different instances of the program if i wanted one vocal track with 8 different glitch effects over 4 minutes of the vocal track running?

this was a big help! thank you!! i’ve tried using automation before and i’ve always messed it up. i’ll give this a go using those steps when i get back from work later this evening.

so new patch/preset on the same plug-in/vst = a different instance of the plug-in has to be loaded? it is not possible to have the patch change using automation? :frowning:

thanks everyone again for your time and insight!

Unfortunately, that is now the case (years ago… when, admittedly, plugins were much simpler… it was possible to send program change messages to a plugin, but as plugins became more complex (and, I think, in particular, consumed more memory), it became unmanageable to use that method.)