Feature request - Automation fill to loop start/end

As usual, maybe I missed a way of doing this… in which case, feel free to enlighten me.

I have a one-hour long project. Early on, I’ve had to work on the end of it and write some automation.

I now want to work on earlier sections. I’d like the fader value when I drop out of automation write (e.g. when I hit stop) copied to the end of the project…

…Except no, I don’t… I want it copied to the start of the automation I’ve already written near the end of the project. Otherwise it’ll overwrite the automation I’ve already created at the end of the project.

So, what I want is to select where in the project the last automation value I write gets filled to. Right now I can only select “Fill To End” (overwrite the later automation), or “Fill Loop” which fills backwards to the L locator as well as forwards to the R locator.

Please can we have separate Fill To Loop End and Fill To Loop Start options? Switching on both would produce the same behaviour as Fill Loop. But Fill to Loop End would mean I can “fill forwards” to wherever I want in the project, without destroying the automation I just wrote.

I’d have thought this was obvious… unless I’ve missed something?

Before you say it, Virgin Territory helps a bit, but it’s not really a complete solution. Nor is it a particularly intuitive one in a lot of situations.


Set all your levels and parameters that you’ll want to continue till the next breakpoint. You’ll see more options come alive in the automation panel as you load up your preview buffer.

When you are ready to write, be sure all the tracks you want to write to are write enabled and set your left locator where you want this long pass to start

set your right locator where you want this long pass to end… (I like to nudge back a couple frame cause I’m superstitious)

set fill TO LOOP

click either PUNCH ON PLAY, or, PUNCH PREVIEW while playing with in the loop.

All your paramerters will fill the desired section.

I always like to make sure that I’m looking at at least 1 of the automation lanes to visually confirm that it worked.

Thanks for the tip, much appreciated. I had considered doing that, but it’s still a bit long-winded. I think I can do something similar without having to set the locators by using the “fill gaps” function (I only just really started making use of virgin territory, so still experimenting)

But it’s still an additional process to think about, and with Fill Gaps, you don’t really get any control over what happens. (There’s frequently a bit of the project I’d like to leave “virgin”?)

All I want is the same functionality as Fill To End, but with the ability to tell Nuendo where I want to fill to. Set the R locator and I’m good to go. No additional steps required - Hit stop and everything’s taken care of.

It would only require changing the “Fill Loop” button in the Automation panel into separate “Fill to L” and “Fill to R”. All the current functionality remains, but with some very useful extra possibilities.

(FWIW, I can’t help feeling that “Fill Loop” is a bit of a misnomer… Confused me at first. The L + R locators define an area that might be set to loop, but they’re normally used for something else)

What you actually want is to “lock” a part of the already written automation.


Hi Fredo

Being able to “lock” a section of the project from new automation changes would do it, yes. I guess then you could use Fill to End and it would skip the bit you’ve locked. That would be useful.

But I think being able to fill to the right locator instead of the end of the project would be simpler and quicker to deal with in many situations. Saves having to select a region of the project, and lock or unlock anything.

Having both options would be great :wink:


If there is a way to lock a portion of the auto on the timeline, I’d like to know that too :slight_smile:

Maybe I’m missing something, but right now I fail to see how you would really gain anything compared to what you do now.

First of all you’d have to set the right locator anyways. You just described that above. So that’s one step regardless.

The second thing you’d have to do is somehow tell Nuendo that you’d want to start writing automation from a certain point, right? So either you just have that done once you touch your faders, or you could set the left locator. Setting the left locator isn’t really a big deal though. So you just do that, and then have it fill to loop.

So I’m not really seeing what you’re saving here really. I’d even say that adding complexity to the automation system isn’t worth it in this case (that’s just my opinion of course).

I always have all the scenes (and other ranges I need) covered with loop markers. Then it is a flick of the wrist to set L-R locators for the needed scenes/reels whatever.

I use preview a lot because I like to work fast with a lot of settings automation within that scene.
I then punch it quickly to the loop, move on the the next loop marker and repeats the process.

I guess every one need to map out the film with markers, either self created or imported, so this makes it very quick.

I can then later, trim, latch whatever I need for adjustments. Or just punch a scene from scratch. All this while being safe I do not touch automation outside the loop.

Works for me.


I agree with Pål that having Scene Markers (cycle markers) is a must when working with picture.
Selecting a scene results in setting the L and R marker, so you are fine.

I also agree that your solution would add (too much) complexity to the already complicated automation system.
We have to be careful to not build features which only nerds understand.


Sorry folks, you’re misunderstanding, this has nothing to do with setting cycle markers. And I’m not doing film. I should have pointed that out. I’m mainly doing long-form concert music mixes.

I think you’re focusing on the task of writing flat chunks of automation into sections of the timeline (a bit like, ooh, I don’t know, “snapshots”?!! But let’s not get into that). That’s not what I’m doing.

What I NEED to be able to do is write some fader rides, then write the last value (before I pressed stop) thru to the end of the section I’m working on.

I use Fill To End all the time. But that will always fill to the end of the project. I simply need to be able to fill to a point of my choosing to avoid overwriting later fader moves, and I don’t want to have to fill that section as a separate operation. (Especially if it’s going to involve selecting tracks and messing about with locators). Fixing up automation when I’m supposed to be concentrating on the automation moves themselves becomes a pain in the ass very quickly.

I could set the R locator once (typically to a point just before the next song) and then I’m good to go for all the automation moves in the song I’m working on.

This Fill To End capability was the whole reason I bought Nuendo six years ago, because nothing else other than PTHD could do it, despite it being an constantly-used tool on traditional desk automation. So it’s not a minor feature for me.

I think SB have already done that quite a bit!

50% of Nuendo’s automation features are already only understood by nerds. You could take away a lot of them and I wouldn’t really care (though I’m sure they’re critical to some people). But not having this one small feature really makes my life difficult. I wouldn’t bring it up otherwise.

To be honest, there are a lot of minor interface behaviour changes that I think Nuendo would benefit from which would significantly improve its ease of use (and I know many of these have been requested repeatedly) yet a lot of the development effort seems to go into splashy new features that only a minority truly need or even understand. (although I’m sure we all greatly appreciate the work done on bug fixes and stability).

Then you say you’re worried about making Nuendo more complicated? If you like, I can point you to a whole bunch of places you could make it simpler. :wink:

Please consider making this one small change in a later version of Nuendo. I’ll let you sit in on a mix session with me if you’re having trouble understanding why I need it.


I understand what you need.
My point of not making things too complicated is offering a solution to “lock” automation points instead of adding another function.
And you are also correct that there’s a lot of stuff that can be made simpler.


Isn’t adding a “lock automation points” facility the same as adding another function?

Not that it wouldn’t be cool, but it sounds to me either equally or more complicated than my suggestion. If you understand “Fill Loop” then you understand “Fill to L” and “Fill to R”. Almost exactly the same thing. Actually, I can see situations where being able to “Fill to L” alone would be awesome!

Locking automation points (or the file including the automation) has more/other advantages.
Also, you can always use the “to end” function without breaking something else.
No need to set locators or add another flavor of “fill”.
Unless you see other advantages/disadventages …


Depends how long it takes to select the automation you want to lock, how clear it is that it’s locked (you could end up with unexpected behaviour because you forgot to unlock it) and how long it takes to unlock it.

Also, if you engage fill to end and lock a chunk of automation that you don’t want overwritten, you’d be filling the automation right thru any virgin territory (unless you select a big area of the project including all the virgin territory you want to keep).

Would you be able to lock multiple regions of a project? Will I have to choose which tracks I lock as well as what part of the timeline gets locked?

I guess the thing is, when I’m working on a show, I’m concentrating on the area I want to write automation to… which might be just one song. I don’t think about it in terms of the areas I don’t want to write automation to (because they’re out of my field of vision, maybe an hour or more further down the timeline).

It’s much easier to think “I want to write automation in this section” than it is to think “You know this section I’m not working on and haven’t worked on for days? I want to make sure I don’t write any automation over there while I’m working here.”

You can easily forget that you’ve even done any automation later in a project. Boom. Gone.

I don’t get why SB would provide Fill To End, and Fill Loop options, but refuse to consider Fill To Right or Fill To Left. Both very intuitive functions, takes no effort to figure out what they do, and what will happen when they’re both switched on (= Fill Loop). The only argument against it seems to be that you don’t want to turn one button in the Automation panel into two. (But you’d be happy to add a whole pile of “lock automation” functionality).

FWIW, I don’t think I’ve ever needed to use Fill Loop. But I would use Fill To Right all the time.

You know, this is like going into a restaurant and saying “I’d like the steak”, then being served a lasagne while the chef tells you “It’s like steak, it’s got beef in it, but it’s better because it’s got cheese and sauce and pasta as well!” I like lasagne as much as the next guy, but sometimes you just want the steak.


Just checking in here. To me it sounds like virgin territories are exactly what you need and you should only need to fill gaps towards the end of the mix.

Here’s a hint - any automation node can have it’s termination status changed (check the info line). This means that you can simply disable termination for the last node of your automation and it will “fill gap” until it hits the next automation node. You can also turn any node into a terminator so that you have virgin territory after it (until it hits the next node).

No, he wants to use the “to end” function, and that breaks it for anything “to the right”, even with Virgin Territories.

Here’s a hint - any automation node can have it’s termination status changed (check the info line). This means that you can simply disable termination for the last node of your automation and it will “fill gap” until it hits the next automation node. You can also turn any node into a terminator so that you have virgin territory after it (until it hits the next node).

Same comment here. When enabling “to end”, the automation node get’s overwritten and anything “to the right” will be overwritten. It’s by trying this that I came up with the idea of “locking” automation nodes.

The whole problem is the use of “to end”, and there doesn’t seem to be a solution for that.


Unless I’m misunderstanding, from what I read he works at block “A” in a long project, does some mixing, skips ahead to block “B” in the project, does some more mixing. He then wants to fill from the end point of block “A” to the start point of block “B”. With what I suggested this will accomplish exactly that.

I understood it differently.
Part A is from start to middle of the project, Part B is from middle to end.
Part B is “finalised” and cannot be touched anymore.
He want’s to mix Part A, by using the “to end” function. “To end” in this case means to the start of part B.
That’s why he wants an additional fill function “to Right Locator”.
So he can set the Right locator at the start of Part B, and write his automation “fill to right locator”.
Unless I misunderstood.