Finding "Phantom" Pan Automation

This is driving me nuts. Some pan automation has somehow mysteriously manifested onto three separate audio tracks, but I can’t for the life of me find where the events are coming from – that is, where they’re recorded.

The values are always the same and also always after I’ve come back to Cubase after a break, etc. I’ve never actually seen with my eyes the values change, it’s always noticed after the fact. It also seems somewhat intermittent, but surely it can’t be.

Here’s what I know:

  • There is no automation at all on these tracks. If I expand the lanes via the down-arrow it shows a fresh new “volume” automation and that’s all.
  • “Show Used Automation (Selected Tracks)” does not reveal anything.
  • “Show All Used Automation” does not reveal anything.
  • “Read Enable” is actually off / disabled. So even if there were automation it would not be read.
  • They’re audio tracks and so therefore, no possibility of MIDI events living on these tracks. Right?
  • There are no “Quick Controls” set for these tracks.
  • There does not appear to be any Device Panels set for these tracks.
  • The controls are never selected when I come back and notice this, so it can’t be some kind of mouse-wheel value setting mishap.
  • If I watch the offending tracks while the song plays – nothing.
  • If I scrub / chase events through the song or even beyond it in the empty area (all the way to the end) – nothing.

What am I missing? What other mechanisms would there be to set pan on these tracks?




What version of Cubase exactly do you have?

I remember very similar problem with Cubase 5.1. I don’t know, when was it repired. I tried to switch to the non ASIO driver, and back to the used driver. Then, I went to the VST Connections > Output tab. There was Stereo Out, everything looked OK. I choosed Stereo preset anyway. It started to work well, after this. I had to do this on all projects, where was the problem.

Try it.

If you can watch the song play through & there is no change then there is definitely no pan automation.

You haven’t actually described exactly what has happened…are you saying that the pans have just moved while you are away? By how much?

Do you use any kind of controller?

Thanks, Martin.

Interesting. I’ll experiment with this and report back.

Cubase 6.5.1 64-bit on Windows 7 Pro 64-bit.

Thanks, Grim.

A Kore 2 controller in MIDI-mode, but it’s just sitting idle, not touched, and only maps to the Quick Controls (which I’m not using on these channels – all slots are empty). Also, these channels are never selected when this happens. So it can’t be Quick Controls.

It can’t be anything context-sensitive (i.e., “Advanced Integration” in Cubase) as it always happens to the same three audio tracks.

What’s happening is that the pan pots, though not moving when I watch them as the song plays all the way through, will indeed end up being set to an off-center position (which I don’t want) at “some point” that happens when the channel faders are not in view, etc. It always happens when I’m not watching those channel strips. I’ve never seen it change before my eyes.

I’ll just inexplicably notice the pan changed, usually when starting the song again. I’ll scroll to the offending channel strip so that it’s in view and sure enough, they’re changed (from like a “C” to an “L33,” for example).

It’s now become part of my process of just manually resetting them each time it happens. Lol.


Unfortunately, there is no Undo for the Mixer’s functions, so you can’t find it in the Undo History.

A workaround could be to enable the automation read on those tracks so they lock to centre??

Good thought, Grim.

I may leave it in its current state just so that I can get to the bottom of it. Haha.

Indeed, Martin. I’ve bumped up against this need as well and wished there were.

Though I’m sure doing that would “pollute” the undo history with frivolous events, for many. An advanced option to toggle this would be the solution.