[FR] Mute & Unmute automation tracks with key command "Mute"

I’d love to see that Nuendo handles an automation track the same way as it handles an audio-, midi-, fx-, output, group- or instrument track, when it comes to muting it by means of key command “Mute”.
I can toggle the mute state of a “regular track” by means of key command “Mute”, but I can’t do that on an automation track.
Why not?

Niek/ Amsterdam

Like I mentioned earlier, the current implementation of VCAs isn’t entirely “logical”… in a ‘contemporary’ sense. “Mute” refers to audio in any normal situation as far as I know, and “read” refers to automation. Yet Steinberg decided that “mute” on a VCA track should disable automation read instead of muting the tracks that it controls, which is illogical and useless (unless of course a programmer misunderstood or messed it up).

It should be easy for Steinberg to change this I would think, but I don’t think it’ll happen anytime soon.

Anyway, your solution is very simple: Just select a key to command “automation read on selected tracks” and you get key command access to the function that VCA “mute” currently performs… which is automation read

I can’t really see the resemblance between my question/Feature Request and your post, MattiasNYC, as I simply “ask” for a key command which un-/mutes an automation track? I have been thinking but I can’t see what Nuendo’s VCA-implementation has to do with my Feature Request?

And thanks for your suggestion though, but no; muting an automation track should only work by means of pressing its Mute button and not via some workaround.
I am afraid too many people @ Steinberg think exactly that way: “why bother while there is a workaround?”… in my opinion that’s the reason why Nuendo is falling apart since the introduction of version 8.

Back to the topic:
I’d love to see a key command with which I can toggle the mute state of an automation track.

Niek/ Amsterdam.

You cannot “Mute” an automation track, because an automation track should always be active.
When there is no automation within the track, the automation track is still “reading” the last/default/set level.
What you arer looking for is:

A: Disable “read”
B: “suspend”

There are Key command available to toggle read on/off for selected or all channels.


Although it’s much appreciated, I’m sorry to object your help Fredo; but on my system there is a mute button on every automation track, and I use it all the time to actually un-/mute any automation. Much quicker than suspending one (or more) parameter(s).
I’d simply like these mute buttons to be implemented by means of a key command instead of using my mouse.

When I use my keyboard to go from one track to another (cursor up/down) I toggle the mute state of all the tracks which I’ve selected by means of key command “m” (on my system)…it’s really annoying to have the inconsistency (which Nuendo 8 is full of…) of being able to use “m” to un-/mute audiotracks, midi-, fx-, output, group-, instrument- and even VCA tracks, but not the automation tracks.

Again; All hints are welcome, but I’d really love to have a solution, not another workaround, working with N8 is full of workarounds at the moment… :cry:

Niek/ Amsterdam

Still, you can mute audio (kill the audio stream)
Or suspend automation (stop audio manipulation)

You can not “mute” automation it’s semantically incorrect
So WHAT is it you’re trying to achieve?

  1. Suspend automation, keeping values on the last read value before suspending?
  2. Or mute audio of tracks that contain automation, which is just a regular mute comand?

I am lost. Don’t see any “M” (Mute) button on my automation tracks.


Here’s a screenshot of the Mute button on an automation track on my system (Nuendo 8).
Screen Shot 2017-10-03 at 08.29.07.png
When I de-/press it, it greys out the color of the parameter in the selected automation track, and mutes the underlying data…this has the same result as suspend, but works much faster…although: there’s no key command for it!!

Niek/ Amsterdam

That is “suspend” automation. “Mute” is an incorrect definition.
Obviously that is wrong in the pop-up.

There are Key Commands for controlling the different Suspend functions, but there is none for activating the suspend on the selected channel.
There functions are also present in the Automation Panel/

Don’t know what to say. It looks like you have developed a specific way of working. The automation system is not at all build for that kind of use.
Doesn’t mean it can’t be used like that. Maybe it’s a good idea … dunno.


Well, at least we found something out. And of course I am using the suspend key commands a lot already.

Though, I’m still sceptical about your explanation: I do think this is a dedicated (and overthought) mute button, and not a suspend button…there is a couple of differences between Muting and Suspending in the workflow:

  • Muting only “suspends” the Read-function of a parameter, writing a muted parameter will still be recorded (can come in very handy)
  • Muting can be done on a single parameter basis, while suspending only can be done on a “group of parameters”-basis
  • Muting can be done on a track by track basis, while suspending only can be done on a project-wide basis

Back to my workflow; I use “muting automation tracks” more than I use “suspending”. Suspending takes a lot of mouse clicks while muting can be done in the tracks’ header.
Now, back to my Feature Request: I’d love to see a key command with which I can toggle the mute state of an automation track.

Niek/ Amsterdam

I’ve learned something today.


Sorry. Like other people I’ve never used the “mute” of an individual parameter on an automation “lane”, so the only time I’ve seen it (and remember seeing it) is on a VCA channel. So my incorrect assumption was that you were talking about a VCA channel.

So my recommendation wasn’t a workaround, it was just based on me thinking you were talking about a VCA channel which by definition controls one parameter only, level. On that type of channel suspending read is exactly the same as suspending automation (via the respective buttons/symbols). So not a workaround, just an explanation of how to do it on a VCA channel which is what I thought you were talking about.

— A quick aside here: It occurs to me now that this programming of the VCA channel with its “mute” function is possibly a “copy/paste” of code from regular channels, which would totally explain why it’s there in the first place. Less bizarre, still unnecessary.

Niek, the difference is partly semantics. When you “mute” something it stops making a sound. Automation doesn’t make sound, it changes parameters. So “mute” should be reserved for stopping sound. The correct nomenclature for automation is to “suspend read” as far as I can see. That’s all I’ve ever seen on any console, controller or in any DAW.

So your points about the differences between “mute” and “suspend” are noted, but it’s the term that’s wrong. The pop-up and naming of the “mute automation” is just wrong. It should be “suspend”. So:

…is “wrong”, because it should say “suspend” instead of "mute on the button. So you can do both project-wide suspend of read automation, and you can do it on a selected track basis (with a key command), and you can apparently do it on a per-lane basis (which I was unaware of).

Yes, I see your point now and I agree that a key command to toggle the read of automation on a single lane/parameter would be good to have if that’s how you work.

So I’ll give it a +1.

There is another solution which I think would be more consistent, although possibly more work for programmers, and that’s to make the read automation more logical. As it stands now from what I can see I can do the following:


  • Toggle read on a track level; toggles read of all automation on that track
  • Toggle read of volume automation lane; toggles read of all automation on that track!
  • Toggle read on an EQ automation lane / parameter (eg Fq); toggles read of all automation of that EQ!

If it had only been programmed to toggle whatever lane it was on, except for when the button is on the track ‘level’, everything would have been consistent and there would have been a key command for it already.

Unless I’m missing something.

Thanks for a very interesting, constructive discussion.
I’ve learned something too!

Now, the topic still remains a Feature Request, I hope Steinberg is reading this too and filtering what’s interesting to implement in Nuendo?!
For me, the mute function doesn’t have to be re-implemented into a renewed suspend-system, although the name of the function causes some confusion, it’s functionality works great for me, only the key command is missing…

Niek/ Amsterdam