How do I automate changes to the FX chain?

How can I capture changes to the insert chain?

I’m working on a track and I need to change the EQ for just one part, but if I cut it and put it on another track it sounds terrible. How can I change the EQ for specific parts?

Many (most?) plugins these days will let you automate their parameters, so that is the most obvious option if you just want to change EQ settings in the same EQ and same rest of the signal chain.

If you’re literally wanting to change the signal chain (e.g. switch the order of plugins in the chain), I don’t think you can automate that directly, but maybe you could automate plugin bypass and put extra plugins in the chain to do something similar.

It’s not clear why moving a section of a track to another track (assuming using all the same settings, other than the ones you want to modify, including routing) would “sound terrible”, and the next option I’m going to mention, which I have used in some contexts might give a similar result, but that option is, instead of doing the plugin processing via track inserts, set up your track with no outputs and use sends (pre-or post-fader, depending on if you want the same processing ahead of what goes to the portion of the signal chain that will be on the FX bus) to send the track’s signal to multiple FX buses. Then set up the processing you want for each case at the FX bus level, and automate the send level (and/or the send output faders) to control the level of each signal chain in the ultimate output. (One scenario I’ve used this for is an electric guitar part where I want to change up the processing in a solo section, mainly wanting to add an octave doubler only in the solo, but keeping most of the processing the same otherwise.)

  1. Enable Writing Automation on the Track’s Inspector.
  2. Play your Project & move the controls on the EQ that you want to change at the times you want to change them
  3. Disable Write but leave the Read Automation Enabled
  4. Fine Tune your Automation, if desired, by editing the Track’s Automation data
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I feel so dumb for not trying that because I knew that’s what writing automation does but I didn’t even think about it. Thank you so much!