Struggling with volume automating on Cubase 11


From my recent years of dealing with volume automation on Cubase Pro (currently on 11),
How do you all manage to automate volume?

So, my point here is, I personally find, volume automation line does not seem to be ‘that’ helpful especially when I am working on ‘lead vocal’…?

I also prefer to see the size of waveform changing…?

I know I can set it to be visible but, maybe it could be me, but making dots and drawing line is a bit, unnatural and not so responsive (feels like…)

So I love everything about Cubase but when I am dealing with extremely sensitive acoustic songs,
sometimes I wanna raise 0.2 dB or sometimes 0.1 dB here and there…

So what I did was, ‘cut’ each segment of syllables here and there and when I need I raise them with shift key so it gains 0.5 dB per raise…

My point is… I really really wish there is a good alternative option or screen or ‘editor’, because automation volume line does not show how much has gained…?

I really love number 8 function on tool box? where waveform sizing changes?
it helps me so much and I can get so granular about volume automating ‘except’ I cannot plus gains…

Anyone in similar situation like me have any good solution or alternative way to automating volumes…?

Maybe I am too ‘volume’ freak haha… but yeah…
I wish there was really innovative and clear way to automate vocal volume :slight_smile:

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How about using a fader? Or a controller?
Did you ever tried the different automation modes? Like “trim”?

or at least did you ever pressed F6?


I would also recommend to write the automation in real-time by using the Fader or even better any HW controller.

If you do lots of cuts and this kind of edits, you could consider to use the Direct Offline Process (DOP). You can make own presets (like +3dB and -3dB, for example), then you can assign the Key Commands to these 2 presets and then just to call the +3dB or -3dB preset by pressing the Key Command. This is, how the movie sound engineers in the postproduction work.


It sounds like you should be using event based automation rather than mixer automation. You can see the waveform change with your edits.

I use event based far more than mixer automation.
One thing I often do is crank up the gain of the entire file before I do any cutting and then enter an event volume line about half way down. This gives me volume and headroom that I didn’t have when I started.
You can’t see values measured in decibels because the event volume changes are relative. But it’s very intuitive.

I also prefer to nest all my audio in PARTS for this reason, among others.

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I think ‘Trim’ tool you are talking about is F6 draw tool (pencil)…?

I love using that tool for de-gaining (reducing) pre- volume! yes I think I am talking about trim tool?

I really wish, that ‘pre’ drawing pencil tool could be even more awesome if it could do ‘plus’ volume…?

I feel like, fader on the very last, of the chain, volume automation line could be more informatic(?)…? haha I hope I deliver my point well but, yeah like I cannot know how much gain was made without checking / clicking on the dots u know?

Actually I do have fader units but um, maybe I am listing some of the points which could be upgraded (On protools there shows gains in dB value if I am correct…?)

Or, maybe my volume automation orders are messed up! lol
I am demanding something pointless or not so helpful…

I was thinking like…

since I love pencil tool right? so maybe I am more confident with ‘image’ volume automation right…?

But what if Cubase also can make, post-waveform image/sizing
So I know the true ‘post’ not ‘pre’ affected size of waveform, if I am making any sense?

So, I see pre waveform,
then I insert this and that plugins,
then Cubase also calculates post waveform and its influenced size,

So I check its perceived changed automated volume with its affected waveform size.

‘Also’ I would be really stoked if they can make pencil tool to add volume too.

Maybe I shall just need to get used to the current options, because maybe it is more than enough. haha

But some thoughts of mine.

*One of the reasons I ‘print’ a lot! haha to see the affected waveform (and also save some CPU hehe)

F6 opens the automation panel (default key command)
it provides more options for writing, showing, hiding or editing automation data


This is, what does the Audio even based automation do.


You would see the source (pre-automation) waveform as the background of the automation curve. But you wouldn’t see the resulting waveform any other way, but using the Audio event based automation, or the Direct Offline Process.

Oh…! so, there is a way to do,

May I ask how…?

hmmm… maybe more detailed information what I mean

The volume automation is a recording of fader movements…
so all processes applied to the audio signal are before the volume changes (except the post fader plug ins)

event based automation is before all processes, so it changes levels regarding to thresholds of compression or gating or similar processes

this is not good or bad, it is just needed to keep it in mind


Switch to the Draw tool in the Project window. Once you hover over the Audio event, the pencil tool with the line appears. Once you click the Audio Event, the node appears. The line is blue and the node is green. This is the Audio Event based automation.

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Yes, yes, this feature is ‘a must’ for me and I use it all the times. But am I being foolish, for wishing, if there could be ‘last’ chain waveform draw tool?

*pre-gain - inserts - channel strip - then draw tool with affected waveform sizing change…?

It is just not how it works right…? haha maybe I am asking for something that is not existing.

One thing I know for sure is that draw tool is good but it is ‘pre’.
So the inserts go afterwards and I cannot envision the waveform size at the very last stage you know…?

I do not believe Cubase can do this… right?

So for now, I prefer to print (render in place) for even more detailed automation.


The waveform is taken from the source audio file. The only exception is, if you use Direct Offline Processes, then the waveform is taken from the temp audio file, which sits in the Edit folder; or if you use the event based Volume automation.

The Insert effects are processed in realtime. Therefore it’s not possible, the waveform would display its form after the Inserts.

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Yes yes… it makes total sense to me. I think I was talking without knowing logically. I think the only way is to try out direct offline and so Cubase makes its temp audio files so I get to see the after-processed Waveforms.

Totally understood :slight_smile: