There must be a better way to automate volume in sections?

I’m curious if there is a better way than what I am doing now…

Very often there is a range of a clip that I want to change the gain. I find myself in the volume automation lane and I have to click to create a point on the line before the area that I want to change and then click a point on the line after I want to change (all while hoping to not change the current volume on the line) and then click two more points between those points and then try and make those both equal on either side of the area I am wanting to change…a lot of steps!

Ideally, I’d like to be able to use the range tool to highlight an area in the automation lane and then just change the volume in that area…is there something like that that I can be doing?


You can use range selection, cut the part and then use Volume in the Info View.

I experimented a while and found this to be easiest.

Click two nodes before and after wanted range - with ctrl button down, which restrain vertical movement - then select two in middle and drag to wanted level(with ctrl released then).

I tried the various suggested fill options with loops and stuff - but much more cumbersome.

In Reaper I just activated ripple editing, selected a range, and dragged automation within range and four nodes were created for you.

I can’t say I follow MartinJirsak suggestion though, may be some better way.

Have you considered using a controller/fader ?
I find it a lot easier to write some automation that way, and fine tune later.

To expand a bit on Martin’s suggestion. There are 2 places where you can adjust the volume for audio. One is via automation which as you know is like moving a fader. The second way is by adjusting the relative volume of the Part. This is like changing the volume of the recorded material itself. So when you cut the Part where you want the volume changes to occur you’ve created a new Part. If you select this Part and look at the Info Line you’ll see a Volume value (or maybe Gain - not at DAW to check) which will usually be set to 0dB. If you put a value in there, for example -2.4dB, it will lower the volume by that much. Also if you hover over the top center of the Part a control box appears that you can drag up/down to change this value.

FYI, I use this method all the time to fix sibilance on vocals. It’s more work than a de-esser, but gives much better fine-tuned results. Just cut around the offending “sss” & drag it down until it’s tamed - which sometimes can be a huge amount.

Thanks for the replies guys. I’m often not by a controller.

You can use range selection, cut the part and then use Volume in the Info View.

I believe you are talking about doing clip gain? I am wanting to do the adjustment in the automation lane.

…with ctrl button down, which restrain vertical movement…

Which tool are you on when you do this? When I’m on pencil tool and push ctrl it opens up the tool menu. I’m on a mac.

So far, here I the fastest way I found (without a fader):
Use range tool to select where the “outside nodes” will be. Hover over the range area and grab it and move a little and it will create those nodes. Then use the range tool again to create the inside nodes in the same way. Then use the select tool to grab the two inside nodes and drag down. That actually works pretty fast for me.

Ok, Mac - I think manual most often use Cmd as replacement for Ctrl on PC.

You can look in preferences where modifiers are configurated - that’s how I found it.
t should tell if Mac has different basic keyboard setup.

I think I used normal selection tool - and just click and drag automation curves.
Alt Drag sometimes as I recall.

With Ctrl/Cmd down I can only move nodes sideways - so perfect for not getting volume changes.


I will try to explain my suggestion once again:

  • Select the range by using Range Tool.
  • Use Edit > Range > Split [Shift + X] function.
  • The audio event is split to 3 events. The middle one is the one you are interested in.
  • Switch to the Object Selection tool, and select the middle event.
  • In the Info line, use Volume field to increase/decrease the volume of the event.

You could use the Line tool instead of the Draw tool, fewer moves are needed that way. And if your mouse driver has a option to restrict movement to Single Axis, that would make it even easier.

From memory I am fairly sure I simply drop the track into W mode…open the lane, align playback cursor before the
area in the part where volume automation is to be applied (giving an all important run up) press play, select the fader top,
the auto line goes blue and into Write, waggle to hearts/ears content… if I did not come back perfectly to where
I was. I select the first break point, check the fader value i.e. -10.2dB and then click a new break point in post “waggling”,
select it and enter -10.2dB in info line.

Unless I am missing something specific that always works fine for me. Fader automation is always precise work as you are typically
aiming for a transparent, smooth and gradual attenuation and subsequent smooth “make up” gain which is not afforded by the abrupt
scissors and clip gain handle technique.

Martin-as I said earlier-from what I can tell, you are talking about doing clip gain on a split audio event. I was asking about adjusting the volume automation lane.

Thanks for the replies folks. I am aware of the ability to push ‘W’ and write in automation. At this point the fastest way I have found to get a consistent volume change quickly for a section is what I stated above:
-Use range tool to select where the “outside nodes” will be.
-Hover over the range area and grab it and move a little and it will create those nodes.
-Then use the range tool again to create the inside nodes in the same way.
-Then use the select tool to grab the two inside nodes and drag down one of the nodes. They will both go down together.

I have key commands for various quantize settings so it’s pretty quick for me to do it this way.

Then I would try Fill Loop option, but you found it cumbersome.

I have to say, Trim tool, how it is in Pro Tools is very handy here.

Agreed completely. I think Ableton did really well with this particular task as well.

Check out this way…boom!


The problem with this way is if you move your mouse up or down a touch, it splits in to a square wave and you’re back in the fiddling with 4 points.

no, no… still in the dark ages I’m afraid… :frowning: :mrgreen: :smiley:

Here’s the state of the art; elegant, intelligent, with so-o-o-o-o-o many less clicks than Cubendo…! Watch and learn. And be envious… :mrgreen:

(also, Smart Tool use in S1 from about 18mins 06 secs of same video - its simply very, clever stuff; when you compare to what we still put up with.!)


Oh man thats so good.

The way Pro Tools and Studio One and Reaper (and I would guess many others) do it is, I’m afraid to say, vastly vastly vastly better than the very clumsy way that Cubendo does it. This has been complained about literally for many years on these forums and I can’t understand for the life of me why it hasn’t yet been changed. Do I sound angry? More frustrated that this necessary and useful and simple item still isn’t here.

Not only does having to create four separate nodes a workflow killer when you have super tight deadlines or are in a session at a fast pace with people breathing down your neck or in anyone’s everyday work, but now when you move the two “inside nodes” up or down at the same time, one or both of the outside notes will often snap to the value of one or both of the inside nodes – this is a bug that is a very significant problem.

That’s why you hold down shift. It locks it.

Yes-that is the Pro Tools way.

Watch the youtube video I posted a couple posts above. That method is actually really cool! I had never thought of that solution before but it works well. Obviously it is still not as good as the pro tools way (I really like how pro tools shows you both the original gain level and the level difference that you are making all at once.)