Plug-In Automation Basics (video)

Pro Tools Automation enables you to create dynamic and exciting mixes. Watch this tutorial video and learn the basic steps to enabling and using automation to control a single plug-in parameter.

In this example, I’ll be using automation to control the Cutoff parameter on the Xpand virtual instrument plug-in. I’ll be using Pro Tools 7.4 on a Mac.

The basic steps that you’ll learn in this video can be applied to any* plug-in automation parameter (*assuming it supports automation…some don’t).

Plug-In Automation Basics 4:26


  1. Don Stewart says:

    Thank you, Chris! Many of the plugins seem so daunting until they are demonstrated as you have done. My goal is to be able to mix as well as the folks I am paying to do it. I have come to really rely on your tutorials so that i may not only save money, but simply to have the knowledge they (and you) have gained.

    Man, I wish I had begun this sooner, but then I might not have come across such a great teacher as you.

    Thanks again! All the best to you.

    Don “Yu Yo” Stewart

  2. Hi Chris , I’ve just downloaded your PT Quickstart guide. I ve learned the basics of PT but thanks to your tips and tricks now I work very fast with Protools.
    I think It will be the same with your quickstartguide.

    Thanks again and best regards !


  3. Sarot Kaewkird says:

    Hello Chris, thanks for your time to create this PT Quick Start Guide, all tutorials can fulfill my understanding from studying with local academy.
    It will be great if you can do another documented tips.

    Thanks again and best regards,

  4. Don ~ Thanks for the encouraging words.
    Paolo ~ Excellent! That makes it worthwhile.
    Sarot ~ I’ve been developing new tutorials all summer. They should be out soon.

  5. Thanks for the video Chris but I am a little confused still. You first put it in “WRITE ” Mode and while recording it somehow it changed to “LATCH ” Mode, which then you put it back to “READ ‘ Mode.

    Which one is the correct one and was this just an error?



    • Tommy ~ Great question.

      No, this isn’t a error. In Pro Tools you can set your Preferences so that after an Automation Write pass, the Automation Mode automatically switches to Latch. That’s how I happen to have my preferences set.

      It would be best for you to ensure that after an Automation Write pass (ie: after you record some automation moves) that your Automation Mode is set to Read…. unless you prefer to use Latch.

      PS: You can check out the setting in Setup→Preferences...→Mixing

  6. Thanks a million for a great lesson.
    One question, Which automation do I need to enable, to be able to write the individual level of each part?
    Thanks again.

    • Chris Bryant says:

      Rian ~ Click on the Plug-in automation tab and that will give you the Plug-in automation enable list.

      You can Add/Remove automatable parameters from there.


  1. […] you combine this technique with a bit of automation (see this video), you’ve got a whole new set of production tools that will easily add excitement and energy […]