For mixing engineers and producers alike, it pays to become intimately acquainted with the virtues of automation. Swooping sounds from left to right, enhancing emotion with level boosts, or fixing complicated problems with real-time adjustments—all of these moves separate the quotidian from the marvelous.
But riddle me this: how often do you think about automating EQ? Perhaps not as often as you should, for automating EQ can create both dramatic and transparent effects. Whether creating something truly bespoke for your mix, or cheating an element forward/backward for the master, a bit of active, automated EQ sculpting can be a serious boon, if done well.
Here are some instances where you can employ the practice.
Earlier this year, we discussed mix automation basics, detailing how the process works and why it benefits your music. If you still need clarification on these points I suggest taking a look at the article, because in this post we’ll be diving deeper into automation with seven creative tips, applicable to all genres.
In the early 1970s the recording industry changed drastically with the introduction of mixing consoles that could record and play back fader movement. Leading up to this, mixing multitrack tape recordings was a group effort. For larger sessions of 16 or 24 tracks, up to four people could be needed behind the desk just to manage faders.
Digital audio workstations (DAWs) sophisticated the entire automation process, providing creators and engineers with the ability to control nearly every parameter with precision. In this article, I’ll show you three ways to use automation for more expressive, stand-out music.
In this article, I will try to answer all the questions you’ve always had about mix automation but were too afraid to ask. We’ll go over what automation is, why you’ll want to use, and the basics. To learn three creative applications of using automation in a DAW, check out this article.
Automation isn’t just for mixing engineers. Neither is automation strictly limited to volume rides. Whether you’re working in the analog or digital world—or relying on a hybrid audio mastering setup—there are a handful of circumstances where time-based adjustments on your mastering chain can help you achieve your desired results. Let’s look into a few practical examples of automation being used in recent mastering sessions.