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Automation Lanes in Adobe Audition 2.0

Separate tracks for volume, panning and other automatable parameters reduce clutter By Frank Moldstad

Automation lanes were introduced in Adobe Audition 2.0 as a way of making the automation envelope data more visible and easier to edit.

Previously, the only way to display automation envelopes in Audition was to superimpose them over waveforms on the same tracks -- a method used by most other DAWS. Audition still offers this option, but it's often cumbersome with heavily automated tracks. They end up looking like a rush hour freeway, with lines and nodes going every which way, obscuring each other as well as the waveform.

The automation lanes circumvent that issue by providing ancillary tracks under each waveform. Not only is the main track left uncluttered, but the automation envelopes are, too. You can add as many lanes as you need, each dedicated to a different automation parameter, such as volume, panning, EQ, and effects.

Before: (Fig. 1) The old way of superimposing automation envelopes atop the waveform got pretty busy

After: (Fig. 2) Waveform at top, with volume and panning automation lanes underneath

The lanes do not not to be created, just opened as needed. They can be used whether you're creating automation manually or recording it on the fly with the standard write, touch, and latch mode options (also introduced in Audtion 2.0).

Small arrow at bottom opens automation lane
Opening an automation lanes is simple. Each track header has a small arrow at the bottom, next to the drop-down record automation menu. Clicking this triangle opens up the first automation lane; subsequent lanes are opened by clilcking a plus sign in the header for each lane.

The advantage presented by lanes is obvious at a glance. Fig. 1 shows an audio track with volume and panning envelopes overlaid the old way. The envelopes are intertwined and it's hard to tell which node belongs to which envelope. In addition, the waveform itself is partially obscured.

Fig. 2 shows the same waveform, with automation lanes below for volume and panning. Nodes can be placed precisely at any point along the waveform by using the play head marker as a guide (vertical yellow broken line).

When the automation is finished, each lane can be closed the same way it was opened -- by clicking again on the small triangle on the track header. Other lanes can be opened for a variety of EQ, dynamics, and effects functions (Fig. 3).

Fig. 3: Other automatable parameters that lanes can be opened for are shown in drop down menu.

Automation lanes are one of several components designed to make Adobe Audition a clutter-free work environment, along with a completely modular interface and resizable docking panels.

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Related Keywords:Adobe Audition, Automation lanes, automation, envelopes, waveforms

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