How to Use Automation to Enhance the Musicality of Your Track

By SourceAudio | Updated October 18, 2022

Use volume or eq automation to add depth to elements in your productions.

Adding dynamic, automated EQ or volume can add a ton to recordings or synthesized sound. 

With volume automation, you can create percussive, attack-heavy rhythms, or use long, smooth automations to create swells. This can be the performance in itself, but if you have a performance that has come out a bit monotone, or isn’t really popping the way you want it to, this kind of automation can take the motion of the performance to the next level. Just use the automation to boost on the emphasis, and listen to the difference. 

Same idea with EQ. The contrast of a filter being turned up or down in unison with the performance itself can add a whole new dimension to take your track to the next level.

For example, you can use drastic, quick automation over a steady held chord over a one or two bar phrase, then, loop, that phrase, to get a rich, interesting sound, from what was previously a static sound.

This can also enter into the territory of side chaining. By making dips in your tracks’ volume—except for one instrument sounding on its own during the dip—you can create a drastic impact and let a key element in a track shine without having to turn the volume up through the roof.

Of course you can use automation to bring in or out any effect over any period of time. Reverb, delay, and saturation are all great candidates, but volume and EQ are the two that can be used in rapid flux to create groove and motion.

Automation is an incredibly flexible, tool, and its applications are as expensive as the imagination of the user. Get comfortable with automation and enjoy the myriad of possibilities it brings to your productions.

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