The Pencil Tool: Automation of Pan (1)

The Music Telegraph | Text 2020/03/27 [11:25]

The Pencil Tool: Automation of Pan (1)

The Music Telegraph| 입력 : 2020/03/27 [11:25]

 

Figure 1: Setting the Grid and Nudge values while time ruler displays 1 second (Pro Tools).

© The Music Telegraph



The Pencil Tool: Automation of Pan (1)

 

Back in the day when all music was made by musicians with acoustic instruments all playing at the same time in one room, the placement of the sounds in the mix stayed exactly where they were placed by the engineer. It would have been very strange to have the piano get up and move around the mix because everyone knew that pianos just couldn't do that.

 

Well, that was then. Today, there are fewer rules regarding placement of instruments (and surely fewer still with multi-channel audio). An engineer can decide to place sounds virtually anywhere and move them at will during the song. While this can be done to excess, when done with taste, the effect can bring a heightened level of interest to a mix. It's all in the panning.

 

Pro Tools has a pan feature that can be automated. It can be drawn using the mouse or more easily, by using the Pencil tool.

 

In this article, you will learn how to use the Pencil tool in Pro Tools to automate Pan controls. The automated panning will add dynamic movement to the instruments in your mix.

(Get a Free Version of Pro Tools: here) 

 

1) Set the Grid value to 1 second.

(See the Figure 1 above)

 

2) Set the Nudge value to 10 msec.

(See the Figure 1 above)

 

3) Zoom in until your time ruler displays seconds.

(See the Figure 1 above)

 

 

Figure 2: Selecting the Triangle pencil tool.

© The Music Telegraph


4) Select the Pencil Tool and from its sub menu choose Triangle

(See the Figure 2. *Note Hold the mouse button down until you see the sub menu.)

  

5) Set your track layer to Pan.

 

 

Figure 3: The Pencil Tool set for Triangle

© The Music Telegraph


6) Use the Pencil Tool set for Triangle to draw in Pan data.

(See the Figure 3. *Remember that the Grid is set to 1 second so the left to right pan will be in increments of 1 second.)

 

*Tip: When using the Pencil, click and hold the mouse at the point you want it to start and then without letting go of the mouse drag to the right to cover time and at the same time drag up to increase the Pans value towards extreme left and right. Dragging up will increase both the up/down display of the left/right audio perspective aspects of the pan function.

 

 

Figure 4: Using the Grabber Tool

© The Music Telegraph


7) Go to the Grabber/hand tool and notice that it changes to a finger as you bring it near the Pan data. 

(See the Figure 4. *Simply click with the  finger at the point you want to insert a break in the data.)

 

8) Make sure your track is in Read mode or Auto-Read mode.

 

9) Hit Play button, watch the mixer and listen to the first couple of minutes of your song.

 

*Tip: To remove any automation data, all you need to do is have its layer showing and then with the Selector tool, select the region you wish to remove and then choose Clear from the Edit menu.

 

 

 

 

 

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