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Seven Steps to Automating Volume Changes Using VoiceOver

Posted in Logic


Have you been wondering how to use automation in Apple’s Logic Pro as a blind or visually impaired user? This screen reader friendly tutorial explains how using VoiceOver. This tutorial will focus on Volume Automation, but the same methods can be used to automate pan or a given send level. This tutorial also specifically covers the method to have the volume snap to or change to a specific value at a set time in the project. We’ll cover how to have the volume or other parameter change over time, e.g. go from -12dB starting at bar 25 to -9dB by bar 29, in the future. But a hint is to use one automation point instead of two.
Be aware for certain key commands to work, it requires the LogicKeyboardNinja Key Commands to be installed.
The First thing you will want to do is Press the Letter A to verify that the automation options are visible on the track headers. Next, interact with the track headers to verify that the automation parameter is set to volume. If it’s set to display or something else, VO space on it and select volume from the list. In the case of automating a pan or send level, you’d choose that from the list here instead.
Next you will want to set the Volume to what you would want it to start out at, in this case that’s -12dB. Once you set the volume to where you want it to start, you will then want to drop 2 automation points at the start of the project. You can hit Return to go to the start of the project and then Command Control 4 to drop 2 automation points for volume pan or send at the current playhead position.
We’ll then move to where we want the volume to change, and adjust the volume to it’s new value, e.g. -9dB, and then once again drop two automation points using the aforementioned key command. Rinse and repeat for all the other spots in the project you need the volume to switch to different levels.
I generally use volume automation like this towards the end of a project so that things stay at an equal volume through the project depending on what else is going on. This tutorial is a prime example of that, as the backing vocals were too loud at -9dB in the first chorus since the strings etc weren’t in that part of the song, but would be two quiet if left at -12dB when the strings etc enter the fray at the start of the second chorus.
There are many other reasons to use automation and many other times to automate volume, pan, or send levels, and if you would love to go in-depth with the many reasons and see how you could use automation to enhance the excitement of one of your projects, book a one on one training session so we can open up one of your projects and look at the many ways we can automate things together.