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Modern digital audio consoles or mixers use automation. Automation allows the console to remember the audio engineer's adjustment of faders during the post-production editing process. A timecode is necessary for synchronization of automation.



Voltage Controlled Automation 
fader levels are regulated by voltage-controlled amplifiers (VCA). VCAs control the audio level and not the actual fader.
Moving Fader Automation 
a motor is attached to the fader, which then can be controlled by the console, digital audio workstation (DAW), or user.
Software Controlled Automation 
the software can be internal to the console, or external as part of a DAW. The virtual fader can be adjusted in the software by the user.
MIDI Automation 
the communications protocol MIDI can be used to send messages to the console to control automation.


Auto Write 
used the first time automation is created or when writing over existing automation
Auto Touch 
writes automation data only while a fader is touched/faders return to any previously automated position after release
Auto Latch 
starts writing automation data when a fader is touched/stays in position after release
Auto Read 
digital Audio Workstation performs the written automation
Auto Off 
automation is temporarily disabled

All of these include the mute button. If mute is pressed during writing of automation, the audio track will be muted during playback of that automation. Depending on software, other parameters such as panning, sends, and plug-in controls can be automated as well. In some cases, automation can be written using a digital potentiometer instead of a fader.

See alsoEdit


  • Stanley R. Alten. Audio in Media, sixth edition. Wadsworth, 2002.
  • David Miles Huber and Robert Runstein. Modern Recording Techniques, sixth edition. Oxford: Focal Press, 2005.

External linksEdit