When mixing, often is needed to use a plugin on clips or on a section of a track, without going AudioSuite. Most of the time is a notch eq.

So, when using a multi-parameter plugin, which is the fastest way to automate multiple controls, if working with non-HD Pro Tools? There is no 'write to' in vanilla version.

I loop the section, insert the eq, find the parameters I want, and then? Is there a loophole to provide for the lack of that button? Or how do you work?

4 Answers 4


Found this on a gearslutz forum a while back (sorry to whoever originally wrote it, credit to you!)

What I used to do was: suspend automation, mess around for a bit, shift+cmd+c my settings, and then roll back a bit. Enable latch mode, hit play and then shift+cmd+v the settings. Obviously, this is kind of a pain and takes longer than it would w/ HD.

Somebody mentioned recently that you can also go about it by going into WRITE mode, looping your playback, and then when you get settings you like, switching into touch mode. I tried it out once, and I think that it basically works.

There's another workaround here which involves using a "dummy track" which I've also used:

Both are a pain, but at least get the job done.


In PT10 with Production Toolkit, I use an Artist Series Control with soft keys for Preview, Punch Preview, and Write to Selected.

Before I got that, I used to use the Automation palette always in the same spot with a QuicKey macro (now I'd use a Keyboard Maestro macro) to push the palette's buttons from the keyboard. Clicking on the Automation palette buttons by hand isn't the worst thing in the world, but it does get tiresome after a while.

I can't remember if these buttons are even available in earlier, non DV or Production Toolkit versions of PT LE. But I can suggest something wacky as a workaround. You could use an AudioSuite version of your plug-in, it does the looping while you Preview and tweak away, then copy the settings of your plug-in and paste them onto the plug-in insert, or save the settings as a preset and recall them onto your insert. Then use write to all enabled, as has been mentioned. If you've already written pan or volume, etc, you can turn off those types of automation in the Automation palette so that you don't overwrite them when writing your plug-in automation. Good luck!

  • Thanks for the Keyboard Maestro tip! Sometimes i think i won't be happy until i can record and mix without moving anything but my fingers. Commented Jan 18, 2014 at 2:35

This is a source of supreme frustration for myself as well. For anyone used to working with Preview automation then writing to all once everything is dialed in, moving to a non-HD/non-Toolkit system can throw a huge wrench in your workflow.

My hack solution is to turn the automation OFF for given tracks that you want to automate, or use the Suspend button in the Automation window [Cmd-4] . It won't follow any existing movement you may have, but it will at least let you dial in an EQ or something while listening to your source. When you're ready to write, turn automation to WRITE and print your automation across your desired area.

Unfortunately, you do have to print in real time. :/

I'm eager to hear better options, great question!


When i had to print plug in automation in LE/Native (with Production Toolkit), i always used Suspend Automation in the Automation panel, and then Write to all enabled which i believe is in Edit/Automation. It has a finger bending hot key combination as well, which you can get used to pretty quickly.

It's not quite the same as Preview>Write to selection, but it's useful. One of the downsides is that Suspend Automation will ignore all of your existing automation, while Preview will still reference it. Also, Write to all enabled can be a bit fiddly when you're running a broad session with a lot of automation.

If you're without Production Toolkit, as Jesse.R said, you're probably better off writing in real time. If it's a simple operation, you can always go into the plug-in's automation graph and draw/drag it.

  • Where is Write to All Enabled in LE? I was under the impression it was a HD/Toolkit feature. duc.avid.com/showthread.php?t=287289
    – Jesse.R
    Commented Jan 16, 2014 at 19:34
  • Good question, i think you're right. Toolkit is just so essential to me that i forgot i had to buy it in the first place. Thanks for pointing that out! I'll edit my answer to correspond. Commented Jan 17, 2014 at 3:03

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