Implementing accessible automation
Automation is a very powerful feature of pretty much any DAW. It is simply the process of having the software make some changes automagically whether it is panning a sound from side to side, raising the volume of a lead vocal during a prominent section, and much more, depending of course on the effect. For more information read the relevant chapter on the reaper user guide.
Implementation from within reaper
once you have a track or an item with sound you want to automate, its recommended you bind the following actions to any shortcuts you like:
- Track: Show track envelopes dialog
- Take: Show take envelopes dialog
- Envelope: Toggle show all envelopes for tracks
From the track and or take envelopes dialog you can use NVDA's object navigation to arm, unarm, make visible or invisible anything from the volume to pan to any other parameter you have available, (assuming you have inserted an effect that can be automated). You can also set the automation modes there and optionally make reaper link a parameter to a midi control message sent by a knob or a mod wheel, assuming you have a device with those controls, or even midi notes will do it as well. Assuming you have too a midi device set up properly.
Alternatively you can select the track, then press control applications on it, and then arrow up to the envelopes submenu and control the parameter status from there, but it only lets you just do volume and pan.
Quick bit on automation modes if you use an external device
- Read/Trim is the do-nothing-we're-static mode
- Read is the safe mode.
- Touch is the only-stuff-you-touch mode. Reasonably safe.
- Latch is the touch-at-your-peril mode.
- Write is the you are screwed mode. Destructive!.
Latch is usually a much better option when you need to actually "write" stuff without keeping your hand on the controls. Read, Touch and Latch is probably all most ever need. if you still have your envelopes armed and wish to just hear the result without anything getting accidentally changed, then set the mode to read
OK, so I armed my envelopes, now what?
So, for this examples you armed volume and pan which are usually the most commonly automated things on a track. All you have to do then is press control plus l, and osara will move to the next armed and visible envelope, (control shift l move you to the previous one) reporting if it is armed or not. Usually when you arm an envelope without making it visible then it will become visible automagically.
You can then if you wish use the action: toggle show all envelopes for tracks to know what you have available.
You set your points after selecting the envelope, right where you feel like it, using control plus shift plus I. then you move backwards or forwards through them using alt plus j and k, and then you can edit the value for every one of them first by selecting the envelope, then the point, and then pressing alt plus shift plus e. You can edit the value, specify the curve, the attack or start of the point, ETC. and that's pretty much all. have fun.
oh, right. one last action you'll probably want to consider: FX: Arm track envelope for last touched FX parameter
because you might be experimenting with some alien effect and probably won't have too much time to know what was that you just moved or to scroll 50 times to find that parameter buried on the track envelopes dialog.