User Guide Cancel

Automating mixes with envelopes

  1. Audition User Guide
  2. Introduction
    1. What's new in Adobe Audition
    2. Audition system requirements
    3. Finding and customizing shortcuts
    4. Applying effects in the Multitrack Editor
    5. Known issues
  3. Workspace and setup
    1. Control surface support
    2. Viewing, zooming, and navigating audio
    3. Customizing workspaces
    4. Connecting to audio hardware in Audition
    5. Customizing and saving application settings
    6. Perform Mic Check (Beta)
  4. Digital audio fundamentals
    1. Understanding sound
    2. Digitizing audio
  5. Importing, recording, and playing
    1. Multichannel audio workflow
    2. Create, open, or import files in Adobe Audition
    3. Importing with the Files panel
    4. Extracting audio from CDs
    5. Supported import formats
    6. Navigate time and playing audio in Adobe Audition
    7. Recording audio
    8. Monitoring recording and playback levels
    9. Remove silences from your audio recordings
  6. Editing audio files
    1. Edit, repair, and improve audio using Essential Sound panel
    2. Session Markers and Clip Marker for Multitrack
    3. Generating text-to-speech
    4. Matching loudness across multiple audio files
    5. Displaying audio in the Waveform Editor
    6. Selecting audio
    7. How to copy, cut, paste, and delete audio in Audition
    8. Visually fading and changing amplitude
    9. Working with markers
    10. Inverting, reversing, and silencing audio
    11. How to automate common tasks in Audition
    12. Analyze phase, frequency, and amplitude with Audition
    13. Frequency Band Splitter
    14. Undo, redo, and history
    15. Converting sample types
    16. Creating podcasts using Audition
  7. Applying effects
    1. Enabling CEP extensions
    2. Effects controls
    3. Applying effects in the Waveform Editor
    4. Applying effects in the Multitrack Editor
    5. Adding third party plugins
    6. Notch Filter effect
    7. Fade and Gain Envelope effects (Waveform Editor only)
    8. Manual Pitch Correction effect (Waveform Editor only)
    9. Graphic Phase Shifter effect
    10. Doppler Shifter effect (Waveform Editor only)
  8. Effects reference
    1. Apply amplitude and compression effects to audio
    2. Delay and echo effects
    3. Diagnostics effects (Waveform Editor only) for Audition
    4. Filter and equalizer effects
    5. Modulation effects
    6. Reduce noise and restore audio
    7. Reverb effects
    8. How to use special effects with Audition
    9. Stereo imagery effects
    10. Time and pitch manipulation effects
    11. Generate tones and noise
  9. Mixing multitrack sessions
    1. Creating remix
    2. Multitrack Editor overview
    3. Basic multitrack controls
    4. Multitrack routing and EQ controls
    5. Arrange and edit multitrack clips with Audition
    6. Looping clips
    7. How to match, fade, and mix clip volume with Audition
    8. Automating mixes with envelopes
    9. Multitrack clip stretching
  10. Video and surround sound
    1. Working with video applications
    2. Importing video and working with video clips
    3. 5.1 surround sound
  11. Keyboard shortcuts
    1. Finding and customizing shortcuts
    2. Default keyboard shortcuts
  12. Saving and exporting
    1. Save and export audio files
    2. Viewing and editing XMP metadata

By automating mixes, you can change mix settings over time. For example, you can automatically increase volume during a critical musical passage and later reduce the volume in a gradual fade out. See this video tutorial to watch mix automation in action.

Automation envelopes visually indicate settings at specific points in time, and you can edit them by dragging keyframes on envelope lines. Envelopes are nondestructive, so they don’t change audio files in any way. If you open a file in the Waveform Editor, for example, you don’t hear the effect of any envelopes applied in the Multitrack Editor.

Clip and track envelopes in the Editor panel
Clip and track envelopes in the Editor panel

Automating clip settings

With clip envelopes, you can automate clip volume, pan, and effect settings.

On stereo tracks, clip volume and pan envelopes appear by default; you can identify them by color and initial position. Volume envelopes are yellow lines initially placed across the upper half of clips. Pan envelopes are blue lines initially placed in the center. (With pan envelopes, the top of a clip represents full left, while the bottom represents full right.)


On mono and 5.1 surround tracks, clips lack pan envelopes.

Two clip envelopes
Two clip envelopes

Show or hide clip envelopes

Clip envelopes are visible by default, but if they interfere with editing or are visually distracting, you can hide them.

  1. From the View menu, choose any of the following:
    • Show Clip Volume Envelopes 
    • Show Clip Pan Envelopes
    • Show Clip Effect Envelopes

Show or hide individual automation parameters

Showing a parameter for an effect
Showing a parameter for an effect

  1. In the upper-right corner of a clip, click the parameter menu, and select a Rack mixing option or an effect parameter. (In the menu, visible parameters appear with checkmarks. Select a parameter again to hide it.)

    After you edit keyframes for a parameter, it appears with an asterisk (*) in the menu.


    The Rack Power option lets you turn a clip's Effects Rack on and off over time.

Disable clip keyframe editing

To avoid inadvertently creating or moving keyframes, disable keyframe editing.

  1. From the Multitrack menu, deselect Enable Clip Keyframe Editing.

Automating track settings

With track envelopes, you can change volume, pan, and effect settings over time. Adobe Audition displays track envelopes in an automation lane below each track. Each automated parameter has its own envelope, which you edit just like clip envelopes.

Automating track settings in the Editor panel
Automating track settings in the Editor panel

Create track envelopes

Track envelopes let you precisely change track settings at specific points in time.

Showing automation lanes in Editor panel
Showing automation lanes in Editor panel

  1. In Editor panel, click the triangle to the left of the Track Automation Mode menu for the track you want to automate. (The menu is set to Read by default.)

  2. From the Show Envelopes menu, select a parameter to automate.
  3. On the envelope line, click and drag to add and adjust keyframes.

Record track automation

While playing a session, you can record adjustments you make to track volume, pan, and effect settings, creating a mix that dynamically evolves over time. Adobe Audition automatically converts your adjustments into track envelopes, which you can edit with precision.


With an external controller such as the Mackie Control, you can adjust multiple settings simultaneously. See Control surface support.

  1. In the Main panel, position the current-time indicator where you want to start recording automation.
  2. Choose an option from the Track Automation Mode menu.
  3. To start recording automation, start playback. As audio plays, adjust track or effect settings in the Editor, Mixer, or Effects Rack panels.
  4. To stop recording automation, stop playback.

If recorded keyframes are too numerous or irregular, see Optimize recorded automation.

Track Automation Mode options

In the Editor panel or Mixer, you can choose one of the following modes for each track:


Ignores track envelopes during playback and mixdown, but continues to display envelopes so you can manually add or adjust keyframes.


Applies track envelopes during playback and mixdown, but doesn’t record any changes you make to them. (You can preview such changes, but keyframes return to recorded settings.)


When playback starts, overwrites existing keyframes with current settings. Continues to record new settings until playback stops.


Begins recording keyframes when you first adjust a setting, and continues to record new settings until playback stops.


Similar to Latch, but gradually returns settings to previously recorded values when you stop adjusting them. Use Touch to overwrite specific sections of automation while leaving others intact.

Protect settings when recording automation

When recording automation, you may want to protect certain parameters from inadvertent changes, while adjusting other parameters.

  1. At the left of the Editor panel, navigate to the specific track's controls.
  2. Click the Show/Hide Automation Lanes icon [ICON].
  3. From the Show Envelopes menu, choose the parameter.
  4. Click the Protect The Parameter icon [ICON].

Optimize recorded automation keyframes

To prevent recorded automation from creating excessive or irregular keyframes, optimize the following settings in Multitrack section of the Preferences dialog box.

Automatch Time

Determines how fast parameters return to original values in the Touch mode. You can set values from 0.00 to 5.00 seconds; the default value is 1.00 second.

Linear Edit Point Thinning

Removes any keyframes that represent static, unchanging parameter settings.

Minimum Time Interval Thinning

Creates keyframes at time intervals larger than the specified value. Enter an interval between 1 and 2000 milliseconds in the Minimum Time field.

Adjust automation with keyframes

Keyframes on envelope lines change clip and track parameters over time. Adobe Audition automatically calculates, or interpolates, all the intermediate values between keyframes using one of two transition methods:

  • Hold  transitions create an abrupt change in value at each new keyframe.

  • Linear  transitions create a gradual, even change between keyframes.

You can also apply spline curves to an entire envelope, overriding the keyframe-specific setting above to create natural-sounding transitions that change in speed near keyframes. (See About spline curves for graphs.)

Transitions between keyframes

A. Hold B. Linear (the default) C. Spline curves 

Add a keyframe

Do either of the following:

  • Position the pointer over an envelope line. When a plus sign  appears, click.

  • Position the playhead where you’d like a track parameter to change. Then click the Add Keyframe icon  in the track controls.

Navigate between track keyframes

  1. In the Editor panel, choose a parameter from the Select menu near the bottom of the track controls.

  2. Click the Previous Keyframe  or Next Keyframe  icon.

Select multiple keyframes for a parameter

  • Right-click any keyframe, and choose Select All Keyframes.

  • Hold down Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac OS), and click specific keyframes.

  • Hold down Shift, and click to select a series of keyframes.

Reposition keyframes or the envelope line

  • To reposition selected keyframes, drag them. (To maintain time position or parameter value, hold down Shift and drag.)

  • To reposition a segment of an envelope without creating a keyframe, hold down Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac OS), and drag.

Change the transition between two keyframes

  • Right-click the first keyframe, and select Hold Keyframe to abruptly change values, or deselect it to gradually transition from one value to the next.

Apply spline curves to an entire envelope

  • Right‑click an envelope line, and choose Spline Curves.

Delete keyframes

  • Right-click an envelope line, and choose Delete Selected Keyframes. Or, drag an individual keyframe off a clip or track.

Disable clip keyframe editing

To avoid inadvertently creating or moving keyframes, disable keyframe editing.

  • From the Multitrack menu, deselect Enable Clip Keyframe Editing.

Edit keyframe manually

Right-click on a keyframe to open the context menu on a track automation envelope or a clip automation envelope in a Multitrack Session, and choose Edit Keyframe. A dialogue box will appear. Enter in a time value and a parameter value for the particular keyframe. For parameters which are not number-based such as on/off switches, there will be a tooltip on the second control in the dialog which shows the name for the parameter value.

Edit Keyframe
Edit Keyframe

Enter parameter values
Enter parameter values


Get help faster and easier

New user?

Adobe MAX 2024

Adobe MAX
The Creativity Conference

Oct 14–16 Miami Beach and online

Adobe MAX

The Creativity Conference

Oct 14–16 Miami Beach and online

Adobe MAX 2024

Adobe MAX
The Creativity Conference

Oct 14–16 Miami Beach and online

Adobe MAX

The Creativity Conference

Oct 14–16 Miami Beach and online