Logic Pro Quick Tip – My New Years Automation Resolution

It’s still the first week of January, so not too late for a new year’s resolution. We all use automation all the time. And there are soooo many associated key commands and shortcuts; it’s impossible to remember and use them all. We all have our favorites that we fall back on, and that’s fine. That’s human nature.

My New Years Automation Resolution

My resolution is to make it a point to incorporate a new technique in my automation workflow. In a recent chat with fellow Groove3 and logic-pro-expert colleague Doug Zangar, he shone a light on some extremely useful specific marquee tool functions that, although I had technically known about, had not been using.

Automation Technique

So here it is. Option-click with the Marquee tool on a region header to automatically create two automation control points at each end of the region boundary. It also automatically selects the inner control point at each boundary, so that you can simply drag the automation line up or down to create your automation offset. This is a fantastic technique for creating automation handles that allow for instant adjustment of the desired parameter, set to the exact region length.

Until now, I had been using the marquee and drag technique to create the four automation control points with the inner two automatically selected. Although that works well, and I will still use it, it really only works best when there is empty unused space on either side of the region. When you have regions butted up against each other, the Marquee Option-click method is bulletproof in getting the control points exactly where you need them.

So, if you have your Marquee tool assigned as your alternate tool, simply hold down the Command Key along with the Option key, and click on the region header. Then just drag the automation line up or down.


Without having to learn or remember anything new, there is a bonus to this workflow. If automation already exists within the region, Option-clicking the region header will select all automation control points within the region boundary, which is perfect for when you need to offset the automation within a region. So, here you get two tips for the price of one! Seriously though, there is only one thing to remember and integrate into your workflow, and you get two useful functions from it, dependant on whether automation already exists or not.

Option-click a region header that already contains automation control points, and they will all be selected. then you simply drag up or down to adjust/scale the entire automation curve. And all exactly within the boundaries of the region!

So, there you have it, two for the price of one. Option-click the region header with the Marquee tool and get two useful functions. That’s my new year’s resolution: to use this function.

Eli Krantzberg
Follow Eli

Eli Krantzberg

Apple Certified Pro Eli Krantzberg is an internationally known author and music software trainer for Groove3. His instructional videos have helped demystify music software such as Logic Pro, Pro Tools, Sonar, BFD, Melodyne, and Kontakt for thousands of users all over the world. Based in Montreal, Canada, Eli is involved in all aspects of audio production. In his studio he works with various artists, as well as on commercial jingles, corporate videos, and original music composition.
Eli Krantzberg
Follow Eli

Related Posts:

  • Fantastic tip! Thanks so much Eli 🙂

  • Yoshi

    If only Logic’s automation was sample accurate. :-/

    The timing of automation points and the shape of automation curves don’t bounce to audio accurately; in fact, sometimes the inaccuracy is bloody awful.

    I encourage all Logic Pro X users to test this for themselves and submit feedback/requests/bug notifications to Apple via https://www.apple.com/feedback/logic-pro.html

    Try automating something simple like the volume of a synth oscillator and then bounce some notes to audio :-/

    • Doug Zangar

      There are some quantizing automation features in the Snap menu, including using samples. Have you tried these, and if so, still having the problem? Additionally, your snap Offset value in automation presences can affect the end results.

  • Maorez

    Not working for me in Logic 10.2.2
    Is this a new feature in more recent versions?

    • Doug Zangar

      I think it is a feature that was added later, if memory serves, 10.3.

  • Doug Zangar

    Checked them out, and you’re right. I can reproduce this. I’ve heard of this, but it never has affected the way I work/write so I haven’t delved into it. Funny how an issue I can ignore is critical to others.

  • onlinemusic

    Good find, thanks Eli!

  • Thomas Haake

    You are right, haven´t been aware of this. Thanks for working it out.

Follow Logic Pro Expert