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Nail Tricky Fader Rides With This Little-Known Automation Hack

While many in-the-box mixers choose to draw in automation by hand, I prefer to ride faders in realtime. Whether I rock a mouse, touchpad, or control surface, performing my automation always adds excitement and spontaneity to the mixing process. Heck…I even consider it exercise.  😉

But I often encounter rides that are tricky to pull off in realtime. And until I discovered this trick, I would stop playback and draw them in manually. But that was boring and time-consuming. And riding faders is way more fun.

Check it out. There’s a feature built into most DAWs that makes it easier to perform difficult fader rides.

It’s called half-speed playback.

Turn it on, and your session will play back at…well, half speed.

In Pro Tools, you can do this with the key command Shift ⇧ + Spacebar (Know the key command for your DAW? Email me, and I’ll add it to this article).

Yes, your vocalist will suddenly sound like Chewbacca.

But by slowing down playback, you’ll be able to nail tricky fader rides on the first pass. Try it!