Opinions on automation? (Autotune, autoequalization etc)

First off let me thank everyone here for being so helpful and supportive in my recording journey!

Next off I would like to ask what are everyone’s opinions on automation? I have learnt a bit about mixing and a friend of mine who is better at mixing than I am said that there is actually nothing wrong with automation if you use it properly with manual mixing as well.

So the more I go into mixing I realize that it is a deep field and I may not have the time and energy to devote to it. So I am thinking of being lazy and just automating things.

Do you think this is a wise course of action? I have received differing opinions from audio professionals.

FYI - [u]Automation[/u] has a different meaning and it’s done every day. It “programmed automation” which is a more-advanced version of Audacity’s Envelope Tool. The faders are automated/programmed to go up-and-down during different parts of the song so the mixing engineer doesn’t have to do it manually in real-time.

In the analog days if the engineer needed “more hands” he’d give someone else instructions so they could help. Now he can program all of the fader movements. Effects can be automated too. For example, you could apply reverb to one part of a track. Automation actually takes more time than “live” manual real-time mixing but the mixing engineer has more precise control and it’s easier to re-do/tweak the mix.

99% of mixing & mastering is done by ear.

AutoTune (or Melodyne) seems to be standard now (on the vocals). Somewhere I read that they include “tuning” in big studio project budgets. (it’s “automated” but it still takes skill, time, and careful listening.)

EQ matching is rare. It might be used if they are making an album with songs recorded at different times & different studios, etc., and they are having trouble making the songs sound similar. And again the mixing/mastering engineer will listen carefully, and they won’t use it unless something “doesn’t sound right” in the first place.

Normalization is an automated process and further loudness adjustments might be automated or semi-automated by measuring loudness (LUFS) and then compressing/limiting as needed to hit a target or to match the tracks on an album.

Oh… There are cheap fully-automated mastering services but I wouldn’t trust 'em.

opinions on automation?

I think I’d be a lot happier if there was a task, job, or goal in the post.

For example, cellphone voices are highly automated because the goal is to be understood at the other end. Nobody would mistake “cellphone voice” for theatrical production.

Do you have a goal?


Yes I think I am using the term wrong apologies.

I am trying to make my music sound better which is highly subjective I know. But I think mixing may help?