Logic Automation recording question

edited September 2021 in Digital Audio Workstations

I have read manuals, looked at other posts, but a simple question escapes me.

How do I setup Logic so that it records automation while playing without changing each individual track settings before recording on that track? At the moment I record my track, listen back and then remember to go back in and click record automation with MIDI regions. Is there a global setting? Am I just stupid and forgetful and need to just remember each time? Or am I doomed to recording automation afterwards :) Is there another way that you setup to record automation while playing?


  • Hi @Stuart

    If you are using a MIDI CC controller to automate Expression and Dynamics, you need to be in Read Mode and set the track to Record Mode. Read Mode can only record in automation- this mode will not record in any automation during normal playback.

    If you wish to automate during playback, you would need to be in Touch Mode- however, I would highly advise against this, as any adjustments you make will overwrite in touch mode and it can be a right pain!

    This tutorial may help:

  • Thanks Angus, nice to know I'm using the correct settings. Do you know if there is a global command to set Record Automation with MIDI regions whenever I create or duplicate a Track? I just get carried away when writing and keep forgetting to go and click it before recording a new track and its rare for me to record without it.

  • BBCSO core and logic 10.4.6 here. I’m grappling with automation this week; so I had a few questions on “best practices”.

    • Automation - or recording MIDI CC? The advantages of being able to see and edit automation on the main screen are attractive (one used to be able to do that with MIDI CC as well, have they removed that function from Logic?)
    • Use “smart controllers” as intermediaries? Or just record straight in? Mapping to “smart controls” seems to allow you to leave your hardware CC controllers at “default” values and map them to whatever parameters you need to address and it automatically shows up in automation lanes - but it can be confusing as you change tracks and they all re-order themselves.

    I’ve gone back and scanned the last few years of Spitfire “how to” videos, but I’ve seen both techniques so it’s hard to choose. What’s a nice clean “recommended best practices” workflow?

  • @Stuart by default, when you click on a track, it will be Record enabled. When you hit record, you will then be recording the selected track. To record multiple tracks at the same time, just hit the R button on the tracks you wish to record.

    @Kerry I'd highly recommend using MIDI CC. The reason you cannot see Control Changes is because you are most likely in Track Automation. If you flip the track to Region Automation (see video above), you can see all of the Controls that you have. By clicking on the dropdown and (+) button underneath, you can open multiple automation lanes for different sliders/ fx.

  • Thanks Angus, that’s perfect - looks like I managed to overthink it at least one layer too deep :-)

  • Dear Angus and Spitfire team.

    Thanx for all the fantastic stuff you make!!

    The video above dosent mention anything about "record automation in midi regions" Can you confirm that "record automation with midi regions" have to be turned on manually in the track, to actually get to record the automation?

  • Angus
    Angus admin
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    Hi @Lars-Martin

    Enabling Record Automation in MIDI Regions allows you to record in automation in the MIDI Region (Region Automation) rather than Track- which is where the automation would end up if you were using Touch Mode.

  • Thanx for answering @angus.

    I cant see that Logic Pro X has any way of making "record automation in midi regions" a default setting. Please correct me if I am wrong :)

    All the best;


  • This is my biggest bug bear. So many times I record automation on a track then listen dumfounded to no automation because i forgot to press the button :) Its my fault - I've even added the setting to my template but any new track - yeah I just forget and laugh at myself each time.

  • Yeah @Stuart, I made myself a template today. It is the only solution for saving some time, i guess. I have been deep down in tons of forums just to find that it is just not possible to set it as a default setting. Let us hope Logic makes this an option for us dynamic and expression freaks, somewhere along the way.

  • Another one I seem to be falling for is that I use the "1 BBC Symphon: Dynamics" expression in the list, instead of "Ch. 1: Modulation".

    When I do that, I can see that some articulations have been written (faintly), but I can't edit them. Maybe I just don't understand what the "1 BBC Symphon: Dynamics" Option is good for?

  • I have a tendency/preference to use Regions myself where applicable. It seems especially useful if you're using regions as loops/patterns and copy/pasting them along a track. Only catch is I need to somewhat constantly remind myself to keep that consistent within the track; i.e. don't add Expression in a region at the end of a track that fades to 0, and then on full track playback scratch my head wondering where the sound went (because the first region had no setting yet), lol.🤣

    macOS 12.6, Logic Pro 10.7.4, BBCSO Core