In Ableton Live, nearly all MIDI and Audio effects parameters are automatable. Automation in Ableton affects the behavior of your clips and tracks automatically, and consequently, you will not have to adjust your parameters manually during playback. You should consider creating automations in your productions to make your music more vibrant, dynamic and balanced overall.
Firstly, to fix the greyed-out automation issues, you need to have automation already in effect. There are 2 main ways to create automation in Ableton:
This version of automation done in the arrangement view in Ableton. And allows you more automation options. From overall project tempo, pitch, panning and volume to the finest of details in your MIDI or audio sends to your reverbs and delays, even to the minute detail in the attenuation of your compressors as well as the velocity and ADSR parameters of your MIDI
This is where you will find your automations graying out
This method is done in the mix view window, and you will see that in this mode you can only automate clips and clip lane tempo and play order. For more on how to automate tempo in this mode, have a look at this article on How to Automate Tempo in Ableton.
Greyed Out Automation Fix
When you see your automations greyed-out, this means that your automations have been deactivated. This is caused by either of these two reasons:
- You have manually changed your automated parameters manually (especially with your sends)
- You switch off/on the plug-in you have created automation on.
Creating and Automation:
To solve this issue, you must have created automations by either:
- Enable the automation lanes
- Select plug-in or effect you have loaded into your track
- Select the parameter
- Create automation – Use Cmd + B or Ctrl + B for MacBook or Windows to toggle between step or node modes
Once you have created automations, the parameters will highlight in red in the track lane and in the plug-in parameter expansion. When the automations are deactivated, then these features will be grey instead of red. These are the 2 ways to solve this issue:
1. General Automations Reenable Toggle
This button reenables the automations in your session by simply clicking it.
2. Manually Reenable automation:
- Open your plug-in expansion menu or select the track parameter
- Right-click on the parameter and select ‘reenable automation’
Trust me, you will be able to tell when your automations are greyed out. Certain passages in your production will seem less dynamic or transparent. This will have you opening up your projects again, reenabling the automations, and then exporting your project again.
To avoid this, make sure you are aware of any changes you make to you project as you go.
- when you record on the track that you have made the automations on, sometimes this recording displaces your automations, and may even delete your automations altogether
- when you copy and paste or drag and drop clips that have automation written over them, the automations may carry over to the where you paste your clips
Be a little bit attentive to your automations, and they will elevate your productions. Have Fun!