If you right-click on an automaton point in an automation lane, you can choose a mode for the way the automation is handled. When you then select the handle between the two automation points, clicking, holding and dragging up or down will alter the shape of the curve based on the mode you chose. So you can create graduated sweeps for example, or “stairs” which creates a machine gun effect. Keep dragging in one direction and you increase the intensity of the repeat of the curve selected, making for example a very rapid on/off step repetition.
If you right-click on a track in the sequencer, you can access a menu of commands and this applies to automation tracks in just the same way as regular audio and MIDI tracks. One of the interesting things you can do here is go to the Current Clip Source tab in the menu and assign the source for the clip to a different automation clip in the project. This saves you having to drag or manually copy and paste automation clips from elsewhere.
As well as moving controls on instruments and effects while recording to initiate the recording of automation data you can right-click on almost any parameter and from the contextual menu, choose Create Automation Clip. A clip will be created in the sequencer assigned to that control and you can then use the pen and other tools to draw automaton in manually, which can be more precise than doing it in real time.
In Options > MIDI Settings, you can choose your MIDI in and out devices and this is also where you can assign any connected hardware controllers that you may have. Hooking up something with physical faders and knobs can be a great way to make more hands-on changes to your instruments and effects and by recording these changes as automation (which of course you can edit later), you can make your projects sound more interesting. There are a fair number of MIDI controllers supported directly out of the box as you can see from this list and for those that aren’t there’s generally always the option to make your own MIDI maps, even if this takes a little more time.
If you select a clip on the timeline and then go to its name in the title bar at the top, you can choose not only a new pattern clip source for the clip but also a new automation clip source. Again this is a quick way of reassigning an automation clip to associate with clip than copying and pasting or dragging inside the sequencer.
If you double-click in the title bar of an automation clip in the sequencer you can jump straight to a new window showing the parameter that has been automated, in its own window. This provides a quick way to edit it without necessarily having to dig around and find the same control on the original instrument or effect that’s being modified.