Automation tracks

If you need more control over your document scroll positions than you can get from auto-scrolling, or you want to carry out other actions at specific times, like changing documents or sending MIDI presets, you can record an automation track for each song. This is similar to macros on a PC, or volume automation in a digital audio workstation. You can watch a tutorial video or read on for more details:

  • While viewing a set list or smart list, look for a song's automation button: automation button. If you don't see the button, you might have to edit your layout to add it.
  • Tap and hold the automation button, then tap Record. The button will start flashing to show that it's recording.
  • Perform any of the following actions, and the app will record them in real time: start and stop recordings or change recordings, play or pause videos, open a document or change documents, close the current document, scroll the document or lyrics to a new up/down position, start or stop auto-scrolling, highlight a line of lyrics (by long-pressing the line), send a MIDI preset, send the layout MIDI presets, start and stop the tempo, play the starting pitch, show or hide the notes, open an app.
  • When you're done recording, tap the flashing automation button to stop. Now the button should appear enabled to show that the song has an automation track.
  • To play back your actions, tap the automation button. The button will highlight while it's playing, then return to the enabled state when it's done.
  • To add to your automation track, select Record again for the same track; your new actions will be merged into the previously recorded actions.
  • You can also add events to an automation track manually. Tap and hold the button and select Edit from the popup menu. Then tap Add an Event and select an event from the popup menu. Then set the event value, if applicable, and the time. If you paused an automation track before opening this window, the time will default to the playback time where you paused. Or if you select an event in this window before adding a new event, the time will default to just after the selected event.
    edit automation events
  • To adjust the timing of events in an automation track, tap and hold the button and select Edit from the popup menu, then click an event in the list. On iOS, you can use the Coarse and Fine number steppers to adjust the time in one second or one hundredth of a second increments. On Android, you can type a decimal value into the Time field. If you want all the events after this one to be adjusted by the same amount when you save, turn on the Offset Following Events option.
    edit automation events
  • To remove individual events, open the edit window, click an event and click Remove. To remove all events and start over, tap and hold the automation button and select Clear from the popup menu.
  • If you're doing a lot of editing of complex automation tracks, you can add the Automation Controls to a layout. The automation controls include buttons for each of the editing options, plus a slider that lets you jump to any location within an automation track. Behind the slider, the waveforms for recordings and videos, tick marks for tempo downbeats and colored circles for other events are displayed to help navigate through the automation track. When you pause and resume or jump to a new location, any recordings, videos or tempos that were started by the automation track will be paused and resumed or relocated as well. Jumping to a new location does not repeat any automation events that are positioned before the new location, it only repeats automation events that the playback head passes through when it starts playing again.
    edit automation events
  • To copy an automation track to a different song, tap and hold the button and select Copy from the popup menu. Then view a different song, tap and hold the button and select Paste. You can then edit the automation track to match it to the new song.
  • At the end of your longest recording pass, BandHelper will place an End event. You can use this to trigger app actions at the end of a song. You can manually adjust the timing of the End event as with other events.
  • If your layout does not include the automation button or automation controls, you can still start the automation track from an app control action, but you will need the automation button or automation controls to record or edit automation tracks.