Smart Controls overview

Smart Controls let you control the sound of the selected track using a set of onscreen controls. Smart Controls can control both channel strip and plug-in parameters, including software instruments (on software instrument tracks) and effects (on audio, software instrument, and Drummer tracks). Smart Controls provide a quicker alternative to opening plug-in windows and adjusting individual parameters.

Each Smart Control has a set of screen controls. Adjusting a single screen control can change one or more parameters for the track’s channel strip, instrument, and effect plug-ins. Screen controls are labeled to help you understand which aspect of the sound each one affects.

Smart Controls typically include EQ or tone controls, reverb and other effect controls, and controls specific to the type of track or instrument. For example, the Smart Control for a synthesizer might include screen controls for choosing the waveform and adjusting the resonance and filter cutoff, while one for a string instrument might include controls for changing the articulation.

To work with Smart Controls, you open the Smart Controls pane.

When Show Advanced Tools is selected in the Advanced preferences pane, you can change the layout for a Smart Control, map screen controls and edit mappings, rename screen controls, and assign external controllers to screen controls in the Smart Control inspector.

Figure. Smart Controls pane open, showing screen controls and menu bar

Open the Smart Controls pane in the main window

  • Select a track, then click the Smart Controls button .

Open the Smart Controls as a separate window

  • Choose Window > Open Smart Controls.