FabFilter User Forum

Pro Q 3 - Pro Tools - significant automation bugs with Preview and Latch

I am having a lot of issues using pro q 3 in preview/latch mode, and with pro tools automation writing in general, specifically when copying and pasting settings.

There used to be similar, and far less severe, issues in pro q 2, and they were mostly fixed in later updates.

But they seem to be back worse then ever in v3, and make the plugin basically unusable if you are using advanced automation workflows in pro tools.

I can't find any specific rhyme or reason to some of it, but there has been a lot of weirdness with writing automation, and the 2 main issues I have nailed down that have been happening more frequently are:

— basically while working in “preview” mode, certain band numbers will get sticky and just start ignoring preview / latch prime, instead jumping back to whatever their currently written automation playlist values are, as if they were in read mode. it’s super frustrating in practice and workflow killer.

so far it seems totally random when this occurs and what specific bands it happens to. sometimes it affects every parameter for a single band, and sometimes its just frequency or just Q etc.

then, sometimes, when these certain bands start ignoring "previewed" automation changes, they also just start ignoring new automation entirely and won't write or react to any new automation input at all in any mode. they just become permanently sticky, regardless of the automation mode or the transport state.

— secondly, and this bug HAS been super consistent, Pro Q 3 has a strange behavior when utilizing the pro tools function copy and paste settings of the targeted plugin window. (SHIFT+CMD+C and SHIFT+CMD+V). Typically if all parameters are enabled for automation and you are in LATCH PRIME or PREVIEW mode, when you open a plugin and copy and paste settings to it using the above hotkeys, this will cause the targeted plugin to go into an active latch/write or preview state for every single parameter, regardless of what the state of the plugin was before you pasted a setting to it. This is how Pro Q 2 and every other plugin functions.

in pro Q 3, the new behavior when you paste plugin settings to an open instance, is that it ONLY pastes and puts specific parameters in write mode whose values are different from what the current state of the plugin is. For example, if you open an instance of Q3 and quickly copy and paste settings to it while in latch prime or preview without moving the timeline or changing anything, then nothing happens at all, no parameters are pasted or activated into write mode, which is not how these functions are intended to work. Typically this would still cause every parameter to go into preview or latch mode regardless of their values being unchanged.

At first I thought maybe I was having these issues because i imported my presets from V2, but I tested and was able to repro both these bugs in a totally empty session with 1 blank slate new mono instance of Pro Q 3.

There has been some other automation weirdness that I haven’t tracked down yet, maybe its all related, but overall the feeling is that Pro Q 3 is not reliable or ready for prime time when using advanced automation modes in pro tools, something i’ve never experienced this severely with a FF plugin before.

I am a HUGE FF fan, but it’s pretty disappointing this update has made these automation bugs so much worse. Really hope it can be fixed soon be as stable for automation as my other FF plugins. back to pro Q 2 for now.

Anyone who depends on advanced automation modes in pro tools, i would recommend staying clear of this upgrade until these issues are addressed.

Pro Q V3.01
Pro Tools 2018.10
MacOS 10.12.6


Hi Sean,

Thanks for the extensive report. We're going to investigate and hopefully we can reproduce the issues and fix them. If you find any more information, or a way to consistently reproduce the "sticky" problem, do let us know.


Frederik (FabFilter)

Hi. The same problem with my Pro-Q3 and touch/latch automation in Pro Tools Ultimate 2018.10. In preview mode Cmd shift V doesn't fully overwrite plugin settings - automation of some parameters is preserved when made in non preview mode.
OSX 10.13.6


Hi Franz,

We're looking into it.


Frederik (FabFilter)


I am also having this same issue of some random values not being affected/overwritten or primed for automation. As stated above it seems completely random.

Have there been any updates to this issue?


Tom Melling

We've just identified the problem with copying/pasting automation not overwriting existing settings, and will include a fix for it in the upcoming 3.02 update.

The problem with random values not being overwritten might be related to this, but it could also be a different problem. Tom, I'll send you a test build next week to see if this resolves the problem.


Frederik (FabFilter)

Yeah, I've had to pull Fabfilter EQ 3 out of our sessions. It's extremely bug-ridden.

The copy/paste issue is one. There's also a time-based bug, where the phasing on some bands makes for very honky sounding tracks after several hours (until restart).

Concept is great. Programming needs some help. Hoping that there's a fix soon.


Charles Deenen

Hi Charles,

It would be very helpful if you have a way to reproduce this time-based problem: we did solve several problems for the upcoming 3.02 update that might be related to this but the way you describe it is new to me.


Frederik (FabFilter)

Hi Charles,

It would be very helpful if you have a way to reproduce this time-based problem: we did solve several problems for the upcoming 3.02 update that might be related to this but the way you describe it is new to me.


Frederik (FabFilter)

The time-based bug is tricky to reproduce. It's happened 5-6 times to me now. For example, I'll have a setting with around 10 bands (some automated, some dynamic), and in the morning, it sounds completely different.
Reloading the session fixes it.

Charles Deenen

Hi we're having the same issue, when is 3.02 due? really need it asap. thanks!

prime latch problem

Very soon!


Frederik (FabFilter)

The problem is still there!
PT Ultimate 2020.11.0

Nik Gankin

Any word on this issue? I’m having automation problems with Pro Q3 as well. Will check in with the forums as well.


Still here,same problem. Just play with the demo. Like the plug-in a lot, but is totally unusable for me.


Hi guys!

Pro Tools can have a bit of an issue with writing automation for Pro-Q 3 when you have "Plug-in Controls Default to Auto-Enabled" turned on in PT's preferences. Pro-Q 3 has quite a lot of parameters that can be automated (13 per band, 24 bands, and then some other parameters as well). We have seen that when you switch automation mode to write or latch for a group with a lot of instances of Pro-Q 3, with all their parameters Automation Enabled, this can indeed fill up PT's automation cache. Same goes for using Preview mode.

A workaround would be to not auto-enable all parameters of Pro-Q 3. We have seen some users that use Pro-Q 3 with the Flat 7 bands preset and only auto-enable the first 7 bands, which seemed to resolve this issue for them.

Ralph Verdult

Why not make a striped down version of q3 with like 7 bands? If so many users have issues with that?


Why would you make a stripped down version for just a small subgroup of users? Especially if it's an issue the user has full control over by just changing an option in the DAW settings.


Don’t know how small the subgroup is. It’s just the one drawback for me to not buy q3 yet. There are maybe more engineers that work in sound for picture that do the same because of this bug?
And come on who really need really 24 bands? It’s just such a easy fix to limit the bands in a dropdown menu?


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