Effect automation, I can't figure it out

I’ve read the manual and discussions

This seems to have been a problem since at least 2005–people not being able to automate effects by using envelopes.

The instructions leave a lot to the imagination.

I have followed them (with help from a number of discussions) and gotten no effect. This includes activating the little “enable” triangle button.

The envelope appears (almost impossible to see) at the top of the track. I pull it down and, strangely, nodes only cause right angle corners, as if there is an invisible node forcing the envelope to only be vertical or horizontal.

On playback, there is no effect. I have tried this for the nTrack auto volume effect for both the frequency and the depth parameters (using the effects parameters selection from the drop down list that results from clicking the triangle-shaped envelope button).

This capacity is essential for the type of recording I’m doing. What could I possibly be doing wrong? And how could this have been mystifying people since at least 2005 without the manual makin this clear??? It’s such an important feature.

I don’t use automation very much, and when I do I usually use an Aux return envelope to control the effect automation. Here’s a couple of things that might help.
These are under the Settings menu:
Preferrence > OPtions - Allow automation volume/pan for wave tracks
Preferrence > Volume envelopes/ranges - you can set the size of the Envelope node here ( I set to 5 instead of 4 pixals) you can also maximaize the echanges the envelope can draw.
Preferrence > Volume envelopes/ranges > skins . (skin change the way ntrack displays information/screens) Try some different skiins to see if something whows up better for you. If you have a track loaded you can watch the chnge that the different skin makes. You can also elect to change the colors and create you own skin or save changes to other skins you download.
hope this helps