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Thread August 29, 2015 editorial: comments

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1 August 29, 2015 editorial: comments

My Wish is Your (Key) Command

If you read gear sites, blogs and message boards, you’ve probably heard ad nauseam about the importance of memorizing and using the key commands in your DAW. The reason it’s so often mentioned is, well...it’s true. The more key commands you learn, the faster you can work in your DAW, because pressing one or two or even three keys simultaneously is faster than using your mouse to open a menu, find a particular command and select it.

I remember when I was working mainly in Pro Tools, I bought a third-party book entirely devoted to the key commands built into that software. It was organized by category, and it was quite thick. While there were way more commands than I could ever memorize, I tried to learn the ones for the actions I did regularly, especially transport- and editing-related ones.

Now, for a variety of reasons, I find myself switching between several DAWs, depending on the needs of the project. While this is cool in some ways, it leaves my head spinning when it comes to key commands. I find myself entering one program’s commands into another by mistake, and getting very different results than I was expecting.

I know what you’re probably thinking: since most DAWs allow you to customize key commands, I should customize all three to use the same set of basic commands? Indeed, I should. But while I was thinking about that somewhat daunting task, something else occurred to me: Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an industry standard for the bread-and-butter actions that are part of every DAW’s functionality? Transport commands, initiating record, splitting at the cursor, and so forth.

Just like there are universal key commands for cut, copy and paste, why not something similar for common DAW actions — beyond just using the spacebar to initiate playback, which, as far as I know is the only command that all DAWs currently have in common. Some of the commands could even be adopted in audio editors. It would be great to sit down at any audio software and be able to control basic functions with key strokes you already know.

Is such a standard likely to happen? Probably not. Would it be a good thing? Definitely. What do you think?

2
Absolutely. There must be STD Key Commands, with possibility to customise.
3
in general i get so worried of messing something up that for anything other than split cursor/loop/record/autofade I use the mouse and find the specific action.
4
Quote:
Absolutely. There must be STD Key Commands, with possibility to customise

:bravo:
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n general i get so worried of messing something up that for anything other than split cursor/loop/record/autofade I use the mouse and find the specific action.

Don't be worried. You can always hit "Undo" if you mess up the key command. You really can work a lot faster if you take the time to learn commands for stuff like changing zoom settings, switching screens, and so forth. Nothing ventured nothing gained. Go for it! :-)
6
Once upon a time a few companies sat down together and they came up with a protocol called MIDI. Then, all musicians lived happily forever. Sounds like a ferry tale? Maybe, if all music software creators would sit down together, this story would repeat again . . . Dream, Dream, Dream (Everly Brothers)
7
For a software business it is important to keep your customers.
So I'm sure they like it if their customers have gone to a lot of trouble of learning the software.
They know that they have them for life.

There has to be something very special to change DAW software.

I can't think of why a software developer would want to make it easy to change software?

It seems that there was a lot of pressure put on the Notion Score software programmers to have a keymap compatible the industry standard of Finale and Sibelius. They are the leaders so they don't change so the new players have to change. So now there are 3 ways to input score data.

Sadly they didn't just expose the keymap so any user could set it up as they would like.
They coded in the different keymaps and you select which one you want it in the options.
So this makes personalisation of the UI harder to do and that in turn slows us down.

At the very least I wish everyone would make the transport keys the same.

Perhaps a better solution would be to have a common format of key map files so it would be easy to make the maps ourselves and pass them round.

Royce

8
Say Mike: I'm chuckling... My mind is so saturated with key commands from so many different DAWS, I 'still' find myself reverting to my trusty mouse. No one can say that I've not tried...
9
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Perhaps a better solution would be to have a common format of key map files so it would be easy to make the maps ourselves and pass them round.

That's a good idea. :bravo:
10
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Say Mike: I'm chuckling... My mind is so saturated with key commands from so many different DAWS, I 'still' find myself reverting to my trusty mouse. No one can say that I've not tried...

That's how I feel. I was working recently in Studio One, which uses the * key to initiate record. However, I was so used to going into record using 3 key on the keypad (both Pro Tools and Digital Performer use that one), that I kept hitting it when recording in Studio One. When I did, instead of initiating record, it brought the transport back to the beginning of the sequence. Oops. This is why it would be nice if everybody used the same set of commands.