Last year I posted Five Mac OS X Tricks For People Using Macs For Audio. It proved to be very popular and I've always had it in mind to publish another when I collected a few more. A recent tip from community member Stefan Schaflitzel prompted me to write part 2. Thanks Stefan, this is exactly what the blog is about.
1. Black screen - to temporarily switch off your Mac's display hit Ctrl+Shift+Eject. Press any key or move or click the mouse to bring it back. I've joked on the podcast about using the studio tea-towel to stop mixing with your eyes, Dan Cooper has suggested having a full screen image open in Preview and Option+Tabbing to it for the same purpose but there was a shortcut there all the time. Great!
2. Option+Click the speaker icon in the taskbar to go to Sound Prefs - This gets a cursory mention in the original post. I found out about it as an alternative to Opt+F10,11 or 12 when I was writing the original article and it has completely replaced it in my workflow as it gives direct access to all available alternative hardware rather than taking you to the prefs pane.
3. Shut Down using Ctrl+Opt+CMD+Eject. I've used this for years as in my day job I often find myself switching off entire rooms full of Macs. Annoyingly it doesn't work from the login screen. I can't remember the last time I used a mouse to shut down my Mac.
4. Set up a shortcut to go straight to System Prefs - There isn't a shortcut to take you straight to Sys Prefs but you can set one up by going to Sys Prefs - Keyboard - App Shortcuts, Clicking "+" and typing "System Preferences..." (it has to have caps and the trailing ellipsis of dots). Then enter your shortcut, I chose CMD+Option+, and its done.
5. Play Stereo Audio As Mono - Go to System Prefs - Accessibility - Audio. Of course we can do this using our DAWs but stereo can be is mixed blessing when playing audio to large groups as inevitably some people will only hear one of the two channels if sitting too far from the centre of the room. This is exactly why many PA systems run in mono. Things like this should be done at the mixing console but many people find themselves running events with nothing more than a large audience and a mini-jack hanging out a wall!