Christian Scheuer, a Danish film sound designer, composer and developer, has for many years been annoyed by the lack of certain shortcuts in Pro Tools - and the lack of ability to automate tedious tasks. Back in 2011, he started working on a piece of software that could help him get more done in less time and the result is SoundFlow Shortcuts, an OS X app that adds 103 new shortcuts to Pro Tools.
The Story So Far
The first thing he did was to create 2 shortcuts - for Preview and Write Auto to Sel. Apparently these two shortcuts alone saved him hours and hours when working on both dialogue and SFX edits. Then a couple of years ago, he started playing with the idea to turn it into a commercial application, as he believed that there were a lot of Pro Tools users out there, who like him were complaining about the lack of certain shortcuts.
He assembled a team of sound designers from Denmark, UK, Germany and the US to help test it and provide ideas for features and now after a long beta phase, they have just launched SoundFlow Shortcuts.
Development Still Ongoing
It is refreshing that a developer is prepared to admit that a product is still work-in-progress. Christian told me...
It's not perfect yet. We sometimes still encounter configurations that have small quirks. But we think it's mature enough already to be a really valuable tool for many sound designers and music producers.
We have tons of plans for future development. First on the list are manual shortcuts/macros and then we are looking at...
iPad surface for activation of shortcuts
Ableton Live, Cubase integrations.
Cloud sync of user settings
Spotting notes management directly in SoundFlow.
Realtime collaboration, chat, file upload/download
Having watched this video I was especially interested in the iZotope workflow improvements but was a little concerned about shortcut conflicts as Pro Tools itself uses a lot of the available shortcuts available on a keyboard. Christian explains...
With regards to conflicts, all of our shortcuts can be changed to another keyboard assignment, or they can be disabled individually or altogether by pressing a special key combination. All of this is configurable in the GUI. We have not seen any conflicts with Eucon-based devices yet. Whenever we encounter something, we try to work closely with our customers to resolve any issues, since it is in the interest of both us and them to make a rock solid product.
The iZotope integration has personally saved me days of work, especially when rushing through the dialogue track on a low budget feature.
Free Trial Available - Let Us Know How You Get On
You can request a free trial. You will need to create a free account on the SoundFlow Shortcuts website but then you will be able to request a free trial license. Lets us know how you get on with SoundFlow Shortcuts in the comments below. Alan and I are going to be trying out, as well.