I like to think I know Pro Tools shortcuts pretty thoroughly. I don’t know them all but I do know a lot. However I know more than I use and one of the best (and worst) things about Pro Tools is that there is more than one way to do most things. Even something as simple as hitting record can be done using any of three different shortcuts!
Tab And Tab To Transients
The Tab Key is probably better know for its tab to transients function than anything else. Being able to navigate by tabbing between hits on an audio track is where many leave the tab key but by turning it off (CMD+Opt+Tab/Ctrl+Alt+Tab) changes this behaviour to one where the insertion point tabs to the next clip boundary. Adding Option/Alt reverses the direction of tabbing.
Using L And Apostrophe As An Alternative to Tab
I was looking at the Editors Keys Pro Tools shortcut keyboard and was reminded of the four keys centred around the semicolon key. I’ve always used the P and Semicolon keys to move the insertion point or edit selection up and down. If you click the “Link Track And Edit Selection” button under the scrub tool button then you can use the P and semicolon keys to change the selected track too. The keys either side of the semicolon move the insertion point can be used to move the insertion point forwards or backwards along the timeline in exactly the same way as using the tab key. The tab to transients behaviour follows the same setting as the Tab key.
Why don’t I use this keyboard shortcut? It’s not because I didn’t know about it, it’s probably because I’ve used tab for longer than I’ve known this shortcut so, while I know this one, when I’m editing and I need to navigate in this way I always use tab.
Why Would I Change Over To Using L and Apostrophe Instead Of Tab?
I think I’ll try using these shortcuts because while it doesn’t do anything different, it makes more sense from an ergonomic point of view. I use P and semicolon all the time, it makes logical sense to use a shortcut in the same area of the keyboard for side to side as I find the shortcut for up and down. The second advantage is that to move the insertion point left, pressing L is a single keystroke whereas Option+Tab is two keystrokes.
The lesson for me is that using a keyboard shortcuts keyboard might not introduce me to shortcuts I don’t know, but they might well remind me about keyboard shortcuts I don’t use. If your keyboard chops aren’t as good as they might be then getting a shortcuts keyboard is a bit of a no brainer.
Find out more about Editors Keys Keyboards