I’ve been using Pro Tools for most of 20 years and while it's not the only DAW I’ve used, it’s not even the first DAW I used, it's the only DAW I can say I know well. I’ve had a copy of Studio One for a couple of years and I use it regularly but I’m still a very long way away from knowing my way around it. I know how to do one thing in Studio One and that’s it.
In spite of my good intentions I haven’t developed the broad working knowledge of Studio One I intended to gather. The thing I use Studio One for is recording audio when I’m making screen capture videos in Pro Tools. I can’t record into Pro Tools because I’m using it and the most effective way I’ve found to record is to record my VO and the output of Pro Tools onto two tracks in Studio One for mixing in Pro Tools after I’ve finished recording. Because of this I know how to assign input paths in Song Setup, I know how to record audio onto audio tracks and I know how to Export Stems. That’s it. To speed up this rather basic use of Studio One I’ve committed a total of two shortcuts to memory - Comma to return to zero and Asterisk to record. A power user I am not.
Stranger In A Strange Land
I’m sure someone has already asked themselves why I haven’t just set up the Studio One keystrokes to match Pro Tools, a preset set of keystrokes comes pre-installed for precisely this reason. I’ve never done this and looking back to an article I wrote back in 2016 I explain my reasons why I value learning standard keystrokes . Looking back on this article I notice my stated intention to learn these keystrokes but here I am 2 years later still not having committed these shortcuts to memory.
I was discussing this with Paul Drew recently and he said that in his experience many Studio One users stayed mousebound. Perhaps is is because Studio One lends itself to interaction via a mouse. Things like automation are designed with mouse based interaction in mind. Maybe, but if I perform a particular action in a DAW often I want to use a shortcut and learning these shortcuts is about actually using them, that is the only way they stick in your memory. I think I need an “aide memoire”.
Editors Keys Studio One Keyboard
To help with this I took some of my own advice and got an Editors Keys backlit Studio One keyboard. Having these keyboard shortcuts in front of me means that I’m far more likely to use a shortcut than the mouse and over time I hope that I’ll explore Studio One more as I feel more proficient in it. The idea is that new shortcuts will encourage using Studio One more which will encourage new shortcuts etc.
So what am I finding useful today? If you are an experienced Studio One user then what follows probably isn’t for you but I think there are more people like me who don’t know enough shortcuts than know too many.
- Comma - Return to Zero, already mentioned as one of the two shortcuts I knew already
- Asterisk (Num Pad) - The other shortcut on my pitifully small repertoire (we’re not counting space bar - OK?)
- P - Loop Set. I’m sure this is the same as it was in Cubase back in the days I used to use that. I’m using this for setting the range when exporting my stems.
- M - Drop marker. I’ve been stopping record passes when I make mistakes, returning to zero and hitting record again. With this I might just stay in record and drop markers where I restart my VO.
- Number Keys 3-9 - Recall markers 1-7. This is a little odd that you’re always recalling the marker two numbers below the actual marker number but recalling reels ver efficient without having to type period-number-period like in Pro Tools.
- R and M - Record Arm and Mute. I mute the tracks I’m recording to, otherwise I get a howl-round when recording screen cap. These two will be in regular use because they are perfect candidates for shortcut use. Things I do every time I use Studio One.
- Shift-Command-E (Mac) - Export Stems - I love the Export Stems feature in Studio One, it’s probably why I use it.
So there are my first instalment of Studio One shortcuts. While this is very much “page one” stuff. That is the page I’m on with Studio One. While I’ve been using it a long time, I haven’t explored at all. I’ve had a job to do, I’ve done it and retreated back to the familiarity of Pro Tools. Hopefully having this keyboard as a big colourful reminder to use Studio One in front of me will get me past the tipping point and I’ll start using Studio One for fun. I’ll keep you posted.
Which shortcut should I commit to memory next? Suggestions please.