It pays to understand the importance of knowing your Avid Pro Tools shortcuts…literally! Pro Tools is the leading recording software in recording studios across the world, and isn’t going anywhere fast. Other audio recording programs like Logic, Cubase, Sonar, and Reason are still making strong cases, but you’ll only find one DAW in most pro studios-Pro Tools. So if there’s a king, why not discover the “keys” to the kingdom?
1. The keyboard matters
Be careful to take note what keyboard you are actually using before you try any Pro Tools quick keys or shortcuts. The biggest point of frustration is knowing you’re typing in a key command correctly and not seeing anything happen! For example: To bring up the Event Operations Window (say you want to quantize your MIDI drums) and you are on a Macbook Pro. The key command Option+0 won’t have any effect since the “0” is referring to the numeric keypad that you probably don’t have attached. See what I mean?
2. Don’t be afraid to use a cheat sheet!
The sheer amount of shortcuts and quick keys that exist in a program like Pro Tools can be overwhelming. It’s important to realize that just like with everything, you’ll get better only through practice and repetition. If you’re already using Pro Tools, and are comfortable recording yourself or someone else, make sure to do things in all the different ways possible. One of your best tools, especially if you have internet access, is to bookmark a page like Keyboard Shortcuts for Pro Tools. In a pinch, it’s a quick way to get a splash of refreshment or even learn something new!
3. Speed is everything!
As you begin to feel confident about knowing your Avid Pro Tools shortcuts, remember that the faster you can be, the more work you and do, and consequently, the more money you can make. I was in a recording session recently where a few clients of mine asked to record several more takes on separate tracks. In mere seconds, I had them armed and asked if they were ready to go, completely taking them by surprise. Impressed, one of the guys said something like, “Wow…these guys on computers these days…”(referring to me)…“I’d still be looking around for the ‘create a new track button’!”
If you are really interested learning more about Pro Tools and recording, make sure to look into Dark Horse Institute’s audio engineering program. It’s one of the best ways that you can actually get a concentrated and focused education in all of the tools you need to be successful in music production. Plus, I’d personally love to shake your hand and help you achieve your music production goals!